HOW A FALSE CONVERSION OCCURS
By Pam Sheppard
Because the spirit and the soul are not separate but tightly knitted or braided around each other as are the ligaments, marrow and joints in our legs, it is difficult to discern the difference between the two. The soul is easiest to recognize because the concerns and needs of “self” are generally apparent. We recognize the “body” side of the soul because we can see the results through the activity of the natural frame. We can see selfishness, ambition, competition, and jealousy because the body, through material and natural things, will engage in scenarios that expose self striving.
However, where we fall short is in our ability to discern the soul from the spirit, which is also “flesh.” I am considering a gospel account of the words of the Lord when a funeral procession went by. He turn to his disciples and said, “let the dead bury the dead.” How can the dead bury the dead? What Jesus was actually saying is “let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead.” Those who are alive in both the body and the soul have a dead spirit. A dead spirit is one that is separated, alienated, and without God in the world. That is a dead spirit. It doesn’t mean that there is no awareness or activity in the spirit.
The spirit of the lost is very much alive in the kingdom of darkness, but he or she is alienated from the kingdom of heaven. It makes itself known through various nightmares and irrational fears. When it is active, man’s dead spirit is open to the hellish dark world of spirits ruled over by the Prince of darkness. When it is both active AND powerful, the spirit is capable of a variety of supernatural feats including but not limited to clairvoyance, clairaudience and astral travel or out of body experiences.
When a lost or alienated person “accepts Jesus” as Lord and Savior, it can’t be the spirit who does so because the spirit of that person is dead, alienated, and walking according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works in those who are disobedient by the lust of their flesh. In such a condition, the soul has to take over. In the lost, the soul fulfills the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and the lost person has the nature of self consciousness.
So since a dead spirit cannot “accept God,” the soul takes over in its parts: mind, emotions and volition or will and says, “I accept Jesus as Lord and Savior” and begins a religious ritual that imitates intimacy and relationship. The working of the enemy through the mind or ideas of man quenches the work of the Holy Ghost to quicken that person’s spirit. For the powers of darkness are keenly clever in working alongside of and simulating the born again experience.
When a person is REALLY born again, the soul takes a back seat. The Holy Ghost “quickens” the spirit through repentance. As defined by Paul to the Ephesians, to quicken means to be made alive. As Jesus Christ was raised from the dead physically or bodily, to be born again is to be raised from the dead spiritually. In other words, a dead spirit has been raised to becoming a vessel for the Holy Ghost. Since the spirit does not have a will, volition is a choice or decision made by the soul. What the spirit has is intuition. Paul revealed that the reason the spirit is raise from the dead is because “God is rich in mercy.” So the resurrection of the spirit begins in the intuition and then translated into understanding by the soul.
When the soul “accepts Jesus,” the spirit remains dead but with great acting skills, the soul can religiously imitate the things of God. The fallen spirit of man, alienated and separated from God is sunk down into the soul so that the soul manifests as intellect or sensuality, often in both. In such cases, the soul reigns over both the spirit and the body. The way that the new life reaches the spirit is shown in the Lord’s own words: You must be born again. The Holy Ghost “breathes” where ever He chooses. This is not the decision of man but the will of God.
The believer who has been raised from the dead in the spirit to newness of like is born of the Spirit or “born again.” The Holy Ghost, who takes up a dwelling place in the reborn spirit, has given the believer a revelation of the Cross and the Lord’s resurrection. This revelation is first received in the spirit. As James indicates in his letter, the wisdom that is from above—from the Holy Spirit—is pure, peaceable, gentle, merciful—without any element of the life of the soul—opinions, self views, strife-jealousy. So when a person is born again, the spirit imparts understanding to the soul through the mind, will and the emotions.
What is happening among those who claim that “they accepted Jesus,” is that they have done so through the soul and therefore, their spirits have remained dead. The intellect of one whose spirit is dead is decidedly fallible and becomes the most dangerous of the soul’s gifts because God seekers use their minds to understand spiritual truths. The scriptures reveal that the soulish man cannot receive the things of the Spirit, because they can only be spiritually discerned.
According to the late great Jessie Penn Lewis, “It is the soulish element in teachers and professors of holiness, which is often the cause of separation and disunion. There may be, it is true, love in the heart to those who ‘differ,’ but the ‘differences’ divide nevertheless, because the demoniacal powers, able to work upon the soulish element in the believer, always emphasize or exaggerate the difference in “views of truth,” instead of magnifying the points of union, and even drive eager believers to ‘fight’ for their view of ‘truth,‘ under the name of ‘witnessing for God.” It us also the soulish element in Christians which insists upon the minute correspondence of others its ‘views of truth,’ and ‘tithe mint and anise and cumin’, in words whilst leaving ‘undone the weightier matters of the law’—which in the gospel dispensation of the Spirit between believers as the condition of their growth into ‘unity of the faith. ‘In brief, the soul-life, influenced by evil supernatural powers, is the main cause of divisions and separation among the professing, and even the true children of God.”
For this reason as pointed out by Sis. Jessie, the churches are filled with nominal worshippers of Christ, who show no marks of a true Christian life within them. In a nutshell, influences that bypass the spirit and only reach the soul may prepare the way by bringing the seeker within the reach of the truth which is read from the scriptures. Outer strivings may make for a kind self righteousness that has a value and place in the world. However, by virtue of these outer trappings, such seekers will be fooled into believing that the strivings of the soul is evidence that he or she is born again. Not so. Since God views self righteous as filthy rags, the spirits of such seekers is untouched. Dead. Alienated. Without God.
Those whose souls imitate salvation are diversified. Dynamic personalities sway and move the emotions of others. Their fruit—like TD Jakes for example—is to move the emotions of the soul. The problem is that the faith of the hearers stands in the influence or wisdom of people like TD, and not in the power of God. Intellectuals uses schemes to reach men and bring them to God, some preaching hell and damnation to frighten people to God, others using heaven, prosperity, gospelfests, social fellowship, networking etc.
The outcome is that people are attracted to the fake Jesus, and not of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. What happens is a dangerous thing, so dangerous, that I will have to address it in more detail Part III. Suffice it to say for now, that people who are deceived into believing that they got born again, STILL have a dead spirit. When dead, the spirit is susceptible to the evil side of the spirit world where psychic power is mistaken for the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Consequently, unsaved people are speaking in tongues, laying hands on others, imparting demons into vulnerable people. Also, when people with dead spirits pray to the Father in the name of His Son, the one who answers their prayers is the imposter, the Fake Jesus.
Can a person whose spirit has been quickened STILL allow his or her soul to dominate? Most decidedly YES.These are those who have a sensual relationship with Jesus. When they speak of “being in His presence,” they are not satisfied unless they can feel the presence of God continually upon their flesh, and almost bi-polar in the spirit, they experience loads of ups and downs akin to spiritual mood swings. They need to be taught how to walk by faith and not by sight or feeling. Although the Holy Spirit dwells in their spirits, they often allow the soul to predominate because they do not understand the spirit life and the actions of the human spirit in co-action with God.