(36) The Spiritual Man SECTION NINE
The Analysis of the Soul
Part 3. THE WILL
THE DANGER OF PASSIVITY
Today Christians lack two kinds of knowledge. Because of this lack, they fall into endless misery that they cannot recover from. These two kinds of knowledge are: (1) the condition for evil spirits to work, and (2) the principle of spiritual life. Because of ignorance, Satan and his evil spirits are given the greatest advantage, and the church of God experiences the greatest suffering. "My people are destroyed / Because of a lack of that knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). This is truly a word written for today's believers. Much of what man regards as knowledge is merely his ideas. Hence, they are of no use. Apart from this knowledge, godly knowledge is indispensable to the believers. The absence of godly knowledge will result in grave damage. It is sad that in a time of widespread ignorance as today, believers still do not humble themselves before God and seek after the truth that God would reveal. They are still proud and boastful of their familiarity with the Scriptures and the abundance of their experiences. On the one hand, they fall into danger and do not know how to turn back; they fall into a hopeless situation and have no idea of the need for deliverance. On the other hand, they boast of the richness of their knowledge. How pitiful this is!
In the four Gospels there are many accounts of demon-possession. There are still many cases of demon-possession among the "heathen" today. If we tell a believer that Christians can be possessed by demons (or evil spirits), he will be greatly surprised. An ordinary believer in China thinks that only heathens have the possibility of being possessed by demons and that it is not possible for Christians to have the same experience. There is also a misunderstanding that once a person is possessed by demons, he is like a lunatic. But the Bible tells us that demons not only caused people to fall suddenly into water and fire (Matt. 17:15); they also caused a woman to be bent double (Luke 13:11) while she was still very gentle and quiet.
Believers realize that there is a possibility for them to be seduced, tempted, attacked, or deceived, but they do not realize that there is also a possibility for believers to be attached to—to be possessed—by demons. When they first believed, they received many wrong teachings; now they think that as long as a Christian has Christ, he will not be possessed by demons. They say this because they think that a Christian would never lose his mind like some heathen. However, this teaching is not found in the Bible. Neither is it confirmed by the experience of the saints. God's children are very unclear that evil spirits can change their appearance and attach themselves to the believers' bodies. Today there is an unexpectedly great number of believers who are possessed by demons. The unalterable fact is that many believers are possessed by demons.
What exactly does it mean to be possessed by demons? After a believer understands the meaning, he will realize that it is possible for Christians to be possessed by demons. "Being demon-possessed," or simply "being possessed," means that evil spirits have attached (cleaved) themselves to the whole or part of man's body. Evil spirits attach themselves to the ground they have gained. As long as they have a footing, no matter how small it may be, they can keep on working until they gain the entire being. Common believers think that demon-possession must be as severe as the cases recorded in the Gospels. They do not know that those were all extreme cases. Furthermore, according to the Gospels, the degree of suffering was not the same in those who were possessed by demons; their suffering was quite different from each other. The two cases we spoke of earlier were entirely different from each other.
Saints—those who are entirely consecrated—can be possessed by evil spirits in the same way that others can because they often unconsciously fulfill the condition for evil spirits to work; therefore, they give ground for evil spirits to attach themselves to them. Today many believers are possessed by demons, though the degree of possession may be different. However, they do not realize that they are possessed. They consider their strange and unusual experiences as "natural" and as either from their "self" or from sin. They explain their experiences in this way because these experiences do not outwardly look like they are from evil spirits.
