|SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Strange World of Spirits
H.A, Maxwell Whyte
HIS GLORY REIGNS
Aug 1 2008 08:00AM
Man - A Spiritual Being
The ministry of deliverance is difficult for some people to understand. Let's turn to the Scriptures to explain the spiritual
The apostle Paul prayed, "May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and
body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 5:23). Man is triune. First spirit,
then soul, then body. Man is, therefore, primarily and essentially a spiritual being.
In the beginning, God fashioned a human body out of the dust of this earth, and then breathed into this lifeless body the
breath of life. I do not believe that God merely expanded Adam's lungs with fresh air. Obviously, it would take more
than this to cause him to live. I believe that God literally breathed into man His own life. He breathed spirit into him, for
God is Spirit.
Man is first a spiritual being. God did not create man to use his mind apart from his spirit. Unfortunately, our modern
educational systems appeal only to the development of the mind. The mind of man teaches the mind of man, but the
spirit of man is completely ignored. In fact, unregenerate men simply do not comprehend their spiritual needs at all. As
the Scriptures say,
he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." I Corinthians 2:14
The mind can understand only the things of the mind, and likewise the spirit the things of the Spirit. An old adage states
that "Birds of a feather flock together." Like always goes with like.
A church that ministers to the needs of the human spirit will attract spiritual people. But most religion simply caters to
the carnal man. The body, with its five senses, prefers to produce a substitute for true worship. But Jesus said that
God is looking for those who will worship Him "in spirit and truth" (John 4:23).
We cannot worship God with our minds or intellects with the efforts of soulish religion. Long ago Job asked, "Can you
search out the deep things of God " (Job 11:7). The answer is No. We cannot find God or understand anything about
God with our minds or bodies. That's why God made man a spiritual being.
The Door to the Spiritual Realm
Like goes to like. "Deep calls unto deep" (Psalm 42:7). If a man wishes to find God, he must seek Him through his
spirit. If we want to listen to a radio program, we must tune the frequency of our receiver to exactly the same frequency
as that of the transmitter. In this way, we can perfect reception if we are in range. In like manner, the spiritual part of
our triune nature can communicate with God when we are tuned in through the working of the Holy Spirit.
When we commune with God, we do so with our spirits. Only then do we begin to understand the mind of God. We
begin to realize that God gives us some of His mind (see I Corinthians 2:16). We begin to think as God thinks, but only
in part, of course. Our minds become actuated by our regenerated spirit in communion with God.
This actuating of our minds becomes quickened when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. We begin to understand how
God imparts such gifts as words of wisdom or knowledge, discerning of spirits, tongues, interpretation, and prophecy.
These come from the Spirit of God through the human spirit - not through the mind.
If spiritual gifts came through our minds, then it could be said that "we just thought them up." But since they come down
from God, we do not think them up at all; we simply receive them through our spirits. Any so-called gift that comes only
from the human mind is a counterfeit gift.
On either side of the spirit of man are two spiritual powers vying for his attention. On the one hand, God and the angels
exert a holy influence on man. On the other hand, Satan, who left his state of perfection to become the devil, tempts
men to sin. Many believe that he took with him one-third of all the created angelic beings, and that these now constitute
the demons that torment and afflict all mankind. Lucifer and God's angels became Satan and his demons.
Once a man experiences the new birth and learns the secret of using his spirit instead of his mind, he opens the door
into the spiritual realm. He may now communicate with other spiritual beings - and this is spiritual dynamite! By the
operation of his own free will, he may freely converse with Almighty God. Some Christians have even experienced
visitations from the angels.
Man, being essentially a spiritual being, can hear the voice of God's Spirit or the voice of Satan and his evil hordes.
Many clear-minded, Holy Spirit-baptized Christians have been disturbed at the suggestions that evil spirits place in their
minds. In fact, those who excessively dwell on such thoughts have even suffered nervous breakdowns. Other believers
who are not firmly grounded in the Word of God have doubted their salvation and ultimately lost their minds because of
this mental torment.
The moment we open the door of our spirit to the spiritual realm, we can receive whatever voice we tune into. For
example, a short-wave radio receiver does not differentiate between Russians stations or American stations; it simply
hears what it tunes into. The human spirit acts in the same way. But with a radio, we can tune out radio Moscow if we
do not like the propaganda. Similarly, Christians can tune out the unwanted satanic voices and tune into God's
frequency by an act of their will.
