First posted: July 3, 2004
This is the sixth article in a series of 7 articles on the 7 "categories" of evil spirits that the Scriptures describe. This article will focus on the "Perizzites". It is very important to understand how each of these evil spirits operates in order to recognize if our hearts are currently "infected" with any of them, and to recognize them in the hearts of others. These spirits are real, and their effects in people's lives are devastatingly real, so it is important to recognize their modus operandi.
Since entire books could be written on each type of evil spirit, we could not possibly cover each type completely in a single article. Each article in this series, therefore, will serve as a brief overview of each type of spirit. God willing, we will post future articles that will expand on each of these types of spirits.
Throughout this series, whenever we refer to a "Perizzite", for example, we may be referring to a Perizzite spirit or to a person "infected" with that type of spirit.
A great deal can be inferred directly from the meaning of the word "Perizzite". As we mentioned in the first article of this series (under the section "The 7 types of evil spirits"), "Perizzite" means, "belonging to a village". Villages have a connotation of "smallness". People who grow up in villages are exposed to very limited opportunities for growth; educational, cultural, and entertainment opportunities are scarce. If not careful, people who grow up in villages can develop a very limited vision of life. Dreams are easily spawned in an environment that stimulates people with options and opportunities; since these are limited in a village, villagers are very likely not to dream of great things, and the few who do, dream of making it out of the village in order to succeed in the big cities. Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" song, therefore, would be an example of an "anti-Perizzite" song:
Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today
I want to be a part of it, New York, New York
These vagabond shoes are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it, New York, New York
I wanna wake up in the city that doesn't sleep
And find I'm king of the hill, top of the heap
These little town blues are melting away
I'll make a brand new start of it in old New York
If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you, New York, New York
Since villages impart a sense of "smallness", villagers tend to see themselves as small and insignificant people who are a small part of a small and insignificant community. People trapped by the Perizzite spirit, therefore, see themselves as people with little potential whose only task in life is to live a quiet biological existence and to stay out of the way of the people who are "really" important in this world. Perizzites not only believe in their own smallness, but also believe in the smallness of the "villagers" around them, including their children. The Perizzite spirit, therefore, can lead to many generations of spiritual stagnation. Since stagnation always leads to poverty (in the material and in the spiritual realm), Perizzite spirits tend to produce many generations of spiritual (and even literal) poverty.
The Lord declares that Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son named Mephibosheth who was crippled by the nurse who took care of him as she fled with him upon learning that Saul and Jonathan had died in battle; she fled out of fear that the new king would want to kill all members of Saul's "royal family":
"And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth" (2 Samuel 4:4)
Since David loved Mephibosheth's father, Jonathan, David wanted to bless Mephibosheth, and called him to his presence:
"5Then king David sent, and fetched him out of the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, from Lodebar. 6Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant! 7And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. 8And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?" (2 Samuel 9:5-8)
Because of his disability, Mephibosheth grew up to be a person with a very low self-esteem. Notice how Mephibosheth, even after hearing David's gracious words, refers to himself as a "dead dog" (v8). Perizzites are cripples, lame people who feel unworthy, who feel spiritually unable to walk on their own.
