2. Differentiation Between the Work of the Holy Spirit and That of Evil Spirits
Relevant Words of God:
God does not repeat His work, He does not do work that is not realistic, He does not make excessive requirements of man, and He does not do work that is beyond the sense of man. All the work He does is within the scope of man’s normal sense, and does not exceed the sense of normal humanity, and His work is done according to man’s normal requirements. If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, people become ever more normal, and their humanity becomes ever more normal. People gain an increasing knowledge of their corrupt satanic disposition, and of the substance of man, and they also gain an ever greater longing for the truth. That is to say, the life of man grows and grows, and the corrupt disposition of man becomes more and more capable of change—all of which is the meaning of God becoming the life of man. If a way is incapable of revealing those things that are the substance of man, is incapable of changing the disposition of man, and, moreover, is incapable of bringing people before God or giving them a true understanding of God, and even causes their humanity to become ever more lowly and their sense ever more abnormal, then this way must not be the true way, and it may be the work of an evil spirit, or the old way. In short, it cannot be the present work of the Holy Spirit.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God
You must understand what comes from God and what comes from Satan. What comes from God gives you visions with ever greater clarity and brings you ever closer to God; you share earnest love with your brothers and sisters, you are capable of showing consideration for God’s burden, and have a God-loving heart that never diminishes. There is a road ahead for you to walk. What comes from Satan causes visions to disappear with you, and causes you to lose all that you had before; you become estranged from God, you have no love for your brothers and sisters, and you have a hateful heart. You become desperate, you no longer wish to live the church life, and your God-loving heart is no more. This is Satan’s work, and is also the consequence to which the work of evil spirits leads.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 22
The work of the Holy Spirit is a form of proactive guidance and positive enlightenment. It does not allow people to be passive. It brings them solace, gives them faith and resolve, and enables them to pursue being made perfect by God. When the Holy Spirit works, people are able to enter actively; they are not passive or forced, but act at their own initiative. When the Holy Spirit works, people are glad and willing, willing to obey and happy to humble themselves. Even though they are pained and fragile inside, they have the resolve to cooperate; they suffer gladly, they are able to obey, and they are untainted by human will, untainted by the thinking of man, and certainly they are untainted by human desires and motivations. When people experience the work of the Holy Spirit, they are especially holy inside. Those who are possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit live out the love of God and the love of their brothers and sisters; they delight in the things that delight God and loathe the things that God loathes. People who are touched by the work of the Holy Spirit have normal humanity, and they constantly pursue the truth and are possessed of humanity. When the Holy Spirit works within people, their condition becomes better and better, and their humanity becomes more and more normal, and though some of their cooperation may be foolish, their motivations are right, their entry is positive, they do not try to cause disruption, and there is no malevolence within them. The work of the Holy Spirit is normal and real, the Holy Spirit works in man according to the rules of the normal life of man, and He carries out enlightenment and guidance within people according to the actual pursuit of normal people. When the Holy Spirit works in people, He guides and enlightens them according to the needs of normal people. He provides for them according to their needs, and He positively guides and enlightens them according to what they lack, and according to their deficiencies. The Holy Spirit’s work is to enlighten and guide people in real life; only if they experience God’s words in their actual lives are they able to see the work of the Holy Spirit. If, in their everyday lives, people are in a positive state and have a normal spiritual life, then they are possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit. In such a state, when they eat and drink the words of God, they have faith; when they pray, they are inspired; when they come up against something, they are not passive; and as things happen, they are able to see the lessons within those things that God requires them to learn. They are not passive or weak, and although they have real difficulties, they are willing to obey all the arrangements of God.
What effects are achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit? You may be foolish, and you may be devoid of discernment, but the Holy Spirit has but to work and there will be faith in you, and you will always feel that you cannot love God enough. You will be willing to cooperate, no matter how great the difficulties ahead. Things will happen to you and it will not be clear to you whether they come from God or from Satan, but you will be able to wait, and you will be neither passive nor remiss. This is the normal work of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit works within you, you still encounter real difficulties: Sometimes you will be brought to tears, and sometimes there will be things that you are incapable of overcoming, but this is all just a phase of the ordinary work of the Holy Spirit. Although you did not overcome those difficulties, and although at the time you were weak and full of complaints, afterward you were still able to love God with absolute faith. Your passiveness cannot prevent you from having normal experiences, and regardless of what other people say, and how others attack you, still you are able to love God. During prayer, you always feel that in the past you were so indebted to God, and you resolve to satisfy God and renounce the flesh whenever you encounter such things again. This strength shows that the work of the Holy Spirit is within you. This is the normal state of the work of the Holy Spirit.
