This article might turn out another entry on discerning the spirits which seems to be an ongoing theme I cannot, and meanwhile do not want to get rid of, either. Whether we want to know if Christians speak the truth when they share their experiences with God or if we want to discern a preacher’s sermon, it appears to me that we all need this discernment as little lies often creep in secretly. I do not want to give a theoretical approach here. Therefore, I am going to share my latest experiences with you on here.
For quite some time I have been watching a bunch of videos where people, not only Christians, share their experiences with God. Sometimes I like what I see and sometimes I don’t. Yet that does not mean it would always be easy to discern right from wrong. Quite the contrary! If a Bible verse comes to mind immediately when someone shares a (little) lie, then you are the happy one. However, most of the times. I sit here watching, praying, wondering, feeling revived or appalled, or I do not know what to think about IT at all. Basically, I like what I see, seem to have had similar experiences as described by these people, yet…. what remains is a sort of collywobbles, a skeptical question, “Jesus… have You REALLY been the author of THIS?” 🙄
A friendly middle-aged man had experienced a difficult childhood due to his violent father. He did not know how parental love looked like and therefore he turned out a both aggressive and violent man later, too. As a child he often pondered on committing suicide, yet a dream seemed to have saved him from doing so. In that dream, he explained, he saw an angel appearing in his room who told him that his life was precious to God. Later one of his sisters had come to Christ and prayed for his salvation. He eventually agreed on attending a church meeting with her and, touched by the gospel, he gave his life to Jesus. Actually, it was a woman preacher (cf. 1 Tim 2:12) who convinced him of being in need of Jesus. 🙄
I do believe that Jesus worked on his heart. And I too think that our Lord knows how difficult it is for us as “new” believers to screen incoming internal information as to whether it was from God or from His counterpart, the devil. But I also know the outcome of people who just came to Christ and think they heard a call to ministry, without being experienced and tested as to their faith for many years before. 😦 In his case, a strange occurrence happened soon afterwards. His father had three heart-attacks and that man went into the woods to pray. There he claimed to have heard Jesus’ voice telling him, “If you do not forgive your father now, he will die tonight!” OUCH!! 🙄 What?? Can this really be the voice of God?
To be honest with you, I only knew that there was something (very) wrong, but I could not name it yet. I prayed and prayed to God to reveal the truth to me. It was only one day later as I had begun to wonder whether Jesus Christ who alone has the keys of Death and Hades (see Rev 1:18) would EVER give His authority and power to a human being who, through granting or denying forgiveness, would be able to decide over the life and death of another human being?? I was shocked at this rogue image!! That man, already deluded, said that God explained to him that we would have the power to bind and to loose, on earth and in heaven (Mt 18:18). Alas, scripture taken out of context, that is always a big danger as these Scriptures here talk about restoring fellowship between Christians which is never a ‘one-way street’ as at least two believers must be involved.
Soon afterwards his dad was healed and changed by God, he said. A few years later as he wanted to meet his father again, his sister called him and told him that his dad had just died. He could not believe it, but as he believed in the fact that God was able to raise the dead, he soon found himself in a “vision” in “heaven” where he could say somehow goodbye to his father. I need to admit that his story was very gripping to a casual observer. However, while watching this video, the spirit inside me was cringing again and again. That man became a pastor and still shares this story with many people. And understandably, they like his testimony as he is a friendly (though gullible) man. If he looked like a devil, nobody would believe him, ever. I got really sad as I read some of numerous enthusiastic comments on his story. It is so sad that as he shares this story, including at least three little lies, with more and more people who believe him every word, his audience over time gets a more and more distorted picture of God and Jesus, too. This is how deception always begins. Nobody of us wants to be deceived, yet it happens every day. 😦
Here we have an interview between a young and caring pastor and a teenager, or a very young woman, who claims to have seen Jesus and angels, not only once. At first sight both the pastor and the girl have a winsome sweet spirit. You cannot hear any critical word from any side, so all seems to be love, peace, and harmony. As the girl lengthily describes how she saw Jesus sitting and weeping beside another girl, a friend of hers, who was weeping due to much mental pain, I thought that sounded quite touching (although I, strangely enough, did not feel touched).
The pastor was very curious about how Jesus looked like and she described him as rather human although she could not discern his face properly. Then she went on to share that she also saw angels and a demon of sorts, a black shadow sitting on the other side of the other girl. As she had focused on that black being, she felt fear and anxiety. But then she added, as she glanced back to Jesus, He was so forgiving that she had forgotten about Him for a short time. Hmm… 🙄 It seems she had a pretty strict image of Jesus. However, she kept smiling and glowing all the time when she spoke about Jesus’ wonderful love and about these angels, whom she claimed to have seen continually when she needed help and support.
She also shared that she suffered from an unknown disease that cannot be healed yet. That was very touching, though. But again, my ‘feelings’ regarding her whole story gave me an internal ‘check’ I could not get rid of. “Lord, what is wrong here?” I asked. This pastor even admitted publicly that he was eagerly longing to see Jesus himself. Initially, that sounded pretty humble to me. He seemed to have been jealous of the girl’s experiences in a good way, I thought at first, yet the spirit inside me made me feel uncomfortable, even impatient and upset, as this girl kept delving into several tiring details like “Jesus did this, Jesus did that, He was so sweet, and then he moved, He got up, he hugged us….” Pheew!!! And her almost unnatural, glowing stare all the time, could this be a false spirit? 🙄
Nonetheless, as a woman and a mother I do understand that teenagers usually behave that way or other. However, we should know if we meet the real Jesus, beholding Him will not only leave us having a crush on Him, it will leave us standing speechless in awe as He is the real God!!! Furthermore, what would truly be a very important trait for us as Christians would be sober-mindedness. Yet in this case, of course, I would never blame the girl at all! However, her pastor by believing every word that came out of her mouth and by sharing her experiences as genuine with others, he is going to leave a deceptive trace in Christendom, too.
Dear brothers and sisters, there is a lot to pray for us, for ourselves and for others, as we are confronted with deception in different forms almost every day. Let’s take care as it’s so easy to overlook a snare.
All images © Susanne Schuberth 2021