Religious Spirit

THE RELIGIOUS SPIRIT

 Bob Jones and Keith Davis

While banished to the island of Patmos, the beloved disciple John was “In the Spirit” and shown many great and mighty things through supernatural revelation. Jeremiah and Ezekiel both received revelations illustrated through symbols and imagery involving the people of their day. In the custom of these great prophets, our immutable Lord has continued to reveal spiritual truths characterized by various types and symbols through the spirit of prophecy. Very often, the revelations come in this manner to encourage us to seek the Lord for its interpretation and application. Likewise, these revelations come in this pattern so that those with spiritual eyes and ears can understand them while confounding the natural mind. Spiritual truths can only be spiritually appraised as we depend upon the Holy Spirit for our Counsel.

Many of the prophetic experiences given to Bob involve symbols and imagery of this nature. This is especially true with the one we are about to share characterizing the “Religious Spirit”. It is not our attempt in this brief outline to exhaustively enumerate every attribute of the religious spirit, instead only those related to us in this revelation. Whenever spirits of this nature are identified, it is always beneficial to remind ourselves that we contend not against flesh and blood, only against principalities, powers and spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

Our enemy does not consist of our fellow man, rather the evil influences released in the earth that operate through mankind setting themselves against the purposes of God. The great apostle Paul entreats us to gently bring correction to those in opposition if perhaps God may grant repentance leading to the knowledge of the Truth, that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil having been held captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:25-26) That is our quest as well. The religious spirit is so closely akin to the Holy Spirit the Lord announced it would deceive the very elect IF POSSIBLE.

THE ABOMINABLE SNOW-JOB MAN

In an allegorical prophetic experience the “religious spirit” was illustrated to Bob with the appearance of the “abominable snowman” yet with the title of “Abominable Snow-job Man”. Each word in this description designates attributes of this spirit. The term “abominable snow man” first appeared in 1921 during a European expedition to Mt. Everest led by Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury. After observing large footprints in the snow, Howard-Bury spotted distant figures through his binoculars. The explorer later told journalists that his Sherpa guides had called the creatures metoh-kangmi, a generic Napalese term for mountain beasts. This word was accidentally mistranslated and suddenly news reports were claiming that explorers had seen a man-monster the natives called “the abominable snowman”.

The vision portrayed this spirit in this design to illustrate its abominable quality from the Lord’s perspective. To the natural eye the religious spirit attempts to operate so close to the manner of the Holy Spirit that it would be unrecognizable unless spiritually discerned. Thankfully, the Lord is communicating to us distinguishable attributes of this destructive enemy of our souls and the fruit that it bears.

In the vision, Bob was told that this spirit can be found in Isaiah 66:15-18 attempting to lead the people into the Divine Presence by an unlawful means resulting in the Judgement of God.

For with fire and with his sword the LORD will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the LORD.” Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable things, they will meet their end together,” declares the LORD.” And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory.

THE ABOMINATION

In scripture gardens derive their spiritual significance from the Garden of Eden denoting a place of worship and intimate fellowship. During seasons of apostasy gardens were utilized for idolatrous sacrifice. It is an abomination to attempt to attain access to The Garden of the Lord in any other manner than the one prescribed by Him. The religious spirit directs the people to sanctify themselves but only in their minds ministering to them the “flesh of swine” and “mice”. These two Biblically unclean animals represent unsanctified nourishment presented to the people through the soul of man rather than the Holy Spirit. These could depict intellectual comprehension and opinions of the Scriptures apart from the divine revelation released through the Spirit of Truth. This is abominable in the sight of the Lord.

Unsanctified thoughts and vain imaginations surrender opportunity to the enemy to loose anointed curses through this type administration resulting in persecution and intimidation. The church becomes desolate when this spirit controls and feeds the temple of man. The abomination of desolation described in Daniel 11:31 & Matthew 24:15 foretells the operation of this spirit sustaining the people from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We are the Temple of God and must be sanctified in Truth. The Lord described it as vain worship to honor Him with our lips, yet removing our hearts far from Him teaching for doctrine the precepts of men.

The Scriptures declare that the Kingdom of God does not merely consist in words but also in power. Conversely, the “abominable snow-job man” is earthly, sensual, unclean with an unsanctified temple displaying no Holy Spirit power. The power of this man pollutes our reasoning and explains away the sanctified Temple of God and the power of the Holy Spirit through philosophical reasoning. This type leadership will steal the spiritual seed in our hearts imparted through the true knowledge of Christ. The destination of those deceived by this spiritual reasoning leads to the pit of despair and fear. Satan then relishes the opportunity to capture these as he chooses to do his will opposing the true anointing of Christ. This is made possible when the canopy of Gods covering is breached through spiritual error advanced by this spirit.

