All religious spirits keep you out of the supernatural realm of the Holy Spirit; they don’t mind you attending religious buildings, promoting religious works or doing good, just as long as you’re not “doing” God! See it’s so easy to recognise that evil can cause you harm, but in (Gen 2:17), God says the knowledge of good can also cause us spiritual death and that’s where religious spirits try and take you. A good example of this was once when I met an Asian guy in church, who was from a Buddhist background and quite new to Christianity, and he shared with me how he was getting disheartened, because he’d spent most of his life praying to Buddha for “good luck” and never felt that he’d received anything, but now he’s come into a church to try out God, and although he’d prayed and received lots of prayer, he said that he still hadn’t felt or received anything from a higher power.
The problem was that he’d spent most of his life just doing religion, trying and striving to be a good person and praying for good luck, but now applying the same principles of his religious practice in a different building, trying out a different God to see if it improved his odds. So I explained that he wouldn’t receive anything through prayer until he renounced his Buddhist religion and fully embraced that Jesus was the only way to God, and eventually, through some ministry time, he decided to ditch his religion for relationship and asked for some prayer.
Well, during the prayer time he started to shake violently. Then all of a sudden he flew forward about ten feet onto the ground, then rolled over onto his back. But the bizarre thing was that now, only the left half of his body was shaking, as in right down the middle! Like one arm and one leg! Then very slowly the shaking arm elevated into an L shape, while the hand formed the Mudra with his thumb and forefinger, a symbolic hand gesture used as the mark of Buddha, and eventually he let out a scream and came back to normal. I’d never seen anything like it and when I asked him what happened, he said that he’d witnessed God and Buddha fighting and God won! I had to smile; as it was only just previously that he’d said nothing happens when people pray for him. See, that religious spirit didn’t mind him attending church and doing religion, but it did mind him coming into the truth about Jesus.
See, all religious spirits try to make you do what only God can do. When we subconsciously or unintentionally turn His ability into our responsibility, sometimes that’s all it takes to interfere with our Spiritual discernment. For example, when we see God do something amazing through us, the problem starts if we think that we must have earned it through our behaviour or works. I’ve fallen into this trap myself with that thought “well I must be in a great place because God used me”, but if you ever start to move out of your humility and dependency upon Him you will create the perfect conditions for a spirit of pride or elitism. Instead of making judgements by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:15), we will unintentionally make judgements out of pride and elitism, and the Devil is very good at creating perfect scenarios to try and move you from God’s ability into your own ability.
I learned this valuable lesson from someone whom the Lord placed on my heart to walk with, a great guy who was carrying some emotional scarring that caused him some dysfunctional behaviour and, through some ministry time and prayer led by the Holy Spirit, I started to witness some great success in him overcoming some of his mind-sets. But it seemed that he would only allow himself to go so far. All of a sudden, he would ask for more help but then do the total opposite! And my disappointment in him not receiving how I thought he should, eventually led me to striving in my own ability to try and make him overcome his stuff, and in taking on all the responsibility for him, the frustration and disappointment just caused all of my peace to leave.
See, the Lord gave me the grace for him and my ONLY responsibility was to share what the Holy Spirit had given me for him and then the grace for him lifted as I fulfilled God’s plan. See, how he receives that which is given by the Spirit is his responsibility, but I’d made it mine and allowed a “spirit of false responsibility” access, causing me to lose my peace and thus allowing this religious spirit to interfere with my discernment. So every time he kept asking me what he needed to do, instead of just flowing in receiving and delivering that of the Holy Spirit, I just ministered what “I” thought he needed to do! Funny how before we give our lives to God we can’t change a single thing about ourselves except by the Holy Spirit, yet that spirit of false responsibility actually gives the delusion that we can change people by our own religious works, which in fact is impossible and can be controlling, and thus can allow a spirit of control a legal entrance too. See how these religious spirits work together and create an even bigger delusion for people operating and believing that it’s their responsibility to control people through their own hard efforts of working for God.
Eventually this guy’s life circumstances changed and he was forced to learn lessons in responsibility which finally led to his change of mind-sets and a year down the line he asked me again for some more help, and with his change of mind-sets, his ability to act on the revelations received by the Holy Spirit enhanced, which led to massive breakthroughs in him overcoming his dysfunctional behavioural issues that had previously restricted him. Funnily enough the guy and myself learnt a great deal from each other and ended up becoming good friends.
See, as we yield to the Holy Spirit and put on the new man, we cease from trying and striving to work for Him in our own ability and rest in His ability.
Heb 4:10 “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”
And by this we allow Him to work through us by our faith just as Jesus did. In fact when Jesus knew his friend Lazarus was dying, He received instruction from the Father that Lazarus was to be resurrected and that the Son of God may be glorified through it, and Jesus believed it by faith. Then He did exactly what the Father told Him to do by faith, which was nothing!
He didn’t act on natural emotions or people’s needs. In fact it wasn’t until two days later when He received from His Father that He then went where the Father told Him to go by faith, moving in the consciousness of God rather than the consciousness of pleasing people, need or guilt ,and the very first thing spoken to him as He got there was “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died”, and “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” But undeterred by the natural, He continued to do His Father’s will and spoke what the Father told Him to say by faith, and that which looked impossible in the natural realm was made manifest by moving in faith in the supernatural realm of the Spirit and fulfilled God’s purpose.
See, Jesus went where the Father told Him to go by faith, said what the Father told Him to say by faith and did what the Father told Him to do by faith. In fact (Jn 5:30) Jesus said, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”
It’s such a shame that there are so many churches that once were established by people moving in the Holy Spirit and are now falling away for a lack of recognition of these religious spirits. Once a leadership has embracing these religious spirits that cause the delusion that nothing works without them, the anointing lifts with their spiritual discernment, oblivious to the fact that He has actually “resisted” and so continue with their own church programme, which will probably look good but will be solely created out of striving in man-power instead of allowing God’s, trying to make you do what only God can do.
Here’s another example of a religious spirit I came across that produces trying and striving. This one subtly diverts people away from believing their identity in Christ. The Lord revealed it to me while I was praying for a woman I knew from church. While praying, He showed me a picture of an English army helmet from the Second World War, and when I asked the Holy Spirit what it meant, He gave me the words “repetitive declaration” and then I was filled with a knowing that this was a spirit of false warfare. So when I mentioned this, the lady confessed that every day she felt the need to fulfil her “ritual” of declaring who she was in Christ and, at first hearing, this to the natural ear sounds a good thing, but a child never has to remind itself and declare whom its parents are; a child knows its parents by its relationship. There are times when the Holy Spirit may lead you in your relationship with Him to declare a thing and do spiritual warfare and then we must believe by faith for the accomplishment, which is completely different to a repetition of the same words every day, that sound good in our own effort (Mt 6:7). I think most people will have felt the heaviness in meetings where people give their perfectly rehearsed religious prayers that are not orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, but as I said, the anointing doesn’t operate in our own strength; the anointing comes on what He does through us, when we are in Him. So after ministering and praying with her, she suddenly felt something rising up inside her and she just gave a light cough, almost like she released a breath of air, and immediately she felt the peace and presence of the Holy Spirit, which she confessed that she hadn’t felt for some time.
See how these religious spirits work together to divert and distract people away from their true gifts and callings and create the perfect conditions to make people think that they need to qualify themselves through their own efforts, which will eventually allow a qualifying spirit legal access. These spirits can cause some real despair, giving the delusion that you need to qualify or in some cases the delusion that you have disqualified. I’ve experienced this myself where once Jesus showed me through a series of dreams that, although I thought I had righteous grounds, I needed to be careful not to disrespect my father. He warned me that by doing this I would be affecting the flow of the anointing (1 Jn 2:3-7, Mt 19:19, Eph 4) and put myself into the Devil’s snare. So you’d think being warned four times of this trap that I wouldn’t fall for it, but those perfect conditions arose and I failed miserably. I humbly repented, but I was so disappointed in myself that I couldn’t really receive that God wouldn’t be disappointed in me too, and after a little while I just felt as though God had lifted His peace and presence.
