GJiGT Unabridged Version of War on the Saints
CHAPTER 6. Counterfeits of the Divine.
In seeking to obtain full control of the believer, the first great effort of evil spirits is directed toward getting the man to accept their suggestions, and workings, as the speaking, working, or leading of God. Their initial device is to counterfeit a "Divine Presence," under cover of which they can mislead their victim as they will. The word counterfeit means the substitution of the false for the true.
The condition on the part of the believer, which gives the deceiving spirits their opportunity, and the basis of this counterfeit, is the mistaken location of God; either (1) in them (consciously); (2) or around them (consciously). When they pray they think of, or pray to God in themselves, or else to God around them, in the room, or atmosphere. They use their imagination, and try to "realize" His presence, and they desire to "feel" His presence in them, or upon them.
THE LOCATION OF GOD BY BELIEVERS
This locating of God, in, or around the believer, usually comes about at the time of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Up to that time of crisis in his life, he lived more by the acceptance of facts declared in the Scriptures, as understood by his intelligence. However, with the Baptism of the Spirit he becomes more conscious of the presence of God by the Spirit, and in the spirit, and so begins to locate the Person of God as in, around, or upon him. The Father is on His throne in heaven and Yeshua is seated at His right. He does not get off His throne when you get Baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Some believers so live inwardly in communion, worship and vision, as to become spiritually introverted, and cramped and narrowed in their outlook. Their spiritual capacity and mental powers become dwarfed and powerless. Others become victims to the "inner voice," and the introverted attitude of listening to it, which is the ultimate result of the location of God as a Person within, so that eventually the mind becomes fixed in the introverted condition with no out-going action at all.
In fact, all turning inwards to a subjective location of God as indwelling, speaking, communing, and guiding, in a physical, or conscious sense, is open to darkest danger. It is upon this belief, diligently nurtured by the powers of darkness, the most serious deceptions, and final out-workings of deceiving spirits have taken place.
THE ULTIMATE RESULT OF MISTAKEN LOCATION OF GOD
The mistaken location of God is used by evil spirits as the ground work for manifestations to support and deepen this belief. This is the foundation of the delusions of believers. Ultimately it leads, some to assert themselves to be "Christ." We will see this more and more in these last days. Jesus told us this would be another last days sign. The Lord in Matthew 24:24 tells of the "false Christs" and false prophets; and the "I am the Christ" of the leaders of groups of side-tracked believers. The devil's richest harvest is from the effects of his counterfeits. In an unguarded moment, many sober and faithful teachers of "holiness" have aided the devil in his deceptions. They do this through the using of language which gives a earthly idea of spiritual things. This is eagerly laid hold of by the natural mind.
Those who locate God personally, and wholly in themselves, make themselves, by their assertions, practically, "divine" persons. God is not wholly in any man. He dwells in those who receive Him, by His own Spirit communicated to them. "God is Spirit," and mind or body cannot hold communion with spirit. Sensuous feelings, or "conscious" physical enjoyment of some supposed spiritual presence is not true communion of spirit with spirit, such as the Father seeks from those who worship Him (John 4: 24).
God is in heaven. Christ the Glorified Man is in heaven. The location of the God we worship is of supreme importance. If we think of our God as in us, and around us, for our worship, and for our "enjoyment" we unwittingly open the door to the evil spirits in the atmosphere which surrounds us. Instead we should be penetrating in spirit through the lower heavens (see Heb. 4: 14; 9:24; 10: 19, 20) to the throne of God, which is in the highest heaven, "above principality and power, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come" (Eph. 1: 21).
THE TRUE LOCATION OF GOD
The Word of God is very clear on this point, and we need only think about such passages as Heb. 1: 3; 2: 9; 4: 14-16; 9: 24; and many others, to see it. The God we worship, the Christ we love, is in heaven. We approach Him there. By faith we understand our union with Him in spirit there. By faith and in spirit, we, too, are raised with Him and seated with Him, above the plane of the lower heavens where the powers of darkness reign. By faith we are seated with Him and by faith we see the powers of darkness under His feet (Eph. 1: 20-23; 2: 6).
The Lord's words recorded in the gospel of John, chapters 14, 15 and 16, give the truth very clearly concerning His indwelling in the believer. The "in Me" of being with Him, and in Him, in His heavenly position (John 14: 20), being the fact for the believer's faith. "I in you" is to the Body of Christ as a whole and following as a result in the individual life of the believer. The union with the Messiah results in the inflow and outflow of His Spirit and life through the believer on earth (see Phil. 1: 19).
CHRIST AS A PERSON IN HEAVEN
The Lord said "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will. . ." (John 15: 7).
Messiah abides in us by His Spirit, and through His words. Understand that He Himself, as a Person, is in heaven. It is only as we abide in Him there, that His Spirit, and His life, through His Word, can be manifested in us here.
"Abiding" means an attitude of trust, and dependence on a Messiah in heaven. If the attitude is changed into a trust and dependence upon a Christ within, it is really a resting upon an inward experience, and a turning from the Messiah in heaven. This actually blocks the way for His life in us. This actually disassociates the believer from co-operation with Him by the Spirit. Any manifestation therefore of a "presence" within, cannot be a true "manifestation" from God. That removes the focus of the believer from his right attitude toward the Messiah in heaven.
