The Gadarene Demoniac

bible study

The power on display as others marvel in wonder. Overcoming any adversary with sheer strength without the hint of mercy. Dominating all people and nations leaving trembling victims in his wake. An unstoppable power forcing all to their knees. This is how governments across the world portray themselves. But praise God the Prince of Peace was not so.

Inhabitants of Gadara

In the gospel, according to Luke 8:26-39, (v1), we’ve come to a place called Gadarenes (Gadara) a country on the east of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. In the verses, we’re going to look at sets a scene in the hilltops of the country. Before we begin let’s look at what the name means. The Greek word for Gadarenes is Gadarēnos (gä-dä-rā-no’s)

Gadarenes = “reward at the end”

also called Gergesenes, was the capital of Peraea, situated opposite the south extremity of the Lake of Gennesaret to the south-east, but at some distance from the lake on the banks of the river Hieromax

Γαδαρηνός Gadarēnós, gad-ar-ay-nos’; from Γαδαρά Gadará (a town east of the Jordan); a Gadarene or inhabitant of Gadara:—Gadarene.

Luke 8:26-27 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.

How this sounds like each one of us before coming to know Christ as our Saviour. I don’t mean to say every one of us was demon-possessed (while some were), but we all “met him” and each one of us were destitute and naked “and ware no clothes” this man literally had no clothes. We also were dead in our sins keeping company with others who too were dead in their trespasses against God “in the tombs”. The bible doesn’t tell us precisely how long this man was in this state of possession. All we know is that he “had devils long time”. The lifestyle of this man was completely defiling in Leviticus God tells the Israelites to stay away from the dead or they will be defiled.

Leviticus 21:11 Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;

The demoniac man was secluded walking among dead people. In the gospel of Mark, we have more details Luke doesn’t tell us about in Mark’s account it says that he was “in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones” (Mark 5:5). The torture and pain felt must have been great, the darkness and despair caused him to inflict wounds upon himself. This could be a glimpse of the darkness the book of Revelation refers to in chapter 16, God’s “fifth angel pours out his vial upon the seat of the beast” this caused the people to “gnawed their tongues for pain” (Revelation 16:10).

Jesus, thou Son of God Most High

Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

The demoniac man falls down before the feet of the Saviour, in the gospel of Mark it says that the man ran to Jesus and worshipped Him (Mark 5:6). Does the Lord Jesus tell the man to go away? No. The grace of the Saviour He sees a man in desperate need and helps Him. I hope we all learn from the Lord’s example to help those who are in need. I can only imagine this man must have been dirty and smelled rancid. And the Lord never turns him away.

Notice the demon cried out saying “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not”. This is significant as it speaks to the pre-existence of Jesus Christ as the Word (John 1:1, 1:3) the one who created all things (Psalm 102:25-27, Isaiah 44:24, Ephesians 3:9, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:10-12, Revelation 4:11). The demon acknowledges by saying “thou Son of God most high” he knew that Christ is the Son of God, God manifests in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16).

In the gospel according to Matthew, he says “Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” Legion knew that there was a time when all the demonic forces would be tormented forever in the lake of fire with the devil (Matthew 25:41, Revelation 19:20, 20:10) and begged the Lord Jesus not to be tormented.

Luke 8:29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

What is thy name?

The power of the Word of God in all its splendour with all authority Jesus Christ commands the unclean to depart and the sprit has no choice but to come out of him. This man was completely in spiritual bondage incapable of being free even though they attempted restraining him with fetters he would brake them but was never truly free from bondage. Before Legion is cast out the Lord asks “What is thy name?”

Luke 8:30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

This demonic spirit seems to be comprised of many devils as the name Legion implies. If we dive into the Greek the meaning of Legion is:

legiōn

I. a legion, a body of soldiers whose number differed at different times, and in the time of Augustus seems to have consisted of 6826 men (i.e. 6100 foot soldiers, and 726 horsemen)

λεγεών legeṓn, leg-eh-ohn’; of Latin origin; a “legion”, i.e. Roman regiment (figuratively):—legion.

From this, we can conclude there were many devils in this man.

Luke 8:31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.

