As the time nears for one of the greatest move of God that we have ever seen Satan will be doing all he can to stop it. Issues like abortion, gay rights, women preaching, theological and doctrinal differences, government restrictions and prosecutions will loom larger on the horizon. He will do all he can to divide us.
We know that he has nothing new. There is nothing that is new under the sun. The same tool is always used. One such tool will be the use of an old spirit that has been used to suppress the saints’ anointing. This my friend is the religious spirit.
What is religion? It is a system of faith and worship of a superhuman power, especially of a personal god or gods.
A religious spirit ensures that we are given religious instead of relationship with the Father. We are given many routes to God. It is this spirit that lets us feel that we need to pray to St. Bartholomew, who will go to Peter, who will go to Mary, who will go to Jesus, who will go to the Father. This religious spirit places layers between us that the Father.
It ensures that we stay in the outer court and never has access to the Holy of Holies. Where we can commune with him. The Bible clearly outlines that God created us to fulfill his will here on earth. To do that we must have daily communion with Him. If we examine the relationship with mankind and God from creation we see that there was continuous fellowship with Adam (both the male and female). There was no separation between them and their creator. Everything was revealed. Nothing was hidden. Absolutely nothing. They were naked and unashamed before God. Well until sin came. After that God’s attention had to be captured with sacrifices.
Sacrifices allowed for us to have intimate encounters with God only for a time. Then these became the thing to do. Believers begun to take it for granted. Things went very bad until Jesus came and brought restoration. He came and restored our direct access to the Father. We can now come boldly before the throne to make our petitions known to him.
The devil does not want that. He does not want us to have access. He wants our relationship with the heavenly Father to remain distant. So he provided a substitute to the Holy Spirit. The religious spirit. This demon masks itself as the holy spirit to bring us into an experience but there is no change.
The nature of the religious spirit
Spirit or demon will be used interchangeably. Demons are disembodied personalities. They seek to express their nature in the earth, to corrupt humankind. To identify the religious spirit we must be aware of its actions. These express its nature.
The religious spirit keeps us in the place where worship only satisfies the flesh. It loves music that satisfies the flesh. The result of participation in worship is just a feel good experience. There is no contact with God. There is no contact with God. No matter how high the hands get lifted or tears flow there is no word from the Lord. We must understand that music was created to exalt God. As we praise Him we become connected to the Lord. The Presence of the Lord fills us and changes us (Psalm 22:3). The religious spirit says ‘touch me but leave me alone! I just want to feel the Presence. I am OK as I am.’
It loves to attend church. Going is just a formality. It is about maintaining a tradition. It is the thing to do. Nothing else is given to God. Each week only an ounce of time is given to the Lord but the rest of the day and week is for the Devil. Behind closed doors, away from the eyes of saints anything goes. Friends and family know you attend church but they see you as the cool fun person that is always available to hang.
The religious spirit ensures there is very little Word in you. Sometimes the home has several Bibles but they are rarely or never read. Most times, just a teaspoon of scripture is read each day. Meditation on scripture never happens. When stuff starts happening this spirit is the first to tell you that the Word is of no help to you. Forget that! It sounded wonderful but this is real life!
The religious spirit loves rituals. Worship is done with formalities and restrictions that ensure that God is left out of the building. The Priests and the Pharisees in the time of Jesus were so overtaken by the religious spirit that they did everything to appear to man to be the best observers of the laws of Moses. They would not do anything that violated these rules. The washing of hands. Maintaining the Sabbath was strictly observed. Anyone that stepped out of these observances would be thrown out of the temple or killed.
This spirit keeps you stagnant. There is no spiritual growth and sometimes material growth. You can only feed milk to these persons. Just small doses of the Word to them. They are unable to come to maturity. Unable to be fed meat.
But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
~ Hebrews 5:14
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
~ Hebrews 6:1
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:58
They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion.
~ Psalm 84:7
There is a willingness to kill to preserve tradition. The religious leaders had no qualms about killing Jesus because he violated the traditions of Moses. No matter what He did they would not contemplate that it was the work of God. Very few converted. Most of them kept hidden for fear of the others. They came like Nicodemus, in John 3, to him in the night. Others like Jairus came publicly because of desperation. His daughter was gravely ill. He needed her healed!
Engages in mixed worship. The name of Jesus is used but Jesus Christ of Nazareth is not acknowledge. Another Jesus is served. In most instances there will be talk of god, never or Christ is used. Rituals are most often used. These are meant to give an air of holiness. We must ask the Lord Jesus to give us the gift of discernment of spirits to recognize when his spirit is in operation.
Promotes idolatry. It tells you that access to God comes through bowing down to idols. And also worshipping other gods. What you will find common is the use of humanist terms. They will refer to themselves as religious or christian but the teachings of the Bible is not upheld. Philosophy and doctrines of demons are observed.
Deuteronomy 32:16-17 says the nation of Israel stirred him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations they provoke him to anger. They sanctified to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded (ESV).
