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MATTHEW 12:43-45

"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

LUKE 11:24-26 RECORDS THE SAME SERMON ALSO ...

"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first."

 

LESSON 1, MONDAY, MAY 1, 2006:

The "unclean" spirit in this Text is a demon!

Both Matthew and Luke have recorded Jesus' words on the subject.

Each begins with the same words: "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man ...."

I heard the other day of a liberal Preacher who said there were no such things as demons! 

The Bible says otherwise. 

Jesus, in Matthew 25:41, spoke of "everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

And James informs us that "The devils also believe, and tremble." James 2:19

The adjective for "unclean" here is "akathartos" and has two or three levels of meaning.  At first it just indicated a room that was dirty.  Next it meant that which was ceremonially unclean ... defiled by something like touching a dead body therefore disqualified from worship at the Temple. Then it came to mean moral filth, ungodly living.  Sins, especially sensual ones!

"Akathartos" as an adjective is used 32 times in the New Testament. Twice by Matthew, eleven times by Mark, six times by Luke and not once by John in His Gospel! Talk about variation! It does not sound like they merely copied one another, does it?

Then Luke uses the word five more times in Acts then Paul follows with three verses and John in Revelation with three more!

I would say that these "unclean" spirits are like their father the devil! This statement just follows the thinking of Jesus Who said to the unbelieving Jews: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44

But now, let me mention Another Spirit!

The Holy Spirit of God!

The Third Person of the Trinity!

Very God of Very God!

What kind of Spirit is He?

Holy!

There is a big difference between the two words "unclean" and "holy!"

"Hagios" means holy in this sense.

The background for this word has a "separatist" emphasis.  Set apart! Removed FROM that which defiles!  This is the very opposite of being "unclean!"

But "hagios" also implies being "dedicated" UNTO something.  The Greeks said it means being consecrated solely to the gods.  To us Christians it is total concentration on Jesus!

Yes, the Bible is clear.

Spirits exist.

They are active in this world.

They are either good or evil!

That's because there are in reality only two sources of "power" in existence.

God is good!

The Devil is evil!

Christian, thank the Lord today for your salvation and the indwelling Holy Spirit!

Amen!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, TUESDAY, MAY 2, 2006:

The Scripture says that this unclean spirit "had gone out of a man!"

Here's the way the King James Bible phrases it: "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none." Matthew 12:43

This alone, not counting numerous other supporting Bible Texts, proves that devils or demons or evil spirits can inhabit a man! "Possess" a man!

You can't "go out" of something ... if you have not "been in" it first!

The verb "go out" is "exerchomai" in Greek and means to get away or be gone or come out. Here the verb is an aorist which implies that the unclean spirit intended to stay gone once he left!

Then the verb is in the subjunctive mood. Jesus is illustrating here with a possibility. One teacher calls it "the mood of probability." Should this event occur, certain other contingencies must apply. These will be studied as we proceed through the Text.

Then too the verb is in the active voice. This unclean spirit was not forced out! It left on its own! This spirit decided to go ... and left! With the man who is the subject of Jesus' preaching here, unclean spirits could come and go at will! This proves that the man was not "saved."

The few words we've noticed so far may prove something else about these unclean spirits too. "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none."

This spirit left, but why?

Obviously he was seeking "rest," but what does that mean?

The noun "anapausis" means a pause or a temporary cessation of labor. I personally doubt that the Devil ever has any rest!  Or his demons either! Only Jesus can give real rest! "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Also the spirit's leaving this man voluntarily shows its lack of contentment, its dissatisfaction. I suspect that Satan is never really at peace.

And in keeping with the meaning of "unclean," the spirit was apparently not in a wicked enough environment!  He wanted to associate with a deeper degree of filth! That alone is a parable on iniquity.  It is not static! It does not stay the same! It progressively worsens with the passing of time! Paul mentions this principle in 2nd Timothy 3:13. "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."

Then at least to some measure our Text shows that this unclean spirit had a will of its own!  Maybe limited, but a will nonetheless. And that will operated within the context of the demon's vile nature!

I'll say this.

Jesus believed in devil and unclean spirits!

One liberal Preacher denied this fact. He said that Jesus knew better than that! He did not really believe in evil spirits and the like! This preacher said that Jesus only "played along" with the folks of His age ... in order to help them overcome this superstition!