There is a true knowledge of the presence of God, but it is in the spirit, when joined to Him Who is within the veil. It is that knowledge of spiritual union and fellowship with Him which lifts the believer, so to speak, out of himself to abide with Christ in God.
The counterfeit "presence" of God is nearly always manifested as love. The believer opens himself without hesitation to the counterfeit "presence." The counterfeit "presence" will fill and satisfy his innermost being. The deceived one does not know that he has opened himself to evil spirits in the deepest need of his inner life.
COUNTERFEIT PRESENCE OF GOD
We will try to describe how the powers of darkness counterfeit the presence of God. At some moment when the believer is yearning for the sense of God's presence, either alone, or in a meeting, and certain conditions are fulfilled, the subtle foe approaches. They wrap the senses around with a soothing, lulling feeling, sometimes filling the room with light, or causing what is apparently a "breath from God" by a movement of the air. Maybe you hear a whisper "This is the presence you have longed for." This would lead most any uninformed believer to infer that it is what he has desired.
Then, off his guard, and lulled into security that Satan is far away, some thoughts are suggested to the mind, accompanied by manifestations which appear to be Divine. A sweet voice may speak, or a vision is given, which is at once received as "Divine guidance," given in the "Divine presence." It then becomes beyond question as from God. If accepted as from God, when from the spirits of evil, the first ground is gained.
The man is now so sure that God has bidden him do this or that. He is filled with the thought that he has been highly favored of God. He thinks he is chosen for some high place in His Kingdom. The deeply hidden self-love is fed and strengthened by this. He is able to endure all things by the power of this secret strength. He has been spoken to by God! He has been singled out for special favor! His support is now within upon his experience, rather than upon God Himself, and the written Word. Through this secret confidence that God has specially spoken to him, the man becomes unteachable and unyielding, with a positiveness trending on infallibility. He cannot listen to others now, for they have not had this "direct" revelation from God. He is in direct, special, personal communion with God, and to question any "direction" given to him, becomes the height of sin. Obey he must, even though the direction given is contrary to all enlightened judgment. He will do it even if the action commanded was opposed to the spirit and the Word of God. When the man at this stage believes he has a "command" from God, he will not use his reason. He thinks it would be "carnal" to do so. He would think "common-sense" is lack of faith, and therefore sin, and "conscience" for the time being, has ceased to speak.
Some of the suggestions made to the believer by deceiving spirits at this time, may be: (1) "You are a special instrument for God," working to feed self-love; (2) "You are more advanced than others" working to blind the soul to sober knowledge of itself; (3) "You are different from others," working to make him think he needs special dealing by God; (4) "You must take a separate path," a suggestion made to feed the independent spirit; (5) "You must give up your occupation, and live by faith," aiming at causing the believer to launch out on false guidance, which may result in the ruin of his home, and sometimes the work for God in which he is engaged.
All these suggestions are made to give the man a false conception of his spiritual state; for he is made to believe he is more advanced than he actually is, so that he may act beyond his measure of faith and knowledge (Rom. 12: 3), and consequently be more open to the deceptions of the enemy.
Upon the basis of the supposed revelation of God, and the special manifestation of His presence, and the consequent full possession of the believer by Him, the lying spirits afterwards build their counterfeits.
THE COUNTERFEIT "PRESENCE" IS SENSUOUS
Counterfeits of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are recognizable by the manifestations being given to the senses. That is in the physical realm. The true indwelling of God is in the shrine of the spirit alone. The mind, or soul, or personality of the believer, is purely a vehicle for the expression of Messiah. Messiah is at the center of the believer's being enthroned within by His Spirit of truth and holiness. The body moved to action by the same Spirit, is governed by God from the innermost depths of the human spirit, through the self-control of the man, acting by his own renewed will.
The counterfeit presence of God is given by deceiving spirits working upon the physical body upon the senses. We have seen the beginning of this, and how the first ground is gained. It is deepened by these sense-feelings being repeated, so gently, that the man goes on yielding to them, thinking this is truly "communion with God." Believers all too often look upon "communion with God" as a thing of sense, and not of spirit. This is where he starts praying to evil spirits under the belief that he is praying to God. The self-control is not yet lost, but as the believer responds to, or gives himself up to these "conscious" manifestations, he does not know that his will-power is being slowly undermined. At last through these subtle, delicious experiences, the faith is established that God Himself is consciously in possession of the body, quickening it with felt thrills of life, or filling it with warmth and heat, or even with "agonies" which seem like fellowship with the sufferings of Christ, and travail for souls. From this point the lying spirits can work as they will, and there is no limit as to what they may do to a believer deceived to this extent.
COUNTERFEIT MANIFESTATIONS OF DIVINE WORKINGS IN THE BODY
Counterfeit manifestations of the Divine life in various ways now follow quickly. Movements in the body, pleasant thrills, touches, a glow as of fire in different parts of the body, or sensations of cold, or shakings, and tremblings. All accepted by the believer as from God, but showing what a full entry the deceiving spirit has obtained to the body. There is a distinction between the manifestations of evil spirits "with" and "in" the body and mind of the believer. Although when they are really inside, they can also make it appear as if they were outside, both in influence and action.
