Great Cloud of Witnesses:
God's "Holy Ghosts?"
Part 2
Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics

Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
December 28, 1998

Last Updated :
January 3, 2009


Body Soul And Breath Of Life, Death And Separation, Demonic
Possession, Delusion Of Modern Science, Present With The
Lord, John's Messenger, Matthew's Resurrection, The Lord's
Ascension, Celestial Rest, Ministering Spirits, Gift Of
Prophecy And How It Works, Heart Soul And Conscience, Voice
Of The Spirit, Spiritual Antenna And The Evil Heart, Washed
And Renewed, Spiritual Discernment, Ahab's False Prophets
And Micaiah, The Demoniac, Legion And The Unclean Spirit




While I have thus far highlighted the function of Angels,
let us turn our attention to Departed Spirits. As I explain
in the in-depth article 'What Really Happens To Us When We
Die?', contrary to what is claimed by modern atheists who
deny the realities of the Spiritual Realm, the life-giving
force known as soul, or 'psuche' in Greek, is a real thing.
It is the real us which dwells within this tabernacle of
clay; that is, our body of flesh. It is the Breath of Life
which we see mentioned in the following verses found in the
Book of Genesis. In some cases, this phrase is derived from
the Hebrew word 'neshamah', pronounced nesh-aw-maw', while
at others, it comes from the Hebrew word 'ruwach'; which is
pronounced roo'-akh. In both cases, it means breath or
spirit:

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man
became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7)

"And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the
earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life,
from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth
shall die." (Genesis 6:17)

"And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all
flesh, wherein is the breath of life...All in whose nostrils
was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land,
died." (Genesis 7:15, 22)

I believe that at the time of a person's death, there is a
sudden separation of the body and the soul, or the spirit.
How well one prepares himself for this division, has a lot
to do with how easily it will occur. For some people, maybe
because they are so attached to this life, and the things of
this world, or perhaps because they have not accepted the
Saviour, and thus fear the Afterlife, the separation at the
moment of death can be a very traumatic experience. It is
because, rather than welcome it, and view it as a wonderful
time of graduation into the next life, they resist it; and
it becomes a very dark, dreadful experience for them.

It is because the soul, or spirit, is an integral part of
our whole being, that in the Bible, when a certain person
was possessed by a demonic spirit, at the moment of their
deliverance by the Lord, sometimes they were torn, or rent,
by that spirit; and the evil spirit would cry out with a
loud voice through the tongue of the demon-possessed person.
In this case, the words 'tare' and 'rent' are derived from
the Greek word 'sparasso', pronounced spar-as'-so, which
means to convulse, as in a spasmodic contraction. Not only
that, but sometimes the person would immediately fall down
as one dead, until Jesus would revive them. Apparently, some
evil spirits are so strong, that they can actually overpower
and dominate the spirit of life which has been given to a
person by God at the time of their conception. Consider the
following clear example found in the Gospel of Mark:

"And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of
him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is
dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and
he arose." (Mark 9:26-27)

Sadly, in our modern world of technology and medical wonders
where hardhearted men of science reject the realities of the
Spirit World and demonic possession, such blatant attacks by
Satan have been given confusing Latin names; and instead of
treating them with prayer and fasting, the poor victims of
these attacks are treated with drugs and shock therapy. If
only these people would realize that treating the physical
results of the possession is not the solution, but rather
they must treat the demonic possession itself. As we read of
the poor woman who was afflicted with an issue of blood for
twelve years:

"And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had
spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather
grew worse," (Mark 5:26)

Returning to the subject of the separation of body and soul
at the time of one's death, it is because we are comprised
of both a body and a soul, or a spirit, that when speaking
of the horrible fate which awaits those who stubbornly
reject the message of Salvation until the very end, Jesus
gave the following serious admonition found in the Gospel of
Matthew:

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to
kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy
both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)

So as you can see, even the Lord Himself clearly tells us
that we are dual entities. For a clear explanation of what
the Lord meant by the word 'hell' in the above verse, allow
me to refer you to the article 'Hell And The Lake Of Fire'.