This went on for about six weeks. I ended up going down for every altar call and never felt any different, until one week when the associate pastor offered to pray for me. He took me into a quiet room and, to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting anything to happen, but then all of a sudden I felt something rise up inside me, from deep in my gut, and as it travelled up to my throat, I just gave a light cough, almost just like releasing a breath of air. Well, immediately I felt the peace and presence of the Holy Spirit! And I was so excited that I leaped out of my seat as I shouted, “He’s back! He’s back!!”
See, when I messed up and repented, I was forgiven (1 Jn 1:9), but because I was in denial I couldn’t receive forgiveness, and thus allowed legal access for a qualifying spirit to enter. It’s these religious spirits that quench the Holy Spirit and try to make you think that you need to qualify to be acceptable to God and, thankfully, I received prayer from someone moving under the anointing to remove that spirit, but the truth is that you can’t un-qualify from something that you never qualified for in the first place! As I left the associate pastor and walked back into the main hall, a guy brought his girlfriend to me for prayer. I had to smile; ten minutes earlier I felt completely disqualified and now I felt back on fire again. I placed my hand upon her shoulder and before I could say “in the name of Jesus” she was on the floor convulsing! The startled boyfriend kneeled down beside her to comfort her and when I placed my hand upon his shoulder, he went out in the Spirit too! Both of them were now rolling around on the floor coughing up unclean spirits! See how these religious spirits stop you from moving in the Holy Spirit. A father doesn’t exclude his child for stumbling, as it tries to learn how to walk! Especially if we acknowledge that we’ve stumbled, so how much more grace has our heavenly Father for His sons and daughters. If you ever feel that you need to qualify in any way then you will never move in the fullness of the new man (Eph 4:17-25, Col 3:12-18).
So ultimately these religious spirits lead people away from the realm of the Holy Spirit and abort their true gifts and callings, leaving themselves wide open to wrong directions, usually from the people they look up to and class as mature. But the truth is He qualified everyone exactly the same and there’s nothing we can do ourselves except by yielding to His Spirit and allowing Him to move through our faith by our obedience in love for Him. So if anyone who recognizes that they have lost His peace and overridden the will of the Holy Spirit, they are capable of repentance and getting free by receiving prayer from people who are moving under the anointing, to get delivered and backtrack to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
1 Jn2:27 “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”
See, you are yoked to Him, not a denomination. You are His church, equally qualified by Jesus and where you congregate is meant to facilitate the flowing of the Holy Spirit, build each other up and bring glory to God.
1 Cor 14:26 “Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification… 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.”
So yes, there are many different gifts and there are prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in the body but when you hear them minister you have to listen to the Spirit of truth within you and He will witness to their teachings and make you aware what is of the Spirit and what is out of the flesh. See, you can’t serve Him unless you yield out of love in your childlike ability to fellowship with Him, then as He puts His desires in your heart His burden is light, as in easy. So don’t pass on religion, pass on only what He wants you to offer through you.
Mt 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Kevin Dexter, Derby UK
It’s so important to be led in faith by the Holy Spirit rather than the natural assumption of what you think people want to receive, or even how you think they should be healed.
God likes to do things His way because it’s His glory. I once prayed for a woman with chest pains. She said it felt like a band around her chest. We prayed for ages, the woman’s pain actually got worse! Then the lady said to me, “you’re not listening, and then Jesus said to me, "Pull it out!” As I stopped rambling and started listening, the Holy Spirit gave me the revelation of an ancient slavery band, which you had to unscrew and pull the pin to release freedom.
In the Spirit, I could see this pin sticking out of her heart, and by faith I grabbed it, twisted it and then pulled it out. To everyone else watching in the room, I probably looked like I was a crazy person, but as I pulled it out by faith she suddenly dropped to the ground and started convulsing as an unclean spirit came out of her! And she was healed from the chest pains. Amen. I had to laugh about it; it was completely all His glory. Jesus even told the lady to tell me to listen to Him! If we are just talking and not receiving, then it’s not a very good relationship.
When we stop operating in the natural realm, we allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us. The fruit of the Spirit comes by yielding to the Spirit and not by trying to work FOR Him.
Here’s another example of natural assumption. I’d spoken in a church service and afterwards some people came forward for prayer. The first one was a man in a wheelchair. I laid my hands on him and closed my eyes. There were many people waiting and watching expectantly, and I so wanted to say to the man, “Get up and walk!” But that was coming out of my natural thinking; I assumed that was what he wanted prayer for. In my mind, I said to God, "I'm not telling him to get up and walk unless that’s what You want me to do." At that moment, the Holy Spirit gave me a picture of the man having his chest filled with the Holy Spirit, so by faith, that's exactly what I prayed. When I'd finished praying, the man said to me, "You thought I wanted to get out of this wheelchair, didn't you? But what I really wanted was more of God, and when you prayed, I saw Jesus standing there with a watering can, pouring the Spirit into my chest" – exactly what the Spirit told me to pray.
It’s so easy to naturally assume that because someone has an illness, they therefore want to be healed. I’ve actually heard of several cases where Christians in church have refused prayer for fear of losing their disability benefits. Some illnesses have become identities to people. I’ve spoken to people who actually believe that their illness is a punishment for their past sins, and being ill helps to pay for it! They have never understood what Jesus was doing on that cross – paying 100% for EVERY need.
I once spoke to a guy who liked being on crutches, because he felt in his struggle that he was himself like Jesus carrying the cross! What you choose to believe is a powerful thing, but belief in a lie can move you out of God’s perfect plan for your life.
As in the case of a man who once asked for prayer against cancer, well as we prayed beforehand, I felt the Lord tell me that he had deep grief eating away at him and another friend felt the Lord say that we’d have to peel back layers to get to it. When he arrived, I felt the Lord placed on my heart to share particular testimonies to help him open up to God's way. So, by faith, I shared these testimonies and the man started opening up a bit. Eventually, I felt the Lord tell me to share a particular story from when I worked for my family.
This had nothing to do with anything we had been talking about, but by faith I shared it. At that moment, the guy exploded. He went into such a rage and eventually shared a heartbreaking story from working with his own family. He had so much bitterness and unforgivness that had been buried away deep inside him, he actually shocked himself. Sometimes, a corrupt mindset in our spirit can eventually manifest a corruption in our flesh. So rather than just praying for cancer, which would have been the natural assumption, the Holy Spirit led us through layers of ministry to expose the grief and a false belief in untruths attached to it. Now, I’m not suggesting that this is the case for everyone with cancer. I’m suggesting that the Holy Spirit can guide you through mindsets related to health problems.
The man forgave his family, repented and, through prayer, we were able to encourage him to align what he believed about himself with God’s truth about himself. When he received it, he became so drunk in the Spirit that he couldn’t even speak for about 30 minutes! So only by supernatural discernment were we able to encourage him and re-align his beliefs about himself with God’s truth about himself. So having received the healing of his spirit, he was able to receive God’s healing in the physical.
Sadly, as we choose by our free will what we want to believe, sometimes people “change their minds”, and ill health can then return. Jesus said "the truth sets us free" (John 8:32) but we need to get the truth inside us. The truth is that Jesus paid for our sicknesses and sins.
So not believing His truths, and lack of faith can actually stop you receiving His glory. Mat 9:29 “According to your faith let it be done to you”; Mark 5:34 “Your faith has healed you”; Luk 7:50 “Your faith has saved you”. I’ve experienced this myself; in fact it was the very first healing I ever saw. I was just weeks into an Alpha course, which I was only doing out of boredom. I had a broken wrist from a quad bike accident. Someone offered me prayer for my wrist and it completely healed in front of my eyes! Amen. Wow, I struggled to believe it, but as I looked in the mirror at my now mended wrist, I pondered if it would really be strong enough to go back to quad biking that coming Sunday morning. By the time I had walked back into the main room, the healing on my wrist had gone.
