SPIRITUAL DISFIGUREMENTS (EXCERPT OF PERFECTING HOLINESS)
Copyright © 2013 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
(“Spiritual Disfigurements” is taken from Perfecting Holiness, copyright © 2011 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Right Reserved)
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
The expression God is “holy” means none of the following attitudes and actions is true of Him.
The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (II Corinthians 7:1)
The passage above tells us that while these attitudes and actions may begin in our flesh they may, if we do not overcome them, become part of our spirit. In this case they will be part of our personality when we die and pass into the spirit world.
We of today are at the end of the age. The Day of Atonement, of reconciliation to God, is to be fulfilled spiritually. The Jubilee is announced once every fifty years on the Day of Atonement. Now the Trumpet of Jubilee is sounding, meaning it is God’s time for us to be released from slavery to these disfigurements.
It is time for us to wash our robes by confessing these attitudes and actions to Jesus, He then will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
A treacherous, faithless spirit; lack of integrity. The Lord Jesus Christ is faithful and true. We must receive His integrity if we are to be in the image of God.
Self-centeredness; self-love; self-will. If we are to find love, joy, and peace, we must become an eternal part of God through Jesus Christ. God has given us our personal cross so our self-centeredness will be destroyed, releasing us into the ability to emphasize what will benefit the Lord and mankind.
An ungrateful attitude will be converted to thanksgiving when Christ is in us.
Self-interest rather than principle. The Lord Jesus does what is pleasing to God whether or not it is enjoyable to do so. He will help us adopt this attitude.
A perverse (oppose and contradict; quarrelsome) mind has no place in the Kingdom of God. It must be replaced with the sound, clear judgment of the mind of Christ.
A gossiping, slandering spirit must be replaced with speech that builds up the believer. Christ formed in us will accomplish this.
An undisciplined tongue is not part of the image of God. The Spirit of Christ will help us overcome this sin.
The spirit of fear, cowardice, timidity is unclean and must be replaced with the courage of Christ.
The fear of change is not holy. We are to be filled with the confidence of the Lord Jesus Christ when faced with change.
Fear of success/fear of failure. If we will ask the Lord Jesus, He will replace our fear of success/fear of failure with His confidence in His Father. Christ always is ready to receive favor and glory—whatever the Father has chosen for Him.
A sense of inevitability is an unclean spirit. Jesus Christ understands that His prayers move the hand of God. If we ask Him to, He will put that same confidence in us.
Dread, worry, apprehension, despair are unclean and must be replaced with the confidence and joy of Christ.
Not trusting God for the future is spiritual darkness. Christ will give us His faith if we ask Him.
Anxiety, nervousness because of the problems of life is unclean. We can gain mastery over this spiritual darkness if we will ask the Lord to replace our anxiety and nervousness with His peace—peace that passes understanding.
A man-pleasing spirit, seeking the approval of people must be replaced with Christ’s attitude who speaks and acts to please the Father.
Fear of a lack of money, material provisions must be replaced with Christ’s absolute confidence and trust in God to provide all His physical needs.
A willingness to bribe or be bribed must be replaced with the honesty and integrity of Christ.
An indulgent, weak nature must be replaced with the iron righteousness of Christ. How can we sit on the throne with Christ and govern with Him if we are indulgent and weak?
Rage and murder must be replaced with the compassion of Christ.
The desire to kill is an unclean spirit. A person must defend himself, his family, and his country; and sometimes it becomes necessary to kill an animal. But above and beyond the necessities of life on the earth is an urge to kill or murder. The Spirit of Christ can take the place of this satanic impulse.
The suspicious spirit must be replaced with the knowledge of Christ that He gains through constant prayer to God.
A jealous, envious spirit must be replaced with Christ’s contentment—contentment based on His understanding of His secure place in God’s Person.
