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Senior Pastor Phil Roland


Pastor Ray Scott


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          We live in a culture that is obsessed with death. Our movie  industry has preoccupied us for almost a century with Werewolves, Vampires and Frankenstein's. Since television's advent, Death themed shows, dramas and even sit-coms have ruled the airways. They keep running and re-running The Walking Dead series. Not to mention TV police shows about forensic autopsies with close ups of grotesque mutilated corpses.

          Part of the obsession with death is about the decay and decomposition that occurs after a person dies. Our culture is so morbid we actually celebrate death each Fall with Samhain the Druid Festival of Death. We call it Halloween.

          There is a lot of denial about the reality of aging and death. We pay Cosmetic / Plastic surgeons who attempt to roll back the years of life to make us appear young again. In the funerary embalming industry we Cosmetize our loved one's corpses. We give their hair perfect Coffs to look good for their final viewing by loved ones. We probably have the most beautiful corpses than anywhere on the planet. However, they are still dead.

          John the Beloved puts it this way:


15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.    1 John 2:15-17


John is reminding us of what we already know. We are created by God a living spirit. We live temporarily in a body and one day soon we will vacate this earthly tent of flesh. We will pull its stakes, fold it up, leave it and move on.

          My sermon this morning is a sober reminder not to place too much emphasis on these frail, temporary tents of flesh. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He is coming soon.


Pastor Phil  <><<


January 29, 2017 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland   <><<



MARK 5:1-14

"God is calling His people out of the Defilement of Death and into His Life. Our obsessions keep us dwelling constantly on temporal things that are dust. Jesus is calling us into His Abundant life."                  Pastor Phil  <><<


3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.   Colossians 3:3


20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.     Galatians 2:20


This event in Jesus' life took place near the town of Gersea on the Eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee.  In the county of Gadera. Today's text is referred to as the Healing of the Demoniac.



Jesus is the Master of the Deep - He has authority over wind and wave

Jesus is the Master of the Demoniac - Demons flee from His Presence

Jesus is the Master of Disease - He is simply touched by the woman with     the Issue of Blood and she is healed

Jesus is the Master of Death - He raises Jairus' daughter from Death


Three things about the Demoniac. . .


2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains,


            A. Jewish Law forbade even touching a dead body - Numbers 19:11
   11 'He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days.

                        1. Hebrew culture associated Death with Uncleanness

                        2. Anything that was less-than-perfect was Unclean

            B. In Israel today you'll notice that graves are outside the city

                        1. The dead were placed outside the camp in the wilderness

                                    a. The less-than-perfect Lepers lived Outside the Cities

                                    b. Blasphemers were stoned to death Outside the Cities

                        2. Anything outside the city was considered a threat/defiled

            C. The Demoniacs' Defilement was caused by the Devil

                        1. He was helpless and ruled by Satan, his Master

                        2. His body became home to a Legion of Demons

                        3. A Roman Legion was about 5,000

                        4. It is astounding that so many would occupy one person

            D. Technically, Every person who doesn't have Christ is defiled



The Second thing about the Demoniac. . .


4 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.

      A. Cemeteries and Chains - were both associated with Depravity

            1. The tormented man had his living among the Dead

            2. The stench of decaying bodies from above the ground tombs

            3. This ambience was familiar to him

      B. His Demonic Depravity drove him from the city

            1. The depravity of sin isolates us from healthy people

            2. We are cut off and alone under the Devil's influence

      C. People chained him to restrain him from hurting himself or others

            1. Chains bound him, but the Legion within him were more powerful

            2. He was incorrigible, untamable, unpredictable: a wild man

      D. That describes our own state without Christ in our lives

            1. We were out-of-control: dangerous to ourselves and others

            2. We were bound by the chains of self-destructive habits

            3. As John Calvin put it, We were totally depraved

            4. Even in the imagination of our hearts was evil continually - Gen. 6

      E. Before Christ we walked in Darkness craving the things of darkness


The Third Thing about the Demoniac. . .


5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him.

            A. One author called him the Terrible Tombstone Terrorist

                        1. Imagine the Terror of this man

                                    a. Naked - Out-of-control-Running wildly - Unpredictable

                                    b. A Wildman covered with blood and scars

                        2. Screaming in his torment

                        3. Cutting himself - Demons love depravity and defilement

            B. The Demoniac was at the end of himself

                        1. God cannot operate in your life until you become desperate

                        2. Full of Self you have no awareness of your own extremity

                        3. He saw Jesus as his last and only hope

                                    a. He didn't need a Psychiatrist, Preacher or Priest

                                    b. He didn't need another Pill

                                    c. He didn't need a Church Program

                        4. Jesus has always been mankind's antidote for Sin

                        5. Run to Jesus, submit and worship Jesus and Him alone

            C. We are Defiled, Depraved and Desperate

            D. Where is the good News in my Message?



Our National Obsession With Death. . .


7 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." 8 For He said to him, "Come out of the man, unclean spirit!"

      A. Before Jesus we were obsessed with Death like the Demoniac

            1. We hung out with the dead

            2. We lived in dead places

            3. We handled dead things

            4. We thought about dead things

      B. We found Jesus and His Salvation and left dead things behind

            1. When we find Jesus we get his life - 1 John 5:12

                12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does SWnot have life.

            2. With His Life in you, you can distinguish between life and death

            3. You can discern between the Living and the Dead

      C. With Jesus New Life in us we give up valuing Dead Things

            1. We give up Gossip

            2. We give up our need for artificial Mood Lifts

                  a. Substance Abuse, Pot, Drugs, Alcohol

                  b. Human Activities of all kinds

                  c. Selfishness - Idolatry, the worship of self

      D. God has called us out of the Tombs and into Life

      E. Have you been Called from Death to Life in Christ?