It is said that clairvoyance and clairaudience powers are "natural gifts," but they are really the result of an evil state, in which evil spirits are able to manifest their power and presence. Crystal gazingnote 28 is also merely a means of inducing this passive state, and so with all the various methods in vogue in the East and elsewhere, to bring about the manifestations and workings of supernatural powers. The principle is the same. The key to all these, and other Satanic workings in the human frame, is the need of the suspension of the mental activity; whereas in all Divine revelations, the mental faculties and powers are unchecked, and in full operation.
The people at the foot of Mount Sinai "saw God," yet they were not "passive." Vision--whether mental or physical--is really active and not passive, that is, separated from volition and personal action; and "visions" may be either physical, mental or spiritual.
In writing under the control of evil spirits the same principle is manifested, i.e., the suspension of volitional and mental action:--
In descriptive writing, or writing from what is supernaturally presented to the mind, the words may pass before the mental vision as clearly as if they were seen by the physical eye, sometimes in letters of fire, or light.note 29 The same may take place in public speaking, when the speaker may describe what is presented to the mental vision--that is, if his mind is in a passive state--thinking that all is "illumination by the Holy Spirit."
This may take place in some, in such a refined degree, that the man is deceived into thinking that it comes from a "brilliant mind," "gifts of imagination," "delicate power of poetic description," whilst none of it is the real product of his own mind; for it is not the outcome of thought , but the seizing of subtly presented "pictures" given at the moment when writing or speaking. It can be tested by its fruits; being (1) empty of tangible results, and sometimes (2) mischievous in suggestion; certain sentences intermingled with words of truth, being subversive of the pure gospel; whilst the whole has no spiritual substance at the back of the beautiful words, or any permanent result in the salvation of the unregenerate, or the building up of believers.
It is possible that this may be the hidden cause of the evanescent character of Missions carried out on a wide scale, which seem at the time to be fruitful, but which pass away like the morning cloud in a few brief weeks. The speakers gave the truths of the gospel, but may have preached from mental presentations, and not from the source of the spirit in co-operate action with the Holy Spirit. The powers of darkness have nothing to fear from words--even words of gospel truth--if there is no fructifying life in them from the source of the Spirit of God; and that there are spurious conversions on a wide scale permitted, if not brought about, by the spirits of evil, is now beyond question. It is easy for them to, apparently, let go their captives when it suits their plans to deceive the people of God, and there is much in the religious movements of to-day which absorbs the energy of Christians, and appears to extend the Kingdom of God, but leaves undisturbed the kingdom of the spirits of the air.
In automatic writing, and in the more refined presentations referred to, the mind is passive in greater or lesser degree; and the man writes, or speaks, not what comes from the normal action of the mind, but what he sees presented to him.
Ignorant of the existence of evil spirits, and their unceasing schemes to deceive every child of God; and equally ignorant of the danger of fulfilling the conditions for their working; a great number of believers do not know that in the ordinary circumstances of life they can be opening themselves to the deceptions of supernatural beings, who are keenly watching to gain admittance, and to use the servants of God, e.g., a public speaker who seeks to depend on "supernatural help," and does not keenly use his brain in alert spiritual "thinking," practically cultivates a passive condition which the enemy may make use of to the fullest degree; and thus unknowingly gain an influence in his life, which is manifested in unaccountable attacks of all kinds, with, apparently, no ground given by him in life or action.
The same may be true of an author, who in some way, unknown to himself, has become passive--or bluntly put, mediumistic --in some faculty, or part of his inner life, and thereby has opened himself to the supernatural "presentations" of evil spirits,note 30 for his speaking or writing, which he thinks is illumination from God.
In writing under Divine guidance, three factors are required:
In writing or speaking under the control of evil spirits, a man is not truly "spiritual," for his spirit is not in use; what appears "spiritual" being the work of supernatural powers manifesting their spirit power on, and through, the passive mind of the man, apart from his spirit. But in writing under the guidance of God; since it is not given by dictation, as to an automaton, but by the movement of the Holy Spirit in the man's spirit; the man must be truly spiritual, the source being in the spirit, and not in the mind, as it is when men write the products of their own thoughts. The Scriptures bear the marks of their having been written in this way. "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Pet. 1: 21). They spake from God," but as men they received and uttered, or wrote the truth given in the spirit, but transmitted through the full use of their divinely enlightened faculties.