Well, this man is wrong!

The world of evil is a reality!

And, sadly, so is the world of demon possession.

I'm glad I know Christ Jesus, the Victor!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2006:

The first portion of Jesus' Sermon on "The Clean But Empty House" may tell us some interesting information about wicked spirits, demons!

Let's read it again: "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none." Matthew 12:43

Notice what the departed spirit does and where he goes.

The verb "walked" translates the term "dierchomai," which basically means "to go though" an area. To pass through, to journey! Note this little point of grammar too. The Holy Spirit has framed this verb in the middle voice! That means the "walking" here impacted the unclean spirit! It influenced or could have even changed him in some way! There is herein a "hint," and I do admit it's just a "hint," that our victories over Satan and his minions might discourage them a bit ... or negatively impact them! Conversely, that would also mean that our spineless capitulations to the devils might strengthen them too!

"Dierchomai," here being a present tense verb, also declares to us that this walking may have continued for a while!  How long was that house empty? How careless can a man be?

Then realize this. The demon only went to dry places! This was its preference! Apparently they do not enjoy "wet" locations! Spiritually speaking, unclean spirits would not want to be where God's "shower's of blessings" are falling! Listen to the Lord in Ezekiel 34:26. "I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing." Neither would demons like the "still waters" of Holy Spirit communion! Nor the cleansing "water" of the Word of God as mentioned by Paul in Ephesians 5:26.

Remember when Jesus cast thousands of devils out of one man, the maniac of Gadara? That legion of demons asked Jesus to be "cast" into a herd of nearby swine. The request was granted, but immediately the swine ran into the sea and drowned! Demons in water! Wet places! That's either extremely ironic ... or Holy Ghost inspired writing!

An unclean spirit, "seeking" rest!

"Zeteo" is a present participle meaning "to search for" or even "to strive for" something. Here it depicts on-going habitual action. It looks like the devil can't even keep his own followers satisfied!

But there is no genuine rest apart from God and His Word and His Spirit! Jesus promised so! He alone can give real Rest! See Matthew 11:28.

Then in that last verb of the opening sentence of this great Sermon, the departed unclean spirit who sought rest so diligently "findeth none." This verb is "heurisko" and means to discover or to locate by scrutiny or investigation! It also can mean just "to hit upon" something, to so-called "accidentally" come upon it!  But his demon can do neither ... when it comes to rest and peace and contentment and joy!

And truly, Satan and his crowd will never really find any peace, not the genuine kind! Not one bit!

This reminds me of the words to a song.

A song about "Peace!"

Most every Believer knows one or two of them.

Hum or sing a few lines of it today ... unto the Lord!

After all, as Paul says in Ephesians 2:14 ... Jesus is our Peace!

Amen!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, THURSDAY, MAY 4, 2006:

The unclean spirit here is described as "talking" and "reasoning" to himself!

"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith ...." Matthew 12:43-44

Now I know you are going to tell me that demons can't talk. But I believe I'll just try to explain the verses here word for word anyway.

The verb for "saith" is "lego" in Greek and means to tell or speak or declare with words.

As far as spirits not being able to talk, the Devil talked in the Garden of Eden. Come to think of it, he talked again at the Temptation of Jesus. And a third time before Almighty God he argued over the great Patriarch Job's righteousness! See Job 1. Demons that inhabited men in Jesus' Ministry talked to Him also!

Admittedly I am no expert on the spirit world, I am just telling you what the Bible is saying here.

Furthermore, as the rest of the verse proves also, this demon had some latitude of action available to him, some "free will," because he apparently is doing just what he pleases!

"Lego," to say, is derived from the root Greek verb that means "to choose!" Volition is involved here!

What does the unclean spirit say? "Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out ...."

No doubt the devil runs his kingdom within the context of authority. After all, Satan is the prince of the power of the air Paul said. And in Daniel 10, the "prince" of Grecia and the "prince" of Persia, both demons, held high positions of wicked power and opposed the Arch-angel Michael himself!

But within that hierarchical framework, the lower "enlisted" devils can surely work within an allowed context of wickedness ... at will!  Folks, Satan is NOT omniscient, omni-present or omnipotent!

This unclean spirit is going back to "his" house!  To repossess it!

To re-inhabit some man, some human!

I think they do not like to be disembodied!

He left at will. So shall he return!

Think of it!

The demon's will!

