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Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

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Satan Absolved

(In the antechamber of Heaven. Satan walks alone. Angels in groups conversing.)
Satan. To--day is the Lord's ``day.'' Once more on His good pleasure
I, the Heresiarch, wait and pace these halls at leisure
Among the Orthodox, the unfallen Sons of God.
How sweet in truth Heaven is, its floors of sandal wood,
Its old--world furniture, its linen long in press,
Its incense, mummeries, flowers, its scent of holiness!
Each house has its own smell. The smell of Heaven to me
Intoxicates and haunts,--and hurts. Who would not be
God's liveried servant here, the slave of His behest,
Rather than reign outside? I like good things the best,
Fair things, things innocent; and gladly, if He willed,
Would enter His Saints' kingdom--even as a little child.

[Laughs. I have come to make my peace, to crave a full amaun,
Peace, pardon, reconcilement, truce to our daggers--drawn,
Which have so long distraught the fair wise Universe,
An end to my rebellion and the mortal curse
Of always evil--doing. He will mayhap agree
I was less wholly wrong about Humanity
The day I dared to warn His wisdom of that flaw.
It was at least the truth, the whole truth, I foresaw
When He must needs create that simian ``in His own
Image and likeness.'' Faugh! the unseemly carrion!
I claim a new revision and with proofs in hand,
No Job now in my path to foil me and withstand.
Oh, I will serve Him well!
[Certain Angels approach. But who are these that come
With their grieved faces pale and eyes of martyrdom?
Not our good Sons of God? They stop, gesticulate,
Argue apart, some weep,--weep, here within Heaven's gate!
Sob almost in God's sight! ay, real salt human tears,
Such as no Spirit wept these thrice three thousand years.
The last shed were my own, that night of reprobation
When I unsheathed my sword and headed the lost nation.
Since then not one of them has spoken above his breath
Or whispered in these courts one word of life or death
Displeasing to the Lord. No Seraph of them all,
Save I this day each year, has dared to cross Heaven's hall
And give voice to ill news, an unwelcome truth to Him.
Not Michael's self hath dared, prince of the Seraphim.
Yet all now wail aloud.--What ails ye, brethren? Speak!
Are ye too in rebellion? Angels. Satan, no. But weak
With our long earthly toil, the unthankful care of Man.

Satan. Ye have in truth good cause.

Angels. And we would know God's plan,
His true thought for the world, the wherefore and the why
Of His long patience mocked, His name in jeopardy.

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I Saw It Myself (Short Verse Drama)

Dramatis Personae: Adrian, his wife Ester, his sisters Rebecca and Johanna, his mother Elizabeth, the high priest Chiapas, the disciple Simon Peter, the disciple John, Mary Magdalene, worshipers, priests, two angels and Jesus Christ.

Act I

Scene I.- Adrian’s house in Jerusalem. Adrian has just returned home after a business journey in Galilee, in time to attend the Passover feast. He sits at the table with his wife Ester and his sisters, Rebecca and Johanna. It’s just before sunset on the Friday afternoon.

Adrian. (Somewhat puzzled) Strange things are happening,
some say demons dwell upon the earth,
others angelic beings, miracles take place
and all of this when they had put a man to death,
had crucified a criminal. Everybody knows
the cross is used for degenerates only!

Rebecca. (With a pleasant voice) Such harsh words used,
for a good, a great man brother?
They say that without charge
he healed the sick, brought back sight,
cured leprosy, even made some more food,
from a few fishes and loafs of bread…

Adrian. (Somewhat harsh) They say many things!
That he rode into Jerusalem
to be crowned as the new king,
was a rebel against the state,
even claimed to be
the very Son of God,
now that is blasphemy
if there is no truth to it!

Johanna. I met him once.
He’s not the man
that you make him, brother.
There was a strange tranquilly to Him.
Some would say a divine presence,
while He spoke of love that is selfless,
visited the sick, the poor
and even the destitute, even harlots.

Adrian. (Looks up) There you have it!
Harlots! Tax collecting thieves!
A man is know by his friends,
or so they say and probably
there is some truth to it.

Ester. Husband, do not be so quick to judge.
I have seen Him myself, have seen
Roman soldiers marching Him to the hill
to take His life, with a angry crowd
following and mocking Him.

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The Cenci : A Tragedy In Five Acts

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ

Count Francesco Cenci.
Giacomo, his Son.
Bernardo, his Son.
Cardinal Camillo.
Orsino, a Prelate.
Savella, the Pope's Legate.
Olimpio, Assassin.
Marzio, Assassin.
Andrea, Servant to Cenci.
Nobles, Judges, Guards, Servants.
Lucretia, Wife of Cenci, and Step-mother of his children.
Beatrice, his Daughter.