I had not been healed to reject His truths and return to my old way of life. My lack of faith and doubt had moved me away from His gift. So we allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us by faith. The recipient must also receive by their faith. Even when we don’t see anything happen in the natural, we must still carry in us the substance of the things hoped for, (Heb 11:1). In other words, we believe before we see.
While ministering in a conference in Florida, as I was praying for people, I witnessed God do some amazing miracles, but one in particular really stretched my faith. A lady came up to me and asked for prayer for her ankle, saying that she had no movement in it. I knelt down and placed my hand upon her ankle and, to my surprise, it felt like I’d put my hand on a solid square chair leg. It felt like a piece of inch and a half angle iron! I asked the lady, “Is this your normal ankle?” And then she replied that she’d previously had an operation on it and had a piece of metal grafted to her bone, which explained a lot! This was the reason why she had no movement. Well, I believe in miracles but I was trying to reason in my head, how could it be possible? Was God going to bend the metal or make a brand new ankle? I started to pray, and about half way through my sentence I heard a loud cracking noise and, as I glanced up, I witnessed the shock on everyone else’s face as they had heard it too.
On finishing praying, I could still feel the metal plate in my hand, but when I asked her to walk in faith, all of a sudden she could move her ankle. Wow, hallelujah. I have no idea how or what happened in her ankle in any way whatsoever, but I don’t need to know, all I know is that she couldn’t move it before and now she could – simple. My point is this: we will never fully understand the “whys” and “hows”, but even when you don’t understand or see the manifested evidence of what you are praying for, never stop believing by faith.
I share these testimonies to encourage you to receive from the true source of information, the Head of the Body (Jesus) and not your own natural mind and reason. Stop trying to work for Him and, instead, allow Him to work through you. Don’t take on the false responsibility of running around trying to mend everyone, because there are lots of mindsets out there that are wrong, and not everyone wants to adjust their familiar thinking or change habits.
Don't get disheartened by what you see or don’t see, because God is in the business of doing a “suddenly”, so grab them by faith!
Kevin Dexter, Derby UK
The very first time I witnessed a healing from an unclean spirit was, funnily enough, in a shopping centre in England! Through a dream, the Lord showed me a particular lady in a situation and I just had that Holy Spirit gut knowing that she had a spirit of fear. I happened to bump into her in the shopping centre in town and asked her if she struggled with fear, to which she said “no”. I offered prayer anyway, as I didn’t like the thought of not accomplishing what the Lord had given me, and, thankfully, she agreed. As we were in a busy café, we agreed to go behind the shopping centre lifts where it was quieter – just her, her friend and me. I asked her if it was ok to place my hand upon her shoulder then, by faith, I commanded the spirit of fear to come out of her.
At that moment she convulsed as it started to manifest so much that she keeled over onto the floor, and then she proceeded to cough it out of her mouth! I was in total amazement as I was witnessing exactly how I imagined it would have been in the Bible where it says (in Luke 9: 42) “the demon threw him down and convulsed him”. A few weeks later, she confessed that she had, in fact, struggled for nearly most of her life with anxiety, but she’d never made the connection to fear, which is why she said “no” when I’d asked her previously, but now she was completely healed of it. Amen!
I then started witnessing more and more of these kind of manifestations as I continued praying for various people. They would all testify to the same kind of pattern – that they could feel something in the stomach area, working its way up to the throat and leaving through the mouth. I wasn’t always given a name for the spirit, but they seemed to leave quite easily. Sometimes if other people were praying alongside me, I could see some get a little uncomfortable and be scared to place their hands upon them, but Jesus usually prayed and then imparted the anointing by touch. In the case of the demon-possessed man in Mark 5, the demon begged that Jesus wouldn’t torment them or cast them out. They even begged that Jesus would give them permission to enter into the pigs, so how much more permission do you think they would need to enter someone filled with His Spirit, because “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John4: 4).
Then one day, I came across something new. While after a church meeting, a lady asked me to pray for her and, more out of not wanting to make myself vulnerable to any accusation, I asked an elderly couple to pray alongside me, so they could also act as witnesses. I like this practice when praying for strangers of the opposite sex, especially when there aren’t many people about. Well, to my surprise, this lady really manifested into a rage. She started screaming and shouting all manner of foul language. I was so glad the couple were with me and, unbeknown to me, they had had much more experience in deliverance. So I was privileged to witness and learn how they ministered.
This spirit seemed to be more difficult to get out, like it held a stronghold over the person, but through prayer the Lord revealed its identity and as we named and rebuked it, the Lady convulsed and screamed as the unclean spirit left her (Mark 9:26 – “And the spirit cried out”). But as we continued in prayer, she started to manifest again, not as violently as before, but there was a noticeable difference in her facial expressions and she began making different noises, until the couple named the second unclean spirit and, again, she convulsed and screamed before manifesting yet again with a completely new set of expressions. She actually ended up screaming out 6 unclean spirits, but she also manifested a 7th,, although this time she kept her eyes tightly shut, gritting her teeth while growling (Mark 9:18). But this unclean spirit never seemed to leave. She just calmed down, but it was so frustrating, witnessing the evidence and knowing that it was there and not being able to understand why the 7th never came out.
A couple of days later while praying for someone else, the same thing happened – the unclean spirit manifested but it wouldn’t leave. I started to question my walk with God, or whether I was missing something. So I made an agreement to pray and fast for them both before having another attempt. Well, I was so eager and wanted to get right on it, I did the Esther fast, - nil by mouth for 3 days solid – a tough fast for me as I was doing a manual labouring job in the height of the summer. At one point, on the last day, I actually thought I was going to collapse through exhaustion and dehydration. So, the fast now finished, I rang the first one to make arrangements for some prayer time, and her answer was this, “I’m feeling a little better now, so I don’t think I’m going to bother”. So then I rang the other one and her response was exactly the same! All the time I was blaming myself, but neither of them really wanted to be delivered!
Over time, I also began to recognize circumstances where a person needed to acknowledge and repent from areas in their lives, which gave the unclean spirit a legal permission to be there, just as Paul gave the Holy Spirit filled congregation of Ephesus a warning “not to give place to the Devil” (Eph 4: 27). A couple of years passed and then someone asked if they could bring their friend round for some ministry, who in fact turned out to be one of the ladies I’d fasted for. Well I welcomed another opportunity to try and deal with that 7th spirit and pondered if she would actually turn up.
When the evening came she actually manifested more of a rage than I’d ever witnessed before, shouting and screaming profanity so much that I did wonder at one point, if my neighbours would call the police! Telling her to be quiet had no effect, but at one point the unclean spirit inside her actually spoke to me (see Luke 4:34, Mark 1:24, Mark 5:7 for references for unclean spirits speaking to Jesus). It spoke in a childish voice and said, “you can’t see me, you can’t see me, can you?” It was so frustrating, but as I was praying and asking God to reveal what this was, He showed me that it was a spiritual stronghold of incest. This put me in a dilemma really, because I felt that if I’d have named this spirit of incest, that this could really cause embarrassment for both of us and, regretfully, I just let the whole situation calm down.
But about a year or so later, I happened to be ministering with a family member to this particular lady and part of his confession and healing process was to do with family incest, confirming the word which the Lord had given me. It was extremely sad that something which had happened to both of them in their childhood, through a dysfunctional upbringing, had managed to give the Devil a “foothold” (Eph 4: 27). And though they had both become Christians in later life, the Devil’s barrage of tormenting their thoughts with guilt, shame and forcing their emotions into feeling completely disqualified, had managed to wreck nearly all of their adult lives.
