“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
As the years go by and I learn more about God’s grace it’s easier to listen to teachings which do not match up to His grace. This doesn’t mean that as I listen I have my belief about His grace swayed, it just means I can listen to error without being angry at the person teaching it. It means I can see the person teaching the opposite of God’s grace with God’s grace–which is what I’m supposed to do–and honestly, what feels most natural to me as a child of God.
Such a renewal of this part of my thinking has taken a very long time. For years, the Holy Spirit was trying to teach me to calm down when I’d hear a sermon that was off base, rather than resent the person teaching it, and rather than head for the hills. I was angry over the lies about God’s grace, when I should have been anchored in His grace. That is, in my thinking. Now I can easily sit through something I don’t agree with and still think of that teacher with love and respect. How? Because I know we will all be learning and growing in our Creator’s grace, not just in this lifetime, but on into eternity. With this renewed mindset I can “eat the meat and spit out the bones” when listening to anyone.
Recently, I sat through a sermon in which red flag after red flag was popping up in my spirit. The gist of the grinding words were three main subjects: demonic possession, private prayer language, and die to self.
I’m sure this person meant well, but I’d like to express what God has revealed to me through the truths of the New Covenant:
- They made the claim that a Christian had a demonic manifestation right in front of them. For most of my life I would have eaten this up with a spoon and asked for seconds. But God has taught me that a Christian cannot be possessed by a demon. Why? Because we are literally possessed by Christ’s Spirit, our spirits are sealed up and protected by His Spirit, and our spirits are 100% His possession (see 1 Corinthians 6:17,19 Ephesians 1:13, 1 Peter 2:9). The apostle John said the enemy cannot even touch us (see 1 John 5:18). The only thing he or his demons can do is accuse us in our minds and tempt us (see Revelation 12:10, Matthew 4:3). But still, he is a liar and doesn’t have the ability to accuse us or tempt us with any truth (see John 8:44). So it’s best to just ignore him most of the time. The Cross has completely disarmed the forces of hell for all who believe in Christ’s forgiveness! (See 1 John 3:8, John 3:16). Satan and his crew are now but toothless, old, barking dogs, behind a fence, who are about to be euthanized, never to pester a child of God again. All they can do is lie to you about who you really are in Christ, because they see who you really are in the spiritual realm as a heaven-ready person. Therefore, they will lie to you about you, or they’ll try to tickle your ears by making you believe what you are doing–or not doing–is earning, improving, or sustaining your righteousness. Just like with Adam and Eve, Satan wants you to think you have the knowledge of good and evil so that you can be “more” like God, when you already are like God in full because of your faith in Jesus Christ! (See 1 John 4:17). The demons are well aware that your righteousness is just as free now as it was from the moment you first believed–even if you are not aware of this! (See Romans 5:1, 6:6-7, 8:1, 2 Corinthians 5:17,21, Hebrews 10:10, 1 Corinthians 6:11). So either this person who was acting like they were demonically possessed was not a Christian, or they were a Christian who was exuding an incorrect learned behavior. The truth is, God won’t share you with any demon. There’s not a single verse in the New Testament where a Christian is having a demon cast out of them. In fact, just the opposite, they are afraid of us! (See Luke 10:17, Mark 3:13-15, James 2:19, 1 John 4:4).
- They claimed they had to speak in a private prayer language to cast the demon out. Again, there is no record of this in the New Testament. Further, if this person is referencing tongues, don’t you think that if the need to speak in a foreign language we do not know (which is what tongues is, see Acts 2:8) was necessary to cast out a demon who doesn’t need to hear a foreign language, this would have been written in at least one of the epistles? James, John, Peter, Paul, none of them instruct the churches to do this. In fact, there is no passage in any of their letters which records the need for a private prayer language. God understands all languages, so there’s no reason to speak in a foreign language when we pray. Sure, the Holy Spirit prays for us in groans we cannot fathom in our human minds, but when Paul said this in context, he was saying the Holy Spirit prays for us when we don’t know what to pray for (see Romans 8:26). Have you ever had times when life is so difficult you don’t know what to pray? I have. And when we are in these stages of severe angst and turmoil, the Holy Spirit personally advocates for us to the Father. Friend, there’s no need to speak in tongues to rid a demon from our midst. All we need to say is the name of Jesus! We’d be remiss to think our human effort, forced or faked repeated babble, foreign languages, or even our many words can sway the demons of hell. Only Christ can do this through us! We have no need whatsoever to be afraid of any demon! Jesus lives in us and we have His very power! (See Luke 10:19).
