by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
"…and when Yeshua had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit who lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Yeshua from afar, he ran and fell down before Him. And crying out with a loud voice he said, 'What have you to do with me, Yeshua, Son of the Most High Elohim? I adjure you by YHVH, do not torment me.' For Yeshua was saying to him, 'Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!' …And when people came to see what it was that had happened, they saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had previously had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind and they were fearful." Mark 5:1-20
In reading the passage from Mark 5 above, the description of that man resounded unnervingly similar to the condition of my 25 year old youngest son. The last time we found Quinn, he had been living, not in a physical graveyard, but behind a dumpster in an alley in Austin, Texas eating trash and wearing soiled, tattered clothes. He would spontaneously cry out loudly, often breaking into uncontrollable laughter while talking to imaginary entities. When trying to converse with him, his eyes would usually roll up into the back of his head in between furtive glances at something only he was aware of out of the corner of his eye. His fascination with swords and knives resulted in a frequent cutting on his legs - not deeply enough for paramedics to take him to the hospital but enough to leave scars. Quinn's history has been to disappear for months only to resurface in the clutches of local police for misdemeanor violations. That incarceration would soon have him moved to a hospital mental ward once it became obvious that his behavior was questionable. There, he would be held for a couple of days for observation under heavy sedation until it was determined that he was not a threat to himself or others, only to be turned back out onto the street until the next time after the drugs had worn off - their shackles could not hold him and no one knew what to do to subdue him. It became a vicious cycle repeated over and over in Quinn's life.
We live in a culture that celebrates demonic activity as though it were a normal occurrence - from the horror of movies and television we are fascinated with to the elevation as a science of what has become known as "paranormal" to an annual event of macabre masquerade of demonic spirits as something "fun" to sacrifice our children in (click on highlighted words to view content). Consequently, that behavior has desensitized us to the affliction of demon possession in our midst by overlooking the severity of its visitation upon individuals except when it becomes blatant to extremes in (unexplained?) mass murder. The mental health laws in America are insane, making it impossible to put someone into treatment without their voluntary compliance before their affliction escalates to violence. "Bi-polar" has become the norm of explanation of what used to be called schizophrenia - attributing behavior to a "chemical imbalance" in the brain. While there might be a subsequent imbalance as a result of embracing those unclean spirits, it is not found as a motivating aspect initially.
So what, then, does it really mean to have an "unclean spirit"? What has been called "demons" in Christian culture is actually the Greek words pneuma akathartos or "spirit unclean" referring to one who is ceremonially not cleansed according to Torah to be able to come into the presence of YHVH. Yeshua tells us in John 15:3 that we are made clean by the embrace of His Words and in John 14:23-24 that His Words are not His, but those of His Father's. The Words of the Father are what make us clean - an embrace of anything apart from those Words, therefore, is "unclean" and opens up the gates of His fence for invasion.
My son became "imbalanced" due to his unwitting involvement with necromancy, a method of divination through alleged communication with the dead - living among the "tombs", if you will. He became entranced and attracted to the allure of power those unclean spirits presented. Communing with the dead is forbidden in scripture. It's one of those things considered unclean - "an abomination unto YHVH" (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). The scriptures do not come right out and say that communing with the dead is impossible to do (1Samuel 28:9-11) but when people THINK they're communing with the dead, they are actually being tricked by demons using the familiarity experienced with the deceased human while they were alive to fool those seeking to communicate with them by mimicking them. However, when looking at the scripture from Deuteronomy 18:11, it refers to BOTH "a consulter with familiar spirits OR a necromancer". The fact that it refers to BOTH of them could be interpreted as meaning both those that pretend or think they're communicating with the dead; AND those that actually ARE. Whether it is actually possible or not, scripture doesn't specifically say; but it IS most definitely strictly forbidden - from both sides of the Book (Exodus 22:18, 2Corinthians 11:14-15, 1Timothy 4:1 - see the article, Heaven, Hell and the Immortal Soul for more). Yeshua's use of the parable of Lazarus and the rich man is not an endorsement of the practice of necromancy, but an illustration of the separation between the Kingdom of Light and darkness.
