5 Ways to Test Whether a Spirit is Godly or Demonic

In Galatians 1, the apostle Paul marveled at the fact that the Galatian church had turned away from the teaching of Jesus so soon after they had heard it and embraced it.

Isaiah Saldivar and Alexander Pagani aren’t so surprised. In their work as deliverance pastors, Pagani and Saldivar say they have seen this many times in church services where a congregation embraces a “false Jesus” or flocks to a spirit that is demonic rather than godly.

“How do I know if it’s the Holy Spirit or if it’s a demon when someone is maybe laughing or speaking out or shaking uncontrollably?” Saldivar asks in this teaching video with his fellow Demon Slayers Pagani and Mike Signorelli.

“Remember, the devil always mimics what God is doing. There are times where it’s hard to tell whether it’s a demon or the Holy Spirit. This goes for prophetic words, for shaking, laughter or any manifestation you can think of. “

Note: This part of the teaching begins at the 1:35:35 mark of the video.

Saldivar says there are five ways to test whether something is a demonic spirit or a Godly spirit:

1. Does the manifestation lead to repentance?

“It doesn’t matter what teacher or what preacher you’re listening to, in the New Testament, Jesus required repentance even more than faith,” Saldivar says. “Jesus was constantly calling people to repentance. In fact, in Mark 1:15, the first recorded word Jesus preached was ‘Repent!’ This was Jesus’ first sermon. In Luke 13, He says unless you repent, you will likewise perish. In Acts 2:38, what did Peter preach? You must repent. What does the book of Acts say? For a time, God overlooked ignorance, but God requires all men everywhere to repent. The message we should be preaching should be out of repentance. Our goal is to bring change to your life. Repentance brings life change.”

2. Does the sign, wonder or manifestation lead to a love for Scripture?

“Do you come out of these manifestations loving Scripture more or loving Scripture less?” Saldivar asks. “Jesus calls the Bible the Word of God. In John 10:35, it says it cannot be broken. These signs and wonders should leave you with a love for Scripture. You should leave with a hunger for Scripture, like it says in Isaiah 66:2. There should be an honor and reverence for God’s Word. If the manifestation is leading you away from the Bible, toward the person’s teachings that are not biblical, there is danger.”

3. Does the manifestation glorify Jesus or does it glorify the person?

“The prophecies, the words of knowledge, these amazing signs and wonders—are they bringing glory to the apostle, pastor or evangelist doing them, or do they bring glory go to Jesus?” Saldivar asks. “Is the attention going to Christ? If you’re laughing in the middle of a sermon and you’re saying it’s the Holy Ghost making me laugh, you’re taking the attention off the Word, which is bringing the glory intended Jesus and putting it on yourself (John 16:13). The number one job of the Holy Ghost is to glorify Jesus.”

4. Does it produce a love from me for other Christians?

“In John 13:35, Jesus said that by this you know you are My disciples, your love for one another. In 1 Timothy 1:5, Paul said the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart. If theses manifestations are not causing me to love other believers and to come into unity in the church, it’s probably not God,” says Saldivar.

5. After this manifestation, am I now more concerned with the lost?

Is it bringing a concern for the lost people, to share the Good News, to preach the gospel?” Saldivar asks. “Our goal is to win the lost. In 2 Corinthians chapter 5, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation as if God was speaking through us, calling people back to Him.

“All of these manifestations are great. But if they’re not glorifying Jesus, if they’re not bringing you a love for Scripture, if they are not leading you into deep repentance and holiness, if you’re not concerned with reaching the lost after, then it’s safe to say that these are false manifestations. That is not me saying it; that is Scripture.

Pagani says believers must discern the false prophets and teachers they might listen to simply by God’s Word.

“Just because the person with the microphone says, ‘Jesus,’ it doesn’t mean they are glorifying Jesus,” Pagani says. “The bar has to be set to the biblical Jesus. In Galatians chapter 1, the apostle Paul said that just because someone is saying Jesus, they could be actually giving you another Jesus, which you have not known.

“I hear this all the time. They say, ‘well, this person glorifies Jesus. They talk about Jesus all the time, so they couldn’t possibly be of the devil.’ It’s not that they’re saying Jesus, but which Jesus are they referring to? The Bible talks about there are many Jesus’, (Gal. 1). It also says there are many different spirits out there. So, just because they say the spirit is telling me this or this, it doesn’t mean it’s really the Holy Spirit.

“Your bar for discernment can’t be the aesthetics of a church service. Warlocks can mention Jesus; false prophets can mention Jesus; false apostles can mention the Holy Ghost. Your bar has to be centered in the Scriptures to understand which Jesus are they portraying and the Holy Spirit will actually tell you if this is biblically sound doctrine.”

Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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