The Word of Deliverance:
Go to any one of your local Christian bookstores and you're likely to find a myriad number of "self help" books on how one can be set free from bondages and habits...visit any Christian Bookstore Website and you'll find the same.Go to any one of your local churches and you'll note that each assembly most likely has a different method of preaching deliverance to the captives.
Visit a psychiatrist, psychologist or psychotherapist and you'll take notice that each has his or her own method for seeing an individual break free from binding habits or destructive life patterns.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that neither religious methods nor worldly methods can set anyone free.
Jesus Christ alone sets free and apart from Him any effort is a vain effort.
Let us now go to our text.
1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
4 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.
5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
7 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.
8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
13 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.
14 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.
15 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.
Let us first of all take focus on the word TOMB as found in verse 3.
What does a TOMB represent? The answer, of course, is that a tomb represents that place where the dead are buried, thus showing that this demon possessed man who came face to face with Jesus Christ was living among the dead.Thus, the TOMB is a typology of the WORLD.
In the view of the Almighty, those that are unregenerate are of the world, and the world is not of God and is passing away (1 John 2:15-17).
Those who have their dwelling among the tombs are those that are OF the world and they are those which DO the things of the world, and that which the world does is death, destruction and vanity.
God has never produced an alcoholic nor a drug addict nor anything that is evil; the world has produced all of these, and yet it is the world who claims to have the key to DIScontinue producing such bondage infused men, women and children!This is simply absurd and foolish.
How can the world, which has given to mankind all sorts of evils, then claim to have the answer to RIDDING ITSELF of the very evils it has created? This is simply not possible.
Notice in verse 6 that this demon possessed man RAN TO Christ Jesus!
The world, with all of it's technological advances and with all of it's held out promises could do nothing which had lasting impact for this man! Otherwise, if the world's methods of psychology and the like could have saw this man set free from his bondage he would never have run FROM the world TO Jesus!
Verse 6 has a very powerful lesson indeed! The lesson is that although this man was OF the world and possessed with demons (the fruit of being of the world), Jesus Christ did NOT refuse this man's plea for deliverance and nor did Christ Jesus even chide this man!
The world has NOTHING to offer which can set a man free!
The 12 step program doesn't work!
Psychiatry doesn't work!
Talk Therapy doesn't work!
There isn't a single worldly program that has ever taken a bound man and made him free! Not one!
True, the world's methods may provide temporary RELIEF from man's inner ailments, yet show me one single individual with the Peace of God, who can say, "I'm so glad that the world set me free!"....Beloved, it has never happened! There is no such testimony, simply because the world has never produced a bondage free individual!
We, as bound up and demon infiltrated sinners, MUST realize and acccept the F A C T that this world, no matter WHAT it claims, is passing away and is not of God and can provide no lasting freedom; to fail to do so will result in our remaining sin crippled for the rest of our days!
This world has produced more fornicators, homosexuals. adulterers, perverts, pedophiles, rapists, liars, tale-bearers, gossips, effeminates, and a host of other bound up and demonically controlled people than the Halocaust has produced dead Jewish men, women and children....than Vietnam has produced dead Americans...than Saddam Huesein has produced dead Iraqis...than drug dealers have produced crack addicts and prostitution...and the list goes on and on and on!
People today are living in the TOMBS, seeking freedom from habits and bondages that this world will NEVER EVER EVER have the solutions for!
The KEY in verse 6 is that man must STOP relying on this world's empty promises and run to the only One who can see a dead man raised to life...JESUS CHRIST THE LORD!
Now, verse 5 tells us also about this demon possessed man going to the MOUNTAINS....this is very significant when one understands that when the word mountain is used in Scripture that an overwhelming number of times it is used in reference to RELIGIOUS WORSHIP AND PRACTICE.
Below are but a FEW of the many Biblical proofs for the fact that the word mountain is used by the writers of Scripture on a synonomous level with RELIGIOUS WORSHIP AND PRACTICE:
Genesis 12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
Exodus 3:12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
Exodus 15:17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.
Exodus 19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 4:11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.
Jeremiah 31:23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness.
Now, from these few Scriptural references, we can quite EASILY show that the word mountain and religion go together very snuggly; mountains and worship are synonomous.