"2Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses." (Joshua 1:2-3)
"17Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. 18Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD." (Genesis 13:17-18)
"Walking" in Scripture also refers to the ability to judge:
"6In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways. 7The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel. 8They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel? 9My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD. 10Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way. 11They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates." (Judges 5:6-11)
Notice how verse 6 above refers to people not walking freely on "highways" and how verse 7 refers to "villages" (perazown in Hebrew), establishing the spiritual connection between Perizzites and the inability to walk freely. Verse 10 then refers to those that "sit in judgment" and "walk by the way". This means that "walking" is tied in Scripture to the ability to make judgments. This is why verse 11 refers to the victory of God's "villages" in Israel and to the people of the Lord going down to the "gates", referring, therefore, to God's "little, village people" making judgments, since the "gates" were the places where ancient cities placed their "tribunals" or "courts". The relationship between walking and making judgments is reinforced in other passages of Scripture:
"And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." (Ezekiel 36:27)
"Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 18:4)
"11And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying, 12Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father:" (1 Kings 6:11-12)
"Walking in His judgments" implies an ability to know what those judgments are. This is why Scripture also relates "walking" with being in front of God's presence:
"Therefore now, LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me." (1 Kings 8:25)
"And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments" (1 Kings 9:4)
"And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments" (2 Chronicles 7:17)
In all the verses above, the word translated as "before" in phrases such as "walk before Me" is the Hebrew word paniym, which literally means "face". Therefore, the phrase "to walk before the Lord" literally means, "to walk before the face of the Lord". In Scripture, seeing a person "face to face" implies a direct relationship with that person. This is why we, as believers, are called to make judgments, because we have a direct relationship with the Lawgiver Himself. We have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:15-16), meaning that we have an ability to hear from God and to discern His laws and spiritual principles. Since "walking" is related to making judgments and to having a direct relationship with God, we can infer that Perizzites, who are spiritual cripples, are people who believe that they do not have the authority or the ability to make spiritual judgments. As spiritual cripples, Perizzite believers refuse to "walk", and prefer to delegate spiritual judgments to those whom they believe to be more worthy of such an honor than their "tiny" and "insignificant" selves. This creates a relationship of spiritual dependency between the crippled Perizzite believer and those whom he or she considers to be of a higher "spiritual caste".
I am so saddened when I hear believers say, "Who am I to judge?". By saying this, they are admitting that they are spiritually crippled, unable to walk in God's judgments and denying a direct relationship between themselves and God the Father. Many take the famous words in Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, that ye be not judged" as a spiritual excuse to remain in their spiritual lameness. However, they are taking these words out of their true spiritual context, since the same Jesus who pronounced these words says the following later on:
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." (John 7:24)
If "judging" is inherently wrong, why would the Lord Jesus tell us to "judge righteous judgment" in the passage above? Why would Paul, under the anointing of the Spirit, say the following to the believers in Corinth?
"1It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 2And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5To deliver such an one unto satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" (1 Corinthians 5:1-6)
If "judging" is inherently wrong, why would Paul say in verse 3 above that he has already "judged that person" (the word "concerning" that appears in verse 3 does not appear in the original Greek text, and was added by the King James translators because, to their natural minds, it sounded inappropriate to translate that Paul judged another human being). Paul then proceeds to tell the Corinthians to deliver the sinning believer unto satan. In 1 Corinthians 5:12, he reprimands them for not judging those within the Church. Does all of the above sound as if judging was a sin? Obviously not!
Why then, did the Lord say "judge not" in Matthew 7:1? Because He was speaking to souls at the time, not to spirits. The entire "Sermon on the Mount", of which Matthew 7:1 is a part, focuses on submission of the soul to the spirit. This is why the Sermon begins with a reference to Jesus "seeing the multitudes" in Matthew 5:1; in Scripture, "multitudes" generally refer to crowds of souls (compare Revelation 6:9-11 with Revelation 7:9). The Sermon then proceeds to talk about soulish concerns such as food and shelter (the word translated as "life" in Matthew 6:25, for example, is the Greek word psyche, which is the same word in Greek for "soul"). The only time that the word "spirit" is mentioned by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount is in Matthew 5:3, where He said, "poor in spirit", referring to those who are "reduced to beggary" by the world for abiding in the Spirit. Since the Word declares that our spirits are rich (1 Corinthians 1:5, 2 Corinthians 6:10, Revelation 2:9), the "poverty" of Matthew 5:3 is referring to poverty of the soul, not the spirit. This means that, even when Jesus mentions the word "spirit" in the Sermon on the Mount, He is talking to our souls, not our spirits.
