Demons and unclean spirits
Demons and unclean spirits
It seems strange the first miracle of Christ is seldom discussed in church circles or preached from our nations’ pulpits. “What was the first miracle of Christ,” you ask? Was it walking on water, feeding thousands with a few fishes, turning water into wine, healing the sick or raising the dead? No, the first miracle was none of the above. The first miracle of Christ was deliverance. (Scholars still debate this because John said the first miracle was in Cana (John 2:11). The other three Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark and Luke did not agree. Matthew said it was the man with leprosy (Matthew 8:1-4). Mark and Luke said deliverance. With two witnesses I’m going with Mark and Luke. I don’t think Jesus did any miracles before the Holy Ghost came on him.)
That’s right Christ cast out an unclean spirit, a demon, out of a man. Not only did He cast it out of the man Jesus spoke to the spirit, it was done in public, probably embarrassed someone in attendance, and certainly was an uncommon event. Nevertheless, this man walked away free. This was Christ’s first act of public ministry.
THE FIRST MIRACLE
Right after Christ’s wilderness confrontation with Satan He went to church. While there a man with an unclean spirit spoke to him with a loud voice saying “let us alone.”
“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. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.” (Mark 1:23-28)
Let’s pull out eleven interesting facts:
- The unclean spirit was inside a man.
- The man was in church.
- The spirit had a voice and spoke.
- The spirit recognized Christ.
- The spirit manifested in the Anointed One’s presence.
- The spirit wanted to be left alone.
- There was more than one spirit in the man –“leave us alone.”
- The unclean spirit did the speaking.
- These spirits were afraid Christ came to destroy them.
- The spirits knew who Jesus was, the Holy One of God.
- This unclean spirit was uncivil and confrontational.
We don’t know much about the man only that he wasn’t sitting in the church alone. This man had company, an unclean spirit.
DEMONIC PNEUMA SPIRITS
There are several different spirits mentioned in the New Testament including:
- Pneuma poneron, an evil spirit. “And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye.” (Acts 19:15)
- Pneuma python, a python spirit or spirit of divination. “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:”(Acts 16:16)
- Pneumata plana, a seducing spirit or spirit of error. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Timothy 4:1)
- Pneuma astheneias, the spirit of infirmity. “And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.”(Luke 13:11)
- Pneuma alalon, a dumb spirit, one without speech. “And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit.”(Mark 9:17)
- Pneuma akathartos, an unclean spirit. “And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out.”(Mark 1:23)
St. Mark wrote the man had an “unclean spirit” and St. Luke wrote he had an “unclean devil.” Mark used the Greek word pneuma meaning spirit and Luke used the Greek word daimonion meaning demon (Mark 1:23; Luke 4:34). From these two writers we understand clearly the man had an unclean demon spirit influencing his life. “Unclean”, Greek akathartos, means:
- Morally corrupted
- Sexually perverted
- Lewd in thought and life.
Typically bad people don’t hang out in church. Usually good people do. This man was probably a “son of Abraham” and member of this local synagogue. He was a Jew. Nobody knows if he was married, if he had any children or how long he suffered from this unclean spirit. We don’t even know where the unclean spirit came from, how the man got it, or if it was a generational curse. The one thing we know for sure is Jesus did not ignore this demon and deliverance was possible in the presence of the Anointed One. It was time for deliverance to come to this man.
SHUT UP AND COME OUT
Can you picture this church service in your mind? Jesus walks into the church and a demon spirit speaks out of a man saying “let us alone.” I like the Lord’s reaction. He doesn’t ignore the demon. He doesn’t ask the choir to sing a song. He doesn’t ask the ushers to drag the man outside the church. No, He confronts the unclean spirit and commanded it to shut up and come out. “And Jesus rebuked him, saying hold thy peace and come out of him” (Mark 1:25). This is the Son of God in action. He is our man of war, the anointed one.
This akathartos spirit revealed there was more than one spirit inside this man. The unclean spirit said:
- “Let us alone.”
- “What have we to do with you?”
- “Are you come to destroy us?”
This was the voice of a strong man with several spirits accompanying it. Jesus, anointed by the Holy Ghost, responded by casting out the unclean spirit, “Jesus rebuked him” and out they all went.
“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. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.” (Mark 1:25-28)
The results of this deliverance were telling:
- The unclean spirit obeyed Christ.
- The man got free from demon influence.
- All the demons left when the unclean spirit was cast out.
- The people were all amazed.
- Jesus had authority over demons.
- Jesus commanded (ordered) spirits.
- Christ’s public reputation increased.
You can tell by the congregation’s reaction that deliverance was uncommon. I believe it. Deliverance is uncommon today. It shouldn’t be. Deliverance belongs to us. It is the children’s bread. Devils have no right to harass and torment the citizens of Zion. Scripture declares deliverance is the first sign that follows every believer. “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils and they shall speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17).
Up to this point there was no hope for deliverance. The man suffered, was tormented in mind and imaginations, his family suffered, and there was never any hope for freedom. But then the Anointed One and His Anointing showed up in church. The anointing was on the Word. (The anointing, the Holy Ghost, was on Christ, the Word incarnate.)
As already said, the first miracle of Christ was deliverance from demon powers. To God be the glory, great things He hath done. The results were in. The man got free and Christ’s celebrity increased throughout the land after this deliverance event.
THE FINGER OF GOD
Jesus taught when unclean, vexing, harassing, tormenting or demonizing spirits are cast out of people the Kingdom of God is manifesting. “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you” (Luke 11:20). Deliverance still is the children’s bread, freedom belongs to us.
Jesus, the Word incarnate was anointed by the Holy Ghost. Jesus did not anoint himself. He was anointed by the Holy Spirit. You cannot anoint yourself, like Jesus you need the Holy Ghost. That same spirit of power that raised Christ from the dead two thousand years ago is the same Holy Ghost that is available for you today.
Jesus said the Holy Ghost was a gift from the Father. Right after His resurrection he told his disciples “they should not depart from Jerusalem but wait for the promise of the Father…. For John truly baptized with water but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:4-5). Some listened, some didn’t. For those that gathered together to them gave He power. Scripture declares, “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
UNCLEAN SPIRITS, DEVILS, AND DEMONS
These waiting believers and later others were baptized with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues (Acts 2:1-8; 8:14-18; 10:45-46; 19:5-6). To them was given power to tread on serpents and over all the power of the wicked one. They wasted no time confronting devils and casting out unclean spirits.
“There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.”(Acts 5:16)
“And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.”(Acts 8:6-8)
“So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:12)
Somebody reading this essay needs to receive their first miracle. Demon spirits know they are no match for the Holy Ghost. As a Spirit filled Christian you are endued with Holy Ghost power to help people. Like the man in Christ’s first miracle people need help. Where will they find it? This man was already going to church, listening to the preacher and reading the Word but still he was demonized by an unclean spirit. Going to church, reading the bible, or watching Christian television alone is not enough. People need an encounter with Holy Ghost power. The bottom line is the anointing on the Word (Christ) caused this unclean devil to manifest. When it manifested Christ did not ignore it, He told it to shut up and come out. Today thousands need the same kind of deliverance from unclean spirits. You can help.