- They claimed what we need to do as Christians is “die to self.” This phrase is worn out by the body of Christ and is not correct. There’s not a single verse in any epistle advising believers to die to self. It’s just not there. On the contrary, we are informed repeatedly to live! (See Colossians 3:4, Ephesians 5:15-16, 2 Corinthians 5:7, John 6:35, 7:38, Hebrews 12:14, James 3:13, Galatians 2:20, 5:25, 1 John 4:9,15, 1 Timothy 4:12, 1 Corinthians 15:22, Philippians 1:21, and more!). We are informed over and over that we need to learn who we are–what the New Covenant has done to us–and then be that person! (See Romans 12:2, Philippians 1:6, 2:12, 4:8, Hebrews 8:13, 10:10, 2 Corinthians 3:18, 1 Peter 1:16, Galatians 5:22-23). Christ said He came so we can have life–not daily death! (See John 10:10). Yes, we are putting to death old mindsets daily, but we do this by living out our true selves! (See 2 Peter 1:4). We–our identity–we are holy, blameless saints! (See Colossians 1:22, Hebrews 10:14). It is when we learn more about our free sainthood–which is righteousness given to us by supernatural rebirth (see John 3:5-7)–we will then live organically much more often than not! We will live out who we believe we are! This is why “die to self” is absent from Scripture. In 1 Corinthians 15:31, Paul said he “faces death every day.” But he was talking about the dangers he encountered while spreading the gospel, not about his incorrect actions and attitudes. Go read around that verse and you’ll see. And in Romans 6:6, he said our old self died–it was crucified–and we got a new self! A self who is joined with Christ’s own Spirit! This is why we are advised to present ourselves as living sacrifices, not daily dead ones! (See Romans 12:1). Therefore, live! You are fully equipped to live the life that God has put inside of you–Jesus! (See 2 Peter 1:3, Galatians 2:20).
So today, my friends, know this: Christian, you are complete, holy, and sealed up with God’s Spirit forever! No demon can touch you! You are actually hidden inside of Christ! (See Colossians 2:10, 3:3). You don’t need a special person saying foreign languages over you to cast out a demon either–you are that special person whom no demon can mess with! Be confident in this truth! More importantly, you don’t need to keep dying to self each day. You have a good self, a righteous self, a blameless self. You simply need to learn more about who you truly are, and then live your life to the fullest!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, thank you for teaching me the truth of your grace. I want to learn more and more about it! Through such grace-filled knowledge, I have been set free from so many incorrect doctrines. Thank you. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. Please begin to open up their minds to the graceful easiness that lies within them if they believe–which is your Spirit. And for the person whom I referenced in this devotional, take them deeper into what Christ has really done for them. They used the verse in John 12:24–of a kernel having to go into the ground and die so it can produce many more seeds–as an example of us having to die daily. But this is out of context according to your Word. Jesus was talking about Himself, not us. The previous verse explains this, as does your promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:4-7, and Paul even talked about your seed being Christ in Galatians 3:29. It was JESUS who needed to die so that WE could receive His Spirit into EACH of us! WE are those new seeds! Through your New Covenant with mankind, we only die ONCE in spirit, and we receive our new life in Christ at the very same time! Thank you for this free gift of life–Christ’s life! Empower us to live Him out! In Jesus’ name, amen.
This devotional is from The Christian Identity, Volume 1. Get your copy here!