Demons in the Church   |   Publisher's Note   |   Dedication   |   Contents   |   Proverbs 24:11-12   |   Introduction   |   The Battleground   |   First Encounter   |   Old Testament Typology   |   Battle Doctrine   |   Who Says It's Legalistic?   |   Hazardous Theology   |   Spirits In My House   |   Lying Spirits   |   Magic Show   |   Witchcraft   |   Mediums & Psychics   |   Deceiving Spirits   |   Satanic Visions   |   Facing Reality   |   Epilogue

Demons in the Church
Deceiving Spirits
Prior Chapter - Contents - Next Chapter

Deceiving Spirits

While driving around the countryside, I visited a charismatic
church leader in his home. After our talk, we stood for prayer.
The man asked me to lead, and then took hold of my hands
and started to pray in "tongues." My mind was suddenly filled
with all kinds of perverted, vile and lustful thoughts. I
immediately placed myself under the blood of Jesus, and
"brought every thought into captivity to Christ." Still, it was
very hard to concentrate on my prayer to the Lord.
   I didn't understand what was happening then, but I believe
the Lord permitted me to understand what that tongue was
saying, and where that spirit was from. I didn't seek for
interpretation of tongues, it appears that God just gave it,
when needed, for His child's protection and edification. Why
then? Because there was no way (in the natural man) that
anyone could have known that he was hearing from the enemy.
The man himself sounded and looked just great, and one could
believe that his charismatic display was a genuine gift of the
Holy Spirit, the gift of tongues.
   Be concerned for that man. He teaches the gospel (somewhat
watered down) but he has gone astray. He might be horrified
if he knew what the Lord had permitted me to see. But more
likely, he wouldn't believe it. If he were made aware, would he
give up his familiar spirit and repent? Probably not. Experience
has shown that most Pentecostals will not give up their

136 Demons in the Church

spirits, regardless of where those spirits are from, or what the
Bible says.

The charismatic euphoria is a kind of deadly spiritual
narcotic! But it feels so good that the addicting bond-
age cannot be perceived until too late.

   Many charismatics know in their hearts the truth of that
statement! Some have even told me that way down in their
souls there was a little voice that kept warning them that they
were doing wrong. The Holy Spirit graciously cautions the
saints when they go off into error.110  But Satan is very
cunning. If one were to ask a charismatic who that "still small
voice" of warning was, he would say that it was the devil
trying to "steal your gift," and he'd tell you not to listen to it.
It seems that the Pentecostals are attributing that quiet
convicting voice of the Holy Spirit to the enemy! A frightening
   Several years ago, I was sharing the Scripture on another
subject with a different Pentecostal pastor. We disagreed, not
about doctrine directly, but about whether certain verses in the
Bible meant exactly what they said. I asked if we could go
before the Lord on the matter. He refused, and suddenly
asked, "How come my spirit doesn't witness to that?" It was a
question that totally confused me until years later when the
Holy Spirit turned on the lights. If someone's spirit does not
witness to the written Word of God, that spirit is not the Holy
Spirit of God. God's Spirit will always witness to His Word!
Thus, the spirit by which that pastor was being influenced was
a demon.

110 I attended an Assembly of God for a year and a half, and embraced
their doctrinal position wholeheartedly. I spoke in "tongues" there for
about six months. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit kept warning me that
I was in error. My "tongues" were accompanied by a disquiet of spirit
and a sense of oppression, and I lost the reality of my prayer life.
Then I studied the Word and realized that this "gift" was "received"
in a church which was in total disregard to the submission ordinance,
and associated commands. I have long since renounced my departure
from the faith, and have repudiated the sin of Nadab and Abihu in my
life. Under the blood of Jesus, I pray that I give the enemy no more
access. Now I say in the English tongue, "Jesus Christ is come in the
flesh." 1JO 4:2.

