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Caught Up to Heaven Through Visualizing Jesus? Part 3

by Karl Kemp  
9/10/2020 / Book Reviews

This is Part 3 of this book review.

7. Some Excerpts from War on the Saints: A History of Satanic Deceptions in Christianity and the Conflict between Good and Evil by Jessie Penn-Lewis (and Evan Roberts) that Are Relevant to this Book Review. I am using the unabridged edition of this book (Pantianos Classics, first published in 1912, and now in the public domain).

7.1. A Helpful Article, "The Life and Influence of Jessie Penn-Lewis," by Sharon Baker-Johnson, April 30, 2012, published by CBE [Christians for Biblical Equality] International. Jessie was born in 1861 in South Wales. She died in 1927. She became a leader in the Keswick deeper life movement. [I agree with most of what was taught in that movement. Some of those who taught there were very helpful; others weren't very helpful. I assume that what Jessie taught would be in a very helpful category. Keswick is a town in Northwest England.] "Her primary focus was on the impact of the cross in gaining victory over sin." [I totally agree with that.] "Penn-Lewis was in a unique position to chronicle the events [in the Welsh Revival] as they happened because she had many Welsh connections and enjoyed the trust of the leaders involved. In November 1904, she began writing weekly revival reports, which were printed in The Life of Faith, the Keswick periodical. She covered events around the country with impartiality and took care to include all forms of the revival’s manifestations. Penn-Lewis received firsthand accounts from parishioners and ministers, some sharing their own spiritual struggles with her." (Jones, Trials and Triumphs, 119-27). "...War on the Saints, the book on which Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts collaborated, was published in 1912 as 'a testimony against the outbreak of demons upon the spiritual Church, which followed the outpouring of the Spirit of God in Wales' (Jessie Penn-Lewis, "An Autobiographical Sketch," The Overcomer (December 1914): 184)." The Overcomer was founded in 1908 by Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts. 

In 1917, a summary of her book, The Warfare with Satan, was included in volume 10 of the influential publication The Fundamentals: A Testimony of the Truth. ("Garrard, Mrs. Penn-Lewis: A Memoir, 230.") This solidified the impact of her teaching on spiritual warfare in the fundamentalism and modernism debate of the time." 

7.2. I cannot endorse every word that Jessie Penn-Lewis says in this book, but I believe that the things I am quoting from her (and Evan Roberts) in this section of my book review are accurate and important: For the most part, she is speaking of things that actually happened in association with the revival in Wales and afterward. She was there, as was Evan Roberts. Evan Roberts, a key leader in that revival, had a breakdown before the revival ended, and that helped end the revival. Jessie Penn-Lewis helped him, even inviting him to live at their home (Penn-Lewis was married). 

Some of the things I am most interested in for this book review: She powerfully warns Christians that demons are very actively, aggressively, but subtly and with careful planning, doing everything they can do to deceive Christians, especially ministers, and all the more so with Christians who are open to move in the supernatural gifts of the Spirit, and all the more so yet here at the end of this age. Christians who are not aware of this demonic activity are not able to effectively guard against being deceived. "The mistake at the time of the Revival in Wales in 1904 was to become occupied with the effects of Revival, and not watch and pray in protecting and guarding the cause of Revival" (page 184). 

WE NEED TO KNOW, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT DEMONS CAN COUNTERFEIT THE PRESENCE OF GOD WITH FEELINGS/MANIFESTATIONS OF LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LIGHT, WARMTH, ETC. THEY ARE VERY ACTIVE DOING SUPERNATURAL THINGS WHERE THEY HAVE AN OPENING. THEY CAN COUNTERFEIT GIFTS/WORKINGS OF THE SPIRIT LIKE SO-CALLED FALLING IN THE SPIRIT, PROPHESYING, REVEALING THINGS SUPERNATURALLY, INCLUDING VISIONS, INCLUDING VISIONS OF AND INTERACTION WITH "JESUS" AND "GOD THE FATHER," AND HEARING VOICES, HEALINGS AND GIVING GIFTS OF HEALINGS, AND TONGUES. ONE OF THEIR PRIMARY WORKS ALONG WITH TEMPTING TO SIN IS TO SPREAD FALSE DOCTRINE. It is obvious that God will let us know the difference between things of God and things of Satan If we are awake, making Him and His Word top priority and living for Him in His truth, righteousness, and holiness, and being humble and aware of the workings of Satan's kingdom. I am very sure that some of these excerpts will shock some of my readers. We must be God-oriented, but very much aware of the workings of Satan's kingdom. We always need the balanced truth of what is taught in the Bible. It is very clear that Christians are far from being automatically protected from demonic intrusions and attacks.  

