Evil, its nature

Mathew 8:28,34

In these two demon-possessed men we have some of the most terrible and heart-humbling revelations that we have in all the Bible.

Look at evil as personified in these wholly-possessed ones.

Evil is Closely Connected with us. These men were possessed with demons.

We may rest assure that there are tortures appointed to the spiritual natures of evil angels. The fire of hell is conceived to be partly material, and partly spiritual; partly material, to work upon bodies of evil men, and partly spiritual to work upon the souls of men, and the spirits of evil angels (v.28), “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torment…send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Lk.16:23).

Evil takes possession of the sinner, controls his actions and thoughts, and completely master his whole life. Evil spirits are active, and have great influence in the affairs of mankind.

People may be tempted to disbelieve this, yet all have reason to be sober and vigilant, and steadfastly resist our adversary the devil, “(I.Pt5:8).

Sin is an awful ruler, a perfect dictator; it claims and affects every power and faculty of our being, Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.” (Lk.22:3).

Judas a professor, Judas a preacher, Judas an apostle, and one of the twelve, who Christ had chosen out of the world to be his dearest friend, one of his family and household. Should we wonder to find friends unfriendly or unfaithful to us, Yet our Saviour had a traitor in his own family? “Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” (Mt.26:21).

What was the occasion that led Judas to the commission of this sin; it was his unreasonable love of money. I do not find that Judas had any particular malice, spite, or ill-will against our Saviour; but a base and unworthy spirit of covetousness possessed him.

Evil thoughts and purposes, and temptation, are ascribed to the influence of Satan, “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost” (Ac.5:3).

Let me say evil is allied with death. “They dwelt among the tombs” (v.28). They preferred the company of the dead to that of the living. They loved darkness rather than the light.

There is an example of God’s severity against sin and sinners, as well as demons. It was the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, who gave themselves up to lusts and uncleanness, in an exceptional manner was destroyed by fire from heaven, which was a forerunner of that eternal fire of hell, which they are to suffer to all eternity, may it be a terrifying example and timely warning to all people, that they fall not into the like sins, “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude1:7).

Such is the effect of an evil heart. The things that holy men dread are loved. The company of those who are dead in sin is chosen rather than the company of those who are alive unto God.

Many love death and separation from Christ, “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, (v.29).

Never forget that evil is the enemy of Liberty, “No man could pass that way” (v.28). Sin always hinders true liberty.

There are many still who are afraid to pass the tomb because of their evil deeds.

As long as there is unforgiven sin in the heart there will be fear. Perfect love casteth out fear according to the word of God.

Evil Shuns the very Presence of Christ,“What have we to do with Thee ? ”(v.29). All living in sin, and satisfied with it, hate the holiness of God.

Jesus did not land on the coast of the Gadarenes to torment them, butto save them from the demons and sins that were their real tormentors.

Jesus did not come into the world to torment us, but to save us from evil passions and desires, than which there are no worse tormentors, (Heb.12:16) tell us “Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”

We may honestly admitted that true religion does restrain our conduct; but this ought not to be considered a tormenting characteristic, because every man, if he is to remain a man and not to become a brute, must restrain himself, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Lk.9:23)

They will have nothing to do with Christ, yet they are afraid of being tormented by Him.

They can see no hope in the Holy One of God. “what have we to do with thee.” (v.29).

Evil Influence is only toward destruction. When the demons entered the swine they did with them what they were trying to do with the men-drove them quickly into destruction.

Evil always chooses the shortest and way to ruin. It is easy running downhill.

The devils Power is too Great for Mankind. Thosepossessed men had no power of resistance whatsoever; they could do nothing to save themselves.

However powerful demons may be, yet they can neither stand out against Christ’s power, nor flee from Him, nor abide in His presence.

People may run hard whom the devil drives. The devil drives his hogs to a bad market. Those who engage in a downward path without consideration, will come to destruction in the end. The swine “perished in the water,” but the devils are reserved to the judgment of eternal fire, “suffering the vengeance of eternal fire,“ (Jude )

The case of possessed souls, in whom the spirit of disobedience doth rule, is to be seen in these whose bodies were possessed with demons.

The man is their dwelling house. He is no more master of his own actions, but Satan’s slave. The man’s eyes look for Satan, his hands and feet work and walk for Satan, his throat is made Satan’s blowing horn, his mouth speaketh for Satan, “what have we to do with thee?”

Demons know there is a time coming when they shall be more tormented than they are as yet

Demons cannot be tamed or reformed. Christ said to the demons, “Go.”

The mighty, never-failing, cleansing Word of God can change the heart and separate the sin from the soul, as the demons were separated from the men, Christ speaks, and it is done, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

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