On hearing of me ministering with her family member and witnessing them being healed and transformed, the lady became aware that I must now know the dark secrets in their family history and so she eventually approached me. Furiously, she said to me that “they were ‘the unseen people’ who look like normal families, but on the inside live in darkness”. I sensed there was a sort of boastful pride in the way it was spoken and was reminded of when the unclean spirit had previously bragged about how I couldn’t see it. At this moment, I realized that this was, in fact, the unclean spirit that was speaking and not her. I stated that I could definitely see it now and offered prayer and support but, unfortunately, she just backed away and ran, eventually backsliding and ending up having a serious breakdown. Interestingly, the Lord showed me that although she had been living in torment of hopelessness, her mind had eventually been deranged into thinking that she had been given great power over men.
2 Thes 2:9 – The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
It’s interesting how, that because she felt that the unclean spirit gave her power, that’s why she didn’t want it to leave. I can relate to this from when I had some deliverance myself years ago. At the time, the Lord kept showing me through a series of dreams, that I had a little black puppy, which had become my best friend, and I took him everywhere. Well, not long after these dreams, someone prayed for me and said that they kept getting a vision of a very large vicious black dog, snarling and growling. Then the Lord gave me the revelation that this was my best friend (that little black puppy), and he’d been there for that long that I’d become very attached. He’d become a kind of false confidence for me, a great strength, and my “plan-B” in some situations. Well, when I finally got delivered of this spirit of anger, the following day I felt so empty, as if a part of me was missing and for a time I felt very vulnerable until I learned to yield more to the Holy Spirit and move in the confidence and strength in Christ. This vulnerability is the reason why some people leave the door open for these unclean spirits to come back.
Mat 12:43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. (In other words, he came back to find it back in order but EMPTY) Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
See, when an unclean spirit leaves you, the responsibility for not allowing it access back into your life is yours. Putting on the “new man” doesn’t just happen automatically. It’s by putting your faith into action as you yield your will to His will, in obedience in your relationship with Jesus.
Eph 4:21 “if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness”.
Now, these unclean spirits come in many different types, have different strategies and they work together, tormenting, deranging your thoughts and distorting the true nature of God in many different ways, and not just the mind. Given enough time I’ve witnessed spirits gain so much influence that they’ve actually manifested into physical appearance and illnesses. I remember one guy being brought to me at church for prayer with a bad back. I asked him if there was anything else and then he mentioned that in his earlier days he’d been into Ouija boards. I just knew that this could get a bit messy, so in this church they had a small glass-fronted sound-proof room usually used for noisy children, and so with a lady member of the prayer team we moved into this room.
I placed my hand upon the painful area of his back and started praying, but nothing seemed to happen at all, and I was quite surprised. Then, just as I was about to stop praying, all of sudden he started to groan. And, at the same moment, the lady from the prayer team, who was standing in front of him, ran to the corner of this small room and started frantically praying! To my surprise, as I moved around to face the front of him, he had started to foam at the mouth (Mark 9:20) and his eyes had rolled round, so that you could only see the whites of his eyes. I placed my hand upon the stomach area and then commanded the unclean spirit to come out of him! He fell back so hard that he went right over the sofa and, even though the lady was looking petrified, she ran over to him to see if he was ok. Just as she knelt at his side, the guy put his arms down his sides and started moving like a snake across the ground. I’d never seen anything like it. The lady leapt up and ran back into her corner, frantically praying (probably for God to take her out the room!), so I knelt down beside him as he was trying to slither to the door, placed my hand upon his chest and commanded the “serpent spirit “out! He stopped moving, let out a scream and then burst into tears. At this moment, the door flung open as his wife, who had been watching the whole thing through the window, came rushing in and cradled him in her arms and started crying too. It was such an emotional experience and a privilege to witness the kingdom of God at work. The man was completely healed of his back pains ,and probably a lot more in his mind and marriage, observing the reaction. Then, just as the couple left the room the lady from the prayer team just went crazy at me, as though it was all my fault!
In some cases, I can testify to unclean spirits manifesting in people who have actually tried to reach out to grab me, but when they’ve got to about an inch away from me, it was as though the Holy Spirit wouldn’t even allow them to touch me, let alone harm me.
1 John 4:4 “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
See, these unclean spirits recognize the Deity and Lordship of Christ (Mat 8:31-32, Mark 1:24, James 2:19) and thus are bound by the authority given to Him, which in turn is given to you as you yield to Him by faith, allowing yourself to be transformed into the “new man” and thus allowing Him to work through you, becoming the living proof of His good and perfect will (Rom 12: 2) by His glory to “be” His glory. But if you’re lacking in your identity or faith, those unclean spirits will recognize that too. Acts 19:15 says the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” See, they understand the spiritual realm and their rights of eviction more than most Christians do. They know that everyone who sets up idols in their hearts puts before themselves that which causes them to stumble into iniquity (Ezk 14:3) and they have a legal right to tempt you in your lack of self control (1Cor7: 5) and worse, they know exactly who has given them permission to gain legal access (Eph4: 27) See, an unclean spirit can only use what it’s been given access to, always seeking embodiment to distort God’s truth and take people away from entering into His promises, robbing them of the real joy and peace of God, trying to prevent His sons and daughters to be who He has called them to be.
Eph 6:10 – “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Kevin Dexter, Derby UK
In our natural understanding it seems extremely unfair that God would punish children for their previous generations’ iniquities, so the best way to understand generational sins, curses and spirits is to realize that your heart, mind and soul have been forged through your upbringing. From generation to generation, parents to children, naturally passing down the consequences of sin through family practices that usually have a massive influence over heart-sets and mind-sets. Your view of right, wrong and “normal” is literally “your view!” We often justify ourselves by what we believe is “normal” and familiar behaviour, but even dysfunctional families can’t recognize their learned behaviour and also justify themselves by their familiarity. So unconsciously our learned behaviour grants access to familiar spirits to move through our generations.
The Bible refers to familiar spirits as unclean spirits which have had an intimate association with a family line, using this family line as hosts (see, Lev 19:31; Deut 18:11; 2 Kings 21:6; Isa 8:19, etc.). Sometimes these are misunderstood as actual spirits of the dead, but according to Scripture, they are clearly not, as the human spirits of the dead do not remain on earth after the host has died, so these familiar spirits are actually demonic spirits which have attached themselves to people and are then left homeless after the death of the host.
Eccl 9:5 But the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.
Familiar spirits can get so attached to families that they can assume that even the family property is their own, and sometimes when the generational line ends these “ghosts” have been known to linger there. I’ve been to many houses to pray over them and it’s amazing how the atmosphere can change when you bring the presence of God into a place. Once the governing authority over the area I live granted permission for a paranormal conference to be held in our town centre market place, including a public séance and table tilting! I was so enraged that my home group and I went there to pray against it and they couldn’t do anything. The whole thing was a disaster for them because absolutely nothing happened. So there is nothing to be afraid of; you who are in Christ have been given all authority, and all spirits can only use what you allow them.
About six months into my walk with God, He showed me that I had a generational spirit of anger that had gained access through a familiar learned behaviour (that at the time I thought was acceptable and “normal”). He showed me that it had actually come into my great grandfather through the effects of the Second World War and had travelled down the generations and, yes, it could easily be prayed out, but it was my responsibility to change my “normal” behaviour and mind-set to keep it out. By the strength of the Holy Spirit and my consciousness of going where He wants to take me, my behaviour changed with my renewed mind-set. Behaviour and old habits don’t change by trying and striving through the consciousness of sin but by yielding to the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes, spirits and curses are actually inherited through no fault of our own; for example, once I was asked to pray for a lady with an issue of fear. As we prayed for her, I was shown that there was an issue with sexual abuse from her childhood. The Holy Spirit guided me in sharing different testimonies of a similar nature. After about an hour of sharing, all of a sudden she started to cry. The ministry time was so important, because the stories led by the Spirit had opened up her heart and mind to receive the Spirit’s conviction. And as she opened up, I heard the most disturbing story of how her parents had in fact dedicated her to Satan as a baby and had involved her in satanic rituals. The knock-on effect of sexual abuse and fear of the opposite sex had destroyed her relationships and life. Now, lots of people had prayed for this fear problem to go, but I was shown by the Spirit that, in order for her to be delivered, we must first break off the generational curse placed upon her through her parents. And as we asked her to acknowledge and repent of the sins of her parents, then forgive her parents, this tore out the root that was enabling the spirit of fear a foothold. So eventually we cast it out and she was completely healed of her fear of men.
