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NowFaith.TV Advanced Ministry Lesson # 19

Every church and believer can have their own religious spirits. Whether you are charismatic or not, Catholic or Protestant, contemporary or traditional, beware of religious spirits. Religious spirits seek to replace the work and power of the Holy Spirit with religion, works, self-righteousness, pride and religious activity. They want to keep us focused on the "wrong" in others or the "lack of spirituality" in us vs. focused on the leading of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ or the Cross.

Religious spirits tell you that you can't operate your spiritual gifts or that you must whether God is in it or not. They will either tell you that the Holy Spirit doesn't do that anymore and or that you must worship, or pray, or minister, or know more Bible, or preach better than other people do. (Warning: If you question a genuine new move of the Holy Spirit, He may just withdraw or He may do "it" to you!) Religious spirits will pressure you whereas the Holy Spirit leads you. They may push for more and more zeal but for the wrong reasons. Time for a motivation check!

Jesus warned us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees that would puff us up, discourage us or cause us to compete and compare ourselves with others. If we focus on earning the approval of others, we may copy them and not even ask the Holy Spirit what He would do through us. Religious spirits will tell us to "just do what worked last time," tell us to try to outdo others, to boast about our great ministry results "evangelastically" (exaggerating the facts,) or to pray better than all the others.

Religious spirits will focus on other people's shortcomings, be critical of others, will tempt us to undermine authority, or to do whatever it takes to "look" godly, even if the power of God is not in it. Religious spirits will cause you to be self-righteous and to push others to do religious works, to do their devotions like you do, or to worship or pray your way. They will cause you to compare your denomination to others, negatively or positively. They may tell you to boast that your church is the one with the cutting edge.

Take this self-test and find out if you have symptoms of having religious spirits. Assess yourself and find out what particular religious spirits tempt you the most often.

Early Warning Signs of the Religious Spirit
- adapted from a sermon by Jack Deere

Will see his primary mission as tearing down what he believes is wrong.
Will be unable to accept rebuke from those "less spiritual" than himself.
Will have a philosophy that will not listen to men, but only to God.
Will be inclined to see more of what is wrong than what is right.

Will be subject to an overwhelming guilt (can never meet God's standards.)

Will keep score in his spiritual life.

Will believe that he has been appointed to fix everyone else.
Will have a bossy style, overbearing and intolerant of other's failures.
Will believe he is closer to God; his ministry is more pleasing than others.
Will take pride in his maturity, discipline in comparison to others.

Will believe that he is on the cutting edge of what God is doing.

Will have a mechanical prayer life.

Will do things in order to be noticed by men.

Will be overly repulsed by emotionalism.

Will use emotionalism/manifestation as a substitute for the the Holy Spirit.

Will be encouraged when his ministry looks better than others.

Will glory more in what God has done in the past than in the present.

Will be suspicious of or oppose new movements, churches, etc.

Will tend to reject spiritual manifestations that he does not understand.

Will overreact to carnality in the church.

Will overreact to immaturity in the church.

Will base evidence of God's approval on supernatural manifestations.

Will be unable to join anything he does not deem as perfect or near perfect.

Will be overly paranoid of the religious spirit.

Will have a tendency to glory in anything but the Cross of Christ, what Christ has accomplished and who Christ is. (James 3:17-18, l Thess. 5:21, 2 Cor.13:5, Gal. 6:1)


Subtract 4 points from 100 for every symptom you have had.
How did you do? 100 - ____ = _______ (your grade)

Do you need to hear all 3 parts of this teaching?
Want to learn to tear down your religious spirit strongholds?



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Copyright Carlotta Waldmann Cross Walk Life, Inc. 501 (c)(3)

Cross Walk Life, Inc. is here to provide insights, healing, teaching and training,
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