There is a law in everything that God has created. This means that every activity follows a definite pattern. There is also a pattern in the work of evil spirits. For every cause, there is an effect. If any man fulfills the condition for evil spirits to work (whether this person purposely fulfills it, as witches, necromancers, or those who practice planchette do, or unintentionally fulfills it, as Christians may do), they will definitely work on this person. We should realize that there is a law to all the activities of evil spirits. As long as a person fulfills the condition required by the law, he will immediately experience the activities of evil spirits. This is a law of cause and effect. Fire will burn a person, water will drown a person; these are laws. No one has ever put himself into a fire without getting burned, and no one has ever submerged himself into water without getting drowned. It is the same with regard to the work of evil spirits. As long as one fulfills the condition that evil spirits need to attach to him, they will attach themselves to him. Once there is a cause, there must be an effect. It does not matter if you are a Christian or not; if you fulfill the condition for evil spirits to work, they will work. Evil spirits attach themselves to all those who fulfill the condition for their work. Hence, a Christian is not spared from this danger just because he is a Christian. A Christian cannot put himself into fire to be burned or into water to be drowned and say that he will not be injured or killed because he is a Christian. Similarly, he cannot fulfill the condition for evil spirits to work and say that he will not be possessed by demons because he is a Christian. Fire burns everyone who puts himself into it; water drowns everyone who puts himself into it. Likewise, evil spirits attach themselves to everyone who gives them the ground. It does not matter whether or not he is a Christian.
For this reason, if a believer gives evil spirits the opportunity to work, they certainly will not give up; rather, they will take the opportunity to attach themselves to the believer.
What is the condition for evil spirits to attach themselves to man? What must man do before he will be possessed by evil spirits? What condition does he have to meet before evil spirits will work? This is the most crucial question. The Bible calls this condition the "place" (Eph. 4:27). This "place" or "room" is the empty spot left in man for evil spirits. This place is the footing that evil spirits can gain in man. Evil spirits attach themselves to man according to the place they are given. The amount of place they are given is the degree to which they attach themselves to man. Whether this place is given by a heathen or by a Christian, demons will attach themselves to that person just the same. Whatever in man allows evil spirits a spot to attack, an opportunity to invade, a footing to stand on, can be called a "place." If a man gives place to evil spirits, he cannot help but be possessed by them. Since there is a cause, there must be an effect. If a believer gives place to evil spirits, relying on the notion that he will not be possessed because he is a Christian, he has already been deeply deceived by evil spirits.
In short, the place that the believers give to the devil is sin. Sin includes all the places. When believers tolerate sin, they tolerate the evil spirits behind sin. Any kind of sin will give place to evil spirits. Nevertheless, sin can be classified into two kinds: one is active and the other is passive. Active sin is the sin that man commits, such as committing evil with the hands, beholding lewdness with the eyes, listening to licentious sounds with the ears, or speaking profanity with the mouth. These all give evil spirits an opportunity to attach themselves to the hands, eyes, ears, and mouth. There is an invitation for evil spirits to come and dwell in whatever part of man's body commits sin. We should pay attention to three matters in determining how active sin develops a relationship with evil spirits: (1) some sins do not result in the possession by evil spirits, (2) other sins call for the possession by evil spirits, and (3) still other sins are caused by being possessed with evil spirits. If a believer is possessed by evil spirits as a result of committing some sin, he should specifically forsake that sin. After he regains that ground, he will be delivered. Otherwise, he will see the ground that he has given to the evil spirits gradually increase and not stop until his whole being is possessed. Many believers are still not delivered from besetting sins, even though they have accepted the fact of their crucifixion with Christ, because the source of their sickness is not just the "flesh," but the possession of their bodies by supernatural, evil spirits.
This aspect of affording evil spirits an opportunity to work through an active sin, comparatively speaking, is easier to apprehend. Most believers believe in this. We will not speak more concerning it because it is outside our present scope. We will now pay attention to the second aspect of sin—the place given to evil spirits by passivity. This is the aspect that is least understood by today's believers; most believers err in this aspect. Furthermore, this kind of sin is in the realm of the will. Therefore, we will speak of it in detail.
There is a difference between active sin and passive sin. A person commonly regards active sin as sin and does not regard passive sin as sin. In addition to calling the various unrighteous acts committed by man on his own as sin, the Bible also says, "Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). The Bible not only regards what man does as sin; it also regards what man does not do as sin. Sin is the place where evil spirits attach themselves. (We will call this demon-possession from now on.) Therefore, besides an actively-committed sin, which gives ground for demon-possession, there is also a passive sin of not doing something, which gives ground for demon-possession.
