Discerning Evil Intent
Brethren, we are reposting this article to encourage Christians to discern when the hand of the enemy is involved in lives. Since we shared this article, the Lord revealed to us that any behaviour that is motivated to hurt, or make someone to suffer or to get even with them is NOT from Him, but from the evil one (1 Peter 3:9; Romans 12:17). From our personal experiences with the Lord for these last seven years, the Lord never judges or corrects from motives to hurt but to correct leading us to repentance (2 Timothy 2:24-25; Romans 2:4).
Briefly, we have had a brother who sent us some hurtful messages in the name of the Lord and his hatred was evident since he even pronounced a curse of death upon me (Romans 12:14; Psalm 109:28). In love and kindness, though hurt we applied ourselves to the teachings of the Lord and acted gently towards him. In everyway, he opposed our message (2 Timothy 4:14) even going onto amazon to give us bad reviews because the Lord told us that He did not ordain a Sabbath day for Christians but that we celebrate him everyday. As it was, he professed to be correcting us but not in a spirit of love as the scriptures commands (2 Timothy 2:25), instead he demanded that we conform to his misdirected interpretation of the scriptures using and changing his email address to deny us replying to him. I could share some of his messages to us but here but the Lord forbid. We have permission to draw your attention to the teachings and slanderous accusations of a gentleman called Joel Kall (if that is his real name since he changes it with every email). Now brethren, the fact is the evil one must be discerned, because to do GOOD and promote the well-being of others is from GOD (1 Peter 3:11) but to offload evil through insults is not gentleness but issues from the evil one (Matthew 5:37).
Demons and Their Work
In our Deliverance Part II article, I mentioned the existence of the spirit world where Satan and his demonic horde exist. In this brief message, we will look at the character of demons and how they influence human nature. We will also look at the ‘antidote’ against demons through the Power of the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and His BLOOD.
Since this is not a new teaching on this subject, for the benefit of this ministry we owe it to the Lord to give a brief introduction from a Scriptural perspective. Systematically, the Old and New Testaments speak of the unseen spirit world (Job 1:6; Jude 6). In the preceding Scripture we learned that some angelic spirits rebelled against God. These rebellious angels are called demons, evil spirits, spiritual hosts of wickedness, principalities, powers, rulers, authorities, evil spiritual forces, and cosmic powers of evil (Luke 10:17-18; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 2:15; James 2:19; Revelations 12:9). These demonic hosts, the Lord told us, perform various tasks and their chief task is to oppose God and promote false religions, false gods and teachings (Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalms 106:37; 1 Corinthians 10:19-20; Revelations 9:20). Demons are at work in every sphere of human life; they work through the normal activities of human nature and society (2 Corinthians 11:14-15; Ephesians 2:2-3; 6:12; James 3:15). These beings display their powers to and through humans in order to attract and ensnare people (Leviticus 19:26; 20:6; Revelations 9:20-21; 21:8). Furthermore, demons don’t do their work out of love, but out of hatred; for love does not reside with them but only with God (John 10:10; 1 John 4:8).
Additionally, demons attempt to hinder God’s plan in our lives by fighting to delay the answers to prayer (Daniel 10:13), causing sickness and physical conditions (Matthew 9:33; Mark 5:2-16; Luke 13:10-16), and keeping people ignorant and enslaved without knowing the Truth (John 8:32) - His Word (John 17:17) – which can set them free. In the Book of Job (Job 1:6-19, Job 2:1-7), we see a clear picture of the kinds of evil things that Satan and his demons like to do to the righteous, if they are given an opportunity.
Demonic Activity in Humans
Demonic spirits encourage rebelliousness and sinful behaviour against God through our minds and the cravings and appetites of our weak nature, Paul called it…”the spirit now at work among those who are disobedient” (Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 2:2 NRSV).
In addition, the Scriptures also teach us that Satan and demons rule this world and almost every sphere of human life are infested with demons (1 John 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; John 14:30). As it is, every decision we take has consequences and is bound to affect our relationship with God. We are to weigh every decision, not just some, against our relationship with God. Remember not all decisions we take are pleasing to God. The call from God is for holiness (Hebrews 12:14). I know some Christians, along with the unsaved community, regard this position as “fundamentalist”; however, our salvation must not rest on their judgement but rather how the Holy Spirit and God’s Word dictate.
