Have you ever met a person that was so far out in their thinking that you thought they may be drunk or high? I have and it is not a pleasant way to have a conversation. What if you know the person hasn’t used drugs or alcohol but still seems a little wacked out in their thinking? They could be under the influence, the influence of a bad spirit or even a demon. I don’t mean that every person who thinks differently than we do are demon possessed. On the other hand that could be a possibility. Can people today be under the influence of an evil spirit? Why don’t we talk about that in Christian circles very often? I think we need to be aware of what is going on in our world and since our culture is growing further away from our Christian heritage, we are going to have to wake up!
Under the influence of a false teacher explains why some people are thinking so differently than we Christians are thinking. Christians use the Bible as our baseline of thinking and so we are constantly acting and reacting according to God’s word, but the rest of the world is not reading the Bible nor following God’s word. They have a different spirit.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1, (New American Standard Bible or NASB).
In the first century we see a lot of examples of evil spirits and demons wreaking havoc. Today we say it is mental illness and don’t really think further than that diagnosis. Why have we explained away the spiritual aspect of mental illness? Why aren’t we honest and see it for what it really is? It could be a person who is under the influence of an evil spirit. This would certainly explain some of the horrendous acts of violence we have experienced in this country, now wouldn’t it? There has to be some kind of evil behind the mask of ordinary human beings that fall deeper and deeper into mental disease and turn to mass murder as a way to get rid of their pain. I personally think an evil spirit is more believable than saying someone became ill after having a bunch of vaccines that caused autism or schizophrenia or something else. What does the Bible say on the subject of evil spirits besides just testing the spirits as we read in 1 John? Jesus spoke the following words as part of His teaching.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” Matthew 7:15-16, (NASB).
We also see Jesus speaking in Revelation to the church in Ephesus a compliment that they had tested for false prophets so we can gather from this passage the importance of testing all spirits to see if they are from God.
‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. ‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Revelation 2:2-4, (NASB).
I think that in our modern society we have explained away many of the bad deeds people do and have excused them or labeled them with something more palatable and more politically correct. Mentally ill sounds so much better than evil. Don’t take this observation I am making as a negative dig at psychology because I am very thankful for mental health providers as they are very much-needed today. At least they are trying to help solve some of the issues and that is really great! I just want to point out that with a Biblical perspective maybe there would be a longer termed outcome with a better prognosis for some of the most deeply disturbed in our society.
The world I grew up in is far different from the world of today. Most people went to church and had some basic knowledge of right and wrong according to Biblical values when I was a child. Today that is not the case. I read a statistic the other day that one in three people have never heard of Jesus Christ. Wow! No wonder our world is so messed up! Too many people are following a false doctrine, and where does that false doctrine come from?
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 2 Peter 2:1-3, (NASB).
The goal of false prophets is to deny Jesus Christ is the son of God. The purpose of such denial is to create divisions and get Christians confused so that they get off the right path in life. There is only one power that wants to see Christ fail and that is Satan.
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. “Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8: 42-47, (NASB).
I have a news flash for you; Jesus was talking to some very religious people, the Jewish Pharisees. We need to be careful that Jesus doesn’t speak to us on the day of judgement in the same way. We need to be spiritually awake and watchful for false teachers and for people who are under the influence of a false teaching or evil spirit.
Paul speaks about the boasting that he heard some doing in the hope of getting Paul and his fellow workers into trouble and cause them harm. He described very well what the false teachers were like.
But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:12-15, (NASB).
We need to be wise in these matters. We need to test to make certain that what we are learning and believing is truly from God. We need to be aware that not everyone we come into contact with and claims to be religious or spiritual are true followers of Christ. We need to simply be aware of who we are fighting when someone who speaks irrationally engages us into a conversation. We are not fighting the person as much as the false spirit that the person believes. We need to be aware of what we read and what our children read and see on the tube because there are evil spirits out there and they will try to lure us away from the truth of the Gospel.
I remember one time having a conversation with someone who literally was not making much sense. I knew this person well enough to know that they were not under the influence of alcohol or drugs but they were not speaking logically or coherent in what they were saying. I blurted out in the middle of this person’s sentence, “Get out of here Satan, you leave now!” The person talking never stopped talking as if they didn’t hear my words and about a sentence later they were speaking coherently. I believe that person was under the influence of a bad spirit and I didn’t want that spirit hanging around my house!
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:4-6, (NASB).
Never forget that God is greater than Satan and we already know God has victory over evil. We are children of the living God and we know the spirit of truth and we also can see the spirit of error. Call it what it is and stay strong!