SPIRITUAL DARKNESS (EXCERPT OF PERFECTING HOLINESS)
Excerpted from Perfecting Holiness
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Many aspects of our adamic personality are disfigured. Some of the disfigurements are sin and belong in the Lake of Fire. Others are not candidates for the Lake of Fire but neither are they part of the image of God. They must be removed from the Kingdom of God because they cause us to behave in ways that are not pleasing to God and are destructive of loving, joyous, peaceful relationships.
“Therefore come out from them and be separate,” says the Lord. “Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (II Corinthians 6:17)
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (II Corinthians 7:1 — NASB)
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Romans 6:22)
Freedom from sin, and slavery to God and to righteousness, lead to holiness. Eternal life is the result of holiness.
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:13,14)
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (II Corinthians 5:17)
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:27-29)
God is holy means that God is completely free from unclean thoughts, words, and actions, and forcefully clean in thoughts, words, and actions.
God is righteous means that God is completely free from sin in thought, word, and action, and forcefully righteous in thought, word, and action.
We are being made in the image of God.
When we choose to behave righteously, holiness is created in us. When holiness is created in us, we behave righteously by nature. Righteousness and holiness interact in this manner.
Some of the behaviors listed below are sin, and the Lake of Fire has authority over them. Some are adamic characteristics, reflecting our racial heritage. Any adamic trait we have must be replaced with the Divine Substance and Nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must become an entirely new creation.
Since we are being made in the image of God, any characteristic we have that cannot be found in God, such as carelessness or shyness, though it is not a candidate for the Lake of Fire, must be replaced with the Nature of Christ. How would we fare if God were careless or indifferent?
The following spirits, attitudes, and actions are unclean. They are spiritual darkness. They have no place in a wholesome Christian personality. The purpose of salvation is to purge from us every one of these and install in our personality the attitudes and actions of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have identified some areas of darkness, which are listed below. There may be many more that will surface as the Spirit deals with us. The reader will get the idea and make his or her own list.
A lying spirit is unclean. The Spirit of Christ is truthful.
The devious, manipulative person has no place in the Kingdom of God. Satan is at work in him.
A treacherous, faithless spirit; lack of integrity. We cannot come to maturity in the Lord if we do not have integrity.
Self-centeredness; self-love; self-will. The most crippling, destructive characteristic that can plague a human being is self-centeredness. Satan is bound with this affliction and it is consuming him.
An ungrateful attitude causes us to forget the good things God has done for us.
Self-interest rather than principle. The Christian must learn to do what he knows to be right rather than that which merely is expedient or pleasurable.
A perverse individual is one who behaves unjustly while claiming to be righteous. He proclaims his actions are correct and beneficial when in actuality his behavior is unjust and destructive.
A gossiping, slandering spirit is unclean. The Spirit of Christ never speaks evil of anyone.
An undisciplined tongue will cause many problems.
The spirit of fear, cowardice, timidity is unclean. The Spirit of Christ is courageous.
Fear of change is unclean. God often brings us into new circumstances, and we are not to dread them.
Fear of success/fear of failure. It appears these apparent opposites are related and are not found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ can be abased, and then abound as King of all kings and Lord of all lords. His confidence in God is not diminished by apparent success or apparent failure.
A sense of inevitability is not found in Christ. Christ understands that with God all things are possible.
Dread, fear, worry, apprehension, despair are to have no place in us. We are to rejoice in the Lord always.
Anxiety, nervousness because of the problems of life is unclean. This personality disfigurement can lead to mental illness if we are unable to gain victory over it.
A man-pleasing spirit, seeking the approval of people, is unclean. The fear of man brings a snare. Such an attitude is not of God. We are to think, speak, and act under the approval of the Lord Jesus.
Lack of self-esteem or of self-worth is unclean. We are to look to God with confidence, knowing that He values us as His creation.
A bribe, whether given or received reveals a willingness to be corrupted. It is unclean, a part of spiritual darkness.
An indulgent, weak person seeks love from other people. He oftentimes is not truly showing love toward others, although he may think he is and may claim to be so doing.
A spirit of rage and murder is unclean. The Spirit of Christ is peaceful and compassionate.
The desire to kill, whether a person or an animal, is not of God.
A suspicious spirit in many instances is unclean. God will bring truth to light if we pray.
A jealous, envious spirit is unclean. The Spirit of Christ is not envious of another.
All forms of witchcraft are unclean, including fortune telling, tea leaves, astrology, seeking to bring something to pass by imaging it or speaking or believing it into existence. The Spirit of Christ looks only to God for wisdom, knowledge, and power.
A desire to be seen as mysterious or as having supernatural powers is unclean. No matter how deep in Christ we may think we are, our manner should be straightforward and matter-of-fact.
