John 8:44 (NIV) ..."He [the Devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."One of the things that should be kept in view when dealing with "insights" or doctrines concerning unclean spirits is that demons are inherently deceptive. As with Satan, "When the lie they speak their native language." Surely you have seen this, and know it?
For example, a man we know and some fellow ministers had begun to cast out a spirit in a person who had come up to the alter in a charismatic church. The victim began gibbering in tongues in a snarling in an ugly way. The ministers present discerned this as a demonic manifestation and began to rebuke and cast it out. The spirit then said something to the effect of: "I am Jesus, how dare you rebuke me?" and several of the ministers were put-off and shrunk back. But one minister figured that demons are not bound to the truth and rebuked the demon yet again. "Are you asking me, Jesus, to leave?", came the response in a smooth voice. More of the ministers were pulling back at this point, thinking they had made a horrible mistake. Then, someone thought to ask "Jesus who?", and another, picking up on this course, said "Are you Jesus, the Christ?" and the pretense was dropped and the snarling, ugly voice came back. Piercing the deception, the ministers all got back to dealing with the situation with a more pure kind of discernment and resolve, and dispatched their duty. But the demon had left a residue of deception behind. He had left a little "present", so to speak.
And here is the point, if you have ears to hear it: this experience itself was inherently deceptive. Please understand my point here, as it is critical. These ministers were moving in love and innocence, and yet what they "learned" from this encounter was wrong. Dangerously wrong. They were right in understanding that demons are inherently deceptive, but they came to the wrong conclusion that there was some limit of deception--there was some magic line of truth that demons could not cross over. "The spirit claimed to be Jesus, hoping to derail our efforts. But the demon would not claim to be Jesus Christ! Ha! We now know a new spiritual tactic in dealing with demons who are trying to fool us." Thus, the demon had succeeded in deceiving these brothers with a false principle, a false confidence, and bogus knowledge. For surely we should know better and can see through to what is going on here? While a particular demon who knows his time-is-up might play such a charade (of pretending to be allegiant not to claim to be Jesus "Christ") to derail and mislead his exorcists, we know for sure that this is not a general principle of demons. For example, we are told that many will come directly claiming to be Christ, and surely you have observed that religious demons use the Lord's full Name regularly and without hesitation. These "Jesus Christ" masquerading spirits, in fact, are some of the highest level and most powerful demons. Now think about this: if a low-level demon can leave behind a deception in the minds of mature ministers on its way out that leads to a future missing of an even more noxious demonic doctrine or religious spirit, then the demon has influenced more than its original hapless victim. See it?
Should we believe what demons tell us? Shall we learn about demons from demons? Is this our mission, or are we to simply cast them out? Shall we learn new spiritual "tricks" or "tactics" or "insights" from demons? We are commanded to cast them out, not have a conversation with them.
I would like you consider this along the lines of one of your own conclusions, if you would. There is no question as to: 1) the desire of demonic spirits to embody (Mr 5:13 . Mt 8:31), 2) That demonic spirits can be the source of some sickness (Lu 13:11), 3) grant dark supernatural abilities (Ac 16:16), and 4) manifest in destructive behaviors (Lu 9:42,8:29). This much is clear from Scripture and experience, and in these things we agree; so let us not rehash them again, as in the past. But I would like to consider your conclusion as to the demonic spirits being disembodied humans [the point of the book by George Ritchie] in light of the inherent deceptiveness of foul spirits, and the demonic strategy to effect--even "possess" in some sense--even those who cast them out with false ideas as a parting shot if/when they can.
You must know that the idea that demons are human ghosts wandering the earth is an occult idea. This does not mean it is necessarily wrong--the occult believes in the supernatural in general and this is correct as far as it goes. But certainly the main source of the idea that demons are disembodied human spirits is occultic. This is not a disproof in itself, but we ought to consider such a pedigree a glaring red-flag and thus be a little more cautious to embrace such a notion.
What concerns me, and I hope you will consider as a point of correction, is how much energy Satan has extended to promote the doctrine of "ghosts" as disembodied human spirits. Think about all the horror movies, books, and other obviously diabolical Satanic propaganda putting forth this idea. Why is Satan so interested in convincing people it is so?