When evil spirits are really outside, and desirous of entry, they work by sudden suggestion, which is not the ordinary working of the mind, but suggestions which come from without. It could be "flashes of memory," again not the ordinary working of the memory, but coming from without. It could be touches and twitches of the nerves or feelings of draught and sensations of wind blowing.
EFFECTS OF EVIL SPIRIT ENTRY TO THE BODY
When the evil spirits are inside, the whole frame is affected. The sensations may be either painful or pleasant. The pains will have no physical cause, or else so working with the "natural" that the supernatural cannot easily be distinguished from it. When the manifestation is pain, then depression will come in proportion to the previous exhilaration. Exhaustion and fatigue in reaction from the demand upon the nervous system in the hours of ecstasy. There may be a sense of drainage of strength without any visible cause; grief and joy, heat and cold, laughter and tears, all succeed each other in rapid changes, and varied degrees. The emotional sensibilities seem to have full play.
The "senses" are aroused, and are in full mastery of the person, apart from the man's own will. The evil spirit's presence may be hidden from the knowledge of the believer. These foul spirits do not want to be discovered and work carefully. They will not go a shade too far, which might awaken suspicion of the cause of the abnormality.
It can easily be seen, that in time, the health of the deceived one must be affected by this play upon mind and body. There can be breakdowns following experiences of an abnormal kind. There may be an entire change of tactics by the deceiving spirits in the body, who may now turn upon their victim with terrible accusations. Sometimes the believer may think they have committed the unpardonable sin. The unpardonable sin is to receive the mark of the beast in your right hand or forehead. As long as you have not received that mark, to blaspheme the Holy Spirit, tell that accuser to stop, by the power of the Blood of Yeshua. We are in the last days, don't take the mark. Even if you don't think that could be the mark, don't take that mark of the beast in your right hand or forehead. That is the unpardonable sin.
COMPULSORY "CONFESSIONS" OF SIN
Here the evil spirits may push the man to "confessions" of all kinds, however public and painful. He hopes it will result in regaining the "experience" apparently lost. It is all in vain. These confessions instigated by deceiving spirits may be recognized by their compulsory character. The man is forced to "confess" sin, and often sins which have no existence, but in the accusations of the enemy. Evil spirits will push a man to do what looks like the most meritorious thing for obtaining forgiveness. He yields to the drive upon him, simply to get relief. This is the danger of widespread "confessions of sin" during times of Revival, when almost a "wave" of "confession" passes over a community. The depths of sinful lives are exposed to the gaze of others. This enables the lying spirits to disseminate the very poison of hell into the minds of the listeners. It can be almost as bad as watching television.
TRUE CONFESSION OF SIN
True confession of sin should come from deep conviction and not compulsion. It should, be made only to God, if the sin is only known by God. It should be made to man personally, and in private, when the sin is against man. It should be confessed to the public only when the sin is against the public. "Confession" should never be made under the impulse of any compulsory emotion. Confession should be the deliberate act of one's will, putting things right, according to the will of God.
That Satan's kingdom gains by public "confessions" is evident by the devices of the enemy used to push men into them. Evil spirits drive a man into sin. Then they compel that man publicly to confess the sin which they forced him to commit. This makes the sin which they forced him into, a stigma upon him for the remainder of his life.
The counterfeit manifestations of the Divine presence in the body, in agreeable and heavenly feelings, can be followed by counterfeit feelings of sinful things.
The deceiving spirit in possession of the body, may cause attacks of apparent disease, or intense pain without physical cause. They can actually counterfeit and even produce (1) tuberculosis, (2) fever, (3) nerve breakdown, and other illnesses. Lives may be lost, unless the workings of the "murderers" acting under Satan are discerned. They are dealt with by the power of the Blood of Yeshua. We pray against the evil spirits, as well as care for the body in the natural way.
Counterfeit guidance is one of the fruits of the possession of the body which the deceiver obtains through trickery. Many believers think the "guidance" or "leading" of God, to be only by a voice saying "Do this," or "Do that." Some believe God moves them by a compulsion or impulse. Understand, God does not act apart from the action of the will of the man. They point to the expression used about the Lord, "the Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness." But this was abnormal in the life of Christ. The statement implies intense spirit conflict as if the Holy Spirit departed from His ordinary guidance. We have a glimpse into a similar intense movement in the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, in John 11: 38, when "Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave." In both instances He was moving forward to direct conflict with Satan. In the case of Lazarus, with Satan as the prince of death.
But normally the Lord was guided, or led, in simple fellowship with the Father. He was deciding, acting, reasoning, thinking, as One who knew the will of God. And He intelligently carried it out. The "voice" from heaven was rare. The Lord Himself said it was for the sake of others, and not for Himself. He knew the Father's will, and with every faculty of His being as Man, He did it. (See John 12: 30, 5: 30, 6: 38).
Messiah was a pattern or example for His followers. Guidance or "leading" in its perfect and true form is shown in His life. Believers can only expect the co-working of the Holy Spirit when they walk after the pattern of their Example. Out of line with the Pattern, they cease to have the working of the Holy Spirit. Then they become open to the deceptive counterfeit workings of evil spirits.
