"War on the Saints" by Jessie Penn-Lewis

The True Workings of God, and Counterfeits of Satan

"Knowledge and all discernment; so that ye may prove the things that differ,
that ye may be sincere and void of offence. . . ." Phil. 1: 9,10



1. The Baptism, or Fullness of the Spirit: An influx of the Spirit of God into the human spirit, which liberates the spirit from the soul (Heb. 4: 12), so as to become a pliable organ or channel for the outflow of the Spirit through the believer, manifested in witness to Christ and in aggressive prayer service against the powers of darkness.

It is a true baptizing into the Body of Christ, and oneness with all the members of the Body. Its special mark and result is known in power to witness for Christ, and in conviction of sin in others, and their turning to God.

The highest manifestation of the Fullness of the Spirit is co-existent with the use of the faculties and self-control.

There is but one reception of the Holy Spirit: with many succeeding experiences, developments, or new crises, resultant on fresh acts of faith, or apprehension of truth; various believers having varied degrees of the same Infilling of the Spirit, according to individual conditions. The enduement of power for service is often a definite experience in many lives. Pages 50, 291, 297.

1. Counterfeit workings of evil spirits may accompany a true reception of the Fullness of the Holy Spirit, if the believer "lets go" his mind into "blankness," and yields his body up passively to supernatural power. As a "blank mind" and "passive body" is contrary to the condition for use required by the Holy Spirit, and is the primary condition necessary for evil spirits to work, the anomaly is found in the Holy Spirit responding to the law of faith, and filling the man's spirit, at the same time that evil supernatural powers respond to the law of passivity fulfilled in mind and body. They then can produce in the senses manifestations, which seem to be the outcome of the Holy Spirit's entry to the spirit.

The results of the counterfeit manifestations are varied, and wide in their ramifications, according to individual conditions. The abstract result is great "manifestations" with little real fruit; "possession" by evil spirits of the mind and body in varied degrees; a spirit of division from others, instead of unity, etc., etc. Pages 54, 97, 106, 107, 108.

2. The Presence of God: Known in and by the human spirit, through the Holy Spirit. When He fills the atmosphere of a room the spirit of the man is conscious of it, not his senses. The faculties of those present are alert and clear, and they retain freedom of action. The spirit is made tender (Psa. 34: 18), and the will pliable to the will of God. All the actions of a person moved by the true and pure Presence of God are in accord with the highest ideal of harmony and grace. Pages 104, 107.

2. The counterfeit of the Presence of God is mainly felt upon the body, and by the physical senses, in conscious "fire," "thrills," etc. The counterfeit of the "Presence" in the atmosphere is felt by the senses of the body, as "breath," "wind," etc., whilst the mind is passive or inactive. The person affected by this counterfeit "presence" will be moved almost automatically to actions he would not perform of his own will, and with all his faculties in operation. He may not even remember what he has done when under the "power" of this "presence," just as a sleep-walker knows nothing of his actions when in that state. The inaction of the mind can often be seen by the vacant look in the eyes. Pages 109, 112, 124, 128, 130.

3. God in and with man in the spirit: John 14: 23. The Father in heaven is realized to be a real Father (Gal. 4: 6), the Son a real Saviour, the Holy Spirit a real Person; manifested as One in the spirit of the believer, by the Holy Spirit: with resulting effects as in Rom. 8: 9-11. Pages 103, 130.

3. Evil spirit's counterfeit, as the occasion serves them, each Person of the Trinity, and can thus obtain access, and become in and with a man in manifestations given to the senses, in which the real spirit-sense may have no part. Pages 52, 103, 104, 105, 108.

4. Christ manifested in the believer by His Spirit, so that He is known as a Living Person on the Throne in heaven, and the believer joined in spirit to Him there, with the result that Christ's life and nature is imparted to him, forming and building up in him a "new creation," (Gal. 1: 16; 4: 19. Col. 1: 27), the believer growing up into Him in all things.note 1 Pages 103, 107, 126, 127, 289.

