church, deception, demons, discerning the spirits, drawing boundaries, experience, false spirits, following Jesus, God's goodness, God's love, light, peace, Resisting the Devil, RHEMA movement, Satan, T.A. Sparks, Witchcraft, Word of Faith
The following excerpt by T. Austin Sparks speaks bluntly about how evil spirits imitate God by letting people appear ‘holier’ than before they had come into touch with these cunning underlings of Satan. May we not think it is easy to discern the real Christian who is indwelt by Christ’s Spirit (cf. Rom 8:9) from the ‘Christian’ that is indwelt by these evil spirits that comport themselves as if they were beings of light. Sparks wrote,
“If this is the dispensation of the Spirit, this is the dispensation of the counterfeit of the Holy Spirit. What is the work of the Holy Spirit? Well, it is many-sided, but, beloved, the enemy can give false signs, which are an imitation of the signs of the Holy Spirit. The enemy can give false guidance which is an imitation of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Experiences? Yes, you can have experiences, supernatural experiences, which are a counterfeit of the Holy Spirit. Teaching? Yes, teaching as from the Bible: doctrines of demons, false doctrine. But they would not be deceptions, delusions if they were not based upon Biblical content. Yes, imitating the Holy Spirit. Miracles, working great signs and wonders, calling down a fire from heaven to deceive them that are on the earth. Miracles, signs, wonders, power, yes, and even life, to give life unto the image, power to give life unto the image, and – now listen – conversions: apparent new birth, changing lives; and here we are on perhaps the most terrific ground when we say that. The question would at once arise: “Does the devil make men pure and turn men from godlessness to a life of God-interest?” “Does he really change men for the better?” Is that true? He will stand at nothing if he can get his ultimate end. If he can give you a false baptism of the Holy Spirit so that you have a wonderful experience, full of wonderful sensations, sublime sensations, and accompanied by remarkable gifts, powers, supernatural abilities…”
Is it imaginable that most people who call themselves Christians in the end times are being deceived? This apt description by T. Austin Sparks leaves no room for any ‘Christian’ area which has not yet been infiltrated by Satan. Where there is God, Satan follows also. Always. You know how quickly the devil could take hold of Peter after he had received this wonderful revelation by God Himself.
He [Jesus] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Mt 16:15-23 ESV)
Dear reader, I need to admit that I am not able to rejoice, still, about writing on this abiding theme of discerning the spirits and of not allowing demons to speak. Neither do I gladly remove deceptive comments or links from my blog, or block former commenters who have fallen prey to delusion or deception. However, I have learned that obeying God in all things gives me His peace. From a human standpoint I often struggle with ‘rejecting’ people whom I basically like. But God is Lord and He alone knows why He commands what He commands. He always wants our good, even if He tells us to do things our natural man does not like to do. One of the most difficult things for me is to draw a line regarding commenters who say the right things on an intellectual level, however, I immediately sense that they do not really write from their own experiences. Instead, they pretend to have had spiritual experiences of which they have often read only. You may say, well, where is the problem if that which they describe is indeed the truth?
Brothers and sisters, here we return again to square one. Following Jesus also means we need to discern the spirits. If not, how can we clearly hear His voice between these many that are yelling at us every day? If a spirit behind a person is a wrong (evil) spirit, and this spirit makes a person lie to you by telling you ‘the truth’, would you ever trust such a one? Let’s just look at what did Jesus in such a situation. We read, “And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.” (Lk 4:41 ESV) From my own and often painful experience I can tell you that I know if I open a door to such a spirit, God will allow Satan to first attack me, then to confuse and weaken me, and eventually, if such a trial continues without me repenting by uncompromisingly drawing a line, I might find myself helplessly (!) captured and bound by spirits that pull me more and more away from Jesus Christ. Dear reader, this is no exaggeration on my part since I have learned these things the hard way. Just a small example on this.
About a week ago I detected a pingback (link) to my blog from another blog that would be unknown to me. These things happen at times and usually it is no big deal. Yet this time as I checked out this blog, I found a not-so-small-picture of one of my blog posts directly beneath a (hold on tight, sigh) witchcraft article on a website that promotes using spells in order to manipulate God. Ugh!! Although this site was obviously no Christian blog, the whole thing immediately reminded me of the Rhema Word of Faith movement with which I had come into contact in these years between 1995 and 2000 as I had been a member of a Christian cult. I cannot tell you how messed up I was as I had finally been enabled by God to leave the cult. Also, I needed so many years to get things clear in my mind again. Without God’s help, this confusion would still lie underneath and hinder me to see God as He really is: God is good, God is light, and last but not least, GOD IS LOVE. Regarding this witchcraft site, well, it was clear to me that I would not moderate this link to my blog, but alas, I forgot to trash it at once. Therefore, for a few days these ideas about witchcraft were lingering on my mind although I had hardly read anything on this blog. Yet there was such a strong pull I felt that I really needed God’s help to eventually delete this link permanently and to not check out this site anymore. I want to close with some verses from apostle John who would leave the following warning for us as he said,
“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 Jn 7-11 ESV)