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. Mark 5:1–3 NKJV

The Gadarene (1)

“An unclean spirit.” The demons are generally called unclean spirits. That tells us that Satan’s activities are principally unclean. Everything that Satan does to entice or tempt people will lead them to a behavior that is unclean. There are good spirits, the angels. But the demons are fallen angels that fell with Satan in his rebellion and they are unclean. Let us not forget: if Satan entices us, what he has in mind is unclean in the eyes of God.

“He lives in the tombs.” The man lived among the tombs which further shows the aspect of uncleanness. According to the Law, the man was unclean: “Whoever in the open field touches one who is slain by a sword or who has died, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days” (Num. 19:16). The life of the sinner is a life that is overshadowed by death: “A person who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead” (Prov. 21:16 nasb). Some of those in bondage to the occult actually even gather in graveyards. For man under the bondage of Satan, there is no hope; death is lingering over everything.

Only the Lord Jesus can liberate man from this bondage and give him hope and a future and life—eternal life. What a blessing it is to know the Redeemer who can free us from all the bondage of Satan. For the believer, death never has the last word. It is no threat to him. He knows what follows after death. If he dies, he will be with Christ. If the Lord comes soon—the Christian’s blessed hope—he will not see death at all.

Michael Vogelsang