INFILTRATION IN THE HOUSE OF WORSHIP
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:13
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 Peter 2:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1 John 4:1
And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee (Mark 1:23-28).
And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about (Luke 4:33-37).
This incident took place in one of the synagogues at Capernaum, which is a city of Galilee. This man with an unclean spirit was inside the synagogue on the Sabbath day worshipping with the Jews. No record was there to show how long this man with an unclean spirit was worshipping with the Jews there every Sabbath day and it was also unclear whether the rest of the Jewish worshippers recognized that this man had a problem with unclean spirit also called unclean devil according to Luke. If the worshippers there had known of this man’s condition, they must have tolerated him for quite sometime now assuming that that was not the first time the man showed up that Sabbath day. As to why they were tolerant of him, we can only speculate. Perhaps, this man was not disruptive during worship and the people put up with him. It could also be that they had run out of means in trying to help the victim and when all their efforts proved to be impotent, they had to leave him alone. Maybe, he was even seen to be sober worshipping like everyone else pretending to be like one of them. So it might be possible that no one knew this man had a problem with unclean devil until the Lord Jesus showed up that day. Based on the Scriptures recorded here, it would not be unreasonable to expect people with unclean spirits be found in places of worship with believers during the day of worship.
But something had to change that day when Jesus went to the Synagogue. When the Jews worshipping God generations after generations hoping and waiting for their coming King failed to recognize their Messiah in the flesh, unclean devils would not fail to make such a mistake. For they were there on creation’s morning witnessing the glorious Lord of all universe enthroned on high in majestic splendor to receive worship and adoration from his grateful creatures. The fear to be tormented before their time for their treason against Almighty God forced them to cry out in pitiful pleadings to be spared for the time being. They were certainly in great fear but the Lord was not there for the purpose of accepting acknowledgement from devils but for the work he had to perform for the salvation of souls of lost sinners. Rebuked to hold their peace and commanded to leave the man, they departed with devilish screams leaving the victim thrown as they tore through his body in desperate flight.
It is of note that the victim had a devil and yet when the devil spoke, it was revealed that they were more than one personalities residing in the man. This points to the physical size of the unclean spirits. Unlike the Holy Spirit of God who is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscience, unclean spirits are individuals that are distinct from one another and limited by time and space. This passage also suggests that these unclean spirits are constantly in search for a place of abode. They will remain in the victim’s body until driven out by a power greater than they or until the physical death of the victim when the body returns to dust.
So the Jewish worshippers were amazed at the power and authority that the Lord Jesus possessed as a man walking in their midst. In spite of their diligence in serving Jehovah God, they were helpless in the face of evil from the underworld of darkness. This might suggest that the Jewish religious leaders had tried to cast out the unclean spirit but failed miserably. Moreover, the demonstration of this new power available in a man was of great significance for the Jews were greatly astounded by this amazing power of Jesus whom they only knew came from Nazareth. This power was indeed incredible for the means were mere spoken words albeit words with such authority and magnitude that the forces of darkness from hell had to obey at once. Such amazing demonstration of power and authority over evil spirits was remarkable and as such, the fame of the Lord Jesus Christ had to spread like wild fire bewildering the helpless Jews being so used to living under the dominant of the power of darkness. So alas the light shining out of the dark place is now available to illumine every sinful heart and dispel the most stubborn of all evil spirits that the lost soul might be saved.
The Jews could have been using all sorts of carnal means in trying to cast out the unclean spirit in the victim. Obviously, their effort was fruitless. But when Jesus spoke, there was no bargaining with his words of commandment. Negotiation was impossible. For the first time the Jews witnessed a man using human words rebuked the devils and they feared him and obeyed him. Never had it been seen so much power in human words. Nonetheless, it was not a mere human speaker that spoke those words but the very Lord God who gave languages to men. Could he not give his perfect inspired words in whatever languages he chooses to give? What display of deity by the blessed Son of God in the flesh! Jesus of Nazareth must be God manifest in the flesh for no man in the flesh had ever performed such a feat witnessed by the worshippers in the synagogue that day! Naturally, the fame of Jesus Christ spread abroad and round about Galilee. Unfortunately, a prophet is not accepted in his country, including this Great Prophet whom Moses prophesied of old.
This article is taken from a chapter in the book “When Heaven Is Brass” which may be downloaded via: