In my previous post, I wrote of Counterfeit Self Esteem and the Demonic Stronghold of Pride, in which I mentioned how pride itself may be a kind of demonically induced stronghold in the life of a professed believer. I related a passage from the classic work on spiritual warfare by Jessie Penn Lewis and Evan Roberts, War on the Saints. There is a later passage, in the same chapter (Chapter VI, Counterfeits of the Divine) under the heading The Counterfeit Personation of Others. There are two specific ways that they describe that this works out. The second one is one which appeals to a romantic infatuation and longing, and I will comment on this one in a later post if God permits. The one which I will mention now is specifically the work of Satan as accuser (Revelation 12:10) and liar (John 8:44).
This passage again gives the impression that it is the result of dealing with fellow believers who have been delivered out of the deceptions of the enemy. They speak of how other, often fellow believers, are represented to the deceived as being quite different than what they are in truth, of being jealous, angry, critical, unkind or selfish when they are really manifesting the opposite characteristics of Christlike love. They tell of how the deceptions twist the blameless motives of others to appear to be wicked, that simple actions with no hint of duplicity are taken to be the opposite, and simple, innocent words and actions are taken to have meanings and malice which are far from the intentions of the others.
There is one time when I was very definitely being slandered by some professed believers, and while requesting prayer for the situation with some fellow pastors, one pastor told me that he felt that this was an attack of Satan. I believe that he was right then, and that these counterfeit perceptions of others are at the root of many slanderous attacks and malicious gossip in our churches. It’s even possible that there may at times be counterfeit supernatural experiences and false revelations about others. I’ve seen this corroborated in the works of Neil Anderson as well. Unfortunately, this may also be accompanied by a demonically induced pride as well, so that the source of the lies and accusations about others is himself or herself superhumanly stubborn in his or her assertions, even when they have been consistently shown to be at odds with the truth.
Many times Misunderstandings and Misperceptions will come from the ignorance and fallibility of fallen human nature itself. Even so, where the pattern is persistent, stubborn and consistently false and accusatory, the indication is that there is a demonic element involved. The way to victory in these cases is always to live in the truth of the scriptures, and in the truth of actual circumstances (what actually was said and done without any kind of embellishment or interpretation). Even more, the believer needs to seek that the teaching and guidance of God, and submit to his will for ‘truth in the inner parts’ (Psalm 51:6). And this is precisely why those in the body of Christ must be allowed to be told and to answer fully all accusations of sin and disobedience and any other kinds of insinuations that come from other believers, because to do otherwise is to permit Satan access to a fellowship as accuser and liar to discredit and alienate brothers and sisters for whom Christ died.
All scripture references taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978 by the International Bible Society and used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.