Many have heard of the spirit of Antichrist. When we hear of this spirit, we think of something openly, blatantly evil, easily recognizable. We believe that this spirit will announce itself to the world, to the church, much like the wide open forum that President Obama has when he gives the State of the Union address.
This is NOT so.
Because the enemy knows that he was to fool, to deceive, the very elect, that means he has upped the ante on how he manifests himself. The Word of God states that satan has seat in the institutional church (Revelations 2:13). We would laugh and joke about sitting in the first lady’s seat or the mother’s seat in the front of the church…but few churchgoers even realize that right in the midst of their ‘holy’ tabernacle, their devout temples, their powerful ministries-replete with many signs and wonders and operations of the gifts of the spirit…that satan has a SEAT…RIGHT THERE!
His seat doesn’t have his name on it, or he would be found out.
His seat exists in the institutional church…no doubt.
I know you have heard a lot of talk on religious spirits. If you are new to church (as we know it), or if you’ve been in church for over 40 years, this term may baffle you because you have been taught that – as the song goes ‘Religion SO sweet…’
We all have been lulled into a semi- or fully-delusional state where we are drugged into believing something we know deep down inside ‘just isn’t right.’ We just went to church and went along with the programs to get along. We didn’t want to rock the boat, so to speak, out of fear that we would be labeled ‘rebellious,’ ‘unfaithful,’ ‘unteachable,’ or a host of other names leadership likes to place on thinking people who were blessed with common sense AND wisdom to know game when they see it.
Yet even the most discerning, the most wise, the most street-wise of us check our brains in at the door of a church once we enter therein. We erroneously think that we are NOT supposed to use the wisdom and common sense GOD HIMSELF has blessed us with once we walk through the doors of a church. We erroneously believe that God does NOT deal with our minds at all. So any inkling deep down in our guts and minds that game is being played we suppress that, thinking that it’s the devil trying to get us ‘out of the ship.’
How do we properly discern a Religious Spirit?
Well, for starters, I want to present to you that after we are born again, we should not check in our brains at the door. EVERYTHING that God has allowed you to learn-whether it was via books and a teacher, or on the streets, or by life experience-EVERYTHING has been allowed to happen in your life so that you can LEARN A LESSON from it. The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful. We have to learn to not have any regrets…even over mistakes.
Human beings are learning creatures. From the moment we are born into the earth, until the hour we breathe our last breath, we are supposed to be in a CONSTANT state of learning, and probably re-learning, too.
If your gut tells you something ain’t right, then TRUST YOUR INSTINCT!
A religious spirit knows how to look holy, righteous. Just by first glance, you can’t tell the difference between a holy person and a religious one. They will look just like the woman above.
But as time goes on, and you start spending time with that person, you will start to notice inconsistencies. Certain things just wouldn’t line up. You will start seeing glaring imperfections and brazen outright sin in their lives…but the more those weeds in their lives manifest, the more they try to COVER IT UP with works of righteousness, more church work, more random acts of kindness to strangers, more religious works.
The more works of religion and righteousness they do, you will begin to notice that their life does not line up with the Word of God. They will sin and not be convicted of it. They will not respond to the conviction of the Holy Ghost of sin and justify sin, or be in outright denial about their sinful state. And the more they do this, the more active they get in the church. They do more ‘church work,’ hold more revivals, conferences, and convocations, preach harder, prophesy harder…all in an effort to gain their OWN righteousness, to atone for their sins on their own. Their mindset is ‘If I stay in church enough, that will make up for my fornicating last night,’ or ‘If I do A & B, then that will make up for my dealing drugs at that school…’
The demon starts to manifest by then. And it looks a little something like this:
By now, the church lady is cussing, drinking, smoking, lying, threatening to cut folks. When she goes to church, she has her hands upraised. Praising God, speaking in tongues, running around the church, preaching….the whole nine. But when you see her in situations that require her to have patience, she has none. This religious spirit has NO patience. It wants what it wants, when it wants it! They gotta preach…NOW! They gotta prophesy….NOW! They gotta get married…NOW! You wanna see if someone has a religious spirit, tell them NO…or WAIT. If they go off in a tantrum, then you got a religious spirit on your hands!
A religious spirit also is very unaware of the very real fact that they are, too, flawed individuals…with sin. They swim in a pool of SELF-DENIAL. They are in self-denial about EVERYTHING. But the one thing they are in self-denial about is the state of their own selves.
A religious spirit is a potentially dangerous spirit, for there is nothing-NOTHING-a religious spirit WON’T do to protect THEIR IMAGE! THEIR IMAGE IS EVERYTHING TO THEM!!! They don’t believe in self-exposure or disclosure. When they fall into sin, drastic measures are taken to COVER UP their sin. If the religious spirit is a pastor, he/she will employ the help of the church to participate in the cover up. They will use fear tactics and mishandle the Word of God to manipulate and control people into doing what THEY want them to do.
A religious spirit NEEDS an entourage. They need a following. If they dont have anyone following them, they feel useless, rejected, persecuted even. This is when a religious spirit-that demonic spirit-will FULLY manifest….right before your eyes!
A religious spirit is a proud one. It won’t ever admit to being wrong, or doing wrong.
When you have discerned that you are dealing with a religious spirit, the only thing to do is to get away from them. Because until the person comes into the realization and revelation that they have something DEMONIC that’s driving them to do things in church, or do ministry, or for a good cause, there is nothing that can be done for them. Religious spirits are SO insidious and subtle that its hard to recognize….at first glance. It takes TIME to observe a person in all their various atmospheres to determine if they have a religious spirit or not.
In ‘Faces of a Religious Demon’ by Pam Sheppard, many faces of the religious spirit/demon are exposed. It is one of the most thorough teachings on religious spirits that I have ever read.
To find out more on how to discern a religious spirit, get your copy today!