Posted July 31, 2010
I thought this was a subject worth covering which is associated with my mission posts.
Harry writes the following:
The only devils Christ ever cast out of any one were these very same “silly notions” that you insist are not, and he calmly cast them all out with the light of day, which is just another word for “the truth”. It was “the truth” that set them free, not some unseen power that came from his personal worthiness for having kept any certain commandments, his consecrated olive oil, or his holy priesthood, as he didn’t have any of those things. All he had was a perfect understanding of all things, and demons and devils were somebody else’s explanation for things that couldn’t be explained.
A person who is not able to be possessed by your devils, would also know that the story about the swine and “Legion” is more or less a fable. How something like that ended up in the New Testament is left to be discovered, but I’m sure that eventually it will be.
If you are right Harry then we should throw the entire New Testament and most of its writers out the window for they all believed in invisible spirits interplaying with humanity
Now I go into symbolic meaning much more than most writers. For instance, my book, The Unveiling, interpreting the Book of Revelations goes heavily into symbolic meaning.
There is also symbolic meaning in actual historical events and even your routine day has symbolic meaning. For instance, bumping one’s head on a bookcase may indicate a message that the guy needs to get some knowledge in his thick skull. The fact that symbolic meaning applies does not, and I repeat, does not mean that the person did not actually bump his head.
Unlike the Book of Revelations or the parables, the Gospels are presented as historical fact and not as a parable with a prime purpose of symbolic teaching.
The main purpose of the parables are for symbolism, but the main purpose of an account is to present a witness to historical fact of Jesus and his works.
Of course it is logically possible that the story of Jesus was completely fabricated. It is also possible it was altered somewhat, but it is not likely one of the main themes was altered in all the 33 books in the New Testament.
It is also possible that the life and message of Socrates was altered but it is not likely that one of his main themes was completely fabricated for the sake of symbolism. For instance, it is improbable that Plato fabricated the Socratic method of inquiry. It is such a part of the message that scholars do not even bring up the possibility.
Even so, the existence of evil entities are such a part of the core history of Jesus that most Christian scholars do not question that they played a role in his work.
That said, let us look at the account dealing with the swine.
Matt 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
Matt 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
Matt 8:30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.
Matt 8:31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
Matt 8:32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. 8:33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
Matt 8:34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
Now if the purpose of this story was to teach a symbolic meaning then it failed miserably. The parables of Jesus were definitely for this purpose and at least some of the meaning was instantly conveyed. BUT if this was the intention here then the purpose failed miserably because maybe one in a thousand see any symbolic insight when reading this. Instead, they see a straightforward historical account.
The details support a true historical account such as naming the area involved and relating about the people being upset that Jesus destroyed their swine and demanding that he leave the area.
Now let us look at other examples of Jesus dealing with invisible unfriendly entities as related by, not one, but all four writers of the Gospels:
Mark 1:34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.
(Note: It is interesting that in several accounts the entities spoke this to Jesus. I’ve never known bad ideas to speak like this.)
Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
Luke 4:40 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.
Luke 4:41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.
Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;
Matt 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
Matt 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
So according Harry Jesus just cast out bad ideas. I can just see Harrys’ version of Jesus now:
Disciple: “Look Jesus, there’s a couple crazy guys over there. I think they are possessed with some bad ideas.
Jesus: “By George, I think you are right.” Jesus waves his arms at them, “Hey guys. Don’t you realize that running around naked, harassing people and sleeping in tombs is a bad idea?
Naked crazy guy responds: “Wow, that’s more light than I can handle. You must be Jesus. What have you come here for – just to give me a bad time?
Jesus: “Depart ye bad idea and join the ash heap of other bad swine-like ideas.”
And behold, there was a legion of Roman soldiers nearby who had many piggish bad ideas and the bad idea cast out by Jesus entered into their minds. And, lo, this created more confusion for the legion than they could handle and they marched over a cliff into the sea as they were possessed with madness. It was a mere psychological madness of their own creation, however, for no invisible entities or forces were involved.
There is a teaching here for someone somewhere but we know not what it is.
I know, I know, Harry. This is not exactly the way you would write it but it is close enough to make an eerie point.
Now, let us look at some other scriptures dealing with perhaps a different category of evil spirit confronted by Jesus:
Matt 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
Matt 8:16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
Matt 9:32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.
Matt 9:33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.
In many cases where Jesus healed there is no mention of evil spirits but then in others like the above there is.