As it is, the saved and unsaved are open to demonic influence. We are influenced by demons in two ways. Firstly, demons can influence us directly (Genesis 3:1-5; Matthew 4:1-11). Secondly, they work through people (Matthew16:23; Acts 16:16-18; Acts 19:13-16). Their ultimate purpose is to deceive and cause us to disobey God and accuse us before Him – (Revelation 12:10). They do not give up easily unless we are fully delivered and remain holy and wholly in Christ (Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 11:24).
Satan first tempted Adam and Eve to sin (Genesis 3:1-13), and this led to spiritual and physical separation from God (Genesis 3:23-24). However, through the blood of Jesus Christ, we have been purchased and redeemed (Revelation 5:9). Yet, Satan has not given up, and now as his time runs he is furious and at war with the saints (Revelation 12:12;17). Taking advantage of man’s inherent need to connect with the Creator, Satan masquerades/disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Consequently we see an increase in demonic activities; such as evil deceptive doctrines and teachings in the church (1 Timothy 4:1), debased morals and proliferation of all kinds of sins and addictions (Romans 1:21-32; 2 Timothy 3:2-4), a false gospel that has a form of godliness but that cannot save (2 Timothy 3:5), wars and conflicts (Revelation 16:14), etc.
Demons are Real
My encounter with demons started when I was about 9 or 10 years. I was troubled by demons. I saw them appearing in human form at night on my bedside. They would pull the covers from me and when I looked there would be no one. However, I could sense there was something because of the overwhelming fear I felt. On another occasion, there was a dance party at the house where I grew up under my aunt’s guardianship. As children we went to bed early while people were dancing and drinking. I saw black creatures staring at me; I did not know how to get rid of them or get away. I tried closing my head with the covers but I had no strength against them. I called as loud as I could but everybody was fast asleep around me. I asked the people the next day if they heard me and they said no; instead they just laughed. After some weeks I reported this to my aunt and she took me to a witch doctor. She was given some stuff to apply on me and around the house. Although, I did not see any forms at night, my visit to this witch doctor came with a price: I became very wicked. I was possessed by demons but I did not know that until I became born again. My behaviour changed for the worse. At age 12, I was already involved in some criminal activities and every appetite of sin and deceitfulness manifested through me.
I will not go into detail here about that, all I can say is that my life was controlled by demonic spirits to harm other people until I reached about 22 years in 1990 when I gave my life to the Lord Jesus. Even after my conversion, I was not completely free. The sinful habits fuelled by the demons in me continued to bother me. In short, today Jesus Christ is my redeemer and He delivered me from sin and demons (Acts 10:38).
In conclusion, I have written briefly on the influence of demons on believers in our Deliverance Part II article. Those examples are real visions the Lord gave Charis. In that article, He made her see the demons that were troubling us and led us into a sinful behaviour, which resulted in a message of rebuke from Him. In the Lord’s sharp rebukes, He addresses those demons that had control over certain areas of our lives. In us responding ashamedly, we are submitting to Him and His word and this brought about our deliverance.
If we respond to rebuke and correction, we simply allow the Word of God to work within us and transform us (Romans 12:1-2). This is the bottom line: if we live a yielded life to Christ by humbling ourselves to His Word, we will have less trouble with demons. However, if we are stiff-necked, ignorant, proud or blind regarding our mistakes we will be troubled (James 4:7-10; Galatians 5:16-17), and the demons will overpower us as was the case with the seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19:13-20). Remember, demons operate through the sinful nature and produce all the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21).
Victory Over Demons
In 1 Timothy 4:1-2, Paul writes: "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron." How have you been spending most of your time - in the Word of God or ? Have you been spending your time - studying the Word of God or watching TV, movies, playing video games, listening to wordly music, reading "testimonies" of "supernatural" dreams and visions, and running after spiritual gifts? Are you faithfully anchored on the Word of God and examining the Scriptures every day to see if what is said is true (Acts 17:11), that you may "know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32)? "For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
If you have been deceived by false doctrines from demons or "yeast" of false teachers, please
Through Jesus Christ, and by applying The Word of God, we can have victory over Satan and his demons and their evil influence. Don't let ANYTHING or ANYONE separate you from Heaven and the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Romans 8:38-39)
Below are a few verses from Scripture that encourage us and empower us to overcome these fallen beings.
1 John 3:7-10 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:1-4 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world
Ephesians 6:10-17 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
James 4:7-8 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Romans 6:16-18 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Romans 8:5-8 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 9:37-39 In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Galatians 5:16-24 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Luke 10:19-20 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
2 Timothy 2:15-16 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
If you would like to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions, comments or clarifications on this article, or for more information about our Ministry, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Be blessed, and be victorious, in Christ Jesus!
Your brother in Truth,