Finding Freedom From The Spirits Of "Revival"
God is working within the "revival," not to lead people further into it, but to lead people out of it. We should all be familiar with the phenomena of the "revival" at this point, and there have been many in the past who have hesitatingly experienced things and realized what they were experiencing was not of God. The question is, "How have they gotten free from that which tried to effect them or actually did affect them?" Some of those who have come free of the so-called "Toronto Blessing" have not had much of a struggle while others have, and it to these that I address this series. I have at one time or another heard from people who do enter into what seems like an endless battle to get free of what they had submitted themselves to. Hopefully, this article will help them tomove on with the Lord.
KNOWING THIS: Jesus Has Authority Over The Spirit World
A Christian can be deceived if he does not hold fast to the word of God. If you want to be free from the effects you've experienced in the false "revival," the answer is quite simple: GET BACK TO THE BASICS. The question is, what are the basics? It seems little has been written on getting free of the effects of the "revival." Many end up rebuking demons or praying or fasting and yet the struggle goes on, for some, to be free in spite of such efforts. Their struggle and feelings they encountered when they received "the Blessing" persist or leave for a time and then return. Often, though not always, this struggle is carried on for quite a length of time, even for years, rebuking spirits in Jesus' name only to find little or no or slow deliverance. Many have rebuked demons over and over again, yet the phenomena persists in their lives. Yet, the Scripture is clear concerning the Lordship of Christ over the spiritual realm:
I believe the reason why this struggle sometimes persists is because during this time there is an emphasis on prayer, rebuking and examining oneself and what one is feeling and whether the feelings are subsiding or worsening rather than on what God has FIRST commanded. These things engulf some Christians and they talk much about their feelings and fears and doubts. For some, this cycle only tends to increase anxiety and the desire to be free. For some, doubts creep in to make the battle worse:
1. Maybe I am lost because these things persist?
2. Maybe God is so angry He has given me over to these things?
3. Will I ever be free?
4. Maybe I was never saved to begin with?
5. When will these things leave?
6. Why is God doing this to me?
7. I don't want these feelings, but can I ever get rid of them?
Why this vicious cycle? Many have also prayed and prayed and yet the phenomena persists. Rebuking the devil and his demons and prayer are good things and they are Scriptural things that are be done to get oneself free from such things. But, to repeat, many do these things for a time and then find the manifestations and feelings trying to come back. I believe the reason this happens is given in these verses:
Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
When a Christian believes on Christ, he is delivered from spirits and sins of the flesh and the love for the world during an initial work of the Spirit of God in his life. This working by the Holy Spirit is to accomplish one purpose: to begin to conform one to the image of Christ in one's Chirstian walk (Romans 8:26-29). This work is to bring about two things: to take out of one's life those things that do not reflect the second purpose: bringing the believer into a walk where they manifest the character of Christ. Being conformed to His life does not mean having all nine gifts dripping off of one's fingertips or having a powerful ministry. It has to do with the bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit in one's life. The extent to which this is accomplished by the Holy Spirit in the believer's life is equal to one's faithfulness in reading the word of God in its proper context out of a deep desire to be holy as He is holy. Once the fruit of the Spirit becomes evident, one usually finds an increase of gifts and ministry to others.
The "revival" shortcircuits this work of the Holy Spirit by emphasizing gifts and spiritual experiences as one's supposed preparation for service to the Lord. These gifts and experiences, of course, are counterfeits and open doors for demons to masquerade as the Holy Spirit. What Paul feared for the Corinthians then comes to pass:
2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Notice why entrance is given to the "other gospel" or "other Jesus" or "other spirit" (which "other" there is really not): the mind has been corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. Once the simplicity which is in Christ as related in the word in context is changed, the word is corrupted and one is open to receive the counterfeit "Jesus" or "spirit." The renewing of the mind is now, so to speak, hindered and instead on its way to being "unrenewed." The pure word of God is exchanged for a corruption of the word of God. The truth is exchanged for a lie. The sure foundation upon which one was building his Christian life is chipped away and another foundation laid. Such a one has literally moved his house from the Rock to a sandy beach. The softness of the sand, the glorious feeling of the sun, the sound of power of the rushing waves is very enticing . . . until the storm comes one is caught in troublesome predicament.
Notice that the verses from Corinthians point to the subtlety of the adversary that is wrapped around a corruption of the word of God. The good things of the Lord are used by the adversary in a very subtle way, things such as those we mentioned: the word of God and prayer and fasting. If you are trying to get free from experiencing manifestations or feelings that you submitted yourself to and find it a struggle, acknowledge the reason for it: you have forsaken the word of God in its proper context. You have received "another gospel" that proclaimed "another Jesus" who gave you "another spirit." When a Christian has ignorantly submitted himself to these things and then tries to get free, the ones that seem to struggle getting free are the ones who turn to prayer and fasting and rebuking without dealing with the foundation of why they got themselves in such a fix in the first place: they received "another Jesus" and "another spirit" because they BELIEVED ANOTHER MESSAGE WHICH CHANGED WHO JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT REALLY ARE. David wrote,
Psa 11:1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?
