Test Spirits a 3 Part Series
These three post encourage us to Test Spirits. We have to see of they are of God, and Jesus the son of God who came in the flesh. The previous two posts were 1st my own story about testing the spirits, 2nd testing the spirits according to scriptures. This post focuses on testing the spirits as it relates to prophetic words, dreams, lifestyles etc. It also presents that information from a scriptural perspective. In addition, it offers practical actions you can take in your own interactions and relations to evaluate the spirit that is influencing a situation or an individual.
Testing Spiritual Gifting and Prophecies
One of the most important issues in working with persons from charismatic churches or backgrounds is to test spiritual gifts, tongues, prophecies, dreams, and visions. I have found that many of these manifestations are not from the Lord. I believe in spiritual gifting and believe it is for our time. Sadly, however, many well-meaning Christians are operating in false gifting. These people are not evil, but they have been deceived.
When I first began my ministry I was praying for a woman named Margo who was hearing voices. A woman named Donna had befriended her and prayed with Margo for months. Somehow they found out about Moriah Ministry and called for an appointment. As Donna and I prayed for Margo we were able to get the demons removed. At the conclusion of our ministry time, Donna began praying in tongues. Although I had heard about tongues I had never seen or heard anyone pray that way and assumed that Donna was just worshiping the Lord.
Demons Pray in Tongues Too
After a few minutes Margo grimaced and said “the demon is back.” Surprised, I went after it to find out what legal right it was claiming. The spirit spoke and declared that it had been invited back. “How?” I asked, binding it to the truth and commanding in Jesus’ name. It finally spit out that Donna had invited it back. At the time this was very confusing to me. I asked Donna not to pray and was able to cast the enemy out again. This time is stayed out. I Immediately began to probe this anomaly. I was certain that Donna was a Christian, but I had not yet encountered a Christian with a demonic tongue. We concluded that Donna’s tongue might not be from the Lord. As I commanded the spirit that spoke in a tongue to come forward Donna recognized that a spirit was there. It admitted being a demonic spirit—not the Holy Spirit. That day we renounced the spirit and commanded it out of her life.
The incident drove me to a thorough study of this confusing situation. The result was that I discovered one of the most formidable tools that we have in spiritual warfare. Neil Anderson had recorded an encounter with a false tongue in a young man whom he called Alvin. He recorded the event in The Bondage Breaker.
“Recently a man in his thirties was referred to me. Alvin was discouraged and defeated. For several years he believed he had a special gift of prophecy from God. He was invited to church after church to speak as an oracle for God by prophesying in his unique way. But over a period of months his personal life began to fall apart. Alvin eventually reached the point where he could no longer function in society and he began to withdraw from people completely. By the time he came to see me he had been unemployed for two years, he was being cared for by his father, and he was a slave to prescription drugs.
“Alvin and I read 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21: ‘Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt .Test everything. Hold on to the good’ (NIV).
“I said, ‘Alvin, I’m not against prophecy; it’s a spiritual gift. But Satan can counterfeit spiritual gifts and deceive us into believing they’re from God. That’s why the Scriptures instruct us to put everything to the test. “After a lengthy discussion about false prophets and teachers, Alvin admitted, ‘I think my problems began when I failed to test the “gifts” of tongues and prophecy conferred on me by false teachers. Not only was I deceived, but I have deceived others myself.’
“‘Would you be willing to put your gift of tongues to the test?’ I asked. I assured Alvin that I was interested in putting the spirit to the test, not him. Alvin really wanted to be free of deception and right with God. ‘Yes,’ he
answered. I instructed Alvin to begin praying aloud in his ‘spiritual language.’ As he began to chant an unintelligible prayer, I said, ‘In the name of Christ and in obedience to God’s Word, I command you, spirit, to identify yourself.’ Alvin stopped in the middle of his chanting and said, ‘I am he.’ At this point a novice
may have been tempted to take off his shoes, thinking he was on holy ground. But I continued, ‘Was born under Pilate, buried, raised on the third day, and who now sits at the right hand of the Father?’ Alvin almost shouted the response: ‘No! Not he!’
“…I am not against spiritual gifts, even prophesy and tongues. But I am committed to obeying Scripture, and 1 Corinthians 14:39 says, ‘Desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues.’ But Scripture
also requires that all spiritual phenomena be tested.” I use the same method to test any revelation that might be masquerading as Christ. In the example above, Anderson applies the test to two aspects of revelation—tongues and prophesy. I also use the test in a more extended way. Charismatic Christians will sometimes share that there are two types of tongues. One is a tongue that requires interpretation for corporate worship. The other tongue is the person’s private prayer language. They claim that this second
type of tongues will excuse them from the test of interpretation Paul prescribed in 1 Corinthians 14:26-28. Although personally I have a difficult time validating the second type of tongues scripturally, I can still use 1 John 4:1-4 to test either tongue. In either case the spirit behind the tongue should be the Holy Spirit and subject to testing. I also use it to test dreams and visions. (we are instructed to Test Spirits)
My approach, like Neil Anderson’s, is to get the tongue operating. (when you pray yourself, you can also Test Spirits as you pray) Once it begins I then ask permission to test it and for it to switch to my language. If it is the Lord, He will shift to English because He has commanded me to test Him (1 Thessalonians 5:18-20). I will then challenge the tongue to say, “Jesus came in the flesh” (1 John 4:1-4). If it is the Lord I will immediately hear “Jesus came in the flesh.” Usually a few more phrases will be added. (i.e., “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” “born of a virgin,” etc.). If it is not the Lord the communication may cease or the spirit will say something such as “Yes” or some other indirect
response. I have often had the tongue curse at me, which surprises the person who is speaking.
Sometimes the tongue will just continue without acknowledging the question. Any of these…
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