All forms of witchcraft, fortune telling, tea leaves, astrology, seeking to bring something to pass by imaging it or believing or speaking it into existence, must be replaced with prayer and the faith of Christ. This includes the current “faith,” “prosperity,” and “imaging” practices. This includes also astrology-type personal prophecies. Believers become addicted to these in place of finding God’s will by presenting their bodies a living sacrifice. There is, however, a proper place for personal prophecies, but only under the supervision of godly elders.
A desire to be seen as mysterious or as having occult powers is unclean. The idea of being a sorcerer or magician can be appealing to Christians. They may desire to bring other believers into bondage by directing them with prophetic words. When we are filled with Christ we move in the supernatural realm but we make the supernatural natural.
A false spirit of prophecy must be replaced with the true Spirit of Christ.
Grandiose prophecy usually is not of the Lord. Sometimes God does speak to us of marvels; but much of the prophecy we are hearing today tends to glorify us and not the Lord Jesus. It is unclean. When Christ has become our life God deals with us in simple, unpretentious terms. We do not hear how great we are, how we are going to be revealed as all-powerful sons of God before the return of the Lord Jesus.
Indifference, complacency, lukewarmness are unclean attitudes. They must be replaced with the zeal of Christ for doing the Father’s will.
Smugness, offensive satisfaction with oneself must be replaced with Christ’s humility and His intense desire to please the Father.
Self-pity and pouting must be replaced with the worship of God and confidence in Him.
Self-justifying, defensiveness is terribly destructive. If we are to have the peace of Christ and move forward in Him we absolutely must let Him be the One who justifies our behavior. This He will do after He chastens us for any wrongdoing on our part.
Blaming other people for our troubles is the wrong way to respond to pain. Instead we should go to the Lord for relief and not look at the tools the Lord is using to teach us His ways.
A sensitive, easily offended spirit must be replaced with the buoyant attitude of the Lord.
Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, are unclean. They must be replaced with Christ’s utter dependence on the Father for all matters of life and behavior.
Disobedience to God must be replaced with Christ’s determination to do God’s will in every aspect of life.
Arrogance and pride must be replaced with the humility of Christ, His willingness to be a servant.
Pride of station must be replaced with the humility of Christ. He always is ready to take the lowest place and associate with people of low estate.
Pride of knowledge, of intellect, is an unclean spirit. Such pride must be replaced with the humility of Jesus Christ, for it true that we know nothing at all!
Verbose, garrulous, glib speech must be replaced with Christ’s diligence in saying only that which the Father gives Him.
Flirtation must be replaced with the purity of Christ.
Infatuation, the tendency to “fall in love,” must be replaced with the Spirit of Christ. We will not be able to walk obediently, carrying our cross behind Christ, if we are being led astray by our blind emotions.
Narcissism, self-worship, is unclean and must be replaced with Christ’s concern for others.
Covetousness must be replaced with the contentment of Christ.
Idolatry, unclean attractions, soul-ties, must be replaced with Christ’s intense, undivided love for His Father. We are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Everything else must take second place.
Personal ambition and seeking preeminence, discontent with one’s appointed place, a desire to be important, must be replaced with the concern Christ has for other people, and with Christ’s willingness to be only that which the Father desires and to fulfill the role to which He has been appointed.
Seeking to control another person, possessiveness, must be replaced with a willingness to allow God to manage that individual. This does not, of course, refer to our duty as parents to guide young children. Even then our guidance must not be an arbitrary, unthinking control of the child but strong, reasonable, and kind direction.
The spirit of rebellion against God and other authority must be replaced with the submission of Christ.
An unloving, unkind, unfriendly attitude is unclean. When Christ is living in us we will be kind and friendly toward other people, as the Lord leads.
Insensitive to the needs of others. Our self-centeredness must be replaced with the care for others that is characteristic of God and Christ.
The spirit of exhibitionism, showing off, is unclean and must be replaced with humility.
A lust for, entertainment, pleasure, must be replaced with the joy of the Lord.