If the believer ceases to use his mind, reason, will, and depends upon voices, and impulses for guidance in every detail of life, he will be "led" or guided by evil spirits. Evil spirits pretend to be God.
COUNTERFEIT "INWARD" DRAWINGS
At first, after the Baptism of the Spirit, the believer knows the true guidance of the Spirit of God. He knows true inward self-control of his actions. He also uses his mind and will to restrain from action. He knows when to speak to another about his soul. He knows when to rise and testify. But after a time, he ceases to watch for this pure inward moving of the Spirit. Often through ignorance of how to read the counsel of his spirit, he begins to wait for some other incentive or manifestation to guide him in action. This is the time for which the deceiving spirits have been watching. Because at this point the believer has ceased, unknown to himself, to co-operate with the inward spirit action, to use his own will, and to decide for himself. He is now watching for some other supernatural indication of the way to go, or the course to take. Hence he must have "guidance" somehow, some "text," some "indication," some "providential circumstance." This is the moment of opportunity for a deceiving spirit to gain his faith and confidence. Some word or words are whispered softly, that are exactly in agreement with the inward drawing that he has had. However, he has not recognized as from another source than the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit acted by the deep inner restraining of his own spirit. The soft whisper of the deceiving spirit is so delicate and gentle, that the believer listens to it, and receives the words without question. He then begins to obey this soft whisper, yielding more and more to it. When he obeys this voice without any thought of exercising mind, judgment, reason, or his own will, that is the DANGER.
The "feelings" are now in the body. But, the believer is unconscious that he is ceasing to act from his spirit, and by the pure free action of his will and his mind. Under the true illumination of the Spirit, there is always co-operation with his own will and with his own spirit. This is a time of great danger if the believer fails to discriminate the source of his "drawing" feelings, and yields to them before finding out their source. He should examine his basic principle of decision, especially when it has to do with feelings. Otherwise, he will be led away by any feeling without being able to say where it comes from, or whether it is safe for him to go by it. He should know there are physical feelings, soulish feelings, and feelings in the spirit, either of which can be Divine or Satanic in their source. Reliance on "feelings," feeling drawn, is a source of great deceit in the Christian life.
From this point deceiving spirits can increase their control, for the believer has begun the listening attitude, which can be developed to a great extent. He finally is always watching for an "inner voice," or a voice in the ear, which is an exact counterfeit of the voice of God in the spirit. The believer is then on his way to act as a passive slave to "supernatural guidance." That is not how the Holy Spirit works. The Holy Spirit works with your own active co-operative renewed mind and will.
THE COUNTERFEIT VOICE OF GOD
Evil spirits are able to counterfeit the voice of God. It is the ignorance of believer that allows him to be deceived with the counterfeit voice. We must know God's true way of communication with His children. The Lord said: "My sheep know My voice . . " That is , My way of speaking to My sheep. He did not say this voice was an audible voice. He did not say His voice was a voice giving directions which were to be obeyed apart from the intelligence of the believer. On the contrary, the word "know," indicates the use of the mind, for although there is knowledge in the spirit, it must reach the intelligence of the man. The spirit and mind become of one accord.
THE MINISTRY OF ANGELS
The angels are "sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation" (Heb. 1: 14), but not to take the place of Christ or the Holy Spirit. The book of Revelation shows that this ministration of angels to the saints on earth, is a ministration of war in the spiritual realm, against the forces of Satan. There is little indication given of ministry in any other way. After the first coming of Messiah, when there was great angelic activity over the wondrous event of the Father bringing the "Firstborn" of the new race (Rom. 8: 29) into the inhabited earth (Heb. 1: 6). Once the when Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost, He began His work of forming the Body of Messiah. During the early years of the Church, the use of angels in direct and visible communication with believers, seems to give way to the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The entire work of witnessing for Christ, and leading the Church into all truth, has been committed to the Holy Spirit. Therefore, all intervention of "angels," or audible voices from the spiritual realm, purporting to be from God, may be taken as counterfeits of Satan. The demonic supreme object is to substitute the working of his own wicked spirits in the place of God. In any case, it is best and safest in these last days of peril and strong delusion, to keep in the path of faith and reliance upon the Holy Spirit of God, working through the word of God. The Holy Spirit of God always AGREES & CONFIRMS and conforms to the written word of God.
HOW TO DETECT THE SOURCE OF A VOICE
In order to detect the "voice of God," from the "voice of the devil," we need to understand that the Holy Spirit alone is charged to communicate the will of God to the believer. He works from within our spirit, within our will. He does not work from without. The Holy Spirit enlightens our understanding (Eph. 1: 17-18). The Holy Spirit brings us into intelligent co-working with the mind of God.
The purpose of the Holy Spirit is the entire renewal of the redeemed one, in spirit, soul, and body. He therefore directs all His working to the liberation of every faculty, and never in any way seeks to direct a man as a passive machine, even into good. He works in him to enable and empower him to choose the good. The Holy Spirit strengthens us to act, but never, even for "good," will the Holy Spirit dull us.
