March 28, 2014
Last Sunday, we had Keith and Elsie Gerner with us from Ireland. Keith is one of God's Generals -- a man who was heavily involved in the birth of the Charismatic Renewal 40+ years ago in Ireland, and saw Holy Spirit break down the walls between those who called themselves "Protestants" and those who were Catholic as the Spirit of God fell upon people who desired all that God had for them.
Following a time of teaching and sharing, Keith began to walk among the folks in our gathering, prophesying over them, ministering healing as well as the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Della was back in the group praying with him over Ashley, who received her prayer language rather liberally. :-) Keith turned around and began prophesying over Della and when he took her hand, the power of God hit her and she started to fall. Keith grabbed her by one arm while Gary hustled behind her to stop her from hitting the concrete floor. Della twisted her body as she struggled to regain her balance and in that moment her hip, which had been severely dislocated in a fall the day before, slid into place and extreme pain she'd been suffering vanished. Funny, isn't it? Brother! Never put God in a box when it comes to healing.
When the Holy Spirit launched us into this area of study some weeks back, I freely admit that I had no idea of the ramifications and the depth of revelation to which we would be taken.
Although I am sharing from a place of current and still unfolding revelation, it is obvious that Della and I have both been recipients of some pretty amazing areas of healing where we had no previous awareness of demonic footholds and opportunities for the Enemy to afflict us.
Jesus began His ministry by reading from the Isaiah Scroll in order to reveal the priorities He would follow for restoring people to a proper relationship with Father.
Isaiah 61:1-3: 1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek (åéð?òÈ -?aònaòyv:depressed in mind and circumstances, humble, lowly, poor); he hath sent me to bind up (Lá?ç? - chaòbash:to wrap fully, to heal, to gather back together) the brokenhearted (øá?LÜ - shaòbar:crushed, broken in pieces, torn apart -- + -- áìÅ - leòb:[the heart, metaphorically] feelings, the emotions, the will or intellect), to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort (íç?ð? - naòcham:to breathe strongly upon, to ease) all that mourn; 3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Notice the sequence of Jesus’ priorities once He’s been anointed:
1. To preach the good news that those in poverty no longer need live that way;
2. To heal wounded, shattered, splintered and fragmented souls;
3. To publish and declare liberty and freedom for those held in demonic bondage;
4. To open the doors of mental, emotional, and spiritual prisons; to untie the cords that hold people captive.
The healing that Jesus provides begins with the revelation of how the Enemy has gained his footholds in our souls, our minds and our emotions.
There is a rather dramatic picture in Mark Chapter 5 that most of our English translations obscure.
Mark 5:1-17: "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. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts."
Both Matthew and Luke record this event as well (See Matthew 8:28 and Luke 8:26). Three times in the passage from Mark’s Gospel we are told that this man had his dwelling among “the tombs.”
In all the years and many dozens of times I’ve read these Scripture passages, I’d never actually read this in the Greek text – which is revelatory to say the least – until Della and I heard Katy Souza share in one of her teachings.
Each time the word “tomb” occurs the Greek word is: ìíçìåsïí - mnemion. This word may not strike an immediate chord for some folks, but we have a word in the English language which is a direct derivative of the Greek: mnemonics.
Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines mnemonics like this: The science or art of improving the memory, as by the use of certain formulas; aids to help in remembering.
The Greek word, mnemion, is drawn from Greek mythology and comes from the name of the goddess Mnemosyne – the mythological mother of Zeus, and the deity (actually, demonic entity) who caused people to retain memories of past events.
Mnemion, therefore, literally means: a remembrance; a monument or marker which causes a recall of the past.
J.H. Thayer, in his Greek-English Lexicon, adds: a visible monument to the past, a visible marker for preserving a memorial of a person, a thing, or some past event.
By now, it should become obvious why the Gadarene demoniac was so tormented. He literally re-lived his past failures, the betrayals of his past, events which had traumatized his thoughts, his feelings and his emotions. He lived every day being reminded of how he had been either
mistreated, sexually abused (the word “unclean” in the Greek text implies this directly) or belittled – and he was tormented by spirits of fear which literally drove him insane.
One item worth noting before we continue is the word “dwelling” in verse 2 of Mark 5. This word in the Greek text is: êáôïßêçóéò - katoikesis: mansion, place of residence, to reside permanently.
The man of Gadara, therefore, lived and dwelled permanently in the torment of past memories. When he came and threw himself at Jesus’ feet, it was not the man who spoke or cried out. Rather it was the “unclean spirit.” That spirit said a couple of things that are remarkable for what is said, and what is NOT 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.”
Matthew notes the following question, “art thou come hither to torment us before the time?”
The first question should be phrased more properly, “What do you and I have in common?”
Jesus had NOTHING in common with either the man of Gadara, or the evil spirits that had taken hold of him. Jesus had no place of wounding, no place of offense, no place of personal hurt by which evil spirits could gain a foothold in his mind, his thoughts, his emotions or his spirit. There was no place in Jesus that needed healing or restoration. There was no place in Him where evil spirits had any kind of foothold. He was ready instead to minister healing and deliverance.
The second question put to Jesus by the demons was revelatory: “Have you come to torment us before the appointed time?”
The evil spirits KNOW with a certainty that there is a day of eternal judgment, damnation and hell fire that awaits them. They know a day awaits when they will be bound and cast into “The Pit.” Those spirits also knew that Jesus had absolute authority from Father Himself – that He could command them to go into the bottomless pit before that appointed time – and they were fearful that Jesus would do just that! Time, you see, is nothing more than an envelope to contain Satan.