7.3. I chose these first four excerpts because they all mention the 1904-05 revival in Wales. 

7.3.1. Under "Believers May Receive Equipment to Deal with Satanic Powers" (pages 23-24 in chapter 2 of the book).

"The hour of need always brings the corresponding measure of power from God to meet that need. The Church of Christ must lay hold of the equipment of the apostolic period, for dealing with the influx of the evil spirit hosts among her members. That all believers may receive the equipment of the Holy Spirit, whereby the authority of Christ over the demon hosts of Satan is manifested, is proved not only by the instance of Philip the deacon in the Acts of the Apostles, but also by the writings of the "Fathers" in the early centuries of the Christian era, which show that the Christians of that time (1) recognized the existence of evil spirits, (2) that they influenced, deceived and possessed men, and (3) that Christ gave His followers authority over them through His Name. That this authority through the Name of Christ, wielded by the believer walking in living and vital union with Christ, is available for the servants of God at the close of the age, the Spirit of God is making known in many and divers ways. God gives an object lesson, through a native Christian like Pastor Hsi, in China, who acted upon the Word of God in simple faith, without the questioning caused by the mental difficulties of Western Christendom [I don't know anything about Pastor Hsi, but he was obviously known for his victorious dealing with demon spirits]; or He awakens the Church in the West, as in the Revival in Wales, by an outpouring of the Spirit of God; which not only manifested the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the twentieth century, as in the days of Pentecost; but also unveiled the reality of Satanic powers in active opposition to God and His people, and the need among the Spirit-filled children of God, for equipment [including the insight into demonic activity that we need] for dealing with them. 

Incidentally, too, the Revival in Wales threw light upon the Scripture records, showing that the highest points of God's manifested power among men, is invariably the occasion for concurrent manifestations of the working of Satan. It was so when the Son of God came forth from the wilderness conflict with the prince of darkness, and found the hidden demons in many lives aroused to malignant activity, so that from all parts of Palestine crowds of victims came to the Man, before whom the possessing spirits trembled in impotent rage. 

The awakened part of the Church of to-day, has now no doubt of the real existence of the spirit beings of evil, and that there is an organized monarchy of supernatural powers, set up in opposition to Christ, and His kingdom, bent upon the eternal ruin of every member of the human race; and these believers know that God is calling them to seek the fullest equipment obtainable for withstanding, and resisting these enemies of Christ and His Church.

In order to understand the working of the deceiver-prince of this power of the air, and become acute to discern his tactics, and his methods of deceiving men, such believers should search the Scriptures thoroughly, to obtain a knowledge of his character, and how spirits of evil are able to possess [Penn-Lewis doesn't typically use the word "possess" in the full sense of someone being rather totally possessed by demon spirits. For one thing, a person could not be a true Christian and totally possessed by the devil at the same time. She typically is speaking of a partial, but serious possession, like where the presence and some work of demons are accepted as being the presence and a work of God.], and use the bodies of men."

7.3.2. Under "The Church in the Twentieth Century Must Recognize the Powers of Darkness" (page 32 In chapter 2 of the book). 

"...the Christian Church must recognize that the existence of deceiving, lying spirits, is as real in the twentieth century as in the time of Christ, and their attitude to the human race unchanged. That their one ceaseless aim is to deceive every human being. That they are given up to wickedness all day long, and night long, and that they are ceaselessly, and actively pouring a stream of wickedness into the world, and are satisfied only when they succeed in their wicked plans to deceive, and ruin men. ...

These supernatural forces of Satan are the true hindrance to revival. The power of God which broke forth in Wales [the 1904-05 revival in Wales, which was led to some extent by Evan Roberts], with all the marks of the days of Pentecost, was checked and hindered from going on to its fullest purpose, by the same influx of evil spirits as met the Lord Christ on earth, and the Apostles of the early Church; with the difference that the inroad of the powers of darkness found the Christians of the twentieth century, with few exceptions, unable to recognize, and deal with them [my emphasis]. Evil spirit possession [using her limited definition of possession] has followed, and checked every similar revival throughout the centuries since Pentecost, and these things must now be understood, and dealt with, if the Church is to advance to maturity. Understood, not only in the degree of possession recorded in the Gospels, but in the special forms of manifestations suited to the close of the dispensation, under the guise of the Holy Spirit, yet having some of the very characteristic marks in bodily symptoms, seen in the gospel records, when all who saw the manifestation knew that it was the work of the spirits of Satan."

7.3.3. Under "Can 'Honest Souls' be Deceived?" (page 34 in chapter 3 of the book). 

"One prevailing idea, which such believers have deeply embedded in their minds, is that 'honest seekers after God' will not be allowed to be deceived. That this is one of Satan's lies, to lure such seekers into a false position of safety, is proved by the history of the Church during the past two thousand years, for every 'wile of error' which has borne sad fruit throughout this period, first laid hold of devoted believers who were 'honest souls.' [At least in many cases they were "honest souls."] The errors among groups of such believers, some well known to the present generation, all began among 'honest' children of God, baptized with the Holy Ghost; and all so sure that, knowing the side-tracking of others before them, they would never be caught by the wiles of Satan. Yet they, too, have been deceived by lying spirits, counterfeiting the workings of God in the higher ranges of the spiritual life. 

