GJiGT Unabridged Version of War on the Saints
CHAPTER 3. Deception by evil spirits in modern times.
In the last days we are warned of a special onslaught of the deceiver. It will come mainly from false teachers. Today there are 2 false doctrines which make it easy to discern most false teachers. They are a false teacher if they teach a pre-tribulation rapture, or if they teach once saved always saved. The whole of the true Body of Messiah will be attacked by an army of deceiving spirits. Some will be specially attacked by the powers of darkness. We all need light upon Lucifer's deceptive workings. We all want to pass through the trial of the Last Hour, and be counted worthy to stand before the King of Glory.
Among the Body of Christ, there are degrees of growth. God will also allow degrees of testing. God will provides a way of escape for those who trust Him. Those who watch and pray will take heed lest they fall (1 Cor. 10: 12, 13). God is the Sovereign Lord of the Universe. Satan has limits set by God for every redeemed believer (see Job 1: 12; 2: 6; Luke 22: 31). Some of the members of Messiah are yet in the stage of babyhood. Others do not even know the initial reception of the Holy Spirit. By now you must realize this information is not for babes. They need to get off of the internet, turn off the radio and tv, close the books, and read the Authorized scriptures. The babes and the warriors need the "milk of the Word."
But there are others, who may be described as warriors, or the advance guard of the Church of Messiah. They have been baptized with the Holy Ghost, or who are seeking that Baptism. They are honest and earnest believers, who sigh and cry over the powerlessness of the true Church of Christ. They grieve that her witness is so ineffective. They are angry that Spiritism and Christian Science, and other "isms," are sweeping thousands into their deceptive errors. Many forget that, as they themselves go forward into the spiritual realm, the deceiver, who has misled others, has special wiles prepared for them. If you are called to stand in this evil day, Lucifer plans to render ineffective your aggressive power against him. These are the ones who are in danger of the special deception of the counterfeit "Christs," and false prophets. They are dazzled by lure of "signs and wonders," and "fire out of heaven." Satan planned to meet their longing for the mighty power of God. If you long to see God arise in the darkness settling upon the earth you must recognize, that such workings, of the spirits of evil, are possible. You must prepare to meet them. That is the purpose of "War on the Saints."
These are the ones who are recklessly ready to follow the Lord at any cost. We must be prepared for the contest with the spiritual powers of the unseen world as we press on into fuller spiritual things. Believers who are full of mental conceptions wrought into them in earlier years can hinder the Spirit of God from preparing them for all they will meet. False concepts also hinder others from giving them, out of the Scriptures, much that they need to know. They end up going blind into the spiritual world. Conceptions which lull them into a false security, give ground, and bring about deception. This enables the deceiver to find them an easy prey.
CAN "HONEST SOULS" BE DECEIVED?
It is shocking how many believers deeply believe that "honest seekers after God" will not be allowed to be deceived. WRONG! This is one of Satan's great lies. It puts seekers into a false position of safety. It is proved by the history of the Church during the past two thousand years. Every "wile of error" which has borne sad fruit throughout this period, first laid hold of devoted believers who were "honest souls." The errors among groups of such believers, all began among "honest" children of God, baptized with the Holy Ghost. They were all so sure that, knowing the side-tracking of others before them, they would never be caught by the wiles of Satan. Yet they, too, have been deceived by lying spirits, counterfeiting the workings of God in the higher ranges of the spiritual life.
Lying spirits have taken advantage of their determination literally to obey the Scriptures. By misuse of the letter of the written Word they became unbalanced. This resulted in erroneous practices. Many who have suffered for their adherence to these "Biblical commands," firmly believe that they are martyrs suffering for Christ. The world calls these devoted ones "cranks," and "fanatics." Yet they give evidence of highest devotion and love to the Lord. They could be delivered, if they understood why the powers of darkness deceived them. They need to know the way of freedom from the lying spirit's power.
Many "honest souls" are easily swept off their feet by evil supernatural powers. They are not able to discern from the true working of God. Large numbers of earnest servants of God are swept into deception every day. They are taken by the wiles of deceiving spirits counterfeiting the workings of God. They are all "honest souls," deceived by the subtle foe, and certain to be led on into still deeper deception. Their honesty and earnestness did not protect them. They must be awakened to "return to soberness" and recovery out of the snare of the devil into which they have fallen (2 Tim. 2: 26).