The devils were terrified at the fact of being cast out “into the deep” deep is another word if we take a look at the Greek meaning:

abyssos

I. bottomless

II. unbounded

III. the abyss

A. the pit

B. the immeasurable depth

C. of Orcus, a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth used as the common receptacle of the dead and especially as the abode of demons.

ἄβυσσος ábyssos, ab’-us-sos; from G1 (as a negative particle) and a variation of G1037; depthless, i.e. (specially) (infernal) “abyss”:—deep, (bottomless) pit.

The bottomless pit is also spoken of in the book of Revelation there’s an angel who is given the “key of the bottomless pit” (Revelation 9:1) he proceeds to open the pit and smoke comes out like a “great furnace” (Revelation 9:2) and locusts came up from the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:39-40). These locusts which are released to wreak havoc upon sinful mankind have a king over them according to Revelation 9:11 an angel who goes by the names Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek. These names give us more insight as to who this angel is when looking at these names in the original languages.

Abaddon in Hebrew

I. Abaddon = “destruction”

A. ruin

B. destruction

C. the place of destruction

D. the name of the angel-prince of the infernal regions, the minister of death and the author of havoc on the earth

Apollyon in Greek

I. Apollyon = “Destroyer”

A. the angel of the bottomless pit, the Destroyer

Herd of many swine

Luke 8:32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.

Here we see that the people of Gadara kept a herd of swine, it’s been said that the country of Gadara was a Hellenistic people those who were influenced by the Greek culture. The reason why they are considered to be Hellenistic is that according to the Old Testament Law God commands the children of Israel not to touch any swine for it’s unclean (Leviticus 11:7, Deuteronomy 14:8).

Also, notice that the devils had no authority before the Lord “they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them”. They asked permission to enter into the swine and the Lord Jesus allowed them to enter into the swine. This is more proof that believers who have the Spirit of God indwelling inside them cannot be demon-possessed, there are Christians who believe a devil can co-inhabit a person with the Holy Ghost. This belief is erroneous and not possible for the true child of God. After the Lord permits the devils to depart this man it says in the following verse.

Luke 8:33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

The devils knew there’s coming a time in which they will be destroyed in the lake of fire, the time is not yet I supposed the devils were just buying time and just wanted to escape their judgement for the moment. The response of the people in the Gadarenes was unwelcoming, they only cared for the swine it was most likely the way they made profits herding swine. They should have rejoiced at this miracle performed by the Lord Jesus, seeing that God was in their midst and that this man was made whole again (Luke 8:34-37).

What Jesus has done for you

Luke 8:38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,

The response of this man is how every child of God should respond because we also have been saved and had those bonds removed from us. The Demoniac man wanted to continue to stay in the presence of the Lord but was sent away “but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee”. Just as the Lord Jesus has sent us out to proclaim the good news of salvation to the lost, this man also was sent to bring the glad tidings to others that they may know the saving power of God.

The remarkable highlight of these verses is that while a miracle was performed, a man released from demon possession the Lord Jesus says: “Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee.” the man goes out to proclaim “how great things Jesus had done unto him”, can you see the connection?

More proof that Jesus Christ is God, rest well in knowing that the one who made all things is inside of you believer and He will continue to uphold you till the day He comes for His bride.

Luke 8:39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

Some other verses proving that Jesus Christ is God (Isaiah 9:6, John 1:1, 1:3, 8:58, 14:9, 20:28, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:15-17, 1 Timothy 3:16).

Refuting the false doctrine of the Watchtower (The Resurrection)

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The death, burial and Resurrection

Jehovah Witnesses say that when Jesus was buried in the sepulchre (tomb) He was not raised with a physical body but a spiritual body; afterwards Jesus was then recreated in heaven as Michael the archangel. Here are some direct quotes from the Watchtower organization.

“Jesus’ own words showed that he would not be resurrected with his flesh-and-blood body. He said that he would give his “flesh in behalf of the life of the world,” as a ransom for mankind. If he had taken back his flesh when he was resurrected, he would have canceled that ransom sacrifice. This could not have happened, though, for the Bible says that he sacrificed his flesh and blood “once for all time.” — Watchtower

“Spirit creatures can take on human form. For example, angels who did this in the past even ate and drank with humans. However, they still were spirit creatures and could leave the physical realm.” — Watchtower

“After his resurrection, Jesus also assumed human form temporarily, just as angels had previously done. As a spirit creature, though, he was able to appear and disappear suddenly. The fleshly bodies that he materialized were not identical from one appearance to the next. Thus, even Jesus’ close friends recognized him only by what he said or did.​”— Watchtower

When Jesus appeared to the apostle Thomas, he took on a body with wound marks. He did this to bolster Thomas’ faith, since Thomas doubted that Jesus had been raised up. — Watchtower

Let’s examine what the Bible actually says about the resurrection of Jesus Christ was He risen in a spiritual form; or was He risen physically from the dead?