A false spirit of prophecy is unclean. The Bible tells of the “palace prophets” who spoke of victory to the rulers when the Lord was ready to exercise judgment on the people because of sin.
Grandiose prophecy usually is not of the Lord. When we hear about how great we are, how we are going to empty hospitals with our faith, how we have spiritual oversight of a certain location, we most likely are hearing from a spirit other than the Spirit of God.
Indifference, complacency, lukewarmness are unclean attitudes. They result in severe Divine penalties. We always are to be working out our salvation with fear and trembling.
Smugness, offensive satisfaction with oneself, is unclean. Christ is to be magnified by our body. People are repulsed when we are smug and self-satisfied.
Self-pity and pouting are unclean spirits. The Spirit of Christ does not pity itself.
Self-justifying, defensiveness cripples the believer who has this darkness in him. He will spend untold hours seeking to justify something he has said or done.
Blaming other people for what happens to us is a sign of immaturity and will prevent us from learning the lessons the Lord is teaching us.
A sensitive, easily offended spirit is unclean. Such a spirit produces conflict under the slightest provocation.
Self-sufficiency is unclean. It may be true that the most important lesson we learn during our pilgrimage is to trust in Christ for all things rather than to depend on our own resources.
Disobedience to God. Because of an incorrect understanding of Divine grace, numerous believers obey neither the commandments in the New Testament nor God’s personal word to them.
Arrogance and pride are unclean spirits. The Spirit of Christ is humble.
Pride of station is unclean. The Lord is not proud of being King of all kings.
Pride of knowledge, of intellect, is an unclean spirit. Jesus Christ has all knowledge and wisdom but does not take pride in this.
Talkative, verbose, garrulous, glib behavior is not found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ speaks sincerely, and only as God directs.
Flirtation is an unclean spirit. There is no flirtatious spirit in Jesus Christ.
Infatuation, love at first sight, is a common phenomenon in America. It is not of the Lord and often leads to divorce and other painful and destructive outcomes.
Narcissism, self-worship, conceit is an unclean spirit. The Lord Jesus is occupied with God and people, not how wonderful He is or looks.
Covetousness is an unclean spirit. The Lord Jesus desires nothing that God has not provided for Him.
Idolatry, unclean attractions, soul-ties, are of spiritual darkness. We are not to embrace fervently any person, thing, or circumstance until it has died and been raised in Christ.
Personal ambition and seeking preeminence, discontent with one’s appointed place, desiring to be important, are unclean spirits. The Spirit of Christ is content and does not seek to be exalted. Satan fell from God’s favor because he was not content with his role as a guardian cherub.
Seeking to control another person is an unclean spirit; possessiveness. We are not to endeavor to control another individual in a possessive manner.
Rebellion against God and other authority is an unclean spirit. Antichrist is “the man of lawlessness.” The Lord Jesus obeys His Father and expects us to obey all authority that is placed over us.
An unloving, unkind, unfriendly attitude is unclean. It is not part of the image of God.
Insensitive to the needs of others. The image of God is that of being more concerned about other people than we are about ourselves.
Exhibitionism, showing off, is an unclean spirit. The Lord Jesus does not deliberately behave so as to attract attention to Himself.
A lust for pleasure and entertainment is an unclean spirit. Jesus is not bound by a desire to live in pleasure or to be entertained. He finds His joy in God. We often must choose between our personal pleasure and serving the Lord.
Partying, dissipation, drunkenness, orgies, have no place in the Kingdom of God. We must be delivered from these desires if we are to be pleasing to the Lord.
Excessive pessimism, optimism, and enthusiasm are unclean spirits. The Lord Jesus steadily and faithfully serves the Father. He is not pessimistic or optimistic, or enthusiastic; just confident.
A morbid attitude is unclean. It reveals a lack of a healthy perception of the wholesomeness and purity of God’s Nature.
Antipathies and affinities are unclean spirits. Because we detest or embrace another person may not be any indication of his or her true worthiness.
Unforgiveness, bitterness, rancor are unclean spirits. God is quick to forgive those who confess their sins and turn away from them. We also must be quick to forgive those who sin against us.
Complaining is an unclean spirit. Godliness with contentment is great gain.
Hatred ordinarily is an unclean spirit. However there are circumstances under which hatred is not unclean. There are times when God exhibits hatred.
Impatience is an unclean spirit. Jesus Christ is exceedingly patient.
An impulsive spirit is unclean. The Lord Jesus Christ never acts impulsively.
A compulsive, driving spirit is unclean. The Lord Jesus is in command of Himself, doing only what He hears from the Father.
Harshness is an unclean spirit. God is gentle with us.
A usurping spirit is unclean. The Lord Jesus never claims that which belongs to someone else.