The Bible mentions that “generational curses” are brought on by the sins of our ancestors and they can actually go back to the 3rd, the 4th even to the 10th generation and possibly beyond (Ex20:5, Ex34:7, Num14:18, Deut23:2, 1Sam2:30-33, 1Sam3:12-14, Jer2:9, Mt27:24-25) Now, Jesus paid the price for the sin of the world, so our sin was paid for in full, but in order to come into the new covenant you must acknowledge the purchase price (Jesus) and repent of your sin. But as previously mentioned, when the Holy Spirit revealed my behaviour that allowed a spirit of anger to have legal access to my life, as I acknowledged and repented of my sin (that I didn’t know I had until the conviction by the Spirit), God forgave me and the spirit then had no legal access and was cast out. It could only return if I returned to that same behaviour; then it would have a legal right. So, in the same sense, the Holy Spirit can also reveal a generational sin (that you also may be unaware of until that moment), that also needs to be repented of and acknowledged to receive the fullness of walking in the new man.
Another example of the effects of generational curses was when someone asked me to come and pray for him for asthma. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me that something terrible had happened to him as a child which had allowed a spirit of grief to enter him. When questioned, he confirmed it by explaining how his father had passed away when he was eight years old and his grief was so bad that his mind had actually blanked out all his previous memories before this incident, to the point that he had no memories of his father at all, and it wasn’t long after that he developed asthma. So his wife and myself started to pray against this spirit of grief and then all of a sudden he said that something was manifesting in his stomach area and rising up inside him!
Well, as we kept praying, this unclean spirit moved up his body to about the heart, but then stopped moving. At this moment, his wife mentioned that the Holy Spirit was revealing to her that there was some kind of ancestral oath to do with a Scottish clan that needed breaking. So as he repented and we started praying and declaring against generational “clan oaths”, the unclean spirit then moved into his neck. At this point the Holy Spirit told me that he needed to repent of ill feeling towards his brothers who’d attended his father’s funeral (because, being younger, he’d not been allowed to go) and then straight after his confession the unclean spirit moved from his throat and he coughed it out! Amen.
Then as he stood there bewildered, thinking it was all over, I placed my hands upon his head and started praying for a renewing of his mind and memories. Then suddenly, the man burst into uncontrollable crying as he shouted out, “I can see my father! I can see my father!!!! My memories are coming back!!!!” I looked over at his wife, who had a smile ear to ear and her eyes now watering too – such a powerful and emotional encounter of God’s restoration and a great testimony of how these things work together to form strongholds and the importance of being led by the Holy Spirit.
Well, just the following week, I had a guest come round to my house and all of a sudden the Holy Spirit told me that he had Scottish roots, which he confirmed. So, pondering why the Holy Spirit would want me to know about his ancestry, I remembered the generational “clan covenant” thing in the previous guy’s story. So I told him the testimony and mentioned, as this seemed too much a coincidence, why don’t I pray for him for it anyway? So he repented from any generational sins from “clan oaths” and as I prayed, would you believe it, he convulsed and started coughing.
So I decided to do some research, and it turned out that both of their Scottish family lineages traced back from the ancient kingdom of Strathclyde (the lowlands of Scotland). And when the Scottish highland kingdom invaded the Scottish lowland kingdom, the defeated clan members who’d lost all their titles and lands ended up offering their services in aiding the Duke of Normandy to invade England in the battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. This was in exchange for a piece of the newly acquired land and titles. But in doing so, William the Conqueror demanded that everyone he permitted land must commit to his ceremonial ritual where they had to place their hand upon a religious sacrament, which happened to be a “bound firm knot” and, while presenting themselves submissively, swore an oath declaring William as their sovereign lord and all their children henceforth!!! How amazing that my friend’s wife mentioned that the Holy Spirit had revealed to her that there was some kind of ancestral oath to do with a Scottish clan that needed breaking – and even more incredible that I managed to stumble across it.
Some time ago, while speaking at a gospel outreach in India, I witnessed God do some amazing miracles, and at the end of one of the evenings a lady came and asked me if I would go back to her house and pray for her son. So I went to her house and as she opened the door to this darkly lit room. There was a mattress lying in the middle of the room and, lying there, was a man, probably in his thirties. He was mute, and probably the most double-jointed, deformed person I’d ever seen in my life. The woman said with a smile on her face, "This is my son. Please can you help him” and even though I’d witnessed lots of healings that night, this situation was just heart breaking. So as I kneeled down beside him and prayed against any generational curses on his family line and against any dumb spirits, amongst many other things, and although I’d witnessed many miracles earlier that evening, I never witnessed anything happen to this man, in any way whatsoever. I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I was praying and praying without listening, then as I realized I stayed quiet trying to focus, but I didn’t seem to receive anything, I did feel the presence of the Holy Spirit over him, and so I just believed that God was doing something!
As I stopped, I looked over at his mum, who I knew had also witnessed all the healings that night, I almost felt lost for words. I can't tell you how emotional it was, my faith was really being stretched this time, so I just said exactly what I felt, that the Holy Spirit was all over him and that he’s in God’s hands now. But I could just imagine her thinking “Why not my son?” But then, to my surprise she wasn’t fazed by it and she also asked for prayer, for her back and then at that moment I felt the Spirit tell me that she also had knee pains and slight deafness, which she acknowledged. And When I prayed over her, God healed all of her sicknesses (knees, back and even the slight deafness in one ear). Hallelujah! So while we were rejoicing over the healing, the son was still just lying on the mattress, and seemed to be in exactly the same state as when we arrived. The lady was in tears, hugging me, but my mind was trying to analyse it all. It didn’t make any sense; I just couldn’t help but wonder “why?”
The next night during the outreach, the lady came rushing up to me, flung her arms around me with tears running down her face, and said that her son used to have fits every half an hour, but since that morning all of his fits had stopped and he’d started to speak for the first time in his whole life. She said that he was talking like a baby. Wow! Amen. I went back to see him the following week and, yes, he was still doubled over on the mattress but in a completely calm state with cognition, and as I knelt at his side he wanted to shake my hand and was smiling at me. I can't tell you how moving it was. So even though you don’t fully understand the “whys” or see the manifested evidence of what you are praying for, never stop believing by faith. But I will say that when I felt it on my heart to put something together to try and help people understand the importance of dealing with generational behaviour, sins and curses, while in my quiet time with God, I asked Him which testimonies I should use and to my surprise, that’s when He showed me that the man on the mattress in India had a generational curse that ran from his father’s side, and although the man couldn’t speak to do any kind of repentance, the fact I recognized and named it, enabled the healing process, which was why I didn’t receive anything else at the time, and why his mum was so receptive. So there must be many more generational illnesses out there to be aware of as we pray for the sick.
So when you look at it, Adam and Eve’s sin introduced sickness, death and murder into their family, then one son murders the other and we still live in a world and witness the effects of the results of that curse. Noah’s drunkenness led to his son dishonouring him, which resulted in an entire lineage of people who were and are still under a curse in the land of Canaan. Abraham went against God’s will for him and fathered a son in the flesh and thus robbed the birthright from the firstborn son, which then went on for the next three generations. Also, when Abraham lied, Jacob lied to Abraham then Jacob’s children lied to Jacob. When David fell into sexual sin and murder, you can see the results of murder, incest, rape, rebellion and womanising in his children, and there are many more.
So by one man’s sin (which leads to death) the curse that entered the world through disobedience made everyone sinners, and in many different areas, some sins worse than others (1Jn 5:16, Mk3:28-30, Jn 19:11), But the good news is that Jesus has hung this curse of sin in His own body upon a tree that we might receive His Spirit and crucify our old nature, transforming us into the “new man”, a unique opportunity to become the righteousness in Him and join the battle against the Devil and the ripple effects of sin upon mankind.
