“And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.
“And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known” (Mark 3:11,12).
Have you ever wondered why the Lord did not want these “unclean spirits” to make Him known? We believe it was because He didn’t want the likes of them telling others about Him. That is, He knew that the testimony of such sinful, unclean creatures would hurt Him, not help Him. He already had enough people thinking He was “in cahoots” with devils (Matt. 12:22-24). If people heard devils testify of Him, well, that wasn’t exactly the kind of testimony He needed!
We often wonder if the Lord feels the same way today when instead of unclean spirits, unclean believers testify to others about Him. We’re not suggesting that only saints who get straight “A”s in conduct should be allowed to witness, for none of us is perfect. Nor are we saying that God can’t use the testimony of sinful men, for if He can use Balaam’s donkey to speak His words, He can certainly use carnal believers. But we can’t help but think that if God “had His druthers,” He’d much rather use a saint who has purged himself of uncleanness and is “meet for the Master’s use” (II Tim. 2:21).
We believe the same principle applies when it comes to pointing people to Paul as our apostle. In Acts 16:16, “a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination” followed Paul, saying:
“These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
“And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her” (v. 17,18).
What the devil was saying was true, of course, but that didn’t stop Paul from hushing the testimony being offered by such a questionable source. And so when we as grace believers try to convince our brethren that Paul alone is the servant of God that shows unto us the way of salvation in this dispensation, our testimony will be received much more readily if our lives “adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things” (Titus 2:10). Anything less would cause Paul, if he were here to see it, to be as grieved with us as he was with the damsel possessed with the spirit of divination.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.