If I try to use the language spoken two thousand years ago and translated several times, I would say those possessed by demons have a spiritual malady in today’s language. Today we describe the demons as pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. Characters defects only God can remove.
One passage from many years ago:
Mark Ch. 9
- 17. And one of the multitude answered and said , Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
- 18. And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth , and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away : and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out ; and they could not.
- 19. He answereth him, and saith , O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
- 20. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming .
- 21. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said , Of a child.
- 22. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
From my experience I would say the father is describing some form of spiritual malady in today terms leads to alcoholism/drug addiction. I have heard the stories of mothers, fathers, grandparents, spouses and other loving relatives describe in today’s terms the same details as above.
This is the reply:
- 23. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe , all things are possible to him that believeth .
- 24. And straightway the father of the child cried out , and said with tears, Lord, I believe ; help thou mine unbelief.
Note how the question of faith was directed. Not at the person with the visual demons, but to the father who was concerned about his son. The reply of the father is so true of the faith that he had been taught. (remember the faith of Abraham as he was willing to sacrifice his son as a matter of his faith in God). This man was willing to put his Faith above all. Now the not so visible demons in the father were put aside, the very visible demons in the son could be addressed.
- 25. When Jesus saw that the people came running together , he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
- 26. And the spirit cried , and rent him sore, and came out of him : and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said , He is dead .
- 27. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up ; and he arose
This appears to be an instant process, but we know all spiritual matters are a constant struggle. Now comes the big wonder of it all. Jesus’ followers had made an effort to bring forth these demons from this lad to no avail and here is the punch line of this story.
- 28. And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately , Why could not we cast him out ?
- 29. And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
How often do we try to destroy the demons in our children without looking at our own. The demons can only be brought forth but by nothing but prayer and fasting. I am saying today’s language Love and restraint. Oh, how little we see today as we look outside to solve the problem in our children we believe are caused by a substance and we are willing to give up our own God given powers to remove our own demons.