Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Demons Among Us!

Sunday night we looked at the gospel of Mark and Jesus’ encounters with demons. Jesus’ first encounter with demons is in Mark 1:21-28.

“They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"

"Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly. "Come out of him!" The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him." News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.”

-Mark 1:21-28 (NIV)

The man who had the demon in him was in the “synagogue.” He was there in their midst! Notice, the people of the synagogue are not surprised by his being there. Read the gospels. It appears as though it was fairly common to encounter a person who was under the influence of a demon—or demons. What surprised the people of the synagogue was that Jesus had authority to give the demons orders that had to obey.

Now comes the troubling question, “Are there demons in our midst?” Why would be so bold as to think that it couldn’t, or wouldn’t, happen in our churches? From experience I can tell you that people who are possessed (oppressed, demonized, or what ever you want to call it) by demons can be, and are, in our churches. On the positive side, so are angels!

Recently, a wise person (my wife) said, “If you go to the doctor and get treated for a sore throat, when what's really wrong is brain cancer, it's not such a good thing.” We can pretend that demons are not around—but its not a good thing.

A few years ago our youth group went to Canada to assist a church with a VBS. Most of the people from that church were from Central America. The evening would be our team’s time for worship, study and discipleship—taking from two to three hours. We opened our time up to the youth from that church. The last component of our time was “triads” – a time when three of our students (and one or two from the Canadian church) would gather with a leader for talking about what was going on in each other’s lives, where they were growing or struggling and for prayer. I normally do not have a group so that I can be of assistance if any group should need it. It was after the second or third night, at our leaders meeting, that one of the leaders asked me to come to her group. She said that there was some stuff that was going on that was way over her head—she thought that there might be some demon activity in a girl’s life (the girl was from the Canadian church). That next day I called to our prayer team back at home to pray and fast so that we would know what Christ wanted us to do and to give us the power to do it. To make a long story short, God used that small group and me to remove the demon from the girl. The “topper” to this story happened early the following morning. One of the ladies in our group was an early riser. When she woke up she noticed “someone” standing in the middle of the fellowship hall where our group was sleeping. I use the term “standing’ quite loosely as the angle was not touching the ground. He was watching over our group! He looked at this lady, smiled and then started to leave the fellowship hall—again, as he walked his feet never touched the floor. As he would go over a sleeping student the student would stir a bit. He proceeded out of the fellowship hall and disappeared.

The girl from that Canadian church was a regular attendee of church (every Sunday) and youth group. She was always in their midst!

We need to be open to the possibility of there being demons in our midst.


At 9:33 AM , Blogger Red_Cleric said...

I've read that passage and others like it for years and never realized the fact that the demonic was IN the church and AMONG the people.

What's more they don't seem to be bothered by it either. Now that's strange. Thanks for the insight.



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