The Book of Mark
James J. Barker

Lesson 17

Text: MARK 5:1-20


1.    Our story begins with our Lord and His disciples arriving in “the country of the Gadarenes,” which is on the other side of the Sea of Galilee (5:1).

2.    When our Lord was come out of the ship, “immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit” (5:2).

3.    Luke tells us the man had devils a “long time” (8:27).

4.    This is an unusual story, but I am convinced that we are seeing an increase in demonic activity today.  It is difficult (if not impossible) to explain what is taking place in society today without believing in the existence of Satan and unclean spirits.

5.    For example, take one look at these vulgar rappers and rock and roll people, and you can see the strong demonic influence.  MTV is full of devils. Hollywood and TV are full of devils.  The devil is in the entertainment business, the religion business, politics, education, banking and big business, etc.

6.    Today psychiatrists and other so-called “mental health professionals” tell us that demonism is a nothing but a disease, but this is not true.  There is a big difference between demonism and disease (cf. Luke 9:1). 

7.    The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says there are “about 80 references to demons in the New Testament. In 11 instances the distinction between demon-possession and diseases ordinarily caused is clearly made (Matthew 4:24; 8:16; 10:8; Mark 1:32, 34; 6:13; 16:17, 18; Luke 4:40, 41; 9:1; 13:32; Acts 19:12).”

8.    Demons disturb men physically, mentally, and spiritually.  They destroy the souls of men and then lead them off into the eternal fires of hell.

9.    Demons belong to the unseen world; therefore they are incapable of manifestation except in the various disorders which they cause.

10. The Jewish historian Josephus taught that demons are the spirits of the wicked dead.  This is a popular idea but it is not taught in the Bible.

11. The Jewish rabbis developed many strange ideas about demons, and some of these strange views are still held today. After reading some of these narratives, Alfred Edersheim said, “Greater contrast could scarcely be conceived than between what we read in the New Testament and the views and practices mentioned in Rabbinic writings.”

12. Before we look at our text, let us consider a few basic Biblical facts about demons (devils, unclean spirits, etc.).

A.   Some angels chose to sin against God (cf. II Peter 2:4; Jude 6).

B.    “The elect angels” chose to obey God (I Tim. 5:21).

C.   The fallen angels are referred to as the devil’s angels (Matt. 25:41), and the dragon’s angels (Rev. 12:7-9), and our Lord said that they are destined for eternal hellfire (Matt. 25:41).

D.   Fallen angels apparently realize that they will eventually be tormented in the lake of fire (cf. Mark 5:7).

E.    Matthew 8:29 says, “Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?”

F.    Fallen angels are employed in the execution of Satan’s purposes, which are diametrically opposed to those of God (Mark 9:17-29).

G.   However, even these unclean spirits are subject to God (cf. Judges 9:23; I Sam. 18:10; I King 22:19-28; Job 1:12; Ps. 78:49).

H.   These are some of the various ways demons attempt to hinder God’s work:

1.     They oppose believers as well as the elect angels (Dan. 10:13, 20).

2.     They cause physical and mental disorders (Matt. 9:32; 12:22; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 9:37-42).

3.     The term “unclean spirits” suggests that they lead people into moral impurity (Matt. 12:43-45).

4.     They disseminate false doctrine (II Thess. 2:2; I Tim. 4:1).

5.     They are behind all idolatry and occultism (I Cor. 10:19-21; Acts 16:16-19; 19:13-20).

6.     They attempt to hinder our spiritual progress (Eph. 6:12).

7.     They desire to possess human beings (Matt. 4:24; Luke 8:2; Acts 8:7), and even animals (Mark 5:11-13).



1.    This man that was possessed by devils is a dreadful picture of the degradation of sin. 

2.    Luke 8:27 tells us the demon-possessed man was not wearing any clothes. There is a definite connection between nudity and demon-possession.   When Christians grow spiritually they are careful to dress modestly.  Lost sinners often couldn’t care less.

3.    Demons are called “unclean spirits” (Mark 5:2) because they specialize in uncleanness - immorality, adultery, fornication, indecency, homosexuality, foul language, dirty jokes, pornography, etc.  Millions of lost souls are enslaved by pornography and other sins of the flesh. 

4.    People can get drawn into pornography through the computer, cable television, videos, sleazy theatres and clubs, magazines, etc. 

5.    Some people even get filth in their church!  A preacher out in Seattle, Washington named Mark Driscoll has admitted that he built a large congregation by talking dirty in the pulpit!