The Scene lies principally in Rome, but changes during the Fourth Act to Petrella, a castle among the Apulian Apennines.
Time. During the Pontificate of Clement VIII.


ACT I

Scene I.
-An Apartment in the Cenci Palace.
Enter Count Cenci, and Cardinal Camillo.


Camillo.
That matter of the murder is hushed up
If you consent to yield his Holiness
Your fief that lies beyond the Pincian gate.-
It needed all my interest in the conclave
To bend him to this point: he said that you
Bought perilous impunity with your gold;
That crimes like yours if once or twice compounded
Enriched the Church, and respited from hell
An erring soul which might repent and live:-
But that the glory and the interest
Of the high throne he fills, little consist
With making it a daily mart of guilt
As manifold and hideous as the deeds
Which you scarce hide from men's revolted eyes.


Cenci.
The third of my possessions-let it go!
Ay, I once heard the nephew of the Pope
Had sent his architect to view the ground,
Meaning to build a villa on my vines
The next time I compounded with his uncle:
I little thought he should outwit me so!

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Big Ideas

I've had these jeans since i was born
And now they're ripped and now they're torn
And all my friends have skateboards
I want the toys of other boys
I want a knife and a gun and things
But mom and dad will not give in
And i can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
I can't put the needle in
No I can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
And now I know just what it is
It's called disease and it's got my head
It always runs where I hide
Too scared too talk, too scared to try
Too scared to know the reasons why
And all my friends say bye bye
And i can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
No I can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
And i can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
No I can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in

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Faithless, The Wonder Boy

I've had these jeans since i was born
And now they're ripped and now they're torn
And all my friends have skateboards
I want the toys of other boys
I want a knife and a gun and things
But mom and dad will not give in
And i can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
I can't put the needle in
No i can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
And now i know just what it is
It's called disease and it's got my head
It always runs where i hide
Too scared too talk, too scared to try
Too scared to know the reasons why
And all my friends say bye bye
And i can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
No i can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
And i can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
No i can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in
Can't put the needle in

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Faithless Wonder Boy

Ive had these jeans since I was born
And now theyre ripped and now theyre torn
And all my friends have skateboards
I want the toys of other boys
I want a knife and a gun and things
But mom and dad will not give in
And I cant put the needle in
Cant put the needle in
I cant put the needle in
No I cant put the needle in
Cant put the needle in
Cant put the needle in
And now I know just what it is
Its called disease and its got my head
It always runs where I hide
Too scared too talk, too scared to try
Too scared to know the reasons why
And all my friends say bye bye
And I cant put the needle in
Cant put the needle in
Cant put the needle in
No I cant put the needle in
Cant put the needle in
Cant put the needle in
And I cant put the needle in
Cant put the needle in
Cant put the needle in
No I cant put the needle in
Cant put the needle in
Cant put the needle in

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John Milton

Paradise Regained

THE FIRST BOOK

I, WHO erewhile the happy Garden sung
By one man's disobedience lost, now sing
Recovered Paradise to all mankind,
By one man's firm obedience fully tried
Through all temptation, and the Tempter foiled
In all his wiles, defeated and repulsed,
And Eden raised in the waste Wilderness.
Thou Spirit, who led'st this glorious Eremite
Into the desert, his victorious field
Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence 10
By proof the undoubted Son of God, inspire,
As thou art wont, my prompted song, else mute,
And bear through highth or depth of Nature's bounds,
With prosperous wing full summed, to tell of deeds
Above heroic, though in secret done,
And unrecorded left through many an age:
Worthy to have not remained so long unsung.
Now had the great Proclaimer, with a voice
More awful than the sound of trumpet, cried
Repentance, and Heaven's kingdom nigh at hand 20
To all baptized. To his great baptism flocked
With awe the regions round, and with them came
From Nazareth the son of Joseph deemed
To the flood Jordan--came as then obscure,
Unmarked, unknown. But him the Baptist soon
Descried, divinely warned, and witness bore
As to his worthier, and would have resigned
To him his heavenly office. Nor was long
His witness unconfirmed: on him baptized
Heaven opened, and in likeness of a Dove 30
The Spirit descended, while the Father's voice
From Heaven pronounced him his beloved Son.
That heard the Adversary, who, roving still
About the world, at that assembly famed
Would not be last, and, with the voice divine
Nigh thunder-struck, the exalted man to whom
Such high attest was given a while surveyed
With wonder; then, with envy fraught and rage,
Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air
To council summons all his mighty Peers, 40
Within thick clouds and dark tenfold involved,
A gloomy consistory; and them amidst,
With looks aghast and sad, he thus bespake:--
"O ancient Powers of Air and this wide World
(For much more willingly I mention Air,
This our old conquest, than remember Hell,
Our hated habitation), well ye know
How many ages, as the years of men,

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Poem: Will You Travel With Me To Heaven?