FAITHFULNESS TO LIGHT NOT SUFFICIENT SAFEGUARD AGAINST DECEPTION
The children of God need to know that to be true in motive, and faithful to light of truth, is not sufficient safeguard against deception. It is not safe for them to rely upon their "honesty of purpose" as guaranteeing protection from the enemy's wiles. We must always take heed to the warnings of God's Word, and watching unto prayer. We never outgrow our need for the pure milk of His Word.
Christians who are true and faithful, and honest, can be deceived by Satan, and his deceiving spirits, for the following reasons:
(a) When a man becomes a child of God, by the regenerating power of the Spirit, he is given new life as he trusts in the atoning work of Christ. He does not at the same time receive fulness of knowledge, either of God, himself, or the devil.
(b) The mind which by nature is darkened (Eph. 4: 18), and under a veil created by Satan (2 Cor. 4: 4) is only renewed. The veil is destroyed, up to the extent that the light of truth penetrates it. We do not comprehend everything. We all know in part. We all prophecy in part. No one can have full knowledge this side of glory.
(c) "Deception" has to do with the mind. It means a wrong thought admitted to the mind, under the deception that it is truth. "Deception" is based on ignorance, and not on moral character. A Christian who is "true" and "faithful" up to the knowledge he has, is open to deception. He will be deceived where he is ignorant of the "devices" of the devil (2 Cor. 2: 11), and what he is able to do. A "true" and "faithful" Christian is liable to be "deceived" by the devil because of his ignorance. We hate the truth that we are ignorant. That in itself gives ground to the devil.
(d) The thought that God will protect a believer from being deceived if he is true and faithful, is in itself a "deception." It will surely throw a man off guard. It ignores the fact that there are conditions on the part of the believer which have to be fulfilled for God's working. God does not do anything instead of a man. God does things by the man's co-operation with Him. God does not make up for a man's ignorance, when He has provided knowledge for him which will prevent him being deceived.
(e) Christ would not have warned His disciples "Take heed . . be not deceived" if there had been no danger of deception. In the Olivette discourse alone, Jesus tells the disciples and us 14 times to TAKE HEED. God expects us to get knowledge of such danger, and take heed.
The knowledge that it is possible to be deceived, keeps the mind open to truth, and light from God. Knowing we can be deceived is one of the primary conditions for the keeping power of God. A closed mind to light and truth, is a certain guarantee of deception by Satan at his earliest opportunity.
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST
As we look at the rise of various "heresies" or delusions in church history, we see most start with some great spiritual crisis. The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is a crisis in which the man is brought to give himself up in full abandonment to the Holy Spirit. Few realize doing this opens one to the supernatural powers of the invisible world.
The reason for the peril of this crisis, is, that up to this time, the believer used his reasoning faculties in judging right and wrong. He obeyed, what he believed to be, the will of God, from principle. But now, in his abandonment to the Holy Spirit, he begins to obey an unseen Person. He begins to submit his faculties, and his reasoning powers in blind obedience to that which he believes is of God. What the Baptism of the Spirit means will be dealt with in a later chapter. At this point it is only necessary to say that it is a crisis in the life of a Christian. None but those who have gone through it in experience, can fully understand. It means that the Spirit of God becomes so real to the man, that his supreme object in life becomes implicit "obedience to the Holy Ghost." The will is surrendered to carry out the Will of God at all costs. The whole being is made subject to the powers of the unseen world. The believer, almost always, aiming that it shall only be to the power of God. It is amazing how few take into account that there are other powers in the spiritual realm. All that is "supernatural" is not all of God. This absolute surrender of the whole being to invisible forces is DANGEROUS. You must know how to discern between the contrary powers of God and Satan. This absolute surrender is the most dangerous risk to the inexperienced believer.
Is it scriptural to surrender to "obey the Spirit?" This is very serious. We are indeed to submit to God. At the same time we must resist the devil. It is amazing how few seem to know Satan's whole game is counterfeiting God. It is a crying shame the way in which so many wholehearted believers have been misled. It is strange that an attitude which is Scriptural should be so grievously the cause of danger. It often brings complete wreckage, to many devoted children of God.
IS THE PHRASE OBEYING "THE SPIRIT" SCRIPTURAL?