Among such devoted believers, lying spirits have worked on their determination literally to obey the Scriptures, and by misuse of the letter of the written Word, have pushed them into phases of unbalanced truth, with resulting erroneous practices. Many who have suffered for their adherence to these 'Biblical commands,' firmly believe that they are martyrs suffering for Christ. The world calls these devoted ones 'cranks,' and 'fanatics,' yet they give evidence of highest devotion and love to the Person of the Lord, and could be delivered, if they but understood why the powers of darkness deceived them, and the way of freedom from their power. 

The aftermath of the Revival in Wales, which was a true work of God, revealed numbers of 'honest souls' swept off their feet by evil supernatural powers, which they were not able to discern from the true working of God. And later still than the Welsh Revival, there have been other 'movements,' with large numbers of earnest servants of God swept into deception, through the wiles of deceiving spirits counterfeiting the workings of God; all 'honest souls,' deceived by the subtle foe, and certain to be led on into still deeper deception, notwithstanding their honesty and earnestness, if they are not awakened to 'return to soberness' and recovery out of the snare of the devil into which they have fallen (2 Tim. 2:26). 

7.3.4. I'll quote part of what she went on to say on page 35 (under the heading "Faithfulness to Light Not Sufficient Safeguard Against Deception"). "The thought that God will protect a believer from being deceived if he is true and faithful, is in itself a 'deception,' because it throws a man off guard, and ignores the fact that there are conditions on the part of the believer which have to be fulfilled for God's working. God does not do anything instead of a man, but by the man's co-operation with Him, neither does He undertake to make up for a man's ignorance, when He has provided knowledge for him which will prevent him being deceived. 

Christ would not have warned His disciples 'Take not deceived' [Matt. 24:4] if there had been no danger of deception, or if God had undertaken to keep them from deception apart from their 'taking heed' and their knowledge of such danger. 

The knowledge that it is possible to be deceived, keeps the mind open to truth, and light from God, and is one of the primary conditions for the keeping power of God; whereas a closed mind to light and truth, is a certain guarantee of deception by Satan at his earliest opportunity." I have observed over the years that when God is using Christians or churches, including manifesting Himself with supernatural manifestations, there is a tendency to assume all is well and there is no way that any demons could do anything here.  

7.3.5. Under "True and Counterfeit Accepted Together" (pages 67-68 in chapter 5 of the book). 

"Briefly put, this is a glimpse into the mixed 'manifestations' which have come upon the Church of God, since the Revival in Wales; for, almost without exception, in every land where revival has since broken forth, within a very brief period of time the counterfeit stream has mingled with the true; and almost without exception, true and false have been accepted together, because of the workers being ignorant of the possibility of concurrent streams; or else have been rejected together by those who could not detect the one from the other; or it has been believed that there was no 'true' [no supernatural manifestations from God] at all, because the majority of believers fail to understand that there can be mixed workings of the (1) Divine and Satanic, (2) Divine and human, (3) Satanic and the way of source and power. 

There must be more than one quantity to make a mixture; at least two. The devil mixes his lies with the truth, for he must use a truth to carry his lies. The believer must therefore discriminate, and judge all things. He must be able to see so much to be impure, and so much that he can accept. Satan is a 'mixer.' If in anything he finds ninety-nine percent pure, he tries to insert one percent of his poisonous stream, and this grows, if undetected, until the proportions are reversed. Where there is mixture acknowledged to be in meetings where supernatural manifestations take place, if believers are unable to discriminate, they should keep away from these 'mixtures' until they are able to discern. 

In accepting the counterfeits of Satan, the believer thinks, and believes, he is complying with Divine conditions in order to ascend to a higher life; whereas he complies with conditions for Satanic workings in his life, and thereby descends into a pit of deception and suffering, with his spirit and motive pure [or sometimes with his spirit and motives being something less than pure].

How evil spirits gain access to the believer is the next question we need to consider; and here we give in column form, six concise lists of (1) how they deceive; (2) the ground given for deception; (3) where they enter; (4) the excuses the spirit makes to hide the ground, and keep the believer in ignorance of his presence and the ground he holds; (5) the effect on the man thus deceived; and (6) the symptoms of the possession. 