4. Christ apparently manifested inwardly as a "Person," to whom the soul prays, or with whom he holds communion, yet there is no real evidence of the expression of the Divine nature, or true growth of the Christ life, with a deepening fellowship with the Christ in heaven. On the contrary the Christ in heaven seems far away. The counterfeit centres and ends in an "experience" which keeps the person introverted or self-centred (spiritually). Page 107. Cf. pp. 289, 290, 291.

5. Consciousness of God: Felt in the spirit, and not by the physical senses. Pages 107, 108.

5. "Consciousness" of "God" in bodily sensations, which feed the "flesh" and overpower the true spirit-sense. Pages 106, 130.

6. The Holiness of God: when realized by the believer produces worship and godly awe, with a hatred of sin. On the ground of the Blood of Calvary God draws near to men, seeking their love, but His presence does not terrorize. Page 289.

6. Evil spirits counterfeit this by giving a terror of God, which drives men away from Him, or forces them into actions of slavish fear, apart from the use of the mind, and volition, in glad voluntary obedience to Him. Page 143.

7. Surrender to God: Of spirit, soul and body, is a simple yielding or committal to Him of the whole man, to do His will and be at His service. God asks the full co-operationnote 2 of the man in the intelligent use of all his faculties. Rom. 6: 13. Page 70.

7. Passive yielding of spirit, soul and body to supernatural power, to be moved automatically, in passive, blind obedience, apart from the use of volition or mind. Evil spirits desire "control" of a man, and his passive submission to them. Pages 68, 69.

8. Fellowship with the sufferings of Christ: The result of faithful witness for Him, and in such "suffering," the joy of the Spirit breaks forth in spirit. (Acts 5: 41). The fruit of true conformity to Christ's death in the "fellowship of His sufferings" is seen in life to others, and growth in tenderness of spirit, and Christ-likeness in character. 2 Cor. 4: 10-12. Page 89.

8. "Suffering" caused by evil spirits is characterized by a fiendish acuteness, and is fruitless in result--the victim being hardened instead of mellowed by it. The demons can cause anguished suffering in spirit, soul or body. "Possession" manifested in abnormal suffering, may be the fruit of (unconscious) acceptance of sufferings caused by evil spirits, often under the name of the "will of God." Pages 88, 89, 90.

9. Trusting God: A true faith given of God in the spirit, having its origin in Him, without effort reckoning upon Him to fulfil His written Word. Co-existent with the full use of every faculty in intelligent action. "Faith" is a fruit of the Spirit and cannot be forced. Gal. 5: 22. 2 Cor. 4: 13. Page 275.

9. "Trusting evil spirits" comes about through trusting blindly some supernatural words, or revelations, supposed to come from God, which produces a forced "faith," or faith beyond the believer's true measure, the result being actions which lead into paths of trial never planned by God. Pages 129, 135, 274, 275.

10. Reliance upon God: An attitude of the will, of trust and dependence upon God, taking Him at His word, and depending upon His character of faithfulness. Page 127.

10. Reliance upon evil spirits means a passive leaning upon supernatural help and experience, which draws the person away from faith in God Himself, and from active co-action with Him. Page 143.

11. Communion with God: Fellowship in the Spirit with Christ in the glory as one spirit with Him. The consciousness of this is in the spirit (John 4: 24) only, and not in "feelings" in the senses. See for conditions of true communion with God, 1 John 1: 5-7. Page 291.

11. "Communion" with evil spirits may take place by retiring within to enjoy sense communion, in "exquisite feelings" which absorbs and renders the soul incapable of the duties of life. The "flesh" is fed by this spurious spiritual "communion" as really as in grosser ways. Pages 124, 125, 155.

12. Waiting on God: The spirit in restful co-operation with the Holy spirit, waiting God's time to act, and a waiting for Him to fulfil His promises. The true waiting upon God can be co-existent with the keenest activity of mind and service. Page 62-63.

12. A "waiting for the Spirit to come," in hours of prayer, which brings those who "wait" into passivity, which at last reaches a point of "séance" conditions, followed by an influx of lying spirits in manifestations. Pages 62, 63.