John 8:44 (NAS) "[The Devil]... does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies."The point of this is that demons and Satan are in the business of deception. If they can deceive good hearted Christians into false notions even as they find their legs in maturing in the gifts of the Spirit, then they have "possessed" more than the original victim. Are you with me so far?
And you know that we are engaged in a war. Let us not be found resonating to and passionately propagating ideas that the enemy loves and has a keen interest in spreading himself. Whose side are we on, anyway?
An unrelated, but I hope instructive, example of inadvertently "switching sides" came in relation to an MPD victim and her so-called "counselor" whom she paid for "sessions" with. Now we all know what an occultic "medium" does, he/she conjures spirits for the gratification of himself or others. A medium takes great pride in getting spirits to speak, to have conversations with them, to "learn" something from them, etc. Now this "counselor" had been able to find 7 "personalities" in our friend and would speak to them for hours on end. It turned out these were demons, not fractured bits of personality. In this case the demons saw no benefit to pretending to be disembodied dead people, but rather chose the pretense of being the victim as a child, teacher, mother, sexpot, etc. Of course it was all a lie, these were very old and unclean demons and we finally entered the picture and cast them out. After this deliverance, our friend had to go see the "counselor" who officially had to deem her "cured", and she was terrified of the encounter so we went with her. The "counselor" did everything she could to reconjure the demons, using teddy bears and phrases as talismans, etc., and seemed disappointed that she could not. It was disgusting to watch. Finally giving up, in amazement she said "It is a total cure. It must be a miracle." We then took the "counselor" to task for encouraging our friend to think of demons as part of herself, as she had told our friend--with authority--that they were. By teaching this error, she had dispensed counterproductive ministry--spiritual malpractice--to the victim who had degraded badly under her "care". We also sarcastically mentioned that the "counselor" had made a bit of money off of our friend. She still refused to admit that the "fractures" were demons even though when addressed as such and cast out the victim was "miraculously" healed. We challenged her with the fact that her "ministry" (the "counselor" claimed to be a Christian) was nearly exactly like a medium's. Consider the sickness of this situation, if you will. Here is a woman who is a supposed health-care worker and claiming to be a Christian who is taking insurance money under the guise of "help" and who succeeds in calling seven very dangerous demons into a woman by her faulty "techniques" of ministry. Perhaps our "counselor" started off with a good heart and motive. But she became deceived by a demonic sophistry of insight, and thus unwittingly became an agent of Satan rather than God.
Well meaning people can go far wrong, indeed. Especially so if they are "learning" doctrine from the demons, rather than God.
I do hope you are receptive to the admonition I am bringing to you. I am not judging your heart. I am asking you to consider your way. We should not be letting demons teach us about what they are like through the play-acting they seem to love. Such can deceive the very ministers who aim to help. Our commission is to cast them out, not to talk to them or play around with them for illicit spiritual gratification (like the medium, above), nor should we be harkening to their pretenses as if this were the truth about spirits. If they can achieve this deception in us when our guard is let down via bogus experiential "insight", then they have affected us more than we know, and it is us then that may well need a prayer of deliverance. For let us not be "unaware of Satan's schemes". He is a born liar, with a passionate motive to deceive any way he can.
I close my appeal here with the confidence that the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth. Do not let your ministry in this regard be derailed by what demons claim or have pandered to you concerning, or what you read in some book, or your presuppositions to date. If you continue in this error, you may not sink so far as our "medium" Christian with her dozens of "patients" mentioned above, but still... promoting ideas near and dear to Satan's heart is no small gaff either.
Have you been deceived? If this book is the basis for what demons later encouraged you to think true or vice-versa, you might want to reconsider if you have been "had". You started off with good intentions. Now, will you be derailed by such a simple error? Will you be defensive about a singular, spurious, occultic notion... or is your instinct towards the truth when it is shown to you?
2Cor 11:14 (NIV) No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
2Cor 10:3-5 (NAS) ...We do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Eph 4:11-16 (NIV) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.