7.3.6. Under "Outward Success or Defeat No True Criterion for Judgment" (page 20 in chapter 1). "Knowledge of truth is the primary safeguard against deception. The 'elect' must know, and they must learn to 'prove' [test] the 'spirits' [cf. 1 John 4:1], until they do know what is of God, and what is of Satan. The words of the Master, 'Take heed, I have told you,' [Mark 13:23; cf. Matt. 24:4] plainly implies that personal knowledge of danger is part of the Lord's way of guarding His own, and believers who blindly rely upon 'the keeping power of God,' without seeking to understand how to escape deception, when forewarned to 'take heed' by the Lord, will surely find themselves entrapped by the subtle foe." 

7.3.7. Under "The Peril of the Time of the Baptism of the Spirit" (page 37 in chapter 3). Penn-Lewis speaks of it being necessary "to detect the workings of the false angel of light, who is able to bring about counterfeit gifts of prophecy, tongues, healings, and other spiritual experiences connected with the work of the Holy Ghost." We need to know that these supernatural things can be counterfeited. We need to know, for example, that the fact that a "minister" is used in supernatural healing, or prophesies, or speaks with tongues, is no guarantee that that minister and his "gift(s)" are of God. And there are mixtures where a genuine Christian minister, for example, begins to also manifest a counterfeit gift. Of course, like sin, this ought not be! 

7.3.8. Under "Expressions, 'Views,' Doctrines, Need to be Examined" and "The Place of Truth in Deliverance" and "The Safety of a Neutral Attitude to All Supernatural Manifestations." (pages 40-41 in chapter 3). "... ...the knowledge of truth is the first essential for warfare with the lying spirits of Satan, and truth must be eagerly sought for, and faced with earnest and sincere desire to know it, and obey it in the light of God....

There is a fundamental principle involved in the freeing power of truth from the deception of the devil. Deception from believing lies must be by believing truth. Nothing can remove a lie but truth. 'Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free' (John 8:32), is applicable to every aspect of truth, as well as the special truth referred to by the Lord when He spoke the pregnant words [of John 8:32]. In the very first stage of the Christian life the sinner must know the truth of the gospel, if he is to be saved. Christ is the Saviour, but He saves through, and not apart from instruments or means. If the believer needs freedom, he must ask the Son of God for it. [You could just as well say that the believer appropriates the freedom from God and His Son offered in the gospel by grace through faith.] How does the Son set free? By the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit does it by the instrumentality of truth; or we could say, in brief, freedom is the gift of the Son by the Holy Spirit working through truth. ....

When believers first hear of the possibility of counterfeits of God, and Divine things, they almost invariably ask, 'How are we to know which is which?' It is enough, first of all, for them to know that such counterfeits are possible, and then, as they mature, or seek light from God, they learn to know for themselves.... ...." 

7.3.9. I'll quote the last words of chapter 3, which serve to introduce what follows. "What, then, is the condition of safety from the deception of evil spirits? (1) Knowledge that they exist. (2) that they can deceive most honest believers (Gal. 2:11-16). [I don't believe Gal. 2:11-16 is a good example of deception. It seems that the apostle Peter's withdrawal from the Gentile Christians was caused by a temporary fear of man, rather than his being deceived.] (3) an understanding of the conditions and ground necessary for their working, so as to give them no place, and no opportunity of working; and, lastly, (4) intelligent knowledge of God, and how to cooperate with Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. To make these points clear will be the purpose in succeeding pages."

7.4. Chapter 4 Is Titled "Passivity the Chief Basis of Possession" (pages 47-63). Jessie Penn-Lewis puts a strong emphasis on the danger of passivity. This is important, but I won't quote much that she says in this chapter. "The primary cause of deception and possession [becoming demonized] in surrendered believers may be condensed into one word, passivity, that is, a cessation of the active exercise of the will in control over spirit, soul, and body, or either, as may be the case, it is, practically, a counterfeit of 'surrender to God.' The believer who 'surrenders' his 'members' - or faculties - to God, and ceases to use them himself, thereby falls into 'passivity' which enables evil spirits to deceive, and possess any part of his being which has become passive.

The deception over passive surrender may be exampled thus: a believer surrenders his 'arm' to God. He permits it to hang passive, waiting for 'God to use it.' He is asked, 'why do you not use your arm?' and he replies 'I have surrendered it to God. I must not use it now; God must use it.' But will God use the arm for the man? Nay, the man himself must lift it, and use it, seeking to understand intelligently God's mind in doing so" (pages 47-48). 

I have heard some of this way-out-of-balance teaching quite a few times over the years. They think God is asking us to get in the back seat or trunk of the car while he drives it. That may sound humble and religious, but it doesn't work that way. We must drive the car by God's enabling grace through faith and for His glory, in agreement with what the Word of God requires. For one thing, even though we fell through Adam, we have been redeemed. 

