Part One: The Lord Most High
It was a small and ragtag invasion force: a young preacher on a fishing boat with 12 companions, landing in territory firmly under the control of pagan gods.
In the country of the Gerasenes (Mark 5:1) Jesus Christ and His disciples encountered a poor soul completely controlled by so many demons that, when asked to give his name, the unclean spirit simply called himself “Legion.”
A “legion” was an inexact number, but since the size of a Roman legion could be anywhere from 3-6,000 soldiers, the word represented a lot of demons. It still wasn’t enough, for at the insistent command of Christ that the demons leave the man, the unclean spirit began to plead with Him to stop their torment.
“What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” (vs. 7)
Most High God. That the Lord God is “Most High” is a familiar biblical concept (Gen. 14:22; Ps. 7:17; Acts 16:17), but not everyone – or everything – agrees. That there is an ongoing rebellion against the Most High God is also a familiar biblical concept. Everyone can’t be at the top, but so many try.
Satan is obviously one of them. He apparently tried the direct approach to toppling God, but that didn’t end well. So the great dragon, the serpent of old (Rev. 12:9), has spent many centuries trying the less direct route.
As revealed in the temptation in the Garden, Satan uses deception – both the twisting of God’s commandments and outright lies – in order to undermine the truth of the Most High. In its place, the devil inserts doubt and unbelief, followed by his own dark “truths.”
It is therefore not surprising that ancient pagan religions used “high places” as anchors for the worship of false gods. Whether on mountains or hills (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 16:4) or even in raised places in cities and towns (1 Kings 13:32), the idea was for the false religions to have preeminence in the eyes of the people.
This elevated the god who was worshiped, and the demons behind those idols (1 Cor. 10:20) could then control the lives and destinies of the worshipers.
This excerpt is from the article, “Rooted in Bad Soil,” which appeared in the January 2014 issue of AFA Journal.