Based upon my study of the Scriptures, as I explain in 'What
Really Happens To Us When We Die?', I believe that while the
bodies of deceased Christians remain in the ground in an
unconscious state of 'sleep', and even experience decay, or
corruption as it is referred to in the Bible, our souls, or
spirits, return to our Creator; where we patiently wait to
be reunited with our transformed bodies. This will occur at
the time of the First Resurrection of the Dead when Christ
returns for His beloved children. In addition to the verses
I shared in part one from the Book of Revelation which dealt
with the souls under the symbolic Altar of God, the idea of
being in the Lord's presence following physical death, finds
further support in the following verses found in Paul's
second Epistle to the Corinthians, as well as in his letter
to the Philippians:

"Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God,
who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we
are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For
we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say,
and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be
present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:5-8)

"...so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body,
whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is
Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this
is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot
not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to
depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you."
(Philippians 1:20b-24)

I believe that what Paul is saying is very obvious. The
reason that he says 'to live is Christ', but 'to die is
gain', is because he knows full well, that 'to be absent
from the body' is 'to be present with the Lord'. If Paul
really believed that when he died, his entire being, both
soul and body, would remain in some unconscious state in the
ground, for many years until the Lord's Return, do you think
he would really find himself in this predicament? Would he
really even have 'a desire to depart'? I think not. That is
why he states 'to be with Christ...is far better'. Paul had
absolutely no doubt, that upon his demise, maybe his tired
old flesh would sleep in the ground for a while, but his
real spiritual essence, his soul, would zoom right up to be
with the Lord, under His symbolic Altar. I have no doubt
about this whatsoever.

What a joyful prospect for all of us; but as Paul wisely
concludes, 'Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more
needful for you'. It would be truly wonderful to take our
leave from this life now, but as I explain in the article
'Heaven's Gate: Suicide, The Right Way To Go?', to cut our
own lives short due to our selfish desire to be with the
Lord now, is not the right thing to do. Those who do such
things might be a great disappointment to the Lord. How do
we know that God doesn't have some special purpose, or some
special mission for us to yet fulfill in this life? Let us
not forget that many men of God in the Bible didn't even
begin their ministries until they were in their forties.
That is how long it took to break their pride, and to get
them ready to do His Will in a spirit of true humility.
Allow me to suggest that you read the series 'So You Really
Think You Are So Humble?'.

As we saw from the verses found in the Book of Revelation,
our souls are apparently in a very conscious state of being
in the Halls of Heaven. John tells us that they are clothed
in White Robes, and that they are able to speak to the Lord.
In fact, they cry out to Him for justice over their enemies.
Based upon this Scriptural evidence, I must conclude that
these Departed Souls form a part of Paul's 'great cloud of
witnesses'. While we are told that these souls are resting
under the Altar of God, there is a clear Biblical indication
that this is not the only thing that they do. It seems that,
just like other Angels of God who have never inhabited a
human body of flesh, these Departed Souls can be sent on
special missions for the Lord; that is, they can be sent
forth as Angelic Messengers.

To prove that this is so, consider the fact that in the
beginning of the Book of Revelation, we are told that John
the Beloved received the Apocalypse via the Lord's Angel.
While at first we might conclude that this was an Angel who
had never experienced Earthly life, as most people normally
assume, it isn't until the very end of the book that we are
informed that John's guide, or helper, is actually a Jewish
Prophet of the past. In other words, it appears that he was
a Departed Spirit. Consider the actual text:

"And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me,
See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy
brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for
the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
(Revelation 19:10)

"And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had
heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of
the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto
me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of
thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the
sayings of this book: worship God."
(Revelation 22:8-9)

Please take note that this Angel clearly refused to be
worshipped by John. Not only that, but twice he told John
that he was his fellowservant, that he was of the Prophets,
and that he was of his brethren, obviously meaning the Jews;
as those were the only true Prophets that there were back
then. There can be no mistake here. This Angelic Messenger
was a former Prophet of old who had been sent forth by the
Lord to deliver this powerful revelation to John. He was a
Departed Soul. Maybe his flesh body was still asleep in the
ground somewhere, but his soul, his real spiritual essence,
was actively serving the Lord. The only possible way to get
around this possibility, is to suggest that he was a part of
the Resurrection which occurred at the time of the Lord's
own Resurrection, as is described by Matthew towards the end
of his Gospel:

"And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints
which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his
resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto
many." (Matthew 27:52-53)