Passive sin gives ground to evil spirits through passivity in the believers. In God's eyes, both giving up the use of any part of our being or using it wrongly are sin. God has endowed us with various faculties. They are not there for us to use wrongly or leave unused. When a believer does not use any part of his faculties, allowing it to fall into passivity, a way is opened for evil spirits to use it instead of the believer. This will give place for demon-possession. Although all believers admit that sin is a condition for demon-possession, they do not realize that passivity also is a kind of sin and a condition for demon-possession. Once the place is given, a person cannot help but be possessed; once he is possessed, he cannot help but suffer.
The reason "heathens" and fleshly believers are demon-possessed is mainly due to sin. But the reason some consecrated believers are demon-possessed can be stated in one word, "passivity." The meaning of passivity is that the will no longer actively rules and directs a person's spirit, soul, body, or any part; consequently, he does not use his will to choose and decide everything that is related to himself. Being passive is the opposite of being active. There are two aspects to the passivity of the believers: (1) losing self-control—this means one cannot control his entire being or a part of it; (2) losing freedom—this means one cannot make decisions that would coincide with God's will. For a believer to be passive means that he does not use his various faculties, and that he allows his faculties to fall into a state of passivity. Though he has a mouth, he does not speak; rather, he wants the Holy Spirit to speak through his mouth. Though he has hands, he does not use them; rather, he wants God to use his hands. He is unwilling to move any part of his being; he wants God to move them. He thinks that he is totally consecrated to God and that he no longer needs to use any part of his being. In this way he falls into passivity and allows evil spirits to deceive him and attach themselves to the passive members of his body.
Many believers accept what we spoke about in the last chapter concerning the union with God's will. However, they are misled to think that such a union with God, such a comprehension of His heart's desire and such a denial of one's own intention require that they passively submit to God. They think that their will should be nullified and that they should become like robots. They assume that the meaning of submission to God is not using their own will anymore and not using any part of their bodies through their will. Such a person will no longer (1) choose, (2) decide, and (3) use his own will to act. Outwardly, there seems to be an indication of a great victory because he used to be stubborn in his will, but suddenly he has become very submissive and is as weak as water. He does not have an opinion in anything and is completely submissive in following orders. He does not use his mind or will, and he does not exercise the discernment of his conscience. Rather, he simply becomes a person of complete obedience—whenever God moves, he would move. But this is an inducement for demon-possession.
Since the believer has consecrated to God this way, he naturally falls into a passive state. He does not move at all. All day long he quietly waits for an external force to move him. When there is such an external force, he moves. Otherwise, he remains calm. When this condition continues for a long time, he finds that he cannot act at the times he should be acting because there is an absence of an external coercing force. Perhaps he even wants to move, but in the absence of an external urging force, he cannot move. As this drags on, the believer finds that without an external force, he is not able to move even one step. Even when the will wants to move, it seems as if it is suppressed by something. (He seems to have a kind of bondage around him, which restricts him from moving as he wishes.) He must wait until an external force urges him before he moves. In this circumstance, the believer thinks he is very submissive to God because he does not have any activity. But even if he desired to move, he could not do so.
THE BELIEVER'S IGNORANCE
When a believer has fallen deeply into passivity, he may think that he is submissive to God. But he does not realize that evil spirits are utilizing his passive state to accomplish their deceit. The believer thinks he must be very passive before he can truly submit to God and before he can be truly in union with God in his will. He does not realize that God has no use for his passivity. It is the power of darkness that has use for his passivity. Moreover, God requires that the believer exercise his own will to actively work with Him. This is what the Bible repeatedly says: "If anyone resolves to do His will, he will know..." (John 7:17), and "Ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you" (15:7). God does not annihilate our will.
