“Let all things be done decently and in order.”I Corinthians 14:40
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” I John 4:1
When my husband-to-be announced he had signed up to join the Air Force, he was still in high school, and I had my first year of college under my belt. We planned to be married in June. I had been so busy planning the wedding that I had not begun to think of how his decision to join the Air Force would alter our lives. But I soon found out. No sooner had we married then he flew out to Texas for basic training, and I was without him for several months.
In the meantime, I went to work for a friend of my dad’s; this was a family we had known for several years. This man was founding a church, and I became a part of a prayer team and Bible study that helped to found the church. This man, a scholar, pastor, and excited Bible student, believed strongly in the events of Pentecost. He believed that the Holy Spirit held the key to power in the Christian life including victory over the sin-cycle, the realization of ministry vision, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the evidence of those gifts: speaking in tongues and miracle manifestations.
By the time this church met regularly in my mom and dad’s new house, I was married to the airman and moving around the country. Although our parents offered to help us, we did not receive monetary help from them. We were destitute, but somehow we survived through each move: from Biloxi, Mississippi, to Sandwich, Massachusetts, to Alamagordo, New Mexico, we drove for miles, on the move almost constantly. Everywhere we went, we soon discovered a revival was in full swing, a charismatic renewal that had begun decades before this new wave.
My first encounter with the gifts of the Spirit was at a Bible study. A female airman had been miraculously saved and delivered from drugs and a life of sexual addiction. She invited me to a Bible study in a well-to-do suburb.
I had trouble finding the house, and when I first walked in, a few minutes late, the woman leading the study stopped, looked me in the eye, and said these words: “When you don’t know what to do, it is okay to do nothing. In fact, you should lie down and do nothing until you hear from the Lord. The devil is a used car salesman. He will put pressure on you and make you think you have to do something. Better to be still. Make a small target. Be still and listen. You don’t have to do anything today.”
She could not have known that my marriage was less than 1/2 year old, and I was already struggling in it. My husband was a critical, tyrannical narcissist. I had not seen it before the marriage, but now, he bragged about being in charge, bragged that being a tyrant was necessary, criticized most everything I did and said. I had not been prepared for this kind of psychological warfare. I had no idea what to do. I kept trying to please him, but nothing made him happy. He went for days in deep depression not speaking to me.
We were miles from home, and I had no one. One day, I was exercising and trying to find something to watch. An evangelist was speaking about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. This was the power to live the Christian life that Paul the Apostle had spoken about in his epistles to the Church Body. I asked the Lord to receive this Baptism. I received my prayer language. I began to know things I shouldn’t know. The Lord was dealing with me. He guided me to take a vow against drinking alcohol. I did not drink much at all, but this was more of a dedication than a deliverance from drink. I began to sense that He was setting me apart. It felt a lot like the sanctification Paul speaks of that follows the Born Again experience.
I had heard that in some tent meetings, people had been “slain in the Spirit,” a time when each individual collapsed, lost the power to stand under the power of God, and “went out,” unable to move. By the time I returned home from the Air Force, the new church was underway, and I was involved in a music ministry.
God taught me quickly that not all who claim the anointing of His Holy Spirit are true. There were counterfeits. As believers, we were taught to “try the spirits” to see if they were truly of God. As John says in his epistle, “For there are many false spirits gone out into the world.”
An evangelist came to our town, and our music group was asked to perform for the revival. A tent soon stood on the grounds of the newly purchased church building. This man was somewhat well-known regionally, but when we first met to discuss the music for the first service, this man touched me inappropriately. I soon went from zero to sixty on the anger-meter, and I began to have serious doubts and a deep confusion, given that this man was said to have a strong anointing.
One night, we had finished our final song. I had my car keys and stood ready to leave. I lingered a bit too long and found myself in the prayer line. People were being touched and falling in the Spirit. But I noticed that he put a bit of pressure on their forehead. He touched them physically. I was very skeptical of this manifestation, and I was certainly totally distrusting of this evangelist. I called out in my Spirit. “Lord, don’t let him touch me.”