Please notice that this was a bodily Resurrection; it was a
reunion of body and soul; precisely as had happened to our
Lord Himself. These were not just disembodied spirits which
were seen by the Jerusalemites. Whoever these Saints were,
and however many they were, they apparently received the
full promise of Eternal Life in their Resurrected Bodies at
that very time as per the following verses. Please notice
the verse references; as this is yet another example of the
Lord's apparent like for matching numbers; as I mention in
the article 'Famous Forties: One Of God's Special Numbers?':

"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look
for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our
vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious
body, according to the working whereby he is able even to
subdue all things unto himself." (Philippians 3:20-21)

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall
appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he
is." (1 John 3:2)

Isn't that amazing? They talk about the same topic, and they
use the same numbers. As I pondered this Resurrection at the
end of the Gospel of Matthew, I began to wonder what might
have happened to these Resurrected Saints after they went
into the city of Jerusalem and performed what most certainly
must have been a very powerful witness for the unbelieving
Jews. Surely they didn't return to their graves afterward.
In His faithfulness, the Lord, by His Spirit, reminded me of
the following verse; which clearly fits into this whole idea
of a great spiritual cloud of witnesses:

"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he
was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."
(Acts 1:9)

Is it possible that this 'cloud' which received Jesus out of
the Disciples' sight was nothing less than the multitude of
Resurrected Saints who surrounded and accompanied Him as He
returned to the Heavenlies, where He remains until this
present time? If the shepherds who were told of the Lord's
Birth witnessed a multitude of Angels, then doesn't it also
seem appropriate for His followers to witness a similar
scenario at the time of our Lord's return to Heaven?

Whatever the case might be, even if John's Angel was a part
of this cloud of Resurrected Saints who returned to Heaven,
it still does not alter the truth of all of the other verses
I have presented. We still know that Paul said to be absent
from the body is to be present with the Lord; and that there
are now disembodied souls resting in Heaven under the Altar
of God; where they wait for the day in which they will be
reunited with their new improved bodies, which currently
sleep in the Earth; exactly like the Prophet Daniel:

"And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed
up and sealed till the time of the end...But go thou thy way
till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot
at the end of the days." (Daniel 12:9, 13)

"And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it
was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little
season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren,
that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."
(Revelation 6:11)

"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write,
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:
Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their
labours; and their works do follow them."
(Revelation 14:13)

What I wish to bring to your attention, is the fact that
this Departed Saint, this former Prophet of the Lord, was
what the Apostle Paul referred to as a 'Ministering Spirit'.
In the following verses, Paul informs us that God makes His
Angels spirits, who are 'sent forth to minister for them who
shall be heirs of salvation'. In other words, they are sent
forth to minister to we humans, and more specifically, to we
Christians; because we are the only heirs of Salvation that
there are. If a person doesn't accept Christ in this life,
then the only thing they can hope to inherit is the Lake of
Fire. Consider Paul's words carefully regarding these Angels
who are sent forth as Ministering Spirits:

"And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits,
and his ministers a flame of fire...Are they not all
ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who
shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:7, 14)

To what degree, and with what frequency, such spiritual
intervention is permitted to occur, is probably dependent
upon each individual situation. In some cases, it might be
limited to an Angelic Visitation, such as I have already
described for you. If we pause to consider how many such
incidents are recorded during the first four thousand years
of Biblical history; we could assume that such encounters
are extremely rare; on the other hand, if we consider the
words of the Apostle Paul when he said 'for thereby some
have entertained angels unawares', is it possible that they
are much more common than we suspect? Let us also not forget
that 'great cloud of witnesses' which encompasses us about.

Aside from the frequency of such spiritual occurrences, the
kinds of experiences, or the degree of Angelic Involvement
in our lives is also an important issue. In other words,
exactly how are these Ministering Spirits helping us? Please
pay attention to the fact that Paul specifically states that
the Lord makes His Angels spirits. In other words, God makes
His messengers spirits. Exactly what does that mean? Part of
the answer can be found in the following warning issued by
the Apostle John. Many of us are already familiar with it:

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits
whether they are of God: because many false prophets are
gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God:
Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in
the flesh is of God:" (1 John 4:1-2)

