The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

Jesus Christ: The Horror of the Demons

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The great testimony to the power of our Savior, who loves us, is that wherever he was, he was the cause of horror in the demons. They would see him and then they would cry out, they would literally scream in his presence. I know who you are. You are the son of God. Have you come here to torment us before the time? So I'm saying these things to you to encourage you to stay near him. Ancient Faith Radio and patristic nectar publications present the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with Father Josiah trenem. Father Josiah is the pastor of St Andrew Orthodox Christian Church in Riverside, California. He is also the founder of Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy...

Fathers. For more information on patristic nectar publications, please visit our website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. And now, Father Josiah, in the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit, one God, brothers and sisters, I greet you on this glorious Sunday, the fourth Sunday of the great fast, The Sunday of St John of Sinai, the author of the ladder of divine assent, one of the most beautiful and famous portions of patristic literature in the church. This sacred text is read in Orthodox monasteries all over the world. In trout is a all throughout the lent. On this Sunday we also remember the miracle of the deliverance of this this young man...

...from demon possession, and I want to speak with you for a few moments about this gospel text that you just heard. I want to remind you what life is really like. Put yourselves in the shoes of this young man's father. His son is tormented. He can't go into the market place or go shopping without the demon who is inside of his boy attempting to take his life, throwing him, sometimes into water, sometimes into fire. Can you imagine the personal torment, not just of the child, but if his emily always in a state of concern for the son's very life? We Orthodox Christians know that this is life, that there's more to the world than what you see.

The world is not just made up of the tangible, that which can be measured by science. In fact, the great part of creation is not seen by us. We confess this in the creed, do we not? I believe in one God, the Father of Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. There's two portions of creation that God has made, that which is seen by the human eye and that which is not seen. Heaven, the angels, the Human Soul, love truth, all the most beautiful things in the world are unseen and invisible, and in our secular age we need to remember that and emphasize that, not just in our lives but in our culture. Part of that unseen creation are the angelic hosts, and a part of the angelic host fell away from God, following that Cherub Lucifer, who turned his back on the Almighty and became the...

...devil and led a rebellion in heaven against God and was thrown out by the Archangel Michael and has tormented man to this day. Our Savior came to this earth, he descended from heaven and his great humility and love for man chiefly to go to combat with that personage, that evil person that we know is the devil. Saint John Puts It this way that Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, and you see it in the Gospel text. This poor boy was tormented. His parents were at their wits end. They did not know what to do and they came to Christ. And I want to remind you that we live in a world in which there are unseen forces, what Saint Paul Calls Spiritual Forces of wickedness in the heavenly places that war against...

...us. They despise God and, not being able to get to God, they go after his image, his beloved his peculiar people, His holy nation, the Church of Christ and the believers. Very important for us to remember this as we're trying to make spiritual progress in our life. We're trying to love God right, we're trying to seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness to prepare ourselves for that great day which is coming, and we can't do that unless we have a sober attitude about what stands in our way and about the opposition that we have. Some of you no doubt have read the works of that incredible twenty century Oxford Don, C S Lewis. C S Lewis has an incredible book called the screw tape letters, the screw trait letters, is a book in which C s Lewis writes as though he is a devil.

The whole book is written from the perspective of the demonic host about how to attack Christians. And in that book he makes a marvelous point by saying that the greatest work of the evil one, the greatest victory of the devil, if to convince people that he does not exist. You may think. Will why in the world with the devil be happy about people thinking that he does not exist? Because as long as we think or practically act like he does not exist, then we will not be sober, we will not take the means that are necessary to overcome him. And I'm encouraging you, brothers and sisters, from this Gospel Lesson, from the life of this young man and what happened to him, to be sober, to be sober and to recognize what's around you. I'm not asking you to be fearful, but to be sober and to take the means that are necessary in your own life to...

...resist the evil one. Saying James says, if we do that, he will flee from us. You See, in this Gospel lesson also the magnificent power of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who makes the greatest earthly power of look like weakness. We fear nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are children's toys compared to the power possessed by the Co Eternal Son of God, our Savior, that the anthropals, Jesus Christ, the God men. You know, when I was young, little, my father went on a business trip once and my mother thought it'd be knife to take the kids out to a movie. She had absolutely no idea what to see or even kind of where to go, as she asked us what we want to go? So we went to see a movie. It was a horror movie. Oh my gosh, I don't want to tell you what it was called. It was so...

...scary, heads twifting around and all sorts of weird things that when we came home we all slept in bed with my mom. I think I will twelve. We all slept in there. I still have horrible images in my head from that scary movie. And this is often the content. Demonic things are often the content of our worst movies that scare us, the most, horror films. But, brothers and sisters, as you see from the Gospel lesson today. The presence of the demons did not horrify our savior. He had absolutely no fear. The great testimony to the power of our Savior, who loves us, is that wherever he was, he was the cause of horror in the demons. They would see him and then they would cry out. They would literally scream in his presence. I know who you are, you...

...are the son of God. Have you come here to torment us before the time? This is the common cry of the demonic powers in the presence of Jesus. This is how great he is, our Savior, and this is why we not need not fear. He's crushed the powers. They are like a chicken with his head cut off, running around before the final end. So I'm saying these things to you to encourage you to stay near him. This is the way that we beat darkness. This Gospel lesson ends, brothers and sisters, with our Savior calling this father, this young man's father, to faith in action. This young man's father didn't know and have confidence in the Christ I'm preaching to you this morning. He knew about Jesus, but he wasn't sure he could help. Can you imagine? He went to Jesus...

...and he said, if you can do anything, please help. Jesus responded by to him in exasperation if the man did not know who he was talking to or what Jesus came to do. Jesus completely turned it around one hundred and eighty degrees and he pointed out to the man this is not about me, sir. Jesus showed his dominion over the demonic powers constantly. He said the question right back to the man. He said, if you have faith, all things are possible. And the man had some nice humility and he took that from Jesus and he said, Lord, I do believe. Help my unbelief, make my faith stronger. And this is what a Jesus is calling that man to and his disciples and US more sincere faith and action.

He called the father to more faith and in his name I'm asking the same of you. Renew your faith, brothers and sisters, make everything bow to it, seek to enlarge it, because the more you have, the more confidence you have in trust in your savior, the greater victory you'll have in this life and the kingdom will be yours. and His disciples responded to him and said, Lord, how come we couldn't cast this demon out? and Jesus said to them something very simple. He said this kind only comes out by prayer and fasting. If we want some power against evil, if we want to make some progress in our own lives, to get near Christ, to experience his deliverance in our own hearts, in our families lives, we...

...need to heed our saviors called to faith in action. Seek to increase your faith and use these holy days of great lent, with prayer and fasting, these great tools, two wings, St John Chrysostomo says, that enable us to fly right to heaven. God Give You, God give you the heart to respond to our Savior's message to this man, increase your faith and motivate you to make the spiritual effort in prayer and fafting that will bring you deliverance to the glory of the Holy Trinity. An you've been listening to a presentation of ancient faith radio and patristic nectar publications, the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with Father Josiah trenum. Father Josiah is the pastor of St Andrew Orthodox Christian Church in Riverside, California. He is also the founder of Patristic Nectar...

Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. For more information on patristic nectar publications, please visit our website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. Again, that's www dot patristic nectar dot org. Until next time,.

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