Last week, in Confronting Spiritual Opposition To The Message, we talked about how a spirit can influence people to interrupt us or suddenly change the topic. We must not become offended at the individual, but instead we realize that a spirit is influencing them and they probably don’t realize what they did.
Today, I share more experiences with confronting opposition. The word anti-Christ means “opposed to Christ.” An anti-Christ spirit is opposed to the revelation of Christ. Here are three phrases that we often hear when a spirit opposed to Christ is trying to divert people’s attention:
1. “The Power Of Faith Is Amazing”
One night I was at the school across the street. Some people were taking martial arts classes, and a girl’s knee was injured. I began to talk about how God had healed me.
The martial arts instructor immediately cut me off as I was still speaking and began to talk about oriental healing arts. He did something where he pressed on the girl’s knee and tried to move energy to make it feel better. It was obviously far inferior to what Christ could do, since he told me that all of them had chronic knee pain. If it really worked so well, they would all be better!
I recently visited the house of an old lady whom I had never met before. God showed me where she had pain in her body. Every time I tried to talk to her, she cut me off. I realized that it was probably a spirit trying to keep me from saying what I needed to. The spirit was trying to take her attention from Jesus.
I had to be very assertive. As we were leaving and everyone was saying goodbye, I interrupted loudly and said “Wait! I have something to ask you before you leave. Do you have pain right here? And how about your right shoulder?…”
I shared three things. She had chronic pain in exactly the places I described. She had gone through surgery on her right shoulder. I laid hands on her, and the pain left. She was so happy and gave me a big hug.
The people with me immediately started talking about the “power of faith.” One of them was a spiritist. Spiritists believe in the supernatural, but they have many gods. It’s not about Jesus.
I recognized a spirit’s influence when they started talking about the “power of faith.” It was doing everything possible to divert their attention from Jesus. I was assertive, again, and said “Faith is confidence, and confidence can be misplaced. This lady was healed because I have confidence in Jesus. This wasn’t mind over matter, but the nature and love of God revealed. Mind over matter can never accomplish what faith in God can.” And so I began to talk about Christ.
2. “You Have Such An Amazing Spiritual Gift!”
I have often experienced a similar thing in the church. When a person is healed, an anti-Christ spirit tries to get the attention off of Jesus. Christians also sometimes talk about the “power of faith.” Even more often, they immediately being to talk about the “spiritual gift” of the person ministering.
The purpose of the miracle that just happened wasn’t to get people to talk about a “spiritual gift” that a supposedly “special person” has. It was to demonstrate what it looks like for the Spirit of God to dwell in man. It was to reveal God’s love and compassion for a suffering person. It was to reveal Christ, who is the same in every situation, and whose spirit dwells in every believer.
When Christians direct all the focus to a “spiritual gift” I recognize an antichrist spirit at work. I have to be assertive. I talk about how the healing shows God’s nature. I remind the people of Jesus’ promise that all who believe in him would do the things that he himself did. I tell Christians who immediately start to talk about a “spiritual gift,” “The same spirit of Christ dwells in you, and he wants to do the same thing through you.”
An anti-Christ spirit makes people uncomfortable with talking about Jesus. It encourages them to talk and act in a religious way in order to divert attention from the revelation of Christ.
The reason that they are uncomfortable is often that they have been taught lies that undermine the revelation of Jesus’ nature and compassion. The healing challenges their view of Christ. It also challenges them personally. If healing is about the nature of Jesus, whose spirit dwells in Christians, they should be able to do the same things. But an anti-Christ spirit has told them that they can’t. Talking about a “spiritual gift” becomes a way to avoid being confronted with the fact that this is who Jesus is.
3. “What Church Do You Go To?”
Another diversion, common with unbelievers and believers, is to ask “What church (or denomination) are you from?” Although this may seem like a common question, I have become convinced that it is usually coming from a spirit which is trying to distract people’s attention from Jesus. People often ask it because the influence of a spirit makes them uncomfortable with talking about Jesus.
Other Christians sometimes ask this question when you share testimonies with them, or when they see somebody healed through your hands. It is usually because they have become comfortable with a religious, spiritualized version of Jesus. They are being challenged by being presented with a Christ who is the same today as the Christ of the Bible, and whose spirit dwells in Christians. They feel uncomfortable with that, and try to change the topic.
Unbelievers often ask this question as well when we tell them our testimonies and share the gospel with them. People would rather talk about church and religion because Jesus makes them feel uncomfortable. A friend of mine, Judd Sands, recently made the same observation. Here are his thoughts:
One of the most common questions asked by people when they themselves are questioned about knowing the Lord and spiritual things is,”So where do you go to church?” Or ,”What religious denomination are you?”
I rarely tell them or invite them to go where I may be attending. Not because I’m ashamed to, but rather it’s a diversion from the real issue. God wants to speak directly into their lives at that particular moment to set them free, and if I engage with their question it usually puts them at ease. The alarm going off in their soul is making them uncomfortable as the gospel hones in on the faulty wiring that sin has caused. And they start talking about the future or a building, whatever is the way of natural thinking.
Jesus often told people to go home after he ministered to them.
He knew what was in man’s heart. Think about the change that would occur if a man went home to his wife and kids and said , “Guys lets get together now and talk about the Lord.”
Talk About Jesus!
Maybe you have heard these phrases or similar ones before. Maybe you felt like something wasn’t right, but couldn’t put your finger down on what the problem was.
If so, I hope this post has helped you to understand what is happening. It is important to recognize what’s going on, because then you will know how to respond to it.
How do we resist an anti-Christ spirit? It’s simple. We speak the truth to counter the lies. We don’t let the spirit do all the talking through the people it is influencing. We learn to be assertive and to get people’s attention on Jesus. We have overcome an anti-Christ spirit, because Jesus lives in us.
1 John 4:4 (NIV) You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
Next week, I will begin to share more about recognizing and dealing with the influence of an anti-Christ spirit in the church.