1 Timothy 4:1-3 tells us that in the latter days some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
Stubbornness of heart. These persons are unwilling to accept correction. No matter what is said, it is not evaluated to determine if there is truth in what is said. When behavior is to be curbed that’s a no no. He will not judge himself and correct their ways. This stubborn heart eventually causes God to leave the person to their reprobate mind. The spiritual senses will become blind and deafened so that they cannot see or hear what He is doing or saying.
“Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed.” (also see John 12:24)
This happened to the Jews because they refused to listen to the prophets and killed them.
God is always speaking but our inner ears, the ‘spiritual ears’ must be opened to hear. We must be able to hear what he is saying to our hearts. It is only when we earnestly seek him that we will hear. Every believer in this hour must be able to hear the voice of God. These are the last days. We absolutely must hear the voice of the Holy Spirit!
It loves to make a show of its righteousness. The pharisees wore very long phylacteries. During prayer spoke out loudly for everyone to hear how eloquently they could pray. There was no humility in coming before God. They would use the opportunity to boast of their righteousness (see Luke 18:11-14).
I tell you, this man, rather than the Pharisee, went home justified. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
Lacks mercy and compassion. The religious spirit does not have pity on your plight. No matter what is happening it will not extend a helping hand. It is too busy being pious (holy). There must be no association with sinners. Jesus highlighted this fact with the parable of the good Samaritan. A man was attacked and injured. he was lying on the roadside dying. The Pharisees and the Levite walked passed the man. They did not care about his plight. Unfortunately they were not concerned with saving him. Their narrow focus was only on disassociating on the sinner. You know you are dealing with a religious spirit when the need for separation involves never associating with people who are not of your assembly. Anyone outside of that circle is barely tolerated.
Mocks the anointing. It flows in a false anointing. One such spirit is the kundalini spirit. This spirit has attached itself to some saints. It is a spirit of divination that allows person to prophesy and see visions but it is not the Holy Spirit. Persons who operate with this serpent spirit are servants that will hear ‘depart from me I know you not’. In Matthew 12:22-45 Jesus cast out a blind and dumb spirit out of a man. The Pharisees when they heard about the miracle said he casts out the spirit by Beelzebub, the prince of demons-Satan. Jesus response was if I cast them out by Satan then by whom do your sons cast out devils (verse 27). In other words Jesus was pointing out that their sons were casting out demons by an unholy spirit.
Persons controlled by the religious spirit lacks integrity. The truth is not in them. Satan is the Father of lies. So they are comfortable telling lies. Instead of walking in truth deception will be one of the activities they engage in quite a bit.
People controlled by the religious spirit sometimes end up in sects and cults. They will only interact with like-minded individuals.
It loves the praise of men. The people are more highly regarded than being obedient to the Lord Jesus. Saul was one person that had this spirt. Although, he was rebuked by Samuel for his disobedience. Instead of repenting and doing what was right. He wanted to look good before the people. So he asked Samuel to walk out with him. To show unity. That would cause the people to continue to love and adore him.
Has an irreverent fear of the Presence of God. This spirit understands that where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. When glory is present it cannot stay. So it is afraid of the manifestation of God’s glory.
Refuses to discipline the flesh. Fasting and disciplining the flesh is not observed. What the flesh desires it receives.
Pursues knowledge above everything else. Not life in the Spirit with the word as the foundation. Paul one of the most educated Pharisees when he met the Living God and realised that Jesus was truly the Messiah took time to grow in his relationship wth Him. He spent three years in Arabia. Praying fasting, meditating on the Word of God and receiving the revelation of the gospel from Christ Jesus. He realised that everything that he knew was nothing. We must remember that God is the all-knowing. When we seek him for wisdom and knowledge we will receive it. We can receive guidance for every aspect of our life from him. We must learn to tap into this source of true knowledge just as Paul did.
These individuals are very judgmental. These do not forgive easily. They are all about the fire of God descending on people. Any sin is worthy of death. Only condemnation. When God warns us of our sin He also extends and olive branch. It is only when we have refused to change and stubbornly continue in our ways that He turns away from us. That is normally after numerous attempts to get us to change our ways. Evidence of this is seen in the ministry of several prophets, Jeremiah and Isaiah are only a few of these persons.
Partners in Crime
Demonic spirits seldom act alone. Jesus says they will ensure that they get others to help to make sure their hold his reinforced. Below is a list of the other spirits that it will partner with to maintain its hold.
- Spirit of Mammon
- Spirit of Heaviness
- Spirit of Unbelief
- Spirit of Witchcraft (substitute for the anointing of God)
- Spirit of stubbornness
- Spirit of divination
- Spirit of bondage
- Spirit of rage
- Spirit of offense
- Spirit of murder
- Spirit of division (denominational and religious)
- Spirit of disobedience
There is much that I can say about these. So much more but I have to end here. Please keep watch for my book about this spirit. This is one of the dominant spirits in these last days. We must be aware of its devices. If you find yourself operating with this spirit, please repent. Make a decision to walk in love towards your brothers and sisters. Our love for God is expressed by our love for our fellow human beings; both sinners and saints alike.
Please be God’s light to the unsaved. Be patient. Love them. Show love.