"The Holy Ghost, Whom God hath given to them that obey Him," is the principal phrase giving rise to the expression, "obey the Spirit." It was used by Peter before the Council at Jerusalem, but nowhere else in the Scriptures is the same thought given. The whole passage needs careful reading to reach a clear conclusion. "We must obey GOD" (Acts 5: 29), Peter said to the Sanhedrin, for "we are witnesses . . and so is the Holy Ghost Whom God hath given to them that obey Him" (v. 32). Does the Apostle mean "obey the Spirit," or "obey GOD," according to the first words of the passage? The distinction is important. The setting of the words can only be rightly understood by the teaching of other parts of Scripture. GOD in Heaven is to be obeyed, through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. If you place the Holy Ghost as the object of obedience, rather than God the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit, you are in danger. This is what creates the danger of leading the believer to rely upon, or obey, a "Spirit" in, or around him. That is the danger. We don't obey a spirit in or around us. We obey God on the throne in heaven. The child of God is united to His Son. The Holy Spirit is the way, or the empowerment, or means, through Whom God is worshipped, and obeyed.
THE TRUE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BELIEVER
The Baptism of the Spirit, brings the Holy Spirit as a Person into the believer's consciousness. This is such a powerful experience, that for a short time, the other Persons of the Trinity, in heaven, may be dimmed. The Holy Spirit becomes the center and object of thought and worship, and is given a place which He Himself does not desire. It is not the purpose of the Father in heaven, that He should have, or occupy such a position in the life of the believer. "He shall not speak from Himself " (John 16: 13) The Holy Spirit should act as Teacher (John 14: 26). He is teaching the words of Another, not His own. He should bear witness to Another, not to Himself (John 15: 26). He should glorify Another, not Himself (John 16: 14). He should only speak what was given Him to speak by Another (John 16: 13). His entire work would be to lead souls into union with the Son, and knowledge of the Father in heaven. The Holy Spirit directs and works in the background.
There is an opening of the spiritual world, which takes place through the filling of the Spirit. The work of the Spirit, which now occupies the attention of the believer, is just the opportunity for the arch-deceiver. The devil starts perhaps his most dangerous new strategy. If the man is untaught in the Scriptural statements of the work of the Triune God, to "obey the Spirit" is now his supreme purpose. Counterfeiting the guidance of the Spirit is now the deceiver's scheme. The devil knows he is on the defensive with a Holy Spirit filled believer. The devil knows he must somehow regain power over this servant of God. This child of God is now walking in the power of God. That is a major threat to the entire demonic host. The devil must deceive him to render him useless for aggressive warfare against the forces of darkness. The devil must drive him back into the world. The deceiving spirits must some way side-track him from active service for God.
THE PERIL OF THE TIME OF THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT
Ignorance of the believer about (1) the spiritual world now opened to him, (2) the workings of evil powers in that realm, and (3) the conditions upon which God works in and through him, gives the enemy his opportunity. It is the time of greatest peril for every believer, unless he is instructed and prepared, as the disciples were for three whole years by the Lord. The danger lies along the line of supernatural "guidance." The danger comes through not knowing the condition of co-operation with the Holy Spirit. The danger is not knowing from the word of God how to discern the will of God. The danger comes from not knowing, from the word of God, how to test or discern the spirits. This gives counterfeit manifestations, their ability to work as the false angel of light. They are thus able to bring about counterfeit gifts of prophesy, tongues, healings, and other spiritual experiences, connected with the work of the Holy Ghost.
Very few believers can guarantee that they are obeying God, and God only, in direct supernatural guidance. There are so many factors liable to intervene, such as the believer's own mind, own spirit, own will, and the deceptive intrusion of the powers of darkness.
Since evil spirits can counterfeit God as Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, the believer needs also to know very clearly the principles upon which God works. Then he can detect between the Divine and the Satanic workings. There is a "discernment" which is a spiritual gift, enabling the believer to discern "spirits," but this also requires knowledge of "doctrine" (1 John 4: 1). We have to discern between doctrine which is of God, and doctrines, or teachings, of teaching spirits.
There is a detecting, by the gift of discerning of spirits, which spirit is at work. There is also a test of spirits, which is doctrinal. The discerning of spirits gift allows a believer to tell by a spirit of discernment, that the lying spirits are at work in a meeting, or in a person. He may not have the understanding needed for testing the "doctrines" set forth by a teacher. He needs knowledge in both cases. He needs knowledge to read his spirit with assurance in the face of all contrary appearances, that the supernatural workings are "of God." He needs knowledge to detect the subtlety of "teachings" bearing certain infallible indications that they emanate from the pit, while appearing to be from God.
In personal obedience to God, the believer can detect whether he is obeying God in some "command," by judging its fruits, and by knowledge of the character of God. God always has a purpose in His commands. God will give no command out of harmony with His character and Word.
