Post 110 / The Next Language
October 4, 2022
The Dark Side
Rev 20:10 KJV – “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
James 4:7 KJV – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
1Pet 5:8 KJV – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
1John 3:8 KJV – “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
1John 3:10 KJV – “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
1Sam 16:23 KJV – “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”
Over the years I have been exposed to a lot of involvement with the spirit world. I have been educated directly by converted and unconverted shamans in Mexico, Colombia, and the Amazon basin. What is a fairly normal conversation with these “mediums” becomes controversial pretty quickly in our church circles in America. Our theology does not allow for Christians to be possessed but neither has God put us in a position to be the ones to judge whether a so called Christian is really a Christian. That is Jesus’ final act with both the living and the dead. (I am not suggesting that an individual cannot have personal assurance of their own salvation.)
Frankly, I find that the clarity of language of these shamans makes it much easier to identify and then to deal with spiritual powers.
First of all, they see much that we do not see. They perceive the spiritual nature of a person more than the physical. One shaman illustrated this by pointing out different individuals in a market. He said that if they look closely they see a spiritual aura around every human person. If they see a person without this aura they are looking at a spirit imposter. According to Jungleman in the eye-opening book, The Spirit of the Rain Forest, they see inside a person’s chest to see who is dwelling there inside the shambo. They can identify exactly what spirits are resident. When they see nothing in the shambo of a known shaman they get quite upset because they know that state is not supposed to be possible. If a person has helper spirits they have them until death. The shamans also get very mystified when they see evil spirits inside the chest of missionaries.
Universally these shamans all recognize “good” spirits and “bad “spirits. After my friend Celestino burned his “medicine” sticks (which all were identified by him as “good” spirits while he was translating and recording the Gospel in the Embena language) I asked him about the possibility of those spirits being from God since they were helping him to heal. After his very dramatic conversion experience his thinking was modified. After conversion his answer was that since meeting and submitting to Jesus, all his other spirits had to go. This is the ultimate yardstick. All that is not subject to the presence and Lordship of Christ is evil by definition. God is a very jealous God and will not allow imposters.
So, by this principle, anything that intrudes into the Lordship of Jesus Christ over our lives is demonic. Now, that language is very offensive to some Christians here in America. But we all need to recognize that what stands as “god” in our lives is following the pattern of Satan, whose desire is to be like God. Someone deceived into taking something else as “god” in their lives would find it offensive to be called a demon. If a pig is desiring to be a princess or a king, of course being called a pig would be offensive — even though true.
One of Satan’s principle tactics is to hide behind language that masks his true identity. If a person can’t or won’t identify the root of a problem they are putting themselves out of reach of real solutions.
What we call hobbies, or sports, or relationships, or even jobs or religions or religious associations, can actually be false gods that have a demonic grasp around the heart of the victim. I have been face to face more than once with a religious spirit and I think the spirit world is gleeful when it can operate under the guise of religiosity. Pastor Tim Keller has more than one sermon that deals with false gods. I would consider false gods and demons to be synonymous, even though that is offensive language to some. We tend to think of demons as slimy, dark, dirty, shrieking, unsociable creatures. That’s how the enemy would like to keep it. Under the deception of those presumptions he can hide in the choir or the pew or even the pulpit and polish his halo with public approval. (See 2 Cor. 11:14.)
No matter the nomenclature, the effects and the end are the same. No matter whether a spirit manifestation in a person is clearly visible or cleverly disguised, in the end Satan is a deceiver, a liar, and a murderer. He is a God hater and his destiny is hell –a destiny which the devil already knows but in which he wants to have as much company as possible. All must be tested in the light of the presence of Jesus Christ. (Heb. 4:12-13.) Evil runs screaming from that holy Presence.
So, how are we to “test” these spirits, as the Apostle John requires?
1 John 4:1 NKJV – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God;
2 Cor 13:5 KJV – “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be [found] reprobates?”
Gal 6:4 KJV – “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”
1Thes 5:21 KJV – “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
1Cor 11:28 KJV – “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”
Here are some metrics I have found helpful:
- Does the issue bring you closer to God?
- Is the issue something that if challenged by Christ you would or could give up?
- Who or what is actually in charge?
- Are you open to it being called a false god (or demonic)?
- Does it dominate your affections and joy?
- Does it dominate your time? How much does it dominate your thinking?
- How does it affect other choices you make — especially choices that you know are the revealed will of God?
- Does it affect your relationships with other believers — especially those with authority?
- Do you have a passion for the things that God loves, like reaching the lost, holiness, righteousness, and justice?
- How does it rank in the priorities of your life? How would you rank the loves in your life? (According to C. S. Lewis, many false gods are just loves that are out of order.)
- How about your ego or pride? How do you react when your pride is pricked?
I just came from an environment that had few mirrors. This made me realize that Americans are obsessed with looking at themselves and improving their looks as a first priority. Narcissism is self-love on steroids and is closely related with Satan’s pride.
How sensitive is your conscience? Can you weep over your sin with godly sorrow? Or is your sorrow simply that of being caught red handed? I have noticed a deadness in persons affected by demons that I attribute to a seared conscience and to alien, hostile control.
So, what is the conclusion of the matter? I am not going to try to answer all our theological and psychological questions. I think there is linguistic room to assign a lot of what is called demonic and devilish in the Bible as metaphorical. I’m OK with that … but I see a great danger if our worldview allows excusing or explaining away anything in our lives that takes God off the throne. And this is what happens when something else “rules” our lives, whether we call them hobbies or false gods or addictions or demons. What the Word invites us to is a constant process of examination. Jesus says that no man can serve two masters. Either Jesus is Lord or He is not.
I ask myself regularly, and I ask you, to face squarely the three arenas we face as humans- …
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1John 2:16)…
and ask yourself whether you can honestly say, “Jesus is Lord.”
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
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