When you wake up in the morning
From a dream you think is okay
You see your spouse and family
Get ready for another day


The dream you saw, the things you see
The bed on which you soundly sleep
Your kids all grown up, your husband
And old memories that you keep


Who do you think created them?
Were they created from nothing?
If there is no god who made these
All, then what's the point of living?


D'you think we were made from nothing
Then from nothing we live for fun
To eat and drink, to love and hate
Then when we die, what comes is none?

The eyes with which your body sees
Those sockets that keep your eyeballs
The mouth you use for food and speech
The way you answer random calls


The languages you use to speak
And another –your mother tongue-
The way you carry yourself, and
How you breathe through your heart and lungs


The muscles that stretch when you smile
Your friends who often make you laugh
The words you try to understand
And how you sign your name so fast


Your kids who once stayed in your womb
The months you carried them in you
Your feelings when you saw their first
Walk and when they smile back at you


The food you eat and cook each day
The rainfalls that fall from above
The earth you walk on each night and

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Jubilate Agno: Fragment B, Part 2

LET PETER rejoice with the MOON FISH who keeps up the life in the waters by night.

Let Andrew rejoice with the Whale, who is array'd in beauteous blue and is a combination of bulk and activity.

Let James rejoice with the Skuttle-Fish, who foils his foe by the effusion of his ink.

Let John rejoice with Nautilus who spreads his sail and plies his oar, and the Lord is his pilot.

Let Philip rejoice with Boca, which is a fish that can speak.

Let Bartholomew rejoice with the Eel, who is pure in proportion to where he is found and how he is used.

Let Thomas rejoice with the Sword-Fish, whose aim is perpetual and strength insuperable.

Let Matthew rejoice with Uranoscopus, whose eyes are lifted up to God.

Let James the less, rejoice with the Haddock, who brought the piece of money for the Lord and Peter.

Let Jude bless with the Bream, who is of melancholy from his depth and serenity.

Let Simon rejoice with the Sprat, who is pure and innumerable.

Let Matthias rejoice with the Flying-Fish, who has a part with the birds, and is sublimity in his conceit.

Let Stephen rejoice with Remora -- The Lord remove all obstacles to his glory.

Let Paul rejoice with the Scale, who is pleasant and faithful!, like God's good ENGLISHMAN.

Let Agrippa, which is Agricola, rejoice with Elops, who is a choice fish.

Let Joseph rejoice with the Turbut, whose capture makes the poor fisher-man sing.

Let Mary rejoice with the Maid -- blessed be the name of the immaculate CONCEPTION.

Let John, the Baptist, rejoice with the Salmon -- blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus for infant Baptism.

Let Mark rejoice with the Mullet, who is John Dore, God be gracious to him and his family.

Let Barnabus rejoice with the Herring -- God be gracious to the Lord's fishery.

Let Cleopas rejoice with the Mackerel, who cometh in a shoal after a leader.

Let Abiud of the Lord's line rejoice with Murex, who is good and of a precious tincture.

Let Eliakim rejoice with the Shad, who is contemned in his abundance.

Let Azor rejoice with the Flounder, who is both of the sea and of the river,

Let Sadoc rejoice with the Bleak, who playeth upon the surface in the Sun.

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Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau, Saviour of Society

Epigraph

Υδραν φονεύσας, μυρίων τ᾽ ἄλλων πόνων
διῆλθον ἀγέλας . . .
τὸ λοίσθιον δὲ τόνδ᾽ ἔτλην τάλας πόνον,
. . . δῶμα θριγκῶσαι κακοῖς.

I slew the Hydra, and from labour pass'd
To labour — tribes of labours! Till, at last,
Attempting one more labour, in a trice,
Alack, with ills I crowned the edifice.