Therefore, we can conclude that Jesus is ordering our souls not to judge in Matthew 7:1. Our spirits, on the contrary, are called to make judgments. Otherwise, we would have to tear out many passages from our Bibles:
"15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:15-16)
"God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods" (Psalms 82:1)
"34Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken ..." (John 10:34-35)
"22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect" (Hebrews 12:22-23)
When we judge in the soul, we judge according to laws devised by our souls according to our own interests and natural understanding. When we judge in the Spirit, we judge not according to our own laws but according to the Laws of God. We become impartial judges who apply His Laws using the mind of Christ, which goes beyond external appearances and can discern the deep things of the heart and mind that are completely invisible to our natural minds (1 Corinthians 2:14-16, Hebrews 4:12).
Perizzite believers are unaware of their spiritual authority to judge, and therefore are to God as spiritual cripples, unable to walk in His judgments and unable to establish God's kingdom authority on Earth. As I was preparing to write this article today (July 3rd, 2004), I heard the Lord say the phrase "Tiny Tim" to my right ear. To be honest with you, I really did not know who "Tiny Tim" was, even though I had heard the name before. The Lord then told me to search the Internet to find out who Tiny Tim was, and, as I did, I stumbled on a story about a little baby who survived an abortion (I found this story at aprisonerofhope.com and faithfulhope.com, but these sites were later deactivated). I also learned that "Tiny Tim" was the name of a character in Dickens' story, "A Christmas Carol" (I guess I did not know about "Tiny Tim" because, for a long time, I have been against Christmas, since its historical origins are pagan, and it is not Biblically based, and no matter how good our intentions may be, Jesus did not command us to celebrate Christmas; that is man trying to find a human way to please God, and God abhors that; Christmas was a humanly devised mechanism to get pagans to convert to Christianity; if you do not agree, I encourage you to please do research on the origins of Christmas and to pray to God that He show you the spiritual underpinnings of Christmas, and to make a judgment on your own, in the Spirit).
From what I found on the Internet about "Tiny Tim", I understood why the Lord whispered this phrase to me when I was preparing to write this article. Tiny Tim was a crippled child in Dickens' story, and the aborted baby named "Tiny Tim" was a young human being that was considered insignificant by his mom, but who was very important in God's eyes (from what I read, I understood that Tiny Tim's mom has repented from what she did, so God has forgiven her). Unfortunately, the Church today is full of Tiny Tims, full of believers whose spiritual calling dies before it gets the opportunity to grow and blossom. Why? Because they buy into the doctrine that preaches the greatness of the "minister" and the littleness of "regular church folk". They buy into the doctrine that says that only full-time ministers can make spiritual judgments and that they are to sit quietly in their pews and take in all that is told to them, without the right to judge what they hear. It angers Almighty God to have a Church lorded over by pastors who have denied believers the right to have direct access to God the Lawgiver, to God the Father, and they have stood as permanent (not temporary) intermediaries between God and the rest of mankind (1 Peter 5:2-3, Matthew 19:6, Galatians 3:19-29). Even though the Church claims to be living in New Testament grace, most of it still believes (spiritually speaking) in the intermediaries of the Old Testament, convinced that only the "Aaronic" priests (i.e.- full-time ministers) have a direct access to the Holy Place and to the Holy of Holies. It grieves and angers God to see a Church full of Perizzite cripples, full of Tiny Tims who are dependent upon man and not directly upon Him, but God has prophesied in His word that the days of these "Aaronic" priests are numbered, and that a mighty people, an awe-inspiring spiritual Church will be raised up in these last days to manifest His Glory on Earth (Zechariah 8:1-23, Micah 7:1-20). This will be a walking remnant, not crippled by man, but empowered with the Anointing of the Holy Spirit.
This word is for the Christian Church in the United States:
You have made mighty human efforts to abolish abortion from your land, but you will not have spiritual authority to abolish it until you drive out the Perizzites that are inside My Church, says the Lord. I will not give you victory over the enemy outside until you defeat him inside. Stop aborting the spiritual callings of My people, and stop crippling their spiritual authority. My times of judgment are now, says the Lord, and I will roar like a furious lion against those who have crippled My people. I will come against them and tear them to shreds, says the Lord, for I am an awesome God, and the zeal for My people consumes Me.