Partying, dissipation, drunkenness, orgies must be replaced with Christ’s ability to be satisfied with the pleasures granted Him by the Father.
Excessive pessimism, optimism, and enthusiasm must be replaced with the steady patience and confidence of Christ.
A morbid attitude must be replaced with the faith, joy, courage, beauty, and hope that are found in the Lord Jesus.
Antipathies and affinities must be replaced with Christ’s equitable assessment of individuals.
Unforgiveness, bitterness, rancor must be replaced with the forgiveness and mercy of Christ.
A spirit of complaining is unclean and must be replaced with the thankfulness and faith of Christ.
The spirit of hatred must be replaced with mercy, forgiveness, and Christ’s love.
Impatience must be replaced with the patience of Christ.
An impulsive spirit must be replaced with the calm, reasoned judgment of Christ.
A compulsive, driving spirit is not found in Christ or in those whom Christ is perfecting.
Harshness must be replaced with the gentleness of Christ.
A usurping spirit is unclean and must be replaced with the strict honesty of the Lord Jesus.
Changeableness, capriciousness, fickleness, flightiness, behaving whimsically, are not of the image of God. God does not change and always behaves straightforwardly.
A finicky, fussy attitude is not characteristic of the Kingdom God. It must be replaced with thankfulness.
A coy manner is not the way of the Lord. We are to be reasonably bold and forthright.
A spirit of gambling must be replaced with Christ’s trust in God for resources and directions.
Recklessness, rashness, presumption must be replaced with Christ’s willingness to wait and listen to His Father.
Brash, impetuous, tactless, shameless behavior must be replaced with that of the Lord Jesus, which always is prayerful, thoughtful, full of mercy, peace, and good will.
Boasting and bragging must be replaced with Christ’s modesty.
Exaggerating is an unclean spirit. Exaggerating must be replaced with a Christ’s Spirit of truthfulness.
Stubbornness, perversity are unclean spirits and must be replaced with Christ’s teachableness.
Filthy speech must be replaced with Christ’s purity of speech.
Avarice must be replaced with Christ’s trust in God.
Whatever we are clinging to must be replaced with Christ’s practice of giving everything to the Father.
A spirit of physical lust including an addiction to pornography must be replaced with the natural affection of Christ.
Homosexual behavior, lust toward children, and other sexual perversions must be replaced with the self-control and natural affection of Jesus Christ.
Frigidity, the inability to love or be loved, must be replaced with the Divine love of the Lord Jesus.
An inability to recognize and cope with evil; naiveté, is unclean. When the Lord Jesus return to earth He will be accompanied by an army of saints, of judges. They will establish the Kingdom of God on the earth by violence. In order to do this they must be able to recognize both good and evil, and able also to reward the righteous and punish the wicked, as they are directed by Christ.
A sentimental, overly sympathetic, maudlin spirit must be replaced with the pure Divine love of Christ.
Romantic thoughts must be replaced with Christ’s practice of praying and seeking the ways of Heaven. Romantic thoughts are a substitute for genuine love.
Nostalgia, romanticizing the past, must be replaced with our awareness of the Presence of Christ now and our vision of being with Christ in the future.
Our lack of self-control must be replaced with the management of Christ over our thoughts, words and deeds. Such management is accomplished through constant prayer and looking to Christ for every decision we make.
A man-hating, woman-hating spirit must be replaced with the normal affection of Christ.
A spirit of cruelty, meanness, abusiveness must be replaced with the kindness of Christ.
A spirit of silliness and foolishness is unclean and must be replaced with the sobriety of Christ.
Behaving in an affected manner in order to create an impression is unclean. The Lord Jesus Christ always reveals in Himself the speaking and actions of the Father. If we will ask Him to, He will replace all that is unnatural in our behavior with His simplicity and sincerity.
A desire to be seen as rough, tough, violent must be replaced with the gentleness and peaceableness of Christ.
