Dealing with your legion – sermon by Pastor Don Moore

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dealing with your Legion by Pastor Don Moore

The closed captioning script of Pastor Don Moore’s sermon at Living Word Chapel, West Hurley, NY.  Remember that what is in [brackets] is what the congregation says.  I slightly edited it for readability.

Have a blessed day,


SHOW 128

Alright, let’s go.  In the fifth chapter of the book of Mark.  There are a number of great stories and all, but this particular one is very famous and we usually look at it in terms of what happened to the man who had all the demons.  It’s called the demoniac of the Gadarenes or Gadara.  And we want to look at it, but I want you to take a little bit different slant to this thing.  I want you to view it and put yourself in it so that you can improve, so that you can get better.  I noticed that when I read it last night, I put myself in it and I found something and I think that it’ll help you as well.

So, in the beginning of the fifth chapter, it says, “Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.  And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains.  And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him.  And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.  When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped Him.  And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?  I implore You by God  that You do not torment me.”  For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”  “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!“”

Today I want to minister to you from the idea that God is speaking to all of us.  [amen]  To have the unclean spirits come out of us.  To call the unclean spirits, come out of us.  We get so holy and righteous in the Church that we always want to posit that someone else is troubled by an unclean spirit, but we’re good to go.  The reality of the situation is you’re sitting here now because you know you have not always been good to go.  [amen]  Well, a few of you will be honest to admit it.  But most of you are crazy anyway.  [laughter]  And the rest of you that won’t admit that you’re crazy, already been crazy, so we just know you got some stuff going on and all of it is not clean.  Well, glory.

There’s some unclean stuff going on in all of us, in thought or in deed.  The difficult thing is that that spirit cannot be driven out from us unless we come in cooperation with the concept that first of all, we have some struggles.  And then second of all, we’ve met the Man who can do something about our struggles.  Well, glory to God.  I’m not on the attack.  I’m trying to get you set free.  But the one who must give you the command to set you free is not external to you.  That person is internal to you.  You must give the command to be set free.  You must give that, and God, by His Spirit, comes in agreement with it and then drives away your unclean spirits.

This will be useful to you today only if you would come in agreement with the fact that you ain’t all that.  That you do have some bad decision making that is going on.  You have gone left when you should have gone right.  You have stood up when you should have sat down.  You should have turned around and walked away from some situations and things and people, and you stayed there and went to war with them, only to find out that it was a waste of time and a distraction.  You have permitted sickness in your body and come in agreement with it when you should have cast it out by a Word.  All of these things are true.  You have experienced sadness that was a direct result of the actions that you took and the things that you thought.  You have created some problems where there was peace and you were the disruptive factor in it.  You have created alienation.  By virtue of your activity and of your mind you have created and caused people to be alienated from you on circumstances and situations to boil over to a point that you did not want to take credit for it, but the reality is that if we look at the circumstance and situation you were the root cause of the problem, but you just have found somebody else to blame.

Can we move on today?  [ok]  Those people are not here today.  [laughter]  I’m speaking to somebody else in TV land.  It’s not you.  Yeah, you are innocent, little thing you.  [laughter, don’t think so]  Yeah, yeah, right?  How are we doing?  Everybody alright?  Just smile at your neighbor so they’ll know I’m not talking about you.

So, let’s break this down and look at it from a self viewpoint, from looking inward, from examining ourselves.  Everybody believes that we should from time to time check us out, you would agree with me, say, “Yo!”  [yo!]  Alright, alright, that’s all I need, just a little encouragement here.  “Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.”  So, right there, we need to realize we are already living in the world, in a country that has crazy folk in it.  [yeah, come on now]

Verse 2.  I’m going to break this down verse by verse, I have rehearsed.  In verse 2, “And when He had come out of the boat,…”  This is Jesus, is getting out of the boat.  “…immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,…”

I don’t know about you, but I can remember when Jesus got out of the boat in my life.  I can remember very clearly where I was.  I remember what I was doing.  I remembered I was living an unclean life and there were unclean spirits in me.  And then, I realize that Jesus had gotten out of the boat, and had come ashore right where I lived.  [come on]  And I realize that, my goodness, there was nothing wrong with Jesus, so if there was a problem here, and something was wrong, I had to accept the fact that the unclean spirit was with me and not with Him.  [amen]

See, sometimes we want to blame Jesus for everything.  Where is He?  Jesus has left me.  He’s gone on vacation.  Where is He in this circumstance, in this situation?  Well, guess what.  He got out of the boat and He’s on your shore.  And He’s looking for you.  And He hasn’t gone anywhere.  He’s come to you.  He has arrived at the place that you’re at, and He is waiting to see what you have to say.

