November 10, 2011

Jesus and Unclean Spirits

Mark 1:23-24

If you do not recall a day in your life when you received eternal life as a free gift from Jesus, then this article will not make sense to you. Please click the eternal life button now and learn more about finding peace with God and being born again today.

Eternal Life

   As you read through the Gospels, you begin to see that the evil spirits recognized Jesus right away and feared Him because of His power over them.  We will read today about an unclean spirit and its words to Jesus.   

Mark 1:23, Unclean Spirit
Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,

        The Unclean Spirit.  In Mark 1:23, we read about a man with an unclean spirit (“ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ“).  We see in the Gospel of Mark that a human being can have a separate and distinct spiritual being take up residence within his or her physical body.  In Mark 5:2, we observe the same phrase used to describe the unclean spirit in the Gerasene demoniac.  Mark used the term “unclean spirit” synonymously with “demon” (compare Mark 6:7, “unclean spirits” (“τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν ἀκαθάρτων“) with Mark 6:13, “demons” (“δαιμόνια“) and, likewise, Mark 7:25, with Mark 7:26).  The relationship between the unclean spirit and the human host is that of master and servant.  Mark describes the unclean spirit as “in” (“ἐν“) the man, or that the man has (“ἔχοντα“) the unclean spirit within him (Mark 7:25 and Mark 9:17).  The unclean spirit gains physical control of the body (rendering the host mute in Mark 9:17, for example).  In Mark 1:23, we will also see the unclean spirit use the vocal chords of the host to speak.  The unclean spirit cried out (“ἀνέκραξεν“) to Jesus in the synagogue.  Mark recorded several of these loud outbursts from unclean spirits in Mark 3:11 (“shout” (“ἔκραζον“)), Mark 5:7 (“shouting with a loud voice” (“κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ“)), and Mark 9:26,  (“crying out” (“κράξας“)).  When you deal with people making loud outbursts, and acting spiritually strange, you may want to consider that you are dealing with an unclean spirit.  Mark carefully distinguished mental illness which Jesus healed from the ministry of exorcism, where Jesus cast out the demons.  In Mark 1:32, we see that people brought the “sick” (“τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας“) and also those people demon-possessed (“τοὺς δαιμονιζομένους“).  Do not imagine that demons do not exist and the New Testament writers mistook mental illness for demon possession.  The demons in the Bible confronted Jesus and Jesus overpowered them.  He gave that same authority over demons to His disciples (Mark 6:7).  In passing, notice in Mark 1:23, that the man with the unclean spirit may have been a visitor in the synagogue and not a member, because the verse states it was “their” synagogue, and not the synagogue of the demon-possessed man.  People with unclean spirits may also appear in our churches, as members or visitors.  So, keep in mind that we still have demons in the world today, and they still seek to possess men.  As believers, we do not struggle against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against powers, against the world forces of darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). 

Mark 1:24, Holy One of God
saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!”

     What Business?  When unclean spirits encountered Jesus, they immediately  recognized Him spiritually (Mark 1:24).  In this case, the unclean spirit spoke to Jesus and questioned Him.  The humans in the room had already been amazed at the teaching with authority of Jesus.  The unclean spirit in the room, within the man, had a greater understanding of Jesus from the spiritual perspective.  The phrase “What business do we have” (“Τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί“) loosely translates the phrase “what to me and to you?,” meaning, what do we have to do with each other now?  The demon gives words to its great concern over the presence of Jesus. 

       Have You Come To Destroy Us Please take note that the demon recognized Jesus as the human coming from Nazareth, the place where Jesus was raised.  In other words, the demon recognized Jesus of Nazareth in the flesh.  Just because the Son of God wore flesh, the demon had acute spiritual perception in recognizing Jesus not only according to the flesh, but also as the Holy One of God, as we will see below.  Notice that the top concern of the demon was destruction.  The demon implied that it knew that Jesus had complete power when it said: “Have you come to destroy (“ἀπολέσαι“) us?”.  Did you notice the term “us” here?  The demon voiced concern over the destruction of “us.”  Jesus certainly had the power to destroy all demons at any time.  Perhaps this single demon meant that it was concerned about the destruction of all demons by Jesus in that instant.  It certainly knew that Jesus could have destroyed all of them, but it did not know how and when that destruction might take place.  When you think about demons, remember that the demons lived in fear of Jesus, and His power to destroy them at will.  While they may influence human lives, and take up residence in humans, we know that the power of Jesus Christ reigns supreme over all demons.

       The Holy One of God.  The unclean spirits not only recognized Jesus as Jesus the Nazarene, but they also knew Him as the Holy One of God, possessing all the power needed to destroy them at His will (Mark 1:24).  So often we look at people and do not see them spiritually at all.  The Lord Jesus looked beyond the skin of people, and saw their hearts, minds and spirits.  He saw all of them instantly, and knew all about them.  When He looks at us today, He knows all about us.  Unclean spirits also look into our lives and seek a place to inhabit.  They roam about,  passing through waterless places, seeking rest, but not finding it (Matthew 12:43).  A single unclean spirit may leave a person, and then return with seven spirits more wicked than itself, so that the last state of the person may be worse than being possessed by only one wicked spirit (Matthew 12:43-45).  We should take courage that Jesus has all power over all evil spirits, and offers us words of encouragement: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8).

        So we learn more about Jesus and unclean spirits today.

     ●  Unclean spirits recognized the Son of God as both Jesus of Nazareth and the Holy One of God. 

     ●  Unclean spirits feared that Jesus would destroy them by His supreme power.

    ●  Jesus intended for His disciples to understand the reality of unclean spirits, and part of their education included dealing with unclean spirits. 

Application for Today

        As I walk through life today, I am aware that unclean spirits still confront us and we struggle against them.  We resist the devil and his demons through the power of Christ who triumphs over them.  Demons fear Christ Jesus, and we love Him because He saved us from the wrath to come and transforms our lives right now by leading us by our hands.  He delivers us from evil every day.  Will you walk without fear of unclean spirits by the power of Christ working within you today? 

 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 

 Christ Assembly License

The author of all original material on this website retains all legal and equitable rights to the properties at issue. The author granted Christ Assembly a limited-use, revocable license to publish material on this website, while reserving all ownership rights to the original author. You may use any original material on this website to the glory of God, but you may not receive anything of value for such use. You may not receive any donations related to any original material on this website. All use of original material on this website is subject to the revocable, limited license above. You must conspicuously indicate on any use of the original material that it originated from  Any revocation of the license shall be posted on this website and all rights to use material may be revoked without prior notice. By copying and using any original material from this website, you consent to such license. Christ Assembly opposes any payment for access to studies, articles, journals, or other publications of studies concerning the Word of God. As God has freely given, so also the products of His grace should be freely shared.