Deceiving Spirits 137

The Hierarchal System

   Because churches do not purge themselves of pastors in open
rebellion to the Bible, sin enters the assembly. But how did
the church get so far from the truth? In many cases men who
started out as servants of the Lord have allowed the enemy to
lead them into being servants of the system. Satan wages one
of his most subtle attacks in the environment of struggling to
get ahead in the "church world." Such striving is certainly not
biblical, and cannot escape demonic energization. This is how
it works:
   To get a bigger church, a young pastor needs his church to
speak well of him, so he forgets that his first priority is to be
true to God's Word in what he teaches. He is fearful of the
denominational authorities who are eyeing his every move. He
forgets that it is the Lord God Almighty (who owns the cattle
on a thousand hills) whom he serves, and starts worrying
about his earthly "pastorate." So he shades a little truth here,
or bends his commitment to the Lord there. In a David
Wilkerson survey, this attitude is affirmed by pastors them-

Several very honest pastors wrote and said, "David, some of
us do not dare to preach a hard reproving message because
we fear for our future. When you have a family to support
and you know the church board will not stand for much
reproof, you soft-peddle it... Also it seems that you can grow
faster by preaching a message that makes people feel good.
It is the fear of the people and the need for security that hinders
much holiness preaching today."111

   By putting their salary from men above their service to God,
the pastors condemn themselves, JAM 3:1. But if a pastor
empties the church by teaching about sin, repentance, and the
Christian walk, he'll never get ahead. So (except for a little
handful of godly men) a pastor learns how to honey up his
sermons. He attempts to make God acceptable to man, rather
than warning the lost if they don't repent that they will spend
an eternity in hell's fire. Each compromise he makes leads
him further from the truth, and the higher he rises, the more
compromises he makes to get there. His congregation loves

111 David Wilkerson letter, 9/7/1992, (World Challenge, Lindale, TX)

138 Demons in the Church

him for it. They hear, "God is love, and we're all under grace.
Just say the sinner's prayer, and we'll all go to heaven. No
repentance from sin or godly walk required." That's a message
most congregations will gladly receive, but it doesn't save
   Finally, this much-loved and "successful" pastor gets a huge
church with several associate pastors, or he goes to denomina-
tional headquarters. Now he has "power." It's only earthly
power, to be sure, but from his exalted position he passes down
his personal views as doctrines and edicts to which other young
pastors have to submit. Now he keeps his eagle eye on them,
and their jobs are on the line. If the new men do not conform
to what this "church leader" thinks his church should be, then
they're out of a job. It's the papal heresy all over again, but
this time dressed in middle-class Protestant suits and ties:

MAL 2:7-9 "The lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men
should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the
Lord of hosts. But as for you, you have turned aside from the way;
you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have
corrupted the covenant of Levi," says the Lord of hosts. (NASB)

   Most heresies don't come up from the people, they come down
from the leadership; and church history shows that once false
doctrines are in place, they are almost impossible to eradicate.
Some denominational churches teach so much error (or are so
demon-influenced) that their power to lead the lost to Jesus is
gone. As each new leader rises in the system he adds his own
wrinkles to the earthly doctrines with which his denomination
is already saddled. Eventually, God rejects these leaders, too,
from being kings over Israel. A new David is anointed, and a
new body of believers springs up. But not this time. Now
there are too few who care, and spiritual darkness descends
upon the land:

LUK 11:52 and HOS 4:6 "Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken
away the key of knowledge: You did not enter yourselves, and those
who were entering you hindered. My people perish for lack of
knowledge." (NASB)

Deceitful Spirits

   All of this would be of little consequence if these were
isolated incidents. But not understanding God's Word on these
matters, and being busy with worldly concerns, most of the

Deceiving Spirits 139

shepherds are not standing firm in the Scripture, and the
sheep are confused. Hearing of all the "miracles" taking place
in the church down the street, younger saints think they are
missing out on some great blessing. So looking for the most
spectacular spiritual fireworks, they go church-hopping. The
devious hand of the enemy in all this commotion cannot be
overlooked, as one traveling Bible teacher recounts:

   A couple of years ago I was talking with Pastor Mac. He's
an independent Baptist pastor in Florida, who was being
influenced by the Pentecostals in his area. At the time,
Pastor Mac was also involved in the deliverance of a
demonized man. Mac told me that the demon within the
man said that it would not come out, unless Mac drove it out
by speaking in "tongues." Pastor Mac accepted what that
demon said, and told me, "I guess 1 better learn to speak in
tongues, huh."
   I was really shaken! There can be only one answer to that.
Pastor Mac knew it was a demon talking to him, and all
demons are liars. Since when did we start getting our
doctrines from demons? Where does it say in the Word that
demons are subject to "tongues?" The Bible says that demons
are subject to the Name of Jesus.
   But I have to ask you this: Why would that demon have
advised Pastor Mac to speak in tongues, unless by him doing
it, he would be helping the kingdom of darkness? You know,
obvious as it seemed to me, Pastor Mac was so fooled by the
enemy that he couldn't see it. The enemy mixed up his
mind, and led him into serious spiritual falsity.
   I gave Pastor Mac a copy of Sunset of the Western Church
and left. I said that it might answer some of his questions.
Later, I came for another visit. I asked if he had read the
book. "No," he said, "The spirit has not led me to." So now
I have to ask you this one: Whose spirit would lead a pastor
not to read a book which would influence him to obey the
Bible? I knew, and went away feeling pretty bad. Mac has
probably gotten his secret prayer language by now.

