In Scripture we are told of the Spirit of Truth, or the Holy Spirit. Paul exhorts us to walk in the Spirit. Even in the Old Testament we are told that from time to time God poured out His Spirit upon people at certain times. But folks, I am here to warn you that there are other spirits in this world that are working against Christ and His Glory. This is most certainly of the antichrist spirit. For any spirit that is not in direct agreement with the saving grace and knowledge of Christ preaching Salvation is seeking to replace and oppose Christ and His work.
Again, some spirits are sent as messengers and help for the people of God. Some spirits are sent for various reasons to oppose the work of Christ or confound and test the walk of those who claim the name of Christ.
So, keeping in mind that all the work of Christ is spiritual, dear brothers and sisters, there are some who would deny that another spirit can work through someone who claims the name of Christ. For even in the Old Testament we are told there were spirits other than the Holy Spirit working in or against man. Here are several examples:
22 After Abimelech had reigned over Israel three years, 23 God sent a spirit of ill will between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, 24 that the crime done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might be settled and their blood be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who aided him in the killing of his brothers. 25 And the men of Shechem set men in ambush against him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who passed by them along that way; and it was told Abimelech. (Judges 9:22-25)
14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Surely, a distressing spirit from God is troubling you.16 Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well.” (I Samuel 16:14-16)
In these two examples we see men who were sinning before the Lord and He in His sovereignty saw fit to send another spirit upon these men. This next example takes the cake in my opinion. Micaiah is brought before King Ahab to give testimony from the Lord regarding a proposed battle. In the midst of the discussion Micaiah relates what he saw revealed to him in God’s throne room:
19 Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ 22 The Lord said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the Lord said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ 23 Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.” (I Kings 22:19-23)
Now keep in mind that the people of Israel of the Old Testament were the people of God. They were promised the same Messiah we follow today. And in fact Paul explains to us that we who were born Gentile are grafted into the same promise through Christ so that both Jew and Gentile are in need of Salvation through Christ alone.
So then in light of this promise let us look at New Testament examples of another spirit.
43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. (Matthew 12:43)
The above is an example from Christ’s own words describing a spirit entering a man.
23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” Mark 1:23-24)
I think the following is a wonderful example of demon possession.
Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. 2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”
8 For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” 9 Then He asked him, “What is your name?”
And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.
11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” 13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea. (Mark 5:1-13)
But these seem to me to obvious examples. Demon possession causing men to act irrationally. But I know there are spirits who are more subtle than this that mimic elements of Christ, but are essentially anti-christ. I’m thinking of one of my earlier examples where God sent a lying spirit to the assembly. Why would God do this? First of all God will test those who are His to see if they have learned their lessons well. Are we watching? Do we all realize that the devil has an interest in destroying the gathering of the true saints? If we can start there we can begin to understand that the assembly is not a place to let our guard down. We must ever be prepared for the fiery darts to come flying to seemingly destroy that which God is building.
Next we must put the Truth of Christ first before others. We must never let our love for others blind us to the Truth. For there will be many who will fall into darkness in these last days. Our true love for others will cause us to speak the Truth at all times. Even when we are accused of evil. For as Scripture tells us men will call evil good and good evil. Yes it is difficult. Even to the anger of those we are sharing with.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:6)
My friends, let us be about the Lord’s business in these last days. If you are truly the Lord’s you are repentant even openly to others. Let nothing stand between you and Jesus. Find forgiveness of sins so that your witness, your robes remain clean. There is much left to happen and we cannot be asleep. Keep watchful for the enemy. He is crafty and cunning. Test all spirits.
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. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 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.
4 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. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 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.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. (I John 4:1-21)
There are many spirits in this world. Some are of and for Christ. Most are for themselves and against Christ. Let us be ready and prepared for battle. It is even at your doorstep. You are a soldier of Christ Jesus. Let us now walk in His perfection.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephesians 6:10-18)