Without restoring the Scriptural foundations, there will be an ongoing battle of prayer, fasting and rebuking. How many of you have stepped into the "River Revival" only to realize later that what you experienced was not of God? How many of you then immediately turned to fasting and prayer and rebuking, only to find a battle on your hands that only persists? Have you ever said to someone, "Yesterday I felt better, but today its all back again." What you need to do is to undo what you allowed to be changed regarding the foundation of your Christian life, and the origin of your problems is PRIMARILY that you allowed the word of God to be changed in your mind and heart. What you should NOT DO is DWELL ON what happened to you, but renounce those things and repent before God that you listened to another message. You need to immediately get into the word of God and STAY IN IT to get your mind filled with the truth so that where the adversary "unrenewed" your mind can be restored back to its renewed state. How do you do that? Like I said, DON'T DWELL ON the "new" message, the lie, YOU received and believed, but certainly acknowledge having accepted another message in repentance and go over it ONLY ENOUGH to replace the lies you've believed with the truth of God's word and then put the lie behind you. For instance, did the preacher you listened to say, "Don't think about it, don't question it, just receive it. It will become clear to you later once you've received"? Then repent for that, and read Scripture about discerning all things and how we are to renew our minds through the reading of the word. Read in Scripture how God gives understanding and wisdom and knowledge and expects us to know what we are believing and why and not to forsake what He has said. Read about how we are to meditate on God's word and how the spiritual man is to discern all things by God's word. Acknowledge your desire for feelings and how you desired experiencing "the presence of God." Repent for desiring and being driven by the seeking of experiences and good feelings. Dwell on Scripture and discern the motive behind the desires of your heart:
Eccl 8:5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment.
Why is "the misery of [this] man great"? Because he didn't "keepeth the commandment." Therefore, his heart was not wise and he had no discernment because he didn't keep God's word. The word of God is our standard and it points to our true foundation: Jesus Christ.
Once you have gone through the steps that led you into the false experience, put them behind you and don't think about them, but dwell on the truth of Scripture that you have now returned to. Let the desire of your heart be to know Jesus, to know Him better and to realize that He has conquered all the lies and deceits of the enemy and has authority over them.
Don't get me wrong about praying and rebuking the devil and the like. I am not saying not to do these things. Prayer is necessary and certainly the Lord would have us exercise authority over spirits when they are truly discerned. But, rebuking the devil in Jesus' name is not a forumla or a method or a thing for us to show what great power we have. That is play and show and leads to futility. We are to rebuke spirits we discern on the basis of a knowledge of Him who has been given all authority. It is our knowing Him as the one described in our opening Scriptures. The devil knows when you're using Jesus' name as a method or a process. That only leads to an ongoing battle that never seems to stop and can only lead to further oppression:
Acts 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
Rebuking demons is a futile exercise unless they are backed up by a personal faith in Jesus Christ as the one who has power over all principalities and powers and thrones and dominions. Let me ask you this question if you are one who is constantly rebuking demons and things only seem to get worse. Have you ever had this thought while doing so: "I rebuked him and he didn't leave. It didn't work." and you go one rebuking him over and over again. The fault here is with you, not with the authority of Jesus' name. You would never allow this battle to go on and on if you really knew that you knew that you knew that Jesus' name is spoken in His authority and that he backs up His authority. Repentance would then be in order for using His name as a forumla or a method. That's using His name in vain. Reading the word of God about who He is in relation to the spirit world will bring faith in HIM as you meditate on the word and study the word to know Him more fully in this way. I've gone through this rebuking and rebuking until it wore me out. I would rebuke the devil while HOPING he would leave. As I read the word, faith in who Christ is came and my efforts to SOUND authoritive stopped. You know what I'm talking about. I would then rebuke whatever spirit once, and then stand on my knowledge of who Christ is and that He doesn't lie. Doubts would still come for a very short time, but they could no longer overcome the faith in my heart concerning Christ. The constant rebuking stopped through a fuller knowledge of Him. He is risen. He is Lord of all and all authority is His in heaven and on earth and under the eatth.
In Ephesian 6, Paul stated:
Notice: you stand strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might. Simply put, it isn't who your are, it's who He is.
Allowing the devil to get you to believe he didn't leave is only an invitation for him to stay. This is one of his wiles. If you truly discern a spirit, you rebuke him once and then stand strong in the Lord. You don't talk to him, you don't accept his doubts aimed at your mind, but you do stand in who the Lord is and when you get your mind on who Christ IS and don't give the devil the satisfaction by thinking he's going to be hard to get rid of, you are resisting him and he will flee.
Yes, he will try to get you into his "revival" and yes, he will make it seem like you can't get rid of what you are experiencing. Turn your heart and mind, then, to the word of God because Scripture says we ARE complete in Christ and we ARE more than conquerors in Him. What I am saying is what Paul said in 2 Corinthians:
Imaginations and high things exalt themselves in our lives through the mind when we don't stay in the word of God. These things can come through the flesh, through false apostles and teachers and prophets or from the spirits themselves. The answer to them all is a knowledge of Christ given us in God's word because imaginations and high things exalt themselves against "the knowledge of God."
A good comparison concerning the spiritual mind can be found at The Scriptural Mind