To answer this, we have to go back and see how Mephibosheth was crippled:
"And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth" (2 Samuel 4:4)
The Holy Spirit points out that Mephibosheth was 5 years old when he was left crippled. Why "5"? As we have seen in previous articles, "5" is a number that refers to ministerial grace, i.e.- grace imparted by God in order to "minister" (or serve) other people; this is why 5 ministries are listed in Ephesians 4:11. By declaring that Mephibosheth was 5 at the time, the Lord is telling us that Mephibosheth represents, in a spiritual sense, those who have been imparted a grace to minister. Mephibosheth, spiritually speaking, was a minister in God's eyes, in the same way that all of His people are ministers under the New Covenant (Revelation 1:6, Isaiah 61:6, 1 Peter 2:9, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21).
Despite the fact that Mephibosheth represents a minister who had authority to walk on his own, his nurse decided to carry him in her arms when she decided to flee, in the same way that full-time ministers nowadays refuse to allow believers under their care to "walk" on their own (i.e.- to establish kingdom authority and to pronounce spiritual judgments, as we saw above). Since Mephibosheth's nurse was a "she", we can infer that God is referring here to the ministries in the Church that perform a female functionality; as we saw in a previous article, the ministries with a "female" functionality are "pastors" and "teachers". The Church is currently under a pastoral matriarchy that acts as an overprotective mother that smothers the spirit (i.e.- "male") authority of believers in the Body of Christ. Pastors create a state of constant spiritual dependency on them, doing the exact opposite of what good parents do. Even Joseph and Mary had a hard time accepting that Jesus was under their care for a season, and that, eventually, they would have to let Him go so that He could fulfill the Father's calling for His life (Luke 2:41-50, John 2:3-4, Matthew 12:46-50). Good parents want their children to learn to walk, to grow and become increasingly independent, until they are ready to make a life on their own. Bad parents manipulate their children into staying under their control, never letting go, even when the child has left home and is already married; they continue to meddle in the son's or daughter's life and matrimony, and are never willing to cut the umbilical cord. In such cases, not only the parent is at fault. God holds pastors responsible for creating a sense of constant dependency in believers, but God also holds believers responsible for allowing themselves to stay in such a spiritual dependency.
Notice how harsh Jesus' words were when Mary tried to maintain control over Him:
"2And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come." (John 2:3-4)
Jesus did not say, "Yes, mommy, whatever you say". By calling her, "woman", Jesus was saying to Mary, "Woman, your time is up; you were faithful as a mother in taking care of me, but now I have to walk like a spirit; Joseph and you were the father and mother of My soul, but don't forget that God is the Father of My spirit. Step aside, woman, and let God operate through Me.
As we saw in a previous article, pastors are susceptible to being contaminated by Canaanite spirits. This is why there is an interesting connection in Scripture between the Canaanites and the Perizzites:
"And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land." (Genesis 13:7)
The word translated as "herdmen" in the passage above is the Hebrew word raah, which can also be translated as "shepherd" or "pastor". This means that the passage above speaks of a conflict between the pastors of Abram's cattle and the pastors of Lot's cattle. Abram means "exalted father" while Lot means "covering". "Abram-ic" pastors are those who act as good fathers who want those under their care to grow up spiritually and do greater things than they did themselves:
"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." (John 14:12)
"Lot-ic" pastors, on the contrary, are those who want those under their care to remain under their "covering" forever. It is interesting to note that, after the conflict between Abram and Lot, it is Abram, not his nephew Lot, who decides that the best thing to do was for each to go their separate ways. Since Abram did not want to smother Lot under his covering, he was willing to let Lot go; this is what good parents do:
"8And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. 9Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left." (Genesis 13:8-9)
Canaanite pastors, i.e.- "Lot-ic" pastors, smother believers so much that they allow Perizzite spirits to enter the Church and cripple those believers. This is why the Holy Spirit took the time to mention the Canaanites and the Perizzites in Genesis 13:7. If you read the rest of Genesis chapter 13, you will notice that the Canaanites and the Perizzites are not mentioned again. We can therefore say that God mentions them in verse 7 in order to give us a spiritual clue as to what was going on spiritually when Abram and Lot separated.