So, this madman, realizes that Jesus has gotten out of the boat, and it says that He was met, and notice that it said, “…he came out of the tombs…”  He came out of the tombs.  When Jesus stands on your shore, you have to recognize that you just came up out of a tomb… What is a tomb?  A tomb is a place of death, isn’t it?  A tomb is a place of death.  And how often have we had death thoughts?  Darkness?  Been surrounded by death and darkness?  How often have we come to Jesus and had to realize that a lot of the things that we were thinking and believing, we had just come out of a tomb?  A death thought?

How often has a husband looked at his wife and said the only thing wrong here is you?  [hmn, hmn, hmn]  You’re my problem.  If it wasn’t for you, I’d be handsome and rich, famous,… and a liar.  [laughter]  How often have we done it?  It’s coming from a place of death.  When we come up out of this place of darkness, where we somehow posture ourselves as perfection, Lord have mercy, I’m trying to reach somebody here.  When you come up out of a place of I’m the only one right here, and there’s something wrong with you, you’ve come from a place of death.  You’ve come from a place of darkness, a place of lie.

I used to go around, “Boy I wish my wife would get saved.”  See, Jesus was out of the boat and I was coming to Him, but I was coming from a place of death, and I was like, “I wish my wife would get it together.”  You know what the Spirit of the Lord said to me?  “I saved you, didn’t I?”  [amen]  Some of you didn’t get that.  He was reminding me that my tomb that I was in that He saved me from, He could save her from that same tomb as soon as things were ready and in place.  [amen]  And that I was not so wonderful that I had saved myself.  [laughter]  That I, somehow, had walked into the light of salvation because why?  I was all goodness and light.  No, I came up out of a tomb.  With what?  With unclean spirits.

Well, what does an unclean spirit look like, Pastor Don?  You want to hear one of the worst unclean spirits?  “That ain’t going to work….That can’t happen … God ain’t going to do that for me…And He sure enough ain’t going to do it for you.”  [laughter]  How about this one?  “I was born poor, I’m always going to be poor.”  That’s an unclean spirit.  You know?  Here’s another one.  “They’re just against me.”  One thing I didn’t like about growing up in the black Baptist church was the religion, the religion of persecution.  We had a religious thinking of persecution, that if whitie wasn’t against us, the devil was against us.  And so, if you had whitie and the devil against you, you didn’t have a chance.  You were just black and pitiful, and that’s the way you were always going to be.

So, we’d be singing songs like, (singing) “Go down Moses, way down in Israel land.  Tell old pharaoh, let my people go.”  What are you talking about?  Man, you know, and (singing) “Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya.”  You know what that means?  Come by here, Lord.  See, we were so unworthy, we were so black and pitiful, we were so unworthy that we had to say, “Lord, would you consider coming by here?”  [laughter] (singing) “When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.  When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.”  You’re a loosing, lying dog, you ain’t going to shout.  If you can’t shout now, you ain’t going to shout then! [laughter] What are you waiting for, you waiting to die to get Jesus.  I mean, some of those songs are just death.  They were just tombs, unclean spirits, and we just wouldn’t analyze what does the song say?  The song is saying, be miserable now, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.  There’s supposed to be heartache, pain and misery.  The more you suffer, the better it is for you.  What?  What?

There’s only one kind of suffering you’re supposed to do now down here.  And that is persecution.  You’re not supposed to sign up for poverty.  You’re not supposed to sign up for death.  You’re not supposed to sign up for disease.  The only thing you have to sign up for is persecution.  Meaning, you should be doing so good as a Christian, that the heathen can’t stand you…. Well, I’m just preaching the truth here, whether you like it or not.  You know what I mean?  It says that God should be blessing you so much, that the heathen look at you, wonder why you’re blessed, and they persecute you for it.  You should be smiling and happy, so much, that they go, listen, don’t you know this is a recession?  [laughter]  What are you so happy about?  And you should be saying, “I’m happy because the joy of the Lord is in my heart.  I’m happy because it’s only money.  I’m happy because it’s only a roof on a house.  I’m happy because I am so blessed, I can go bankrupt 14 times and God’ll raise me up 15 times.”  [yeah!!!]  What are you talking about?  I could lose this house, I can get four more houses.  [amen]  Better than the last one.  What are you talking about?

(singing)  “I got shoes, you got shoes, all God’s children got shoes.”  Now, this is the word I hate.  When?  (singing) “When I get to heaven, I’m gonna put on my shoes.”  Why didn’t you put them shoes on now!  [laughter]  You’re supposed to be walking in the glory that says, “Beautiful are the feet of those who spread the Gospel.”  Why are you going to wait until when?  (singing) “When I get to Heaven, gonna put on my shoes.  I’m gonna walk all over God’s Heaven.”   You need to be walking all over His earth.  [come on!]  Practicing for walking all over His Heaven.  [yeah!]  What are you talking about?