The Gospel of John

Jehovah Witnesses say that only Jehovah God (the Father) raised up Jesus Christ, no one else took part in raising Him from the dead. There’s a contradiction with the teachings of the Watchtower because the Lord Jesus said He would raise Himself up from the dead in the Gospel of John.

John 2:18–22 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. (John 10:18)

The context of the above scripture speaks of when the Lord Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees in the temple after Jesus Christ chased the money changers out of the temple, overthrowing their tables. The Pharisees asked Him what sign can you show us that you have the authority to do this. Jesus answers them saying “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up”.

The Pharisees thought Jesus was referring to the actual temple but He was actually speaking of His physical body. Notice He said “I will raise it up” He didn’t mention the Father or the Holy Spirit even though they also raised Him from the dead.

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The Gospel of Luke

The next false teaching of Jehovah Witnesses is that when Jesus Christ was seen He was a spirit and was not physically risen from the dead. We have an account from the Gospel of Luke in chapter 24 known as the road to Emmaus. In this account, some disciples were on their way to a village called Emmaus and encountered the risen Christ.

The Lord Jesus appeared unto one of the disciples and Cleopas asking them why are they sad? And they not knowing it was Jesus told Him what happened in Jerusalem and how a prophet named Jesus was crucified (Luke 24:18–24). Afterwards, the Lord Jesus opened up the scriptures and explained everything to them starting from Moses, the prophets and Himself.

They asked Jesus to come into the village and stay the evening with them and while He sat and had a meal with them He blessed it, and brake, and gave them food. At this time their eyes were opened and realised who He was but He vanished out of their sight (Luke 24:28–31).

The two disciples then returned to Jerusalem and told the others and while they spake the Lord Jesus appeared again unto them and they were all afraid because they thought they seen a spirit. It’s at this moment Jesus Christ says something which is in direct opposition to the Watchtower He says.

Luke 24:39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; touch me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you see that I have.

Notice the disciples made a mistake and thought He was a spirit but the Lord Jesus Christ tells them to touch Him because a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones. He was physically there before them not as a spirit like the Watchtower would have Jehovah Witnesses to believe. Jesus Christ proved to them that He bodily rose from the dead defeating death and hell, and He showed them the nail prints in His hands and feet as proof.

But what about the last statement from the Watchtower as to Jesus Christ showing Thomas His wound marks as they say.

When Jesus appeared to the apostle Thomas, he took on a body with wound marks. He did this to bolster Thomas’ faith, since Thomas doubted that Jesus had been raised up. — Watchtower

If this were true that the Lord Jesus was a spirit body only after His resurrection as the Watchtower claims and showed Thomas His wounds making Thomas to believe He was a physical body when He was not would be saying that Jesus Christ was deceiving them. God forbid! The Lord Jesus Christ is sinless and therefore it would be impossible for Him to lie because He’s God in the flesh.

Father and Holy Spirit

Other scriptures proving the Father and Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead together are found in (Acts 2:32,33, Romans 6:4, Galatians 1:1, 1 Peter 3:18).

Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

If you’d like to learn more about the false teachings of the Watchtower and Jehovah Witnesses, here are two sites with more information.

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https://www.jwfacts.com/

 

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https://carm.org/jehovahs-witnesses

And if you’re one of Jehovah Witnesses our prayer is that you would look into the claims made by the Watchtower and test them according to God’s word the Bible and see for yourself. If you have the wrong Jesus Christ you’ll be wrong for all eternity lost in hell are you willing to allow a group of men called the governing body play with your eternal salvation?

Do you want everlasting life, would you like to know for certain that you can have all your sins forgiven and a home in heaven? The Bible answers this very question.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 8:31–32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

IS JESUS CHRIST REALLY GOD?

