If You Believe in Angels, Believe in Demons - Part 3 (series: Demons)
by John Lowe
If You Believe in Angels, Believe in Demons - Part 3 (series: Lessons on Demons)
iMary Magdalene’s Seven Demons
ii Informed By Demons
i Mary Magdalene’s Seven Demons
“And also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven devils had come out.” (Luke 8:2)
We know a great deal about the disciples because they were the special group of friends that He would entrust His church to. They would even do greater miracles; not greater in magnitude, but in number. But there were others that followed Him. There were the seventy that He sent out and there were the women. They shared an association, even though they were usually on the fringe of the group. Unlike the disciples, they did not have the benefit of His constant presence and His teaching. But they did have a good place in His ministry, and they were with Him until it was finished, attending the cross and the tomb. The Bible does not tell us much about them. But they were very special to Him and He had a double claim on them because He brought healing to their bodies and new life to their souls. In opposition to the customs of Palestine, they followed in His footsteps. Society and religion made them second-class citizens, but Jesus gave them a respected place among His followers.
Mary Magdalene is the most prominent among the women that followed Jesus. However, there are other Marys mentioned in scripture; Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary the sister of Lazarus.
Mary Magdalene was a widow. The name indicates that she was a native of Magdala, a small town along the west coast of Galilee. The town was noted for whoredom, and that was her sin. That she was rescued from seven demons indicates that she was especially maligned. There were other instances where the victim was possessed by more than one demon; for example, the Demoniac of Gedera had a legion of demons within him. Seven demons are also mentioned in Luke 11:26. “Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first." Here, Jesus tells a parable about a demon that was cast out but returns with seven demons worse than he was.
Mary Magdalene is mentioned many times in scripture and in all four Gospels:
(Luke 7:37) Here, she is said to be a sinful woman. She went into a Pharisee’s house, where Jesus was eating. She washed His feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured expensive perfume on them. She was unashamed in her act of repentance, gratitude, and worship. Those that have been forgiven much love Him much.
(Matthew 27:56,61) She was at the foot of the cross, and at the tomb, she helped to prepare His body for burial. She cared for Him, even after He was dead.
(Matthew 28:1) She returned to the tomb, after the Sabbath. There she talked to Him and He gave her a message for the disciples.
(John 20:18) She told the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!”
The women took care of Jesus’ needs from the few possessions that they had. In 1 Corinthians 9:11, Paul states, “If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much to ask if we reap a material harvest among you?” Their ministry to Him showed the depths of His poverty. His acceptance showed His great humility and how much He needed their kindness. “Though rich, He became poor for our sakes.”
MARY MAGDALENE EXPERIENCED A GREAT CHANGE OF SERVICE, FROM DEMONIC BONDAGE TO THE FREEDOM OF CHRIST.
ii Informed By Demons
There are four people we need to consider, who were informed by demons. When you look at the life of Jacob, there is very little to say that he was a good man, until he became an old man. When he was young, he used deception to obtain his brother's birthright and his father’s blessing. He was a mama’s boy and a coward. He ran from his brother and went to live with his uncle Laban, and he worked for him. He was a poor father,
but he knew God and God chose him to be the father of twelve sons, who would become the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. I would not call him a good man and I would not have wanted him for a neighbor, but I only see the outside of any man. God saw his heart and he blessed Jacob so that he became rich while working for Laban. But Laban did not know God, and when Jacob told him that he was going home, Laban turned to Sorcerers for guidance.
But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” (Genesis 30:27)
After the birth of Joseph, Jacob wants to return to his homeland and take his wives and children with him. He has served Laban for the greater portion of his life. He has come to his uncle after running away from his brother, Esau. His desire to return home and see his father before he dies is now more than his fear of Esau.
Laban and Jacob are rich men. Jacob’s flocks had increased, and Laban had benefited from his association with him. Laban said to Jacob, “I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” It was clear to Laban that God blessed Jacob. That blessing included wealth in the form of huge flocks of sheep and goats. Laban thought that he might lose his fortune if Jacob left. There were those who made their living through magic and foretelling the future and that is where Laban claims to have turned for help. His experience should have told him all he needed to know.
He would do anything to keep Jacob there, but God’s plan calls for him to leave Laban and return home. Laban would assemble a force to stop him, but God intervenes.
THE SAFETY OF GOOD MEN HAS VERY MUCH TO DO WITH THE HOLD THAT GOD HAS ON THE CONSCIENCES OF BAD MEN AND THE ACCESS HE HAS TO THEM.
God’s people should avoid Divination, Wee Gee Boards, Astrology, Fortune Telling, etc. because demons use these methods to turn men’s minds from the truth of God’s word. The Word of God should be where we go for instruction for both the present and future.
The sovereign power of God was on display when Jesus was born; otherwise, Satan would have killed Him. After all, He was never more helpless than when He was a baby, yet Satan was silent until he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. There were thirty years of silence as Jesus grew, worked, matured and experienced life as a man. Only one event is recorded during this time, His visit to the temple in Jerusalem when He was twelve years old. Why didn’t Satan and his demons attack Him during this time? Did God prevent them? Did angels surround Him to protect Him? God did not choose to give us any information about Him until He began his ministry at about thirty years of age. I don’t like to speculate, but I believe that there are places that we can go in scripture to help us draw some good conclusions concerning this question―Why didn’t Satan and his demons attack Him during this time? As a baby and as a young boy Jesus was so vulnerable.
In the book of Job, it is clear that God set limits on the extent of damage that Satan could do to Job. He couldn’t go beyond the line that God drew in the sand.
Elijah had a contest against four hundred prophets of Baal or more correctly it was Elijah plus God versus four hundred prophets of Baal plus Satan plus his demons. God plus anyone is a winner, so guess who won.
Jesus told Peter that Satan wanted to “sift” him, but he didn’t, because Peter belonged to Jesus. Satan was powerless against Jesus because He was God the Son. God the Father never left Him until He turned His back on Him as He hung on the cross. There was never a time when Jesus feared Satan. God’s power was never more on display than when Jesus rebuked the demons and they obeyed Him.