I’m glad, Lord, I’m glad you sent me here today.  Some of them ain’t so happy but I am.  Listen, you’re supposed to be happy now.  Why would you postpone your life?  Your joy, your fulfillment.  “I could be happy if I had a job at IBM.”  What are you talking about?  Their shipping those IBM jobs everywhere but your house.  You know, I mean, come on.

Look at verse 3.  I’m talking to some of you all.  “…who had his dwelling among the tombs;…”  Had his dwelling among the tombs.  I don’t know about you, but only a couple of times a week I turn on the news and see what’s going on.  Cause why?  That’s the tombs.  [amen]  I don’t need to know every bad thing that’s happening in the news.  You know, it’s all bad news, 99.9% of it’s bad news.  Occasionally they’ll tell you somebody was happy.  [laughter]  And they are happy because what looked like a bomb didn’t turn out to be a bomb, so now they’re happy.  [laughter]  The rest of the time, you know, they aren’t telling you nothing.  They’ll tell you every rock star’s getting a divorce, or whatever.

They’re not putting me and my wife on TV.  We have 40 years of happy married life.  Where’s my testimony?  [applause]  What are you talking about?  My goodness.  Stop living in the tombs.  Michael Jackson is not one of the apostles.  [laughter]  Case you were wondering.  I just want to clarify that, just for the record.  [laughter]  Just for the record.  I just want to keep things straight here.

The world has nothing for us.  The world is the marketplace of destruction. It’s a tomb…I said, it’s a tomb.  [yeah it is!]  Stop watching Geraldo and this other guy, Springer, Stinger,  what is his name? [Springer]  What are you, crazy?  If you watch that show and it makes you feel better to find out that there’s that much insanity in the world, something’s wrong with you.  [laughter]  I’ll watch it just to see how crazy people can be.  It’s a tomb!  [laughter]  You got that insanity in your house.  Why do you need to turn it on TV too?  [laughter]  It’s ridiculous.  My goodness.  You know, you just got to figure out some things for yourself.

And so, we are wandering around, dwelling in these tombs, and notice what it says.  “…and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains.  And the chains…”  watch this now, “…were pulled apart…” how?  [by him]

When someone comes with the answer, and then we put the answer down, or we get an attitude because we don’t know it…listen, one of the greatest things that you need to realize.  If somebody says something and it upsets you, you need to first examine yourself and say, why did that upset me?  Not start pulling apart their chain and start getting mad at them and arguing with them and all.  You need to ask, why did I get so upset about that?  How come that was a successful weapon against me?  [oh, yeah]  You know, somebody yells at me, “Pastor Don, your homophobic…Pastor Don, your a racist….Pastor Don, your a capitalist…Pastor Don, your a short guy…Pastor Don….”  None of that bothers me.  What are you talking about?  How many people in this room can dunk a basketball?  [laughter]  Can you dunk Willie?  Ok, so there’s one guy in here that can out dunk me.  [laughter]  I’m not offended by that.

But what I’m saying is we need to realize these are shackles and bonds.  There are things that we think that keep us tied up.  We’re looking for enemies under every rock rather than the chain breaker, not an enemy.  We’re looking for somebody that can break these chains and set me free from my wrong thinking.  Set me free from my prejudicial mindset.  Set me free!  [amen] but what it says is, you can’t get free, not because freedom isn’t available, but because you have bound yourself.  And you have accepted the chains.  You have accepted the limitations upon you.  You have accepted that the television says we’re in a recession and everybody’s going to be poor, homeless and out on the streets.  You have accepted talk down mentality.

That somehow when you look in the mirror, you don’t do like Pastor Don.  I say, “God lives inside this man.  I walk in divine health.”  I come away thinking and believing I look good.  I look good on Monday, I look good on Tuesday, sometimes on Sundays I’m a little shaky, but other than that, I look good everyday.  [amen]

You gotta have that dignity in yourself to realize that you are bound, you’re bound, Revlon’s lying to you ladies.  You look good with or without their products.  [laughter]  What are you talking about?  Come on ladies, [yeah!]  I’m trying to help you.  [clapping and laughter]  Wash your hair, get out, shake it and let it kink up you look good.  [laughter]  You can’t comb it, but you look good.  [laughter]  Let’s move on.  Let’s move on.  I’m trying to help you crazy people.

Look what He says here.  Look at verse 5.  “And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.”  Can I help you with this?  [yes]  When are you going to start examining your daydreams?  In your daydreams, you’re in these high, lofty mountains, you’re in these high, lofty places.  But you’re still in a tomb.  It’s good to daydream, but you better be daydreaming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That’s high and lofty thinking, that has a point to it.