The Holy Spirit will NOT render us incapable of free action. Otherwise He would nullify the very purpose of Christ's redemption on Calvary, and the purpose of His own coming.
When believers understand these principles, the "voice of the devil" is recognizable. Watch out and know it is the devil, (1) when it comes from outside the man, and not from the central depth of his spirit, where the Holy Spirit abides; (2) when it is imperative and persistent, urging sudden action without time to reason, or intelligently weigh the issues; (3) when it is confusing and clamorous, so that the man is hindered from thinking. The Holy Spirit desires the believer to be intelligent, as a responsible being with a choice. The Holy Spirit will not confuse us so as to make us incapable of coming to a decision.
The speaking of evil spirits can also be a counterfeit of the apparent inner speaking of the man himself. The evil spirit can make it seem as if we were ourself "thinking," and yet with no concentrated action of the mind. Watch out for a persistent and ceaseless "commentary" going on somewhere within, apart from our own will or mind action. Watch out for commenting on the man's own actions or the actions of others. Watch out for such as "you are wrong," "you are never right ..... God has cast you off .. you must not do that."
HOW TO DETECT THE SOURCE OF "TEXTS" SUPERNATURALLY SPOKEN
The "voice of the devil" as an angel of light is more difficult to detect. This is especially true when it comes with wonderful strings of texts which makes it appear like the voice of the Holy Spirit. Voices from without, either as from God or angels, should be rejected. Yet the believer may be deceived by "floods of texts" which he thinks are from God. In this case the detection needs more knowledge:
(1) Does the believer rely upon these "texts" apart from the use of his mind or reason? This indicates passivity.
(2) Are these texts a prop to him? (a) undermining his reliance on God Himself; (b) weakening his power of decision, and (right) self-reliance.
(3) Do these texts influence him? and (a) make him elated and puffed up as "specially guided by God," or (b ) crush and condemn him, and throw him into despair and condemnation. We should be lead to sober dealing with God Himself, over the course of our life, with a sharp and increasing knowledge of right and wrong. We obtain this from the written Word by the light of the Holy Spirit?
If these are the fruit of the "texts" given, they may be rejected as from the deceiver, or at least an attitude of neutrality taken to them, until further proof of their source is given.
The voice of the devil, as distinguishable from the voice of God, may also be known by its purpose and outcome.
HOW EVIL SPIRITS ADAPT THEIR GUIDANCE TO THEIR VICTIM
Deceiving spirits carefully adapt their suggestions and leadings to the idiosyncrasies of the believer. No "leading" will be suggested contrary to any strong truth of God firmly rooted in the mind, or contrary to any special bias of the mind. If the mind has a "practical" bent, no visibly foolish "leading" will be given. If the Scriptures are well-known, nothing contrary to Scripture will be said. If the believer feels strongly on any point, the "leadings" will be harmonized to suit that point. The "leadings," wherever possible, will be so adapted to previously true guidance from God, as to appear to be the continuance of that same guidance.
Here we see clearly the way of the enemy's working. The soul begins in God's will. The purpose of the evil spirit is to draw it off into the carrying out of his will by counterfeiting the guidance of God. Satanic guidance alters the points of the life, and misdirects the energies of the man. It lessens his service value. To frustrate this ambush of the enemy, the believer should know that there are two distinct attitudes for guidance, which have serious results if their difference is not understood.
(1) Trusting God to guide, and (2) trust that God is guiding.
The first means reliance upon God Himself, and the second is an assumption of being guided. When we assume that God is guiding we can be taken advantage of by deceiving spirits. God does guide in response to definite trust in Him, and He guides through the spirit of the man who continues to co-operate with His Spirit. The Holy Spirit always leaves every ability of our mind and will free to act. The Holy Spirit keeps us free to will and to choose intelligently the right step in the path before us.
When we trust that we are being guided, evil spirits take advantage of an assumption that God "is guiding," independent constant watchful co-operation with the Holy Spirit. Typically a slight compulsion may be noticed, slowly increasing in force, until presently the believer says "I was compelled" to do so-and-so, and "I was afraid to resist." The compulsion should be recognized as an evidence of the guiding contrary to God's principle of dealing with His children.
THE DECEIVED BELIEVER A SLAVE TO EVIL SPIRITS
If yielded to, and believed to be of God, the result is that the believer becomes a slave to a supernatural power. This destroys all freedom of our own will and judgment. He begins to be afraid to act himself, lest he should not fulfill, what he believes to be, a minute obedience to the "will of God." He asks "permission" to do the most obviously simple duties of life. He fears to take a step without "permission." As soon as the deceiving spirits have obtained perfect control, the believer is so passively automatic that he is incapable of realizing his condition. Then they do not need to work so much under cover. They insidiously commence to direct him to do the most absurd or foolish things. They carefully work inside the range of his passive obedience to their will. That is how they avoid the danger of awakening his reasoning powers. As a matter of "obedience," and not from any true conviction, or true principle, he is bidden to let his hair grow long, so as to be like Samson, a Nazarite. He will go without his cap, to prove his willingness to obey in the smallest matters. He must wear faded clothes as a "test" of "no pride," or as a "crucifixion of self," or as a mark of "implicit obedience to God."