A changeable, capricious, fickle, flighty, whimsical spirit prevents us from being regarded as dependable. We cannot be trusted to follow through after we begin a task.
Finicky, fussy. God is not this way. He is easy to please once we make up our mind to serve Him cheerfully.
Coy mannerisms. God is forthright in all His dealings.
Gambling is an unclean spirit. We are to look to God and trust Him for all things.
Recklessness, rashness, presumption is an unclean spirit. Christ is not reckless. He waits on the Father until He knows what to do.
Brash, impetuous, tactless, shameless behavior is unclean. The Lord Jesus is not bound with these. His behavior always is considered, watching to see what the Father is doing.
Boasting and bragging are unclean spirits. We are to exalt the Lord and glory only in the cross.
Exaggerating is an unclean spirit. God would have us speak only the truth.
A stubborn, perverse, obstinate spirit is unclean. The meek, teachable person shall inherit the earth.
Filthy speech is an unclean spirit. This is the manner in which the demons speak.
Avarice, an immoderate desire for wealth, is an unclean spirit. We cannot serve God and money.
Grasping. Anything we cling to, that we can’t let go of, is an idol. It is unclean. We are to worship God alone.
A spirit of physical lust including an addiction to pornography is unclean. The Spirit of Christ is pure.
Homosexual behavior, lust toward children, and other perversions are unclean spirits. They are Satan’s substitute for love. All forms of sexual perversion reflect the curse on the Serpent that compels him to eat dust.
An inability to recognize and cope with evil; naiveté, is unclean. We may admire an individual who is childlike, refusing to perceive actual wickedness or self-seeking in other people. But this trait can be as harmful as the tendency to see only the bad in others.
A sentimental, overly sympathetic, maudlin spirit is unclean. It prevents us from cooperating with Christ in the work of judgment.
Romantic thoughts also come from unclean spirits and are a substitute for genuine love.
Nostalgia, romanticizing the past, prevents our keeping our eyes on the Lord Jesus.
Lack of self-control reveals spiritual darkness in the personality. Such weakness can bring us into many troubles.
Man-hating and woman-hating are unclean spirits. When people are abused by other people it opens the door for demons to occupy those who are abused, although this appears to be unfair.
Cruelty, meanness, abusiveness are unclean spirits. Christ is never cruel, mean, or abusive toward anyone.
Silliness and foolishness are unclean spirits. Silliness and constant foolishness may appear harmless, but they often are the result of immoral thoughts and actions.
Affectation is an unclean spirit. We are not to adopt unnatural mannerisms in an attempt to create an impression.
A desire to be seen as rough, tough, and violent is an unclean spirit. The Lord Jesus does not have to present a rough, violent appearance. Legions of powerful angels await His commands.
Threatening and bluffing are unclean spirits. These are not of the image of Jesus Christ.
Stealing and dishonesty are unclean spirits. The Spirit of Christ always is totally honest.
Selfishness is an unclean spirit. God teaches us to be generous; and when we are, other people are generous with us.
Brawling is an unclean spirit. It appears that the demon world is a scene of continual bickering and fighting. We are not to partake of it.
Wickedness, badness, are not acceptable in the Kingdom of God. Either they leave or we leave.
Vileness belongs in the Lake of Fire. Aborting infants and molesting children are examples of vile behavior.
Malice and spite are unclean spirits. Malice is very present in the spirit of the world. We are to refuse to let it touch us. It is one of the main characteristics of Satan. It is not found in the Lord Jesus Christ. It must be replaced with the kindness and good will of Christ. God is never mean or malicious.
Being without mercy is an unclean spirit. Christ is always kind and merciful. An unmerciful person shall be shown no mercy.
Greed is an unclean spirit. The greedy person does not trust in God, only in the things he is able to possess. He is not concerned with the needs of others.
Anger ordinarily is an unclean spirit. However there are circumstances under which anger is not unclean. There are times when God exhibits anger.
Taunting and mocking ordinarily are unclean spirits. However there are circumstances under which taunting is not unclean. There are times when God taunts and mocks His enemies.
Unbelief and doubt are unclean spirits. They are not found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Fear of a lack of money or of material provisions is an unclean spirit. The Lord Jesus demonstrated how we are to live in complete trust in God for all our physical needs.
A scornful attitude is closely related to unbelief. It is an unclean spirit. The person is blessed who does not sit in the seat of the scornful. His trust is in the Lord and he expects goodness and mercy to follow his journey through the world.
Judging, accusing, faultfinding, and criticizing ordinarily are unclean spirits. Under specific circumstances they can be of the Lord.
Disdainful of others. We are not to despise other people.
