117. The Principles of Discerning All Manner of Evil Spirits

1. All those who are possessed by demons or who often have evil spirits working on them are evil spirits. All those who hate the truth and who wildly defy God are evil spirits;

2. All those who try to pass themselves off as God’s firstborn sons or as angels, or who do not bear witness for the true God but bear witness for themselves, or who wish to be God, are evil spirits;

3. All those who are unable to purely understand God’s words, who are exceptionally absurd and preposterous, who always misinterpret God’s words and propagate fallacies, are definitely evil spirits;

4. All those who deny God, attack God, blaspheme against God, who especially hate the truth and hate the man used by the Holy Spirit, are all evil spirits that are the reincarnations of evil demons.

Relevant Words of God:

If you say the Holy Spirit is always working within you, that you are enlightened by God and touched by the Holy Spirit at every moment, and gain new knowledge all the time, then this is not normal. It is extremely 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 rest, and must eat—to say nothing of you. 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 dispassionate, capable of enduring torment, they do not feel the slightest fatigue, as if they have transcended the flesh. Is this not extremely supernatural? The work of the evil spirit is supernatural, and these things are unattainable by man. Those who cannot differentiate are envious when they see such people, and say that their belief in God is so strong, and so good, and that they are never weak. In fact, this is the manifestation of the work of the evil spirit.

from “Practice (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Are you able to feel your soul? Are you able to touch your soul? Are you able to sense what your soul is doing? You don’t know, do you? If you are able to feel and touch some such thing, then it is another spirit inside you forcefully doing something—controlling your actions and words. It is something extraneous to you, not of yourself. Those with an evil spirit have deep experience with this.

from “How to Understand the Oneness of God’s Flesh and Spirit” in Records of Christ’s Talks

There are some who are possessed by evil spirits and persistently cry out, “I am God!” Yet in the end, they cannot remain standing, for they act on behalf of the wrong being. They represent Satan and the Holy Spirit pays them no attention. 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. … You cannot make way for a new age, and you cannot bring the old to an end and cannot usher in a new age or do new work. Therefore, you cannot be called God!


Today there are some evil spirits who work through supernatural things to deceive man; that is nothing but imitation on their part, to deceive man through work that is not presently done by the Holy Spirit. Many evil spirits imitate the working of miracles and healing of sickness; they are nothing but the work of the evil spirits, for the Holy Spirit no longer does such work in present day. All those afterward who imitate the work of the Holy Spirit—they are evil spirits. All the work carried out in Israel at the time was that of the supernatural. However, the Holy Spirit does not now work in such manner, and any such work that follows is the doing and disturbance of Satan and of evil spirits. But you cannot say that all of the supernatural is the doing of the evil spirits. This depends on the age of God’s work.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

If, during the present day, there is to emerge a person who is able to display signs and wonders, and can cast out demons, and heal the sick, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are the coming of Jesus, then this would be the counterfeit of evil spirits, and their imitation of 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.

from “Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The great red dragon I speak of is not a big red dragon; rather it is the evil spirit in opposition to Me, for which the “great red dragon” is a synonym. So all the spirits outside of the Holy Spirit are evil spirits, and can also be said to be offspring of the great red dragon. This should all be crystal clear to everyone.

from “The Ninety-sixth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The Man’s Fellowship:

The most obvious characteristics of the work of evil spirits is that it is supernatural, that the words evil spirits speak or things they ask people to do are abnormal, illogical, and even betray the basic morals of normal humanity and human relations, and that they are intended to do nothing but deceive people, disturb people, and corrupt people. They can only harm, torment, and swallow people, and they are never beneficial or helpful for people. When evil spirits possess people, some feel great fear, some feel abnormal, while others fall into a daze, and still others find themselves incredibly anxious and unable to sit still. At any rate, when evil spirits possess people, they change, become something that is neither human nor demon, and lose their normal humanity. This is enough to prove that the essence of evil spirits is evil and ugly, which is precisely the essence of Satan. It makes people loathe and despise it, and has absolutely no benefit or aid for people. The only things Satan and all kinds of evil spirits are capable of doing is corrupting, harming, and swallowing people.


Simply put, the work of evil spirits can be discerned through the following ten principles:

1. Anyone who impersonates God or Christ is possessed by an evil spirit.

2. Anyone who impersonates the spirit of an angel is possessed by an evil spirit.

3. Anyone who claims to be another incarnation of God is possessed by an evil spirit.

4. Anyone who claims words expressed by God as his own, or who asks others to treat his own words as the words of God is possessed by an evil spirit.