In the previous example the possessing entities seemed human like, as if they could have been discarnate entities, but critics could make the case that some of the healings described above were attributed to evil spirits because of the backwardness of the times.
Or could Jesus have been merely going along with the public belief in evil spirits and saying he was casting them out to merely work with the common belief?
It may seem so, but then one must consider that the writers of the gospels were intelligent disciples and not likely to be so easily mislead. So the question that arises is this: Are there a wide rage of diseases and mental disorders that are caused by what the gospel writers call evil spirits or devils?
The answer may surprise you which is this. The answer is yes. All disease involves some so-called evil or adversarial spirit just as was demonstrated by Jesus and his disciples in the scriptures.
Before you accuse me of being primitive in my thinking, let me explain.
First, I might add that a stumbling block in the way of understanding this stems more from the translators than the original writers. The translators consistently use the word “devils.”
This word conjures up a primitive thought form that doesn’t relate to modern thinking. If we were to be technically correct we could call them “adversarial life forms”
There are five grades of intelligences that can cause problems for humans.
The first are entities in incarnation. If you are around negative people or those sending hateful thoughts then they indeed have an effect. Energy follows thought and if your spouse is seething with revenge toward you then you will feel and receive such energy and this can definitely effect your health.
We are told that “the word is God” and thus are negative words like mini devils sent to destroy. In fact, one of the meanings of “daimonion” or the Greek for devil is “divine power or deity.”
Negative words sent by live humans are thus like divine devils that have power to destroy.
The solution to the escape this power is to not receive these negative thoughts and words. But if the person slips and allows them to be planted so they grow then he must cast them out even as Jesus did.
The second group of intelligences that can cause problems are discarnate entities. Some of these are highly intelligent and seek to stop those who they see to be working against their best interests. They may do this by attacking the disciple directly or in directly. An example of such an indirect attack was related by John:
“And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.” John 13:2
The adversarial entities who are intelligent are not large in number and do not waste their time picking on little old ladies, but concentrate on those with potential influence who may get in the way of their plans.
Paul spoke of these entities:
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The Concordant version translates verse 12 literally from the Greek as follows:
“Put on the panoply of God to enable you to stand up to the stratagems of the Adversary, for it is not ours to wrestle with blood and flesh, but with the sovereignties, with the authorities, with the world-mights of this darkness, with the spiritual forces of wickedness among the celestials.”
Then there are others in this class, not so intelligent, but still human that cause problems.
The third category of troublesome spirits are what is technically called “etheric shells” or what the common public calls ghosts.
After a person dies he usually hangs around in his etheric body for about three days. This is the energy double that vitalizes and gives form to the physical. After death it normally disintegrates and the entity then moves on to his appropriate place in the afterlife.
On the other hand, if the entity dies with powerful earthbound thoughts, habits or emotional attachments the etheric body can remained vitalized by these energies and continue its existence even after the intelligence has move on.
Such an etheric body will still have a working computer brain housing the memories of this person and can continue a somewhat robotic life and sometimes even appear a ghost, but never one with full human intelligence.
Some attach themselves to humans of low desire. For instance an alcoholic “ghost’ will attach itself to an alcoholic in incarnation and feed the desire.
A fourth type of entity that causes problems are called the astral and these are intelligences lower than human that are composed of emotional/desire energy.
We have all felt these entities but just thought they were a part of ourselves and identified with them. For instance think back to a time you became very angry. Did you notice that the anger seemed to have a life of its own?
Actually, it does. Anger or negative emotions draw astral entities to yourself that have a life of their own, but are fed by your thoughts.
Did you notice that even when you decide you no longer want to remain angry that the feeling of anger may remain? Yes, your mind is no longer angry, but you feel the anger because it still lives as a spirit possessing you for a time. This is an actual lower intelligence that seeks to feed on your energy.
The solution is to cast it out and this is what Jesus did with many astral entities.
A fifth type of adversarial entity is called an elemental. Elementals are the lowest form of intelligence that give us problems and are involved with every disease and malady known to man.
Science is beginning to recognize that disease is largely caused by an imbalance of energy, but what the do not realize is that lack of balance draws in many tiny elemental lives that nestle in the body and interfere with the correct flow of energy.
Jesus had power to speak to these elementals and thus had power to direct them to go elsewhere – or to just dissipate their energy so it had no more effect.
Copyright 2010 by J J Dewey