Shalom and welcome to [foreign language 00:00:05], a Hebrew phrase, which means you shall love Israel. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes as our teacher, Dr. Baruch, shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the Senior Lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at LoveIsrael.org. That’s one word, LoveIsrael.org. Now, here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.
Dr. Baruch: Oftentimes, we fail to put the proper emphasis on the things that God would have us to emphasize. And what I’m primarily speaking of, and what we’re going to see in this lesson, is that the emphasis should be upon the spiritual. And oftentimes, people think about the spiritual and they think about simply the blessings, they think about heaven. People say all the time, “I believe in God. I believe there’s a heaven.” But then if you ask them, “Well, do you believe that there is a hell? Do you believe that there is an enemy, that there is Satan that is moving against the purposes and the things of God? Obviously he won’t be successful, but he can cause a great deal of havoc between now and the establishment of the kingdom?” And people, they choose just to ignore that. Because of that, as we talked about last week, they’re not prepared for the various spiritual encounters that they’re going to have.
With that said, take out your Bible and look with me to the Book of Mark and Chapter 5, the Book of Mark and Chapter 5. Now, we saw last week that there was a change in location, that Messiah was moving to the other side. And we talked about the significance of that phrase, “the other side,” in the scripture, especially in the rabbinical literature. This phrase, [foreign language 00:02:11], oftentimes has to do with the domain of demons, the spiritual domain in this world and in this creation. So they were going, and as we saw, they were unprepared for what they encountered on the sea and what they were going to encounter in this section of scripture today.
So look with me to verse 1. We read here, “And they came to the other side of the sea, into the region… ” And Bibles will translate this word differently, there’s different manuscripts, but it literally is the word, the Gerasene. And this area, as we talked about, it’s on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, in what we would call today close to Ein Gev, or more precisely, the place called Kursi, very close to the Golan Heights, the bottom of the Golan Heights, we might say.
So they came to this location, and we read in verse 2 that Messiah, “He got out from the boat and immediately…” And don’t miss that word. That is to tell us that everything that has happened prior was leading up to what is occurring now. Everything was brought to this moment. So we read, “… immediately met him out of the tombs a man.” A man which it says, “… had an unclean spirit.” Now, I want you to see something. We’re going to learn that there is an inherent relationship in the Greek grammar between the construction of the texts between this unclean spirit, this man having an unclean spirit, and him being in the tombs.
And the reason for that is to teach us that an unclean spirit brings about, well, what’s in a tomb? Death. That is, that spirits, unclean spirits, demonic influence brings about, it moves us closer to death and a life that is absent of the life that God would want us to live. So look again at this verse. “He came out of the boat and immediately met him out of the tombs, a man with an unclean spirit who had his dwelling in the tombs.” And we read finally about this individual. Why would he live in the tombs? Well, we said he has an unclean spirit, and this unclean spirit, which we’ll learn in a few minutes that there are many, there were 2,000, this man was not able to be controlled by society.
And this teaches us something, and we’re going to see that this society dealt and accepted this man, although he was very problematic. They didn’t order him to leave entirely. But rather we’re going to see that this society, this area, when they met the living God, when they saw the power of the living God displayed through Messiah Yeshua, what happens? We’re going to see that they wanted nothing to do with it. And the sad truth is this, there are many societies and cultures that they prefer the effects, they’ll tolerate more unclean spirits, rather than the holiness of God.
So this man, he was possessed not by one or two… I mean, a few unclean spirits, people say, “Oh, that’s not so bad.” Why do I say that? Because so much of what we see in society, so much of where we see this world going to, so much of what is being embraced and taught as acceptable behavior, and if you are disagreeable to these things, well, you’re uninformed, you’re of a different age, you’re narrow -minded, you haven’t been educated properly, something along those lines.
So we see a dichotomy between the things of God and the things of this demonic influence. So verse 3 tells us that he had his dwelling place among the tombs. And verse 3, we learn why, because society wasn’t able to control him. He just didn’t have a few evil spirits, he was full of them. It says in the middle of verse 3, “And no longer did chains nor was anyone able to bind him.” So he was out of control, and they put him at the end outside of their society, still in their region, but not among the peoples.