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 interference 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 disruption 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 interferes, 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
God works in a gentle, delicate, loving and caring way, a way that is extraordinarily measured and proper. His way does not provoke in you intense emotional reactions such as: “God must let me do this” or “God must let me do that.” God never gives you that kind of mental or emotional intensity that makes things unbearable. Is that not so? Even when you accept God’s words of judgment and chastisement, how do you feel then? When you sense the authority and power of God, how do you feel then? Do you feel that God is divine and inviolable? Do you feel distance between yourself and God at these times? Do you feel the fear of God? No—rather, you feel fearful reverence toward God. Is it not because of God’s work that people feel all of these things? …
… God works on man and cherishes man both in His attitude and in His heart. Conversely, does Satan cherish man? No, it does not cherish man. On the contrary, it spends much time thinking about harming man. Is that not so? When it is thinking about harming man, is its state of mind one of urgency? (Yes.) So, as regards Satan’s work on man, I have two phrases that can amply describe the malicious and evil nature of Satan, that can truly allow you to know the hatefulness of Satan: In Satan’s approach to man, it always wants to forcefully occupy and possess man, each and every one, to the extent that it can gain complete control of man and harm man grievously, so that it can achieve its objective and fulfill its wild ambition. What does “forcefully occupy” mean? Is it something that happens with your consent, or without your consent? Does it happen with your knowing, or without your knowing? The answer is that it happens completely without your knowing! It happens in situations where you are unaware, perhaps without it even saying or doing anything to you, with no premise, no context—there Satan is, circling around you, surrounding you. It looks for an opportunity to exploit and then it forcefully occupies you, possesses you, achieving its objective of gaining complete control of you and of inflicting harm upon you. This is a most typical intention and behavior of Satan as it struggles to wrest mankind away from God.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique IV
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)
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
The main work of the Holy Spirit is enlightenment and illumination, letting one understand God’s words, and enter into God’s words; that is, it is to guide people in understanding the truth and entering into the truth, enlightening and illuminating people in the midst of all kinds of trials and environments, letting them understand the will of God. Of course, through various people, things and objects the Holy Spirit also exposes people, prunes them, disciplines them, and punishes them, all with the goal of bringing them to salvation. The Holy Spirit rules over all, arranging all kinds of situations to change people, perfecting them. In the work of God’s salvation, although the work of the Holy Spirit is multifaceted, it is without exception concerned with salvation. Although the work of the Holy Spirit is hidden, and does not seem at all unearthly on the surface, those who have experience understand clearly in their hearts. On the contrary, the work of evil spirits is fantastically otherworldly, it is visible, can be felt, and is very abnormal. From the doings of evil spirits, it can be seen that evil spirits particularly love to reveal themselves, they are incredibly evil, without the slightest trace of truth. No matter how many years evil spirits work on a person, their corrupt disposition does not change in the slightest. Rather they become less and less normal, even losing normal human reason. This is the result of the work of evil spirits. This is how Satan and evil spirits of all kinds corrupt people, bind people, and deceive people. In the end, people become ghosts, and those people who have been deceived by evil spirits are forfeit to Satan and are devoured. The work of the Holy Spirit is all about the salvation of humanity, and the more work of the Holy Spirit a person has, the more they are able to understand the truth; their humanity becomes more and more normal, and they become more and more human. In the end they will gain God’s salvation, becoming a person in possession of the truth and full humanity. The main distinctions between the work of the Holy Spirit and of evil spirits are: Evil spirits can only corrupt people, bind people, and ultimately turn them into ghosts; the work of the Holy Spirit purifies the corrupt in salvation, giving them truth and full humanity. The work of the Holy Spirit can make genuinely holy people out of those corrupted by Satan and counted among the unclean spirits, and one could simply say, it takes those who have been corrupted into demons by Satan and turns them back into people. This is the difference between the work of the Holy Spirit and that of evil spirits.