People coming into a fantasy about what they are and what they aren’t and just living in the mountains of their mind.  But have you examined the mountains of your mind?  Some of us have never taken a thought captive.  You know I have a teaching tape. I’m going to make it available again.  It’s called, “Think about what you’re thinking about.”  Most of us walk around all day, our minds are thinking but we never stop and go, what am I thinking about?  [laughter]  If you’re thinking in the tombs or in high, lofty mountain places, you need to examine that and make it obedient to Christ and say, “What was I just thinking?” What am I thinking about?  What am I thinking about?  Cause you can be doing your job at work and thinking evil thoughts about people.  You can be doing your job and thinking they are all out to get me.  Because why?  That’s mountain thinking.  You’re just in the cobwebs of your mind.

Can I go on a little further?  How are you all doing?  I’m ready to close here.  It says, he’s in the tombs crying out.  Look at that.  Crying out.  You need to examine if you’re pathetic… Doesn’t make you a bad person.  You’re just pathetic.  [laughter]  You know.  You’re just pitiful.  That means you’re just full of pity.  So you just walk around all day doing what?  Crying out.  And it says, day and night, night and day.  If you pick on yourself long enough, if you get depressed enough, long enough it says, cutting himself with stones.

I looked that “stones” up.  Do you know what it talks about?  It says, cutting yourself with little rocks.  Little sharp rocks.  Little sharp rocks.  Coming against yourself with little sharp criticisms.  Stabbing your wife with little sharp criticisms.  Little things that you thought she should do and she didn’t do them, but your problem is you’re pathetic, so you just want to attack her and make her the fault of your sadness.

I always love this one.  “I’d marry her but…”  And I’d go, “But what?”  And the guy always goes, “If she’d get her act together.”  And I always go, “What if she used that same criterion on you?  What if her criteria was she’s waiting for you to get your act together?” …  It’s easy to feel superior to other people, cause you can cut them up because they make mistakes.  But the truly superior person is the one who, even though they could cut you up, lifts you up.  Brings glory into the situation.  [amen]  Makes you feel fabulous.

How many of you people ever seen my wife?  She floats into a room.  You know, she’s got so much dignity and grace, she just floats into a room.  Well, why is that?  Cause for 40 years, I’ve been telling her she’s all that…You know, she’s starting to believe it.  [laughter]  I’m afraid when she believes it, she’ll throw me over.  I mean, say, “You know, I’ve been with you 40 years, and you ain’t good enough for me.”  [laughter, never happen]  My God.  Glory to God.

Now, look at verse 6.  “When he saw Jesus from afar…”  that’s a position we all get in.  We all have these unclean spirits in us, and then we see Jesus from afar.  And that’s because we got these unclean spirits of pornography and sexual lust and so forth.  And all of a sudden, though, from afar, we see Jesus.  But look it, this guy did the right thing.  Even though he felt Jesus was afar off, he ran to Jesus.

You know, good preaching like this, next Sunday there will be some people who won’t come back, cause they’ll feel like I picked on them purposely.  But they won’t examine themselves, in the light of it.  They’ll just stay away a few Sundays, but guess what, next Sunday I’ll be preaching something totally different so you don’t have to worry.  [laughter]  In all the year’s I’ve been preaching, I’ve only preached one sermon twice.  And that was only because a particular pastor asked me, would you minister that same thing in my house.  Other than that, I bring fresh manna all the time.  [that’s right]  If you don’t believe it, go in that room there, I got hundreds and hundreds of tapes, and you just don’t find oh, a repeat of 2004.  Because I believe God’s got something fresh for you all the time.  [amen]

But some people will run from Jesus, rather than run to Jesus.  And so, he says, run to Jesus and do what?  [worship Him]  Run to Him and do what?  [worship Him]  Worship Him.  “And he cried out with a loud voice….”  A what voice?  [loud voice]  “…loud voice, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son…” And he gives him praise, “…Son of the Most High God?  I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”

Jesus is not in the tormenting business.   Jesus is in the glorification business.  He wants to raise you up and glorify you in His Name.  He wants you to come up out of the tombs, come down off your high mountain that you’ve built.  He wants you to open your heart, your mind and your ears, and realize that you are an unclean person who has unclean spirits.  That you’re not all that.  You’re not a perfect version of light and knowledge and intelligence.  You’re just broken, busted, and disgusted just like the rest of us, and that if you would confess it, run to Jesus and worship Him, guess what He’ll do?  He will help your unclean spirits leave.  He will bring you into a mindset of sanity.  He will clean up all the cobwebs and confusion of your mind.  He will break loose in your finances.  He will break loose in your love life.  He will break loose in your success, in your job. He will bust onto the frontier of your hopes and dreams and He will establish Himself and He will raise you up, to sit next to Him on His throne. That’s the God I serve!  [applause]  I said, that’s the God I serve!

About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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