See that guy? He’s not really Jesus. I can explain: Many have been taught to be way too worried about deceiving spirits. At the same time, I’ve run into plenty of those buggers, and can’t dismiss the issue.
The fear of deception is exactly what keeps us vulnerable to deception, because it keeps us from developing experience with the True. If we don’t push the edges of our comfort zones and grow in experientially encountering the Lord, we will always lack the knowledge of the true necessary to spot a deceiver.
The main issue is trusting his heart, that if we ask for bread he won’t give us a serpent. From there, once we’ve eaten a lot of bread, we can learn to spot a serpent, because a serpent isn’t very much like bread.
Did you know that there really are “false Jesuses” out there though? Even Paul wrote about “another Jesus,” and he’d never been south of the border. Recently, I prayed with three people for deep healing within the span of a week, each of whom needed to be delivered from false Jesuses. These people lived in vastly different parts of the world (West Coast U.S., East Coast U.S., and South Asia), had completely different ethnic backgrounds and life histories.
I’m sure that three in a week is a low number for some of those who are praying on this level with people full time (I’ve run into this so often). Dealing with these counterfeit spirits wasn’t any big deal, and I’ve never found them too difficult to recognize or to remove.
I’ve often run into “evil Jesus” while working with people’s fractured parts, especially if they come from a religious background or a religious heritage (i.e. most people on some level). The main problem I’ve seen these cause is that they prevent the person’s parts from coming into relationship with the true Jesus.
How I often walk people’s fractured parts through healing is to get them into relationship with Jesus, and then to have him do the heavy lifting of counseling and healing them directly. I’ve found that to be the most effective, quickest, and easiest way to bring healing in that area. This can be difficult though if they think they already know Jesus, but know a false one instead, or if they have been abused by something they think is Jesus, and now want nothing to do with him.
I’ve run into this when I’ve asked people’s fractured parts if they can see Jesus nearby, or to ask him about such and such, or to ask him to heal them from this or that, and they have turned to their familiar spirit who has been dressed up like Jesus, but who (for one thing) is unable to heal them.
Dealing with all this becomes necessary because people are very often fragmented, and sometimes dissociated at higher levels (like DID, etc.), and these fragments/parts have their own needs for ministry. I basically learned about this through getting healed from it myself, having plenty of dramatic experiences along the way.
I found out I needed such things by searching for answers for others who were dealing with worse, being led to the beginning of some answers, then realizing in the process that I needed the same kind of healing those people did. Then, it seemed that most people could benefit from this, just on various levels.
I wasn’t shy to experiment with Holy Spirit, or to learn from others who had lots of previous experience. A decade and a half later, I still have the privilege of praying with and seeing quite a few people being healed in this area. It’s just one more of the multiple facets of deeper healing and transformation paid for us through the work of the cross. I’m also watching as many more people are starting to learn about such things and applying them nowadays. That’s a long story made very short, but let’s move along with the subject, shall we?
All About Jesus’ Evil Twins as Seen in Fragment Land
Like I said, this area of working with people’s fractured parts is where I’ve run into many Jesus impostors. I’m not convinced that this is the only place they exist. I have a hunch that there would be lots of them hanging around your local house of religion, inspiring sermons and prayers and such, but I’ve only seen them exposed while working with fractured parts.
These “false Jesuses” have never been hard to recognize for anyone who knows to check for such things, and who has a basic familiarity with the ways of the true Jesus. One test I’ve never found to fail, is to have the fractured parts look into the eyes of the thing presenting itself as Jesus, and to check whether there is love in those eyes. The true Jesus always has love in his eyes, while a counterfeit will have cold eyes, or hateful eyes, or something of that nature (usually cold).
You can also often tell by the way “Jesus” treats a person and their parts. If he’s mean, condemning, sexually, physically, or verbally abusive, etc., then it’s not the real Jesus. Easy. Also, the bad Jesus won’t be able to heal the parts’ pains and issues, but the real Jesus can and will take those things away like magic as he is given permission to by the parts who were holding them.
The false Jesus tends to not be able to dress in all white (representing purity in the spiritual realm), but will have other colors. In one case, a false Jesus seemed to be dressed in all black with a white stripe down the center, like a skunk, and he even smelled like a skunk. Other times, it’s been more subtle.
The parts only need to be shown that the fake Jesus is fake, and to give permission for him to be removed. They only need to look into his eyes and check for love. Then, you can remove him with a command. Now, you can introduce the kiddos to the real Jesus, and let him start healing them.