When Jesus spoke to “the unclean spirit” He asked the question, “What is your name?” Once again we have an answer which reveals the nature of the demonic torment this man of Gadara suffered.
“My name is Legion, for we are many.”
Do you see it? The “spokesdemon” for the group uses a specific Roman military term, thus identifying the fact that these evil spirits had declared war on this man – as well as all those others around him – (and we’ll cover this more momentarily) using a military strategy.
In case you’ve never been exposed to this terminology, a Roman Legion consisted of 6,600 foot-soldiers and 172 horse-drawn charioteers with precision bowmen ready to use their weapons.
Some folks have speculated that the demon’s answer was more metaphoric than anything and that it was figurative rather than precise; but I find very little – if any – Scripture chosen by the Holy Spirit that has not been given for any other purpose than to draw some very precise and graphic pictures for the sake of our understanding and revelation. Once you begin to see this overall picture from a spiritual perspective, you realize that evil spirits look for every opportunity to work in the lives of people in much the same way as Franco’s “Fifth Column.”
During the early days preceding WWII, Spanish General Francisco Franco was recognized as the head of Nationalist Spain by the Nazi regime. During the next three years he led a revolt against the Popular Front in Spain and set out to capture Madrid. One of Hitler’s military aides was sent to question him concerning his plans to take the city.
“Well, I have four columns of Infantry – one on the north, one on the south, one on the east and one on the west.”
“And which one will you use to take the city,” came the query.
“I will use my Fifth Column,” he responded.
“Your Fifth Column? Where is that?” Hitler’s aide asked.
“They are in the city already. They are dressed and appear as ordinary Spanish citizens who go about their day just like everyone else. They run businesses, they serve in public positions, they teach in the schools, and they are musicians on the street. But they are loyal to me,” Franco continued. “When I give the word, they will rise up all at the same time and take over. The city will fall with very little bloodshed. It will be mine.”
And that is precisely how Francisco Franco took control of Spain in April of 1939: its cities and its government fell because of the infiltration of “the Fifth Column.”
The man of Gadara fell to the Fifth Column of evil spirits who took advantage of the fact that he continued to nurse his wounds of the past. He lived perpetually amongst the reminders of his wounds. He rehearsed daily the failures or mistakes of past months and years. One by one this Fifth Column of demons began to take advantage of each wound, each hurt, each offense, each event in which he had been taken advantage of, and each place of belittlement. Over a period of time, because the man was unaware of the tactics and oblivious to the encroachment of the Enemy, he was taken over and tormented in increasing ways.
Anger and hatred filled his being. Rage became his mantra. Vengeance against his past persecutors or offenders became a driving force. The local magistrates and officials tried to capture him and hold him in chains to no avail. Every restraint they put upon him was broken in such demonic displays of power and might that the whole countryside was put in fear.
When Jesus commanded the Legion of evil spirits to come out of the man, they had no choice but to obey. They requested that they be allowed to enter the herds of swine feeding nearby – just so they could have physical bodies to dwell in. We all know the end of that episode. The swine couldn’t handle the presence of the demons and ran, panic-driven, over the cliff and right into the sea.
The man of Gadara was set free completely. Jesus healed him of his past wounds and set him free from the Legion of evil spirits. Not only was the man set free from the demons, the footholds they had in him were eradicated.
There is a history lesson in this story as well as a wonderful picture of the healing of wounded souls.
Gadara was located in a territory referred to as “the land of the Gergesenes.” The Gergesenes derived their name from their ancient father, Gerges, whom we know historically as one of the sons of Canaan. During the days of the Patriarchs – and more specifically, the days of Moses and Joshua, they were referred to among the seven condemned nations as the Girgashites.
They were the only nation of people who did not stand and fight against Israel. Almost to a man, they fled before Israel and settled down for centuries among the Assyrians and the Ammonites (modern-day Jordanians and Iraqis). Most of their national identity was lost and they intermarried with those among whom they dwelled, but the cowardly, non-confrontational spirit that epitomized the Girgashites remained.
The man from Gadara was easily taken by the Legion of evil spirits because there was no place of resistance to or against the thoughts and memories he could have avoided.
This is a classic lesson for all of us. The apostle Paul wrote the Corinthian Ekklesia and said something that is critical in our understanding (this is my expansion from the Greek):
II Corinthians 10:3-5 (RAC Translation & Amplification): For though we live, deport and comport ourselves by that which we see, hear, taste, smell and touch, we do not contend with, war after and execute military strategies [against Satan] by that which we see and hear, know intellectually, or have opinions of: For the weapons and instruments of our war and executed actions [against Satan] do not have their origins and [weak, impotent] operation in natural flesh and human abilities, but they are skillful, potent and powerful – like dynamite – through God to the demolition and extinction of all fortified and guarded places of opinions in opposition, Bringing down violently and demolishing (to total extinction) all mental reasonings and thought processes, and every mental barrier or arrogant and self-elevated attitude that justifies itself in opposition to the knowledge of God; bringing into captivity and making a prisoner every perception of the intellect and every mental purpose or determination to the compliance and submission of Christ and His anointing [in the same way that He complied with the will and desire of the Father];
“Bringing into captivity every thought” means bringing under discipline every single place where the Enemy attempts to define us by our previous mistakes, our hurts and offenses. We're talking about another area of healing here, folks! This is healing which we can partake of on a daily basis as we sit, eat and drink at the Table of the Lord, breaking the Bread of Life and drinking from the Cup of Covenant -- the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus!
And we will continue on!
If you are in need of healing please join our prayer conference calls on either Monday, Wednesday or Friday of each week at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. Let us minister to your need for healing!
Blessings on you!
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