Human beings have a free will. God never infringes upon this and does not change this. He wants man to actively work with Him. Though He wants us to be submissive to Him, He does not annihilate our personality. (Author's note: in this book, "personality" refers to "man's person," not "man's character." The readers should take heed.) He wants us to propose on our own and choose what He wants us to choose. He will not choose in our place, allowing our will to lapse into a state of deadness. He requires active cooperation from us. God delights to see man reaching the highest level of attainment as a creature, which is the total freedom of the will. God in creation established man's free will. God in redemption regains man's free will. At creation, God did not want man to obey Him mechanically. Therefore, after redemption, He definitely does not want man to follow His direction like a machine. Indeed, God is so great that He does not require man to become wood and stone to submit to Him. His way is to rely on the working of His Spirit in us; the Spirit causes us to obey Him willingly. But He will never make any decision on our behalf. The difference here is truly immeasurable.
The principle of God's work and Satan's work in man is the same. When God created man, He wanted man to have a free will. This is why He gave man a free will. He wanted man to have the right to choose and determine everything related to himself. Though God is the Lord of the universe, He delights in being limited and does not infringe upon man's free will. He does not want to force man to be loyal to Him. Similarly, without man's consent (consciously or unconsciously), Satan cannot occupy any part of man. Both God and the devil require the permission of man's will before they can work in man. Just as man "wants" a good thing and God accomplishes this for him, if man "wants" an evil thing, evil spirits accomplish this for him. This is what we see in the garden of Eden.
Before man is regenerated, his will is a slave to Satan and cannot be free. But with a regenerated and victorious believer, his will is freed; he is able to choose all that is of God. However, Satan will not give up on these newly regenerated believers. He will scheme to gain them. He knows he cannot obtain their clear permission for evil spirits to come into them and rule them. Therefore, he uses deceit to obtain the required permission. We should note that Satan must obtain the believer's permission. However, a believer will certainly not give him the permission. This is why he can only steal this permission through deceptive maneuvering. Evil spirits will not come into a person without first gaining the permission of man's will. Even the degree to which they enter is determined by man's will.
Evil spirits know if a believer is fully submissive to God and willing to pay the price to follow Him to the end. Hence, they deceive the believer by counterfeiting God Himself, by counterfeiting God's voice, God's work, and God's presence. Among the believers who have contact with the spiritual realm, there are many who assume that certain things are from God because of supernatural experiences they receive in their feeling. Consequently, they accept many counterfeits of the evil spirits and place themselves in danger. In this way, believers are deceived and regard the counterfeits of the evil spirits as genuine, allowing the evil spirits to continue working on them. In the beginning, they were merely deceived. But after they have given their consent, they passively allow evil spirits to work! In this way, evil spirits gain the approval of the will and deceive them further, to the extent that certain parts of their being become possessed by evil spirits. Being passive is the first step to demon-possession.
If a believer is aware of the condition for the working of evil spirits and aware of the principle of spiritual life, he will not fall into this kind of danger. However, if the believer does not know that passivity affords convenience to the evil spirits and does not know that spiritual life requires an active will to work with God, he may allow his will to become passive. We should note in particular that God never replaces man's will with His will. Man should be responsible for what he has done. God will not make any proposal for him.
Actually, if the activity of evil spirits is not present in a passive person, his passivity will merely result in laziness and inactivity. In ordinary cases of "inactivity" (i.e., when there is no activity of evil spirits), an inactive person can become active again at any time. But when he falls into passivity and becomes demon-possessed, he cannot become active again even if he wants to, that is, even if his will wants to.