Why does John advise us to try, or test, the spirits? It is
because many false prophets are gone out into the world. How
do these false spirits manifest themselves? John gives us a
very specific answer when he employs the verb 'confess'. In
other words, spiritual beings do not just become involved in
our lives by appearing to us; they can also influence our
thoughts, emotions and actions, if we yield ourselves to
them. I talk all about this spiritual battle of thoughts and
words in such articles as 'John Lennon's Imagine And Secular
Humanism'. This is why the Apostle Paul specifically tells
us the following in his discussion on the manifestations of
the Spirit:

"And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the
prophets." (1 Corinthians 14:32)

Do you understand what Paul is really saying here? It is the
very same thing that John has told us in the previous verse;
and that is that spiritual entities, whether they be good or
evil, can use our bodies as mediums, and speak right through
us if we allow them to! Isn't this what we saw earlier with
the example of demonic possession? This may also be part of
the reason why in his Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul tells
us to keep our bodies under subjection; because our carnal
lusts and desires are influenced by spiritual forces; just
like the thoughts we think and the words we speak:

"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection:
lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I
myself should be a castaway." (1 Corinthians 9:27)

Really stop and think about this for a moment. This may
shock you, but have you really ever paused to consider what
is the true nature and origin of your thoughts? Yes, you can
blindly accept all of that nonsense taught by Freud and the
other false prophets of modern science and psychology; but
if you do, then you will fall under the very same deception
as them. What they refer to as 'psyche', or 'alter ego', or
some other fancy name, is really 'psuche'. Perhaps you will
recall that 'psuche' is the Greek word for your soul, your
spirit, your inner spiritual man, your breath of life given
to you by your Creator. In speaking about our inner man of
the Spirit, sometimes Jesus and the writers of the Bible
also referred to it as our heart, or as our belly, or as our
conscience. They weren't really referring to our heart of
flesh being a pure thing, any more than Jesus was referring
to our physical stomach. They were referring to the seat of
the Spirit; that is, to our soul. Consider these verses:

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."
(Matthew 5:8)

"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of
his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:38)

"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure
heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:"
(1 Timothy 1:5)

"Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience."
(1 Timothy 3:9)

"I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure
conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee
in my prayers night and day;" (2 Timothy 1:3)

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of
faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,
and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:22)

Just like a radio receiver, our soul, or spirit, acts as a
constant receptor to spiritual forces around us. The reason
that thoughts seem like words which we hear in our head, is
because that is exactly what they are. They are either our
own spirit speaking to us, or else God's Spirit speaking to
us, what we sometimes refer to as the voice of conscience or
the Voice of the Spirit, or else they are other voices from
other spiritual forces speaking to us. Please consider the
following interesting verses which clarify this point:

"And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in
the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."
(1 Kings 19:12)

"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This
is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand,
and when ye turn to the left." (Isaiah 30:21)

"And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD,
where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;
That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. And
he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me.
And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and
lay down. And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel
arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst
call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down
again. Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the
word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. And the LORD called
Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli,
and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli
perceived that the LORD had called the child. Therefore Eli
said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call
thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant
heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the
LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel,
Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant
heareth." (1 Samuel 3:3-10)

"And they which heard it, being convicted by their own
conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest,
even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman
standing in the midst." (John 8:9)

"Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts,
their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts
the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)"
(Romans 2:15)

So you see, whether we do evil or good, it is because we are
allowing ourselves to be influenced by the spiritual forces
around us who wish to control our thoughts, either for God,
or else for Satan. Sadly, in the case of many of the people
of the world, they have their spiritual antennas tuned in to
the wrong frequency. This fact becomes quite evident in the
physical realm when you consider what most of them watch on
the television set, what kind of movies they go to see, what
kind of videos they rent, what kind of music they like to
listen to, how they talk, how they dress, etc.; because the
physical is a manifestation of the spiritual. In fact, we
are all out of tune to God's Spirit until the day in which
we accept the Lord into our lives; and allow His Blood, and
His Word, to wash clean our spirits, to purify our hearts,
to renew our minds, and to totally regenerate our beings.
Consider the following verses:

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately
wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)

"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth
from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the
heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries,
fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are
the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen
hands defileth not a man." (Matthew 15:18-20)

"BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by
taking heed thereto according to thy word."
(Psalms 119:9)

"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto
you." (John 15:3)

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have
fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ
his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

"Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all
iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous
of good works." (Titus 2:14)

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that
good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
(Romans 12:2)

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
(Titus 3:5)

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse
your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double
minded." (James 4:8)

Once we do accept the Lord into our lives, and allow His
Word to cleanse us, to reshape us, to renew our minds, to
transform us, and to regenerate us, then we too can begin to
see beyond the outward appearances of men, and into their
hearts, into their thoughts, and into their spirits; exactly
as Jesus did. The Bible refers to this wonderful Gift of the
Spirit as Spiritual Discernment. Consider the following
verses:

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper
than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing
asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the
heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

"And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every
kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and
every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:"
(Matthew 12:25)

"But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had
the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst.
And he arose and stood forth." (Luke 6:8)

"Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast
day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles
which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them,
because he knew all men, And needed not that any should
testify of man: for he knew what was in man."
(John 2:23-25)

"To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to
another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of
tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:"
(1 Corinthians 12:10)

If we apply all of these things to Prophets and the Gift of
Prophecy, collectively-speaking, what the Apostles John and
Paul are stating, is that when one of the Lord's Prophets is
prophesying, he is allowing himself to serve as a conduit
for one of the Lord's Angels; whom God has sent forth as a
Ministering Spirit, in order to deliver a message to His
children. While it is the Prophet's mouth and tongue which
utter the message, it is really God's Agent who is doing the
speaking through the flesh of the Prophet, by directing his
thoughts; and possibly even by controlling his tongue. This
should not come as a surprise to any of us; after all, the
Bible is literally full of such examples, both good and bad;
as we have already begun to see.

In several other articles, I share the example of evil King
Ahab, his wicked false prophets, and the true Prophet of the
Lord, Micaiah. Being as the Lord knew that King Ahab would
stubbornly refuse the godly counsel given to him by Micaiah,
He purposely sent one of His Ministering Spirits to be a
lying spirit in the mouth of the false prophets. Following
are the key verses from the story:

"And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I
saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of
heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.
And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go
up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner,
and another said on that manner. And there came forth a
spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade
him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I
will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of
all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and
prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold,
the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these
thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning
thee." (1 Kings 22:19-23)

Clearly then, this spirit from God spoke through the mouths
of the false prophets. It used their bodies as a medium to
communicate a false message to the king. As I also mentioned
earlier, the New Testament contains a number of examples of
demonic oppression, or outright possession, where various
people were completely taken over by evil spirits. In some
cases it resulted in bodily afflictions and diseases such as
being deaf and dumb. Consider the following example found in
the ninth chapter of the Gospel of Mark which we looked at a
few minutes ago:

"And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have
brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And
wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth,
and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to
thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could
not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation,
how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?
bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when
he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on
the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father,
How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of
a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and
into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any
thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto
him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him
that believeth. And straightway the father of the child
cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou
mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running
together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou
dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and
enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him
sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch
that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand,
and lifted him up; and he arose." (Mark 9:17-27)

As with the false prophets of King Ahab, Jesus was also
forced to deal with evil spirits which spoke through the
mouths of their victims. One classic example is that of the
story of 'Legion'; a host of demons which possessed a man
who wandered amongst the tombs. Another involves a man in
the synagogue who harassed Jesus around the beginning of
His Ministry:

"And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the
city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no
clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When
he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and
with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus,
thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the
man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound
with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was
driven of the devil into the wilderness.) And Jesus asked
him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because
many devils were entered into him. And they besought him
that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And
there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the
mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to
enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils
out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran
violently down a steep place into the lake, and were
choked." (Luke 8:27-33)

"And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean
spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we
to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to
destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out
of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried
with a loud voice, he came out of him." (Mark 1:23-26)

In the final installment of this series, we will discuss the
Lord's warning to those who have been delivered from demonic
possession. In addition, we will also look at such topics as
Revelation's three frogs and the blasphemy of the Beast, the
Apostles' blunders, spiritual vigilance, being ghostwriters
for Jesus, Heavenly Possession, the physical effects of the
Spirit, bought with a Price, spiritual lovemaking, Herod and
Herodias, Ahab and Jezebel, John and Elijah, Jesus and
Moses, a warning regarding necromancy, and the seven sons of
Sceva. I trust that you will join me.

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