Posted by: missionventureministries | September 5, 2019

AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT RETURNS TO HIS HOME WITH SEVEN MORE – Matthew 12:43-45

Jesus had cast a demon out of a man who was blind and mute; and, as a result healed him so that he could both see and speak (Matthew 12:22). The religious leaders, the Scribes and Pharisees who saw this miracle, dared to say that Jesus had cast the demon out of the man “by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons” (Matthew 12:24). In other words, they claimed that He did this by the power of the devil. Jesus responded by disproving their ridiculous and blasphemous accusation, and by warning them that they were demonstrating themselves to be evil men who spoke from corrupt hearts.

Then, He spoke these sober words to the religious leaders who had opposed Him.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)

Jesus addressed the demonic realm as a reality and that demons were indeed able to indwell a person. In Jesus’ parable, the demon is called “an unclean spirit,” and is said to have gone out of a man. How it came to be that he went out of the man we are not told. But whatever the reason might have been, the demon is presented in this passage as thinking of this man as “his own house” – ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’

The demon may have left the man for a time, but it doesn’t seem that the demon gave up ownership of the man when he left.

Perhaps God had shown great mercy to the man, by allowing him some time to turn away from sin, and to ‘make a change’ in his life. The man might have even begun to ‘search’ God, and to look for spiritual things. In fact, it may even be that the man heard the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and began to be drawn to it.

What ever happened the Bible does not tell us, but there’s one thing we can know for sure, is that this man clearly was given a chance and fell short of having a genuine relationship with God, and the Holy Spirit had not taken up residence in him.

The demon had left him, and he remained “empty.” But he only remained “empty” for a short time. Once out of the man, the demon was restless and dissatisfied. Jesus said that the demon went through “dry places,” seeking rest, but found none.

Apparently a demon needed to possess a body and would even rather inhabit “a herd of swine” than to be wandering about without a “home” (Matthew 8:31).

So then; this restless demon began to think on the man that he had left. “I will return to my house from which I came”, he said. And when he returned, he found that the man had made it a very comfortable home to return to! The man had apparently made some moral changes in his life. He had cleaned up his act. He may even have added a few new religious habits and pseudo-spiritual practices. But in spite of all the things done “clean up”, there was still no one else taking residence within him. The man’s inner being was a spiritual vacuum. The demon returned to find it “empty, swept, and put in order”.

What a dreadful and dangerous thing this is, because as Jesus tells us then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

It’s not that his condition became as bad as it once was when only one demon indwelt him; rather, his condition became so much worse; because the demon brought in seven others “more wicked than himself.”

This parable is a great warning to those who think that they can just “clean up their act” while avoiding a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, by accepting Him as their Savior and making Him the Lord of their life and thereby receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

These Jewish people needed to hear this since truth was all around them and they would not listen. They had heard the preaching of John the Baptist as he fulfilled the promises of the Scriptures concerning himself, and pointing to Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). They beheld His miracles and heard His teaching; and yet, even as He was offering Himself to them as their long-awaited and promised Messiah, they rejected Him. They saw Him work miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit; and yet they dared to accuse Him of working in the power of the devil.

As we see by Paul’s warnings, demons were very real to the Jews, that is why he writes “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:10-13).

The Jews and their Jewish leaders had a terrible vacuum (empty house) in their being, even as their King stood before them and even as He warned them so shall it also be with this wicked generation. They did not understand and they did not care because, the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Clearly, the primary point of this parable was to serve as a condemnation of that generation who would not receive the Savior; but it is likewise a warning to us for nearly 2000 years.

So who is occupying your house? There are only two spiritual forces trying to live in our body. One is the Holy Spirit; the other is the devil and his demons.

There are individuals that make an effort to clean up their lives and then fall back into their sinful lifestyles and their life becomes even more messed up than it was before. There is a solution thought; Jesus says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

One of the most dangerous things a person can do is to go through this life without welcoming Jesus Christ into their life. Jesus said: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).

So let us as true born again Christians do our part by doing what Jesus told us to do and go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)

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