—The Fellowship From the Above
The clear differences between the various work of evil spirits and the work of the Holy Spirit are specifically manifested in the following aspects: The Holy Spirit chooses honest people who pursue the truth, who have conscience and sense. These are the kind of people He works in. Evil spirits choose people who are crafty and absurd, who have no love for the truth, and who are without conscience or sense. Such are the people that evil spirits work in. When we compare those who are chosen for the work of the Holy Spirit and those who are chosen for that of evil spirits, we can see that God is holy, and righteous, that those who are chosen by God pursue the truth, and are possessed of conscience and sense, that they are comparatively honest, and love that which is just. Those who are chosen by evil spirits are crafty, they are selfish and contemptible, they have no love for the truth, they are without conscience and sense and do not pursue the truth, and they are not true humankind. Evil spirits only choose negative things, from which we see that evil spirits love wickedness and darkness, that they run a mile from those who pursue the truth, and are quick to possess those who are twisted and crafty, who are enamored of unrighteousness, and easily bewitched. Those in whom evil spirits choose to work cannot be saved, and are eliminated by God. When, and against what background, do evil spirits work? They work when people have strayed far from God and rebelled against God. The work of evil spirits bewitches people. When people sin, when they are at their weakest, especially when they are in great pain in their hearts, when they are feeling bewildered and confused, evil spirits take this opportunity to slip in to bewitch and corrupt them, to sow discord between them and God. When people call upon God, when their hearts turn to God, when they need God, when they repent to God, or when they seek the truth, then the Holy Spirit begins to work in them. All that the Holy Spirit works is in order to save man, and He looks for opportunities to save man, whereas evil spirits look for chances to corrupt and beguile people. God is love, and evil spirits hate people. Evil spirits are contemptible and wicked, they are insidious and sinister. All that evil spirits do is in order to devour, corrupt, and harm man, and all that the Holy Spirit does is for the love and salvation of man. The effects of the work of the Holy Spirit are to purify people, to save them from their corruption, to allow them to know themselves and to know Satan, to be able to rebel against Satan, to be able to pursue the truth, and to ultimately live out the likeness of man. Evil spirits corrupt, defile, and bind people, they plunge them ever deeper into sin, and bring ever greater pain to their lives, and so when evil spirits work in people, they’re finished; ultimately, they are devoured by Satan, which is the outcome of the work of evil spirits. The effect of the work of the Holy Spirit is to eventually save people, to make them live out a real life, be completely free and liberated, and receive God’s blessings. Evil spirits bring man to darkness, they take him to the abyss; the Holy Spirit takes man from darkness, into the light, and into freedom. The work of the Holy Spirit enlightens and guides people, He gives them opportunities, and when they are weak and have transgressions He brings them solace. He allows people to know themselves, allows them to pursue the truth, and He does not force people to do things, but lets them choose their path themselves, and ultimately takes them into the light. Evil spirits force people to do things and order them about. Everything they say is false and bewitches people, deceives them, and binds them; evil spirits do not give people freedom, they do not allow them to choose, they force them on the road to ruin, and ultimately plunge them deeper and deeper into sin, leading them to death.
—Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life
The most obvious characteristic of the work of evil spirits is that it is supernatural. The words evil spirits speak or the things they ask people to do are abnormal and illogical, and even betray the basic morals and ethics of normal humanity, and that the nature of their words and actions is such that they do nothing but deceive, disturb, and corrupt people. It makes them only capable of harming, tormenting, and devouring people, and means they are never beneficial or helpful for people. When evil spirits possess people, they feel anxious and uneasy. Some even become abnormal, while others fall into a daze, and still others find themselves incredibly anxious and appear unable to sit still. At any rate, when evil spirits possess people, those people change into something that is neither human nor demon, and lose their normal humanity and reason. This is sufficient proof that the essence of evil spirits is one of evil and ugliness, which is precisely the essence of Satan.
The main manifestations of those in whom evil spirits are working (those who are possessed by demons) are:
1. People in whom evil spirits are at work often tell others to do this and that, or tell someone something, or often speak false prophecies.
2. People in whom evil spirits are at work often speak in so-called “tongues” in prayer, in a way that no one understands, and even the speakers themselves do not understand. Some of the speakers can even “interpret these tongues” themselves.
3. People in whom evil spirits are at work are always receiving revelations with great frequency; the evil spirits send them in one direction one minute, and in another direction the next, causing these people to be in a state of constant anxiety.
4. People in whom evil spirits are at work always urgently want to do this or that, too impatient to wait and giving no consideration to whether or not conditions permit; they even run out in the middle of the night, exhibiting particularly abnormal behavior.
