“And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. 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.” – Mark 1:22-25
Not every spirit in operation in the church is the Holy Spirit. In fact, most manifestations (even in the church) are nothing more then unclean spirits, yet when the Holy Spirit of God is present with power, every other spirit is subject to it’s authority.
In today’s passage, Jesus was teaching in the temple when a man possessed (yes it happens, and more often then we like to realize) of unclean (or unholy) spirits spoke out. He even spoke out prophetically proclaiming that Jesus was the Holy One of God. Jesus, however knowing that anything spoken under the unction of an unholy spirit has a twisted and evil agenda, did not permit it to speak, but simply cast it out.
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” – Jude 1:9
Jesus’s true identity and destiny was still hidden at this time. He had not yet revealed himself as the Christ, and though the word spoken by this man under the unction of an unholy spirit were accurate their agenda was evil in that, it meant to reveal Christ before His appointed time.
“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.” – John 2:4
“Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.” – John 7:2-8
The Spirit speaking through the man in the temple had an agenda in what it said. You see this theme repeated often through Jesus’s life, demons speaking through people a truth, (slightly twisted, completely backwards, or simply out of God’s timing) with the intent to thwart God’s good and perfect plan. Yet, every time (until the appointed time) Jesus permitted them not to speak, rebuked them, called them out, and cast them out as one having authority and not as the scribes. You see the scribes were simply teaching a dead history, but Jesus preached a living Word with conviction and authority backed by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the distress of those in the church moving through the leading of unholy spirits.
“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
You see God’s authority rest solely upon the righteous, for God will guard His will and validate His own. We need only to believe unto obedience, walk in the authority granted us as joint heirs with Christ, and permit not the enemy to even so much as speak.
“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 1:26-28