You have seen better days, dear? So have I
And worse too, for they brought no such bud-mouth
As yours to lisp "You wish you knew me!" Well,
Wise men, 't is said, have sometimes wished the same,
And wished and had their trouble for their pains.
Suppose my Œdipus should lurk at last
Under a pork-pie hat and crinoline,
And, latish, pounce on Sphynx in Leicester Square?
Or likelier, what if Sphynx in wise old age,
Grown sick of snapping foolish people's heads,
And jealous for her riddle's proper rede, —
Jealous that the good trick which served the turn
Have justice rendered it, nor class one day
With friend Home's stilts and tongs and medium-ware,—
What if the once redoubted Sphynx, I say,
(Because night draws on, and the sands increase,
And desert-whispers grow a prophecy)
Tell all to Corinth of her own accord.
Bright Corinth, not dull Thebes, for Lais' sake,
Who finds me hardly grey, and likes my nose,
And thinks a man of sixty at the prime?
Good! It shall be! Revealment of myself!
But listen, for we must co-operate;
I don't drink tea: permit me the cigar!
First, how to make the matter plain, of course —
What was the law by which I lived. Let 's see:
Ay, we must take one instant of my life
Spent sitting by your side in this neat room:
Watch well the way I use it, and don't laugh!
Here's paper on the table, pen and ink:
Give me the soiled bit — not the pretty rose!
See! having sat an hour, I'm rested now,
Therefore want work: and spy no better work
For eye and hand and mind that guides them both,
During this instant, than to draw my pen
From blot One — thus — up, up to blot Two — thus —
Which I at last reach, thus, and here's my line
Five inches long and tolerably straight:

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Make Me Rich

Purchase purchase buy buy
Purchase purchase buy buy
Purchase purchase buy buy
Purchase purchase buy buy.

Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)

'Horns and tambourines'

Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)

'Congas'

Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)
Make me rich
(Purchase purchase buy buy)

' And to the bridge'

Purchase purchase buy buy
Purchase purchase buy buy

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Our God is a God of mercy and of grace. (Gerald Albright's Kicking it up #6)

God, I just do not understand why
You treat me so good everyday.
In spite of all of my sins and all of my mistakes,
You are still good to me.
Yes, you are; my God really is.

My God is so wonderful.
He has provided for all of my needs.
He created the sun to shine brightly everyday.
God has supplied the very air that I breathe.
Yes, He does.

My God is so good to me each day.
He has provided for all of my needs.
God sends out the cooling invisible breeze.
He produced all of the food that I eat.
Yes he does; now help me say it.

Our God is a God of mercy.
He truly deserves all of our praise.
Our God is a God of mercy and of grace.
O’ Yes, I know that our God is.

Our God is a God of mercy.
He wakes us up every single day.
Our God is a God of mercy and of grace.
O’ Yes, I know that our God is.

My God is so wonderful.
He provides me with His grace each day.
All I need to do is confess my sins to Him,
He has promised to forgive every one.
Yes, He does.
All that God has ask me to do
Is give to Him all of my praise every day.
By the life that I have chosen to live
I must show the world that my God is.
Now open your mouth and help me praise Him.

Our God is a God of mercy.
He truly deserves all of our praise.
Our God is a God of mercy and of grace.
O’ Yes, I know that our God is.

Our God is a God of mercy.
He wakes us up every single day.
Our God is a God of mercy and of grace.
O’ Yes, I know that our God is.

Our God is a God of mercy and of grace.

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VII. Pompilia

I am just seventeen years and five months old,
And, if I lived one day more, three full weeks;
'T is writ so in the church's register,
Lorenzo in Lucina, all my names
At length, so many names for one poor child,
—Francesca Camilla Vittoria Angela
Pompilia Comparini,—laughable!
Also 't is writ that I was married there
Four years ago: and they will add, I hope,
When they insert my death, a word or two,—
Omitting all about the mode of death,—
This, in its place, this which one cares to know,
That I had been a mother of a son
Exactly two weeks. It will be through grace
O' the Curate, not through any claim I have;
Because the boy was born at, so baptized
Close to, the Villa, in the proper church:
A pretty church, I say no word against,
Yet stranger-like,—while this Lorenzo seems
My own particular place, I always say.
I used to wonder, when I stood scarce high
As the bed here, what the marble lion meant,
With half his body rushing from the wall,
Eating the figure of a prostrate man—
(To the right, it is, of entry by the door)
An ominous sign to one baptized like me,
Married, and to be buried there, I hope.
And they should add, to have my life complete,
He is a boy and Gaetan by name—
Gaetano, for a reason,—if the friar
Don Celestine will ask this grace for me
Of Curate Ottoboni: he it was
Baptized me: he remembers my whole life
As I do his grey hair.

All these few things
I know are true,—will you remember them?
Because time flies. The surgeon cared for me,
To count my wounds,—twenty-two dagger-wounds,
Five deadly, but I do not suffer much—
Or too much pain,—and am to die to-night.

Oh how good God is that my babe was born,
—Better than born, baptized and hid away
Before this happened, safe from being hurt!
That had been sin God could not well forgive:
He was too young to smile and save himself.
When they took two days after he was born,
My babe away from me to be baptized
And hidden awhile, for fear his foe should find,—

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Christmas-Eve

I.
OUT of the little chapel I burst
Into the fresh night air again.
I had waited a good five minutes first
In the doorway, to escape the rain
That drove in gusts down the common’s centre,
At the edge of which the chapel stands,
Before I plucked up heart to enter:
Heaven knows how many sorts of hands
Reached past me, groping for the latch
Of the inner door that hung on catch,
More obstinate the more they fumbled,
Till, giving way at last with a scold
Of the crazy hinge, in squeezed or tumbled
One sheep more to the rest in fold,
And left me irresolute, standing sentry
In the sheepfold’s lath-and-plaster entry,
Four feet long by two feet wide,
Partitioned off from the vast inside—
I blocked up half of it at least.
No remedy; the rain kept driving:
They eyed me much as some wild beast,
The congregation, still arriving,
Some of them by the mainroad, white
A long way past me into the night,
Skirting the common, then diverging;
Not a few suddenly emerging
From the common’s self thro’ the paling-gaps,—
—They house in the gravel-pits perhaps,
Where the road stops short with its safeguard border
Of lamps, as tired of such disorder;—
But the most turned in yet more abruptly
From a certain squalid knot of alleys,
Where the town’s bad blood once slept corruptly,
Which now the little chapel rallies
And leads into day again,—its priestliness
Lending itself to hide their beastliness
So cleverly (thanks in part to the mason),
And putting so cheery a whitewashed face on
Those neophytes too much in lack of it,
That, where you cross the common as I did,
And meet the party thus presided,
“Mount Zion,” with Love-lane at the back of it,
They front you as little disconcerted,
As, bound for the hills, her fate averted
And her wicked people made to mind him,
Lot might have marched with Gomorrah behind him.

II.
Well, from the road, the lanes or the common,

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Jesus Power over Demons

Jesus' Power Over Demons
home » sermons » 06-24-07

June 24,2007 — The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

“Jesus' Power Over Demons” — Pastor Lassman

Luke 8: 26-39

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My Fellow Redeemed in Christ,

Do you believe in a real Satan? Do you believe that there are demons? I’m sure you do, but if you don’t you should. Of course, such things might seem strange in our scientific and technical world and many people don’t believe in Satan or evil spirits. And, being spirits, we cannot see Satan or demons. But the Bible talks a great deal about them. I’ve never seen Satan or a demon, but I believe in them not only because the Bible talks about them, but especially because Jesus Christ himself speaks about Satan and demons. In the church we often talk about sin and death, and rightly so. But we should never forget about Satan and his evil forces. For they go together: Satan, sin, and death as Martin Luther says in his Small Catechism about Jesus: “who has redeemed me a lost a condemned person, purchased and won me from all sin, from death….and from the power of the devil.” The power of the devil. That brings us to our gospel lesson where we see “Jesus’ Power Over Demons.”

I. In Jesus Christ the kingdom of God has come to attack and destroy the kingdom of Satan. When he began his public ministry at his baptism Jesus said: “repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”.

A. God, of course, had created a perfect world. This included what we would call the “good angels.” But some of those angels, led by their leader, Satan, were not happy with their position in God’s order: they wanted to be God. And in their evil rebellion against God they were transformed into demons who oppose God and all that he stands for. It was their leader, Satan, who showed up as a snake in the Garden of Eden to tempt Adam and Eve to also be like God. And so sin and death came into the world. Satan had invaded God’s world and trashed it. Demons are the source of the world’s superstitions and religions. Demons are the ones behind those who persecute and kill Christians. Demons are the ones behind all the false doctrines that divide the Christian church. With deception and lies they do all in their power to keep people from believing in Jesus Christ and to destroy the faith of those who already believe. Thus the Bible calls the devil our “enemy”. There is an underlying evil in the world that human beings are helpless to overcome. The demon possessed man in our text symbolizes all of this. But remember that every human being is born into this world under the influence of Satan and a member of his kingdom as the apostle John says in his first letter: ”the whole world is under the control of the Evil one.” When you and I were born in the world, we too were under the control of the evil one—enslaved to sin and death, under God’s wrath and damnation. Never forget that.