1 Jn3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
Kevin Dexter, Derby UK
Years ago I was in a meeting at church and I was a feeling a bit frustrated that things weren’t going the way I thought they should. My mind was miles away -focusing on my trials – when a man asked me to pray for someone. Well in my mind I was thinking, "Well You can't possibly use me today!" But I laid my hand on their shoulder and by the time I’d finished saying “In the name of Jesus”, the person was on the floor rolling around in the Holy Spirit!
There was no doubt in my mind that regardless of how I felt in my emotions, God had moved through me. This caused me to shift my focus from my emotions to listening to the witness of the Holy Spirit inside me - To learn to discern what it is I’m actually praying for and believe the revelation by faith, rather than just praying with natural assumption led by my emotions.
Another time there was a young man from my parent’s church, who had just come back from an African missionary trip. While out there, he’d picked up some kind of stomach illness and had been ill for about three months. Many people from his church had prayed for him and the doctors were baffled by it. They’d actually mentioned the possibility of fitting him with a colostomy bag. He was only 21 years old!
I had just started to do some building work at his parent’s house and as the young man came downstairs clutching his stomach. I said to him, “Are you still ill? After all this time?” And at that moment I just had a revelation that he had the spirit of witchcraft upon him. I’d never had anything like that before, but as I heard it by the Spirit, I believed it by faith.
I said to him, “You have the spirit of witchcraft on you, let’s go in the kitchen and get it off!” When I placed my hand on his shoulder and told it to go, his body convulsed, he described it like the pain had moved from his stomach up into his throat and had left out of his mouth! Amen, he’d been completely healed in an instant. See, if our words carry so much power, then we must target the enemy by listening and receiving from the Spirit by faith, instead of just operating in the carnal realm and hoping for the best.
My next revelation of faith was when I was asked to pray for an old lady who had been unable to walk for some time. I felt in my Spirit the Lord tell me that He wanted a relationship with her and that I was to testify of Him and the things I’d seen Him do to increase her belief, which I believed by faith and did.
Well I laid my hand on her shoulder and started praying. I found myself giving the world’s longest prayer, kind of stalling until He told me that she was healed. Then I heard the Lord say to me, “You have just given her all that spiel about faith. When are “you” going to believe that she’s healed? “ Jesus said, "When you pray, believe." Not "when you pray, wait and see." We are to believe when we pray.
I smiled and stopped praying immediately and told her that she was healed, and she must get up and walk! She rose up out of the chair (that she had been sitting in for three months), and walked pain free. Amen! The healing was released by believing, by faith.
God showed it me like this: He showed me a situation in a dream where a man lay in front of me, dead on the ground. I knelt beside him and placed my hand on his chest. Now at that time in my life, yes I was listening and receiving by faith what to pray for, but I was still praying as though I was powerless and I was asking God to do something. But in the dream I prayed completely differently. I placed my hand on his chest, and knew in my whole being that I was an heir to salvation, brought into the son ship of God. I knew the Holy Spirit lived in me, and I believed that I had every right and authority to command death to get off the man on the floor. I was so mad at the devil, I was shouting at death to get it off him! I actually woke myself up shouting!
Now Jesus said that He could do nothing but what the Father does through Him, yet with authority and power, He commanded unclean spirits and sickness to come out of people, and whoever believes in Jesus will do the works that He did, and they will do even greater things than these!
He is in you, and you are in Him and you have been given authority and that authority is received and operated in by faith.
If you don’t really “know“ who you are in Christ, and your only relationship with Him is coincidences that you align with your "natural" desires, your faith will be fuelled just by natural emotion. The flesh profits nothing; there will be little evidence of the spiritual fruit. Our faith isn’t just reading and believing the word of God, we are called into a supernatural relationship with the author and to BE the word, Jesus style, by faith.
Here are a few things to remember:
Push through natural emotions by faith!
Receive revelation from the Holy Spirit by faith!
Believe the accomplishment of what you’ve been praying for by faith!
Know your identity and authority in Christ by faith! Jesus made You a joint heir with Him. You are no longer a sinner saved by grace but you are a Son and daughter of almighty God. He has given YOU authority over sickness and demons and catastrophes of every kind. All the promised of God in Him are yes, amen to the glory of God!
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”- Matt 17:20
Kevin Dexter, Derby UK
When I first surrendered my life to God and received the Holy Spirit, it wasn’t long before I felt powerless against my thoughts. I couldn’t walk down a single street without receiving terrible unclean thoughts and yet while at church in worship and praise not one unclean thought would enter my mind. I noticed that every time I spoke out the word Jesus, the unclean thought would leave my mind. It came to my realization that these thoughts weren’t actually my thoughts at all! The Devil’s biggest deception is making you think that his thoughts are your own, as he tries to draw out the former conduct of your “old man”. In many instances, he may repeat scenes in your mind from your past that actually makes people feel guilty or ashamed of themselves, but the truth is, in a true belief by faith, that your “old man” has been crucified with Christ and you have been born again in the Spirit; everything you did before you surrendered your life to Jesus has been paid for in full, and you have been given all authority by the Spirit to take back that which has been robbed, including your mind! It doesn’t say take your thoughts captive for nothing! (2 Cor 10:5)
As every unclean thought entered my mind, I started to command Satan to “get away from me by the power of Jesus” And every time I said this, my mind would clear. I would say this sometimes all day to start with and the more I began to realize that the thoughts weren’t mine, the easier, over time, I recognized his deceit and the more my mind became clean. Eventually I came to a point where I may only have to rebuke him in my thoughts, maybe ten times a year because the unclean thought test easily stood out and as I’ve learned to yield to the Holy Spirit, who renews the heart. As long as we put off our former conduct and keep the “old man” from being resurrected, we will be renewed in the spirit of our minds, so that we put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:22).
I find that because of the “battle for the mind”, most Christians never really enter into the fullness of their inheritance; they receive the Holy Spirit but struggle to be led by the Holy Spirit, as in the parable of the sower. Some receive the seed but choke its growth through chasing the pleasures of life to satisfy the desires of their own will. Some allow their hearts to allow the Devil to take the seed away, and others receive the seed for a while but fall away in the time of temptation.
Now everyone who receives the Holy Spirit is a new creation, born again spiritually, with access to the supernatural realm of the Holy Spirit. So as you believed that Jesus paid the price and redeemed you by faith, and that you have been born again in the spirit by faith, so you must hear His voice by faith, too. That new spiritual “gut” instinct is the spiritual consciousness of God and you must act on it by faith.
Abraham (who wasn’t perfect) moved by faith by that which he had received and believed by faith and it was accounted to him for righteousness. He was called a friend of God because he was justified by his moving in obedience by faith through his relationship with God, and not just by believing that God is real by faith only. So you (who aren’t perfect either) have been enabled to become the righteousness in Him if you yield to Him through your faith based relationship too.
When I gave my life to the Lord and received the Holy Spirit, He convicted me of sleeping with my girlfriend, getting drunk, smoking and swearing. Within a week, my life had completely changed, but my life only changed because I yielded to the God consciousness within me. I believed the prompting by faith, then acted in faith, and the desires of the “old man” fell away. But as my journey continued, while watching television I found myself being convicted by the Holy Spirit. Every time a violent scene came on in the movie, I found myself turning away from it or closing my eyes. I just couldn’t understand it. I’d seen movies like this for years. Now with the previous stuff, I could understand why He would convict me, but surely this was a part of ordinary normal life that everyone else did? I remember thinking “God, is that You? Why are you doing this? They are only actors; it’s not real!” But every time a violent scene came on, I couldn’t help but look away.