Many Christian people have told of the evil, unrighteous, and lustful ideas that Satan injects into their thought life.
Other believers report that Satan says they are not saved. But the Word of God says just the opposite. Which are we
to believe? The Spirit of God bears witness to the Scriptures that say we are saved by faith. On the other hand, Satan
protests, "Oh no, you're not!" Isn't this the same strategy the devil used in the garden of Eden? "Hath God said...?"
What a liar he is!
Remember, hearing a satanic voice is not wrong. Sin comes only in obeying that voice. Never become obsessed with
the voice of the enemy. People who continue to listen to Satan are rapidly on their way to becoming demon obsessed.
Believers must deal quickly and decisively with the lies of the enemy. Arm yourself with the Word of God and refuse to
believe anything contrary to its teaching.
Deceived by Satan
Unless a believer maintains his integrity and his righteous standing before God, he can easily be seduced by an angel
of light (see I Timothy 4:1-2; II Corinthians 11:13-15). These evil spirits attempt to woo Christians in much the same way
as an immoral woman would endeavor to win the affections of a married man.
The difficulty is that Satan doesn't always tell lies. An angel of light may actually tell the truth, but its unholy inspiration
comes directly from Satan. Many Christians who attend church regularly are being deceived by these angels of light
and are sources of grave trouble to their pastors.
The New Testament records one such incident that Paul and Silas encountered in Philippi.
brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, these men
are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation." Acts 16:16-17
Notice that the slave girl's declaration was correct - Paul and Silas were God's messengers who preached salvation.
Many unwary people in full gospel churches today would have applauded such an utterance as being of the Holy Spirit.
After all, it was true, wasn't it? But Paul, being greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command thee in the
name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour." Acts 16:18.
No wonder Jesus told His disciples to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16). We continually
need to be one step ahead of Satan so that his seducing spirits do not deceive us.
Testing the Spirits
Many questionable teachings are floating around in the church during these last days. Beware of doctrines that throw
doubt on the reality of heaven and hell and God's judgments; doctrines that tell us no one lives again until the
resurrection day. These doctrines are not revealed by the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus said would guide us into all truth.
Such doctrines are revealed by other spirits.
seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;" I Timothy 4:1
that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to the
testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:19-20
Let us always weigh everything carefully against the written Word of God. To depart from God's standard is the
quickest way to fall into error and deception.
This raises the questions, "How can we know the source behind a spirit?" The answer can be found in the New
gone out into the world." I John 4:1
The apostle John also gave the early church some specific instructions on trying the spirits:
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of
antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." I John 4:2-3
Every Christian should heed Jesus' warning for this day.
it were possible, they should deceive the very elect." Matthew 24:24
In the current revival of the supernatural, we need to be very careful to check every miracle with the Word of God.
If we carelessly accept everything as coming from God, we will be easily deceived. A sign or a wonder does not
necessarily come from God. It can come from Satan.
God has given discerning of spirits to the church, and we should not believe that He intended this gift to be used by the
pastor only. This gift is for all children of God, although the pastor is sent by the Holy Spirit to administer the truths of
the Spirit to the people. For the protection of the church, pastor and layman alike must know how to discern evil spirits
and how to deal with them.
Emotion or Anointing?
Anything goes in many churches. Hollywood evangelism thrives, and signs and wonders take place in large meetings
without scriptural warrant or foundation, and the people are delighted and deluded! We need God's gift to discern
spirits now more than ever.
Should we accept every supernatural event as coming from the Holy Spirit? Not every thing that happens in a full
gospel meeting is orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. As God increasingly manifests His power in the ministry of
deliverance, Satan also steps up his lying signs and wonders (see Matthew 24:24).
When a person becomes born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, he may experience intense emotion. The degree of
emotion is usually in proportion to the make-up of the person. A Scot might feel less emotion than a Frenchman, or a
Pennsylvania Dutchman less than a Texan. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is not given to us to perpetuate feelings but
to enable us to fight the devil in faith whether we feel good or not.
Unfortunately, Satan has been very clever in diverting thousands of Holy Spirit-baptized Christians into an orgy of
feelings and emotions. The gospel owes nothing to the human emotion; it is based on faith in God's Word.