7.5. Chapter 5 Is Titled "Deception and Possession" (pages 64-81). 

7.5.1. Under "Degree of Ground Needed for Evil Spirit to Possess Cannot be Defined" (pages 64-65). "... There is also a degree of deception by deceiving spirits, in connection with counterfeits of God and Divine things, which leads on to possession; and this too, depends upon the extent of the counterfeits which have been accepted by the believer. Through 'possession' by accepting the counterfeit of the workings of the Holy Spirit, believers can, unknowingly, be brought to (1) put their trust in evil spirits, (2) rely on them, (3) surrender to them, (4) be guided by them, (5) pray to them, (6) listen to them, (7) obey them, (8) receive messages from them, (9) receive Scripture texts from them, (10) help them in their desires and working, (11) stand by them, and (12) work for them; believing they are in these attitudes towards God, and doing these things for God. 

In some cases, the counterfeit manifestations have been accepted with such reckless abandonment, that deception has quickly developed into possession in a most acute, yet subtle, and highly refined form; giving no apparent trace of the presence of evil, yet the peculiar double personality, characteristic of fully developed 'demon possession,' is easily recognizable to trained spiritual discernment; although it may be hidden under the [covering] of the most beautiful 'angel of light' manifestation, with all the fascinating attraction of 'glory light' upon the face, exquisite music in song, and a powerful effect in speech."

7.5.2. Under "Dual Personality of Evil Spirit Possession in Christians" (page 66). "The fact of the demon possession of Christians [partially demonized; as we have discussed, if people are possessed by demons they wouldn't be Christians] destroys the theory that only people in 'heathen countries,' or persons deep in sin, can be 'possessed' by evil spirits. This unexamined, unproved theory in the minds of believers, serves the devil well as a cover for his workings to gain possession of the minds and bodies, of Christians in the present time. But the veil is being stripped off the eyes of the children of God by the hard path of experience; and the knowledge is dawning upon the awakened section of the Church that a believer baptized in the Holy Ghost, and indwelt by God in the inner shrine of the spirit can be deceived into admitting evil spirits into his being; and be possessed, in varying degrees, by demons, even whilst in the center he is a sanctuary of the Spirit of God; God working in, and through his spirit, and the evil spirits in, or through, mind, or body, or both." This ought not be, but I believe it does happen and not just on rare occasions. 

7.5.3. Under "Column 1: How Evil Spirits Deceive" and the Headings that Follow (pages 68-74). "... In one who has thus been brought into fellowship with God, Satan can only gain ground by stratagem, or, in Bible terms, by "wiles"; for he knows he will never get from a believer deliberate consent to the entry, and control of evil spirits. The Deceiver can only hope to obtain that consent by guile: i.e., by feigning to be God Himself, or a messenger from Him. He knows, too, that such a believer is determined to obey God at all costs, and covets the knowledge of God above all else on earth. There is, therefore, no other way to deceive this one, but by counterfeiting God Himself, His presence and His workings; and under pretence [or pretense] of being God, to obtain the co-operation of the man's will in accepting further deceptions; so as eventually to lead to 'possession' of some part of the believer's mind or body, and thus injure or hinder his usefulness to God, as well as that of others who will be affected by him." Under "Distinction between the Person and the Presence of God." "The counterfeit of God in and with the believer, is the basis on which is built the whole after structure of possession through deception. Believers desire and expect God to be with, and in them. They expect God's presence with them, and this is counterfeited. They expect God to be in them as a Person....

In order to understand the counterfeiting methods of evil spirits, we must distinguish between the Presence and the Person of God. The 'Presence' as giving forth an influence, and the Person manifested as Father, Son, or Holy Spirit. Crudely put, it may be described as the difference between God as Light, and having light from God. God as Love, and having love from God. The one is the Person Himself in His nature, and the other the outshining, or giving forth of what He is. 

The thought with many is that the Person of Christ is in them, but in truth, Christ as a Person is in no man. He dwells in believers by His Spirit - the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9) [This is the Holy Spirit.], as they receive the "supply of the Spirit of Jesus" (Phil. 1:19; Acts 16: 7 R.V.). ...." Under "The Person of God in Heaven, His Presence on Earth by His Spirit." "The Person of God is in heaven, but the presence is manifested on earth, in and with believers; through and by the Holy Spirit; in, and to the human spirit, as the organ of the Holy Spirit for the manifested presence of God.

The believer's misconceptions of the manner in which God can be in, and with him, and his ignorance that evil spirits can counterfeit God and divine things, form the ground upon which he can be deceived into accepting the counterfeit workings of evil spirits, and give them access into, and possession, and control of his inner being. 