6.     The devil is working overtime destroying lives through pornography.  This demon-possessed man “wore no clothes.”  As Christians we should always dress modestly (cf. Matt. 5:27, 28).

7.    Those who live for sin have no peace in their heart.  And this demon-possessed man had no peace in his heart (cf. Mark 5:5).

8.    Mark 5:3 says he “had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains.” 

9.    Luke 8:27 says this man did not abide “in any house, but in the tombs.”  He spent his time roaming naked around the graveyard.

10. This is a vivid picture of fallen man under the absolute control of Satan - “always, night and day…crying, and cutting himself with stones” (Mark 5:5), being driven here and there by these horrible unclean spirits.

11. I am speaking of the degradation of sin.  Sin produces restlessness (Mark 5:5).  “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.   There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isa. 57:20, 21).

12. Sin leads to restlessness and madness (Mark 5:3-5).  There are a lot of people that the world classifies as insane.  The world cannot figure out what causes their insanity.  They have been to psychiatrists and therapists and social workers.  They’ve been given strong medications and have had violent shock treatments and have been experimented on, and have been to all the mental hospitals and insane asylums, and still no one can figure out what the problem is.  The problem is SIN. 

13. Luke 8:29 says this demon-possessed man “was driven of the devil into the wilderness.”  We do not know in what way the devil fully gained control of this poor man, but it is evident that somehow he had opened the door to the demonic realm.  There are many ways this happens to people:

·        Persistent sin - this could include pornography, homosexuality (which often leads to more and more wicked perversions), and other immoral behaviour.

·        Drugs - pills, marijuana, crack, etc.

·        The occult world - Harry Potter, “Dungeons and Dragons,” books and movies about vampires, ouiji boards, fortune-telling, botanicas, Santeria, voodoo, spells, witchcraft, etc.

·        Idolatry - the Bible says there are devils lurking behind idols.

·        False religions - Romanism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, JW’s, Mormonism, Moonies, Hari Krishna, Scientology, transcendental meditation, etc.

·        Rock music, rap music, MTV, etc.  Parents, you better find out what kind of music your kids are listening to.  I grew up in the rock and roll era and rock music back then was bad, but this rock and rap “music” today is much more evil.

·        Rock music has always been nasty, lewd, crude, dirty, and vulgar.  Rock music has always been the devil’s music and it always will be.

14. When I was asked to preach about rock music to our teenagers last year, I realized I knew nothing about the popular singers today.

15. But I do know that while singers come and go, the music gets dirtier and dirtier.  So I did a little research on the top sellers today.

16. I could not read to you the words to some of these filthy rock songs - they are too dirty.  For the rock crowd, the dirtier the better.  Listen to this quote from Madonna, “I’m proud of my trashy image” (The Facts on Rock Music, John Ankerberg).

17. Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue said, “Our new album is raw, nasty, sleazy.  I think it drips of sex.”

18. Allan Bloom in his book, Closing of the American Mind, said, “Rock music has one appeal only, a barbaric appeal, to sexual desire…This has a much more powerful effect than does pornography on youngsters.”

19. Not only does rock and rap music lead to immorality, it also leads to violence.  Kids who listen to rock and rap music often have a nasty, antisocial, and disrespectful attitude.

20. According to the infamous serial killer Richard Ramirez (known as “the Night Stalker”), it was the AC/DC song “Night Prowler” that motivated him to murder 30 innocent people. 

21. Charles Manson and his crazy, doped-up followers listened to Beatle records before they went out and killed people.  They painted “Helter Skelter” (Beatles song) on the walls of one of their victims.

22. It has been well documented that many teenagers have committed suicide after listening over and over to rock songs that encourage young people to kill themselves.

23. Rock music leads to drugs, false religion, depression, and even suicide.  Rock music also leads to immorality. Many teenage girls have gotten pregnant out of wedlock listening to sensual rock music.

24. Before I preached to our teens last summer, I went online and did some research on today’s top singers.  I had never heard of any of then before.

25. The # 1 song last summer on Billboard’s Top Hit List was a wicked song called, “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry.  It is all about lesbianism.  Another one of her big songs is “UR So Gay.”  Even though her songs are all dirty and perverted, she claims to be a Christian!  Apparently her dad is some kind of mixed-up pastor, and she put out a so-called “Christian” record in 2001.  But then she switched over to recording dirty songs about homosexuality.  Probably to make more money.

26. Another popular singer is named Rihanna.  She has been in the news lately because her boyfriend (a lowlife singer) beat her up.