Here we can see the difference between God's work and Satan's work on man. God wants man to be entirely consecrated to Him; He wants man to exercise all the faculties of his entire being to cooperate with His Holy Spirit. Satan wants man's will to be wholly passive; he wants man to stop all activities and allow his evil spirits to act on his behalf. God wants man to actively, consciously, and willingly choose and act according to His will so that man's spirit, soul, and body will be totally free. Satan wants man to be his passive slave and prisoner. God wants man to be independent and free and his own master in a conscious way. Satan wants man to be his puppet, machine, and worker. God never requires man to stop his activity before He works. Satan, on the contrary, wants man to be entirely passive and stop all activities. God wants man to work with Him in a conscious way. Satan wants man to be passive so that he can coerce man into obeying him. God requires that man stop only his sinful activity, whether it is out of his nature or life, because only in this way can man work with the Holy Spirit. But Satan wants man to stop all of his activities—even the function of the soul—because he wants to act on behalf of man. He wants man to be an unconscious machine only, bearing no responsibility of his own.
It is a very dreadful thing that believers do not understand the principle of God being in man and working through man. They think that God wants them to become dead like wood and stone and be maneuvered by Him. They do not realize that when God created man, He gave man a free will. It is true that He does not want man's will to demand anything or do anything apart from Him. But He does not want man to be without a will and obey Him like a machine either. As long as the believer's will chooses what God wants, He is satisfied. God does not require man to become a person without a will. There are many things that the believers have to do themselves; God will not do these things for them. Today there is a wrong teaching that says one should entrust everything to God and allow Him to do everything for him. This kind of teaching assumes that we do not need to lift our hands or move our feet; it assumes that God will lift and move them for us. It says that we should wholly yield to the Holy Spirit within and let Him arrange everything for us. There is some truth to this teaching. But the errors mixed in with it are perhaps more than the truth contained in it! (More will be spoken about this in the next chapter.)
Because the believers are so ignorant, they are deceived by the power of darkness and unconsciously taken in by Satan's deceit. They fulfill the condition for evil spirits to work and are thus possessed by demons. We should note the order in this matter because it is very crucial: (1) the believer becomes ignorant, (2) he is deceived, (3) he becomes passive, and (4) he becomes demon-possessed. The believer's ignorance is the initial cause for demon-possession. Because of the believer's ignorance concerning the principle of the evil spirits' work and the Holy Spirit's demand, Satan is able to deceive him. If the believer knows the truth, knows how to work with God, and knows the rules of God's working, he will not accept Satan's lies. When he is deceived by evil spirits, he thinks that his entire being should be passive in order for God to live and work through him. Consequently, he accepts many supernatural manifestations of evil spirits and considers them to be from God. In this way, he is deceived further, and evil spirits are able to attach themselves to him.
(1) When a believer gives place to evil spirits, it is an invitation for evil spirits to attach themselves to him. (2) After they come in, they will certainly manifest themselves through their activities. (3) If the believer misreads these activities and does not know that they come from the devil, he will give more place to the evil spirits because he has already believed their lies. This is a cycle which repeats itself over and over again. In this way, the believer's possession by demons deepens day after day. As soon as the believer falls into passivity, that is, after he gives place to evil spirits, the danger cannot be overstated.
When a believer falls into passivity and does not make a choice in everything pertaining to himself, he will passively submit to all that comes upon him from the environment. He will think that God is making decisions on his behalf, in his environment as well as in the people related to him, and that he only needs to submit passively. Everything that befalls him becomes God's will and God's ordering; he silently accepts them because he thinks that they are given to him by God. After a while, he finds that he cannot make any decision concerning anything in his life. He cannot make any decision regarding many things that he ought to do and cannot take the initiative in these things. He is afraid to speak out what he likes and is reluctant to speak out what he decides. Others can choose, decide, initiate, and act. But he is like seaweed floating on the water, being tossed about at the mercy of the wind and the waves. He longs to see someone else make decisions for him or circumstances provide him with only one way to go so that he does not need to make a choice. He is happy to be forced by others to do something because this relieves him from worries. Since it is very difficult for him to make choices, he would rather be coerced by the environment than be free within the environment, because this requires the making of choices.
