As I`ve stated elsewhere, much controversy persists about the existence of God, the devil, angels (light/dark), demons, life after death and the whole concept of spirit things. I often pose the following questions; Is this stuff real? Or, is it merely superstition? Or could it all, perhaps, stem from misguided beliefs which grew out of religious ideology?
Subsequently, and quite often, I find myself contemplating and marveling at just how deceitful the heart can be. Through constant prayer, extensive research, much introspection, and by God`s grace and mercy, I`m growing and learning not to lean on my own understanding. My hunger and thirst for truth seems insatiable, and thanks to passages like the one above I know how important it is to test what I think and pray about what I believe. (Falsifiability) I get it; I know that "once a question has been asked or a hypothesis advanced, that people assess their answers by looking for positive evidence that the hypothesis is true and neglect searching for evidence that the hypothesis is false." (Dunning, 2005) This is one reason why we ask: Is this stuff real?
The graphic illustration provided here depicts a deceiving spirit (dark angel ). It is extracted out of a graphic illustration done for me by Daniel Gorman. I commissioned Daniel September 14, 2015. The illustration is based on a symbolic dream I had. I provided Daniel with explicit details and I am grateful that he was able to bring this dream out of my spirit and onto paper as a means to convey the revelations to others. (See video on web-page entitled Is This Stuff Real? )
Here, my intent, in part, is to share more insights based on how imperative it is to understand why we ask, is this stuff real, and equally important is to grasp just how the ability to detect, encode and retrieve what is unique about a specific event, revelation, symbolic dream, etc... has flexibility. When recalling or repeating particular experiences, the sort of flexibility I refer to can lead us into error. Then we will consider the role deceiving spirits play in the flexibility and/or scheme of such things.
I previously strongly suggested that one reason God approaches when we are sleeping, is to bypass our ability to interfere, distort, or edit incoming sensory information. I stated that while awake we are always filtering incoming sensory information and constructing our perceptions in ways that make sense to us. I provided biblical episodes, Matthew 1:18-25, Acts 10:9-14, and Genesis 28:10-19, to form a logical argument whereby Joseph, Peter, and Jacob were provided clarity from God about spiritual truths they were having great difficulties accepting. I suggested that the answers and explanations they received, had bypassed their ability to reason, because they were sleep or experiencing a vision when receiving what was needed. This bypassing procedure prevented them from reaching wrong conclusions. I Further stated that although there is no way to turn off our senses, our cognitive processing of sensations do change while we sleep.
Let`s return to my symbolic dream, to carefully consider the aftereffects. First, its significant to note that once an assumption, explanation, clarity, or even a revelation from the Holy Spirit has been received, people tent to continue looking for and often distort information in a confirmatory manner. Oh yeah! The heart is deceitful, and desperately wicked. Such human tendencies not only have the capacity to lead us astray, but provide opportunities for deceiving spirits to manipulate us. Know this: A deceiving spirit not only seeks to manipulate, it can and will remain cloaked or hidden behind the victim`s willingness to practice deceit, or within the victim`s deceitful heart. This enables the evil spirit to stay their indefinitely. Therefore, when it came to my symbolic dream , its content, and the graphic illustration that was created based on the dream, I had much to consider. Let me be clear, I don`t have a willingness to practice deceit, and through God`s grace and mercy I`ve received I new heart. However, scripture often warns believer`s about the destructive influential power of deception.
Subsequently, the wise thing to do would be to prayerfully examine it all. I have shared much about the source of the symbolic dream coming from God. Therefore , based on the deceitfulness of the heart I turn my focus to the human imagination, relative to how it operates when people recall specific events. The following research actually took me aback. "With repetition, the image that the subject creates of the suggested event may become increasingly elaborate, detailed, and seemingly real, increasing the likelihood of misattribution. (See Suengas & Johnson,1988, For evidence that rehearsing imagined events serves to preserve and embellish them. (Zaragoza & Mitchell, in press). Was I trying to make the symbolic dream more interesting, by adding extra details that came from what I had imagined? Did I distort or abort the truth, each and every time I began imagining possible relevance to this symbolic dream? Did introspection lead me to the process whereby I began separating the actual content from the suggestive information. Reader, imagine what this separating process was like. No pun intended. I will return to this, but let`s start by considering the dark side of this process.
Activating Imaginative Power Without God
Since the primary focus is on the deceitful heart and how desperately wicked it is, let`s go further by examining the power of the imagination when its` manifestations are evil. We must begin with the normal human mind( non-renewed mind) which Jeremiah 17:9 not only described as being deceitful, but, moreover, Jeremiah, explicitly records that the degree of the human heart`s deceitfulness is "...above all things..." and desperately wicked. The bible has much to say about Indwelling sin`s deceitfulness. Eph. 5:6 "Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." Numbers hold great significance in scripture. Their are 9 activities listed. The number 9 is the last of the single digits. The significance points to the conclusion of a matter. Make no mistake the number 9 means finality or judgment. It marks the completeness, the end and issue of all things relative to humankind.