No opposition from the man whatsoever!

At least, none mentioned!

Then, lastly for now, look at the sucess the unclean spirit enjoys.

"Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come ...."  Matthew 12:44

He got what he wanted!

I'll just say that the devil too often gets just what he wants ... because nobody much resists him anymore!

Of course, come to think of it, any successes Satan or his helpers have ... will be very short lived!

They are all going to spend eternity in eternal fire and torment!

But, Brother Bagwell, how can anyone overcome and combat the forces of evil?

Read with me, Believer in Jesus Christ.

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1st John 4:4

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7

"For the accuser of our brethren (the devil) is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony ...."  Revelation 12:10-11

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1st Corinthians 15:57

Praise the Lord!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2006:

The unclean spirit, having left his "host," now wants to return!

He does so and is surprised!

In fact, the verb used indicates a "discovery" is made!

"Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty ...." Matthew 12:44

The verb "findeth" again translates "eurisko" (really "heurisko") and means to locate something after diligent search! On the other hand, it can at times mean just to stumble across something as one conducts his everyday affairs!

The first time it's used in Scripture, Matthew 1:18, it has reference to the Virgin Birth of Jesus. And in Matthew 2:8, its second occurrence, Herod is searching for Baby Jesus ... to kill Him!  These two event illustrate the two backgrounds for "search." One good, but the other is evil! Those two motivations continue yet today!

But the word we must discuss today is "empty." This demon found his former dwelling place, a Jewish man, "empty!"

What a description this is for a human body, a soul, a being!

"Empty" is derived from the Greek word "skolazo" which means unoccupied. Its background pictures "taking a holiday!" To be on vacation! To be at leisure! From this word comes the noun "school!" To the Greeks school was a "break" from work, no job! Back then, being a "scholar" was not a full-time job. It was someone who did not work! One dictionary says that "skolazo" means "to loiter!"

Now, let's apply this concept to a man's very life, his soul and spirit and innermost being.

Can you image such being "empty?"

This man, for whatever blessed reason, had just been freed from an evil spirit!

That devil left the man!

No more possession or obsession or unclean influence!

BUT ... the man did nothing while free!

Nothing!

He left his life empty!

He morally and spiritually went on vacation!

A time of "amusement," which means "not to think!"

A little leisure, please!

Some time off!

I will improve my life ... after a "break!"

Nihilism, emptiness! That's what many now are saying life is all about anyway!

Fate!

Blind chance!

Well, stupid man, get ready!

If your "house" stays that empty ... somebody's coming back home, the devil!

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, hear me today.

If you put something sinful OUT of your life ... quickly replace it with something GODLY!

Do not leave a void there, no emptiness!

If you stop reading dirty novels, read the New Testament!

If you trash your movies, buy the Bible on CD and watch that!

If you quit cursing, start blessing and encouraging those around you!

Replace that evil deed ... with good!

An old Preacher of bygone years delivered a Sermon entitled "The Expulsive Power of a New Affection!" What a title!

His Text was 1st John 2:15. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Look!

If a life is filled with the love of the world ... you can KNOW that the love of the Father is NOT in there too!

Why?

Because the LOVE OF THE FATHER is so powerful that it expels the love of the world ... every single time!

Wow!

Do not live an empty life!

That's dangerous!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2006:

When the devil returned to his "house" ... he found it "swept!"

Swept, but empty!

The Greek verb "to sweep" is spelled "saroo."

It is only used three times in the whole New Testament!

Once here in Matthew's account of this unclean spirit.

Once again in Luke's account of the same event.

Then in the Parable of Luke 15; the lost sheep, lost coin and lost son!

In Luke 15, you will remember, a lady had lost a silver coin. She labored fervently to find it. Lighting a candle to aid her vision, she swept diligently until she found it!

These two "sweeping" events in Scripture are so different!

One is searching for silver ... the other for nothing!

One leads to joy ... the other to sorrow!

One pictures a soul saved ... the other a soul lost!

One is mentioned as conditions improve in a human life ... the other as conditions crumble!

Also it is apparent here that the unclean spirit liked the fact of the house being swept!

Even Satan does not always live in the hog pens!  For appearance sake he might want to keep things "clean," as long as the Holy Spirit is not there!

The truth of today's word "swept:"  It's fine to sweep ... necessary in fact. But be sure to sweep with the right motive in mind.