B. And that’s why Jesus came into the world: to attack and destroy the kingdom of Satan and save his people. He trashed the kingdom of Satan, defeating him and giving mankind victory over sin and death. You can hear the fear in the evil spirit’s voice: “what have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the most high God.” They are filled with terror because they know that Jesus is stronger than they are. They are afraid of Jesus: “I beg you do not torment me.” They know that on the judgment day Jesus Christ will cast them into the fires of hell as we read in revelation: “and the devil..was thrown into the lake of burning sulpher, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night.” And so the spirits begged Jesus not to send them “into the abyss.” The demon was afraid that that day had come. But it had not. So Jesus told them to leave the man and enter the pigs. And they had no choice but to do what he said. Now in our gospel Jesus only delivered one man from demon possession. But on the cross he delivered all of humanity, you and me, from Satan and his forces by dying for our sins. Because of Jesus Christ we never have to fear being possessed by a demon—for our bodies are the temple of God. Because of Jesus Christ we can resist the devil and his temptations—for in baptism we have been united to Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus Christ the devil cannot scare us with death or damnation—for all our sins are forgiven and we will be raised from the dead. Because of Jesus Christ the devil cannot deceive us with his lies because we know the truth. Paul says it all when he writes in Colossians: “for he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col.1: 13) you and I have been rescued from Satan and his kingdom—he has no power over us.

II. But as always there are two responses to Jesus.

A. Regardless of the evidence, some people just won’t believe. We see this in our text. There were eyewitnesses to what had happened—the herdsmen who tended the pigs. And they went and told the city and the whole country-side what they had seen. Indeed, they created such a stir that many people went out to the spot where it happened to see for themselves. And there was Jesus- and the man sitting at his feet. And they saw with their own eyes the difference in him. He was no longer naked, but clothed; no longer out of his mind and violent, but calm and in his right mind. He was normal. Clearly, something profound and wonderful had happened. And now comes the strange response: “then all the people of the surrounding country…asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with fear.” What? ! Why did they say that? ! Couldn’t they see that Jesus had done something good, something kind, something merciful, something wonderful? Why did they ask him to leave? Did they care more about the pigs that were destroyed than they did for the well-being of this man? We are not told. But all through the gospels we hear of people who do not believe in Jesus even though they saw him doing miracles and wonderful acts of kindness. Perhaps we get a clue when just fourteen verses before our text Jesus says: “[these] are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the words from their hearts so that they may not believe and be saved.” Many people prefer the kingdom of Satan. They like the darkness more than the light

B. But that wasn’t the response of the man from whom the demons left! He believed and was thankful for what Jesus had done for him. As a matter of fact, he was so grateful that he begged Jesus to go with him. But here’s another little surprise- Jesus said “no”. Instead he told him to return to his home and tell everyone what God had done for him. And that’s exactly what he did: he went home and told everyone what Jesus had done for him. I imagine that took a lot of faith. His emotions told him he wanted to be with Jesus. But he denied his emotions and instead did what Jesus told him to do. And so it is with us. We too are thankful for what Jesus has done for us. Every Sunday through the forgiveness of sins he gives us victory over sin and death and the power of Satan and the forces of evil. Such is the power of god’s forgiveness. We love coming here on Sunday mornings and being with Jesus and receiving his salvation. And yet as important as it is, we cannot sit in church all the time. Jesus wants us to return to our homes, our work, our schools—our communities and tell everyone what he has done.

Conclusion: when Jesus drove the demons out of that man Jesus attacked the kingdom of Satan. But when he died for the sins of the world Jesus destroyed Satan’s kingdom. And through faith in him we share in his victory. For Satan’s only weapons are lies, sin, and death. But in Jesus Christ we know the truth; in Jesus Christ our sin has been forgiven, and in Jesus Christ death has been defeated and we have life. Satan has no power over us. Indeed, we can resist him. And how do we know this is true? Well, we see Jesus casting out helpless demons who fear him and must obey him. But the main proof is the empty tomb. When Jesus was raised from the dead God’s hand was raised in victory over Satan and his kingdom. Everywhere the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached and taught the kingdom of Satan is trashed. And one day Jesus will return and cast Satan and all demons into the abyss that they fear so much. Amen!

