“Organized Religion,” at Last
Perry Stone just aired a couple of shows about supernatural warfare. I’ve gotten some useful information from him in the past. Sometimes he gets off on conspiracy stuff or similar legends that pretty much amount to folklore, but if you look at the things he says when he sticks to God’s revelation, he’s wonderful.
Tonight he repeated a story I once heard from his dad. His dad told it differently. His dad said he had a vision, in which he saw two demons. I believe he called them demons, but my guess is that they were actually angelic beings. Anyway, one was tall, and one was short. When his dad told the story, he said the big one was screaming at the little one because Perry Stone had released some information. Apparently, God revealed something, and Stone taught it, and the big spirit was irate, because the little spirit was supposed to put a stop to it. He told the little spirit that if Stone went much further, he would kill him personally.
In tonight’s version, Stone did not say he was the subject of the discussion. He said the big spirit said that if the little one couldn’t prevent information from getting out, he would do it himself. He said the big spirit reached into the belly of the little one, and the little one screamed, begging him not to take his authority.
It’s peculiar that authority could result from something being in a spirit’s belly. It may be that eating increases authority in the supernatural realm, just as it decreases authority here on earth. Some believe evil spirits grow in size and strength from feeding on sin, so maybe it makes sense that a spirit with a full belly would be stronger.
I don’t know if these stories come from two different visions or what, but in any case, I was praying as I watched, and I felt that God clarified a few things for me.
Over the course of the show, Stone was talking about the differences in authority between various spirits. Some can be driven off easily. With others, you have to fast and pray. He said that if you drive off a weak spirit, a big one may come to do its job. He said fasting increases one’s authority.
This got me thinking about Jesus and Satan, in the story of the temptation. Who is Satan? The most powerful evil spirit. He has the most authority of anyone on his team. When did he show up? After Jesus had fasted forty days…at the END of the fast. What did he offer Jesus? Everything he had, or at least the biggest gifts he had: the world, and authority over it. He fired his big guns. His desperation weapons. He offered the things he most wanted to hold onto.
I also thought about my experience with overeating. I beat it with two days of fasting. The compulsion went away. Then it started to return. I beat it again by fasting, increasing my authority, and using my authority to command my flesh.
Let’s synthesize all these things. I believe the Holy Spirit gave me this summation: life is structured like a tournament. When you beat the weak players on the other side, you advance to take on stronger players. If you don’t stop, you end up facing the very best opponent there is. This is what your life is going to be like, from now until the day you die, if you continue growing as a Christian. You will never reach a point where you can say you don’t have to fight any more. Every time you win, someone stronger is going to challenge you, and if you keep pushing, you could end up facing Satan himself. If you get complacent and settle after reaching a certain level, you will never reach your potential in the kingdom of heaven.
If you think about it, this is something common sense should have told us. We know we have to fight evil spirits. We know some are stronger than others. An intelligent person would realize that an enemy who suffers a defeat will always send better resources into battle, if he has them. And the more you win, the more important you will be as a target, so the enemy will never lose motivation to send more forces against you.
It bummed me out a little when I realized these things. George Patton supposedly said he hated paying for the same real estate twice. I feel the same way! I’m the real estate. The body is like the Promised Land. Our iniquities and the spirits that drive them are like the Canaanites. We’re supposed to run them out by faith. I don’t want to think Satan is going to keep sending me an unending succession of ever-larger gluttony spirits. But I suppose he might. Or, more likely, he’ll attack from another angle. I don’t think he wants to be completely predictable.
By the end of his fast, Jesus had probably crushed his flesh past the point where it would even consider rebelling. He had probably discouraged every spirit sent against him. His authority would have been nearly unlimited. This is why Satan showed up. There was no one bigger to send against him. And it looks like he returned from time to time. Jesus called Peter “Satan” when Peter tempted him to avoid crucifixion; maybe he spoke literally. Maybe Satan himself influenced Peter to speak.
You can take some very practical advice away from this.
1. If you’re not praying in the Spirit and fasting regularly, you’re probably not going to have much authority. You will continue to serve the flesh, you won’t be able to command your flesh or take authority over spirits, and many of your prayers will fall to the earth. You will be a private, basically, like the little spirit that couldn’t hurt Perry Stone. You will be a creampuff no one respects.
2. If you do pray and fast regularly, you will develop power and authority. You will be able to command spirits and your flesh (Jesus even commanded inanimate matter). You will be able to overcome iniquity. You will be able to serve God and hear his voice, instead of wasting all your prayers on requests for God to become a servant to your eyes and belly.
3. If you develop authority, you will get attention from Satan and God. Satan will focus more energy on destroying you, and presumably, God will devote resources to empowering, guiding, and protecting you.
4. When you succeed in overcoming an adversary or a problem, you should not be surprised if it returns. In fact, you should be surprised if it doesn’t. Prepare for it. Anticipate it. Keep working to grow in authority, self-control, faith, and revelation. Keep praying–specifically–for God to lead you to victory.
5. When you don’t know if you have authority, don’t go around rebuking and insulting powerful spirits. Ask God to rebuke them. Don’t make a fool of yourself quoting verses about the power and authority God has given you, when you’re not prepared and authorized (anointed). Satan’s power is real, and it has to be respected. Besides, he has rights, and God himself will back them up. Don’t let denial of your spiritual flabbiness put you and your loved ones in the path of a destructive force you can’t defend against.
6. Never take on a spirit unless you are confident that God told you to do it. When we were fighting the Nazis, soldiers didn’t stroll into Berlin by themselves and try to shoot Hitler. They would have had no backup and no guidance. They advanced as a group, as they were ordered. Don’t think you can jog behind enemy lines and do whatever you want, with God somehow obligated to follow you. Look what happened to the sons of Sceva. They were on God’s side, fighting wicked spirits God hated, and God allowed the spirits to strip them naked and beat them. You could be next.
I’ve taken things I learned from Perry Stone, as well as things God showed me directly, and I’ve tried to use them to create a simple list anyone can remember and apply.
This stuff seems obvious now that I’ve written it, but it wasn’t obvious to me before God revealed it. Over generations, we have thrown away knowledge of the supernatural, and I have been asking him to restore it. It’s pretty clear that he is granting that request. He’s not obligated to do it. Our predecessors were responsible for teaching us, and they blew it. Man is supposed to manage the earth, and there are supposed to be prices paid when we fail. God is returning things to us because he’s merciful. The former rain didn’t get us anywhere, so he’s bringing the latter rain. We’ve been trying to screw it up, too, but I don’t think he’ll permit it, with time so short.
I don’t look forward to fighting for the rest of my life, but my wishes don’t change the way things are, and I know God will make it easy for me, because he promised to do so in the gospels.
Hope this is helpful.