False Signs and Lying Wonders
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie. II Thessalonians 2:9-11
The Lord Jesus Himself warned that in the last days there would be many false prophets proclaiming a false gospel and performing false signs and lying wonders. With all of this deception how does one differentiate between the true and the false? The above scripture even warns that God would send a strong delusion upon those that go after that which is false. So what is the answer and how can the church discern evil from good and true from false?
Although it is sometimes not easy to test the spirits to see if they are false, it is not impossible. The main problem it seems in these times of uncertainty is that no one even attempts to do so. You never hear of anyone judging prophecy or tongues or even the signs and false wonders that occur all the time. People are drawn to revivals and meetings and see some really weird and off the wall events and no one ever questions their validity.
Because of the complacency and lack of knowledge in the church many of the false prophets and teachers are allowed to run rampant throughout the world leading millions of unsuspecting souls into deception. The fear of "Thou Shalt Not Judge!" has kept us from judging rightly the body as Paul warned. In I Corinthians 14:29-33 Paul instructs the church to let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. The purpose of prophecy is to encourage and to teach the body of Christ, not to call out your drivers license number. Prophecy is also speaking God's word with boldness that will bring conviction of sin and ultimately repentance.
Many of the present day so called revivals have displayed uncontrollable laughter, violent jerking, barking, gold flakes, feathers and the appearance of angels. All of this can look spiritual but at the same time can even become deadly when discernment flies out the window and demons are allowed to operate freely in the meetings. Being slain in the spirit or should I say slain by spirits has promoted the pride of the one doing the slaying, being puffed up with pride and leading others to exalt man.
One of the first warnings of something being false or misleading is the exaltation of the man proclaiming the prophecies or the signs he is performing. The Holy Spirit will not be present when man is elevated and Jesus is not. Today men have promoted themselves and not Jesus, their ministry and not the Holy Spirit's. It is not unusual to attend one of these meetings and never hear the name of Jesus. If that's the case red flags should be going up!
And the spirits of prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion ( disorder ) but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. I Corinthians 14:32,33
THE DISCERNING OF SPIRITS
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from 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 has come in the flesh is of God. I John 4:1,2
One of the greatest deceptions is the idea that Satan cannot approach the presence or anointing of God. Because of the lack of proper biblical teaching and the emotionally charged atmosphere of a meeting, people think Satan is somehow locked out, but that is simply not true. Satan, when expelled from heaven marched right in to the Garden of Eden and deceived the pants off Adam and Eve. He also approached the very throne of God and asked to destroy Job's life and was granted access by God Himself.
Remember when Peter was given a revelation of who Jesus was, the Christ, Son of the living God and Jesus gave him the keys to the kingdom. It wasn't long before Satan was demanding Jesus to sift ( shake the living daylights out of ) Peter like wheat. Satan even met Jesus in the desert and tried to get Him to doubt who He was after God had just spoken audibly that He was His beloved Son, what nerve!
There are two very important things to consider when testing spirits, or should I say demons, because that's what you are dealing with. First of all Satan is the father of lies, there is no truth or goodness in him, only deceit and deception. If a man has started a revival and not the Holy Spirit and his name is plastered all over it, then its more than likely to be false. That's not to say that some will be healed or maybe even saved because the Holy Spirit was already dealing with them. Another thing to remember is that even if the meeting is false it doesn't mean that the man doesn't know the Lord or even has a legitimate gift, he's just deceived.
Secondly, demons like to show off by producing incredible signs such as gold dust and feathers, giving the appearance of the visitation of angels. A true angel will not appear in the presence of a fleshly man-made revival, because true angelic hosts are under the authority of God. That doesn't mean that they aren't attending true believers who might even be deceived but will never break ranks to become a spectacle for man. When men are praying to and worshiping angels, run for the hills.
Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. Colossians 2:18,19
WHAT DID JESUS DO?
To accurately discern evil from good and true from false we have to take a hard look at the Author of our faith and the One who actually performs miracles. Jesus never did a miracle to draw attention to Himself, only to testify to the fact that He was the Son of the living God. His motive was to set people free from sin and to heal all oppressed by the devil. There is no comparison for what Jesus did and whats done today, Jesus cast out demons, healed the sick and raised the dead. Compassion for people to be made whole and to be saved were paramount to His ministry.
The apostles including Paul never wanted attention when they performed miracles and they were consistent to what Jesus did, never taking the credit, but always giving God the glory. Today, meetings are promoted like a circus sideshow, drawing countless millions to ooh and awe at their spectacular event, when in actuality they are involving themselves with demonic forces hell bent on robbing, stealing and destroying lives.
Always examine the motive behind the meeting, is it for pride, greed and self promotion or to bring people into the life giving true presence of the Holy Spirit and exalting the Lord Jesus Christ? Is the meeting biblically accurate in context to what Jesus did or is it way out in outer space totally out of sequence with God's character and mission? When pride rules you can bet Satan is running the show and demons will be performing their act for you.
The bible gives a stern warning about being careful not to lay hands on anyone lest you become responsible for their sins. Remember that when you are laying hands on someone or they are laying hands on you, something is being transferred, either good or bad. Today people rush headlong with reckless disregard for anything that remotely resembles the true presence of God. Don't be deceived or led astray by wolves in sheep's clothing, check it out and pray before you subject yourself to something that looks like God but actually is another scheme of the devil!
"Then if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Christ!" or "There!" do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." Matthew 24:23,24