Threatening and bluffing must be replaced with the sincerity of Jesus Christ, whose every word is weightier than all the sand on the seashores of the world.
Stealing and dishonesty must be replaced with the honesty of Christ.
Selfishness must be replaced with the goodness and generosity of Christ.
Brawling must be replaced with the peacemaking of Christ.
Wickedness, badness, vileness have no place whatever in the Kingdom of God. Christ’s pure Nature within us will replace all of our wicked, bad, vile compulsions and attitudes.
Malice and spite are unclean spirits and must be replaced with the kindness and good will of Christ.
An unmerciful spirit must be replaced with the love, forgiveness, and the mercy of Christ.
Greed is an unclean spirit. It must be replaced with the contentment of Christ.
Sudden, repeated, or prolonged anger is an unclean spirit. Christ is slow to anger, is not frequently angry, and is quick to forgive. We also are to be slow to anger, to seldom be angry, and quick to forgive. Sudden or prolonged anger must be replaced with the peaceable Nature of Christ.
Taunting and mocking are unclean spirits. These should be replaced in us with the gentleness and thoughtfulness of Christ, although there are times in the Bible when God mocks His enemies.
Unbelief and doubt are unclean spirits. When Christ is formed in us we will be able to believe the promises of God.
Fear of a lack of money or of material provisions. The Lord Jesus will help us as his trust in God for the necessities of life is expressed in us.
A scornful attitude is not becoming to a Christian. When Christ is dwelling in us we will have faith that with God all things are possible. This spirit must be replaced with Christ, who always believes the Word of God.
Judging, criticizing, faultfinding, and accusing ordinarily are unclean spirits. When Christ is working in us our judgment will not be based on what we see and hear but on what the Lord reveals to us.
Disdainful of others. When Christ formed in us we will not look down on other people.
The spirit of revenge, of vindictiveness is unclean. Vengeance belongs to God alone. Christ will help us overcome the spirit of revenge with compassion and mercy.
The spirit of blasphemy, showing contempt toward God, is unclean. The Lord Jesus Christ always worships and obeys the Father, and will express in us His reverence toward God.
A supplanting, defrauding spirit is unclean. Jesus will help us avoid defrauding people of what rightfully is theirs. We must replace this spirit with the uprightness of Christ.
All forms of self-abuse, masochism, suicide, self-destruction, self punishment. The Lord Jesus never punishes Himself and will enable us to take a proper attitude toward our own body.
Gluttony, including a desire for sweets is an unclean spirit. Christ will give us a normal appetite if we ask Him so we can overcome the American tendency to eat more than we need.
Substance abuse, drugs, alcohol are used to lessen the pain of life. Christ can give us joy and peace, and the blessings of Christ are not accompanied by undesirable consequences and side effects.
Laziness, sluggishness, carelessness; habitual lateness and forgetfulness are unclean spirits. They result in severe punishment. The Lord Jesus will share His diligence with us. We understand that forgetfulness sometimes is the result of age or illness. These are exceptions.
Quarreling, arguing, debating, dissension, discord, contention are unclean spirits. They are not found in Christ. The Lord Jesus will make us a peacemaker if we ask Him to.
An irritable, cranky attitude is an unclean spirit. The Lord Jesus will impart to us His calm, peaceable nature.
Meddling, busybody. A meddling spirit is unclean. Jesus does not interfere in areas where He has not been sent. When He has been formed in us, we will think, speak, and act according to the directions given us by the Father.
An officious, know-it-all attitude is unclean. If we will ask Him to, the Lord will replace an officious spirit with the Spirit of Christ.
Demons love to reason and debate. Divine truth is found only in the Life which Christ is.
Divisiveness, factionalism must be replaced with the harmony and peace found in the Person of Christ. The peacemakers are sons of God.
A religious spirit, loving doctrinal correctness and rituals rather than Christ. We note that the Lord Jesus never stressed doctrine or religious rituals, only that we believe in Him and live righteously.