To answer the question at the top of this section, we can say that Perizzite believers are crippled because of the spiritual over-protectiveness of Canaanite pastors.
The meaning of Mephibosheth's name also reveals the participation of other spirits in the crippling of Perizzite believers. Mephibosheth means, "exterminating the shame", and comes from the Hebrew word bosheth meaning, "shame". The word bosheth comes from the word buwsh that means, "to put to shame, to be disappointed". As we studied in a previous article, the Jebusites are legalistic believers who love to humiliate others and put them to shame. To cause shame in another person is not wrong necessarily; sometimes it is the right thing to do, especially when we, as believers, speak words of judgment that are guided by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:5, 1 Corinthians 15:34, 2 Thessalonians 3:14, Titus 2:8). However, as we saw in a previous article, Jebusites are enforcers of "spiritual castes", and make a concerted effort to humiliate and put to shame believers when they begin to manifest their God-given spiritual authority.
One of the Jebusites' (and the Perizzites') favorite slogans is, "Once small, always small". If the first time they saw you, they saw you as a spiritual baby, they will always see you as a baby, no matter how much you grow in Christ. They will only be willing to listen to you when you are "publicly" recognized by some spiritual "authority" that they revere:
"54And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 55Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 57And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. 58And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." (Matthew 13:54-58)
"45Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? 46The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 47Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? 48Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? 49But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed." (John 7:45-49)
Many Perizzite believers have bought into the idea that they are nothing but "small and insignificant believers" after years of being exposed to Jebusite believers who slap them in the face any time they claim to have a word from the Lord, especially when that word defies the orders or "teachings" of some Amorite superior authority. In a sense, the Jebusites are the "shamers", while the Perizzites are the "shamees". As we saw in a previous article, Jebusites provoke spiritual lameness in fellow believers. Because of their imposition of human judgments that promote human rules (as opposed to spiritual judgments that promote God's laws and will), Jebusites incapacitate believers and leave them begging next to the temple gate called "The Beautiful", i.e.- the door to grace (Acts 3:2). Perizzites are beggars who do not realize that there is a wonderful door of access to God's grace available to them. It's like starving spiritually without knowing that you have a great deal of spiritual currency stored to your name in God's bank. Cursed be the Jebusites, and cursed be all those who cripple the spiritual authority of God's children:
"1At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:1-6)
Just as the Jebusites love to slap small believers and shout "Shame on you!" and "Shut up", God will slap the Jebusites in the face and shout,
"Shame on you for putting My people to shame! Shame on you for stunting the growth of My little ones. Shut up, for it is My time to speak."
God has prophesied that the Amorite-Jebusite-Canaanite stronghold on the Church will be broken:
"10Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite. 11And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the LORD. 12But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. 13Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves. 14Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself: 15Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself. 16And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD." (Amos 2:10-16)
[The Amorites are referred to explicitly in verse 10. God's "little" believers are referred to in verse 11 when speaking of sons who are prophets and young men who are Nazarites. The Canaanites are referred to in verse 12 when speaking of those who give wine to the Nazarites. The Jebusites are also referred to in verse 12 when speaking of those who tell the prophets to shut up. The Perizzite oppression that tries to force believers to live as "villagers" with no spiritual hopes and dreams is referred to in verse 13.]