Now, there could be another explanation, and that is this, when we allow demonic influence into our life, it will make us become more and more subjected to what? To loneliness, to being by ourselves, to be by ourselves, to not be able to communicate and have relationships with other people and that’s what we see in regard to this man. Verse 4, “On account of this, he frequently… ” What? Well, “He frequently had many… ” And the first word here, I think many English Bibles translates it fetter, but it’s a word where we get the English word pedal from. The word pedal is related to a foot. So there were these chains that went upon his foot, and then other chains. “They oftentimes put these chains upon many… ” But what does it say? “… but he would tear them. They were torn by him. And the chains… ” These are the regular chains, and then it mentions, it’s a switch in order, then it says, “… and the foot chains he… ” What? “… broke.” And this word means to break to smithereens, to tear them into pieces.
Now, think for a moment the power. I mean, no human being in and of itself would be able to tear chains. It doesn’t say that he was a big man, a strong man in and of himself, but because of this demonic influence, this man found himself alone, living in the tombs, and more often than this, it says in the scripture that he would do something. Look if you would to verse 5, “And on account of this, frequently, that is, day and night in the tombs and upon the mountains, he was crying out and cutting himself with stones.”
When I was much younger and talking to my parents, we never heard about oftentimes young girls, teenage girls cutting themselves. But today that problem is unfortunately very frequent. It’s not so obscure. High schools struggle with this problem, they have counselors to deal with people cutting and injuring themselves, and they have very little success in dealing with it. Why? Because they see it as a physical, as an emotional problem rather than what? A spiritual condition.
When we begin to just put ourselves outside of society, when we see demonic influence causing these traits in our lives and there’s no spiritual solution offered, we’ll only get worse, and that’s exactly what he was doing. He was crying out day and night, it says, and injuring himself. But look at verse 6, “And seeing Yeshua from a distance, he ran.” Now, notice there’s two interpretations of this. One is, when there was available to him a solution, an authority and a spiritual authority greater than the one in him, he ran to get help. Oftentimes we see those who are spiritually possessed, demonically influenced, understanding the person and the work and the anointing of Messiah better than those who are not. The spirits understand who Yeshua is.
So we read in this verse, look at it again, verse 6, “And seeing Yeshua from a distance, he ran and he… ” What? “… he worshiped him.” He prostated himself before Messiah, that is an act of submissiveness. Why? To tell us that ultimately all evil, unclean spirits, all demons are going to submit to Messiah. And it’s interesting, because up until this time, you don’t have really the term Yeshua, his name. You have him being referred to in the third person singular, by the pronoun, he. But at the name of Yeshua, what happens? These demons fall to the ground in defeat.
So verse 7, “And he cried out in a great voice, ‘What is me and to you?'” It’s a Greek idiom, meaning what do we have to do with one another? Now, there’s a couple of different interpretations of why that this is said. First of all, I mean, what fellowship does good have with evil? Another interpretation of this scripture is simply, this is not the Messiah’s time. He’s not here at this time to bring an end to demonic influence, that is, to establish his kingdom. So he’s saying, “What are you doing here? Why have you come to me at this time?”
But if you keep reading on in this passage, we see a beginning, a foreshadowing of what in fact Messiah is going to bring about when he establishes that kingdom. Look again, verse 7, “And he cried out in a great voice saying, ‘What do I have to do with you, Yeshua, the Son of the most high God?'” And that expression, the Son of God, that’s not the first time we’ve come in contact with it. It repeats over and over, and the Son of God, as we come to the end of the Gospel in chapter 14, it’s going to be very clear to us that the Son of God has to do with the divinity, that it is Emmanuel, God with us.
So look again, “What do you have to do with me, Yeshua, the Son of the most high God?” And then he says, he implores him to basically swear, make a deal, make an agreement, in other words. “Swear in God that you won’t… ” What? “… torture me.” Now, this should tell us something. It should tell us that ultimately the demons know what their end is, that they’re going to be cast into that lake of fire, and they’re going to be tormented forever and ever. But that’s something that’s in the distant future for them, and they’re not so concerned about the future as they are the now.
And let me tell you, if that’s how you order your life, if you’re more concerned about this year or next year or the next 10 years, because you’re 25 or 30 or 40 and you think, “I have 30 years, 40 years left, I’m not worrying about my death.” Well, you don’t need to worry, but you need to be prepared, because this life, James says, is but a vapor and then eternity comes. And it’s either going to be eternity with God in his kingdom of righteousness and justice and peace, or it’s going to be eternity in, exactly what we see at the end of that verse, in tormenting.
