There are five lessons we can learn from this passage in Mark 5. This topic is important because (I speak to personal experience) there are “Christians” today who deny the existence of a “spiritual world,” or angels and devils (please, don’t call them demons); they struggle with the idea of a literal, dangerous Satan; and, they refuse to believe there are any Satanic conspiracies and things like black/white magick (BOTH are wicked by the way), and spell casting, conjuring up of spirits, etc.
This study isn’t going to convince you of a Satanic conspiracy to overthrow the general populace and establish a New World Order (NWO) because that’s another study. Rather, the focus of this study is that devil possession is real, and we can learn FIVE important truths from this one, famous example in Mark.
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
DWELLING AMONG THE TOMBS (V.3)
I suggest, by the authority of Scripture, that a sign of devil possession is a unique, compelling, and obsessive fascination with death. The reason this fascination is devilish, and may need to be distinguished from an average lost person’s exposure to death, is because the devil possessed dwells, day and night, among “the tombs.” It’s more than a mere passing, flirtation with it.
Pro 8:36 – But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
We live in a culture that is constantly advertising ultra-violent movies and video games as entertainment. Musical groups who glorify death and hell, like ACDC in their song “Highway to Hell”: “Hey Satan, paid my dues/ Playing in a rocking band/ Hey mama, look at me/ I’m on my way to the promised land, whoo!” And children and teens are consuming these media like crazy. No wonder more people than ever are depressed; it’s no wonder so many young people commit suicide. It’s because of Satanic influence—and I wonder how many of these people are devil possessed.
Not only is it in games and movies, but this man literally dwelt among the tombs. There are people who I went to school with who would dwell among the tombs. They were called “Goth.” They would paint their nails black, wear black clothes that depicted devils, skulls, and other symbols of witchcraft (like ravens, pentagrams, peace signs, etc.), and wear dark eyeliner and lipstick. Yes, even the males! I remember when costume contacts would be worn, and they would wear white, red, and cat-eye styled contacts to appear like they were a zombie or a weird cat/human hybrid. Strange, Satanic occurrences for a high school.
NO MAN COULD BIND HIM (V. 3,4)
We’re going to move aside from devil possession to “oppression” for a minute to see that born-again people can be affected by evil spirits.
1 Sam 15:23 – Saul was a saved man (though for some reason people dispute that fact). He was not like the man in Mark 5. So we see even a saved person can be oppressed by a devil, or be influenced by a wicked spirit, because they are habitually in the flesh. the Bible says rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
The man in Mark 5 would be said to be in rebellion. Yes, I believe he literally broke those chains. But what we learn is that this man would not submit to authority. Regardless of whether or not a person who is rebellious is possessed by a devil, or devils, isn’t the entire point. The fact is that God hates rebellion and says it’s witchcraft. Please turn to the following verses to see what the LORD thinks of rebellion.
The Youth (rebellious)
2 Kings 2:23
Job 19:18; 30:12
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him (Prov 22:15)
This man was rebellious, and I want us to understand that the rebellion began when he was a child, and the ROD of correction must never have been applied. If it had, he would have learned to respect authority and wouldn’t have gone deeper into his rebellion. So it is with the youth today. Many are rebellious, devil-possessed transvestite whores and whore mongers because they never were properly and Scripturally disciplined.
CRYING/CUTTING HIMSELF (V. 5)
This man was self destructive. There can be no doubt about that. But I don’t believe this is all this verse means.
Read the following from 1 Kings 18:26-28:
And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
What is the testimony of Scripture concerning the man in Mark 5? “And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.” Like the heathen in 1 Kings, the pagan of Mark 5 called “night and day” or “morning even until noon.”