Now that we have established the spiritual connection between "cripples" and the Perizzite spirit, we can proceed to examine an attitude that is very common in Perizzite believers. This attitude can be observed in John chapter 5:
"1After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath." (John 5:1-9)
The word "Bethesda" comes from the Hebrew words beth, meaning, "house", and checed, meaning, "mercy". Interestingly enough, the word checed can also be translated at times as "reproach, shame". "Bethesda", therefore, represents the modern-day Church, which has been converted from a battle camp for spiritual soldiers into a mere "soul hospital" for weak, sickly, and crippled souls who attend this "house of mercy" where expert doctors (i.e.- pastors) tend to their soul diseases, because, after all, "regular folk" are too spiritually "stupid" to do anything for themselves (or for each other) in God's Anointing. Any of these sickly patients who may dare to stand up and assert his or her spiritual authority is automatically put to shame. This is why Bethesda is not only the "house of mercy" but also the "house of shame". Bethesda, therefore, is a house where "mercy" is used as a subtle spiritual mechanism to preserve the separation between full-time "ministers" and "regular folk". Pastors are the spiritual doctors who went to medical school (i.e.- seminary) and are smart enough to treat the average believer's soul needs. As believers are taught that church is the place where they get "their needs met", instead of the place where they are prepared for battle, believers are lulled into a spiritual dependency on pastors. All battle camps have hospitals to treat the soldiers who are injured in battle, but the pastoral matriarchy, through its "gospel" of human mercy, has turned the Church into a Bethesda-type wasteland of dependent and crippled believers who can do nothing for themselves.
As you can see from the passage quoted above, all the crippled and blind people would wait by the pool of Bethesda, waiting for an "angel" to come and stir the waters. The word "angel" literally means "messenger", so it represents today's pastors. Today's believers are dependent on what the pastor does. If the pastor prays for them, they will be healed. If the pastor hears from God, they will have a word from the Lord. If the pastor blesses their activities, God's blessings are ensured. This is why the weak man from John chapter 5 above had been weak for 38 years. This is the exact number of years that the people of Israel wandered aimlessly in the desert because of their disobedience:
"14And the space in which we came from Kadeshbarnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LORD sware unto them. 15For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed." (Deuteronomy 2:14-16)
The weak man of John chapter 5 waited for 38 years for someone to take him to the waters when the angel stirred them (John 5:7). This man was dependent on the arm of flesh, not on God, and cursed is the man who trusts in the arm of flesh:
"Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD." (Jeremiah 17:5)
From the two passages quoted above, we can infer that God's wrath is kindled against those who exercise a dependency on ministers and not on Him directly. Those who depend on man are made to wander in the desert until they die; this is why there are so many believers in church who may hold positions as deacons, teachers, elders, etc., whose callings have been cast away by God long, long ago. God cannot use people who relinquish their spiritual responsibility to grow. If you become a Perizzite believer, a "villager" with no spiritual visions and hopes (not only for yourself but for those around you), you are useless in His kingdom, but it is up to you to reject the Perizzite doctrine.
"16Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21(Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh." (Colossians 2:16-23)
If you believe that being right with God consists of doing everything your local church authorities instruct you to do, you are an "angel worshipper", as verse 17 declares. Your walk with God does not consist of obeying external church rules and regulations. Your relationship with God is a direct, face-to-face relationship with Him, where you have direct experiences with Him, and where you grow in Him and where your growth helps others to grow in Christ as well. Notice how the Lord Jesus went directly to the sick man, out of all the people who were lying there waiting for the waters to be stirred. Jesus was trying to show this man that he had a direct line of communication with God. He did not have to depend on man to be healed. By going directly to him, Jesus was showing him that he was special to God, that God could distinguish him in a multitude. He was not just another ant in the anthill (I don't know about you, but, to me, all ants look alike). We are not insignificant "little" believers to God. Each one of us is special to Him, and He has mighty plans and purposes for each one of us:
"13Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence." (Matthew 19:13-15)
"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 18:10)
When will we stop depending on man? It grieves and angers God's heart to see us behaving like Perizzite villagers.
There is so much more left to say about the Perizzite spirits!! God willing, we will post future articles that talk more about how Perizzite spirits turn people into "simplistic judges" and on how the "Philadelphia spirit", which is the spiritual counterpart of the Perizzite spirit, will be manifested in these latter days in God's prophetic remnant to bring about the greatest revival mankind has ever seen.
[We discuss the Hivite spirit in the next article of this series...]