Verse 8, “For Yeshua had said… ” Now, we’re getting this as the scripture tells us, but he had already said from the tense here, “For Yeshua had said to him, that is to the unclean spirit, to come out of the man.” And that’s what we see that Messiah is supposed to do. That’s what Messiah, his call is and that is a ministry of restoration. That is to say, to put things back as God intended them to be. And he did not intend for man to be dominated by evil spirits, rather, that we should have authority over them. And Messiah is demonstrating that authority.
So look again at this text, verse 8, “And he says to the man who had the unclean spirit that he, that’s the unclean spirit should come out.” Verse 9, “And he asked him, that is you Yeshua ask him, saying, ‘What is your name?’ And he says to him, ‘My name is Legion because we are many.'” And let me just tell you, we see something… there’s very common today, I hear it all the time,” I have this addiction. Don’t blame me because I have this addiction. I can’t control myself.” We saw that in that terrible chapter with the three young women being taken in Cleveland and and put in chains in that home by that monster, by the name of Castro. So we see something, we see more and more in our society. There’s addictions and an addict is someone who just can’t stop, who just doesn’t have to have something, but he has to have more and more and more, it increases. And that’s exactly what we see with this individual.
He just didn’t have one demon or two or three, but he says, “My name is Legion.” A Legion was 2000, that’s going to be supported in a few minutes. So this because of his behavior, he had allowed this demonic fluence into his life and it came to a point where he was not able to control it. Verse 10, “Now he beseeched him, That is that unclean spirit beseeched him that he would not send them outside of… ” What? Don’t miss this. I looked at many commentaries and so few of them point to this out and that is he beseeched him, “I don’t want to leave this area, this region.” Why? Because that society, that culture had made it very comfortable for these evil spirits, these demons. And that’s exactly what society and culture is doing today across nations and continents.
We’re making it very comfortable for demons and unclean spirits to feel at home in society. They didn’t want to go to Jerusalem, they want to stay in this eastern portion on the other side of the sea of Galilee. So look again, “He beseeched him, that he would not be sent out, this unclean spirit would not be sent outside of the region for there was there upon the mountain, a great herd of… ” What? “… a great herd of pigs.” And we’re going to know, you all know the story, these demons, these 2000 demons, beseeched Messiah that they might be able to enter into the pigs. Now don’t miss that. The only way that one can interpret this is that in the same way that they felt comfortable being in that region, they prefer to what? They couldn’t be in a man, to be in a pig.
And that is to show us the, the relationship between, between pigs and unclean spirits. And perhaps that’s one of the reasons that the word of God forbids the eating of pork as a reminder of the principles that we’re learning today. Now, we can talk some other time and we will later on and in our study of Mark about the laws of Kashrut or kosher laws, but just put in the back of your mind this connection that it’s significant that these demons ask, “Let us go into the pigs.” Verse 13, “And he permitted them and the unclean spirits went out and entered into the swine.” And what happened? Well, it says that… And I don’t know how your Bible translates it, but it’s the word, which means to rush, I think most say they rushed down the slope, but the real verb has to do with simply going berserk.
And what we saw here was what literally unclean spirits brings about, and that is, it brings about the inability to be in control. It brings about ultimately… It led them right into what? Destruction, because it tells us in this passage scripture that, “They rushed down the embankment into the sea, where… ” What? “… they drowned.” And how many were there? 2000, in support of that term, Legion. So we see the end result is death to the demons showing Messiah’s dominion over the demonic world.
Now, you would think that those who witness this… And by the way, the disciples are almost silent through all of this. I mean, you don’t hear anything about them. Why? Because they were totally unprepared for what was taking place at this location. They were useless. And the hope is this, that we would learn the principles about spiritual battle so that we wouldn’t be useless in this world, but that we would have a presence and that we would release the same power that Messiah did.
Verse 14. Now, we have kind of conclusion of what took place, that we see it from God’s perspective and we also see it from the perspective of the people who dwelt in this region. Verse 14, “And the shepherds, those same shepherds that were there with the flock of herd of pigs… ” It says, “… they fled and they told in the city and in the fields… ” That word can also mean marketplaces. “They told…. ” And what happens? “… those who heard their report… ” It says in the middle of verse 14, “… and they came to behold what was happened.” That is what took place, what this happening was.