13. Praying to God: Having access to the Holiest of all, on the ground of the Blood (Heb. 10: 19). Penetrating in spirit through the lower heavens to the Throne of Grace. Heb 4: 14-16. True "prayer" is not directed toward God as within the believer, but to a Father in heaven, in the Name of the Son, by the Holy Spirit. Page 126.

13. Praying to evil spirits comes about by praying to "God" in the atmosphere, or within, or possibly to "pictures" of God in the mind; instead of approaching the Throne of Grace according to Heb. 10: 19. Pages 95, 130.

14. Asking God: An act of the will in simple faith, making a transaction with God in heaven, on the ground of His written Word. "Answers to prayer" from God are usually so unsensational and so unobtrusive that the petitioner often does not recognize the answer. Cf. pages 249, 276, 279.

14. "Asking" evil spirits, by speaking to some supernatural presence in, or around the person. The "answers" are generally "dramatic," sensational, calculated to over-awe the person, and make him feel he is a wonderful recipient of favour from on high. By this means the demons gain control over him. Pages 118, 119, 142.

15. God speaking: Through His Word, by His Spirit, in the spirit and conscience of the man, illuminating the mind to understand the will of the Lord. Page 136.

15. Evil spirits speaking, wither puffing up, accusing, condemning or confusing the person, so that the is bewildered or distracted and cannot exercise his reason or judgment. The "speaking" of accusing spirits resembles the "thinking," or speaking to oneself, when the words are not uttered audibly. Pages 170, 171. Also "Listening" on pages 119, 125, 136, 142, 143.

16. The voice of God: Is heard and known in the spirit of man, wherein the Spirit of God dwells. God also speaks through the conscience, and through the written Word (see "Texts"), never confusing or dulling the faculties of the man, or perplexing him, so as to hinder clearness of judgment and reason. The true voice of God does not make a demand of unreasoning obedience to it, irrespective of the man's free volition. Pages 137, 138.

16. The counterfeit "voice" of God is usually loud and comes from outside the person. It can come from within, when the person is deeply possessed. It is frequently imperative and persistent, urging to sudden action. Confusing and clamorous, or subtle in suggestion; producing fear through its insistent demands, making the man a slave to supernatural power. May also be distinguished from the voice of God by its sometimes, trivial objective, and fruitless results when obeyed. Pages 137, 139, 141, 142.

17. Divine guidance: Through the spirit and mind; i.e., "drawing" in spirit, light in the mind: spirit and mind brought into one accord in harmony with the principles of the Word of God (Ephes. 5: 17; Phil. 1: 9-11 A.V. m.) Pages 134, 135, 136, 140, 219.

17. Satanic guidance by supernatural voices, visions, leadings, drawings, are all dependent upon the passivity of the mind and reason, and take place in the sense-realm as a counterfeit of the true in the spirit. Pages 128, 134, 135, 136, 221, 222.

18. Divine "Leadings": Are in the spirit; demand co-operation of the man in every faculty of mind, and spiritual intelligence in correctly rending the monitions of the Spirit. The will is always left free to choose and act. The true "leading of the Spirit" is never out of accord with principles of God's Word. Pages 140, 141.

18. Satanic "leadings" and impulses, demand passive surrender of mind and body. They are compulsory in effect, and all "compelling" and "compulsion" from the supernatural realm indicates the work of deceiving spirits. Pages 140, 141, 157.

19. Divine "Visions": When given, come (1) without seeking for them, (2) with definite purpose, (3) are never abortive, and (4) are co-existent with active use of the mind and faculties. Page 150.

19. Satanic visions, (1) demand a passive state, (2) are broken by mental action, (3) are frequently contrary to truth, and (4) fruitless in result. Destroy all faith reliance on God. Pages 149, 150.

20. Obedience to God: An act of deliberate will, choosing to do the will of God, when made known to the believer. A full examination of the source of the command preceding intelligent decision to obey, is co-existent with true obedience. Pages 50, 51, 54.

