“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goes he, and takes with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”
THIS IS AMONG THE MOST MISUSED VERSES IN THE BIBLE
In Mt. 12, Jesus reproves the Pharisees and the generation of Israel to which He came. He healed and cast out demons. He rebuked them for their unbelief and likened the nation to one who has demons. He spoke of them as a generation that were resolved to continue in demonization and the possession, being under the power of Satan, in spite of all of God’s attempts to rescue them and free them. Jesus uses a parable to compare them to one out of whom the devil is gone but returns with double force. The demon is here called the unclean spirit.
The parable represents his possessing men’s bodies…Matthew Henry says, “Christ having lately cast out a devil, and they having said he had a devil, gave occasion to show how much they were under the power of Satan. This is a further proof that Christ did not cast out devils by compact with the devil, for then he would soon have returned again; but Christ’s ejectment of him was final, and such as barred a re-entry. We find him charging the evil spirit to go out, and enter no more, Mk. 9:25.” What a great statement, there was no deal with Satan as the Jews had accused Him…there are two key issues in clarifying this horribly misused scripture. 1) It was a parable, 2) The word is gone out, not cast out.
Another great insight from Matthew Henry; “Probably the devil was wont sometimes thus to sport with those he had possession of; he would go out, and then return again with more fury; hence the lucid intervals of those in that condition were commonly followed with the more violent fits. When the devil is gone out, he is uneasy, for he sleeps not except he has done mischief (Prov. 4:16); he walks in dry places, like one that is very melancholy; he seeks rest but finds none, til he returns again. When Christ cast the legion out of the man, they begged to enter into the swine, where they went not long in dry places, but into the lake presently.”
The application of the parable makes it to represent the case of the body of the Jewish church and nation. So shall it be with this wicked generation, that now resist, and will finally reject, the gospel of Christ…and then he shall take a durable possession here, and the state of this people is likely to be more desperately damnable than it was before Christ came among them, or would have been if Satan had never been cast out. Clearly Jesus makes this statement in parable to what He called a wicked generation.
Before I wrote the book WHEN PIGS MOVE IN, I struggled with this verse I honestly did not understand it and it begged the question, What’s the point in casting demons out if they can come back seven times stronger? I could not put it together in my mind and heart.
I was absolutely clear on the casting out of demons, but them coming back with greater force? There is not one case of a demon being cast out in the Old Testament, not one. The casting out began with the ministry of the Messiah. Many times, I am asked if I think that casting out demons is a gift. The answer is no, it is a command! It is not listed as a gift of the Spirit, but it is a command and part of the great commission. Jesus did it and told us to do it.
The great commission in Mark’s gospel says it is one of the signs that will accompany believers and it is the first sign mentioned. Note it is mentioned before speaking with new tongues…funny how many preachers go right to speaking in tongues and never mention casting out demons. Not only is it not mentioned, many are teaching that Believers can’t have demons. Do you find that strange?
Mk. 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Clearly Jesus came to bring a new covenant. He sent rookies out in His Name to cast out demons. In order for demons to be cast out, they must obviously be in. He did something that was never done in the old covenant although there was an abundant of miracles, no demons were cast out. This was a new thing, along with this came healings as a result of the demons leaving. Why so quiet in the pulpits, the ones who cry loudest about the new tongues, never mention the demons.
In Mk. 9:38-39 a man who was not a disciple but knew the authority of Jesus’ name was casting out demons! “And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he follows not us: and we forbade him, because he follows not us. 39 But Jesus said, ‘Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.”
And…Jesus called it a miracle! Casting out demons is a miracle. Why don’t we see miracles in church, because we don’t believe enough to simply obey Jesus…miracles happen in Jesus Name.
The word demon strikes fear in people, it puts you outside the “normal” believer. Ignorant preachers continue with foolish doctrines concerning demonic spirits.
Back to them coming back 7 times stronger. The key to understanding this scripture is the word “gone” out. It is not cast out with the authority of Jesus name! Casting demons out includes removing their legal consent to be there. It is closing the door, it is eviction!
If they don’t take the keys to my office I can just stroll back in tomorrow! I’ll come back thru the same door I went out, but if the door is closed and I am legally evicted. I cannot come back thru that door!
When demons leave on their own, they can move around, look for a better house, hang with their buddies and even take them back with him. Because they have a doorway. Not because the Holy Spirit has not filled their house, that’s not even implied. This house was clean and decorated, but the permission for the demon had not been cancelled, so he could come back whenever he wanted. Casting out demons removes their legal rights! They like to keep us in ignorance about this, it is a fear tactic that keeps many people from deliverance.
I am currently writing a new book. Thanks for your prayers!
Just for Jesus,