After he becomes so passive, he finds that it is a heavy burden to make even the smallest decision. He constantly looks for help everywhere and finds assistance from outside so that he can make decisions. He feels very sorry because it seems as if he cannot handle even the small things in his daily life. He has difficulty understanding what others say. He finds it very hard to remember or recall anything. If he has to make any decision, he is at a loss as to what to do. He dreads the thought of having a discussion on any matter because his passive will is not able to bear such a heavy responsibility. His will is so fragile that he must receive help from his environment or seek help from man. If one person always helps, he feels that this person has robbed him of his will; however, in a sense, he also delights in having this person make all of his decisions for him! While he waits for the assistance of an external force, immeasurable time is wasted. We are not saying that such a passive believer does not like to work. When he is stirred up, he wants to do certain things or assumes that he can do certain things. But when he should start working, the stirring ceases, and he feels that his strength cannot match his need. Many works begin well but end in failure because of the passivity of the will.
How inconvenient is a state of passivity! During this period of time, the believer must take many notes to remind himself of many things. He must speak aloud to help himself in his thoughts and use a hundred other "crutches" that he invents to support him through the day. Eventually, he finds that his feelings are gradually becoming numb and that he has unconsciously acquired many strange desires and habits. When he speaks to others, he does not dare look at them in the eyes. He hunches his back when he walks. He is either extremely concerned with the needs of his body or inordinately suppresses the needs of his body. When he does anything, he tries to give up the partial or whole use of his mind, will, reasoning, and imagination.
In his ignorance, the believer fails to realize that these symptoms of sickness come from passivity and demon- possession. He thinks that they are caused by his own natural weakness. The believer comforts himself by thinking that these symptoms are present because he does not have as many "gifts" as others, because his "intelligence" is different from others, or because his "natural ability" is inferior to others. He has no feeling of alarm that he is the way he is. Little does he realize that these symptoms are the lies of evil spirits, the purpose of which is to deceive him more. He dares not work and dares not take anything upon himself because he considers that he has a repulsion for work, being mentally weak, ineloquent, and slow of thought. He thinks that he has probably overworked in the past and that he is physically unfit. He never asks why other believers are not this way. Why are those who are behind him in gifts not this way? Why was he not this way in the past? He thinks that these things are innate, natural, and dispositional, and does not realize that they are the work of evil spirits. This foolishness enables evil spirits to gain more ground and causes the believers to endure more sufferings.
The authorities of darkness know the present condition of the believer. They fashion many difficulties in the believer's environment to persistently bother him. Once the believer's will becomes passive and unable to work, evil spirits will put him in a position where he is forced to use his will, in order to discourage him and make him a laughingstock in front of others. At this time, the believer becomes a caged bird, and the evil spirits are like naughty children, teasing him as much as they desire. They are always stirring up storms and troubling the believer with many things. The believer has no power to protest or resist them. His environment becomes worse, and life becomes more meaningless. Although the believer has the authority to deal with everything, he keeps silent. In this way the authorities of darkness gradually gain the upper hand and cause the believer to turn from a state of ignorance, deception, and passivity to that of demon-possession, thus suffering torment in the hand of demons. Nevertheless, God's children are surprisingly ignorant that these conditions cannot be from God. Instead, they passively accept them.
When a believer reaches this state, unconsciously he relies upon evil spirits to help him! We have already seen how the believer does not have the strength (within himself) to make decisions and that he has to rely on external forces to support him. Many times, because of torment by evil spirits (without realizing that the torment is from evil spirits), a believer longs for the external force which has been helping him all along to come to his aid! This is why evil spirits want a believer to become passive. All the unused faculties of the believer have fallen into the evil spirits' hand. If the believer tries to use his faculties in this condition, it only gives evil spirits an opportunity to express themselves through him. Evil spirits are very happy to make proposals for man. Since man has looked to them for help, they will not refuse the request. They will often inject preconceived thoughts into the believer's mind, giving him all kinds of visions, dreams, voices, lights, fires, and Scriptures out of context. Through these things, they render ideas and decisions on behalf of the believer. The believer does not realize the real situation; he considers these to be truly God's revelations and in accord with God's will. Moreover, these things do not require him to make any painful decisions or exercise any determination. As a result, he blindly follows along. Evil spirits gladly help man not to think or use his will but to walk foolishly according to outward revelation. Consequently, they very frequently bestow miraculous things on the believer.