An inflexible, doctrinaire attitude characterized the Pharisees. The Lord Jesus said they tithed herbs and ignored judgment, mercy, and faith. The Lord Jesus will make us like Himself if we will ask Him to.
A proselyting spirit pervades Evangelical Christianity. It must be replaced with the true Spirit of evangelism, which always looks to Christ for direction.
Bombast, pompousness, pretentiousness, are unclean spirits. God is not bombastic or pretentious in His words or deeds. Jesus will help us to be simple and plain when we speak, having in us the humility of Christ.
Affectedly dainty, precious, overrefined behavior is unclean. It has no place in the Kingdom of God.
Perfectionism is an unclean spirit. This spirit cripples some people. It is well that we do the best we can, and then leave the imperfect areas to the Lord. Christ will help us do this.
Sarcasm, teasing, quipping, joking, practical jokes, are darkness. Jesus will help us avoid all traces of these. Jesus speaks in a kindly, constructive manner, and the kindliness of Christ will replace our sarcasm, teasing, quipping, and joking.
Mischief, practical jokes have no place in God’s Kingdom. They are characteristic of demons and are to be replaced with sincerity.
An insolent, insulting, disrespectful, rude spirit is unclean. The Lord Jesus never behaves this way and His Life in us will keep us from being unkind and disrespectful.
A surly, churlish spirit, a bad disposition, is unclean. The Lord Jesus always has a happy, uplifting attitude toward people and life.
A double-minded, weak-minded, unstable, indecisive spirit is unclean, and sometimes is the product of passivity or even of a spirit of perfectionism. It can be destructive. To be a victorious saint we must be able to keep choosing the serve the Lord, even in the face of difficulties. The Lord Jesus helps us to be single-minded and decisive in our behavior.
Deceit is an unclean spirit. It is not holy. The Lord Jesus will replace our deceit with His sincerity and honesty in all we do and say.
Hypocrisy, pretending to be something we are not, is unclean. The Life of Christ in us will cause us to be straightforward and honest when dealing with people.
The spirit of vandalism, of destruction with no constructive purpose in mind, is unclean. Christ will give us the authority and power to tear down the forces of wickedness, and then to restore in righteousness what has been destroyed. If we have the unclean spirit of vandalism in us it must be replaced with the uprightness, truth, and honorable Nature of Christ.
Love for and trust in the spirit of the world must be replaced with the love for the Father that Christ has.
Reasoning must be replaced with the mind of Christ and the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God.
Being angry with God must be replaced with Christ’s love for the Father and trust in Him.
A sullen disposition must be replaced with Christ’s happy, confident Nature.
Moodiness is not characteristic of Jesus Christ. His Presence in us will enable us to remain constant in joy regardless of the circumstances. We recognize that on some occasions we are under great pressure and have to proceed cautiously, trusting God for each step; also that depression sometimes requires medical attention and medications.
Physically dirty, unkempt, disorderly, slovenly, boorish, coarse, loutish. Sometimes circumstances prevent our being as clean and neat as we would wish. However, when Christ is formed in us we will take advantage of every opportunity given us to be a clean, neat, orderly, gracious person.
Forgetting our spiritual lessons; unteachableness, is not part of the image of God. We are in the Lord’s school, and it is important we learn and remember what we are being taught.
We never are to become introspective, frantically looking to see it there is an undesirable attitude or spirit in us. If, as we continue joyously pressing forward in Christ, the Spirit of God points out to us that indeed we are behaving in an undesirable manner, we are to wash our robes in the blood of Christ. This means that we confess our concern clearly to the Lord Jesus, or sometimes to another fervent, mature Christian. Then we ask Jesus for help to never again behave in this manner.
Christ is faithful and righteous to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is the promise of God to us as we keep pressing forward to the fullness of redemption.
(“Spiritual Disfigurements”, 3218-1)