If God, Who is Spirit, can be in and with a man, evil spirits can also be in and with men, if they can obtain access by consent. Their aim and desire is possession and control. These are terms which are often used of God's work in believers, but which are not really Scriptural, in the meanings which are given to the words in the present day, i.e., God 'possesses' a man in the sense of ownership, and then He asks for co-operation, not 'control'. The believer is to control himself, by co-operation in his spirit with the Spirit of God; but never does God 'control' the man as a machine is controlled by another, or by some dynamic force." Demons do control to the extent they are able, and they drive. This is a very important distinction. Under "Distinction between God and Divine Things." "... To obtain possession, and control of believers, who will not be attracted by sin, the deceiving spirits must first counterfeit the manifestation of the presence of God, so that under cover of this 'presence' they can get their suggestions into the mind, and their counterfeits accepted without question. This is their first, and sometimes their long piece of labor. It is not always an easy task, especially when the soul has been well-grounded in the Scriptures, and learnt to walk by faith upon the Word of God, nor is it easy when the mind is acute in usage, and well guarded in thought, and healthily occupied." Under "The Counterfeit of the Presence of God." "From the counterfeit presence, comes the influence which causes the counterfeit to be accepted. Evil spirits must make something to imitate the presence of God, as their 'presence' does not, and cannot be a counterfeit of it. The counterfeit presence is a work of theirs, made by them, but is not the manifestation of their own persons, e.g., they give sweet or soothing feelings, or feelings of peace, love, etc., with the whispered suggestion, adapted to the ideal of the victim, that these indicate the presence of God.

When a counterfeit presence, or influence, is accepted, then they go on to counterfeit a 'Person,' as one of the Persons of the Trinity, again adapted to the ideals or desires of the victim. If the believer is drawn to one more than another of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, the counterfeit will be of the One he is attached to most. The Father, to those who are drawn to Him; the Son to those who think of Him as 'Bridegroom' and crave love; and the Holy Spirit to those who crave for power. 

The counterfeit 'Presence,' as an influence, precedes the counterfeit of the 'Person' of God, through which much ground is gained. ...." Under "Satan's Working Upon the Senses." "Here lies the danger point which first opens the door to Satan. The working upon the senses in the religious realm, has long been Satan's special mode of deceiving men throughout the whole world, of which he is the god and prince. He knows how to soothe, and move, and work upon the senses in every possible way, and, in every form of religion ever known, deceiving unregenerate men with the form of godliness whilst denying the power. Among the truly converted, and even sanctified believers, the senses are still his way of approach. Let the soul admit a craving for beautiful emotions, happy feelings, overwhelming joy, and the conception that manifestations, or 'signs,' are necessary to prove the presence of God, especially in the Baptism of the Spirit, and the way is open for Satan's lying spirits to deceive." Under "The True Manifestation of Christ." "... ...the craving for sense-manifestation opens the door to deceiving spirits to counterfeit the real presence of Christ; but the consent and co-operation of the will to their control must be obtained, and this they seek to get under the guise of an 'angel of light'; as a messenger of God apparently clothed with light, not darkness, for light is the very nature and character of God. 

The basis of this deception of the believer is his ignorance of the principles on which God works in man, and the true conditions for His manifested presence in the man's spirit; and his ignorance of the conditions upon which evil spirits work, in a passive surrender of the will, mind and body to supernatural power. In his ignorance of the true working of God, the believer expects Him to move on the physical being, so that He is manifested to the senses, and to use his faculties apart from him, as a proof of His presence and 'control,' whereas God only moves in, and through the man himself by the active co-operation of his will - the will being the ego, or center of the man. Neither does God use the faculties of the man apart from conjunction with the man, i.e., through his will. Not instead of the man, but with him (2 Cor. 6:1)." Under "The Counterfeit Presence Is an Influence upon the Believer." "The counterfeit presence is an influence from outside upon the believer; and can begin in some cases, not only at the time of the Baptism of the Spirit, but by a 'practice' of the 'Presence of God,' if the believer means by that a sense consciousness of 'God,' who is to be known and recognized by the sense of the spirit, not the senses of the body. The true presence of God is not felt by the physical senses, but in the spirit, and the same is true of 'feeling' the presence of evil spirits, or Satan. The spirit sense alone can discern the presence of God, or Satan; and the body only feels indirectly. 

It is important clearly to recognize the distinction between the 'obsession,' or influence of the counterfeit presence; and the 'possession,' or access obtained, which follows the acceptance of the obsession, or influence from without. 

The distinction and the characteristics may be briefly described as follows: (1) Obsession: an influence from outside; a counterfeit presence of God as an influence upon the person, to which he opens himself in mind and body. 

(2) Possession [limited possession]: the counterfeit of a person within (after obtaining a footing), generally as love. Absolute abandonment to this of the affections and will. Exquisite feelings in physical and soulish realm, with spirit untouched. The man thinks all is 'spiritual,' when it is really the sensuous life in a spiritual form. 