Verse 15, ” And they came to Yeshua and they saw the man who was demon possessed, this one city and closed and in his right mind.” Now, two things I want to say here. First of all, don’t miss the connection between Yeshua they saw, and right next to him was this man, this man that they couldn’t control. This man who had so frequently cried out, so frequently injuring himself. And notice it says that he was clothed. That is to imply that most of the time, what did he do? He wanted to take off his clothes. He ran around naked and today we see an obsession with nakedness in the world today, improper dress, both women and even men today. So we see very clear in our society these influences of demonic behavior all around us.
Verse 16, “And they came to Yeshua and they saw this one who had been demon possessed, sitting peacefully, that is under control, clothed and in his right mind, this one who had… ” What? “… who had the Legion, the 2000 demons.” And it tells us that they rejoiced. They welcomed Yeshua into their midst. They wanted that he would start a following, a place of worship among them. Is that what it says? Not at all. In fact, when they saw that, they weren’t in awe, they didn’t praise God, they didn’t submit to Yeshua. It’s simply says, “Because of that they were fearful.”
And the idea here of this word, fear in the Greek language is something that is of not your desire, something that is not according to what you want. And what was that? They didn’t want an end to the demotic influence that characterize their culture. Why do I say that? Verse 16, “And those that had seen what had happened…” They did something. They, and it’s a very important word, they specifies, they detailed, they told very clearly one thing after another, that’s what this word means, about what had taken place. “So they were fearful and they were told exactly what was happened to this demon possessed man and also to the swine, the swine that the demons went into.”
And what happens? Well, here it is. Verse 17, “And they did… ” What? “They began to beseech him that he should leave from their region.” Now, they didn’t ask this demon possessed man who was injuring himself, crying out uncontrollable, they didn’t ask him to leave, they just kind of put him on the sidelines. They didn’t ask the demon possessed man who was now clothed and in his sanity, they didn’t invite him back into their society. What did they do? And it’s amazing, they asked Messiah… And a very strong word for beseeching. They implored him what? They implored him to leave their region. They didn’t want to have anything to do with him, his truth, his power or the outcome of Messiah’s presence in their life. And that’s how a lot of societies are today. In fact, more and more the truth that Messiah is being pushed out.
You have freedom of speech, but you can’t say anything about the gospel. You can’t say anything about the truth of scripture because that is offensive, that is not permissible and just see the same thing that characterize that area is characterizing our society. Verse 18, “And Messiah, he embarked… ” It says, “… he embarked into the boat and the demon possessed man, he spoke, he beseeched that he might… ” What? “… be with him.” Now, it’s very important that it says concerning this demon possessed man, not only was he sitting at peace, not only was he clothed, but it says that he was restored to understanding. That’s literally what it means when it says he was in his right mind, he was restored to understanding. And this one, where was he immediately thereafter? Well, when that group came, they saw him sitting next to Yeshua.
Yeshua gets in the boat and what does he do? He says, I want to come with you. He doesn’t think, “Wow, I haven’t been home with my family for such a long time. I haven’t been part of of my village.”” He says, Messiah is more important than all of this.” But what did he say messiah is? Look at verse 19, “But he did not allow him, but rather he said to him, ‘Go into your house and to those who are of you, that is to your family and proclaim to them… ‘” What? Here’s very important. Up in this time, Messiah is always talked about in the third person, he or his name, Yeshua, but now we find… “And tell them what the Lord has done for you, that he has had mercy upon you.”
And let me just point out that phrase, what he has done, it’s in the perfect, which means something that he has done in the past, the results are still true in the present and they extend into the future. Messiah may be leaving him, but the effects of Messiah would continue on into the future. Verse 20, “And this one, he left and he began to proclaim in the Decapolis, that is the 10 cities that made up that region, what Yeshua had done for him. And they all were… ” What? “… amazed.”
And let me say, when we hear the truth of Messiah, we too should be amazed. Well, we’ll close with that until next week when we continue on in looking at the work of Messiah Yeshua.
Speaker 1: Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with someone else. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this station for the radio edition of LoveIsrael.org.
Again, to find out more about us, please visit us at our website, LoveIsrael.org, there you will find articles and several other lectures from our teacher, Dr. Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video until next week. May the Lord bless you in our Messiah, Yeshua, that is Jesus, as you walk with him. Shalom from Israel.