Now the next time I was watching television, one of my old favourite movies came on, and when the violent action scene came on (which I was looking forward to), I felt the conviction, I closed my eyes, but I knew the scene – I’d seen it loads of times; I could even imagine it! A couple of movies later, I’m peeking and, before you know it, I could watch an entire action movie without feeling any conviction in any way whatsoever. Then I would think, “Well God, if you really didn’t want me to watch that, You could have just stopped me!” See, the Holy Spirit won’t override your free will. And as soon as I started ignoring the prompting from the Spirit I’d gone from doing His will to doing my will! And justifying it too! I’d stopped myself from being transformed. Well you might say, “It’s just a movie, no big deal”, but about a year later someone prayed for me and I received a revelation about the conviction.
Psalm 11:5 – The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
Yes, they were actors and they were just movies, but the love of violence was in my heart, and He was testing it (Psalm 7: 9) This was the conviction the Holy Spirit was bringing and everyone’s heart is fashioned individually, by His will not yours, and sometimes reading the instruction manual does help, but it’s no good knowing the manual inside-out if you don’t apply it to your life. Thankfully, our God is merciful and full of grace, so that in my acknowledgement of the uncleanness in my heart, with deep regret I repented and received a fresh conviction by the Spirit and it all started happening again, but this time I yielded and this enabled Him to continue His work. See, when the Holy Spirit prompts, you have a responsibility to follow and respond. This is the only way that you can build upon Him (Luke 6: 46), and live a fulfilled life of abundance.
See, religion and religious people create sin consciousness, which promotes striving and trying to qualify by your own efforts, but it is only by yielding to the Spirit that you have the power and authority to overcome and be transformed by allowing Him to heal your mind-sets, heart-sets, soul-ties and generational curses that may give the Devil any legal access to your life.
This was shown to me through a powerful dream where I was the defendant in a dock in God’s courtroom. Jesus was my defence, and Satan was my accuser. Satan pointed at me and in an aggressive tone shouted out, “He is damaging my ministry!” Jesus spoke very calmly and pointed out that actually I had every right to do so because He had paid the price for it. But then Satan pointed to a closet that was behind me. It was “my closet” and the door was wide open! Satan shouted, “Yes, but what about that!” He was pointing to a temper issue that my defence had previously warned me to deal with! These are legal access points that the Devil has a right to test and tempt you with (James 1: 13&14).
Over the years I have ministered with lots of Christians who have struggled with being drawn away by their own desires, such as sexual lust or pornography and I explain it like this. If a person sees an image of a sexual nature, whether in real life or on television, the consciousness of God tells them that it’s not good for the heart and that they should act accordingly by averted their eyes or turning over to another channel.
But ignoring the prompting of the Holy Spirit actually gives the Devil a legal right to tempt (James 1: 13&14). And because of their lack of self-control, (1 Cor7: 5) the Devil will usually play the images back in their minds or dreams to tempt them, but if they let the unclean desire conceive, even in their hearts and fantasies, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. This is part of James’ letter to Holy Spirit filled Christians, just as in one of Paul’s letters to the Holy Spirit filled Ephesians he gave warning not to give place to the Devil (Eph 4: 27).
See, when King David sinned, he acknowledged it and repented with sorrowful regret (Psalm 51) and then God forgave him, but there were consequences for his actions. Just like if we fail the temptation and allow our unclean desires to conceive, it will create legal access points which give a place to the Devil, allowing unclean spirits into our lives which can interfere with our discernment and relationship with God. In this instance, you can give a place to a spirit of lust, which eventually will bring about a spirit of shame, which sooner or later will attract a qualifying spirit (a spirit that makes you feel disqualified). And sooner or later these spirits can and will form strongholds over people’s lives. This is just an example, but there are many different types of legal access points in many different areas and many different types of unclean spirits! Just like a computer, when the software receives bugs, they very subtly get slower and slower, and you don’t notice to start with until one day you realize it’s become dysfunctional or in some cases people may not have even noticed! If you feel that you are wandering through dry places in circles, that’s a good indication that you have not come into the land of promises yet, the wilderness is the place of dying to yourself, or dying spiritually in some cases. In the past, people may have given you amazing prophecies that you are waiting on, but in order to come into the promised land you must allow the renewal of mind-sets and heart-sets, get soul-ties broken and generational baggage removed – get a virus scan and become who you were called to be, justified by your moving by faith and walking boldly in your accredited righteousness and friendship with God.
So the truth is that there is nobody, with a real truthful acknowledgement of where his or her relationship is with God, with a meaningful repentance, who can’t get delivered, learn to yield to Him and put on the “new man” and step into their destiny, so you can stop trying to work for Him and , instead, allow Him to work through you, becoming the living proof of His good and perfect will (Rom 12: 2) by His glory to “be” His glory!
Kevin Dexter, Derby UK
I was born in a place Ilkeston in the middle of England, a town that used to have a big reputation for its nightlife, revelry and trouble. My parents at the time didn’t follow any faith. Church was only attended for Christenings, weddings and funerals as a form of religious custom. Although I was sent to Sunday school a handful of times, it was more for the purpose of giving my parents a break on a Sunday morning! I considered myself a Christian as in formal and custom purposes, but there was certainly no relationship with Jesus. I’d simply accepted the religiousness of it, and by the time I was into my teenage years, my heart was full of lust of the eyes, flesh and pride, I simply followed the crowd, and fit the mould of what I termed as “normal” behaviour amongst everyone I knew from my town, working hard and playing hard. But the more life disappointments I encountered, the more reckless I became. In fact, my parents claimed that my lifestyle had actually driven them towards seeking God and they became “born again” believers when I was in my late twenties, which was strange to see my parents embrace a form of Christianity that I didn’t understand, having seen it just as old buildings full of formalities and hypocrites. But little did I know, that they were on a mission to introduce me to Jesus and make me like them!
They were intent on getting me to a church Alpha introductory course, planting leaflets and books around my home and, eventually, they choose their moment, during another one of my life’s disappointments, to increase the pressure and, under the strain, I left England and headed for Thailand to continue my continuing decline into self-destruction, but there was no escaping God. Would you believe it, that whilst there, I even got accosted by some ladies, who turned out to be Christian missionaries, on the same mission to get me to a church Alpha course! There was no escaping this church course! So asI couldn’t get away from it, I eventually enlisted on it, at my parents’ church, back in England.
I have to say, I actually enjoyed the fellowship, food and debates, and even became quite comfortable with the religious head knowledge; In fact, I never had a problem until it got spiritual and, when they started to pray for people to receive God’s Holy Spirit, what I witnessed defied the natural boundaries of my understanding. There was now no doubt in my mind of the existence of God. My problem was that, if He was real, then everything I thought, everything I dreamed of and everything I enjoyed doing was wrong, and I enjoyed being in control of my own life!
Well, years passed by with my head in the sand doing it my way, doing everything my heart desired and stuffing myself with my short-term happiness fixes of material spending, eating, drinking, smoking and the like, as I tried to appease the disappointments and disaster that followed every decision I made, and ultimately. over time, my short-term happiness fixes became my addictions. I’d only myself to blame for how my life had turned out and I started questioning what my life would have looked like if I’d had let the Holy Spirit take over my life years previously. Looking at what I’d done by own strength, God’s plan had got to be better than my achievement! I attended another Alpha course and, when it came to the Holy Spirit day, I actually came to the realization that there was nothing good in me and there was nothing I could give God to repay Him for a lifetime of sin except my repentance, love and my body as a living sacrifice and, if the Lord could do something with this broken vessel, then He could have it! As Jesus died for me and paid my penalty, I crucified “my way” that He may live through me His way, thus giving me a brand new start in life, to be born again by His Spirit.
Three days the Spirit was inside me before I experienced, for the very first time in my whole life, what I can only describe as the consciousness of God, just as I awoke in the morning as I was laying at the side of my girlfriend, and He spoke straight into my soul, He said, “Son, I have plans for your life and if you want to go where I want to take you, you must separate yourself from your girlfriend. This is not what was intended for you and not an example of love, but if you are going to carry on sleeping together then you must marry her.” This was my first conviction by the Holy Spirit and I yielded, which was really difficult for her to understand that I’d sooner have an intimate relationship with Jesus! And although we’d done the Alpha course together, she just didn’t get it; she actually thought that I’d lost my mind.
