Pastor and Christian Leadership Resources

How the 'Leviathan Strategy' Twists Truth in Culture and Relationships

  • Os Hillman President, Marketplace Leaders
  • 2020 10 Sep
A pair of hands wrings all the water from a wet rag

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).

Have you ever spoken to someone or to an audience and heard later that what you said was completely misquoted or misinterpreted?

Have you ever had a conversation with your spouse that led to an argument because your spouse heard one thing but you actually said something different?

Have you ever heard a news program report on a leader’s speech that was translated completely different than what that leader actually said?

Have you ever listened to a sermon and then heard someone misinterpret the message of that sermon causing division in that local congregation?

If so, you’ve probably been the victim to the Leviathan Principality. You rarely hear a sermon on this demonic principality, especially in the conservative, non-charismatic body of Christ. Leviathan is no ordinary spirit but a world ruler principality in the demonic world that rules nations. It can be attributed to having the greatest influence through cults and all forms of mind control.

If you find it difficult to focus, or experience times when your mind is filled with hateful accusing thoughts towards others, you have encountered Leviathan.

The word Leviathan means “twisted serpent.” Leviathan’s name is mentioned several places in the Bible but often in a non-descript manner. You can find reference to Leviathan in Job 3:8, Ps 104:26, Isa 27:1, Ps 74:14, and Job 41 has the most extensive reference to Leviathan. It lists the following characteristics in Job 41:

v9 false hope to overcome
v15 like a serpent
v19 mouth like burning lights
v21 flames from his mouth
v22 produces sorrow
v24 hard-hearted
v25 creates fear
v28 difficult to kill
 v34 king over pride in people

It's Very Prevalent in Washington, DC

Right now we are seeing the greatest negative impact on our culture because of the influence of the Leviathan Principality. Fake News is Leviathan. I am amazed when I hear a news report given about a leader’s speech after hearing it firsthand and then hear the reporting of that speech. The report was completely misconstrued and manipulated. We have seen this particularly in the case of Donald Trump. His words are regularly twisted by mainstream media. They often hear what they want to hear and say what they want said versus what was actually said. However, it’s not exclusive to Donald Trump. Both political parties are impacted by this principality. That’s because this principality’s goal is to cause division and strife between people. King David said, “They are always twisting what I say; they spend their days plotting to harm me” (Psalm 56:5).

How does this principality impact you?

  • It impacts your ability to focus. Your words can become confused.
  • It is the most prevalent power in culture-shaping that seeks to turn groups of people against each other via race, gender, political ideology or religion.
  • It operates at a subconscious level. It is currently having a vast influence in media and political conversations, making it impossible to think rationally.
  • It twists the meaning of words and seeks to destroy relationships. It divides relationships in the body of Christ.
  • It encourages an atmosphere of accusation against you.
  • It works to hinder spiritual growth and unity in the body of Christ.

A Personal Encounter with Leviathan

A few years ago I was one of 10 speakers at a Christian conference at Harvard. Within one week of the announcement of our conference all of the speakers began to see lies spread about them all over the internet. It was a barrage of misinformation spread by the LGBT and Muslim community at Harvard. I was particularly targeted. They told the dean, “We don’t want these Christian bigots on our campus.” They appealed to the dean of the school to prevent us from coming on the campus. Our host fought for us and we had the event.

A Harvard professor attended the conference to see if the LGBT or Muslim accusations had any merit. In a meeting after the event we met with this group of leaders. We listened to their concerns and shared the truth about their accusations. I explained why their accusation against me was false. The man apologized and asked if I would like a retraction in the Harvard paper? I said, “That would be great.”

At the conclusion the Harvard professor directed his comments to the 7 leaders, “Gentlemen, I just attended this conference. They never brought up your name one time. There was nothing we could not accept at Harvard that was presented in this meeting. We’d be glad to host a meeting like this anytime at Harvard.”

Leviathan in Politics

We especially see Leviathan operating in the political environment, especially in elections. Because of its pride, and because it has access into people's lives through their proud hearts, this spirit wants to be in control. So those under its influence want to control situations in which they are placed. They resist submission to true spiritual authority. This is also a mocking spirit and uses mockery as one way of attacking others. It will mock those who walk in obedience to the Lord or who disagree with them. Their own opinions are to be the only one considered. We see this especially on college campuses today. Not only do people become hard-hearted under its influence, they become thick-skinned in the wrong sense. The truth bounces off of them!

“There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there” (Psalm 104:26).

Leviathan can change the sound you speak before it actually gets to the other person. You say, "Thursday afternoon" but the word is changed in the air before it gets to their ears and they absolutely, positively hear "Friday morning."

This is not a simple misunderstanding of similar words. This head of Leviathan absolutely transforms the meaning of a sentence in the air between your lips and their ears.

These misunderstandings can become very tough, especially when trying to go back to the person who "misunderstood" you to clarify, correct the problem and restore the relationship. Every time you clarify, something else is heard and your mess gets messier. It becomes a slippery slope of denial and accusation.

This is especially true in marriages when a husband and wife get stuck in the hardcore, disconnected mode. Both sides try to reconcile, but every attempt produces more pain because of extreme miscommunication, and they just withdraw verbally and emotionally and live in wounded, self-righteous isolation. When this happens, Leviathan has won.

Defeating Leviathan 

In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword shall punish Leviathan, the piercing serpent, and he shall slay the sea monster that is in the sea (Isaiah 27:1).

Have you allowed Leviathan to use you? If so, you need to repent and ask the Lord's forgiveness. Those who have been carriers of this spirit will need to be broken of their pride that has given the enemy opportunity to bring so much disruption into their own lives and the lives of others that they have influenced. The longer this is left, the more difficult it becomes to take the necessary spiritual steps to be rid of its influence. There has to be a humbling and a breaking of proud, self-righteous, independent attitudes.

Where there is repentance there will be nothing to fear from Leviathan, for the Lord is then able to restore you. Where influenced under Leviathan, people have not been able to prosper spiritually, but once forgiven and restored they can again flow with the Holy Spirit, the right Spirit. A true sense of direction and purpose is then restored to their lives, instead of the disruption they previously experienced through the chaos created by this principality.

It is good for everyone to stand against being under any influence from this spirit by praying in the following way:

"Lord, I ask you to remove from my life any influence from the spirit of Leviathan. I reject this spirit completely and whole-heartedly. Forgive me for any ways that I have served this spirit either intentionally or inadvertently. Forgive me for any ways in which I have been twisted or have twisted the truth, that I have listened to distortion of the truth or have distorted the truth. I devote myself to bringing unity into the church, and my relationships, and will honor other members of the body of Christ and those you have placed in authority. In humble submission to your grace, I will speak the truth in love and dedicate myself to expressing the truth of your word in my life, in the precious name of Jesus. Amen."

Here are a few tips to avoid being influenced by Leviathan:

  1. Confirm and repeat back what you hear in conversations to the person speaking, especially in marriage.
  2. If it's a broadcast or public message, confirm the contents with others or the host group before taking any opposing position.   
  3. Verify the source. Today there is a lot of fake news. Opposing groups often post fake stories to engage opposition. 
  4. Build bridges with your enemies. Try to live peaceably with others but speak the truth in love.

Image courtesy: ©Getty Images / Sasiistock


Os Hillman is author of 20 books and the popular devotional TGIF Today God Is First. His most recent book is The Hidden Place: One Man's Journey to Freedom.




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