5. People in whom evil spirits are at work are wildly arrogant, they lack reason, and their speech all tends to be condescending and they lord it over others. They put others at a loss of what to do, and like demons, they force them to do things.
6. People in whom evil spirits are at work do not know how to fellowship about the truth, much less pay attention to God’s work. They have no regard for Him and are always trying to be a law unto themselves, and are capable of committing all kinds of outrages to disturb and destroy the normal order of the church.
7. People in whom evil spirits are at work inexplicably pass themselves off as someone else, claiming to be someone’s spirit or sent by someone and that people should listen to them.
8. People in whom evil spirits are at work usually have no normal sense. They cannot understand any truth at all; they absolutely do not possess any capacity for understanding, nor are they enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and their thoughts are chaotic. When understanding things, these people are exceptionally absurd.
9. People in whom evil spirits are at work pay particular focus to lecturing others while working. Everything they do and say is meant to attack, bind, and corrupt other people, and they even go as far as to break people’s resolve and cause them to become negative to the point that they cannot lift themselves back up; only then will they lay off. Their actions are all about causing disturbances and disruptions, and committing all kinds of outrages. They are devils, pure and simple, who harm, toy with, and devour others, and as soon as they get their way, they feel happy. This is the primary goal of the work of evil spirits.
10. People in whom evil spirits are at work live utterly abnormal lives. There is an ominous glint to their eyes, and the words they utter are extremely gruesome, as if a demon had descended to the world. There is no order to this kind of person’s daily life, they are as erratic as undomesticated beasts. They are extremely repulsive and odious to others. This is precisely how people bound by demons express themselves.
These are the ten main ways in which the work of evil spirits manifests. Any person who displays any one of these expressions is certainly one in whom evil spirits are at work. To be exact, all those who manifest any of the aforementioned expressions of the work of evil spirits, regardless of which one, are people in whom evil spirits are at work. A person in whom evil spirits are at work often hates and deliberately distances themselves from people in whom the Holy Spirit is at work and who can fellowship about the truth. Often, the better someone is, the more they want to attack and condemn them. The more foolish someone is, the more they try to fawn upon and flatter them, and desire especially to come in contact with them. When evil spirits work, they always confuse black and white, portraying positive as negative and negative as positive. This is precisely how evil spirits act.
—A Collection of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God
Any spirit whose work is manifestly supernatural is an evil spirit, and the supernatural work and utterances of any spirit that is carried out in people is the work of an evil spirit; all of the means by which evil spirits work are abnormal and supernatural, and are primarily manifested in the six following ways:
1. Direct control of people’s speech, which clearly shows that the evil spirit is talking, not the people themselves are talking normally;
2. The feeling that the evil spirit is instructing people and ordering them to do this and that;
3. People who, when they are in a room, can tell when someone is about to come in;
4. People who often hear voices talking to them that others can’t hear;
5. People who are able to see and hear things that others can’t;
6. People who are always agitated, and talking to themselves, and are incapable of normal conversation or interaction with people.
All those in whom an evil spirit is working inevitably have these six manifestations. They are irrational, on tenterhooks, incapable of normal interaction with people, it is as if they are unamenable to reason, and there is something detached and otherworldly about them. Such people have been possessed by an evil spirit or have an evil spirit working in them, and all of the work of evil spirits is manifest and supernatural. This is the most easily distinguishable work of evil spirits. When an evil spirit possesses someone, it toys with them so that they are completely messed up. They become irrational, like a zombie, which proves that in substance, evil spirits are wicked spirits that corrupt and devour people. The utterances of evil spirits are easy to distinguish: Their utterances fully epitomize their wicked substance, they are stagnant, turbid and stinking, they exude the stench of death. To people who are of good caliber, the words of evil spirits feel hollow and uninteresting, unedifying, like nothing but lies and empty talk, they feel muddled and convoluted, like a load of nonsense. This is some of the most easily-distinguishable of the evil spirits’ nonsense. To bewitch people, some of the more high-grade evil spirits pretend to be God or Christ when they speak, while others pretend to be angels or famous figures. When they speak, these evil spirits are adept at imitating certain words or phrases of God, or the tone of God, and people who don’t understand the truth are easily taken in by such high-grade evil spirits. The chosen people of God must be clear that, in substance, evil spirits are wicked and shameless, and that even if they are high-grade evil spirits, they are utterly bereft of the truth. Evil spirits, after all, are evil spirits, the substance of evil spirits is wicked, and of a kind with Satan.
—A Collection of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God