5. Anyone who impersonates the man used by the Holy Spirit and asks others to follow and obey him is possessed by an evil spirit.

6. Anyone who often speaks in tongues, translates tongues, can see any kind of supernatural visions, or who often hears voices within him which command him to act is possessed by an evil spirit.

7. Anyone who claims to be able to supernaturally hear spirits within him speak, who can often hear the voices of spirits or see ghosts, and who has visibly lost the faculties of reason is possessed by an evil spirit.

8. Anyone who loses normal mental faculties, who often speaks in nonsense, speaks to themselves, and speaks in insane terms is possessed by an evil spirit.

9. Anyone who seems to go insane at times, who occasionally falls into a trance, or who is occasionally manic and cannot communicate through normal conversation is possessed by an evil spirit.

10. Anyone who is usually normal, but who can be provoked into bouts of insanity every few months or every year or two and appears to be completely the same as those possessed by demons, and who is still normal at times is possessed by an evil spirit. (If someone had episodes of insanity many years ago, but has never had such an episode afterward, this person is no longer possessed by an evil spirit.)

from the fellowship from the above

Most people can discern the work of evil spirits that is supernatural. But the work of evil spirits that is not supernatural is very hard to discern and requires people to be equipped with the truth. Only by using the truth to discern the various kinds of fallacies that come from evil spirits will it be easy to discover the real situation behind the work of evil spirits. In fact, all fallacies and heresies originate from evil spirits, and all the kings of devils that belong to Satan are reincarnated from evil spirits. Are the things they say and do supernatural? They are not supernatural at all and are even very rational. This is precisely where Satan is cunning. Therefore, the most fundamental principle of discernment is to use God’s words and the truth to measure all theories and arguments. Anything that doesn’t conform with the truth is a heresy or fallacy and originates from various kinds of evil spirits. All those who deceive people and disrupt God’s work are evil spirits, and all false Christs and antichrists are evil spirits. Anyone who does not bear witness to the true God and does not exalt, worship or obey the true God, and instead testifies that they themselves are God or can practice to become a God, is an evil spirit whose way is false, regardless of what signs and wonders they can perform. God’s chosen people should understand that performing signs and wonders is not true power; only expressing truths and using words to perfect man and accomplish all things is true power. Accordingly, all those who put focus on signs and wonders and seek supernatural spiritual work are absurd people who don’t possess the truth. All those who cannot accept the truth and instead tend to accept evil spirits who can perform signs and wonders and the supernatural work are also regarded as evil spirits. All those whose hearts are filled with all kinds of fallacies and heresies are evil spirits, that’s for sure. All those who consistently like accepting all kinds of fallacies and heresies and are unable to accept the truth are also evil spirits. All those who can never receive the pure meaning of God’s words and always misinterpret God’s words and utter fallacies are also certainly evil spirits. All those who are especially absurd and preposterous are moreover evil spirits. In fact, every single person has an origin and a spirit inside them, and the things they say or do are all ruled by their spirit. There is no doubt about this. Satan’s spirit was inside the serpent. Satan’s spirit was inside the Egyptian Pharaohs. Satan’s spirit is moreover inside the great red dragon, and evil spirits are inside all the devils who resist God. They will all reveal their true colors in the reflection of the demon-detecting mirror that is God’s words. Some people are particularly absurd in receiving things and their viewpoints are also absurd. Can you say their spirit has no problems? Some people can especially accept all kinds of fallacies and heresies but won’t accept the truth. Can you say their spirit has no problems? Some people pay particular attention to and love pursuing supernatural things, and always call the supernatural work of spirits the work of the Holy Spirit. Even after they have been deceived, they still don’t turn back. Can you say their spirit has no problems? Some people accept the true way for a few years and listen to quite a bit of pure communication and can talk a lot of letters and doctrines, but they can’t genuinely understand the essence of the truth and their life disposition doesn’t change at all. Such people are most difficult to discern and are most able to deceive others. Can you say their spirit has no problems? It is not easy for these few types of people to understand and enter the truth, that’s a fact. Actually, none of these people have the work of the Holy Spirit. This is a certainty. Just how can one discern the various types of work of evil spirits? Of all those without the work of the Holy Spirit, most have the work of evil spirits. Therefore, the most important thing about discernment is learning how to distinguish between different types of people. Only by knowing people’s essence can one know how to discern the type of spirit that works in them. If a person is evil, treacherous and malicious enough, they definitely don’t have the spirit of man. Even if they do have a spirit it’s an evil spirit. If a person always accepts all kinds of fallacies and utters all kinds of fallacies, then the spirit inside them is surely absurd and also evil. … If someone’s words and communications are especially absurd, if they don’t have pure understanding regardless of how much sermon and fellowship they listen to, and if they don’t grow and their humanity remains very despicable and bad, without any change whatsoever and making everyone sick and tired of them, then they will undoubtedly be eliminated. Living and spending time with such people offers no benefit and provides only harmful effects and disruptions. It can be said that the humanity of all those who don’t love the truth is deceitful, malicious, selfish, and despicable. They only believe in God so they can gain blessings and never know to be considerate to God’s intentions, repay God’s love to satisfy God. Such people don’t have any conscience or reason at all, and it is very hard for them to gain the work of the Holy Spirit. God’s chosen people should all understand clearly that all those who don’t have the work of the Holy Spirit over a long time are very dangerous people who need to be guarded against. If a person is cast away by the Holy Spirit, all sorts of evil spirits will take advantage and enter them. At this time, the person’s condition will get worse and worse, causing them to go back to their old ways and return to their former career. They are completely the old devil, Satan. This shows that being able to discern all kinds of people is imperative. Only if one can discern people will it be easy for them to discern spirits. Those who cannot discern people surely won’t be able to discern the various kinds of work of evil spirits.