To prepare for the filling of the Holy Spirit!

To be flooded with the good things of God!

Oh, I've just found an Old Testament sweeping incident!

And the Lord God Himself is doing the work!

"For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts."  Isaiah 14:22-23

What a choice is here presented!

Clean and sweep one's life, inviting the Lord to direct the matter!

Or some day God will clean and sweep it for you ... in judgment!

Think about it!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2006:

The empty house, the unoccupied soul of the man in our Text was also found to be "garnished!"

The adjective here is really a participle, a verb acting like an adjective.

"Kosmeo" means "to put in order" or "to decorate" or "to adorn."

It's the verb word the New Testament uses for the "world!"

When 1st John 2:15 commands us to "love not the world," it "kosmos" in the accusative case.

God is here not forbidding our appreciation of the mountains or clouds or countryside!

No, the world system with all its wickedness is in view!

The devil's machinery, his order and arrangement, his way of doing things are "off-limits" for the Spirit filled Believer in Jesus!

When the unclean spirit returned to the man who had chosen to remain "empty" in his spiritual life, he found a politically correct individual! He had crossed all the world's t's and dotted all their i's for sure!

Garnished!

And an alluring candidate for the devil to impact!

Let me show you how Paul uses "kosmeo" and its cognates.

"The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." The god he mentions here is none other than the Devil himself! 2nd Corinthians 4:4

Here's why Jesus died according to Galatians 1:4. "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father." This present "kosmos" is evil!

And in its sense of "orderly" and "arranged" Paul writes to the ladies: "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel ...." The verb "adorn" here is "kosmeo." 1st Timothy 2:13

And in Titus 2:8 we are to "adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." That's "kosmeo" again.

The "garnishing" touches of the world, wicked as it is, reminded the Lord of decorated gravesites. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous." Matthew 23:29

Our lives should be "garnished," with the things of God!

Not with the things of the world!

One's decision here will have a direct impact on whom one attracts!

Or repels!

                                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, MONDAY, MAY 8, 2006:

The unclean spirit we've been studying next does something astounding.

"Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself ...." Matthew 12:45

This part of our verse proves the fact that fellowship exists ... even in the demonic world!

The verb "taketh" translates "paralambano," meaning "to join alongside" another!

The "man" in Jesus' Sermon here had one demon ... then no demons ... then just one demon again ... but then suddenly, eight demons!

All because he did nothing to resist them!

He was passive!

He left his "house," his mind and soul and spirit, empty!

His body too!

And the adjective "other" here is interesting also. It is spelled "heteros" and means others of a different kind! Not others of the same kind!  At least that's what the scholars say, the Greek specialists.

Even the first unclean spirit is a bit careless it seems!

He too lets things get out of hand!

Look at the expression "more wicked" than himself!

This adjective is being expressed in the comparative degree. "Poneros" usually indicates active evil, malignant and spreading!

Yes, according to out Text there are degrees of depravity and degradation ... even in the spirit world!

Here's a maxim not to be forgotten.

Leave evil alone, do not "fight" it ... and it will proliferate, spread and worsen, in a hurry too!

Paul said it in 2nd Timothy 3:13. "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse." The verb "wax" is "prokopto" and pictures a pioneer feverishly cutting his way through the brush ... ever advancing toward some specific goal! Here it's a wicked goal!

In reality here is  a Revival, a spiritual awakening!

But ... a Revival of ungodliness!

And according to Jesus it is possible at any time!

Think of this spiritually lazy man ... and his spiritual position now! Inhabited by eight wicked devils!

What will he believe?

How will he behave?

Whom will he worship?

Where will he spend eternity?

Christian friends, we had better thank God for the Victory that is ours through Jesus Christ our Lord! Our crucified, buried, risen Lord! Our ascended and soon to come again Lord!

In the Name of Jesus, resist the devil ... and he will flee from you!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2006:

Next The Text  reads: "And they enter in and dwell there." Matthew 12:45c

The unclean spirits, all eight of them now, "enter in" the man! This particular verb, "eiserchomai," can mean either "to enter into" something or someone or "to go out" of it or them.

Here the first definition is patent, although the second may be latent as well.

Perhaps the seven "new" guests, unclean spirits all, have the same access and digress the one original demon had!

This is one pitiful host!