Therefore, with this view in mind, verse 5 takes on a fuller meaning when seen in light of the WHOLE of Scripture, the CONTEXT of Scripture; verse 5 shows us that this demon possessed man, when he received no freedom from the world went to RELIGION, the mountains!Verse 5 tells us that this man went back and forth, seeking freedom from the world and from religion and we see that he simply went back and forth, trying new ways and new methods of relief, none of which actually WORKED!
You see, when man seeks to find freedom in religious worship which is not pleasing to God then no freedom will be nor can be found!
When the Pentecostals and Baptists and Mennonites and Catholics and Buddhists and Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons and Judaizers etc etc seek to offer freedom from the power of the devil through means which are not rooted in the absolute athority of the Person of Jesus Christ and what He alone has accomplished for us then there can be nothing but a shadow of freedom, because true freedom comes only through the Shed Blood of Jesus Christ on Calvary's Cross!
You may be a VERY religious individual, yet you cannot stand today and claim that you are truly free unless you have received your freedom directly from the Hand of God which He received through the Death of His Son!
There isn't a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew or any other such person who has ever received freedom from secret habits and pressing bondage who has not FIRST and LASTLY come to Jesus Christ; there is NO other way!
Going to a religious service or BEING a religious person simply doesn't impress, please or glorify God; His glory has already been made manifest in the Death and Resurrection of His Only Begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!Therefore, you cannot get ANYWHERE in your search for freedom from sin and it's hold on your life unless you START AND FINISH at the Cross!
The word "always" in verse 5 tells us much about man's attempts at gaining the freedom from sin that he so desperately needs!
Man is "always" seeking freedom!
Man is "always" looking for relief from sin!
Man is "always" running to and fro, from the world to religious practice!
Man is "always" seeking refuge from the powers that bind!
Man runs here and man runs there, yet verse 6 tells us what happens when man LOOKS AWAY!
Man must look AWAY from the world!
Man must look AWAY from RELIGION that refuses the Cross!
When man looks AWAY from these things, THEN he must look AFAR OFF, because Jesus Christ is nowhere near the WORLD, though He loves those IN the world! Jesus Christ is nowhere near religion, though He most certainly LOVES those that are religious!
Man must look AFAR OFF to that which previously he has never considered doing: Placing his faith in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Tell just about anyone that the ONLY way that they will ever find true freedom is through what Jesus Christ has done and you'll most likely be met with verbal hostility or an unbelieving attitude toward the Truth of God!Man literally HATES that which he doesn't understand and he is APPALLED that he is called on by the Almighty God to humble himself at the foot of the Old Rugged Cross!
Looking AFAR OFF means that man must become TOTALLY AND ABSOLUTELY INdependant of the world and religion that is without God and His Word and he must become TOTALLY AND ABSOLUTELY DEpendant on LOOKING TO JESUS, the Author and Finisher of our Faith!
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Notice what transpires in verse 6:
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him
First, he RAN and second he WORSHIPPED!
What did Jesus do?
For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth didn't gather together a news crew, a worship band and a host of followers!
Jesus cast that devil out with a word and that was the end of the man's bondage but the BEGINNING of that man's FREEDOM AND DELIEVERANCE!
Notice that Jesus didn't ask for money!
Notice that Jesus didn't ask 20 questions!
Notice that Jesus didn't ask about the man's childhood or background!
Notice that Jesus didn't refer the man to a counsellor!
Notice that Jesus didn't give the man a prescription for "happy pills"!
Jesus Christ simply, boldly and firmly cast those demons out of that possessed man!
What was the result?
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.
The man, after looking AWAY from anyone BUT Jesus Christ, and after having Jesus cast those demons out of him, was found 100% set free from the power of the devil!
The man was CLOTHED and IN HIS RIGHT MIND!
When Jesus Christ gets a hold of you, you'll be found clothed and in your right mind; if these two fruits are not present then no delieverance has been forthcoming and there must be repentance!
The TOMB or world is the place of the DEAD; dead people can only produce deadly results!
The MOUNTAINS or places of worship without God and His Truth can only produce an empty SHELL of the REAL THING!
When one takes his focus OFF of the world, OFF of religion that refuses Jesus Christ AS THE BIBLE REVEALS HIM FULLY, then and ONLY THEN can one stand with the man we have read of in Mark 5 and declare the same freedom from boondage that he himself received!
All of our efforts are futile and vain and void of truth unless we have placed our Faith in the One who IS Truth, the Lord Jesus Christ!
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.