When this evangelist got to me, I knew immediately that the Lord spoke to him and told him not to touch me. The minister put his finger in front of my forehead but didn’t touch me at all. I suddenly went out, my body giving way to a gentle release. I collapsed and did not want to move, totally bathed in a peace, love, and total surrender that is hard to describe. I saw a white fountain with red roses climbing it and a crystal-clear river running from the fountain. I could have stayed in that place all night, but I willed myself to get up after 20 minutes. I was soon sober and strong, and I drove myself home.
I tell all of this so that those reading will know that there is a Baptism in the Holy Spirit; there is a Charisma; the Charismatic Movement was a real thing that began with earnest people seeking the Lord, seeking to know Him more deeply, to live the Christian life with more power over darkness.
But, in these Last Days, we are told that seducing spirits, a spirit of anti-Christ, and demonic powers will infiltrate the church, performing false miracles, freakish manifestations, and Satanic impartations that are part of the occult now operating in the full light of day in the Body of Christ. The Bible expressly advises, “My people perish for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). I am very concerned that so many today do not understand who the Holy Spirit is, and so I will attempt to convey His character, so that no man or woman will be deceived by these seducing spirits that are deceiving many.
In John 17:20, Jesus prays for all those who will come to the knowledge of Him through the ministry of the disciples. In John 14, we learn that the Holy Spirit is sent unto the Church in the role of Comforter. In Acts 1:8 and John 14:26, Jesus explains to His disciples that they should wait until the Holy Spirit falls on them at Pentecost and that this Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in Jesus’s name, would act on Jesus’s behalf, “teaching you all things,” and providing the power for Christian mission. John and Paul convey that the Holy Spirit is not only a Helper and Comforter, but He is also an Advocate, Counselor, Strengthener, and Standby, sent to help the Body of Christ live in the Resurrection Power of Christ on Earth.
There are people running around today, many of whom fly on Jets and have the ear of Presidents and religious icons, who use the teachings on the gifts of the Holy Spirit not only for money and fame, but also to allow Satanic manifestations and impartations, which are endangering the lives and souls of the followers. Heidi Baker, Paula White, Todd White, the Toronto Blessing, and events in Minnesota, MIssouri, and Ohio have proven that lying, seducing spirits rooted in occultic practices are putting many believers in harm’s way. I am convinced that many are seduced easily because they do not know or comprehend Jesus the Messiah, Yeshua Hamashiach, nor do they understand the role of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He does not push or pressure. That is Satan’s domain. Pressure, deception, and lying signs and wonders accompany Satanic manifestations. When we try the spirits, we must know the authentic Jesus to recognize the counterfeit.
Jesus never operates without Divine Purpose. Jesus often said in the Gospels, “I only do what I see My Father do.” Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and the lustful followers always seeking after a sign. In Egypt, Janus and Jambris, the sorcerers under Pharaoh, performed every miracle God allowed Moses to perform . . . until the rod of Moses, having turned into a serpent once again, ate the other two serpents conjured by the ministers of darkness. The Bible teaches that we are caught up in a supernatural warfare, and the powers of darkness come close to deceiving the elect of God. The role of the Holy Spirit is to help us discern, try the spirits, and to lead us into all truth.
That’s why it’s so troubling for me, as someone who experienced the authentic outpouring of the Eighties, and as someone who has operated in the gifts of the spirit, most especially the Word of Knowledge, Word of Wisdom, and prophetic gifts, to see this fake movement driven by Satan himself.
How can we know whether a church group is operating under the power of God or the power of Satan.
The Holy Spirit is the power of Christ for sanctification, deliverance, truth, love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, longsuffering, meekness, temperance, and all the fruit of the Spirit. If we are trying the spirits, we must not receive anything that does not meet this standard. We must not go into a meeting seeking signs. We are to seek Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is the humble servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is Christ’s Spirit on Earth advocating on behalf of the true Body of Christ. In John 17, Christ explains that He is in the Father, in complete Unity, and the Body of Christ is safe in Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Father is YHVH. There is no pathway to YHVH, God the Father of the Old Testament but by Jesus, Yeshua Hamashiach in the Hebrew. Allah is not the same god. All religions are not the same. In fact, Jesus was not a religious figure, nor was He the start of a religion. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The Messiah.
