They are sometimes connected with "infirmities."
Luke 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
AFTER CALVARY, THEY CHANGED THEIR OPERATING STRATEGY.
A word of explanation here. The disciples, after walking with Christ for the major part of His ministry, learned the working methods of devils by watching Christ cast them out and doing so themselves. Watching Him recognize their presence and deal with them authoritatively gave them and those who read
the Scriptures an understanding of their working procedures. Knowing that believers were given victory over them at Calvary, they have taken to a different method of working. They now do their work in men deceitfully, rather than openly, appearing as false apostles, ministers of righteousness, and angels of
light. They possess men and women and use them as TEACHERS!
2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:15 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.
Although there are cases today (most notably the unscriptural practice of being "slain in the spirit", or the "laughing revival") of these hideously evil beings reverting back to causing abnormal physical disturbances in the unsaved as well as in the deceived believer, the subtle
beings now work more cautiously as teachers. They use those who could most convincingly carry their damnable teachings. Saved, born again believers who, rather than giving diligent heed to the command to study the Word of God, take isolated passages of Scripture, and twist them to say
something they do not say. Case in point is the Pentecostal/Charismatic error of giving overwhelming attention to the book of Acts, without understanding it in the broad light of the remainder of the Bible. Ask them about the restoration of the Kingdom (Acts 1:6) and most don't have a clue. They are too busy
seeking the "baptism of the Holy Ghost" (Which no one was ever commanded to seek) to wonder about why not one thing in the list given in Joel 2 happened in Acts 2 where Peter referred them to that chapter. Can saved people be deceived by devils? What did Paul mean when he said:
1 Timothy 4:1 "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; "
Would people (Christians) listen to these "spirit" led teachers?
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Did Paul assume something wrong? Was the above actually inspired by the Holy Ghost as part of inspired Scripture? Would there be teachers that to the human eye and mind seemed to be ministers of righteousness, yet would be teaching doctrines of devils? Could you be deceived?
HOW CAN ONE BE "INOCULATED" AGAINST DECEPTION?
1. Believe God wants you to know - He wants His people free!
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
2. Be willing to do His will.
This means if God shows you truth, you must be willing to stand alone and act upon what He shows you in His word.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
3. Believe the Bible is the infallible word of God. A book without proven error. (KJV)
1Thess. 2:13 ¶ For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
When you hear a preacher correct the Bible, put what he says in file thirteen. This is critical. If there is no single, final authority, (i.e. last court of appeal such as an infallible Bible, then YOU become the final authority.) If you have several versions, then "There is no king in Israel, and
every man doeth that which is right in his own eyes." (Judges 17:6, 21:5). Your Bible study has been subtly sabotaged by the Devil. You are on a sea of subjectivism that can be easily manipulated by devils. (Read "Strange Scriptures".)
Never change a verse of scripture just to back up something you believe. The words of the Lord are pure words (Psalm 12:6). Pay attention to detail. Words are important. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Recognize before God the inability of the human mind to discern the Scriptures. The natural
man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God (1Cor. 2:14). Humble yourself and never lean on experience to understand the Bible, but rather test all experiences with the words of the living God. The Scriptures do not contradict, but they require diligent study. Yes, study!
4. Read and STUDY the word of God.
- With a humble attitude, realizing that we cannot properly understand the word of God unless He teaches us.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Mat 11:25,26 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Let's dissect this verse.
Study? Approved? For what? Approval usually assumes some privilege or responsibility. Does the way we live and the attitude we have toward God's word have something to do with being "approved" for something in the future? For some responsibility in the millennial
Kingdom? If we took "studying" seriously, not just casual "proof text" study, but scripture with scripture, taking all the verses into account, would He reveal the truth to us? The answers to these questions are an unqualified yes!
We should also be aware that we are only seeking God's approval.
Never look for the approval of man. We despise ridicule, however, if we believe the book, as it is in truth - the word of God, we will face the disapproval of many, and even persecution.
Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Ashamed? - You will bear shame at the Judgment Seat of Christ for failure in this area.
Rightly dividing the word of truth. Understanding the seeming contradictory scriptures through dividing the body of truth into its proper places. Scripture is "line upon line" "precept upon precept".
Isa 28:9-10 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
What Does It Mean To "Rightly Divide"?
May we give some examples?
Understanding the progression of revelation as Israel rejected her Messiah.
Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Acts 18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
Acts 18:25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the Spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
Acts 18:26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
Appollos was right, as far as he had learned, but Israel had rejected and murdered their Messiah. No longer was anyone baptizing for the remission of sins. Apollos needed to learn that God was doing things a bit differently. The message was no longer "repent and be baptized", but "believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Failing to see this truth, in other words, failing to "rightly divide" the word of truth, will cause one to be teaching something that at one time was correct, but is no longer. The best illustration of that truth is the simple fact that after the
death of the Lord Jesus Christ, God no longer requires animal sacrifice.
Devils are having a hey-day deceiving God's people through teaching that fails to seriously study the book God gave us - the King James Authorized Bible. If you reject that truth without any further question, you can be assured you will be deceived by doctrines of devils. The most prevalent of which is the
so-called baptism of the Holy Ghost with the "initial evidence" of speaking in tongues. No where in the Scripture is anyone admonished to seek this false gift. If you insist on this without a thorough study of ALL the scriptures involved, you will find yourself on the receiving end of "another
spirit", which Paul warned about in this verse:
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit . . .".
Remember in this scripture Paul is speaking by the Spirit of God to saved people in a carnal church. Their number one obsession was "speaking in tongues". They had received another spirit! The Holy Spirit would not impress the Apostle Paul to write an
epistle correcting something that He, the Holy Spirit was the author of. If you seek another spirit, you will get one, for they are, with evident permission from Almighty God, deceiving multitudes today. Don't remain ignorant of these things. Would you humbly get
on your knees before God and honestly ask Him this question: "God, have I been deceived?" I have done this, as humbly as I know how, pleading with God that He would not let me be led into falsehood by doctrines of devils. I have made reading through the Bible a
high priority - cover to cover, over and over again. I believe it is the only way to avoid the deceptions that are blanketing our churches in these last days.
We welcome dialogue with anyone who would discuss these things with an honest heart. Prove us wrong - from the word of God - and we will change. We are ONLY interested in TRUTH.