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. 1 Jn. 4:1
When you’ve been touched, excited, exhilarated by a spirit that has masqueraded as the Spirit of God, it is defiling.
When you start to consider whether such a thing has happened to you, it is horrifying. Almost too much so to actually consider it.
When you realize that it has, it is devastating. If it has been happening for years, it is hard to describe how crushing the realization is.
I hesitate to make this analogy between false spiritual encounters and sexual abuse for two reasons, which are: I dare not diminish the unparalleled pain of real sexual abuse, and there are false spiritual encounters which are so sensual as to be overtly sexual. I have not experienced that, and am not limiting my analogy to those kinds of spiritual experiences.
In my experience and those I’ve ministered to, the gate into deception has been spiritual experiences, pleasurable ones. Spiritual highs in the context of pounding music, enthusiastic dancing, shouting at the top of your lungs or tearful reveries in the prayer room at IHOPKC with repetitive, mournful ballads coming from the mystic on the stage. The hand of a stranger on the forehead, calling for “More fire! Pour out the wine! More, Lord!” Real impartations, real interactions, real spirits are affecting you. When the fruit bears out and it is bad, it is too unthinkable to consider that it might have been a liar and a thief, reaching into your soul and molesting you. So you just dig in deeper.
I remember sitting in a conference in which Mike Bickle preached on the Song of Solomon. Afterwards, he prayed an impartation. I cannot describe the feeling that overcame me. It was delicious and warm and accepting, like nothing I had known. It was without a doubt spiritual, not merely emotional. From that time on, my acceptance of his teaching and doctrines were completely unquestioned. I would never think to evaluate them in light of scripture. It was a done deal, based on my experience.
If I ever considered that pleasure had come from an illegitimate source, what shame would envelope me! How deeply taken advantage of! How defiled!
So I did not consider. In my mind, of course it “was God.” Anyone who questioned obviously “didn’t get it.” The door was thrown wide open, and anything Mike offered was going to be blindly accepted by me. A good word for this: enchanted. I was enchanted. No guard would be put up, no biblical study would be done, no questioning, no berean spirit. Just total devoted receptivity.
People are often trying to peg Mike as a cult leader, but this will not work. Mike is not using mind-control techniques, abusing people, or stealing money. The control, the abuse, the theft, the defiling: the explanation is found in 1 Jn. 4. Spirits who pretend to be of God. Mike does not have to control people to get them to buy in. They open themselves up to a spiritual experience that is readily available from the deceiver. They get their experience, and their minds become so hardened to all reason that even the most straightforward scriptural evidence bounces off of them. They will live in poverty, in depression, in pain, in isolation, all the while sure that they are riding the crest of Christian spirituality.
When the realization finally does dawn that the pleasure came from an illegitimate deceiver, one who had no right to the believer’s soul, that believer goes through incredible disillusionment. They feel shame, self-hatred, and lose the ability to trust. This, of course, is the spirit’s main goal: to destroy the believer’s ability to trust God with child-like simplicity. For these believers, their grid for reality is shaken. They are not sure which way is up, who God is, and who can be trusted. Most will not survive the exit with their faith intact. If you could do an exit survey on the lives eaten up by these movements that constantly attract new influxes of young blood, you would find overwhelming numbers of disillusioned, jaded individuals who just gave up on it all. If the Christ that loves them was the Christ that touched them was the Christ that demanded their youth on an altar of 24/7 prayer was the Christ that told them to marry someone which turned out to be a nightmare was the Christ who made them wait and wait and wait in a room of riotous manifestations for their deliverance…they just want nothing to do with that Christ. But by the time they have made their exit, 25 more young hopefuls have come in the front door, allured and ready to be enchanted.
Please beware. Believers, anyone who is a son or daughter of God has the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:9-11). Why, then, are believers running to receive another impartation, to embrace another’s touch, to open their spirits to feel something more? Why are we, whom the Scriptures call full and complete in Christ, so empty, like a neglected child ripe for the advances of a molester? Have we believed the truth and obeyed it?
Please beware. You will bear the fruit of the spirit you invite to embrace you.