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“JOKER” AND THE DEMONS!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, November 17, 2019


The prophet Isaiah spoke of Christ’s ministry. He said,

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1; p. 766 Scofield).

Now turn to the Gospel of Luke 4:16-21 (p. 1077). Stand and read it.

“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:16-21; p. 1077).

Now read Luke 4:28-30:

“And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way” (Luke 4:28-30; p. 1077).

You may be seated.

Dr. J. Vernon McGee said, “The people of Jesus’ home town (Nazareth) rejected Him...His escape from this mob was a miracle...” Then Dr. McGee said, “Demons were working in the days of our Lord, and they are working now...It is difficult to explain some of the actions and awful crimes being committed unless the perpetrator is under the power and control of Satan” (Thru the Bible, notes on Luke 4).

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And that brings us to the front page of the Daily News yesterday. The headline on the front page says in large letters,

“REASON FOR SHOOTING REMAINS ‘MYSTERY.’” “Boy who killed two others dies from his wounds.”

Nathaniel Berhow died at 3:32 PM [from a] self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. The newspaper again said, “A motive for the killings...remains a mystery.”

“Reason for shooting remains ‘mystery.’” That reminded me of a verse in II Thessalonians, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work” (II Thessalonians 2:7; p. 1272). Dr. McGee translated that as, “the mystery of lawlessness doth already work...” (note on II Thessalonians 2:7). That is the answer to the shootings taking place throughout our country today – “The mystery of lawlessness doth already work.”

Here are some of the reasons for today’s lawlessness.


1.  Due to liberal theology the reality of Satan and demons is widely denied today.

2.  False prophets insist “there is no personal Devil, nor demons.”

3.  A false church is at the mercy of demonic powers and can offer no deliverance to members when they are in the Satanic web.

4.  Many evangelicals have a very imperfect concept of the power and operation of Satan [and his] demon helpers.


These points come from Demons in the World Today by Dr. Merrill F. Unger. Dr. Unger earned his Ph.D. degree at Johns Hopkins University – and his Th.M. and Th.D. degrees at Dallas Theological Seminary. From 1948 to 1967 he was professor of Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary. I give you this information to show you that he was a deep scholar, not a wild-eyed Pentecostal.

I believe there is a fifth reason for the “mystery of lawlessness” today – it is the movies! The number one movie being watched by young people is “Joker.” It is a dirty and violent film – and I do not think you should watch it! But World Magazine (October 26, 2019) says this: “The film centers on the idea [of] a character [Joker] who shares so many characteristics with mass shooters – seething resentment” (World Magazine, October 26, 2019).

I would also add a sixth reason for the “mystery of lawlessness” today – it is the preachers who themselves are demonized. One little “pee-wee” deacon. He was such a quiet, and such a “nice” man that no one suspected him of being demonized. But when the pastor would not let him preach because he was a poor speaker, this deacon let “a root of bitterness spring up” (Hebrews 12:15a; p. 1303). He spent months secretly planning a church split, “and thereby many [were] defiled” (Hebrews 12:15b) by following him in a major church split that nearly destroyed his church. In this case “demon influence...creating Christian disunity” (Unger). In his case he “crept in unawares...turning the grace of God into lasciviousness” (Jude 4; p. 1328). Dr. McGee said, “We ought to be very careful about the folk who are teaching in our churches. Are they teaching a loose morality? Jude warns us to be on our guard against that.”

Then, I would point out that materialism is Satan’s tool. I remember a young man who was a good preacher, but he let his mother tempt him to leave the ministry and go into a profession where he would make more money. He forgot that,

“They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition” (I Timothy 6:9; p. 1277).

So this man listened to the voice of his mother. He forgot the advice of Jesus, “A man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:36, 37; p. 1010). I cannot understand a mother who would persuade her son to give up the ministry for the pursuit of material gain. It is demonic to the core! Jesus said, “My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it” (Luke 8:21; p. 1084).

The only safe place in this time of demonic deception is to be under the Lordship of Christ. The prophet Isaiah said of Christ,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18, 19; p. 1077).

God did not send Jesus to condemn you, but that through Him you can be saved (cf. John 3:17; p. 1118).

God will save you through His Son. But you must come to Jesus and trust Him alone. Throw yourself on the Lord Jesus Christ. He will forgive all your sins and save you from this present evil world. And bring someone with you to hear the Gospel next Sunday!

Please stand and sing “I Will Make You Fishers of Men.” Now sing “Win One for the Lord.”

If you are still not saved, come and stand here at the front. The pastor, Dr. Cagan, will give you the good news of the Gospel from “The Evangelism Explosion.” Young people who are studying that method should come with them to hear Pastor Cagan give them the good news of salvation through Jesus! Amen.