Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Devil Worship

Are we no better than demons?

Recently, I was reading in the Gospel of Mark and something caught my attention. As I began to look at other Scriptures I was deeply challenged by what I saw concerning the actions of various demons in relation to Jesus.
First of all, let’s remember who the demons are. They are fallen angels. Originally created by God to worship and serve Him in glorious proximity to the very throne of heaven, they sinned and joined Satan in his rebellion and pride and fell from that wonderful position for which they were intended. The Scripture in James 2:19 tells us that, even in their fallen state, the demons still believe in God and tremble before Him. Though their belief does not lead to salvation, they still know, beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly Who God is and recognize His power, majesty and authority over them.
This led to what caught my attention in Mark. In chapter 1, verse 34, Mark says of Jesus: “And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was.” Notice, they knew Who He was and He prevented them from speaking.
Now consider two other instances in Mark of the Lord’s encounter with demons. The first occurs earlier in that first chapter. Jesus is in Capernaum teaching in the synagogue, when a man with an unclean spirit enters. This man immediately cried out, before Jesus said a word to him: “What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are-- the Holy One of God!” It is very obvious from the wording that this is the unclean spirit speaking through the man.
Jesus responds, “Be quiet, and come out of him.” Again, Jesus requires silence from the demon.
The second incident, in Mark 5:1 – 20, is the story of the man called “Legion” because he had so many demons living in him. When Jesus commands the demons to come out of the man he cries out: “What do I have to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!” [7] On this occasion Jesus sends the demons into a herd of pigs, about 2,000 of them and they “rushed down the steep bank into the sea…and they were drowned….” [13]
Now what was it about these verses that captured my thinking? It was the simple fact that on each occasion the demons couldn’t help themselves. They simply had to proclaim Who Jesus was. I must admit that I used a bit of trickery to get your attention with the title of this article. Calling it Devil Worship is actually a misnomer for I do not believe these demons were actually worshipping the Lord Jesus.
Here’s the challenge to my heart. If demons, the recognized enemies of our Lord, can’t help but proclaim Who He is, why do I, a beneficiary of his grace keep quiet so often? When I have been loved by Him with an everlasting love [Jer 31:3], when I have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb [1 Pet 1:18-19], when He has borne my sins in His own body on the cross [1 Pet 2:24], when He has given me His free gift of eternal life [Rom 6:23], why, oh why, is my tongue so silent?
Worship. The demons believe and tremble. Do we believe and worship? They fell from heaven because of a failure to worship. Do we, the citizens of heaven [Ph 3:20] do what all good citizens of heaven do? Do we worship God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? Oh, Father, help us to be bolder than demons for “greater is He that is in us, than he who is in the world [1 John 4:4].”

1 comment:

Keith said...

Pastor Price, I had a question or two on your blog "Reflections on Calamity in Psalm 14", so I left a comment there. I hope things are well with you.