The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. In the manifestations of Heidi Baker, Paula White, in the events surrounding the Toronto Blessing and other such unruly “services,” there was much rolling around in the floors, uncontrollable laughter, unspecific “impartations,” which are extremely dangerous, people running around, and generally out-of-control mass behavior. None of this is Biblical. In some cases, there was suggestive and even sexual dancing, and in a few, nudity. These are NOT signs and wonders directed by the God of the Universe. The Holy Spirit does not operate in this manner. Everything He does is for a purpose, to bring individuals to the Way, the Truth, and the Life, which is Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Seeking after signs will only lead to this kind of fakery, and unfortunately, some “ministers” are making a fortune from the ignorance of those who do not know the Bible and do not seem to want to become intimate with the Lord Yeshua Hamashiach.
God is Light. He can have no fellowship with darkness. But Satan himself appears to the unsuspecting as an angel of light. He was the shining one in the Garden of Eden. Deception is his long suit. There are demonic spirits, and they often “cry out,” “act out,” calling attention to themselves to draw crowds and distract believers from worshipping God. New Age and occult practitioners are trained to “impart” certain “archetypes” and “dark powers” through incantation and laying on of hands. Paul, the Apostle, only advocates laying on of hands for prayers of healing and that is best done by veteran believers, “the elders of the Church.” Sadly, Most Churches never made room for the Holy Spirit in the Church Age, and that is why we are in the midst of fakery, where unsuspecting followers can be seduced by darkness itself.
There are such things as “familiar spirits.” Many people who never experienced the role of the Holy Spirit as Counselor are now listening to lying spirits and familiar spirits masquerading as ancestors, spirits who have “crossed over,” angels, saints, and even some who mimic the Holy Spirit, giving false words of knowledge and prophesying factual “dirty laundry,” uncovering the nakedness of followers who revel in gossip and sensationalism. Real prophetic word is scriptural — but here the lying spirits lie in wait to deceive, twisting a few words in the Bible into something that does not fit the context nor does it line up with the whole counsel of God. These familiar spirits speak easily with familiarity about our lives, speaking to the problem, speaking to our fleshly desires, even speaking to our dreams, without root in the Word of God.
The Holy Spirit does not need anyone else’s permission to come to you. If you truly hunger and thirst for more of Jesus, the Holy Spirit will meet you, just you, in your hotel room, in your home, as he did me. It is the same for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as it is for salvation. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
It has been well over 30 years since I wandered into the Bible study and heeded the words of the woman with the word of knowledge for me. I now operate in that same gift. But I do not take it lightly. The gifts of the Spirit are not for entertainment. They are not to be sought for themselves. Only the Holy Spirit calls one to serve in this manner. No one, I repeat, no man or woman, can “impart” any gift to you. You can seek it, but that does not mean God will give it to you. You may desire prophecy, and He may call you to missions, or to the helps ministry. He may call you to intercession. Others may go, others may prophesy, and you may stay home and pray. None of these gifts of the Holy Spirit are intended to glorify man. They are not to glorify the flesh, nor are these gifts sensational highways to fame, or paths to success and wealth for the “minister.”
The Bible speaks in many places of a great “falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2) and a great apostasy (the Book of Jude) that will come into the Body of Christ in the Last Days. In fact, the Apostasy is the last event before the revelation of the Antichrist system and the Mark of the Beast system that is already rising in the Earth. God has promised to spare His Remnant His wrath in the Last Days, but, tragically, those swept up in lies will not be spared.
In John 17, Jesus prayed for us. “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil.”
Jesus knew that lying spirits would imitate Christ’s power and produce a counterfeit movement. We must learn to test and try the spirits. We must know the source of those whom we follow. We must read the Word and understand how God operates and how He does not operate.
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