This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God 1 John 4. 3 NIV
A demon manifested in a girl at a Christian school at which my daughter was a student. One or two knew it for what it was. Most ignored it and one did her best to deny it with a psychological rationalisation of the occurrence. I knew the latter lady reasonably well. She had a pathological resistance to the things of the spirit having made a religion for herself from the things of the head. The ‘head’ version of reality gives the illusion of control over our environment while denying us the power to perceive the puppeteers behind the façade.
I am not of the ‘demon made me do it’ school. However one cannot have a biblical or kingdom experience of life if one lives from a materialist- rationalist mind-set that denies the presence and authority of Jesus through the supernatural and the reality of demons that He cast out. Jesus ministry was not about demonology, but it was about life, love, authority and power. Disciples are instructed to heal the sick and cast out demons as multipliers of Jesus in their domain.
Demons are as real as we are and there is reason to believe that at least some of the problems presenting as psychological disorders are demonically exacerbated. If it is true that the test of Kingdom life is ‘Christ come in our flesh’ then it is more than probable that the Enemy attempts a similar strategy. This is why Paul says ‘We fight not against flesh and blood.’ This being so I am saying that people can be oppressed by demons, as with the school girl cited above and that all of us can be subject to the influence of demonic plots and ploys directed to dull, twist and annul the life and authority that is ours when Christ is our life. A key ploy is for the Enemy to con once many that Christ our life is Christ assisting us to live from the law, from religion and from shadows rather than the reality that is Christ.
Personally I have seen demons manifest in Believers living a sub-christian life. I have heard a demon speaking through a Believer, resist the supremacy of Jesus when this was declared through a pastor. I have witnessed the confusion and inability of a person to understand the foundational truth of life in the Spirit leaving them captive to a performance orientation that annuals spirit and life in all they do. But as a teacher remarked at conference recently, the major area of demonic influence in the church is not ‘possession.’ It is false doctrine and the vitiating culture that flows from this. In the church at large we have almost universal ignorance of the new covenant. We have a Christian Industry based on old covenant assumptions and a lot of the church speaking new covenant while living old in its polity.
For many Christians church is the real and Jesus is the shadow. The illusion that cripples us that the church is assumed to be the manifestation of Jesus when it is mostly only the manifestation of itself and the consumers of religion. The church and kingdom grow when Jesus is our life and we are the manifestation of His presence where we are. The fact that so many live in ignorance or denial of the new covenant and the flesh come in the flesh rather than Christ incarnated in our being is evidence of a cultural demonic oppression from which many need to be set free.
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.1 John 4.3 KJV.
Some denominations live in a faith that acknowledges Jesus while annulling all that He has done. Here is a perverted theology and a dimmed chlritology to support it, while Believers conscientiously believe they are living in a superior revelation of truth. Actually they are living in what Jesus describes as a tare.
We are living at a time when takes are being allowed to wither. A time will come when they will be uprooted. We need to recognise the hour of our visitation. In this our the extravagant love of our Father and our position of comfort and security in Him is being revealed. The Gospel of the Kingdom where Christ Himself is our life, rather than institutions and celebrities as a proxy Christ is being preached. The power of the incarnation – of Christ alive in our flesh and His manifestation in us as the church, kingdom and new creation is the present revelation. The meaning of the words ‘in spirit and in truth are being revealed for what they are. Not us living in religion and the anaesthesia of institutionalism but as Jesus Himself manifest as Bob and Joe and the church built without human hands.