These things may seem trifles to others, who use their reasoning powers. But, they have great issues in the purpose of the deceiving spirits. The deceiving spirits, by these directions, aim at making the believer a passive, unthinking, or unreasoning medium, pliable to their will. Obedience to these trivial matters deepens their hold upon him.
When these foolish and absurd actions are publicly visible, the lying spirits know that they have destroyed the testimony of the deceived man in the eyes of sober people. There are vast numbers of devoted believers, who are not pushed to such "extremes" of exterior action. Yet they are equally misled, or in bondage to "supernatural" commands concerning matters of food, dress, and attitude, which they think they have received from God. The spirit of judgment of others, and the secret self-esteem for their "consecration to God" which accompanies their "obedience," betrays the subtle workings of the enemy.
THE "OUIJA BOARD" USE OF THE BELIEVER BY EVIL SPIRITS
As long as the believer thinks it is God who is directing him, the deceiving spirits are safe from exposure. Then they can lead him on into more and more deception. When the man reaches a very high degree of Satanic deception, and possession, he finds himself unable to act unless the spirits in control allow him. Then he no longer even asks for "permission" to do this or that. In some cases they even establish communication with him from within his own body. If he desires to know whether he shall go here or there, he turns inward for guidance to the inner voice, supposed to be the "voice of God." The answer "Yes," being by a movement of his head, caused by the spirit in possession, or "No" by no action at all. Evil spirits making use of the body of the man in the same way as they reply to those who consult them through a "Ouija Board." Sometimes they show their complete control over the nerves of the body and the whole being of the victim. The victim now believes that every supernatural movement in his body has significance since it may be originated by "God" in possession.
The possession by deceiving spirits at this stage is so great, that no arguments, reasonings, or outward considerations of any kind, influence the actions of the believer thus deceived. Nothing can turn him from obeying the "guidance," or "permission" of the inner voice, which he fully believes is of God. In truth should he endeavour to go against it in the smallest matter, the condemnation and suffering are so great, that he becomes terrified at any "disobedience." He would rather be condemned and misjudged by the whole world than go against it. His great horror is "disobeying the Holy Ghost," and the evil spirits deceiving him take every occasion to deepen this fear, so as to retain their hold upon him.
As the believer thus minutely obeys the spirit in control, he relies more and more upon supernatural help, for the moment he does something apart from it he is accused. He believes this is the "Holy Spirit" accusing him of "working apart from God."
It is at this stage that his body, mind and will fall into deepening passivity. The man lets go entirely to the voice of guidance, and into a reliance upon the divine (?) speakings, which keep the brain in complete inaction.
Here also counterfeit manifestations in "miraculous gifts," prophecy, tongues, healings, visions, and supernatural experiences of every kind possible to the Satanic powers, may be given to the believer, with abundant "texts" and "proofs" to confirm their "Divine origin." He experiences a lightness of the body which makes it appear as if he were carried by invisible hands. He is lifted off his bed in what spiritists know as "levitation." He can sing and speak, and do what he has never been capable of doing before. Constant contact with spirit forces gives the man a "mystical" look, but all lines of strength, which come from strenuous conflict and self-mastery, go out of the face. His sense-life is being fed and indulged in a spiritual way as much as by fleshly habits.
THE COUNTERFEIT IMITATION OF OTHERS
Counterfeits of God and Divine things are not the only "counterfeits" the angel of light has at his command. There are also counterfeits of the "human" and human things. Others appear to be different from what they really are, jealous or angry, critical or unkind. "Self" is represented in another, in enlarged form, where there is really the very opposite manifestation of selflessness and love. Wrong motives appear to govern others where none really exist. Simple actions are colored. Words are made to mean and suggest what is not in the minds of the speakers. These mental twists sometimes seem to confirm the supposed wrong-doing of others.
When their ground is in the body, the lying spirits' counterfeit representations of others, may be in the realm of the passions, and affections, seeking to excite, or feed these in the possessed one. Their faces, voices, "presence," being presented, as if they too were equally affected. This is accompanied with a counterfeit "love," or drawing to the other one, with a painful craving for their company, which almost masters the victim.
This subject of love, and its painful arousing, and communicating or counterfeiting by evil spirits, is one that touches multitudes of believers. Many are made to suffer poignant agonies of craving for love, with no specific person involved. Others are not even able to hear the word love mentioned, without embarrassing manifestations blushing. None of these manifestations being under the control of the will of the believer.
THE COUNTERFEIT OF THE MAN HIMSELF
In counterfeiting the believer himself, the evil spirit gives him exaggerated views, almost visions, of his own personality. He is "wonderfully gifted," and is therefore "puffed up." He is "miserably incapable," and so is in despair. He is "amazingly clever," and therefore undertakes what he cannot do. He is "helpless," "hopeless," "too forward," or "too backward." There is a countless number of pictures of himself, or others, that are presented to the mind of the man when once the lying spirit has gained a footing in the imagination.