Many sincere Christians are deceived. When they manifest the gift of tongues or prophecy, they feel they must draw
attention to themselves by waving their arms, jerking their bodies, or using falsetto voices in order to impress others with
the "tremendous anointing of the Spirit" that they feel. All of these fleshly additions are unnecessary and are caused by
the work of a deceiving spirit. The message may be of God, but the manifestation is of the flesh. The church is
swarming with religious demons today who are simulating holy things.
Not everything that happens in a pentecostal meeting is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Many occurrences are of the human
spirit that has not been correctly disciplined. Other disturbances are the work of evil spirits who have taken control of
What about Speaking in Tongues?
If the devil can simulate religious things, then speaking in tongues may not necessarily be a sign of the indwelling Holy
Spirit! This presents a problem in the minds of many people, but I believe the answer is simple.
Long before God created man, the angelic beings that fell from their high estate in heaven were cast out to the earth
with their leader, Satan (see Revelation 12:7-8). Imagine a demon gaining possession of a Chinese man centuries
ago. That demon would learn to speak Chinese by indwelling that man. At the Chinese man's death, the demon would
seek to inhabit another human body. This time he might enter an Indian and learn his language. Over the years, he
might inhabit men and women of many different nationalities. In time he would learn all of their languages.
Imagine this multilingual demon entering an English-speaking man who came up to one of our pentecostal churches. If
he raised his hands and spoke in Chinese, Indian, French, or Hottentot, we would receive him without question! Many
would say the man had been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
In a deliverance session held by the Reverend Lester Sumrall, a demon spoke perfect English through an ignorant girl
who could not speak her own Philippine dialect properly. When the demon was cast out, the girl could not speak in
In my own experience, when delivering people, I have heard demons actually sing and prophesy before being cast out.
In such cases, the face of the person is usually contorted in horrible shapes, but the utterances can deceive.
Don't Be Gullible
Where large crowds are gathered, religious demons love to "show off." Christians must not be gullible. Just because a
person may fall down under the power of God, we shouldn't assume that all falling down is of God.
For instance, in the case of the demoniac son whom Jesus delivered, we read that "And the spirit cried, and rent him
sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead." Mark 9:26. Sometimes
when an afflicted person comes into the presence of someone who casts out demons, the demon will throw him to the
ground, convulse him, or cause some other physical manifestation.
What Makes the Difference?
We underestimate the power of demoniac forces. Demons try to keep us in ignorance, for we are not taught in our
churches about these things. No matter how glorious your past experience has been, no matter how often you have
spoken in tongues and prophesied, no matter how exemplary your life has been in the past, you can still backslide and
permit a demon to gain a foothold in your life.
The gifts of the Spirit are gifts of God, but they will not prevent you from letting in other spirits. Once we have opened
our lives to the spirit world, we must be careful that only the Holy Spirit possesses us, and that we are kept under the
precious blood of Jesus.
Although Satan can speak in tongues through a person, everyone truly baptized in the Spirit can also speak in tongues
as the Holy Spirit gives the utterance (see Acts 2:4). But how may we know the difference?
Jesus gave the answer: "You will know them by their fruits" Matthew 7:16. If a tongues-speaking Christian does not
manifest the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23) in his life, he must be suspect in the assembly.
A pastor has God-given authority to insist that an unruly member keep silent in the church lest he give an utterance
from an evil spirit or from his own human spirit instead of the Holy Spirit. And such an occurrence is altogether possible
if a Christian does not walk in close fellowship with God.
This fact throws some light on the words of Jesus:
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." Matthew 7:22-23
How could these people cast out devils, prophesy, and perform signs, wonders, and miracles? Surely, like Judas
Iscariot, they must have been in right relationship with God at one time. But what happened to them? They yielded to
pride, power, avarice, lust, and jealousy, and Jesus had no place for them in His kingdom. Tongues didn't save them;
prophesying didn't save them. "You will know them by their fruits," said Jesus (see Matthew 7:16).
Paul focused on the balance between the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit in his epistles.
or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge;
and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." I Corinthians
Paul exhorted the Corinthians to seek both the fruits included in the all-embracing fruit of love, as well as the nine
spiritual gifts mentioned in the same epistle.
The gifts without the fruit profit no one, including the user. Fruit without the
gifts are beautiful, but lack power. We need nine gifts and nine fruit working in
symmetry and harmony in this last day revival of the supernatural.
Demons and Deliverance, by H.A. Maxwell Whyte, Copyright 1989, Whitaker House.
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