|...the behavior of Light|
"And when He came into a house, His taught ones asked Him separately, 'Why were we unable to cast him out?' And He said to them, 'It is impossible for this kind to come out except through
much prayer and fasting '." Mark 9:28-29
Over the years, having had much interaction with demons being cast out of people, I thought I knew what it took to bring others into deliverance. So, when Quinn came to live with me it was only a matter of hours before his demons presented themselves and, following the example of Yeshua as I had done for decades, commanded them to "come out" of him. This time, however, nothing happened. There were no screams, no writhing on the floor, no vomiting - nothing but the blank stare coming from my son's eyes. Needless to say, I was perplexed - which forced me into much prayer with my Abba. He reminded me of the decades it took for me to be free of the demons I had voluntarily embraced and should I expect it to be any different with my son?
For five years while living with his mother and step-father, Quinn cycled in and out of lucidity completely wearing them out. At 25, he is considered an adult and what minimal treatment he did consent to allowed him to take his prescriptions voluntarily. But, self-medication did not work as he would either lose his meds or, usually, just forget to take them and, then, he would come off the rails and just - be gone. Scripture declares in both Acts 11:13-14 and Acts 16:31 that those living within the household where Light exists will be saved - it does not say the family of the one who has become Light will be saved as many popularly interpret these verses to mean. And, these verses do not infer an instantaneous occurrence, either. Over those five years, I prayed the Father would make a way for us to be together in the same place that he would be completely healed.
"Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and
to break every yoke
?" Isaiah 58:6
The popular approach to fasting is to deny oneself food - but, here, YHVH links fasting with breaking yokes. Did you know that once you have trained an animal to work under a yoke, you can make that animal perform even without the yoke? Once the pattern is ingrained, it takes only the slightest reminder of the previous yoke for the animal to respond accordingly. You can remove the heavy collar and get the same results with the lightest pole. Why? Because once the mind has been altered, the one in bondage thinks no other way. Once the pattern is put in place, the steps are ordered by expectation - not the actual situation. The yoke of bondage stays in place without physical restraint. Practice the pattern long enough and it will become routine expectation. The yoke is invisibly in place. We can tell the victim that the restraint is gone. There is nothing there. But it won't matter. The mind is captive to the yoke of wickedness and only YHVH can break its power. Until someone cries out against the oppression and turns toward the true fast of YHVH, the yoke remains.
Being yoked with Yeshua gives us the confidence of knowing that we are not alone pulling the load. But there are other yokes - yokes that oppress, yokes that constrict and yokes that hold us captive to destructive patterns. These are not the yokes YHVH wishes us to experience. In fact, breaking every one of them is the purpose of fasting according to YHVH's words in Isaiah. What good is a fast that does not release those who are oppressed under the bonds of wickedness? So, according to YHVH's Words, what kind of "fast" pleases Spirit and how is that accomplished? It is the fast of dividing your bread with the hungry, bringing the homeless poor into the house, seeing the naked and covering them and to not hide yourself from your own flesh (Isaiah 58:7). A fast for personal religious gain, of superficial obedience - is pointless. The real fast of YHVH is found in the care of others. Scriptural love is caring for another at cost to myself (1John 3:16). And first among those caring acts is breaking all the yokes of bondage.
|...the gristmill of sin|
Today, after living with me for some months and helping to care for his grandmother (my mother) who also lives with us, we are seeing progress in Quinn's life and behavior. He is voluntarily keeping the gates of the covenant fence of YHVH closed; living within His Kingdom by honoring Shabbat. The more distance he places between himself and those unclean spirits that sought to destroy him a real, permanent deliverance is observably taking place. His outbursts and disturbing behavior are becoming less frequent; he has become more cooperative, compliant and is talking about his goals for the future. He is experiencing first-hand the freedom from bondage he so desperately longed for and, like the man described at the outset of this article, is sitting quiet, clothed and in his right mind. He is allowing me to administer his medication properly but all the meds do is to quiet him - they do not heal or deliver. Quinn still has a long way to go, but he has committed himself to living with me for a year. Our expectation is that YHVH will continue to be faithful to His Words so that at the end of a year he will be completely healed, healthy and whole - able to stand on his own.
"…and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases, and He sent them out
to proclaim the Kingdom of YHVH and to heal." Luke 9:1-2
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to partake with you of what the Spirit is uncovering.