Well, the following evening, I came home from work with a takeaway and a couple of bottles of wine, because this was my “normal”. I poured myself a pint as usual, but when I took my first sip, to my shock it tasted foul! I instantly knew that there was something different and then I was overcome by an immense joy, so much that I couldn’t contain my laughter, and for the first time in years, I realised that I didn’t need to get drunk anymore to make me happy, and I was actually eager to go to bed early because of the hunger inside me to read my Bible! The following morning, I lit my cigarette up and when I put it in my mouth it made me feel sick and I burst out laughing again, and by the end of the week I’d also stopped swearing too! Not one of these addictions could I have conquered by trying and striving but only by yielding to the Holy Spirit, and it was easy.
I then started receiving amazing dreams explaining some of the roots behind my behavioural mind-sets, He showed me that, in my times of hurt, I’d placed a man-made self protection mechanism around my heart. And as He showed me my heart, there was actually so much damage that it looked like a patchwork quilt made out of plasters! And, as my journey continued by yielding to the Spirit, He gave me deeper understanding and, piece-by-piece, they started to be removed.
My relationship with Jesus had a big effect on my work too. At that time, I was doing building work and working as a taxi driver, but it soon became extremely challenging to keep my ethics and continue my style of working. Previously, I’d majored in ruthlessness and corruption in the pursuit of material wealth and lying to the company, speeding and stealing from work rivals had always made me a good living, but this became a “grey area” and, as I continued to yield to the convictions of the Holy Spirit, my wages dropped drastically. To be honest, all the chatter on the taxi radio was also getting in the way of my “taxi evangelism”, as this was a great opportunity to reach out to people. So, on a leap of faith, I jacked in with the company! I took out the taxi radio and pulled off the company logos, and then sat in the taxi rank praying for work. I just knew that if leaving the company meant I hadn’t compromised my being who I was called to be, then I was completely trusting God’s new plan for my life, and at the end of that first evening of stepping out by faith, I actually made the same money than if I’d worked for the company! And so, armed with a stack of Bibles and testimonies on DVDs, I could now evangelise without any compromise or interruptions, living solely by trusting God to meet my needs by faith.
As I journeyed, I started to get a bit frustrated at why I wasn’t seeing the level of anointing demonstrated by the early church. I had the faith and was trying my best at being obedient and working so hard for Him; it just felt that His voice was getting fainter or I was somehow letting too much interference get in the way! It’s amazing how much religious clutter you pick up along the way. It had taken a lifetime to get both feet on the right path and somehow one foot seemed to be wandering off into some religious mind-sets. Through an encounter with the Lord one night, He showed me that I had to stop trying to work for Him and allow Him to work through me, and led me to a particular minister who specialised in getting rid of the religious mind-sets, that were stopping me from moving in the Spirit. Funny how every now and again we need a virus scan to keep the clutter we pick up from distorting the truth, and so after I’d allowed the Holy Spirit to filter out the head knowledge, my relationship with God grew much deeper and shared how He planned to use me, showing me visions of speaking and ministering in churches. At the time, these things seemed impossible, as I was just a mere God hungry builder/ taxi driver.
One evening the Lord gave me a powerful dream, showing me a rainbow being poured into a particular place, that I just had a knowing that I needed to go wherever that place was, because I was going to receive a gift there. And sure enough through a series of events, I found the place, which was holding a conference there, and travelled there by faith. And when the minister started with the impartation, I was so expectant; I knew that this was going to be as the Lord said. I watched in anticipation as the minister came down the line praying for people, and when it came to my turn, I had to smile, it was like the minister themselves was shocked. They placed oil upon me and declared that there was a commissioning upon my life, and told me that I’d just been given a scroll, and at that exact moment, my hand just froze, as though a scroll had been placed in my hand, and as they began to pray, I just sparked out and didn’t wake up until about an hour and a half later, by someone trying to vacuum up round me in a now empty church! As it so happened, my parents were waiting for me to help me stagger back to the hotel! It was such an amazing experience; I so believed that I’d really be witnessing so much more of the power of God in my walk. How could you not after that!
Well, I travelled to India a few weeks later for the first time on a mission, expecting to see major signs wonders and miracles but, to be honest, it was a great experience but I didn’t witness the anointing I expected to see, by any means. And about three months passed by and I began to wonder “when, Lord? I don’t understand”. Well, I’d been asked to help out in praying for people to receive the Holy Spirit during an Alpha course, and on this particular day things really didn’t seem to be going the way that I thought they should; in fact, I was so focused on my own trials that I hadn’t even been listening to half the talk in this particular Alpha meeting. Just then, a man asked me to pray for someone. Well, in my mind, I was thinking, “God, You can’t possibly use me today!’ I laid my hand on their shoulder and, by the time I’d finished saying “In the name of Jesus”, the person was on the floor rolling around in the Holy Spirit! And then so did the next twenty or so people. The anointing was so powerful that people were all over the floor rolling about laughing or crying. Then someone from church came up to me and asked if I could “tone it down” because they said it was frightening some people! “Tone it down?” I had to laugh; I don’t think they realized that it wasn’t me doing it! But there was no doubt in my mind that, regardless of how I felt in my emotions, God had moved through me, and this taught me another lesson, that the anointing isn’t affected by how we might feel, and this caused me to pray, by faith, in the discernment led by the Spirit, rather than just making the assumption of things led by my emotions. The more I moved by the Spirit, the more I understood the sonship with the heavenly Father and also witnessed the anointing manifest in many signs, wonders and miracles.
But getting into the anointing was one thing, and keeping in it was something else! I think the best way to describe the journey is how He showed me in a vision once, where there were many different shapes and sizes of water slides that represented people’s journeys and, when it came to my turn to choose a slide, I asked how much they cost. And the reply was that the cheapest slide wasn’t much of a journey at all, but the best journey costs your entire life! And this journey with God through ups and downs and twists and turns is so much more than I could have ever dreamed it would be.
That move of God in that Alpha meeting was just the very beginning, I started to witness the most incredible healings and deliverances, and nearly all of them were outside of church as such, just by people asking me to go and minister to different people in their homes; it actually got to the point where people were turning up to the church I attended just for prayer from me. I can’t tell you how much trouble this caused. The prayer team fell out with me, and complained that I was being used more than them! So when I asked if they would consider me for the prayer team, they refused! Another church, the pastor there actually asked to speak to me, concerned that he might lose people to the church that I attended, because of the healings. I just was slammed by so much religion, I had to smile: my only role within church was making the tea and coffee!
The Lord led me to move house, to an old large Victorian town house, and turn it into a Christian homestead, renting out the rooms to other Christians, bringing the opportunity for fellowship, home group, prayer ministry and to be able to walk with people through deliverance, who were moving in and out the house, and the opportunities grew. Next came invitations to home groups, sharing, encouraging and building people up in Christ, then small church meetings; next came churches in different countries!
In fact in one meeting in Australia, someone asked me where I was from, as he had previously lived in the UK, and when I told him the town I came from, he laughed, and said, “Can anything good come from Ilkeston?” Well God can use anyone; I prove it. If you are broken, then you qualify for a brand new life; the Lord is just looking for people who are obedient, who He can move through.
The continuing transformation is the journey, and using His gifts through His revelations to build up the body of His church is the journey, He will bring people into your life, He will take people out of your life; all you have to do is be obedient to His voice and enjoy the journey and you will see and experience the super-natural realm of His glory.
I’ve had the honour of witnessing many great signs, wonders and miracles in many different countries, physical healings and spiritual healings throughout meetings and personal ministry too, and He never ceases to amaze me or change my thinking and opinions because He wants us to be vessels that fulfil His design and purpose, to be filled and pour out His Glory, as we follow His perfect plan and will for our lives, and so may it continue.