So subtle is the identity of the deceiving spirit with a believer's individuality, that others see, what may be described as a "false personality." Sometimes the person appears to be "full of self" when the inner man is deeply selfless. Perhaps he appears "full of pride" when the inner man is sincerely humble. In fact, the whole outer appearance of the man in manner, voice, actions, words, is often quite contrary to his true character. He wonders why "others misunderstand," misjudge and criticize. Some believers, on the other hand, are quite unconscious of the manifestation of this false self. They go on happily satisfied with what they themselves know of their own inner motives. They are oblivious of the very contrary manifestation which others see, and pity or condemn. The false personality caused by evil spirits in possession, can also be in a beautiful form, in order to attract or mislead others in various ways, all unwittingly to the person, or to the victim. This is sometimes described as "unaccountable infatuation." Yet, if it was recognized as the work of evil spirits, refused and resisted, the "infatuation" would pass away. It is so totally apart from the action of the will in the persons concerned, that the work of evil spirits is clearly to be recognized. This is especially true when the supposed "infatuation" follows supernatural experiences; and possession, through the accepting of counterfeits.
Evil spirits can also counterfeit sin, by causing some apparent manifestation of the evil nature in the life. Mature believers should know whether such a manifestation really is sin from the old nature, or a manifestation from evil spirits. The purpose of evil spirits is to get the believer to take what comes from them, as from himself, for whatever is accepted from evil spirits gives them entry and power. When a believer knows the Cross and his position of death to sin, and in his will and practice rejects without compromise all known sin, and a "manifestation" of "sin" takes place, he should at once take a position of neutrality to it, until he knows the source. If he calls it sin from himself when it is not, he believes a lie. If he "confesses" as a sin what did not come from himself, he brings the power of the enemy upon him. This power will drive him into the sin which he has "confessed" as his own. Many believers are thus held down by supposed "besetting sins" which they believe are theirs, and which no "confessing to God" removes. Yet they would find freedom and victory if they attributed them to their right cause. There is no danger of "minimizing sin" in the recognition of these facts. Because in either case, the believer desires to be rid of the sin, or he would not trouble about them.
Again the believer is so acutely conscious of a "self" which he hates and loathes, that he is never free from the dark shadow of self-condemnation, self- accusation or self-despair. It seems no grasp of identification with Christ in death, destroys. Or else there is a self-confidence which continually draws the man forward into situations from which he has to retire ashamed or disappointed. A false personality encompasses the true inner man.
He only thinks he has a "vivid imagination." He may believe that some of these things are visions of God, and that he is favoured of God, especially where the vision is of "great plans for God." He may have great visions of what God is going to do! Always with the believer as the Center, and special instrument of this service! All this comes from an evil spirit's access to the mind, and imagination, through the deception of counterfeiting the presence of God.
COUNTERFEITS OF SATAN HIMSELF
Counterfeits of Satan himself also suit his purpose at times. When he desires to terrorize a man from actions, or prayer, adverse to his interests. There are occasions when Satan appears to fight against himself, only to cover deep schemes for obtaining fuller possession of a victim. Fear of the devil may always be regarded as from the devil. Fear of the devil will enable him to carry out his plans of hindering the work of God. Of such a character may be the fearsome shrinking from hearing about him and his works. Satan is behind much of the passive deadness of the mind in regard to all Scriptural truth concerning the forces of evil. The fear caused by reference to his name, given in order to frighten away believers from knowing the facts about him. Others who desire the truth may be given exaggerated impressions of his presence, and of "conflict.....clouds," "blocks," darkness, until they lose the clearness of the light of God.
The deceiver's greatest efforts are to make the children of God believe in his non-existence. It is wrong to suggest that it is only necessary to hear or know about God, as a protection from any form of the enemy's power. On the other hand, a deceived believer may be more deeply deceived, by seeing nothing but Satan's counterfeits everywhere.
Supernatural visions and manifestations are an aid to deceiving spirits. They have gained a strong footing somewhere in mind or body when these are given. When the believer relies upon, and quotes more from these experiences than the Word of God, he can be in real trouble. The aim of the wicked spirit is to displace the Word of God as the bed-rock foundation of the life. It is true the Scriptures may be referred to and quoted, but often only as a warrant for the experiences, and to strengthen faith. The problem is that the faith is not in God, but in His (apparent) manifestations. This secret drawing of faith from the bare Word of God to manifestations of God, as being more reliable, is a keenly subtle deception of the evil one. It is easily recognized in a believer so deceived.
When evil spirits are able to give visions, it is an evidence that they have already gained ground in the man. It makes no difference if he is a Christian or an unbeliever. The "ground" may not necessarily be known sin. Often it is a condition of passivity. Again passivity is non-action of the mind, imagination, conscience, and the will of the man. This essential condition of passive non-action as the means of obtaining supernatural manifestations is well understood by spiritist mediums, clairvoyants, crystal gazers, and others. They know that the least action of the mind immediately breaks the clairvoyant state.
Believers not knowing these main principles can unwittingly fulfill the conditions for evil spirits to work in their life. They can ignorantly induce the passive state by wrong conceptions of the true things of God. They may (1) in seasons of prayer, sink into a passive mental condition which they think is waiting on God; (2) deliberately will the stopping of their mind action, in order to obtain some supernatural manifestation which they believe to be of God; (3) in daily life practice a passive attitude which they think is submission to the will of God; (4) endeavour to bring about a state of personal negation, in which they have no desires, needs, wishes, hopes, plans, which they think is full surrender to God, and their "will" lost in God.
