The Return Of Legion

If you were to ask someone what the symptoms of demonic possession were, they'd probably give you a list of physical characteristics that they've seen and heard from movies. While some of those symptoms are based upon reality, most of the symptoms you find in the Bible are more subtle.

We find in Matthew 12:22 a case in which the victim of demonic possession was blind and unable to speak. Obviously, not every blind mute is demon-possessed, but this was the case for the man in Matthew 12:22. In Mark 1:23-27 and Luke 4:33-36 we find a demon-possessed man infiltrating the congregation of a synagogue. When Jesus showed up, both Mark and Luke's record of the event report that the man possessed by the evil spirit screamed and cried out with a loud voice. After Jesus rebuked the demon, it convulsed the body of it's victim before throwing him down to the ground. Later in Matthew 17:14-16, Mark 9:17-18 & Luke 9:38-40, we find sadly that even children can be possessed by a demon. The most horrifying symptoms in the case of this boy were that he would throw himself into danger. He had previously thrown himself into fire, other times into bodies of water to drown. His ability to speak was also taken away, but that didn't stop him from making audible noises. He would often scream, go into convulsions, grind and gnash his teeth and then become rigidly stiff.

As if the concept of demonic possession wasn't terrifying enough, Jesus explained later in Matthew 12:43-45 and Luke 11:24-26 that a person can actually become simultaneously possessed by more than one demon. He explained that after a single demon is expelled from a man, it then wanders around until it returns back to it's victim with 7 more demons more evil than itself. Just how many times can this happen? In Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 5:1-17 & Luke 8:26-37 we find a man who had become possessed by at least 6000 demons! It's his case that I'd like to focus on before you watch the video below.

Many have tried to suggest that these classic scenarios recorded in the Bible are nothing more than a primitive culture's attempt to explain personality disorders and mental illness. It's because of that viewpoint that I believe Jesus chose to handle this next case in the way that he did to prove that these aren't cases of personality disorders or diseases of the mind, but are literal cases of demonic spirits oppressing and sometimes possessing their human victims to the point of entering their body to share their mind and in many cases, override it. Mark and Luke's record of this event was taken from memory. Matthew's record was recorded quickly by short-hand as it happened, if not soon after. Combining these three reports, we find that this particular individual had been known throughout his community. He had been possessed for a very long time, wandering around the community naked, screaming in the night, sleeping among the tombs and cutting himself with stones. The local authorities had attempted multiple times to subdue him. Nothing they had done could stop him. They had even resorted to binding him in shackles and chains, but he ripped them all apart! Apparently, super-human strength is another symptom of demonic possession when the demons have massed together. This is when Jesus chose to respond to this particular case for our educational benefit.

Mark and Luke report that instead of casting out the demons as Jesus had done before, he asked, "What is your name?" and he said, "My name is LEGION for we are many." At the time, a legion was a military company of 6000 Roman soldiers. The beings possessing this man were soldiers of Satan, and they were at least 6000 in number. But standing in the presence of Jesus, the Son of God, they shrieked in terror and begged Him, "If you cast us out, please permit us to go away into that herd of hogs over there." A herd of 2000 hogs were quietly grazing in a nearby field. Jesus gave a nod of permission. The man immediately fell down as the entire herd of 2000 hogs suddenly became violent and stampeded over a cliff to drown themselves in the sea.

The case of the demoniac who called himself, "LEGION" was a severe case that was remembered by all involved, especially the man who was healed. He desired to become a follower of Jesus after he was healed. The town that witnessed the healing became afraid of Jesus and asked him to leave. What most of them forgot however, was that this individual was accompanied by another man who was also possessed. Matthew, the short-hand stenographer managed to get that little fact recorded. Only Matthew reported that it was two who ran out of the tombs. Obviously, one of them was a tag-along, and both were healed. But it was the one who called himself "LEGION" that had become infamous.

