1 Ki. 19:12 π Isa. 26:3 π Mt. 6:6; 2nd π Jn. 10:27 π Jn. 14:16-17 π Jn. 15:26 π Jn. 16:13-14 π 2 Ths. 2:9 π 2 Ths. 2:9-10 π 2 Ths. 2:10-12 π 2 Tim. 2:19 π 2 Tim. 3:13 π 1 Jn. 2:21 π 1 Jn. 4:1-3 π 1 Jn. 4:4-6 π Rev. 19:10 π Rev. 21:7-8 π Rev. 22:14-15
The last ruler of darkness we will study (if there be more lords of darkness, this author is not aware of them at this time) is the spirit of error. In truth, this may be just another name for the spirit of antichrist - its goals and tactics are extremely similar. But since the Scriptures may be interpreted as giving it a separate name, we will study it as a separate entity. John wrote,
You are of God, little children, and have overcome [the deceiving spirits and the spirit of antichrist], because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. [The deceiving spirits] are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. ( 1 Jn. 4:4-6; top )
This ruler of darkness preys against our ability to hear God for ourselves by getting us to listen to and obey demonic voices and lies rather than listening only to God’s Spirit of truth. Those who don’t believe we are supposed to hear God for ourselves should remember Jesus? words:
My sheep hear My voice... ( Jn. 10:27; top )
Only those who are not really His sheep fail to hear His voice. Let he who has ears hear.
The spirit of error’s first aim is to keep us so busy, so distracted or so noisy in our souls that we are unable to clearly hear the voice of God.
Let us recall what Jesus said about prayer.
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place... ( Mt. 6:6; top )
The secret place Jesus refers to is that place where no other human may go. It is that innermost place in our beings where our spirit co-mingles with the Spirit of God. It is our heart of hearts. Since God only speaks there in a peaceful, small voice (see 1 Ki. 19:12; top ), a busy, distracted or noisy soul will easily drown out God’s voice.
If this ploy is successful, the ruler of error will then attempt to give his own messages to the person. These “revelations” or “words of knowledge” will be very subtly embedded with deception, though, as time goes by, if this one does not forsake this demonic relationship, the deceptions will become more pronounced and ungodly. (see 2 Tim. 3:13; top )
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. ( 1 Jn. 4:1-3; top )
Whatever else might be gleaned from this passage, we at least find one question to ask that spirit that speaks to us in our inner being: “Has Jesus Christ come in the flesh?” A noisy, overly busy soul will mask the answer and cause confusion, but a quiet, patient, contrite soul will know the voice of God.
The spirit of error’s work then becomes an imitation and usurping of the rightful place of the Spirit of truth within our hearts. If we would be wary and vigilant against this spirit’s deceptions, we must recognize the specific role the Spirit of truth has in our lives. Jesus taught:
...the Father...will give you another Helper...even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. ( Jn. 14:16-17; top )
First, the Spirit of truth, our Helper, helps us to persevere in our race to attain to the upward call of Christ Jesus in our lives. Second, He is not related to this world in any way and His instructions will always cause us to forsake the world and embrace the cross. And third, He is within us, as Jesus said elsewhere, in the secret place. ( Mt. 6:6; top ) Often times, if we are truly quiet and still, we can sense or discern whether the spiritual voice speaking to us comes from without or from within our innermost being. When dealing with spiritual voices speaking to our inner man, a voice speaking from outside our spirit will not be the Spirit of truth who dwells within.
Jesus also taught:
But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. ( Jn. 15:26; top )
First, He proceeds from the Father - everything He is, God is also. Everything God is, so He is too. Second, the Spirit of truth will testify of Jesus. An angel says this again to John in the book of Revelation:
...the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. ( Rev. 19:10; top )
Any prophetic word given by spiritual means, especially one that has nothing to say about Christ but rather focuses on some group or individual is suspect as not coming from the Spirit of truth. If the word contains demeaning or condemning elements (against the people - not their sins!) or simply gossips about or speaks evil of that group or individual, we can know with certainty the word has not come from the Spirit of God.
Jesus also said,
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. ( Jn. 16:13-14; top )
First, He will guide us into all truth - to do that He must progressively lead us out from under every lie we have believed in ( 1 Jn. 2:21 ) and we must actively depart from every iniquity. ( 2 Tim. 2:19; top ) If we can detect even the tiniest deception, we can know immediately that the spirit speaking to our inner being or speaking through someone else is not the Spirit of truth. Second, He only speaks what He hears from God or Christ - if God or Christ would not say something, neither will the Spirit of truth. And third, He will bring glory, not dishonor, shame and disgrace, to the name of Christ. The strange goings on in hyper-charismatic circles do little to glorify Christ and instead point to severe demonization. This casts suspicion on every spiritual, prophetic word given in those circles as not really being from the Spirit of truth though it is still true that God, not desiring that any should perish, could speak within those circles.
The attitude we must cultivate to overcome this ruler of error is first of all a quiet, peaceful interior. That is, we must abide quietly in Christ. (also see Isa. 26:3 ) Only when we sit quietly at the Master’s feet will we hear His words. Second, we must love the truth more than our own life. Paul warns,
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan... ( 2 Ths. 2:9; top )
That would be the working of all of his assistants too.
...with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish... ( 2 Ths. 2:9-10; top )
At least one (if not more) of Satan’s deceptive tricks - personally altered to fit the individual if necessary - will be effective against those whom he holds in his prison of darkness. Why?
...because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. ( 2 Ths. 2:10-12 ; also see Rev. 21:7-8 ; 22:14-15; top )
The pleasure we take in any unrighteousness is the very door by which the demonic will come into our lives. If we are walking in the love of truth, we will forsake all unrighteousness and the demonic will gain no control over us. If we are content in our sin, the demonic will gain great advantage over us and will lead us into further unrighteousness and darkness until even God will give us over to the strong delusion and permit us to believe any lie the demonic spins past us. The choice is ours.
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