The verb to "dwell" is "katoikeo" and literally means "to be housed" inside the man! Not to temporarily spend a night or two, to live there! And the "kata" prefix before the verb simply intensifies its meaning!

These evil spirits are REALLY going to live in this human being!

Unencumbered!

While many of today's modernistic sociologists and psychologists and psychiatrists and counselors may doubt it, the Bible is clear about the subject of demon possession!

It certainly can be a reality!

Jesus cast demons out of people many times during His Public Ministry. It's hard to derive an exact number, due to the generalized wording of some of the Texts.

A man came to Church or Synagogue one day with a demon in him! Jesus was present that morning and cast that devil out of the man! "And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. " Mark 1:23-26

Jesus was once even accused of having an unclean spirit Himself! This Lie was hurled at him by the Scribes from Jerusalem. "And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. They said, He hath an unclean spirit." Mark 3:22 and 30

Then perhaps Jesus' most well known miracle concerning demons, the Maniac of Gadara incident, is mentioned in Mark 5:12-13. "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. "

Then once a foreigner needed help from our Lord. Her daughter had a demon. "And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: the woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter." Then ... "Jesus said unto her ... the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed." Mark 7:24-26 and 29-30

Again a young lad with demons was bought to the Lord. "One of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; and wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not." Then ... "When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him." Mark 9:17-18 and 25

Plus there exist several collective statements about Jesus and His power over the devils. "And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him."  Mark 1:32-34

"And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils." Mark 1:39

Our "unclean spirit" Text in Matthew 12 surely is not an isolated portion of Scripture. Jesus knew of the existence of devils and had power over them all!

But ... could He have handled this many unclean spirits at once, a total of eight?

Yes!

Read with me Mark 16:9. "Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils." Amazing! One little woman ... but seven demons!

Yet that man from Gadara tops this!  "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." Mark 5:1-13

Two thousand demons maybe!

At one time!

Legion!

Eight unclean spirits would have given Jesus no trouble at all!

The devils can be opposed and defeated in the Name of Jesus and through the Power of His Shed Blood!

James 4:7 promises us so. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Amen!

Folks, "Neither give place to the devil." Ephesians 4:27

Don't even let him around your house!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10, WEDNESDAY, MAY 10, 2006:

The man who was possessed, literally inhabited, by the unclean spirit here in Matthew 12:43-45 ... was careless!

He did not protect himself from further demonic onslaught!

The single unclean spirit, meeting no opposition whatsoever, invited seven more unclean spirits into the man's body!

Then Jesus said: "And the last state of that man is worse than the first." Matthew 12:45c

The adjective "last" is spelled "eschatos" in Greek and means the end or the uttermost part or last in space or time. This man's eschatology was bleak indeed! It apparently still is!

The verb "is," in Greek "ginomai" here, means "to come to pass," or just  "to happen" or even "to be born!" It's in the present tense also.

"Worse," an adjective, is "cheiron" and means "more severe!"

"First" is "protos" and means earlier or former or (obviously here) first in time.

The paradigm or pattern of sin has again had its normal effect on the poor man! With sin ... always ... things get worse and worse with the passing of time!

The "wages" of sin proliferate and deteriorate simultaneously!

In the last half Romans chapter one Paul details this digression, this eternally downward spiral!

And of course, always, the wages of sin are death!

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

Even Simon Peter speaks of those whose ungodliness has made them such that ... "their latter end is worse with them than the beginning." 2nd Peter 2:20

To anyone reading these words today who has been sliding further and further into sin and iniquity, maybe even into the occult, you had better listen!

Stop while you can!

And if you can't ... call on Jesus!

He is The Answer!

He is The Saviour!

He is The Deliverer!

He is The Victor!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

P. S. --- With the Lord, the latter end is not worse than the beginning! Read with me:

Boaz to Ruth, his God given wife: "And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning." Ruth 3:10

Job, even after all his suffering: "So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning." Job 42:12

And in Hebrews 9:11 tells us of Jesus: "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come ...." See it? Good things to come ... for the saved man or woman!

Amen!

 

 

LESSON 11, THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2006:

Jesus once told the story of an unclean spirit, a demon, who inhabited a man.

But for some reason that spirit left his "host" and spent some time elsewhere.

Then he returned to the man and, finding his old home empty and clean, the unclean spirit reclaimed his old abode!

