I Know Thee

“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 1:23-25 

Church attendance means nothing; neither does membership; neither does professing to know that Jesus of Nazareth is the Holy One of God. None of that matters apart from the supernatural work of God to impart saving faith by God’s grace. In the very worst case, it may be as the man from our text, possessed of an unclean spirit. Yet, today, even if a person is not demon possessed, he may still attend a congregation where the presence of the Lord actually is; yet he possesses a spirit that is dead and void of true life. Because he is dead in trespasses and sins, he is tormented above measure in the midst of true spiritual worship because the Lord inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). In true spiritual worship, there is the presence of Christ (Matthew 18:20). 

The unsaved, unregenerate and reprobate soul may know who Christ is but he has no intimate knowledge of Him, His will or His way. There is no power for such a one because there is no Presence in them. They are not possessed of the Lord. 

Devils are forbidden to proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as the Holy One of Israel, the Savior of the world, as it is written in Luke 4:41, 

And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. 

By the wideness of God’s mercy, reprobates are proclaiming Christ, even from pulpits all around the world; nevertheless, a rebuke from the Lord is coming if they are not delivered from the bondage of sin by God’s free grace, for their proclamation is vain and is merely the faith of demons, as it written in James 2:19, 

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

About Jon J. Cardwell

"The Spirited Speaker" - Pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Anniston, Alabama. Nationally recognized speaker and publisher. Author of several books, including the bestseller, Christ and Him Crucified.


  1. Wonderful and pertinent insight into this passage on the healing of the demoniac. He was actually in the synagogue, sitting among the people, listening to the preacher, and evidently in such a manner that he seemed altogether like one of them–nothing apparently distinguishing him– Until Christ began to hold forth the words of life, and in the presence of the Lord then he cried out, and then it became evident that this man was no worshiper, among them. What a difference it makes when we are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is the power of God to salvation, and when we have all our glorying in naught but the cross of Christ and are determined to know nothing save Christ and him crucified. Unbelievers cannot sit quietly or undetected where Christ is and where his presence is accompanying the proclamation of the good news–with power. The very Word is, as in the text you set out–more powerful than any two-edged sword to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit. Sadly, rather than realizing the Holy Spirits whetting of the sword, making it sharper to the end for dividing, we today spend our time from the pulpits seeking to dull those edges, and to take away the wounding offense of the cross.
    But when the gospel went forth that day and Christ spoke, a demoniac, who had been a “church-goer” for who knows how many years” was delivered and became a worshiper of God in spirit and in truth. What a precious change! What deliverance and encouragement for us not to be ashamed, but to hold forth the words of life with boldness knowing that it is not men, God whose Word this is that goes forth and will not return to him void.
    Thanks so much for the wonderful insight into the Mark passage. Really stimulated a lot of thought.

  2. Very powerful.

    I heard a John MacArthur sermon on this passage. He said the demons are more “orthodox” than some professing Christians.

    May God have mercy.

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