Paul's writings all show the fulfillment of the three requirements mentioned; of his spirit being open to the movement of the Holy Spirit, his mind in full use, and his body an obedient instrument under the control of the spirit; his letters also revealing the capacity of the renewed mind for apprehending the deep things of God.
In Paul, too, we see the clear discrimination possessed by a spiritual man, able to recognize what came from God in his spirit, and what was the product of his own thought in the exercise of his judgment as a servant of God.note 31
The recordsnote 32 of most "supernatural revelations" today, almost entirely show (1) the absence of the requirements for true Divine manifestations; and (2) of having fulfilled the law for the workings of evil spirits; i.e. , the suspension of the use of the mental faculties, with the consequent emptiness, and sometimes childish folly, of the words said to have been "spoken by God," and the purposelessness of the "visions," and other manifestations.
Let the conditions necessary for evil spirits to work in the human frame be fulfilled, and then no experience of the past, no dignity of position, no intellectual training, or knowledge, will protect the believer from their counterfeit manifestations. Consequently, the deceiver will do anything and everything to engender passivity in the children of God, in any form whatsoever, either in spirit, soul or body; for he knows that sooner or later he will gain the ground then given. It can therefore be said unhesitatingly, that if the law for evil spirits to work is fulfilled, in the non-use of the mind and faculties, evil spirits will work and deceive the very elect of God.
It may be asked why evil spirits want the body, and why they so persistently work to gain access and possession?
In the case of the believer, they do not destroy the life at the centre, but they can imprison it, so that the inner man, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is unable to attack and destroy their kingdom and works. When the evil spirits gain possession of a believer's body and mind in any degree, all previous spiritual growth is practically of no service value. In the spiritual section of the Church of Christ, a great number of believers need light for liberation of their circumference. Their spiritual growth is checked and hindered by the dulling of their faculties, the clog of misconceptions and deceptions in their minds, or weakness and disease in their bodies. These conditions also checking the outflow of the Holy Spirit indwelling the spirit, so that the life of Jesus cannot be manifested through them, in the using of the mind for the transmission of truth, or in the strengthening and using of the body in active effective service.
Therefore, when the outer man becomes dispossessed, it does not bring the centre life into existence, but into freedom of operation. All this may be in various degrees, for all believers are not in the same degree of bondage. There are degrees of (1) inner spiritual growth; of (2) mixture in the life, of workings of God from the spirit, and evil spirits in the outer man; of (3) passivity of the man in spirit, soul and body, resulting in (4) degrees of "possession."
The moment ground is given, in any degree, to evil spirits, the faculties are dulled by them, or become passive through non-use. Their aim then is to substitute themselves for the person in all his actions, and so to gain entrance to him, over the rails, so to speak, of his passive faculties, will, etc., as to intertwine themselves in the innermost structure of his being, and thus to control him and use him for their own purposes; the man meanwhile believing that he is admitting Divine substitutions for himself--that is, God working, and acting instead of himself--and thus he is becoming "God-possessed."
Believers in such a degree of possession by deceiving spirits then have "supernatural power", and can, in a supernatural way, get from the spirits in control of them, and give forth from them as their transmitters, many supernatural workings, or manifestations such as:--
Such a possessed believer may also obtain power:--
Many of these manifested workings of the evil spirits in possession of the believer, appear to be the working of the man himself; but of which actions he is incapable naturally; e.g., he may have no "natural" power of "translating, criticizing," etc. Yet the spirits in possession can give him power for so doing, thus creating a false personalitynote 33 in the eyes of others, who think him possessed of such and such "gifts" (naturally), and are disappointed when he will not use them; not knowing that he is unable to "manifest" or use such supposed "gifts," except at the will of the spirits in control of him.note 34 Also that when the deceived believer discovers such manifestations to be the fruit of possession, and refuses any longer to be the slave of the lying spirits of Satan, such "gifts" cease to exist. This is the time when the undeceived man is persecuted by the revengeful spirits of evil, through their suggestions to others that he has "lost his power," or "retrograded" in his spiritual life, when in truth he is being liberated from the effects of their wicked and fiendish workings.
The following examples show how the deceiving spirits may substitute themselves, and their own working in the believer's life, through his misconceptions of spiritual truth.