BEFORE any sinful act (as listed in this passage) is displayed externally, each and every one, is originally expressed as a inner sinful agreement. You see, the human imagination`s assignment (when operating outside of God`s will) is to unite (bring together or huddle with) the thoughts and feelings that each and every individual is thinking and feeling. The imagination brings sinful fantasies: mental pictures of violence, mental snapshots of getting revenge, sexual fantasies that are vividly envisioned , greed; showing you at the top of your game, etc are brought to the huddle by the imagination. Your inner thought-voice provides the gift of gab, power of persuasion in the huddle, and your feelings provide the motivation. An addict, for example, seeing the mental image of smoking crack and listening to his thought-voice saying "just get one hit", stomach begins to quiver because cravings are intensified in the huddle.
They strategize in the huddle and when agreement is reached they have clear vision, the three are now one, and break huddle pulsating in hot pursuit of the sinful thing that they now agree upon as being good to have. This is what Jeremiah was describing when he wrote of the heart being deceitful above all things, because once these three combine on this sinful level they become as recorded in, Ecclesiastes 4:12 " threefold cord is not quickly broken." Let`s go deeper. When the: sinful imagination, sinful thought, lustful feeling, agree as one, functionally they become 3D, and approach the human will in HD: high definition. This is were the desperately wicked part in Jeremiah 17:9 comes into play. Here`s Apostle Paul`s flavor, "Rom.7:19 "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not do, that I do." Paul goes further Rom.7:23 "But there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature at war with my mind..." The Lord Jesus put it this way. Matthew 5:28 "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
Prayerfully consider the translation of the word "desperately" . (`anash) The basic meaning of the word is "to be sick" (2 Sam.12:15) but most frequently it is used to describe a wound or pain which is incurable as attested by the contexts of Jer 15:18; 30:12. It is used metaphorically in Isa 17:11; Jer 17:16. In Jer. 17:9 it describes the desperate spiritual state of the heart in terms of illness. These descriptions for "desperately" therefore, indicate that it`s incurable, nothing can be done to change this heart. It is a , "a heart of stone" . In short, it is set in a pattern of influence that cannot be changed for the better. Subsequently, the need for a heart transplant is real. This heart transplant can only be performed by God.
The prophet Ezekiel, speaking on God`s behalf writes, Ezekiel 36:26-27 " A new heart also will I give you,---I will give you new and right desires---and put a new spirit within you. I will take out your stony hearts of sin and give you an new heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you so that you will obey my laws and do whatever I command." You see, those receiving (through God`s grace and mercy) this supernatural heart transplant, embark on a journey, whereby the effects of the heart transplant become more and more (progressively) evident. Such evidence, as recorded in this passage, equips him or her with a new will, God-centered desires, a thirst for righteousness, a pursuit that progressively takes recipients from being sin-centered to being God-focused. It`s this guiding power of the Holy Spirit upon the recipients`s new heart that transforms his or her`s entire outlook.
This very same work is how the Holy Spirit enables recipients to harness the power of his or her`s imagination. For example, God invigorated Abram`s faith by fueling Abrams imagination. In Genesis 15:5 he told Abram " Look up into the heavens and count the stars--- if you can. Your descendants will be like that--too many to count!" And Abram believed God; And God considered him righteous on account of his faith." Jesus said, Mark 9:23 ""If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." When Jesus said If thou canst believe, he was fueling the father`s imagination. The father began to (see in his imagination) Jesus healing his son, but simultaneously, right in front of his own two eyes, he was still looking at his son being tormented. This was why he cried out, "help my unbelief." In essence, in the very heat of the moment, Jesus gave him hands-on- training on how to walk by faith and not sight. And, as the saying goes, "The rest is history." His son was delivered, and set free. Thank you Jesus.
I can`t overemphasize the significance of how the imagination is fueled through input. Know this:Their are things that occur in the new heart and the sanctified imagination that are not merely transpiring on the cognitive level. What I mean is that when the stony, inflexible, non-responsive-to God`s will, incurable, desperately wicked heart, has been removed, every aspect of receiving a new heart from God is connected to God`s plan and uniquely assigned purpose upon the recipient`s life. Luke 10:19-20 Jesus said, " Behold I have given you authority over all the power of the Enemy, and to walk among serpents and scorpions and to crush them. Nothing shall injure you! However, the important thing is not that demons obey you, but that your names are registered as citizens of heaven. " Again, here, we see Jesus invigorating his disciples faith, by fueling their imagination.