The religious spirit introduces into the Church the spirit of the world nullifying the Grace of God. The views of Truth necessary to purify the church are not such as the world gives, but are such as are communicated by the Spirit of God. This spirit will attempt to lead the Church away from the reality of God expressed in the Book of Acts. During the later years of his life, John G. Lake received a powerful angelic visitation. In this encounter the angel opened the scriptures to the Book of Acts saying, “This is Pentecost as God gave it through the heart of Jesus. Strive for this…contend for this…teach the people to pray for this. For this, and this alone will meet the necessity of the human heart and this alone will have power to overcome the forces of darkness.” As the angel departed he admonished Bro. Lake insisting, “Pray, pray, pray…Teach the people to pray. Prayer and prayer alone, much prayer, persistent prayer is the door of entrance to the heart of God.”

GOD’S RESERVES

In the vision Bob saw what initially appeared to be an angel with female appearances descending from heaven. As the image advanced closer he saw a name written upon her—EKKLESIA– “Called Out Ones”. Close observation revealed that she had neither hands nor feet. This expressed that the proper biblical priesthood had not yet been released to the body to prepare her for unimpaired bridal duties. The Lord indicated that He was going to release the “Zadok” priesthood to teach the distinction between the clean and the profane. (Ezekiel 44:15-16) This ministry will be the government of God providing a cleansing light purifying her to emerge as the glorious bride of Christ.

The Spirit then declared that He is calling forth His “reserves” to active duty. These reserves can be found in (Jeremiah 50:20). In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.

To these “Pardoned Ones” the Lord is going to equip with the authority of the “Rod of Iron” to serve as a bridge over troubled waters. The Holy Spirit will function as a bridge of deliverance leading to Calvary’s Cross. Reserves are defined as a military force withheld for the use by a commander when he desires to commit those troops decisively to battle and enemy engagement. These will also be anointed with the Lord’s “battle axe” for the purpose of laying the axe to the root of the religious tree.

The Lord’s desire is to bring a priesthood to the headship of His people that will feed the flock the pure revelation of Jesus Christ. The Word of God is seed and the Holy Spirit waters that seed to produce a Divine fruit bearing tree. Wisdom comes from heaven down, human knowledge comes from the earth up. This distinction must be recognized in the church in preparation for end-time Harvest.

 

THE SNOW-JOB

The apostle Paul identified the religious spirit in (2 Corinthians 11:12-15)But what I am doing, I will continue to do, that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.

The primary purpose of this spirit is to veil the minds of those without faith that the light of THE GOSPEL OF THE GLORY OF CHRIST, who is the image of the invisible God, should not shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:4). This type leadership will preach the sufferings of Christ, but not the Glory. They will preach Christ crucified, but not Christ risen and the power of His resurrection. They will even preach the gospel of the grace of God but not the gospel of the GLORY OF CHRIST. It is the preaching of the Glory of Christ that produces the greatest enmity from Satan and that for which he has worked so diligently to keep veiled from the eyes of the church.

The very essence of the “abominable snow-job man” is deception. It is a deception to preach the perfection that is attained on the actions and deeds of works while our minds remain veiled to the redemption which is already ours in Christ Jesus. The message of “deceitful ministers” must out of necessity appear to be right and true or the message would not be deceiving. Simply having a zeal for God is not sufficient. It must be zeal accompanied with Divine Truth according to (Romans 10:2-3). Even sincerity alone is not sufficient. Uzzah in the sincerity of his heart reached his hand to steady the ark of the Lord, yet it cost him his life because it did not follow the Lord’s prescribed way. All of us can fall prey to the influence of the religious spirit when our works are done more as a religious duty rather than a heart of passion for our savior. We must remain with the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

It is from the heart that man BELIEVES resulting in righteousness. Residing in a justified state results when the illumination of the heart grasps the pardoning grace of Christ introducing him to the favor of God. Even so, faith without works is dead but only as an outward expression of an inward conviction. The religious spirit attempts to direct a person to the favor of God through works and efforts of the flesh. Cain attempted to gain favor with God by offering the fruit of his labor and was rejected. Abel by revelation recognized his inability to adequately atone for his sin and offered the life of the innocent and found favor with God.

Clearly, an internal distinction existed in the intention or disposition of these two sacrifices. Abel’s sacrifice was offered through revelation and obedient faith with a sense of gratitude for mercy followed by obedience to His will. Cain’s offering, although requiring greater hardship and effort, was devoid of faith and rejected. This early Genesis account contrasted the heart of the religious spirit and the liberty obtained through obedience. Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness and he was called the friend of God.

It is the gospel of the glory of Christ that is the greatest threat to the kingdom of darkness and it is this very gospel that must be demonstrated during this generation to bring the bride to the point of perfection. For God who said “light shall shine out of darkness, is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the KNOWLEDGE OF THE GLORY OF GOD IN THE FACE OF CHRIST. (2 Corinthians 4:6)