This is a really deep revelation that God just gave me, and I'm not sure I can fully convey the depth of its meaning, but I'm going to try. It’s that important to the body of Christ.
I’ve written articles on spiritual cannibalism. What I mean by that phrase is the trading back and forth of criticisms, accusation, insults and other negative speech that is not edifying to anyone. This is actually another revelation that pertains to that subject. It also has to do a lot with what nature we allow to be formed in us. God is at work exposing the deeper issues of people’s hearts, and allowing their true nature and the fruit of their belief system to be seen for what it is; not just what people may profess to believe. He does things to quietly remove the masks that people wear in order to expose who and what they are aligned with. He uses many, many situations to separate the vile from what is pure. (Jer. 15:19). He separates what is defiled and carries a curse, from what is chosen by God to reproduce in health and blessing. He separates the flocks, sifting out those with a stubborn, goat-like nature from the sheep.(Matt. 25:32). He shines a light on false teaching and cleanses with truth. All these things bring a separation from the things God chooses not to use, and that which has been tried by fire and purified for greater purposes. We are in that time now, and because the time for Jesus’ return grows closer, the deception of the enemy will be even greater if he can pull it off. We absolutely MUST discern the difference between the truth and those seeds the enemy wishes to plant in our heart in order to produce defilement. (Matt. 13:25). Let me point you to one example that you may feel is inconsequential, yet has profound deeper truth woven into it.
Take the Son of God movie, for example. There has been a great deal of negative communication through articles and such recently, and the conflict has been centered around the Biblical correctness of the Son of God movie that just came out. I am not directing this article so much around the movie itself as the responses that have been generated regarding the movie. A very critical spirit, laced with judgment has arisen to speak out against Christians and those involved with the movie production. (Notice the spiritual cannibalism at work!) Even innocent Christians have come under fire simply for defending their viewpoint to see the movie without feeling persecuted by those who may not agree with the content or message of the movie. Religious spirits look to place guilt or condemnation, manipulation of scripture and man-made yokes of legalism on others that Jesus himself did not do. Those things actually hinder others from coming to Christ because it puts stumbling blocks in front of them. This is something Jesus accused the Pharisees of doing!
If you can look beyond the arguments and theological debates, it is not difficult to see that the enemy is very, very afraid of losing control, but it is manifesting in fearful responses that need not be. The body of Christ seems to be so afraid that those that already know Christ will fall into a ditch and be led astray that they are not being led by love or faith in the work of Holy Spirit. If we truly belong to Christ, then indwelling in us is an anointing that teaches us the truth. (1 John 2:27). Why then do we not trust that He is able to do his job? The truth is, people are allowing a religious spirit to speak into their ear and tempt them to a fear response. Satan is afraid of the movie being used as a tool for evangelism. He is afraid that souls will be won to Christ as a result of people talking about Jesus Christ in everyday conversation. The Son of God has once again trumped the enemy. But Satan, the accuser, is fighting back. The enemy is jealous and full of fear, and whenever someone is jealous and full of fear, they will criticize, accused and reject the very thing that has gained the attention of others. Jealousy is intolerant and hostile towards those that are perceived as threats.
We see it all the time when God beings to move through one person and those with a jealous or competitive spirit begin to accuse, find fault and criticize those He is using. A spirit of error will twist understanding and use scripture incorrectly to try to justify personal opinions, judgments or man’s interpretation of the Word, when that was not the intent of scripture at all. The underlying spirit is one that will defile and take people into captivity rather than set them free. In promoting the wrong spirits, people crucify the Son of God all over again without even realizing they are doing so. You may ask how they are crucifying the Son of God. Because He lives inside human vessels and works through them. Jesus said as we do to the least of His children, so do we do it unto Him. (Matt. 25:40).
I am getting to a point. Stay with me if you will!
This Pharisaical spirit can’t help but feel fearful of losing control. The Pharisees were not only full of fear, they were also angry. They were fearful that those that had been under religious control would find freedom in Jesus Christ. They were fearful the man- made traditions, rules and conditions for acceptance would be nullified through Jesus Christ and people would be free to place their loyalties with another King. They didn’t want people to place their affections on someone else. To do so meant losing control and loyalty. You see, there is religion, which is the counterfeit, and then there is what's genuine, and that is through relationship with Jesus Christ. Sometimes the lines are so blurred people can't tell when their is something wrong in their beliefs. That is where the work of the Holy Spirit comes in. Have you invited Him in lately, to show you truth? Friends, I’m drawing your attention to a much deeper rooted issue, and that is the issue of jealousy. I want you to understand there are two sides to this spirit, and if a person isn’t very careful and discerning, it can take what you think is a pure, righteous desire to protect others and twist it around so that the person is deceived just like the Pharisees. There is a godly jealousy that is generated by a spirit of love and purity. God himself has said He is a jealous God. But it never comes by tearing others down. God's word has said that a spirit of murder does not reside in those that have eternal life. (1 John 3:15). Those that love their brethren abide in the light whereas those that hate are full of darkness and don't know where it leads them. (1 John 2:10,11). It is so subtle yet equally capable of defiling the vessel that does not resist the temptation to be critical. Jealousy will set a person on edge. It will trigger anger responses. It is critical, easily offended and somehow thinks that speaking badly about others will make them look or feel better. That is the spirit of accusation at work. No one ever feels better about speaking critically about others. They only feel guilty, and a guilty conscience will make people self deceived, defensive and argumentative. Humility is what allows people to see Jesus in us and know the truth.