In general, the nature of the occult is “secret.” It isn’t done blatantly in the open for fear of public reaction—even though the more wicked a nation becomes, the more the dark forces and Satanic rituals are done openly to initiate the masses into their Luciferian cult (desensitization happens via social media, TV, movies, music, etc.). But what’s the point? He wasn’t running through the streets doing these things. He was “in the mountains, and in the tombs,” worshiping BAAL in secret! His condition was a direct result to his wicked witchcraft, his Satanic worship of Baal. There is almost no reason to believe otherwise when we compare his condition to the condition of the nation of Israel when Elijah confronted them. Friend, don’t think the Legion of devils inhabiting the man in Mark 5 was by total accident.
Briefly, in his book The Curse of Canaan (DISCLAIMER: it contains some doctrines that I personally don’t agree with), Eustuce Mullins writes, “Because of their extraordinary powers, demons have always attracted a certain number of followers on earth. ‘Secret’ organizations, which insist on concealing their rites and their programs from all ‘outsiders’ must do so in order to prevent exposure and the inevitable punishment” (pg. 4). Perhaps this explains why the Legion responded to Jesus’ glorious pressence, which takes us to our fourth point.
“WHAT HAVE I TO DO WITH THEE?” (V. 7)
First, this question highlights the devils’ rebellious spirit. They would dare question and defy the Son of God. They didn’t want to be brought to the light of who they were and what they were doing. They wanted to remain secretive. The light of Jesus Christ is constantly working to expose the powers of darkness.
Second, people who are devil possess know who Jesus is, but they hate him. They know about him, but want absolutely nothing to do with him.
James 2:19 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” The devils “believe,” but not in a saving way. The extent of their “faith” is that they know there is one God…that’s it. It’s the equivalent to a Muslim’s faith in Christ, or a Jehovah Witnesses faith in Christ—unprofitable.
But bear in mind that works don’t save us. James isn’t teaching a faith-plus-works-based gospel. He’s making the point that our faith must needs be real and productive because we’re born-again children. Compare the idea of devils believing and trembling with this overlooked passage: “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham” (Heb 2:16). I’m tired of people using James 2:19 to prove a point that the devils have a greater faith than Christians because, “See, they believe and tremble…” as if it even matters! Jesus didn’t die to save the angels, so James 2 isn’t about salvation. It’s about our walk as Christians. And, yes, FAITH WITHOUT WORKS CAN SAVE A MAN when we look at passages that actually deals with spirit salvation. But, my rant is over.
SITTING, CLOTHED, AND IN HIS RIGHT MIND (V. 15)
This last lesson we can learn is that when a person meets Jesus Christ, they are made a normal person. This means that before we are made children of God, we are abnormal, contrary to the things of God.
The man was sitting—he wasn’t going anywhere. This speaks to the Biblical doctrine of “eternal security” or “Once Saved Always Saved.” Consider these words which Jesus spake in John 10:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
People say really asinine things like, “Well, we have the freewill to be saved, so we have the freewill to walk away from salvation.” Yeah, maybe if you subscribe to such a foolish idea! But what does the Bible teach? NO MAN, including yourself, is able to pluck them out of HIS hand. The other thing people neglect is that it’s the FATHER WHO DRAWS/GIVES THE SHEEP INTO JESUS’ HAND TO BEGIN WITH (Jn 6:37, 39, 44, 46; 10:29). No man, of his own DEAD “free” will, can come to the Father. Therefore, no man can possibly escape or be taken from it. Plain and simple. And if a person wants to call that Calvinism, they’ll have to explain to me why JESUS SAID IT FIRST.
The man was clothed—he was no longer in nakedness and shame, the Bible’s way of symbolizing sin and iniquity. He was born-again, clothed in Christ’s imputed righteousness, judicially declared righteous by God’s grace.
The man was in his right mind.
Devil possession is real. A saved person can’t be possessed, but there are lost people who are. The only remedy for people is always Jesus. People think a lot of this man’s condition could be explained by modern science and psychology, but there’s always a spiritual aspect that is often neglected by mainstream Christianity, and it’s because they reject the spiritual claims of the Bible.