Strength In Numbers, Ha!

The encounter between Jesus and the pharisees who said Jesus casts out demons by the prince of demons is a shocking example of blasphemy, but Jesus answered calling them the synagogue of satan. In the account from Luke;

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Luke ch11:v14-26
Luk 11:14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.
Luk 11:15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.
Luk 11:16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.
Luk 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
Luk 11:18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.
Luk 11:19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.
Luk 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
Luk 11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
Luk 11:22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
Luk 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
Luk 11:24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.
Luk 11:25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.
Luk 11:26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (KJV)

It took me a long time to separate the concept of the dwelling of the strong man in his palace from the individual that the spirit resides within. Jesus is not talking about a demon that inhabits a man here. Jesus opened with a statement of kingdoms, satan's and God's own,. In view is the fact that satans kingdom here is that of the physical nation of Israel to whom Jesus came to gather together His lost flock. In this sense Jesus is in the role of the stronger, and not as the devil who is being spoiled.

Were the pharisees in good standing with God, (as opposed to doing the will of their father the devil as Jesus put it elsewhere) it follows that if Jesus were to be casting out with the authority of devils then the devil would be stronger than God, whose nation they claimed to be. The converse is true - that the Kingdom of God came with Christ and spoiled the devil of those goods he was holding captive in "his" palace.

Jesus states that He is clearly gathering together His elect, and to oppose Him is to be doing the will of the devil. He winds up clearly juxtaposing the healing work of the sevenfold Holy Spirit with the work of a devil, which can only make a man worse even if there is some respite.

So, what of strength in numbers? Clearly it didn't work for the pharisees and scribes in Jesus' day. The same can be said for those in the modern church who "claim to be Jews and are not" are essentially "those who claim to be Chritsians and are not" and are the modern day synagogue of satan. Strength in numbers is the goal of all these modern day revivals and ecumenicism - every "church" is separate from the others doctrinally and as men they would be double minded, lukewarm even on their own principles and ultimately not in good standing with God.

The modern day church has chosen to rally around a common set of values, whether it be veneration of the nation state of Israel, or a more generalised ecumenicism,.. which is false doctrine itself as bad as any rapture theory - (that compromise is acceptable in the truth.) Satan has not been asleep for two thousand years and the only thing on the churches side as opposed to a lone believer is fellowship and strength in numbers. The former is not done in the truth when it is only found in the second, and the purer fellowship of the Lord is preferable.

Jesus also taught that to make friends of future converts from unbelief (the mammon of unrighteousness) through those we correct in truth is wise - so that when we fail to find fellowship we can be still accepted by those related fellowships around us who will recognise our own doctrine - we avoid the judgement and scourging of that modern day "synagogue of satan" who have stopped watching Jesus and started watching on the basis of legalism and thus judging falsely from a position of like faults in themselves. Clearly strength in numbers has some benefit,.. but not on the basis of righteousness as found "in crowds" - the outer appearance only.

It would appear that strength in numbers does not sit on the fence,.. but is clearly placed outside the Kingdom of God as well as in the rarity of the true believer amongst those who do not follow Christ.

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