The word obsession has been exaggerated in modern use, and symptoms, or manifestations truly belonging to possession, are frequently put down to it." Under "Obsession and its Cause." " 'Obsession' means an evil spirit, or spirits, hovering around, and influencing a man with the object of obtaining a footing in him, and gaining possession, in however small a degree. If these influences are yielded to, it must result in possession, e.g., if an evil spirit counterfeits the presence of God, and comes upon the man as an influence only, it may be described as obsession; but when a footing is gained in him, it is 'possession,' because the obsessing spirits have gained access, and possess the ground they hold, up to the extent of the ground given. [It is clear that Jessie Penn-Lewis is not speaking here of a person having been taken over by demons.]

The meaning of the word obsession as given in the dictionary bears this out. It means 'to besiege,' and it is described as 'persistent attack, especially of an evil spirit upon a person'; and 'the state of being molested from without, as opposed to "possession" or control by an evil spirit from within.' According to this description of obsession, it is evident that it is a very common form of attack by the powers of darkness upon the children of God; not to speak of the unregenerate who are already, according to the Scriptures (Eph. 2: 2), controlled from within, i.e., 'the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience' (A.V. [Authorized Version; KJV])." Under "Exterior Manifestations of the Character of Obsession." Evil spirits 'obsess,' or persistently molest, and besiege the man, to gain possession. They obsess his mind with some dominating idea which destroys his peace, and clouds his life; or they counterfeit some Divine experience, which seems to come from God, and which the believer accepts without question. This is one dangerous form of obsession in the present day, when evil spirits seek to gain admittance to a believer by counterfeiting some exterior manifestation of God, such as a 'Presence' filling the room, and felt by the physical senses; 'waves' of 'power' pouring upon, and through the physical being; or a feeling of wind, air, or a breathing upon the outer man, apparently from Divine sources. In brief, all exterior manifestations to the believer, coming from without upon the body, have the characteristics of 'obsession,' because they may come from deceiving spirits seeking access to mind or body.

The deliverance of persons under obsession of any kind, or degree, is by truth, such as:

Giving them knowledge how to detect what is of God or the devil, by understanding the principles distinguishing the working of the Holy Spirit, and evil spirits.

Showing them that they should accept nothing from without either in suggestions to the mind, or influence of any kind coming upon the body; as God the Holy Spirit works from within the spirit of the man, illuminating and renewing his mind, and bringing the body under the believer's own control.

Teaching them how to stand in Christ, and resist all besieging attacks of the powers of darkness. 

For the deliverance of souls under the bondage of evil spirits in possession, i.e., when they have, after obsession, gained admittance in any degree; much knowledge of God and of spiritual things is needed. 

It is generally thought that 'casting out' the spirit or spirits, is the only method of dealing with them, but since the ground they obtained to gain entrance, and abide in, cannot be 'cast out,' it is obvious that although the 'casting out' may avail in some cases, it is not the only means of deliverance." Under "Some Ways of Deliverance from Possession." "... Believers who discover themselves to be possessed through deception, should therefore seek light upon the ground through which the evil spirits entered, and give it up. It is by ground given that they obtain access, and it is by ground removed that they depart. It is for this reason that emphasis is placed in this book upon the understanding of truth, rather than upon the aspect of the casting out of demons, as it is written for the deliverance of believers deceived and possessed through accepting counterfeits of the working of God. ...

Let it be emphasized again: deceiving spirits are obliged to get the consent of the man's will ere they can enter, and as to how far they enter. This they do by counterfeit and deception. They can only obtain the believer's surrender to their power, by feigning to be God. In fact, obsession, and possession, in all cases, both of regenerate and unregenerate, is based upon deception and guile; for it is not until a man is very fully under the power of Satan that he willfully, and knowingly, yields himself up to him.

Deliverance, therefore, requires the active exercise of the will, which must, in reliance upon the strength of God, and in the face of all beguilements, and suffering, be kept steadily set against the powers of darkness, to nullify previous consent to their working. ... ...." 

7.6. Chapter 6 Is Titled "Counterfeits of the Divine" (pages 82-100). 

7.6.1. Under the first paragraph in chapter 6. "In seeking to obtain full control of the believer, the first great effort of evil spirits is directed toward getting the man to accept their suggestions, and workings, as the speaking, working, or leading of God. Their initial device is to counterfeit a 'Divine Presence,' under cover of which they can mislead their victim as they will. The word counterfeit meaning the substitution of the false for the true. 

The condition on the part of the believer, which gives the deceiving spirits their opportunity, and the basis of this counterfeit, is the mistaken location of God; either (1) in them (consciously); (2) or around them (consciously). When they pray they think of, or pray to God in themselves, or else to God around them, in the room, or atmosphere. They use their imagination, and try to 'realize' His presence, and they desire to 'feel' His presence in them, or upon them."

