The Dreadful Influences of
Some years ago a charismatic lady gave me a copy of Rick Joyner’s
book The Religious Spirit. She did so, because I keep the
festivals which God first gave to Israel (Lev 23). She thought I had
a religious spirit because of my observance of those commanded
assemblies. She had been duped by the widespread teaching that
claims we no longer need to keep holy days or Sabbaths which God
Yet you won’t find any
record in the Bible where God said He was rescinding those
commandments. Her assumption was based upon human tradition, and you
will find if you study origins of Sunday worship, Christmas and
Easter, that these all have their roots in paganism and compromised
worship – things which God strongly condemns by inference in
Revelation 2:12-29. (Explained in MM’s Understanding The Book of
The irony is that she
had the religious spirit.
I don’t observe those
occasions of communal worship in order to be saved. I keep
them because I am saved by faith, cleansed by the blood of Jesus for
my previous infractions of His teaching, and because I no longer
want to disobey anything which God says. My keeping them is an
evidence of my acceptance and surrender to God.
Of course, I realise
that there ARE many who ‘keep’ them for wrong reasons. Either they
think that others who don’t understand their relevance won’t be
saved, and that “only we who keep these festivals will be saved” –
exclusivists. Or they insist that keeping them is part of their
qualification for eternal life – legalists. Usually, such false
Christians have a blend of those views.
Seventh Day Adventists
(who mostly don’t keep the festivals but observe the Sabbath),
former WCG (Worldwide Church of God) members, and offshoot Church of
God organisations all subscribe to these erroneous views. They are
the deceptions – very subtle, mind you – of deceiving spirits.
The lady who condemned
me for my beliefs assumed that I was in error on those points, yet
she never contested with me about why she felt they were erroneous.
And she wasn’t willing to look into my exegesis. Her pride –
thinking she was right, and that the one she looked down upon was so
very wrong – kept her bound in ignorance. Later she backslid.
Unknown to her, she
accepted a religious spirit.
She was ‘very spiritual’
at times, receiving words from God, visions from time to time as she
sought His face, and thinking that such things were a confirmation
of her right standing with God. These things led to pride, and that
allowed a religious spirit to take over.
Her right standing, just
like ours, came from only one thing – faith in the sacrifice of
Jesus. The only problem was, she thought she had it, and didn’t
think we had it. Otherwise she wouldn’t have given me Joyner’s book
about religious spirits. (By the way, he’s a false prophet and now
has plenty of religious spirits on him after God took us to witness
to him in Edinburgh some years ago. That episode is recorded in
GOD Digital and the False Revival.)
Pride Hides Behind A Facade
For people who have a
religious spirit, their main problem is a root of pride. They think
they are better than others; superior in some way. They can be
arrogant, or feel special.
‘performance’ – what they do or what they believe – has puffed them
up. So, their ‘creed’ becomes a facade for evil spirits to hide
behind. That is a religious spirit – one which is evil but which
allows you to continue doing all the things that you think you are
doing to and for God, but which you are actually doing for your own
The Pharisees were
classic examples. They did what they did to be seen of men and to
exalt themselves (Matt 23:5-7).
A religious spirit will
very subtly supplant Jesus’ Spirit in you, when you allow pride in.
But, because you still take Jesus on your lips, you don’t think
you’ve got anything other than Jesus’ Spirit in you. It has hidden
behind your facade of righteousness.
I remember seeing on a
video produced by Christ for all Nations. Reinhard Bonnke was
praying for the sick in Birmingham, and the anointing of God was
present. Some people were receiving healing, others were being
touched by God in different ways. But a coloured lady was beside
herself, calling out in a high pitched voice, “Jesus, Jesus,
Jesus...” Her shrieks were those of the religious spirit within her.
Demons get stirred up by
the presence of the Spirit of God being so close. They know they
could be ousted from their home, so they put on a masquerade to
Characteristics of Religious Spirits
A religious spirit is an
evil spirit. It encourages people to put on a religious air or
manner. Pretence is its cover.
It makes you feel good
about yourself. It makes you feel better than others, special,
superior. But it can give you a false humility. Paul wrote about it:
Let no one cheat
you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship
[demons are fallen
angels], intruding into those things which he has seen,
vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind (Col 2:18).
Then Paul mentioned the
outworking of those spirits in the religious practice of believers
back then. Some people were submitting to worldly regulations
(2:20), a ritualism of the flesh: Do not touch, do not taste, do
not handle (Col 2:21).
