A woman is on the ground. Her body heaves and shudders under the control of some powerful force. Her heels drum against the floor as she thrashes about, while strange, unintelligible sounds come from her lips. Her eyes are glazed over, vacant, unable to recognize anyone. Standing all around her are people who are singing, shouting and clapping. With each jerk of the woman’s body there are cries of, "hallelujah! Praise the Lord!" Suddenly there is a commotion among the other people as another woman gives a piercing shriek and with convulsive jerking of her body, she too collapses to the floor. All around, other individuals are having the same experience, while the congregation continues to sing and praise. What is happening? Is this something strange? Unusual? Not at all. It is time for the regular church service and people are being "filled with the spirit."
All over the world, in more and more churches these experiences are taking place and more and more Christians are seeking to have this experience of speaking in unknown tongues and being "filled with the spirit." Undoubtedly, something strange is happening in the churches. There is no question that there are supernatural forces at work among these Christians. However, there are serious questions which must be considered and which many of these Christians are not asking themselves as they seek to be filled with this spirit.
SATAN RULES THROUGH DECEPTION
The key word is, "deception". Satan could never hope to openly gain control of the churches. Christians would reject him with fear and scorn if he should come to them openly, demanding worship, in his true form, as he has done in pagan religions. Therefore, Satan, who is the father of lies (John 8:44), has come into the churches under disguise.
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
(2 Cor 11:14,15)
The truth is that Satan is the one who rules in most of the so-called christian churches today! Satan, not Christ! Though men and women call upon the name of Christ and address their prayers to God, yet, it is Satan who controls the lives, of those who have believed his lies and accepted his deceptions.
What lies are we talking about? What deceptions?
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
(1 Tim 4:1)
"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Mat 7:22,23)
Do you see what these verses are saying? People would cast out devils, do mighty works, call Jesus "Lord", but at the same time they would really be serving the devil and doing his works! In the judgment day Jesus will say to them, "I never knew you." So, we can see that many who are working miracles and are using the name of Jesus, are people who really don’t know Jesus at all!! It is Satan who is working through these people. Please remember, my friend, that Jesus said there would be MANY of these people. Is it possible that you know, and are even involved in worshipping with some of these people? Thousands of suffering sinners are going to these false teachers and to their churches to be healed of sickness and to listen to the things which they teach. Yet God’s word tells us that these teachings are the "doctrines of devils!"
My dear friend, do you see how important it is that you should read, understand and obey the word of God? Do you see how vital it is that we should seek God Himself to give us understanding as we study, and not put our trust in men? Many, poor deceived people are seeking for a supernatural experience. They think that as long as they can have an experience which is outside of ordinary human experience, then it must be the work of God. But this is not true. Satan too can work miracles.
CAN WE KNOW GOD’S SERVANTS?
Now men have come to believe that the work of demons in the churches, is the work of God’s Holy Spirit. You see, my friend, people are made to believe that if a man (or a woman) can speak in unknown tongues; if a man can heal the sick; if a man can cast out devils; if a man can preach like angels, then such a man must be a messenger of God. Therefore, people go by the thousands to hear such men speak and to receive the spirit which such people possess. But they have forgotten a most important thing. Read Matthew 7:21. Do you see what it says?
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
What is the important thing? To do the will of the Father. This is the key thing! We may know a servant of God by his obedience to the commandments of God. Jesus said, "by their fruits ye shall know them" (Mat 7:20). By their fruits, not by their miracles!! This is why we are told in Acts 5:32 that God gives the Holy Spirit to those who OBEY HIM!
DOES GOD BLESS DISOBEDIENCE?
Many persons are being filled with a spirit by "tarrying" for many hours. Others, by just a touch of the evangelist’s hand. Yet, at the same time, many of them still have prominent sins in their lives. Most of them stilllive in open disobedience to God’s commandments. Yet, they believe that they have been filled with the Holy Spirit of God. This is a terrible deception. These people now feel that God has blessed them in their disobedient state. Why then should they seek to be obedient? If God has given them the greatest gift of all in spite of the fact that they are living in disobedience to His laws, then it must mean that He is pleased with them the way they are. So you see, because Satan has given them this gift and they think it is from God, they are now settled into their disobedient, sinful lifestyles. They think they are saved, while they are really lost! This is why this deception is so terrible.
Consider, my dear friend, the behaviour of those who are ‘filled with the spirit.’ Is this the behaviour of God’s holy Spirit? They leap about and shout. They fall to the floor like a person having fits. They speak in a strange unknown gibberish which they call ‘tongues’ but which no man can understand. Search the Bible and you will find out that no servant of God ever behaved in this way!! But you will find out that many of those who worshipped devils or were filled with evil spirits behaved in this manner (1 Kings 18:26,28; Mark 9:20)!
Satan has overthrown the christian churches by this lie. Because these poor deceived people are so anxious to be filled with the spirit, they rush blindly into seeking for the experience. They open the doors of their souls so that they can be filled at any cost, and Satan, the great deceiver, willingly gives them a spirit.
GUARD THE DOORS TO YOUR MIND
Think for a moment: would it be wise for you to open the door of your house wide all night and to put out a sign saying, "all who are honest may enter"? Of course not. Although you may hope that only honest persons will respond, yet at the same time there are criminals out there who will enter through those open doors for the purpose of robbery, and murder. You have got to close the doors and only open them for those whom you can trust. Should we not be just as careful in dealing with our souls? Yet millions are opening up their minds to be possessed by a spirit without first of all making sure of the identity of the spirit whom they are letting in.
Don’t misunderstand me. God does have a Holy Spirit, and it is His plan that His children should be filled with this Spirit. But this Spirit of God is orderly, decent. Not the author of confusion, and it does not fill those who are disobedient to the commandments of God. This spirit which is taking over the churches is Satanic. It is disorderly, noisy and confusing. It does not care whether or not you keep the commandments of God. It is not God’s Spirit.
TIME TO GET OUT!
Dear friend, if you belong to a church where the people get into the spirit, speak in unknown tongues, fall upon the floor and roll about, then you are in GREAT danger! You are in a place where evil spirits are at work and you need to get out IMMEDIATELY! Do not tarry, or delay. Separate yourself immediately from that place before you also are entangled completely in the web of Satan’s deception.
God’s Spirit dwells in congregations where there is decency and order. Where things are done in a calm, thoughtful manner. A place where the people believe in keeping ALL of God’s commandments and where the love of Jesus is driving all sin from their lives. Where the fruits of the spirit may be seen; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Gal. 5:22,23). Where people are more concerned about living holy, obedient lives than in seeing miracles and signs and wonders,. Remember, the word of God tells us that Satan can, and will perform many miracles in the last days. But Satan cannot produce a holy life, nor an obedient happy christian. Therefore, in looking for God’s work and God’s people, we must not look, first of all for signs and wonders and miracles. Rather, we must look for the fruit of the Spirit (by their fruits ye shall know them [Mat 7:20]), the holiness and purity of the life and the Bible truth being taught and lived. Such a christianity is a rare thing in the world today, but nevertheless this is the kind of Christianity that God requires.