It is very pitiful that in the midst of his ignorance of God's principle of work, a believer can be deceived to think that he is actually submitting to God. At such times, he can (1) believe in evil spirits, (2) rely on them, (3) obey them, (4) consecrate himself to them, (5) listen to them, (6) pray to them, (7) be led and guided by them, (8) accept their message, (9) accept the Scriptures given by them, (10) work with them, (11) work for them, (12) assist them in accomplishing their heart's desires and work, while still thinking that he is turning to God and that he is for God. One thing should be noted: "To whom you present yourselves as slaves for obedience, his slaves you are whom you obey" (Rom. 6:16). In name we may be consecrating ourselves to God, but if we are consecrating ourselves to evil spirits in actuality, we will inevitably become their slaves. Even though we are deceived, we have clearly offered ourselves to a counterfeit god. Therefore, we have no way to escape being responsible. The believer should know that if he does not communicate with God according to the condition of fellowship, but rather communicates according to the condition of demon-possession, his prayer will be a prayer to evil spirits, his consecration will be a consecration to evil spirits, and his trust will be a trust in evil spirits. In his heart he thinks that he is communicating with God and that what he has gained has come from God; actually he is communicating with evil spirits and accepting their "gift."
We should realize the steps of this process. Because the believer looks for the presence of God in his feeling and in other experiences (as we have mentioned in Sections Three and Seven), evil spirits deceive him and give him a counterfeit. Because of his ignorance, he blindly accepts it, thinking that it is from God. Consequently, he brings himself into passivity. When the believer falls into passivity, he thinks that he does not need to move and that God will move for him. As such, he does not move. However, God will not move him because He wants man to actively cooperate with Him. God does not want man to become a senseless machine. Because the believer fulfills the condition for the working of evil spirits, they move in on him. When man does not move and God does not move, evil spirits will move in. The believer should know that after he clearly understands God's will in the intuition of his spirit, his entire being has to rise up to carry out God's will in an active way; he must not be passive. After the believer is possessed by demons, he may be ignorant of his true condition and consider himself very spiritual, having many wonderful experiences. But those who are trained in the Lord and who possess spiritual discernment know that even though this kind of believer experiences wonderful things, he has a "double personality." A double personality is a clear sign of demon-possession.
A DOUBLE PERSONALITY
A double personality means that there are two personalities or two masters within a man. This is different from the new man and the old man that we usually speak of. In a person who is seriously possessed by demons, we can clearly see the characteristic of a "double personality." When a person is possessed to the uttermost, others will sense that another brain is controlling him. He will do things that are contrary to his nature. His body will seem to be taken over by an external force. His nerves and muscles will stress, contract, and tremble involuntarily. His mouth will speak words that he does not know or scarcely knows, and his voice will seem to belong to another person. We can observe that the manifestation of demons comes and goes in many heathens who are demon-possessed. Before the demons "come," the person is quiet and normal, but when the demons "come," he immediately changes from his normal posture and acts like a madman. From this we can see one thing: when a man is possessed by demons, he has a double personality. In addition to his own person, there is another person within him who employs the various faculties of his soul and body. When demons are manifested, they nearly take over everything; all the activities belong to them, and man's own personality is not active. Consequently, after the demons depart, many do not know what they did, spoke, or expressed when the demons were there. The reason for this is that the demons' personality was acting; man's own personality was not functioning. As a result, man's personality does not know or is completely ignorant of what previously transpired.
However, the "manifestation" of demons is sometimes very refined. Quite often, demons make a man speak and behave like a normal human being. Actually, the demons' personality is operating; man's personality is left dormant. In this kind of manifestation, we are often misled to think that this is man's work; we have difficulty realizing that it is the activity of demons. Only when demons behave abnormally can we discover a double personality in a person.
