This teaching is based on John 8:36, which says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Satan will do anything he can to keep us from knowing this. He doesn’t want to get caught, because when a “thief” is caught, he has to “restore” what he has stolen seven fold. Most believers are not “free indeed!” Why? Because they don’t believe that they can actually be in bondage. When Jesus made that statement in John, he was speaking to believers.
Mark 5:1 – Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. (Verse 2) And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, (demon-possessed) (Verse 3) who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, (Verse 4) because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him.
(Verse 5) And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. (Verse 6) But when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. (He bowed down.) (Verse 7) And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do you You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” (The demon is talking through the man.)
(Verse 8) For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” (Verse 9) Then He asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” (This is a Roman term meaning 6,826 soldiers.) (Verse 10) And he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country. (Demonic spirits like to stay where they already have a stronghold.)
(Verse 11) Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. (Verse 12) And all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” (Verse 13) And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine; and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
(Verse 14) Now those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. (Verse 15) Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. (Instead of being glad.)
(Verse 16) And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. (Verse 17) Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region. (Verse 18) And when He got in the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. (Verse 19) However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.”
(Verse 20) And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled. (Decapolis is not just one city, its ten cities, ten Greek cities.)
Demons Are Real
Sixty-one times the word demon is in the Gospels. Maybe the reason they are mentioned so much is because no one had ever taken authority over them until Jesus came. He began to confront strongholds and bondage’s. Demons are fallen angels; one-third of the angels fell with Lucifer when he fell.
Demons are “disembodied spirits.” They are always looking for a body to possess. However, there are cultures filled with people that do not believe demons are real. Some have even went so far to say that Jesus only pretended to cast them out so people would follow him.
Here is one commentary that thinks demons are not real: “These are persons, afflicted with especially severe diseases, either bodily or mentally, whose bodies in the opinion of the Jews, demons had entered, and their cure was thought to require the expulsion of the demon.”
They believe that this opinion of demons was made-up by the Jews. That’s heresy! Why would our Bible say Jesus cast out demons if the demons weren’t actually there? However, there are people who see a demon in everything and there are people who say that demons simply don’t exist. Both of these types, Satan loves to hold in bondage. They are both in deception. If you are in ether of these two groups thinking, you need to move to the middle! We should neither be skeptics or superstitious.
A person will never be set free if they don’t believe they can be in bondage. You can’t cast out the flesh and you can’t disciple a demon. Do people need discipleship or deliverance? Yes, they need both. People do possess demonic bondage in their lives, but they have to recognize it.
People can be saved and love the Lord and still be in bondage to lust, immorality, anger, and so on. But, they have to know this is a demonic spirit and what kind it is. So, yes, demons can take Christians into bondage. Christian’s activity and behaviors can be influenced by demonic spirits. The only ones that can’t be set free are the ones that refuse to admit they are in bondage.
Demons Do Enter People
john 10:1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. John 10:10 – ” The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
The thief can get in! The thief, and we know who that is, can enter the sheepfold and the sheepfold are the believers. The enemy will do everything he can to get into the sheep – Christians, some other way.
The Scripture says, “He does not come “except”… And, every time he comes, he comes to steal from us, to kill us, and to destroy us! So, can a Christian really be possessed by a demon?
Demon-possessed in the Greek is actually two words: Daimonizomai; di-mo-ne-zo-mi. Demon zomai, means to possess – demonized. There are also two Greek words for possession. One is “ownership – to gain mastery over; to gain control over; to have power over.
We give our souls to Jesus, which is our mind will, and emotions, and were bought with a price, so we don’t possess our souls after being born again. Jesus tells us to “gain the mastery over our soul,” get control. So no a Christian cannot be owned by a demon. This becomes clear after knowing what the word possessed mean. We are owned by Jesus! But can a Christian be under the control of a demonic spirit? Yes.
Thayer’s definition: To be under the power of a demon. This happens in certain areas of people’s lives; in lust, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, and son on.
Louw Nida’s definition: One cannot speak of a person being possessed by a demon. A more appropriate expression may be “the person possesses (has) a demon. In other word: “The demon rides the person or the demon commands the person.”
If there is a sin that a person just can’t seem to overcome, then they are in bondage, under the influence of a demonic spirit. People will make the excuse, “I have a weakness in that area,” but have had it 20 years or all their life! Its bondage. If a person is in bondage in any area of their life, there is One who can set them free. His name is Jesus! But He can’t set you free unless you know and admit you’re in bondage!
Here is a good illustration: You leave your house and you leave a window open. When you return you find a thief in your house. Does that thief own your house? No! But he is in your house. He has control over your house until he is arrested and taken out in handcuffs. You have the authority to arrest him and throw him out of your house.
Lamentations 1:10 – The adversary has spread his hand over all her pleasant things; (talking about Israel) for she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary, those whom You commanded not to enter Your assembly. Lamentations 4:12 – The kings of the earth, and all inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy could enter the gates of Jerusalem (but they did).
Joel 2:9 – They run to and fro in the city, they run on the wall; they climb into the houses, they enter at the windows like a thief.
When a Christian that is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they usually end up doing or saying something they are very ashamed of afterward. Do those drugs or alcohol own that person? No, they are owned by God, but these influences have entered into his house, like a thief, to steal, kill, and destroy them. Christians who are under a demonic influence will end up doing something totally out of character, if they don’t get set free from that influence.
Luke 10:17 – Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” (Verse 18) And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (When Satan fell, he was out of there faster than lightning could strike.) (Verse 19) “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Verse 20) “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
(Verse 21) In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said,“I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
The “wise,” are those that don’t believe there are demons, so “these things” are hidden from them by the Father. They also don’t believe that believers have authority over them. We have two choices, either leave the demons in, or cast them out! The enemy will enter in through our history and our weakness, by telling us, “You think you can get free, but you really can’t. Not true.
Satan does not have the power to stop you or anyone else from coming to Jesus. Mark 5:6 – When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. Even the man that had a legion of demons in him ran to Jesus and worshiped him. Wow!