1. Substitution in speaking. Text: "It is not ye that speak . . ." (Matt. 10: 20).note 35 Believers think that this means Divine substitution for their speaking. That God will speak through them. The man says, "I must not speak, God is to do so," and he "surrenders" his mouth to God to be His mouthpiece, bringing about passivity of the lips and vocal organs, which are abandoned for usage to the supernatural power which he thinks isGod.
Result: (a) The man himself does not speak; (b) God does not speak, because He makes no man an automaton; (c) evil spirits speak, as the condition of passivity is fulfilled for their doing so. The outcome is the substitution of evil spirits in possession and control of the believer, particularly in the form of supernatural "messages"note 36 which increasingly demand his passive obedience, and in due time bring about a mediumistic condition wholly unforeseen by him.
2. Substitution in memory. Text: "Shall bring all things to your remembrance" (John 14: 26). Believers think this means that they need not use the memory.note 37 God will bring all things to their mind. Result: ( a) the man himself does not use his memory; and (b) God does not use it, because He will not do so apart from the believer's co-action; (c) evil spirits use it, and substitute their workings in the place of the believer's volitional use of his memory.
3. Substitution of conscience. Text: "Shall hear a word behind thee saying, this is the way . . " (Isa. 30: 21). Believers look upon supernatural guidance in a voice or text directing them, as a higher form of guidancenote 38 than through conscience. The man then thinks that he does not need to reason or think, but simply "obey." He follows this so-called "higher guidance," which he substitutes for his conscience. Result: (a) he does not use his conscience; (b) God does not speak to him for automatic obedience; (c) evil spirits take the opportunity, and supernatural voices are substituted for the action of the conscience. The outcome is the substitution of evil spirit guidance in his life.
From this time the man is not influenced by what he feels or sees, or by what others say, and he closes himself to all questions, and will not reason. This substitution of supernatural guidance for the action of the consciencenote 39 explains the deterioration of the moral standard in persons with supernatural experiences, because they have really substituted the direction of evil spirits for their conscience. They are quite unconscious that their moral standard is lowered, but their conscience has become seared by deliberately ceasing to heed its voice; and by listening to the voices of the teaching spirits, in matters which should be decided by the conscience in respect to their being right or wrong, good or evil.
4. Substitution in decision.note 40 Text: "It is God that worketh in you to will . . . " The believer thinks this to mean that he is not to use his own will, for God is to will through him. Result: (a) the man himself does not exercise his will; (b) God does not either, or he would cease to be a free agent; (c) evil spirits seize upon the passive will, and either hold it in a paralyzed condition of inability to act, or else make it domineering and strong. The apparent "Divine substitution" of God's will in the place of the man's will, turns out to be a Satanic substitution, and thus the emissaries of Satan gain a hold of the very centre of the life; eventually making the believer a victim to indecision and weakness in will-action, or else energizing the will to a force of mastery, even over others, which is fraught with disastrous results.
In like manner, evil spirits will not only endeavour to substitute their own workings in a man's life in the place of God, on the ground of the believer's misconception of the true way of co-acting with God; but they will also seek to substitute their workings for all the mental faculties of the man, i.e., the mind, the reason, the memory, the imagination, the judgment. This is a counterfeit of self through substitution. The person thinks it is himself all the time.note 41
This substitution by evil spirits of themselves on the ground of the passive surrender to non-use of any part of the inner, or outer, life of the believer, is the basis of deep deception and possession among the most "surrendered" children of God; the deception and possession taking an entirely spiritual form at first, such as the man having an exaggerated sense of his importance in the Church, his "world-wide ministry," his lofty position of influence arising out of his "divine commission," his abnormal height of spirituality, and definite and almost unprecedented "experience," which makes him feel he has been placed far above other men. But a tremendous and inevitable fall awaits such an one. He ascends his pinnacle, pushed by the enemy, without any power whatsoever to control the inevitable descent, which must follow when he is undeceived, a crash being the result, shaking the things that can be shaken. Then he experiences awful darkness, and the effects of possession in its true results. The effect of demon possession in its fullest climax is darkness; nothing but darkness; darkness within, darkness without; intense darkness; darkness over the past; darkness enveloping the future. Darkness surrounding God and all His ways.
Here many sink under the horror that they have committed the "unpardonable sin." Some, however, discover that their bitter experience may be turned into light for the Church in its fight with sin and Satan, and as those who have been in the camp of the enemy and heard all his secrets, they become a terror to the forces of evil on their emergence to liberty, with the result that they are assailed with intensified malignity on account of their knowledge of the foe.