When believers are possessed by demons, there is also a double personality. Since the degrees to which they are possessed differ, the manifestations of a double personality also differ. Evil spirits surprisingly control every part of the being of those who are seriously deceived. They make believers tremble and burn, and they give them all kinds of strange feelings, casting them down to the floor, causing them to speak in unknown tongues, and putting voices in their ears that others have never heard and visions in their eyes that others have never seen. At the same time, these believers still can be very peaceful in their spirit and have fellowship with God. They are not discerning and assume that since they can contact God these manifestations must be from the Holy Spirit.
Little do they know that: (1) the Holy Spirit never takes over any part of man's body and uses it on His behalf. When Paul saw the vision, he could still control himself and still speak on his own (Acts 9:5). When Peter saw the vision, his mind was also clear, and he was able to control himself (10:9-17). Even when John saw the vision, he was able to control himself. This is why he could write the book of Revelation. At first he fell on the ground because he could not withstand the Lord's light of glory. After the Lord strengthened him, however, he rose up. He could remember what he had seen. This is unlike many today who claim that they have been knocked down to the ground by the Holy Spirit without knowing what they were doing and what they experienced while they were down.
(2) The believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling in his spirit, yet at the same time his body is possessed by evil spirits. Therefore, he has the experience of a double personality. In his spirit he has fellowship with God, but evil spirits manifest their works in his body. The believer must not think that whatever he does in his outward body must be something from God just because he has fellowship with God in the spirit. He should realize that because he is regenerated, his new life will always have fellowship with God. One thing is certain: a life that is truly filled with the Holy Spirit will never have an experience of a double personality. A double personality indicates that a person is possessed by demons.
With those who are less deceived, a double personality is not as obvious as it is in the ones mentioned above. Sometimes a believer may find that someone besides himself and outside of him is laying hold of his faculties. Many thoughts that are not from him may come rolling in. His will may seem to be paralyzed, numb, and unable to decide, choose, or determine. His imagination and memory may seem to be locked up by someone else. He cannot remember or think about anything. His reasoning may seem to be somewhat cold and hard, and he may not know how to think logically. Many unexpected words, behaviors, and attitudes may proceed out of him without the consent of his will, which he finds unable to control. This is a more hidden manifestation of a double personality.
The meaning of a double personality is the existence of two independent, human, and personified entities. It means that there is no need for the person to exercise his own will to decide anything, that his soul and body, in part or in whole, can move surprisingly on their own. It means that outside of man's will, there is still another will, which directly rules man's soul and body. A demon-possessed believer is one who has the will of evil spirits in him in addition to his own. A demon-possessed believer is one whose own will is suppressed and over whom the will of the evil spirits reign. This is a double personality.
When a believer has a double personality, there are two kinds of power in his body. Sometimes the Holy Spirit sends out His power from the believer's inner man, and sometimes evil spirits direct their power from the believer's outer man. Sometimes the Holy Spirit expresses His grace, blessing, and light, and sometimes evil spirits also display their works from the believer, which are counterfeits of God's work. They will cause him to see visions, laugh wildly, sing loudly, cry sorrowfully, or feel a kind of numb happiness surging through his body. Today there are numerous workers who have this double personality! But there are few who can discern the spirits! Satan will use this kind of people to accomplish his work. Because many of the things they do are spiritual and of God, believers are afraid to reject what Satan puts behind them later. The believers will talk about what is of God among these things and say, "Are not these things very good?" The believers forget that this is the mixed work of evil spirits.
Satan always does a work of mixture. The principle of all his works is to sow tares among the wheat. He does not preach lies only; he preaches truths also. He uses the truths to trumpet his lies. Furthermore, he is willing to preach truths more than lies so that his plots will not be exposed. After he gains his ground, he will reverse the original proportion! We can see this mixture in many meetings. The believers must learn how to discern and prove all things; otherwise, they will be infected by workers with double personalities. They will also fall into passivity and be possessed by demons.