WHY THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT IS A SPECIAL TIME OF DANGER
Why, after a Baptism of the Holy Spirit, is the believer so specially open to the deceiver's workings? The enemy must have ground to work upon. With the Holy Spirit so manifestly in possession, how can "ground," be possible? How can the believer be open to the deceiver's approach?
Possibly because in preceding years, through yielding to sin, an evil spirit may have obtained access to body or mind. It could be hiding deeply in the structure of the man, never been detected, or dislodged. The manifestation of this evil spirit possibly being so apparently "natural," or so identified with the person's character, as to have had unnoticed control in his being. Possibly it could be some peculiar idea in the mind being considered as part of the man's habit of body. Considered to be part of the upbringing of the man. It was "put up with" by others, and looked upon by the believer as a lawful thing, or of trivial importance. Or else this evil spirit had ground through some secret sin known only to the person. Possibly some evil desire gave ground. [See also "Passivity," Chap. 4 and "obsession," Chap. 5].
In the Baptism of the Spirit, sin will, of necessity, have been dealt with. The "works of the devil," may have been dealt with but the peculiar evil desire is left undetected. The Baptism of the Spirit takes place, and the Holy Spirit fills the spirit of the man. The body and mind are "surrendered" to God, but hidden secretly in one, or both, is the evil spirit, or spirits, which obtained lodgment years before. These evil spirits can now break forth into activity, and hide their "manifestations" under cover of the true workings of the Spirit of God.
The result of this is, that for a time, the heart is filled with love. The spirit is full of light and joy. But before long a "fanatical spirit" may be detected creeping in, or a subtle spirit of pride, or self-importance, and self-aggrandizement. These can come in right along with the other pure fruits of the Spirit, which are undeniably of God.
The fact to emphasize now, is, that "honest" and earnest believers can be deceived, and even "possessed" by deceiving spirits. For a period they go out of the main line into deception. They can be left deceived to the end, unless light for their deliverance reaches them.
THE NEED FOR EXAMINATION OF THEORIES
The work of deceiving spirits, and their methods of deception, make it clear that close examination is needed of the twentieth century theories. We have some bad conceptions, and expressions, concerning things in connection with God. Only the truth of God, apart from "views" of truth, will give protection. Truth from the Authorized word of God is what we must have in this warfare. We must have God's truth in the conflict with wicked spirits in the heavenly sphere.
If it comes from the mind of the "natural man" (1 Cor. 2: 14) it will prove to be but weapons of straw in this great battle. If we rely upon others' "views of truth," or upon our own human conceptions of truth, Satan will use these very things to deceive us. Lucifer may even build us up in these theories and views, so that under cover of them, he may accomplish his purposes.
We cannot over-estimate the importance of believers having open minds. It is time we "examine all things" we have thought, and taught, in connection with the things of God, and the spiritual realm. All the "truths" we have held; all the phrases and expressions we have used in "holiness teachings". All the "teachings" we have absorbed through others. For any wrong interpretation of truth, any theories and phrases which are man-conceived, and which we may build upon wrongly, will have dangerous consequences in these last days. In the "later times" evil spirits will come to us with deceptions in doctrinal form, Believers must examine carefully what we accept as "doctrine." We must be sure it is not from the emissaries of the deceiver.
THE SPIRITUAL BELIEVER EXHORTED TO "JUDGE ALL THINGS"
The duty of this examination of spiritual things is strongly urged by the Apostle Paul, again and again. "He that is spiritual judgeth (examines, investigates and decides), all things" (1 Cor. 2: 15). The "spiritual" believer is to use his "judgment," which is a renewed faculty if he is a "spiritual man." This spiritual examination, or judging, is in connection with "things of the Spirit of God" (1 Cor 2: 14). God Himself honours the intelligent personality of the man He re-creates in Christ. He invites the "judging" and "examining" of His own workings by His Spirit. Even "the things of the Spirit" are not to be received as of Him, without being examined, and "spiritually discerned" as of God. If someone tries to tell you that supernatural, and abnormal manifestations of the present time are not to be judged and discerned and tested ---- WATCH OUT!!!! It is always in the will of God, for believers to understand, or explain all the workings of God. Otherwise it is out of accord with the Apostle's statement that, "he that is spiritual, judgeth all things." ALL things especially means supernatural things. We MUST reject all things which our spiritual judgment is unable to accept. We must reject them until such a time as we are able to discern with clearness what are the things of God.
