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The man had thought that his pursuit of pleasure was just harmless fun.  When finally, he would have given anything to escape his finful life, it was too late.  Satan had taken complete control.  It will be the same for all who surrender to evil ~ their search for thrills and pleasure will end in addiction, despair, and madness.  The same evil spirit that possessed this man also controlled the Jewish priests and leaders.  It gave them a sense of godliness, as if they were holy and all others were unclean.  They were even more hopeless than the possessed man, because they felt no need for Jesus at all.  They could have found protection in the Scriptures, but the way they twisted the words robbed them of their power against Satan.  

During these years of Jesus’ ministry, Satan worked furiously to control the bodies and minds of humans.  Likewise in the future, at the time of the final conflict, as Jesus’ followers take His message of love and hope to the whole world, Satan and his demons will work harder than ever to confuse and deceive humans.  

The leaders and teachers in Israel neglected their only protection from evil spirits ~ the Word of God.  Jesus used Scripture to defeat Satan in the desert.  The Jewish leaders twisted God’s Word to say things God never intended.  They argued over trivial things and ignored important truths.  So God’s Word lost its power and evil spirits had their way.  

History is repeating itself.  Religious leaders today dissect God’s Word and twist it with their own opinions until honest seekers turn away in disgust.  Without the truths of God’s Word to protect them, people are opening themselves to be controlled by demons.  As spiritualism becomes more and more acceptable in our society and in our churches, many are being lured into contact with mysterious “higher powers or beings.”  As their defenses are broken down, they give up control of their own will.  

But their situation is NOT hopeless ~ through faith in the promises of God’s Word, anyone can be freed from the traps they have fallen into.  No person is ever so trapped, so tied down by evil, that Jesus cannot set him or her free.  The cry of a person in need ~ even unspoken ~ will always be heard.  Often Jesus would spend the whole night praying, and then return to His work at sunrise.  Quietly and gently, like the dawn of a new day, He worked to push back the darkness and wake the world to a new life.  


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