f. How to differentiate between having the work of evil spirits and being possessed by evil spirits
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
What is the work that comes from Satan? In the work that comes from Satan, the visions within people are vague; people are without normal humanity, the motivations behind their actions are wrong, and although they wish to love God there are always accusations within them, and these accusations and thoughts cause constant disturbance within them, constraining the growth of their life and stopping them from coming before God in the normal condition. This is to say, as soon as the work of Satan is within people, their hearts cannot be at peace before God. Such people do not know what to do with themselves—when they see people gathering together, they want to run away, and they are unable to close their eyes when others pray. The work of evil spirits wrecks the normal relationship between man and God, and upsets people’s previous visions or their former path of life entry; in their hearts they can never draw close to God, and things always happen that cause disturbance to them and shackle them. Their hearts cannot find peace and they are left with no strength to love God and with their spirits sinking. Such are the manifestations of the work of Satan. The manifestations of the work of Satan are: being unable to stand your ground and stand witness, causing you to become someone who is at fault before God and who has no faithfulness toward God. When Satan disturbs, you lose the love and loyalty toward God within you, you are stripped of a normal relationship with God, you do not pursue the truth or the improvement of yourself; you regress and become passive, you indulge yourself, you give free rein to the spread of sin and are not hateful of sin; furthermore, the interference of Satan makes you dissolute; it causes God’s touch to disappear within you and makes you complain about God and oppose Him, leading you to question God; there is even the risk that you will abandon God. All of this comes from Satan.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan
When people have knowledge of God, they are glad to suffer and live for God, but Satan still controls the weaknesses inside them, Satan is still able to make them suffer, evil spirits are still able to work and cause disturbance inside them, to entrance them, to make them deranged and ill at ease, and utterly disturbed. There are things in people’s thoughts and consciousness that are liable to be controlled and manipulated by Satan. Therefore, sometimes you are ill or troubled, there are times when you feel the world to be desolate, or that there is no point in living, and there are even times when you may seek death and want to kill yourself. That is to say, these pains are wielded by Satan, and they are man’s mortal weakness. Something that has been corrupted and trampled on by Satan can still be used by Satan; this is the screw that Satan turns. … When evil spirits work, there is no gap they will not exploit. They may speak within you or into your ear, or they may disturb your mind and disrupt your thoughts, numbing you to the touch of the Holy Spirit, stopping you from feeling it, and then the evil spirits will begin to disturb you, to throw your thoughts into chaos and make you lose your sense, even causing your soul to leave your body. This is the work that evil spirits do in people, and people are in great danger if they cannot tell it for what it really is.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Significance of God’s Tasting of Worldly Suffering
Some people say that the Holy Spirit is working in them at all times. This is impossible. If they were to say that the Holy Spirit is always with them, that would be realistic. If they were to say that their thinking and sense are normal at all times, that would also be realistic, and would show that the Holy Spirit is with them. If they say the Holy Spirit is always working within them, that they are enlightened by God and touched by the Holy Spirit at every moment, and gain new knowledge all the time, then this is by no means normal! It is entirely supernatural! Without a shadow of a doubt, such people are evil spirits! Even when the Spirit of God comes into the flesh, there are times when He must eat and must rest—to say nothing of humans. Those who have been possessed by evil spirits seem to be without the weakness of the flesh. They are able to forsake and give up everything, they are free of the emotion, capable of enduring torment and do not feel the slightest fatigue, as if they have transcended the flesh. Is this not extremely supernatural? The work of evil spirits is supernatural—no human could achieve such things! Those who lack discernment are envious when they see such people: They say they have such vigor in their belief in God, have great faith, and never show the slightest sign of weakness! In fact, these are all manifestations of the work of an evil spirit. For, normal people inevitably have human weaknesses; this is the normal state of those who have the presence of the Holy Spirit.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Practice (4)
If, during the present day, there is to emerge a person who is able to display signs and wonders, cast out demons, heal the sick, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are Jesus who has come, then this would be a counterfeit produced by evil spirits which imitate Jesus. Remember this! God does not repeat the same work. Jesus’ stage of work has already been completed, and God will never again undertake that stage of work. The work of God is irreconcilable with the notions of man; for example, the Old Testament foretold the coming of a Messiah, and the result of this prophecy was Jesus’ coming. This having already happened, it would be wrong for another Messiah to come again. Jesus has already come once, and it would be wrong if Jesus were to come again this time. There is one name for every age, and each name contains a characterization of that age. In the notions of man, God must always display signs and wonders, must always heal the sick and cast out demons, and must always be just like Jesus. Yet this time, God is not like that at all. If, during the last days, God still displayed signs and wonders, and still cast out demons and healed the sick—if He did exactly the same as Jesus—then God would be repeating the same work, and the work of Jesus would have no significance or value. Thus, God carries out one stage of work in every age. Once each stage of His work has been completed, it is soon imitated by evil spirits, and after Satan begins to follow on the heels of God, God changes to a different method. Once God has completed a stage of His work, it is imitated by evil spirits. You must be clear about this.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing God’s Work Today