So, making this relevant to more than just healing fractured parts, let’s look at how the “evil Jesus” has been known to operate. Maybe we can draw general principles from that of how the enemy counterfeits spiritual things in our lives.
I’ve seen the fake Jesus be like a voice of self-criticism on steroids, always drawing attention to something to accuse or condemn about the person. John 3:17 tells us that the the real Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save it. That means that even “the world,” the system of people who are actively involved in sin and not even asking for a savior, are not being condemned by the true Jesus. Instead, he is saving them.
The false Jesus will beat you up for your sins, and anything else he can possibly get you to feel bad about just the same, all in the name of “conviction.” Self condemnation and self criticism leads us to become critical and condemning of others too, so it shows up outwardly.
The fake Jesus is cold and rigid, more about “obedience” than relationship. He seems to just kind of keep things “decently and in order,” as in everybody staying within the lines, staying wounded and dead inside, not daring to do much for the sake of avoiding being wrong, not making any real progress. The biggest thing he seems to do is to keep people’s hurting parts from coming into relationship with the true Jesus, because they think they already have that.
Talking about being lifeless, I recall one person who had a false Jesus who was only a framed picture of Jesus, like the picture at the top of this blog post. Instead of relating to this person’s fractured parts personally, this picture of Jesus merely stood for the teachings and rules passed down from authority figures early in life. This person’s fractured part needed to see that their “Jesus” wasn’t real, and that the true Jesus wanted to be in actual relationship with them.
Some people’s parts refuse to meet with Jesus, because they think they have met him already, whether in the form of a spirit or in the form of the example of religious institutions and people. I’ve found different folks’ parts refusing to receive help from Jesus because they think he hates everybody and is going to send them to hell, or because they think he endorses various forms of abuse which are common in religion, such as shaming and condemning people, oppression of women, etc.
I’ve had a few people whose parts have raised the objection of hell, that if there is a forever hell which God is going to send people to, he must be a bad guy and someone to stay clear of. As long as they held a belief in this “hell,” they weren’t going to dare let Jesus talk to them or begin healing them. I’ve had to explain to them how that is a false doctrine based only on mis-translations, and I’ve even had to invite the real Jesus to explain the truth to them directly. I’ve then listened in as he has explained how there is no such thing as a “hell” of eternal torment for anybody, how he would never create such a thing.
For those who are freaking out now, I know of no better current theology source on the subject than Richard Murray, who has a great, scholarly pdf, “The Question of Hell,” which is usually free online but down at the moment. For now, here is a FB note of his using some of its content:
This issue of making God out to be a sadistic monster worse than Hitler, Freddy Kruger, and Hannibal Lecter combined, to throw billions of his own children into everlasting, fiery torture for no redemptive purpose, is only one problem which arises when we take the modern English translations at face value without doing any deeper research, or when we take the popular theology teachings out there as being “what the Bible says.”
There are multiple passages where people caught up in religious institutions (following a false Jesus) translated scripture into English in such a way as to make it conform to their own doctrines of a cold, abusive God. Subjugating women, taking away their personal authority to teach, lead, or minister, is another example of a false teaching based only on mis-translations.
As one example, here is an article from “The Junia Project,” refuting the common, poor translation of 1 Timothy 2:12, so often used to forbid women from “teaching or exercising authority over men:”
So, the false Jesus tends to be cold, overcritical, blaming/judgmental, and supportive of abuse in the name of righteousness. Also, he is subject to the authority of those praying in the name of the true Jesus. You can bind him up, shut him up, expose his true nature as a demon, dress him up in a silly costume (or get creative in all kinds of ways), and when the parts give permission you can cast him out completely.
How About Some Even Weirder Stuff?
I got involved with some ministries and ministry approaches where they used different methods to discern deceiving spirits. Today I tend to give the demonic minimal attention, only addressing it at strategic times while I focus on healing the person, and I believe that is a way more effective approach than focusing on deliverance, but here are some things I got involved with at times in the past.
In one ministry model, if we suspected a spirit to be a deceiver, we would ask it two questions, “Is Jesus Lord?” and “Did Christ come in the flesh?” to decide whether the spirit was trustworthy or not based on its answers. These questions are based on two Bible passages saying that a demon won’t lead you to say “Jesus is Lord,” and won’t confess that “Christ came in the flesh.”