Still unhappy, the spirit went out again and found seven more unclean spirits, even more wicked than himself, and brought them into his home, the man's very body!

Here's the exact way Jesus described the event: "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first." Matthew 12:43-45

The man in question, the "host" to this unclean spirit, failed to do anything to protect himself and purify himself from evil! Therefore his one unclean demon became eight devils ... and he was in worse condition at the end than he was in the beginning!

This "unclean spirit" sermon Jesus delivered is full of wisdom to help us live for the Lord day by day.

But notice with me how Jesus closes His message.

"Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation." Matthew 12:45

Jesus applied this story of the escalating demons to His Nation, Israel!

Any Country on earth, if it so encourages the devil and his angels, will gradually slide into worse and worse iniquity!

And this is happening in America right now!

There is a dramatic increase of demonic activity in our Nation with each passing year.

Our culture's "single" demons have proliferated into "multiple" demons!

Multifold!

In many places in our land now the fastest growing religion is witchcraft or wicca or voodoo or some other form of devil worship.

America is becoming a pagan nation!

Or as many would say, a "neo-pagan" nation.

And folks, based upon Jesus' sermon about the unclean spirit ... since we did not repel that single pronged attack of the devil, we will now have to face the eight-fold one!

As it was with the unwise man in Matthew 12:43-45 ... "Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."

So says Jesus!

Only the soon returning Lord can purge us from such a situation!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12, FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2006:

The explosive growth of "alternative" religions is astounding in these last days!

Like the unclean spirit in Jesus' Matthew 12:43-45 Sermon, America's involvement with demons and spirits and witchcraft and paganism is on the rise, rapidly!

That poor man in Matthew 12 digressed from being possessed by just one unclean spirit to a surprising eight unclean spirits ... because he was too "passive" in his response!

Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of Americans ... some researchers now think the Nation may now be into the low millions ... of people within our borders are experimenting or following or outright dedicated to the occult; to witchcraft, vampirism, contact with the dead, goddess worship, voodoo, pantheism and much more.

But how can this be?

In so-called educated America?

Witchcraft?

Wicca?

Neo-paganism?

Here's how it is happening!

The more we ignore God and blaspheme His Name nationally and sin prodigally, the more "open" we become to the world of iniquity, to evil and unclean spirits!

The political climate of the day contributes to this apostasy, leading us further and further away from God!

The lusts and desires of the American public do too!

The university systems of our land are making it possible too!

Not to mention the entertainment media.

Anything goes!

Hedonism galore!

The following "politically correct" winds are blowing and have formed the perfect environment for the rapid rise of religions such as paganism and the like!

Here are a few of them.

1. Feminism, activist feminism! And you see, wicca and voodoo and their kin all worship goddesses ... denying most male deities! This is just fine with the patriarchy haters of our land!

2. Environmentalism, extreme environmentalism! Most of these spirit worshippers include the earth as divine! Many worship it! Pantheism says that everything is god, all of "nature!"

3. Liberal theology, the rank denial of God's Word! Today mankind is erasing the lines between what used to be called "right" and "wrong!" And with witchcraft and such ... that is just fine! They love to call "evil" good!

4. And pluralism, the idea that everyone is right ... all opinions are of equal value! This is crazy! One man says there is a Hell, another says there is not! Both can't be right, folks! There must be some absolute Standard! (There is, the Word of God!) But in today's "spirit" religions ... everyone can be right! Who knows anyway? Thousands of these folks readily admit that they are "making up" their religious beliefs as they travel down life's highway!

5. And permissiveness in moral areas must be added too! If a man or woman wants to live an immoral or perverted lifestyle, he or she must blot out the idea of a Moral God, and a literal Hell with fire and brimstone, and a coming judgment day! Witchcraft and her counterparts do that quite well!

The winds are blowing their way!

And getting stronger!

Watch out, America!

One demon is rapidly become two and four and eight and ... where will it stop?

I know!

At the Judgment Bar of Almighty God!

Saints of God: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" 2nd Corinthians 6:14-15

In you, as saved brothers and sisters dwells the HOLY Spirit of God, not an unclean spirit of the devil! "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1st Corinthians 6:19-20

Claim the victory today!

                                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

WE TRUST THIS STUDY OF MATTHEW 12:43-45 HAS BEEN EDIFYING TO YOU, AIDING IN YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH!

 

 

 

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