And not only is the believer to discern, or judge the things of the spirit-- that means ALL things in the spiritual realm--but he is also to judge himself. For "if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged."
The Greek word means a thorough investigation -- We should not need the dealing of the Lord, to bring to light the things in ourselves which we have failed to discern by judging ourselves (1 Cor. 11: 31).
"Brethren, be not children in mind, howbeit in malice be ye babes, but in MIND BE MEN" (Gr., of full, or mature age, 1 Cor. 14: 20). He explained to them the way of the working of the Spirit among them.
The believer is in "mind" to be of "full age"; that is, able to examine, "bring to the proof" (Gr., to prove, demonstrate, examine, 2 Tim. 4: 2,), and "prove all things" (1 Thess. 5: 21). He is to abound in knowledge, and "all discernment," so as to "prove the things that are excellent," that he may be "sincere and void of offence" until the day of Christ (Phil. 1: 10 ).
EXPRESSIONS, "VIEWS," DOCTRINES, NEED TO BE EXAMINED
The Word of God tells us that these are perilous times. In these days of strong delusion, every expression, "view," or theory, which we hold concerning supernatural things, should now be examined carefully. We must bring it to the proof, with open and honest desire to know the pure truth of God. Every statement that comes to our knowledge of the experience of others, which may throw light upon our own pathway should be checked. Every criticism, just or unjust, should be humbly received, and examined to discover its ground, apparent or real. Facts concerning spiritual truths from every section of the Body of Messiah, should be analyzed. Whether we like it or not. Even if it is painful to us personally. We must test it for our equipment in the service of God. For the knowledge of truth is the first essential for warfare with the lying spirits of Satan. Truth must be eagerly sought for, and faced with earnest and sincere desire to know it, and obey it in the light of God. Truth concerning ourselves, discerned by unbiased judgment. We need truth from the Scriptures, uncolored, unstrained, unmutilated, undiluted. We need truth in facing facts of experience in all members of the Body of Messiah, and not one section alone.
THE PLACE OF TRUTH IN DELIVERANCE
There is a fundamental principle involved in the freeing power of truth from the deceptions of the devil. Deliverance from believing lies must be by believing truth. Nothing can remove a lie but truth. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8: 32), is applicable to every aspect of truth, as well as the special truth referred to by the Lord when He spoke those profound words.
In the very first stage of the Christian life the sinner must know the truth of the gospel, if he is to be saved. Christ is the Saviour, but He saves through, and not apart from instruments or means. If the believer needs freedom, he must ask the Son of God for it. How does the Son set free? By the Holy Spirit, Who is the Spirit of Truth. We we may say freedom is the gift of the Son, by the Holy Spirit working through truth.
There are three stages of apprehending truth :
1.Perception of truth by the understanding.
2.Perception of truth for use, and personal application.
3.Perception of truth for teaching, and passing on to others.
Truth apparently not grasped may lie in the mind, and in the hour of need suddenly emerge into experience. Then by experience it becomes clear to the mind in which it has been lying dormant. It is only by continual application, and assimilation of truth in experience, that it becomes clarified in the mind in order to teach others.
The great need of all believers is that they should eagerly seek truth for their progressive liberation from all Satan's lies. For knowledge and truth alone can give victory over Satan as deceiver and liar. If the hearers of truth should resist it, or rebel against it, truth can well be left to the care of the Holy Spirit of Truth. Even in the case of resistance to truth it has at least reached the mind, and at any time may emerge into experience.
There are three attitudes of mind in regard to knowledge,
1.Assumption of knowing a certain thing.
2.Neutrality toward it, that is, "I do not know."
3.Certainty of real knowledge.
This is illustrated in the life of Christ. Some said of Him, "He is a false prophet," with an assumption of knowledge; others said, "We do not know"- -taking a position of neutrality until they did know; but Peter said, "We know . . " and he had true knowledge.
THE SAFETY OF A NEUTRAL ATTITUDE TO ALL SUPERNATURAL MANIFESTATIONS
When believers first hear of the possibility of counterfeits of God, and Divine things, they almost invariably ask, "How are we to know which is which?" It is enough, first of all, for them to know that such counterfeits are possible. Then, as they mature, or seek light from God, they learn to know for themselves. No human being can explain to them.