Later, I learned from a more far out there ministry, which I still don’t totally understand. I do recognize a lot of reality behind it because of the awesome results I saw and experienced with them. They had been described to me beforehand in a prophecy (from someone who didn’t know them) predicting that people fitting a certain description would give me some training I needed to help someone in a certain rough situation, and then this ministry, fitting the description perfectly, quickly showed up in my area offering training in what they did, which totally applied to who I was trying to help.
They would require spirits to confess things as true, “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth who came in the flesh,” and if the spirit so much as failed to CLEARLY enunciate one letter of that phrase, it was considered to be lying. Oh, and there were a few other conditions too… if it was one of a few different types of spirits, it needed to be stripped of its title and rank and spiritual uniform with certain insignias and such first, (or something along those lines) or else it could still lie “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth who came in the flesh.” Even though I didn’t feel comfortable unconditionally swallowing everything (such as what I just mentioned), I found some of their material very useful.
During that time, I ran into one guy who seemed to have a bunch of demons named “Jesus,” or “the Lord Jesus,” or “Jesus of Nazareth,” and supposedly you couldn’t cast any of those critters out in their own names. You supposedly had to use a more full, more specific name of Jesus to effectively cast them out, because they supposedly weren’t allowed to take on the full name, title, birthplace, with anti-gnostic qualifier added at the end, but they were said to be able to take on anything short of that.
Then, I learned some things from another ministry that had a lot of awesome insights which I’ve seen some great fruit from applying to healing, but who taught a totally different set of rules. They didn’t do anything to check for deceiving spirits (that I recall), but would demand that you start out by praying a specially worded petition, asking the Lord to please restrain all cosmic powers AND demons from your prayer time, and you had to say to them “the Lord rebuke you,” rather than commanding them directly. If you didn’t follow these rules, you were said to likely get deceived by the highest and mightiest spirits of the universe (cosmic powers) which are inhabiting everyone, which believers supposedly don’t have authority over.
More recently, I’ve run across a very informative book online about ministering to DID and SRA people, claiming lots of success. The author claims that you need to test for deceiving spirits by requiring them to confess that “Jesus Christ IS COME in the flesh” (present tense as the King James translates it) because they can be tricksters and still confess that Jesus “came in the flesh,” since that is the wrong tense.
So who is right? All of this is looking ultra suspicious to me, even though each of these ministries had much worth learning from. There are those who would say to throw all these people’s experiences away, because it’s all garbage if they’re off on these points, that we need to start from scratch to be Spirit led. One problem with that is that most of these people are seeing lots of folks healed and delivered on a level which the vast majority of so called Spirit led people aren’t anywhere close to.
There are those who would say that these people’s approaches work for them merely because they have a special anointing for their approaches, and so you can’t learn from what they do. The problem with that belief is that I’ve seen lots of people learn from such ministries, use their approaches, and then reproduce much of the same results. Obviously, most of it isn’t based on any special anointing.
If you’re going to throw out all the contributions of people who get something wrong, you’re going to have to throw out all of your own contributions also. It seems to me that we all go around acting like idiots about half the time, but somehow God still gets things through to us anyway.
In the end, I have to believe that what matters on this issue of taking authority over a deceiving spirit is what you believe, not what you say. I wonder if, “We ask that the Lord rebuke you,” or the most exact proper enunciation of, “In the name of Yeshua Ha Mashiach who is come in the flesh, one substance with the Father, begotten not made, crucified under Pontius Pilate, raised on the third day after the stone was rolled away by the angel Melachim,” or whatever the perfect verbiage happens to be, really carries no more weight in the spiritual realm than, “Abracadabra” or “In the name of Ralph,” just depending upon what a person believes when they say it.
Is the name of Jesus a magic word, or is it a spiritual state you are in as a result of your faith? Look at the seven sons of Sceva and how they had no authority over demons even though they were using the right name, while at the same time handkerchiefs could be silently taken from Paul, laid on the demonized, and they would be delivered. The issue wasn’t a technicality over what words were used.
So, after all the weird rules people come up with, which seem to work at least some of the time for them and those using their stuff for some reason… my take is that it ultimately all comes back to just trusting God and not being worried about any of this stuff.
Back to the Slightly Less “Weird.”
What about when prophecies apparently don’t come to pass? What about “revelations” that turn out to be factually untrue? I think we all experience that at times. In my experience, the ones who say they don’t ever are the ones who get the most ridiculously deceived, because they lack the humility to correct their course.