Messiah Lutheran Church Seattle - Missouri Synod
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John Milton

Paradise Regained: The Fourth Book

Perplexed and troubled at his bad success
The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,
Discovered in his fraud, thrown from his hope
So oft, and the persuasive rhetoric
That sleeked his tongue, and won so much on Eve,
So little here, nay lost. But Eve was Eve;
This far his over-match, who, self-deceived
And rash, beforehand had no better weighed
The strength he was to cope with, or his own.
But—as a man who had been matchless held
In cunning, over-reached where least he thought,
To salve his credit, and for very spite,
Still will be tempting him who foils him still,
And never cease, though to his shame the more;
Or as a swarm of flies in vintage-time,
About the wine-press where sweet must is poured,
Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound;
Or surging waves against a solid rock,
Though all to shivers dashed, the assault renew,
(Vain battery!) and in froth or bubbles end—
So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse
Met ever, and to shameful silence brought,
Yet gives not o'er, though desperate of success,
And his vain importunity pursues.
He brought our Saviour to the western side
Of that high mountain, whence he might behold
Another plain, long, but in breadth not wide,
Washed by the southern sea, and on the north
To equal length backed with a ridge of hills
That screened the fruits of the earth and seats of men
From cold Septentrion blasts; thence in the midst
Divided by a river, off whose banks
On each side an Imperial City stood,
With towers and temples proudly elevate
On seven small hills, with palaces adorned,
Porches and theatres, baths, aqueducts,
Statues and trophies, and triumphal arcs,
Gardens and groves, presented to his eyes
Above the highth of mountains interposed—
By what strange parallax, or optic skill
Of vision, multiplied through air, or glass
Of telescope, were curious to enquire.
And now the Tempter thus his silence broke:—
"The city which thou seest no other deem
Than great and glorious Rome, Queen of the Earth
So far renowned, and with the spoils enriched
Of nations. There the Capitol thou seest,
Above the rest lifting his stately head
On the Tarpeian rock, her citadel
Impregnable; and there Mount Palatine,

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Needle In The Hay

Your hand on his arm
The hay stack charm around your neck
Strung out and thin
Calling some friend trying to cash some check
Hes acting dumb
Thats what youve come to expect
Needle in the hay
Needle in the hay
Needle in the hay
Needle in the hay
Hes wearing yr clothes
Head down to toes a reaction to you
You say you know what he did
But you idiot kid
You dont have a clue
Sometimes they just get caught in the eye
Youre pulling him through
Needle in the hay
Needle in the hay
Needle in the hay
Needle in the hay
Now on the bus
Nearly touching this dirty retreat
Falling out 6th and powell a dead sweat in my teeth
Gonna walk walk walk
Four more blocks plus one in my break
Down downstairs to the man
Hes gonna make it all ok
I cant beat myself
I cant beat myself
And I dont want to talk
Im taking the cure so I can be quiet
Whenever I want
So leave me alone
You ought to be proud that Im getting good marks
Needle in the hay
Needle in the hay
Needle in the hay
Needle in the hay

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John Milton

Paradise Lost: Book X

Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood
Praying, for from the Mercie-seat above
Prevenient Grace descending had remov'd
The stonie from thir hearts, and made new flesh
Regenerat grow instead, that sighs now breath'd
Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer
Inspir'd, and wing'd for Heav'n with speedier flight
Then loudest Oratorie: yet thir port
Not of mean suiters, nor important less
Seem'd thir Petition, then when th' ancient Pair
In Fables old, less ancient yet then these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha to restore
The Race of Mankind drownd, before the Shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To Heav'n thir prayers
Flew up, nor missed the way, by envious windes
Blow'n vagabond or frustrate: in they passd
Dimentionless through Heav'nly dores; then clad
With incense, where the Golden Altar fum'd,
By thir great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Fathers Throne: Them the glad Son
Presenting, thus to intercede began.
See Father, what first fruits on Earth are sprung
From thy implanted Grace in Man, these Sighs
And Prayers, which in this Golden Censer, mixt
With Incense, I thy Priest before thee bring,
Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed
Sow'n with contrition in his heart, then those
Which his own hand manuring all the Trees
Of Paradise could have produc't, ere fall'n
From innocence. Now therefore bend thine eare
To supplication, heare his sighs though mute;
Unskilful with what words to pray, let mee
Interpret for him, mee his Advocate
And propitiation, all his works on mee
Good or not good ingraft, my Merit those
Shall perfet, and for these my Death shall pay.
Accept me, and in mee from these receave
The smell of peace toward Mankinde, let him live
Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days
Numberd, though sad, till Death, his doom (which I
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse)
To better life shall yeeld him, where with mee
All my redeemd may dwell in joy and bliss,
Made one with me as I with thee am one.
To whom the Father, without Cloud, serene.
All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
Obtain, all thy request was my Decree:
But longer in that Paradise to dwell,
The Law I gave to Nature him forbids:
Those pure immortal Elements that know

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Salmacis and Hermaphroditus.