I recently heard L.A. Marzulli mention a documentary that he saw on BBC called, "Madness In the Fast Lane" which reminded him of the Biblical case we just covered. In May of 2008 in the United Kingdom, closed-circuit TV cameras facing the M6 motorway captured what appeared to be two women strangely walking down the central reservation of the motorway. When police arrived, it was discovered that they were twin sisters from Sweden, named Ursula and Sabina. Both sisters had run into traffic, sustaining injuries after being hit by passing cars traveling 60 mph. The paramedics on their way, expected to find two women barely moving in the middle of the road, but instead found them standing on the side of the road, casually and calmly talking with the police as though nothing had happened. But then suddenly, Ursula ran into traffic again, running into the side of a semi-truck traveling close to 60 mph. The truck crushed Ursula's legs while Sabina didn't even seem to care. As the police and paramedics were in shock and attempting to respond, Sabina then also ran into traffic and was hit by a Volkswagen, rendering her unconscious. Judging from the impact on the Volkswagen's windshield, she should have died, but didn't. As paramedics ran to the aid of Sabina, then Ursula began attempting to get up and run away. Her legs were crushed and yet she didn't even seem to notice. Ursula spit profanities and argued with the paramedics when suddenly, Sabina got up and ran into traffic a 3rd time. It took more than 6 people to subdue Sabina before taking her into custody. Each of the police and paramedics said that they felt as though they were being tossed about like rag dolls. Since the film crew of Britain's "Traffic Cops" just happened to be on the scene at the time, all of this was captured on film as it happened live. When the show aired, the subject of these twins became infamous.

What followed that insane event is what inspired the creation of an hour-long documentary re-examining the initial event on the roadway and the events that followed. Neither Ursula or Sabina had a single trace of alcohol or drugs of any kind in their systems. Neither of them had any previous arrests or convictions on their record. There was no history of psychiatric/mental illness. During Sabina's time in custody, she was given a full psychiatric evaluation having pleaded guilty to trespass on the motorway and assault on a police officer. She behaved perfectly. The court sentenced her to one day in custody which she had already served, so she was let go. In less than 24 hours, she stabbed a man to death, ran away with a hammer, periodically hitting herself over the head with it, then jumped off a 40-foot high bridge, having broken both her ankles and crushed her skull. She got right up and kept running as though nothing had happened. Eventually she was captured and a lengthy trial filled with psychiatric experts went underway as no one really knew what to do. The Defense's psychiatric diagnosis for Sabina's mental condition was called, "Induced Delusional Disorder" while the Prosecution's psychiatric diagnosis was "Acute Polymorphic Psychotic Disorder".

As I watched the following documentary, I felt just as L.A. did. I felt as though I was witnessing the return of Legion. When we read those classic scenarios of demonic possession recorded in the Gospels, we tend to think of what we're reading as something that only happened then and couldn't happen now. For the sake of our own peace and comfort, we believe what we want to believe. The fact is, the 6000 demons who possessed the man who called himself "LEGION," the same demons who fled into a herd of 2000 hogs that stampeded over a cliff and into the sea, those same demons are still roaming the earth today. The appointed time that they feared has yet to come. They are still here and some of them could very well be the same demons who possessed Sabina.

The purpose of my posting this video isn't to generate fear, but to share with you my view that with each passing day, I begin to see more evidence that we are indeed living in the days that Paul warned Timothy about in 2nd Timothy 3:1-5. Paul labeled these latter days as "Perilous times." The word "Perilous" in that passage was translated from the Greek word, "chalepos" and it's never used anywhere else in the entire New Testament except for one other time. That one other time is in Matthew 8:28 to describe the nature of the one who called himself "LEGION." Don't be afraid, just be aware. This is where we are in history. Put on the whole armor of God. Be alert. Watch over the safety of your loved ones, constantly shield them and bathe them in prayer. Never forget that "He Who lives in you, is greater and mightier than he who is in the world."

(Video Content Warning: Rated R for language.)