I remember when I was praying over the middle east back when ISIS had just taken over Iraq and Syria. I seemed to be getting some revelation from the Lord about how he wanted to stop ISIS. I was being led to declare into the situation that their big financial supporters, particularly some kind of banker or bankers, would become disillusioned and drop out of their cause, and that this was supposed to lead to infighting among the leadership of ISIS, causing them to break apart, disintegrate almost completely, and to never be a threat to the world again.
I prayed this, and also posted it on facebook as a prayer strategy for others to join in with me on. One or two others shared it on their walls which had a lot of publicity. Some very spiritually sensitive people commented on my post that they felt God all over it, felt fire go through them as they prayed it, and so on, and these weren’t people who tended to be making such things up. Another very spiritually sensitive person chimed in that the Lord had been showing her exactly the same strategy in prayer all week, and she had been declaring a shaking of the “financial pillars” which would lead to ISIS crumbling, as I recall.
It’s been at least three years or so since then, and ISIS still exists, still appears to be well funded, and has not disintegrated into non-threateningness. Does that mean this was a deception? Were we all listening to the wrong Jesus spirits? Or, did we just miss something? Was there one strategic thing which needed to be prayed but was left out, causing the whole strategy to fail? Was there a lack of perseverance, when a little bit more warfare would have accomplished the goal?
Did these things actually bear fruit, since I have heard vague snippets in the news over the years about infighting among ISIS leadership and financial troubles, but is it possible that these shakings only amounted to one play in the whole game? Maybe our prayers accomplished what they were meant to accomplish, then the enemy moved in countermeasure to keep ISIS supported by another means, and we didn’t take the cue to get the Lord’s strategy in response to that?
On the other hand, what if what we had WAS the whole picture, but it is just taking five or ten years to fully play out? There are so many possibilities, only one of which is that we all got deceived. Technically, that is still a possibility, but I doubt it.
Around the same timeframe, I had some friends praying with me over the middle east and Europe by google hangout regularly, and we prayed some things about Israel and Palestine which seemed to show up in the news the very next day, and prayed some things for the middle east in general which were confirmed in other ways by an outside source. Apparently, some of what we were prophesying over those countries did come to pass, but what was spoken over ISIS seems to have yet to happen, or simply hasn’t happened, and maybe won’t.
Words of knowledge for healing is another area where I’ve missed it who knows how many times. Still, if I hadn’t stepped out and gotten it wrong a bunch of times, I wouldn’t have had the privilege of also getting it right a bunch of times and seeing those people healed. A funny one was when I went to a store with a friend and cold approached an aisle worker, asking him if he had difficulty urinating and if the pee tended to come out in a very specific way (which I don’t remember the details of). He answered a simple, “no.”
However, the friend I was with told me that he did have that exact problem in exactly the urinatory (I now copywrite that word) details I had mentioned to the store worker. I prayed with him, though I didn’t bother to ask him how it went with his symptoms later. This has happened more than once or twice, where I’ve gotten the right word of knowledge but for the wrong person, and lo and behold, the world didn’t end, and somebody still got healed at the end of it.
Today, I really don’t know absolutely if I and those who had confirming revelations about ending ISIS were right or wrong or what. I’m flat wrong sometimes. Pretty much everybody I’ve ever known has been flat wrong in the name of the Lord sometimes, even the ones with the most clear spiritual perceptions and most powerful ministries. The truth is that this is OK. We’re in a process of growth and we don’t have it all together. We don’t do everything right or perceive everything right, and God understands that very well. I’m sure he factors in our foolishness when he’s moving through us. I find that he is still who he is even when his kids are acting goofy, or horrible, or just making mistakes. I’ve found that he is faithful to bring us back on track when we get off track, and to still make the best of it.
So, not worrying about deception isn’t the same as thinking we never get deceived, but it is focusing on the one who is leading us into truth, recognizing that he can and will lead us out of our deceptions and turn even those instances for good.
One thought on “A Fear-Less Guide to Encountering Deceptive Spirits, The False Jesus, etc.”
I enjoyed this. Very refreshing. I loved your honesty, too. You bring it down to where you live, and I respect that experience and POV.
For me, the main idea isn’t to teach others doctrine but to show those who are trapped the way out because I’ve been trapped, too. Kind of like showing the secret lever that opens up the library wall to reveal an escape route.
So much difference between the theoretical and the experience. A witness testimony is so much more valuable that even Jesus talked about it. It’s so awesome that we can count on Him to teach us and help us grow, shift, reassess and change as we go along. His Word is alive, moving, creating and healing us all the time.
Love in Christ,
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