IS JESUS CHRIST REALLY GOD

[Part 1] There’s some confusion, well actually a lot regarding the subject of Jesus Christ’s deity and rightly so, without the mention of names there’s cults and false doctrine being taught and it’s our responsibility as Christian’s to study the scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15) to see if these things be true. Let’s not forget our noble brethren of Berea.

Acts 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

The question remains did Jesus plainly say “I am God”? Bare along as this is not easily explainable. I’ll reference scriptures which you can study for yourselves. As with anything that pertains to God’s word I would highly advise to look in the Bible for yourself and come to a conclusion on your own. We all will stand before God and will have to give an account, no one else will be able to speak for you before God.

The four Gospels

The gospel according to John targets the deity of Jesus Christ while the other 3 gospels focus upon the genealogy of Jesus, and fulfillment of OT prophecies written to a Jewish audience (Matthew), testimonies and miracles, written for a Gentile audience (Mark) and fact finding and Jesus as the great physician or healer written by the beloved physician (Luke). We all are familiar with the opening verse in the gospel according to John.

John 1:1–3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made”

Jesus Christ is the Word of God (one of His many names) reading the verse above we see that “the Word” (Jesus Christ) has always existed. God (the Father) is not a created God meaning He was once created and had a starting period, no! God is the alpha and the omega the beginning and the end, therefore, God’s Word (Jesus) has always existed with the Father.

Another question is was Jesus begotten? Yes, He’s the only begotten Son of God. The word begotten is not speaking of the Lord Jesus being created as some may try to argue, nothing of the sort, when speaking of the eternal Son of God the word begotten speaks of His position. He’s above all and comes before all having the preeminence (John 1:18John 3:31Colossians 1:17-18, Hebrews 1:1-10, Psalms 45:6-7).

The words of the Lord in John chapter 8:58 could not be clearer: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Note that it proves conclusively that our Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son. Repeatedly in this chapter He has been speaking of God as “My Father.” Now this climactic statement of the chapter shows that this is eternally so. If there was a time when He came into being, He would have said, “Before Abraham was, I was.” The verbs translated “was” and “am” are not the same, and they show that the meaning of the statement is “Before Abraham came to be, I exist.” His use of “I am,” which would make the statement ungrammatical under normal usage, shows that He never came into being. Moreover, His use of “I am” immediately reminds us that this is what God called Himself when speaking to Moses at the burning bush (Exo 3:14). It is highly expressive of His eternity and His deity. – McAllister, David T&T

Begotten

μονογενής monogenḗs, mon-og-en-ace’; from G3441 and G1096; only-born, i.e. sole: — only (begotten, child).

John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Genesis 1:3 “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

Notice God said “Let there be light” Jesus Christ is also known as the light of the world. He came unto his own, and his own received him not (John 1:11). 

John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

Jesus Christ has many names and titles in which He goes by some of the more recognizable ones are The Son of God, Son of man, The only begotten Son of the Father, Emmanuel “God with us”, Lord etc… But there are scriptures in the Old Testament which also names our Lord Jesus. Here’s an Old Testament scripture speaking about Jesus and His names.

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Notice the above verse is talking about Jesus “a child is born…a son is given” as we continue it states of Him being “The everlasting Father”. This speaks of the deity of Jesus, He’s not just a prophet as some would claim, Jesus shares the same nature as the Father. The Godhead consists of God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God and the Holy Ghost. This explains verses like (John 5:19, John 7:16–17 ). And with this piece of scripture below showing all three in one place at the same time.

Matthew 3:16-17 “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

IS JESUS CHRIST REALLY GOD 2

After reading the above portion there’s no denying God has three distinct persons (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) and all three consist of the Godhead and together they are one God.

The writer of the book of Hebrews makes a reference from one of the Psalms speaking of the Lord Jesus and His deity. While reading bear in mind that this is God the Father speaking to the Son of God. The verses say and I quote “But unto the Son [he saith], Thy, throne, of God, is for ever and ever” (Hebrews 1:8 – 1:9, Psalms 45:6).

Thanks for reading I pray that this helped you in understanding more about who God is. In [part 2] I’ll further show whom Jesus is helping you to examine for yourselves and draw your own conclusions as to the question, is Jesus Christ really God?