How to Test Spirits
From the Old Testament to the New, the prophets, the apostles, and the Son of God Himself, all warned about false prophets, false teachers, wolves in sheep's clothing. And obviously, if someone warns you about something, it’s because the possibility that the thing they warned you about will present itself sooner or later. Such is the case with ungodly spirits parading as godly spirits.
The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (II Corinthians 11:13-15)
The fact of the matter is that angels of (counterfeit) light, in the flesh or spirit, are prevalent. You see them in Islam and Mormonism, New Age and Kabbalah, Satanism and white magic and Santeria--all are the products of these fallen flaming spirits.
There is no such thing as “your truth,” “my truth,” or “our truth”; only the Truth.
Truth is a Person. His name is Jesus. And it is He that sets us free.
So we’ve established Who and what Truth is. Now how do we recognize it? Glad you asked. *smile*
Discerning the Spirit of Truth & Error
John the Beloved revealed to us how to discern the true from the untrue.
Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (I John 3:24-4:6)
Paul commented on this subject as well.
Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 12:3)
And, of course, our Saviour had something to say on this topic as well.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (John 16:13)
So there you have it. But let’s review.
How To Tell If a Spirit is of God:
Be Cautious. Don’t believe a prophet, pastor, minister, vision, or dream immediately without testing its true source. (I John 4:1)
Test (try) the Spirit. Does this person or spirit or dream confess or relay that Jesus Christ is:
Test (try) the Message of the Spirit. Does the spirit/vision, etc. align with the logos (written Word of God)? God’s Spirit, God’s illumination and revelation will NEVER EVER EVER contradict, take from, or add to the written Word of God. It’s perfect as is. Biblical translations are merely a matter of personal preference.
Does the Messenger Receive the Written Word? Satan knows the Word better than any human being to walk the face of the earth. But he doesn’t practice it. Similarly, every messenger from God will abide by the Word of God, they will receive Truth, hunger and thirst for it. Any false messenger will not. Simple as that.
There are a lot of counterfeiters out there. There are a lot of people who pleasure in trying to discredit the Word of God. (Operative word = trying.)
People who work with money will tell you that in order to identify counterfeit money, you don’t study the fake stuff, you study the real thing. Similarly, your job is not to spend time studying them or worse, create blogs, Youtube channels, and media outlets exposing them. Your job is to study the Word of God and most importantly, develop a relationship with Him to be able to discern the difference between the authentic and the counterfeit.