27. Her latest album is entitled, “Good Girl Gone Bad.”  I checked out her videos on the Internet and she looks very much like a prostitute.  Her so-called “music” is nothing but sensual rap noise.

28. Next on the Billboard list was a sleazy fellow called Lil Wayne.  His lyrics are indescribably vulgar and filthy. 

29. Next was a song called “Dangerous” by Kardinal Offishall.  It is another typical X-rated rap song - lewd, crude, dirty, etc.

30. I could go on and on.  Literally every major performer - whether rock or rap or C&W, etc. is unacceptable for the Christian who seeks to be pure and holy.

31. You cannot live for God and listen to the devil’s music.  This kind of filthy “music” is leading millions of young people straight to hell. 

32. Before moving on, let me say that every lost sinner has all the characteristics of this demon-possessed man here in Mark 5 - uncleanness, lawlessness, restlessness, and even madness.  (Sinners must be mad to prefer to go to hell rather than heaven.)


1.    This poor, wretched, demon-possessed man immediately recognized who Jesus is - “thou Son of the most high God” (5:7).

2.    This should come as no surprise to those of us who know the Bible. James 2:19 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

3.    Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man (5:8).  Only Jesus, or a Christian who is filled with the Holy Spirit, can command an unclean spirit out of a man. 

4.    In the book of Acts, we read in chapter 19, verse 13, that “certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them” to cast out an evil spirit.  They were unsuccessful (19:13-20).

5.    But when our Lord commanded the unclean spirits to leave, they left.  In Mark 5:9, our Lord asked the demoniac, “What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.”

6.    Our Lord cast the devils out and they entered into an herd of many swine. Mark 5:13 tells us there were about 2,000 pigs in this herd.

7.    These swine would rather drown in the lake than live with devils (5:13). One preacher put it this way: “Apparently a self-respecting hog, unlike some people, would rather be dead than demon-possessed!” (G. Coleman Luck). Consider this: Two thousand hogs could not hold the devils (6,000?) that had possessed one man!

8.    Now look at the man that had the devils cast out of him.  He is sitting at the feet of Jesus, “clothed, and in his right mind” (5:15).

9.    When a sinner gets truly saved, he will sit at the feet of Jesus, he will put some clothes on, and he will be in his right mind.

10. Beloved, Jesus is the only one who can help a lost soul like this, enslaved by sin, out of his mind, driven by devils naked into the graveyard.  Only the Lord can save sinners from Satan’s grip.

11. Psychiatry cannot help them.  Education cannot help them.  Money cannot help them.  The government cannot help them. Religion cannot help them.  Only the Lord Jesus Christ can help them (5:15, 18).



1.    Notice what the unclean spirit through the lips of the man said: “I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not” (5:7).  Matthew tells us the demons said: “Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” (Matt. 8:29).  What time?  The time of judgment.

2.    Revelation 12:12 says, “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

3.    Satan knows his judgment is coming.  His fallen angels know their judgment is coming. But many sinners live as if there is no judgment coming.  They are in for a big shock!

4.    This legion of devils knew that Jesus will soon sit on His throne of judgment, and they know they will soon be cast into hell. But they do not know when that hour of judgment will begin.

5.    Luke 8:31 says, these devils feared that our Lord was going to cast them “into the deep,” the abyss, the bottomless pit.  They know they will be going there someday and they are looking for an extension of time.

6.    There’s a day coming when Satan and all his fallen angels will be cast into the lake of fire.  And there’s a day coming when all lost sinners will be thrown in there with them.

7.    “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41).



1.    We have been looking at this demon-possessed man, the demons that left him and entered into the herd of swine, and of course, the Lord Jesus.  But we have not considered the other Gadarenes.

2.    What was their reaction when they saw this wonderful conversion?  Did they fall down at our Lord’s feet confessing their own sins?

3.    No, in fact their response was just the opposite.  They told our Lord “to depart out of their coasts” (Mark 5:17).  Isn’t it amazing that sinners are very comfortable around devils and pigs, but very uncomfortable around the Son of God?

4.    They would rather have swine (and the money they produced) than Jesus.  (These Jews should not have owned swine anyway because this was against the law of Moses.)  Some sinners do not want Jesus around because they love their sin too much, and their money too much, and the world too much.   

5.    What about you, unsaved friend?  Will you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour or will you tell Him to go away?

6.    When they told our Lord to depart, He did (5:20a).  Our Lord does not stay with people who do not want Him around. If you are not saved, then now is the time to get things right with God.

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