The spirit of revenge, of vindictiveness in us is unclean. Vengeance belongs to God alone.
Blasphemy is an unclean spirit. It is not found in God.
Supplanting and defrauding are unclean spirits. Korah and Absalom are examples of people who have a supplanting spirit.
All forms of self-abuse, masochism, suicide, self-destruction, self punishment. These are not found in Jesus Christ.
Gluttony, including a desire for sweets is an unclean spirit. This spirit is not found in God. It is not holy.
Substance abuse, drugs, alcohol defile the body, which is the temple of the Spirit of God.
Laziness, sluggishness, carelessness, habitual lateness and forgetfulness are unclean spirits. The examples of the foolish virgins and the man who buried his talent reveal to us the Lord’s attitude toward laziness and carelessness in the things of the Kingdom. We understand that forgetfulness sometimes is the result of age or illness. These are exceptions.
Quarreling, arguing, debate, contention, dissension, discord are unclean spirits. They are not part of the image of God.
An irritable, cranky attitude is an unclean spirit. Such a disposition is not found in the Lord Jesus.
Meddling, busybody. A meddling spirit is unclean. The Lord Jesus prays continually, the result being that He walks straight forward on the path laid out for Him by the Father. Jesus does not interfere in areas where He has not been sent.
An officious, know-it-all attitude is unclean. People do not want such an individual around them. It is not a good witness of Christ.
Divisiveness, factionalism, are unclean behaviors. They do much harm to the Body of Christ.
A religious spirit, loving doctrinal correctness and rituals rather than Christ. It may be true that the religious spirit is the most destructive of all spirits. It murdered Christ and the prophets.
An inflexible, doctrinaire attitude is not according to the new covenant. The new covenant is not of the letter alone but must be interpreted by the Spirit of God. An inflexible, doctrinaire attitude causes us to miss the large picture while we are focusing on the details.
A proselyting spirit is unclean. It is not the same Holy Spirit that guides us in ministry.
Bombast, pompousness, pretentiousness are unclean. God is not bombastic. This is not the image of God.
Affectedly dainty, precious, overrefined behavior is unclean. God and Christ are free from such mannerisms.
Perfectionism. It is well that we do the best we can. But there is a spirit of perfectionism that is an unclean bondage.
Sarcasm, teasing, quipping, joking are unclean spirits. They are not found in God.
Insolent, insulting, disrespectful, rude. These attitudes are not found in the image of God.
Surly, churlish. The Lord Jesus Christ has a good attitude toward people and life.
Double-minded, weak-minded, indecisive, unstable. These types of mentality make it impossible for us to choose whom we are to serve, particularly if there are difficulties involved.
Deceit is an unclean spirit. God and Christ are not deceitful, and this spirit should have no part in us.
Hypocrisy, pretending to be something we are not. The Lord Jesus Christ is not a hypocrite.
The spirit of vandalism, of destruction without purpose, is unclean. The Lord Jesus has the power to tear down the works of wickedness, but He never uses this power without a godly purpose.
Love for and trust in the spirit of the world is unclean. If any person loves and trusts in the spirit of this world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Reasoning is an unclean spirit. This may come as a surprise to some who suppose we should reason about the Bible. The truth is, the demons love to reason and will do so all the day long. The man or woman of God does not obtain truth by reasoning but by prayer, the Bible, and walking in obedience.
Being angry with God proceeds from an unclean spirit. This spirit deceived Cain into murdering his brother. The Lord Jesus is God’s servant and always worships His Father, knowing that God alone is good.
Sullenness is unclean. We are not to become angry and sullen when we are displeased. This is not Christlike behavior.
Moodiness. We are not to yield to moods but are to rejoice always as much as we can. Depression may be related to moodiness. Sometimes professional assistance and medication are needed if depression is to be conquered.
A physically dirty, unkempt, slovenly, disorderly, boorish, coarse, loutish person may be reflecting a spiritual need, or simply may be the victim of circumstances. It is evident that the Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose image we are being fashioned, is clean outwardly and inwardly and conducts Himself in an orderly, lawful, gracious manner.
Forgetting our spiritual lessons; unteachableness, can cause us to lose our inheritance.
None of the above traits is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are not of the image of God. Since we have been predestined to be changed into the image of the Lord, none of these compulsions or attitudes is to remain in the new creation we are becoming.
How does one deal with spiritual darkness in his or her personality?
- CONFESS THE UNCLEANNESS
- DENOUNCE THE UNCLEANNESS
- RENOUNCE THE UNCLEANNESS
- DRAW NEAR TO CHRIST AND RECEIVE HIS VIRTUE
- RESIST SATAN
“BE YE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY,” SAYS THE LORD.
(“Spiritual Darkness”, 4045-1, proofed 20221230)