MY wanton lines doe treate of amorous loue,
Such as would bow the hearts of gods aboue:
Then Venus, thou great Citherean Queene,
That hourely tript on the Idalian greene,
Thou laughing Erycina, daygne to see
The verses wholly consecrate to thee;
Temper them so within thy Paphian shrine,
That euery Louers eye may melt a line;
Commaund the god of Loue that little King,
To giue each verse a sleight touch with his wing,
That as I write, one line may draw the tother,
And euery word skip nimbly o're another.
There was a louely boy the Nymphs had kept,
That on the Idane mountains oft had slept,
Begot and borne by powers that dwelt aboue,
By learned Mercury of the Queene of loue:
A face he had that shew'd his parents fame,
And from them both conioynd, he drew his name:
So wondrous fayre he was that (as they say)
Diana being hunting on a day,
Shee saw the boy vpon a greene banke lay him,
And there the virgin-huntresse meant to slay him,
Because no Nymphes did now pursue the chase:
For all were strooke blind with the wanton's face.
But when that beauteous face Diana saw,
Her armes were nummed, & shee could not draw;
Yet she did striue to shoot, but all in vaine,
Shee bent her bow, and loos'd it streight againe.
Then she began to chide her wanton eye,
And fayne would shoot, but durst not see him die,
She turnd and shot, and did of purpose misse him,
Shee turnd againe, and did of purpose kisse him.
Then the boy ran: for (some say) had he stayd,
Diana had no longer bene a mayd.
Phoebus so doted on this rosiat face,
That he hath oft stole closely from his place,
When he did lie by fayre Leucothoes side,
To dally with him in the vales of Ide:
And euer since this louely boy did die,
Phoebus each day about the world doth flie,
And on the earth he seekes him all the day,
And euery night he seekes him in the sea:
His cheeke was sanguine, and his lip as red
As are the blushing leaues of the Rose spred:
And I haue heard, that till this boy was borne,
Rose grew white vpon the virgin thorne,
Till one day walking to a pleasant spring,
To heare how cunningly the birds could sing,
Laying him downe vpon a flowry bed,
The Roses blush'd and turn'd themselues to red.

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David

My thought, on views of admiration hung,
Intently ravish'd and depriv'd of tongue,
Now darts a while on earth, a while in air,
Here mov'd with praise and mov'd with glory there;
The joys entrancing and the mute surprize
Half fix the blood, and dim the moist'ning eyes;
Pleasure and praise on one another break,
And Exclamation longs at heart to speak;
When thus my Genius, on the work design'd
Awaiting closely, guides the wand'ring mind.

If while thy thanks wou'd in thy lays be wrought,
A bright astonishment involve the thought,
If yet thy temper wou'd attempt to sing,
Another's quill shall imp thy feebler wing;
Behold the name of royal David near,
Behold his musick and his measures here,
Whose harp Devotion in a rapture strung,
And left no state of pious souls unsung.

Him to the wond'ring world but newly shewn,
Celestial poetry pronounc'd her own;
A thousand hopes, on clouds adorn'd with rays,
Bent down their little beauteous forms to gaze;
Fair-blooming Innocence with tender years,
And native Sweetness for the ravish'd ears,
Prepar'd to smile within his early song,
And brought their rivers, groves, and plains along;
Majestick Honour at the palace bred,
Enrob'd in white, embroider'd o'er with red,
Reach'd forth the scepter of her royal state,
His forehead touch'd, and bid his lays be great;
Undaunted Courage deck'd with manly charms,
With waving-azure plumes, and gilded arms,
Displaid the glories, and the toils of fight,
Demanded fame, and call'd him forth to write.
To perfect these the sacred spirit came,
By mild infusion of celestial flame,
And mov'd with dove-like candour in his breast,
And breath'd his graces over all the rest.
Ah! where the daring flights of men aspire
To match his numbers with an equal fire;
In vain they strive to make proud Babel rise,
And with an earth-born labour touch the skies.
While I the glitt'ring page resolve to view,
That will the subject of my lines renew;
The Laurel wreath, my fames imagin'd shade,
Around my beating temples fears to fade;
My fainting fancy trembles on the brink,
And David's God must help or else I sink.

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