But they cry, "We do not know, and how can we know?" They should remain neutral to all supernatural workings until they do know. There is among many a wrong anxiety to know, as if knowledge alone would save them. They think that they must be either for, or against certain things, which they cannot decide are either from God, or from the devil. They want to know infallibly which is which, that they may declare their position. Believers can take the attitude of "for" or "against" without knowing whether the things they are in doubt about are Divine or Satanic. This is very dangerous. It is wise to maintain the safety of the neutral position. Stay neutral till you know. In God's time you will know. Stay open and neutral, until, by a means which cannot be fully described, you know what you have wanted to understand.
One effect of over-eagerness in desiring knowledge, is a feverish anxiety, and a restless impatience, worry and trouble, which causes a loss of moral balance and power. It is important in seeking one "blessing" not to destroy another. In seeking knowledge of spiritual things, be patient. God knows your need. Trust God to meet your need when He knows you need it. We need calm quiet restfulness, and faith. We need to be patient and watch ourself. We don't want the enemy to gain advantage, and rob us of moral power, while we are crying to get light and truth upon the way to victory over him.
MISTAKEN CONCEPTION ABOUT THE SHELTER OF THE BLOOD
Before we pass on to deal with the ground for the working of deceiving spirits in believers, we should look at some misinterpretations of truth. There are things which are giving ground to the powers of darkness at this time. We need to check some basics to discover how far they are in accordance with Scripture.
(1) A mistaken conception concerning the "shelter of the Blood," claimed upon an assembly as a guarantee of absolute protection from the working of the powers of darkness.
The New Testament "proportion of truth" concerning the application of the Blood, by the Holy Spirit, may briefly be said to be as follows:--(1) The Blood of Jesus cleanses from sin, (a) "if we walk in the light," and ( b) "if we confess our sins" (1 John 1:7, 9). (2) The Blood of Jesus gives access to the Holiest of all; because of the cleansing power from sin (Hebrews 10: 19). (3) The Blood of Jesus is the ground of victory over Satan. It cleanses from every confessed sin. At Calvary, Satan was conquered (Rev. 12: 11), but we do not read that any can be put "under the Blood" apart from their own free will, and individual condition before God. If the "shelter of the Blood" is claimed over an assembly of people, and one present is giving ground for Satan, the "claiming of the Blood" does not avail to prevent Satan working on the ground which he has a right to in that person.
In gatherings of people at all stages of spiritual knowledge and experience, the actual effect of claiming the power of the Blood can only be upon the atmosphere where the evil spirits are. The Holy Spirit must bear witness to it there with immediate cleansing effect. Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
A misconception, therefore, about the protecting power of the Blood, is serious. Those who are present in a meeting where Satan is working as well as God, may believe they are personally safe from Satan's workings. Every individual's standing in holiness is important. If someone is giving ground to the devil he can work through that ground. Anyone giving ground to the devil, through that ground, can give to the adversary, an opening to his power. However, that is the time for the Spirit filled men of God walking in true righteousness and holiness to rise up and stand in His glorious power and might. It is time for the intercessors to be praying. If you don't know what to do always, ALWAYS say BLOOD of YESHUA! BLOOD OF YESHUA!
MISTAKEN CONCEPTIONS CONCERNING "WAITING FOR THE SPIRIT"
(2) Mistaken conceptions concerning "waiting for the Spirit" to descend. Here again we find expressions and theories misleading, and opening the door to Satanic deceptions. "If we want a Pentecostal manifestation of the Spirit, we must 'tarry' as did the disciples before Pentecost," we have said the one to the other. We have used the text in Luke 24: 49, and Acts 1: 4, and passed the word along. "Yes, we must 'tarry," Folks you can wait and tarry till the cows come home or you can look to the Authorized scriptures. The Old Testament word of "wait on the Lord," has been strained beyond the New Testament proportion of truth. It is often exaggerated into a "waiting on God" for the outpouring of the Spirit. Many "tarrying meetings" have even gone beyond the "ten days" which preceded Pentecost. Sometimes they "tarry" for months, and even for years. The result of such extended waiting has often ended in the arrival of deceiving spirits. This has rudely awakened some of the waiting souls. The Scriptural truth concerning waiting for the Spirit may be summed up as follows:
1.The disciples waited ten days, but we have no indication that they "waited" in any passive state, but rather in simple prayer, and supplication, until the fullness of time had come for the fulfillment of the promise of the Father.
2.The command to wait, given by the Lord (Acts 1: 4) was not carried forward into the Christian dispensation after the Holy Ghost had come at that first outpouring. In no single instance, either in the Acts or in the Epistles, do the Apostles bid the disciples "tarry" for the gift of the Holy Spirit, but they use the word "receive" in every instance (Acts 19: 2).