7.6.2. Under "Christ as a Person in Heaven" then "Counterfeit Presence of God" (pages 84-85). "... The counterfeit 'presence' of God is nearly always manifested as love, to which the believer opens himself without hesitation, and finds it fill[s] and satiate[s] his innermost being, but the deceived one does not know that he has opened himself to evil spirits in the deepest need of his inner life. 

Counterfeit Presence of God. How the powers of darkness counterfeit the presence of God to those ignorant of his devices may be somewhat as follows. At some moment when the believer is yearning for the sense of God's presence, either alone, or in a meeting, and certain conditions are fulfilled, the subtle foe approaches, and wrapping the senses round with a soothing, lulling feeling - sometimes filling the room with light, or causing what is apparently a 'breath from God' by a movement of the air - either whispers 'This is the presence you have longed for,' or leads the believer to infer that it is what he has desired.

Then, off his guard, and lulled into security that Satan is far away, some thoughts are suggested to the mind, accompanied by manifestations which appear to be Divine; a sweet voice speaks, or a vision is given, which is at once received as 'Divine guidance,' given in the 'Divine presence,' and hence beyond question as from God. If accepted as from God, when from the spirits of evil, the first ground is gained.

The man is now so sure that God has bidden him do this or that. He is filled with the thought that he has been highly favored of God, and chosen for some high place in His Kingdom. [The devil knows how to appeal to pride.] The deeply hidden self-love is fed and strengthened by this, and he is able to endure all things by the power of this secret strength. He has been spoken to by God! He has been singled out for special favor! His support is now within upon his experience, rather than upon God Himself, and the written Word. Through this secret confidence that God has specially spoken to him, the man becomes unteachable and unyielding, with a positiveness trending on infallibility. He cannot listen to others now, for they have not had this 'direct' revelation from God. He is in direct, special, personal communion with God, and to question any 'direction' given to him, becomes the height of sin. Obey he must, even though the direction given is contrary to all enlightened judgment, and the action commanded opposed to the spirit of the Word of God. In brief, when the man at this stage believes he has a 'command' from God, he will not use his reason, because he thinks it would be 'carnal' to do so - 'common-sense' is lack of faith, and therefore sin - and 'conscience' for the time being, has ceased to speak. 

Some of the suggestions made to the believer by deceiving spirits at this time, may be: (1) 'You are a special instrument for God,' working to feed self-love; (2) 'You are more advanced than others' working to blind the soul to sober knowledge of itself; (3) 'You are different from others,' working to make him think he needs special dealing by God; (4) 'You must take a separate path,' a suggestion made to feed the independent spirit;

(5) 'You must give up your occupation, and live by faith,' aiming at causing the believer to launch out on false guidance, which may result in the ruin of his home, and sometimes the work for God in which he is engaged. 

All these suggestions are made to give the man a false conception of his spiritual state; for he is made to believe he is more advanced than he actually is, so that he may act beyond his measure of faith and knowledge (Rom. 12:3), and consequently be more open to the deceptions of the beguiling foe. 

Upon the basis of the supposed revelation of God, and the special manifestation of His presence, and the consequent full possession of the believer by Him, the lying spirits afterwards build their counterfeits."

7.6.3. Under "The Counterfeit 'Presence' Is Sensuous" (pages 85-86). "Counterfeits of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are recognizable by the manifestations being given to the senses; i.e., in the physical realm; for the true indwelling of God is in the shrine of the spirit alone; and the soul vessel, or personality of the believer, is purely a vehicle for the expression of Christ, Who is enthroned within by His Spirit; whilst the body, quickened by the same Spirit, is governed by God from the central depths of the human spirit, through the self-control of the man; acting by his renewed will. 

The counterfeit presence of God is given by deceiving spirits working upon the physical frame, or within the bodily frame, upon the senses. We have seen the beginning of this, and how the first ground is gained. It is deepened by these sense-manifestations being repeated, so gently, that the man goes on yielding to them, thinking this is truly 'communion with God' - for believers too often look upon 'communion with God' as a thing of sense, and not of spirit - and here he commences praying to evil spirits under the belief that he is praying to God. The self-control is not yet lost, but as the believer responds to, or gives himself up to these 'conscious' manifestations, he does not know that his will-power is being slowly undermined. At last through these subtle, delicious experiences, the faith is established that God Himself is consciously in possession of the body, quickening it with felt thrills of life, or filling it with warmth and heat, or even with 'agonies' which seem like fellowship with the sufferings of Christ, and travail for souls, or the experience of death with Christ in the consciousness of nails being driven into the bodily frame, etc. From this point the lying spirits can work as they will, and there is no limit as to what they may do to a believer deceived to this extent."

We will finish this book review in Part 4 with section 8, "Excerpts Dealing with Visualization - Especially Dealing with Supposedly Visualizing Jesus or God the Father and then Coming into a Two-Way Dialogue and Interaction with Them." Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.

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