Maybe you’re saying, “I don’t care if I see the Son of God movie or not.” Well, it’s not about the movie. That was just an illustration. Let’s see how all this works in our own daily lives.
Now for a bit of personal confession, so you can see where I’m going with this. There has been someone that for years I struggled to forgive. Finally, I was able to forgive all the painful things of the past. I thought I was completely free. Then recently, something occurred that brought reconciliation between other people we love and care about, and the person who the enemy had used to inflict a great deal of pain. I found that I struggled with those emotions, and a twinge of jealousy surprised me when I recognized it was there. Where did that come from?
I comforted myself by telling myself that I didn’t want the people I loved to fall for this person’s old tricks again. I comforted myself by justifying why others should not trust that person, knowing that who the person was on the outside was not at all who they really were under the surface. I didn’t want others to get hurt again. I never acted on those impulses, but the thoughts were there. The enemy wanted to introduce a temptation to speak the wrong things about someone else. I found myself feeling irritated that they were being so careless with their spiritual health. Didn’t they remember the things God had already shown them about this person? I felt a bit angry and concerned that the deceiver would once again draw them in and they would fall for his bait, hook, line and sinker. What I didn’t realize is that the deceiver was actually baiting me! Oh, the enemy’s suggestions can sound so plausible if we are not careful to recognize them for what they are! It was the spirit of jealousy working with fear to produce a Pharisaical spirit. You see, I understand that religious spirit of witchcraft very well, because God delivered me from it. But the enemy would love to pull me right back into it again without me realizing he had done so. That's what he does with each of us. I might not have drawn the connection except the Lord gave me a dream about it. In the dream I realized I felt annoyed that the Lord would not allow me to speak against the person I felt tempted to be offended with. And just like that, I had to work with the Lord all over again with self-deliverance, renouncing a spirit of fear, jealousy, anger and criticism so that the enemy could not defile the vessel God intended to use to set people free.
Maybe there is someone or some situation the enemy is using to tempt you, too. The temptations of the enemy are ever so subtle. We must stay alert and exercise discernment if we are to remain free! The enemy knows just how to trigger a response in order to lure a person into defiled thinking. We must not come into agreement with the accuser! The mirror we gaze into is never that of our own soulish desires, for if we look into our own hearts we will see that indeed there is wickedness there that can deceive us. No, we look into the mirror of God’s word, and reflect on what He has said, and then, not only to consider what is written but to obey His counsel and instruction. This is what it means to not just ‘hear the word,’ but to do His word. (James 1:23). When we allow the word of God to change us, we begin to reflect more and more of Christ’s image within us. This is how others see Jesus.
Friend, no one ever makes themselves look better by speaking badly about others. No one makes themself appear righteous or justified by doing it at the expense of someone else’s’ reputation. We have no righteousness of our own. It only comes from the blood of Christ imputing His righteousness to us. Don’t let the enemy tempt you to enter into accusation and partake of his nature. Recognize the spirit of jealousy trying to slither in and whisper in your ear. It will trip you up! Rise up and take authority over it! While we may have a genuine desire to protect others, we must trust the Holy Spirit to show others truth. We must trust the One that delivered our soul to deliver theirs. Don’t overstep your boundaries! If you really trust God, you won’t have to feel fearful that others ‘can’t see’ what you think you see, or even what you know to be true. None of us are God, and none of us are called to judge the souls of others. Yet, we can be discerning, and true discernment comes by asking Holy Spirit to show us truth, as well as being willing to allow Him to change our judgments. We are called to be gentle and loving towards others and leave the judgment part to God. Let God be God in their lives and don’t try to get in the middle of something you shouldn’t. Sometimes those that are taken captive by the deceptive wiles of others are ‘in training’ and it’s something they must go through without us. At other times, we need to allow God to work in and through others in ways we might not personally feel at ease with. Those ‘ill at ease’ feelings are spirits of fear and pride trying to hide from you. Take authority over them and renounce it!
I told you this was a deep and profound revelation! I hope it has helped you today. Let’s pray.
I thank You that you reveal truth in the secret places of our heart. The kingdom of God and Your dwelling place, O Lord, is within us. It is not outside of us! Help us to tap into that secret place every day to touch You, to hear from You, to be completely transparent with You so that You can set us free in deeper and deeper ways. I renounce and resist the spirits of pride, fear, jealousy, anger, offense, a desire for vengeance, accusation, slander and murder. I want nothing to do with them. I submit to your Holy Spirit and ask that You would create in me a clean heart that pleases You. Let my heart not be troubled by these things, and instead focus on what is pure, right and good in your eyes. I submit to Your authority and command the enemy to leave me now in Jesus name. I thank you, Jesus, that I am free in Christ, and I thank You for washing away all defilement that comes from the root of bitterness and a spirit of jealousy. Fill me with Your perfect love that casts out all fear. In Jesus name, amen.