It is true that the Church is, as a whole, living experimentally on the wrong side of Pentecost. However, in dealing with God individually for the reception of the Holy Spirit, this does not put the seekers back to the position of the disciples before the Holy Ghost came at Pentecost. The Risen Lord poured forth the stream of the Spirit again and again after the day of the first Pentecost. In each and every instance since that first outpouring, it was without "tarrying" as the disciples did at the first (see Acts. 4: 31). The Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father through the Son to His people, is now among them. The Holy Spirit is waiting to give Himself unceasingly to all who will appropriate, and receive Him (John 15: 26 ; Acts 2: 33, 38, 39). A " waiting for the Spirit," therefore, is not in accord with the general tenor of the truth given in the Acts and the Epistles. The Scriptures show rather the imperative call to the believer to put in his claim. That claim is not only to his identification with the Lord Jesus in His death, and union in life with Him in His resurrection, but also to the enduement of Power from the Holy Ghost.
There is a waiting for God, while the Holy Spirit deals with, and prepares, the one who has put in his claim, until he is in the right attitude for the infilling of the Holy Spirit into his spirit. However, this is different from the "waiting for Him to come," which has opened the door so frequently to Satanic manifestations from the unseen world. The Lord does take the believer at his word when he puts in his claim for his share of the Pentecostal gift, but the "manifestation of the Spirit"--the evidence of His indwelling and outworking-- may not be according to any pre-conceptions of the seeker.
WHY WAITING MEETINGS ARE PROFITABLE TO EVIL SPIRITS
Why "waiting meetings"--that is, "waiting for the Spirit" until He descends in some manifested way--have been so profitable to deceiving spirits, is because they are not in accord with the written Word. The scriptures tell us that (1) The Holy Spirit is not to be prayed to, or asked to come, as He is the Gift of Another (see Luke 11: 13; John 14: 16). (2) The Holy Spirit is not to be "waited for," but to be taken, or received from the hand of the Risen Lord (John 20: 22; Eph. 5: 18); of Whom it is written, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire" (Matt. 3: 11).
Waiting Meetings are out of line with the truth of the Scriptures. According to the scriptures it is out of line to pray to the Spirit. It is out of scriptural order to "trust in the Spirit," It is out of order to be "obeying the Spirit." It is out of scriptural order to be "expecting the Spirit" to descend. Can you see how these may all become prayer, trust, and obedience to evil spirits, when they counterfeit the working of God, as we shall see later on.
Other mistaken conceptions of spiritual truth, center around phrases, such as these: "God can do everything. If I trust Him He must keep me." God works according to laws, and conditions, and that those who trust Him, should seek to know. There are conditions upon which He can work in response to their trust. "If I were wrong, God would not use me." If a man is right in his will, God will use him to the fullest extent possible. HOWEVER, this being "used" of God is no guarantee that any man is absolutely right in all that he says and does. The truth is God can even use a jackass. When God is using you it should only humble you, and never puff you up.
Here is one that can cause real trouble, "I have no sin," or "sin has been entirely removed." We cannot know and fully understand how deeply the sinful life of Adam is ingrained in the fallen creation. The assumption that "sin" has been eliminated from the whole being, enables the enemy to keep the life of nature from being dealt with by the continual power of the Cross. "God, Who is Love, will not allow me to be deceived" is of itself a deception, based on ignorance of the depths of the Fall, and the misconception that God works irrespective of spiritual laws. "I do not believe it possible for a Christian to be deceived," is a shutting of the eyes to facts around us on every hand. "I have had too long an experience to need teaching." God forbid! "I must be taught Of God direct, because it is written, 'Ye need not that any man teach you." That is another misused passage of Scripture, which some believers interpret as meaning that they are to refuse all spiritual teaching through others. But that the Apostle's words, "Ye need not that any man teach you," did not preclude God teaching through anointed teachers. Teacher is one of the ministry offices. Teachers are in the list of gifted believers to the Church, for the "building up of the Body of Messiah" through "that which every joint supplieth" (Eph. 4: 11-16). For God is sometimes able to teach His children more quickly by indirect means--that is, through others--than directly. Many men are so slow in understanding the way of direct teaching by the Spirit of God.
Many other similar misconceptions of spiritual things by Christians of today, give opportunity to the deception of the enemy. This is because they cause believers to close their minds to (1) the statements of God's Word; (2) the facts of life; (3) and the help of others who could throw light upon the way (1 Pet. 1: 12).