BELIEVERS CAN IGNORANTLY DEVELOP CHANNELING CONDITIONS
Believers may unknowingly develop channeling conditions, of which deceiving spirits are not slow to take advantage. They are careful not to frighten the believer by doing anything which will open his eyes, but they keep within the range of what he will receive without question. They will fake the Lord Jesus in the special way which will appeal to the person. For example to some as "Bridegroom," to others as seated on a throne, and coming in great glory. They will also impersonate the dead to those who grieve after their loved ones. They will give ample "proofs" to confirm the deceived ones in their deception.
Visions may come from one of three sources. The Divine, from God; the human, such as hallucinations and illusions because of disease, and the Satanic, which are false. "Visions" given by evil spirits, also describe anything supernatural presented to and seen by the mind or imagination, from outside. One may see terrible pictures of the "future"; flashing of texts as if they were lit up. Visions can easily counterfeit either the true vision of the Holy Spirit given to the "eye of the understanding," or the normal and healthy action of the imagination. The Church is thus often made a whirlpool of division through believers relying upon "texts" for guiding their decisions, instead of the principle of right and wrong set forth in God's word.
THE DETECTION OF VISIONS FROM GOD OR SATAN
Apart from the "visions" which are the result of disease, the detection of Divine from Satanic visions depends a great deal upon knowledge of the Word of God, and the fundamental principles of His working in His children. These may be briefly stated:
(1) That no supernatural "vision" in any form, can be taken as of God, which requires a condition of mental non-action, or comes whilst the believer is in such a condition.
(2) That all the Holy Spirit's enlightening and illuminating vision is given when the mind is in full use, and every faculty awake to understand. That is the very opposite condition to that required by the working of evil spirits.
(3) That all which is of God, is in harmony with the laws of God's working as set forth in the Scriptures.
The safe path for believers in these last days of strong delusion is one of tenacious faith in the written Word as the sword of the Spirit, to cut the way through all the interferences and tactics of the forces of darkness, to the end.
All dreams also, as well as visions, can be classed, as to their source, under three heads: (1) Divine, (2) human, or (3) Satanic.
How do we know: first by the condition of the person, and second by the principles distinguishing the working of God or Satan.
If the person is under any degree of possession, no dreams at night can be said with certainty to be either from natural causes or "Divine communication." They are simply night presentations of the same character as "visions" to the mind during the day.
Passivity of brain is an essential condition for the presentation to the mind of things by evil spirits. At night the brain is passive. Activity of the mind in the daytime hinders. They have the necessary passivity of the brain at night when the passivity is more pronounced in sleep.
Believers who are fighting possession, and the regaining of use of their mental faculties in normal action, can "refuse" these night presentations. We refuse all ground of Satan by the power of the Blood of Yeshua. Every child should be taught to just shout Blood of Yeshua for any bad dream. We can refuse the work by evil spirits as definitely as we refuse their workings during the day. In due time we will find them completely stopped.
Dreams arising from the natural condition of the person, and due to purely physical causes, may be recognized as natural (1) when there is no "possession," and (2) when such physical causes really exist, and are not used as a cover, by deceiving spirits, to hide their workings.
The principle distinguishing Divine from Satanic in relation to dreams, is if from God, by their importance and exceptional value (Gen. 37: 5-7; Matt. 1: 20, 2: 12). If from Satan it is in their "mystery," absurdity, emptiness, folly, and by their effects on the person. If from God, the recipient is left normal, calm, quiet, reasonable, and with an open, clear mind. If from Satan the person is left elated, or dazed, confused, and unreasonable.
The presentations of evil spirits at night is frequently the cause of morning "dullness" of mind, and heaviness of spirit. The sleep has not been refreshing because of their power, through the passivity of the mind during sleep, to influence the whole being. "Natural" sleep renews, and invigorates the faculties, and the whole system. Insomnia is, in a great degree, the work of evil spirits. An over-worked condition of a person can hide their attacks under cover.
Believers who are open to the supernatural world should specially guard their nights by prayer. They should also give authoritative and by definite rejection of the first insidious workings of evil spirits along these lines. This is done by the power of the Blood of Yeshua!
How many say "The Lord woke me," and place their reliance upon "revelations" given in a state of half-consciousness. Check your mental alertness. The things of God are not to be handled when the mind and will are only partially alert to discern the issues of the "guidance" or "revelations" given to them. Let such believers watch the results of their obedience to night-revelations, and they will find many traces of the deceitful workings of the enemy. They will find, too, how their faith is often based upon a beautiful experience given in the early hours of the morning. They may also find that they are shaken by accusations, suggestions, attacks and conflict manifestly of the evil one. God gives an intelligent reliance upon God Himself in His changeless character of faithfulness and love to His own.
All workings of the enemy at night can be made to cease by their recognition as of the devil, and definitely refused in the Name of Yeshua. The power of the Blood of Yeshua gives us the power of revoking all ground unknowingly given for such workings, in the past.
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