20. Counterfeit of "obedience" is a passive, automatic, blind yielding to supernatural power or voices, apart from intelligent apprehension of results or consequences. The person fears to question or examine the source of the command. Pages 50, 141.

21. God giving power: By the Holy Spirit in the man's spirit, strengthening him in spirit, so as to energize his mind and every faculty of his being to their fullest use, and enabling him to endure and accomplish what he would not bear or do apart from God. (Ephes. 3: 16) Pages 70, 138, 288.

21. Evil spirits give power in a supernatural energy--generally spasmodic and unreliable--dependent upon the man being passive in spirit, soul and body. This "power," when it ceases, leaves the man dull and exhausted, the effect generally being attributed to natural causes. Cf. pages 112, 118, 119.

22. God giving influence: Means that the believer draws others to God, not to himself. True Divine "influence" does not "control" others automatically, but constrains them to turn to God. Page 289.

22. Evil spirits giving "influence," means a control or power over other which causes them to act apart from their volition, or reason. This "power" may be exercised unknowingly by persons the demons can use in this way. Page 145.

23. God giving "impressions": Means a gentle movement in the spirit, which leaves the person free to act of his own volition, and does not compel him to action. "impressions from God" are within in the shrine of the spirit; and not from a "power" outside, e.g., in "touches" on the body, or an exterior compelling force. See page 219 for action of the spirit.

23. Evil spirits' "impressions" are from outside, upon the person, and require certain conditions for the "impressions" to be given--i.e., a sitting still and waiting, etc. These conditions can also be fulfilled unconsciously by cultivating passivity of the whole being. See obsession, ppp. Cf. pages 128, 129.

24. Divine life from God: Is known, not by "consciousness," but results, enabling the believer to bear and suffer what he could not bear or suffer humanly. There is rarely any "feeling" of strength or life, because consciousness of Divine life would draw the man from the path of faith to rely upon his experience. Pages 91, 291.

24."Life" in thrills, etc., given by evil spirits, is known by its being in the senses, giving pleasant sensations, rather than true power. When it passes away, the person is dulled or weakened, and may go into spiritual darkness through numbness of the sensibilities, e.g., he says he is "like a stone." Page 130.

25. Divine love: Shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit, is co-existent with keen and faithful dealing with sin; with acute hatred to sin and Satan, and all that is contrary to righteousness.

God's love does not dull, but energizes every faculty to fulfil the action for which it was intended in creation. It has no "craving" in it, nor does it weaken those to whom it flows out. Cf. page 291.

25. Counterfeit of the "love of God" makes the recipient cover over sin, compromise with it; dulls him to keen-edged righteousness; makes him incapable of true hatred to the things that God hates, for the faculty which "loves" is the faculty which hates.

The counterfeit of love, whether human or Divine, given by evil spirits, grips the sensibilities with an overmastering and painful "craving" for its object. Pages 108, 128, 145.

26. Fire from God: Is a purifying through suffering (Matt. 3: 11,12), or a consuming zeal in spirit, which deepens into white heat intensity to do the will and work of God, which no trials or opposition can quench. Fire from God is spiritual, not literal, and therefore falls upon the spirit, not the body. Page 291.

26. "Fire" caused by evil spirits is generally a glow in the body, which the believer thinks is a manifestation of "God" in "possession" of the body, but afterwards results in darkness, dullness and weakness with no reasonable cause; or else it continues deceiving the believer into counterfeit experiences. Pages 82, 130.

27. Texts from God: These are given through the organ of the spirit to the mind, when the spirit is (1) calm, (2) unstrained, (3) at liberty, (4) open to the Spirit of God. They do not confuse, and when acted upon are found to be confirmed in Providence, and are always in accord with the keen use of the faculties. Intelligent knowledge of the broad principles of Scripture is needed for the true interpretation of "texts" which arise in the spirit, lest they be misused through human conceptions of Divine things, e.g., the mind may take literally what God means spiritually. Cf. page 139.