THE DANGERS OF COINED PHRASES TO EXPRESS SPIRITUAL TRUTHS
Other dangers center around the coining of phrases to describe some special experience, and words in familiar use amongst earnest children of God who attend Conventions; such as "possess," "control," "surrender," "let go." All containing truth in relation to God. However, in the interpretation of them in the minds of many believers, they often bring about conditions for the evil spirits of Satan to "possess" and "control" those who "surrender," and "let go" to the powers of the spiritual world. People do not know how to discern between the working of God and Satan.
If you empty your mind you can be sure an evil spirit will fill it. You NEVER give up control of your mind which would deny the self-control fruit of the Spirit. We are to take every thought captive to the mind of Messiah. We are to have our minds renewed by the washing and regeneration of the Word of God. To empty the mind is anything but Christian. It is eastern mysticism.
Various preconceptions of the way God works, also give evil spirits their opportunity. For example, when a believer is supernaturally compelled to act: Is it a special evidence that God is guiding him? Or that if God brings all things to our "remembrance" we need not use our memories at all?
Other thoughts which are liable to bring about the passive condition, which evil spirits need for their deceptive workings, may also be through the following misconceptions of truth:
1."Christ lives in me," that is, I do not live now at all;
2."Christ lives in me," that is, I have lost my personality, because Christ is now personally in me, based on Gal. 2: 20.
3."God worketh in me," that is, I need not work, only surrender and obey, based on Phil. 2: 13.
4."God wills instead of me," that is, I must not use my will at all;
5."God is the only one to judge," that is, I must not use my judgment.
6."I have the mind of Christ," I must not have any mind of my own, based on 1 Cor. 2: 16.
7."God speaks to me," so I must not "think" or "reason," only "obey" what He tells me to do.
8."I wait on God," and "I must not act until He moves me."
9."God reveals His will to me by visions," so I do not need to decide, and use my reason and conscience.
10."I am crucified with Christ," therefore "I am dead," and must "practice" death, which I conceive to be passivity of feeling, thinking, etc.
To carry out in practice these various conceptions of truth, the believer quenches all personal action of mind, judgment, reason, will and activity, for the "Divine life to flow," through him. THIS IS WRONG! In fact, God needs the fullest liberation of the faculties of the man, and his active and intelligent co-operation in will, for the working out of all these spiritual truths in experience.
The following table will show some other misinterpretations of truth, which need clarifying in the minds of many children of God:
a-TRUTH*** b-TRUE INTERPRETATION*** c-INCORRECT INTERPRETATION
a -"The Blood of Jesus cleanseth . ."
b - Cleanses moment by moment.
c- Leaves the man sinless.
a - "It is not ye that speak . ."
b - The source is not from the believer.
c - The man must not speak nor use his jaws, but be passive.
a - "Ask and ye shall receive."
b - Ask according to God's Will and you will receive.
c - Ask anything, and you will receive.
a - "It is God that worketh in you to will and to do . ."
b - The man must "will" and must act.
c - God wills for you (or instead of you) and God works instead of you.
a - "Ye need not that any man teach you."
b - You do not need any man to teach you, but you need Spirit-taught teachers given of God.
c - I must not take teaching from any man, but "direct" from God . . .
a - "He will guide you into all truth . ."
b - The Spirit of God will guide, but I must see how and when
c - . . guided me into all truth . . .
a - "A people for His own possession . ."
b - God's ownership.
c - "Possessed" by God indwelling, moving and controlling a passive automation.
a - "Meet for the Master's use . ."
b - God, in the man's spirit, using the mind, in the sense of giving light for the believer's intelligent co-operation.
c - "Used" by God as a passive tool, requiring blind submission.
What, then, is the condition of safety from the deception of evil spirits?
(1) Knowledge that they exist;
(2) that they can deceive the most honest believers (Gal. 2: 11-16);
(3) an understanding of the conditions and ground necessary for their working, so as to give them no place, and no opportunity of working; and, lastly,
(4) intelligent knowledge of God, and how to co-operate with Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. To make these points clear will be our purpose in the next chapters.
On to Chapter 4
War on the Saints Index
Great Joy in Great Tribulation Home Page
Click Here: For The Bondage Breaking
Prayer of Elijah, Prayer to find Repentance,
and Prayer to Walk as an Overcomer in True Righteousness and Holiness