Regular fasting, or long
fasts, are often a repeat of the same problem Paul was pointing out.
In an illusion of ‘being
superior’, such people can exhibit peculiar responses. One lady
would say in response to “How are you?” when a friend met her in the
street, “I am blessed.” She is elevated in delusion.
The religious spirit
looks down on others. It thinks it’s all right; that it doesn’t need
to change. It is full of pride.
Most Catholics and
Orthodox adherents have religious spirits. Then there’s a whole
range of them in charismatic churches. In fact, in whatever ‘branch’
of the Church you investigate, religious spirits are hiding away,
nicely protected by custom, heresy, or sanctimonious pose.
Look at the pope on his
recent trip to Israel, accompanied by sanctimonious posers walking
behind or alongside him, hands clasped as if in prayer. What
perverts! These men are not men of God. They are deceived and
deceive others by word or example. The purpose is to exert
influence; to dominate and control.
In Africa there’s not
much difference between such witchcraft IN the Church as outside it!
The African preacher, with his flowing colourful robes, and shouting
rhetoric, is so full of himself! He relies upon these ‘props’ to
give him the special standing he seeks above the level of the
ordinary person. Then there are those who use their ‘gifts’ of
‘prophesying’ (often an utter sham!) to exert even more influence
over others. It’s an abomination to God!
They think they’re in
God’s service. Some think they are the ONLY way to God. They worship
God in their own image, not in the reflection of His purity.
Other evils flow from
this stream of vileness: arrogance, greed, covetousness, aloofness,
deceit, self-will, secretiveness... the list can go on and on!
I tell African pastors
and evangelists (few listen) if ministry work is elevating, if it
makes someone feel superior or special (that’s pride), then it’s
best to pack it in, for such a person will not enter the Kingdom of
God with that attitude and pride inside. You can do God’s will,
fulfil your call in life, without being a pastor or evangelist OVER
others. You can feed others spiritually, on the same level – on
their level – in a home fellowship, not behind a pulpit. And for
most pastors in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and other similar countries,
that is where they should get out from – they should get out from
behind their pulpits and earn their bread by the sweat of their
brow, or they will not see God’s Promise to them.
The high and mighty will
not enter the kingdom. The little child will.
Expelling Religious Spirits
There is only one way to
get rid of religious spirits. It is through humbling. Job could tell
you all about it. They do not go easily! You have to go through
circumstances in life that bring you down – to see yourself as
inconsequential in relation to God – and then stay down.
I wrote to someone about
It has bothered me
for some time that you spend many hours in prayer with others
[who ask for ministry, for spiritual help], and fasting often.
We don't do that. It's very rare that we fast, and we don't
spend many hours in prayer.
If one has spent
15-30 minutes in prayer in the morning, that should be enough to
set you up for the day, and then any petition to God during the
day for another person need only be a short prayer. You don't
need to go on and on. God will answer (if He is going to answer
positively) after a prayer of petition that may only be a few
seconds or a minute or two minutes long. Long petitioning
prayers, begging God, imploring Him to respond, are unnecessary
and empty. If He doesn't respond after a short prayer, then
self-examination (of the person asking for help, or of you) is
what is needed. Each person must be open to correction, to see
what is wrong with himself; and be willing to acknowledge sins
that God points out. If God doesn't answer you, or you don't
seem to receive anything relevant, then you need to seek out
someone else who is close to God, for their input, and not just
rely upon your own receipt from God.
The little leaflet
should be of help.
The only way you will get rid of those demons is by being
humbled (not in fasting), and getting rid of all the ritual
religious activity (because it puffs you up, and makes you feel
elevates the self, or which may give an impression to
another person that you are more elevated in society, you should
get rid of. This applies to what you wear, and how you appear to
others. Jesus didn’t look any different to the ordinary people
in His society. Nor should we.
Job didn't see the
depth of his error, and how wrong his self-righteousness was,
until quite some time had elapsed, and he had been through a
process of humbling. It is the same for you.
Moreover, Jesus, in
washing the disciples’ feet, set a most forceful example for us.
He was saying, in effect, that we must not seek to be elevated,
but should content ourselves in doing what is most menial. A
minister is a servant, not an élite person in a higher position
Malcolm B Heap
Casting Out Demons; Resisting Demons;
Are You Driving Out Your Demons?; The Religious Wicked