27. Texts from evil spirits "flash" into the mind: rush with force; come from without (audibly), or in the mental sphere. They elate or crush, condemn or puff up; confuse or turn out fruitless, leading those who obey them into vain actions, or into wreckage of circumstances. Evil spirits give a false "experience," and then "texts to confirm it," whereas true experience confirms the truth of the statements of the written Word. Evil spirits make use of all misconceptions of truth. Pages 18, 65, 66, 139, 149, 150.

28. Sin from the fallen nature: Is from within, carries the will with it, or else forces the will by its pressure. The man knows the movement to sin is sin, and yet yields to it. Rom. 6: 6,11,12 is God's way of dealing with the fallen nature, and its workings, as the believer stands on the ground of the Cross, and wields Christ's finished Calvary work as a weapon for victory. The Holy Spirit bears witness to the Cross in setting free from sin, when it is the outcome of the evil nature. Pages 229, 234, 247.

28. Sin caused by e.s., apart from temptation, is also within, but is forced into the spirit, mind or body, against the desire of the man, and should be recognized as distinctly not of, or from himself, e.g., blasphemous thoughts and unexplainable "feelings." If the "sin" infused by demons is dealt with as from the evil nature, although the person stands on Rom. 6: 6,11, and refuses it, no deliverance comes, but when it is recognized as the work of demons, and resisted on the ground of the Cross, freedom is quickly given. Pages 133, 218, 22833.

29. Self-examination in the light of God: A discrimination of his own actions exercised by the spiritual man, which does not produce "despair," "disappointment," a "crushed feeling," etc., but leads to rapid decision of action, and a joyous faith in the co-operating work of the Spirit in deliverance from all that does not bear the verdict of the light of God. John 3: 21. Page 56.

29. Self-introspection, is made use of by evil spirits to throw the believer into self-accusation and despair. This dries the person inward and downward to crushed impotence and faithlessness. God never crushes His children. He convicts only to reveal the remedy. Evil spirits seek to turn souls into self-centred absorption whereas God moves in them to live and care for others. Page 159.

30. Conviction of sin: Comes from the Word of God, or by the direct action of the Holy Spirit, to the conscience, in times of quiet prayer or reading. It is never "vague" or confusing, and ceases directly the man decides to obey the Word, or go to God for cleansing in the Blood of Christ. True conviction is also a deepening experience, as the light of God shines into the conscience and life. Cf. pages 229 to 234.

30. Evil spirits' accusations, which are a counterfeit of conviction, are from without, in the ear (audibly), or to the mind , in a "nagging," persistent, confusing kind of "speaking," often without definite purpose or specific reason. No "confessing" or "step of obedience" affects these accusations, and they come again and again over the same things Many live under a perpetual cloud through the attacks of accusing spirits. They are under the shadow of being "always wrong." Cf. pages 229 to 234.

31. Confession of sin: To God and man, should be the deliberate act of the will in obedience to the Word of God, and conscience. It should be followed by sincere repentance and putting away of the confessed sin, and have the witness of the Spirit to the conscience that the sin has been put away through the efficacy of the Blood of Christ. Page 133.

31. Compulsory confessions, by the driving power of evil spirits upon the mind in accusation, or from remorse; or, to silence the accusing voices, the man is sometimes impelled to "confess" "sins" which have no actual existence. Page 133.


Without exception the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is marked by (a) a Christ-like spirit of love, (b) soberness of spirit vision, (c) keenness of vision, (d) deep humility of heart and meekness of spirit, with lion-courage against sin and Satan, and (e) clearness of the mental faculties with a "sound mind." 2 Timothy 1: 7.

"Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is . . ."--Ephes. 5: 17, R.V.


Speaking generally, proof of "sense-manifestations" being from deceiving spirits may be found in the spirit being wrong alongside of "manifestations," e.g., 1. Condemning spirit and judging spirit. 2. Spirit-vision dulled; cannot see marks of God at work in other ways. 3. Absence of true Spirit-power in (a) conviction of sin, (b) deliverance of souls, or (c) salvation of souls. 4. Or the spirit is "sweet" in a weak sense, with mind dulled, and unable to work with clearness.



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