These truths are precisely why evil spirits fight so hard at destroying our understanding of the significance of our humanness and often hidden God-given potential, that in essence defines, what it means for a believer to be IN-CHRIST JESUS." The "humanness" aspect of this truth is extremely important. You see, many people, even believers, in error assume that to walk in the spirit, means that our humanness is insignificant(especially) for those full of God`s anointing. This error(equating humaneness with sinful-fleshly nature) is the work of the Deceiving Spirit. It is our humaneness that Ezekiel 36:26 was prophesying about when he wrote "...and I will give you an heart of flesh..." This" heart of flesh" defines aspects of our humanness, the renewed mind, the sanctified imagination, hating evil, God-given desires, etc , which in turn represent some of the of evil one`s worst nightmares. Why? Because when Satan sees such things, he is witnessing the fulfillment of Ezekiel`s prophecy: God`s people being made whole. Wholeness, defines authentic harmony of the individuals spirit, soul, and flesh operating in and with God`s will. This describes what it means, and is the only way for humans to fully reflect and project the image of Jesus Christ upon earth. We must be in Christ Jesus.
Apostle Paul put it this way. Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of hie Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." Every miracle, every aspect of Jesus`s earthly ministry occurred while he was operating as a human being. Don`t get it twisted, operating as spirits within our our uniquely designed humanness is as essential for human success just as it was for Jesus`s need to become human to achieve success. He even told his disciples, John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." Here again, we see Jesus stimulating their faith by fueling their imagination.
Never, ever forget that humankind was the climax of all that God created. Humankind was created in God`s image, and although we are spirit beings its through the uniqueness of our humanness that man was created to rule upon the earth. Humankind was created for God`s glory. Angel`s were created with far greater capabilities and superior intellect over humankind, but they were assigned to serve humankind. (see Hebrews 1:14) This is what David was deeply contemplating in , Psalm 8:4-6 "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him?"
The Deceiving Spirit`s Role
I stated above, that we would examine how the Deceiving Spirit comes into play relative to the flexibility. Again, this flexibility refers to when I saw the details of the symbolic dream every time I recalled the dream, and how, each and every time, I simultaneously, saw things in my imagination relative to the same details that I recalled. (both accurate & suggestive) I, then, after much research, began to not only question the authenticity, but began separating the actual dream content from the suggestive information that I imagined.
At this point It`s important to start with a clear understanding based upon the following principles on demonology. Jesus said in John 14:30 "Hereafter, I will not talk much with you; for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." Our focus is on the last clause of this passage, where Jesus says the Devil, "...hath nothing in me," which refers to sin; Jesus was pure in his humanness and his divinity, meaning that even though the devil could still tempt Jesus, that based on Jesus`s purity , the evil one could not exploit or gravitate to what he would find within Jesus. No other human being in this world can say what Jesus said and be truthful. In his book "Hostage to The Devil" pg. 424 eminent theologian, Malachi Martin said it best. "Evil spirits cannot produce nothing in us that was not already there, actually or potentially. Evil spirits can only act upon what it finds and only within the limits of its knowledge." In the same book, Martin , also writing about The Process of Possession, pg.438 shares about early demonic activity, "...the stage when erroneous judgment of a highly personal nature are made, generally beginning once again in the areas where the individual places the greatest value and enjoys the greatest sense of personal expertise and freedom. Through this process, the original strength, beauty, and idealism of the individual are slowly, piece by piece, turned upside down." Martin`s work on the subject is profound. ( See also, my web page entitled Seeking To Devour ).
The truths in John 14:30 and those shared by Malachi Martin, shed much light upon the symbolic dream I had. Let`s examine possible opportunities about, why,how, and when the deceiving spirit could have infiltrated my thinking, my imagination, and my strengths and weaknesses. What I mean; is on one hand, the deceiving spirit surly approached with clear understanding of my God-given assignment to teach biblical truth. This knowledge relates to both my actual calling-to teach & my potential, based on my assignment. Oh yes! The evil one, and his cohorts not only attack human weaknesses, they often turn our strengths upside down. In my case, at some point, I was confronted by a forceful, intrusive thought. It came as a very assertive challenge, saying "Think real hard...' The evil one knew about my seemingly insatiable hunger for truth, and so, by approaching the flexibility this way, the deceiving spirit attempted to dis-confirm the legitimacy of every thing in the graphic illustration, by alluding to the details that came forth out of imagination. More on this on the section entitled, The Time Gap.