There are some who are possessed by evil spirits and cry out vociferously, “I am God!” Yet, in the end, they are revealed, for they are wrong in what they represent. They represent Satan, and the Holy Spirit pays them no heed. However highly you exalt yourself or however strongly you cry out, you are still a created being and one that belongs to Satan. I never cry out, “I am God, I am the beloved Son of God!” But the work I do is God’s work. Need I shout? There is no need for exaltation. God does His own work Himself and does not need man to accord Him a status or give Him an honorific title: His work represents His identity and status. Prior to His baptism, was not Jesus God Himself? Was He not the incarnate flesh of God? Surely it cannot be said that it was only after receiving witness that He became the only Son of God? Long before He began His work, was there not already a man by the name of Jesus? You are unable to bring forth new paths or to represent the Spirit. You cannot express the work of the Spirit or the words that He speaks. You are unable to do the work of God Himself, and that of the Spirit you are unable to do. The wisdom, wonder, and unfathomability of God, and the entirety of the disposition by which God chastises man—all of these are beyond your capacity to express. It would therefore be useless to try to claim to be God; you would have only the name and none of the substance. God Himself has come, but no one recognizes Him, yet He continues on in His work and does so in representation of the Spirit. Whether you call Him man or God, the Lord or Christ, or call Her sister, it does not matter. But the work He does is that of the Spirit and represents the work of God Himself. He does not care about the name by which man calls Him. Can that name determine His work? Regardless of what you call Him, as far as God is concerned, He is the incarnate flesh of the Spirit of God; He represents the Spirit and is approved by the Spirit. If you are unable to make way for a new age, or to bring the old to an end, or to usher in a new age, or to do new work, then you cannot be called God!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)
Some people, when they have nothing to do, behave very normally, they talk to others and interact with others very normally, they look like normal people and they don’t do anything bad. However, when they come to gatherings and read God’s words and fellowship on the truth, some of them aren’t willing to listen, some get sleepy, some feel sick of it and find it hard to bear, they don’t want to hear it, and some unknowingly fall asleep and become totally unaware—what’s going on here? Why are so many abnormal phenomena manifested when someone starts fellowshiping on the truth? Some of these people are in an abnormal state, but some are being wicked. The possibility that they have been possessed by evil spirits cannot be excluded, and sometimes people cannot fully comprehend this or clearly discern it. Antichrists have evil spirits within them. If you ask them why they are hostile toward the truth, they say they aren’t hostile toward the truth and stubbornly refuse to admit it, when in actual fact they know in their hearts they don’t love the truth. When no one’s reading God’s words, they get along with others like they’re normal people and you’re not aware of what lies within them. However, when someone reads God’s words, they don’t want to listen and aversion arises in their hearts. This is their nature being laid bare—they are evil spirits; they are this kind of thing. Have God’s words revealed these people’s essence or hit a nerve? Neither. When they attend gatherings, they don’t want to listen to anyone reading God’s words—is this not them being wicked? What does “being wicked” mean? It means being hostile toward the truth, toward positive things, and toward positive people without reason; not even they themselves know what the reason is, they just have to act that way. This is what being wicked means and, in layman’s terms, it is just being bad. Some antichrists say, “Someone only needs to start reading God’s words and I don’t want to listen. I only need to hear someone bearing testimony for God and I feel aversion, and even I don’t know why. When I see someone loving and pursuing the truth, I can’t get along with them, I want to set myself against them, I always want to curse them, to harm them behind their back and torment them to death.” Even they don’t know why they feel this way—this is them being wicked. What is the actual reason for this? Antichrists simply do not have the spirit of a normal person inside them, they simply have no normal humanity—this is how it is in the final analysis.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Seven: They Are Evil, Insidious, and Deceitful (Part One)
In order to have the brothers and sisters develop discernment and learn a practical lesson, God arranged for someone who had been possessed by a demon to live among them. At the start, this person’s way of speaking and doing things was normal, as was his reasoning; he did not appear problematic at all. But after a period of contact, the brothers and sisters discovered that everything he said seemed beside the point—it was neither here nor there. Later, certain “supernatural” things occurred: He would always tell the brothers and sisters he had seen this or that, or that God had revealed such and such to him. One day, for example, God revealed to him that he must make steamed buns—he had to—and the day after that, as it happened, he needed to go out, so he took the buns with him. The following day, God revealed to him in a dream that he must head south; there was someone waiting for him six miles away. He went to look, and right there was a person who had gotten lost; he testified to this person of God’s work of the last days, and they accepted it. He was always gaining revelations, he was always hearing a voice, supernatural things were always happening. Each day, when it came to what to eat, where to go, what to do, who to interact with, he did not follow the laws of normal human life, nor did he seek the words of God as a basis or principle, neither did he seek out people to fellowship with. Instead, he always waited for a voice, or a revelation, or a dream. Was this person normal? (No.) You see that his three meals a day, his life and its patterns seem regular, yet he is always hearing voices. Some people were discerning and said that these behaviors are from the possession of an evil spirit. The brothers and sisters grew discerning of him, little by little, until one day, he suffered a break, and began saying crazy things, and naked, with disheveled hair, he ran away, now psychotic. With that, the matter finally came to a conclusion. Do you now have insight into and discernment of the specific manifestations of an evil spirit at work and demonic possession? There is, of course, a portion of you that has encountered such a thing is already able to discern it, yet others have not believed in God for long and have not been through such a thing, so they are easily taken in. But regardless of whether they were taken in or were able to see through him, if God had not arranged this environment, would it have been clear to people what the work of an evil spirit was? (No.) So just what was the purpose and significance of God arranging this environment and doing these things? It was to allow people to develop practical discernment and learn a lesson, to identify this type of person. If people were just told what the work of an evil spirit is, just as when a teacher teaches a lesson, without any actual exercise or practice, people would only ever gain theory and words. You can only clearly explain just what the work of an evil spirit is, and what the specific manifestations of it are, when you have personally witnessed it—seeing it with your own eyes, hearing it with your own ears. And then when you encounter such people again, you will be able to identify them and reject them; you will be able to properly address and handle such matters.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Fifteen: They Do Not Believe in the Existence of God, and They Deny the Essence of Christ (Part One)