   But that doesn't sound so disturbing, does it? The whole
church seems to be headed that way. Maybe, but it's still a
catastrophe. That man stands today in front of some of Jesus'
little sheep who look to him for solace for their bruised and
troubled hearts. But how can anyone who is leading people to

140 Demons in the Church

a spirit be of help to those who need the healing power of

Spirit of Antichrist

   To date I have heard hundreds of "tongues," and dozens of
words of knowledge and prophecies, supposedly spoken in the
Holy Spirit. I cannot remember a single 'interpreted "tongue,"
word of knowledge, or prophecy, that declared that "Jesus
Christ is come in the flesh." Not one! You would think out of
350 or so spiritual manifestations that at least one would have
confessed His name.
   That is of monumental importance! If a spirit does not
confess Jesus as the Christ, right up front, he is not of God!
Instead he is the spirit of antichrist. How can we be so sure?
Because that is what the Bible says:

1JO 4:2-3 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that con-
fesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and
every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this
is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is
coming, and now it is already in the world. (NASB)

Consequently, who are these spirits speaking forth in
"tongues" and "prophecies," who do not conform to this Scrip-
ture? They are demons! That's not all. Our bodies are the
temples of the Holy Spirit. These familiar spirits are entering
saints and declaring themselves to be God the Holy Spirit.
How can we know? Read the following astonishing verse.

2TH 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god
or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of
God, displaying himself as being God. (NASB)

   Again, that is exactly what these familiar spirits are doing.
They are entering professing Christians and claiming to be the
Holy Spirit of God. May the Eternal God, the Father of
Spirits, open our hearts to understand the real meaning of this
passage in 2TH 2. Antichrist is not whom we suppose. We
don't need to go to some world capital, or the old temple site in
Jerusalem to find him. The spirit of antichrist is speaking in
"tongues," right now, in our own churches. Are our spiritual
ears open to hear this? It doesn't seen so. We would rather
listen to our familiar spirits or stand on dead tradition. But
we don't have to stay that way:

Deceiving Spirits 141

ISA 59:1 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot
save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear.

   If you are now experiencing some charismatic phenomenon,
submit to the ordinances of God. Then ask some brother to
command that spirit within you to declare that "Jesus Christ
is come in the flesh" as you have read here. Be concerned
enough about your own spiritual welfare to put your resident
spirit to the test, exactly as God commands, 1JO 4:2-3. See if
your "gift" continues.
   Lead your family, your friends, your church into obedience to
God's Word, and see if their spiritual phenomena continue. If
your church is unwilling to submit to the ordinance of 1CO
11:5-6; and the statutes of 1CO 14:38, and 1TI 2:8-15, do not
be deluded as to whose spirit is influencing them to go against
the Bible. If they continue in rebellion after understanding
these truths, don't be fooled about which side is controlling
their minds and hearts.
   And don't get puffed up, oh egotistical man, if your dear
humble wife does cover her head. Get down on your knees and
thank God with all your heart. Husbands are one flesh with
their wives, GEN 2:24, and when she submits to God's Word,
she also shows her husband's submission, EPH 5:31. She
protects her husband, too, from demonic influence.
   Can we claim to be God's servants, and love Jesus, if we are
unwilling to take so small a stand... just obedience to three
little commands that cost us nothing. They are not going to
burn you at the stake for it! Not yet, anyway. Think of
Augustine the baker, Leonhard Keyser, John Hooper, and that
young Englishman. Remember the martyrs who died to get
God's Word to us in our own language. Then get down on your
knees and explain to Jesus all your reasons for not wanting to
obey it. Try out those 17 excuses on the Lord, and see how He
likes them. Terrible things happen in our spirits if we hold the
truth in unrighteousness. Many of the big names among us do,
and look at what happens to them.

Prior Chapter - Contents - Next Chapter