Let`s consider the time right after (that night) when I had the symbolic dream. It`s vitally important to think about what happens during this "time-gap". During this time recalling the symbolic dream was inevitable. Get this: with repetition, the actual symbolic dream`s content did not surface in my mind by itself. This is where the "flexibility" swiftly and ever-so-undetected comes in to play. This means that during the mental process of retrieving the actual footage (details) in the dream, something else was going on. You see, I also began to imagine how every relative scripture, biblical episode, and what I learned about demonology, seemed to jell with and confirm each aspect of the symbolic dream. Here, we`ve reached the point when I sent Daniel the explicit details. Mind you, I had not even considered making distinctions between the actual dream content and the details that surfaced from my imagination. Since we do tend to emphasize evidence that confirm over information that dis-confirms, I realized I had to add this particular page to the web-site.
Let`s continue. When I had received the finished graphic recreation of my symbolic dream from Daniel, I was astonished at Daniel`s ability to capture every detail that I`d provided. As stated above, once an assumption, explanation, clarity, or even a revelation from the Holy Spirit has been received, people tend to continue looking for and often distort information in a confirmatory manner. Subsequently, knowing that I saw things when recalling the symbolic dream, and that I saw things in my imagination based on what I recalled, I wondered. ( Both accurate and suggestive) Would employing both processes be the way God wanted me to connect all the dots? In my thinking, based on the deceitfulness of the heart, I almost always proceed with caution.
The bible tells us to " Cast down imaginations..." This put me on high alert. then, at some point in this process I was confronted by a intrusive thought. It came as a forceful very assertive challenge saying, "Think real hard! These kind of details can be difficult to recall accurately." Oh yeah! The evil one knows that people often base their decisions on thoughtful and rigorous deliberation. Moreover, the deceiving spirit hungers for opportunities when people are often wrong precisely because they have all this knowledge. What I mean is how humans can draw from a vast warehouse of information to rationalize reaching a wrong conclusion. Let me be clear. Their are many ways that the information we have--even when it is bona fide--can lead us to error. Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
Discerning what was lurking behind this particular process lead me to re-examine the graphic illustration. But this time, my focus was locked in on the deceiving spirit.While eyeing this image, I began to think of the descriptive phrases and powerful symbolism`s that are employed in the book of Revelations 13:1 "...and saw a beast rise up out of the sea..." Rev.13:11 "And beheld another beast coming out of the earth..." Rev. 9:2 "And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit..." Rev. 9:7 ",,,and their faces were as the faces of men..." teeth of lions,,," Rev 9:9 "...And they had breastplates..." The significance, here, points to how, just zooming in on the deceiving spirit (show below) led me to retrieve relative input. As others have rightly noted, the imagination is fueled through input. Someone defined the imagination as being the ability of the mind to see in pictures. And so, for example, while looking at the breastplate, I separated it, because it was suggestive, meaning, it was not actual content from the symbolic dream, nor was the belt with the letters spelling d-e-c-i-e-t. The teeth, also were not actual content from the symbolic dream. Each of these details surfaced in my imagination while I was praying, and/or seeking understanding about the symbolic dream. Next, I went back into my computer file and pulled up the initial sketch that Daniel provided as he and I began to collaborate on the project. I compared the above sketch with the finished work.
Ultimately, the deceiving spirit wanted to instill doubt, in me, so-much so, that it would steal my very act of believing. What this means is based on the evil being knowing that once I got to the point of separating the actual symbolic dream`s footage (details) from the details that surfaced out of my imagination, that I would question the validity of the project. The evil intent was to get me to dismiss the certainty of the revelations conveyed in the graphic illustration. Knowing how we humans hate to appear foolish, or unintelligible, the deceiving spirit, knowing me, understood how much I want others, to coin a phrase written by Malachi Martin, " to escape the confines of the material world..."
As stated above, the imagination is fueled through input. Romans 12:1-2 commands us to be not conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. For sure, this command includes renewing the human imagination. One way that we are to achieve this renewal process is to plant as much of God`s word, as possible, in our hearts. Not just for memorization, but for application. Mind you, Psalms 37:4 :Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." In context, this does not mean that God will give you whatever you want. It means that God will plant desires that line-up with his will and purpose for your life, in your heart. Make no mistake, with me; the harmonious manifestations were no coincidence. What I experienced in the symbolic dream, the relative biblical passages; God`s specific word that I had hide deep in my heart, and my God-given purpose to teach, collectively fueled my sanctified imagination. Know this: Your mind and your imagination are connected to God`s plan, and the Holy One will reveal to you how to harness the power of your imagination. The imagination, therefore, when operating as God intended, is a very powerful gift. Amen and Amen.