from “The 7 Principles That Must Be Kept in Mind During Tribulations and Trials” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of the Church of Almighty God

Normal absurd understanding usually comes in two forms. Remember them. The first is a certain kind of absurdity when someone learns of things he does not know or has never experienced; the second is if, as his understanding of something is absurd, if someone is there to correct him, he can understand correctly, but when he understands it himself, he believes absurd things about it again, yet he can again be corrected by others. This is normal absurd understanding. Another point about normal absurd understanding is that if someone has good humanity and is reasonable, what will the result be after he experiences absurd understanding several times? He will feel ashamed, feel too afraid to show himself again, and feel too afraid to make another mistake. This is to say that if someone has humanity and is reasonable, this is the normal state of his absurdities. Abnormal absurdities, on the other hand, are glaringly obvious, they are blatant and ridiculous, to the point that they mix up black and white, judge God’s work, and blatantly misinterpret God’s word. It makes people refuse to accept the truth no matter what fellowship they hear, and it makes them especially arrogant—though they are nothing, they always want to give lessons to others, give their own sermons, and make others listen and obey. This is the absurdity brought about by evil spirits, and this is the essence of evil spirits. If someone can attack God, judge God, and confuse black and white, it is the absurdity of an evil spirit.

from the fellowship from the above

All evil spirits and all kinds of demons and antichrists are particularly arrogant and conceited. They don’t have reason and moreover don’t fear God whatsoever. All evil spirits can imitate God’s words to deceive people and don’t care at all about God’s feelings. How evil and shameless they are! False leaders, antichrists and Satan’s forces criticize and deny God’s words. Their hearts are rigid to the extreme and they would rather die than acknowledge the truth. In order to deceive God’s chosen people, they do their utmost to judge God’s work, deny God’s words, attack the man used by the Holy Spirit, and do all they can to disturb and destroy God’s work. They don’t have God in their hearts at all. This completely reveals that all kinds of evil spirits, Satan’s forces and antichrists are arrogant and conceited, without reason, and have no respect for God.

from “How to Discern the Demonic Speech and Fallacies of Evil Spirits, False Christs and Antichrists” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of the Church of Almighty God

There are only two kinds of situation where evil spirits deceive man: One kind is the supernatural work of evil spirits, and the other kind is the reincarnation of evil spirits. Those who resist God, and resist the truth like the great red dragon demon are also evil spirits, and they are more insidious, more malicious evil spirits. Some evil spirits possess people’s bodies at some point in their lives; some evil spirits like the great red dragon are reincarnated as demons. Their appearance is not in the least supernatural, but they frenziedly resist the truth, wildly oppose God and resist God. Although on the outside there is no supernatural work of evil spirits, and you cannot see the traces of possession by devils, they do belong to demons reborn. Reincarnated demons are normal and not supernatural, but they are hostile to the truth, that is quite obvious. Do you think that the great red dragon is a group of demons? But can you see that they have been possessed by devils or have the work of evil spirits? You cannot see that, they are very normal, this then shows that they belong to reincarnated demons. All politicians and heads of government who resist God are demons reborn. If you say that only people who have the work of evil spirits are possessed by demons, and are evil spirits, then are those who are demons reborn not evil spirits? This doesn’t conform to reality. So some evil spirits disguise themselves more deeply and you cannot discern them, they belong to reincarnated demons.

from “Questions & Answers” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (VIII)

Although externally antichrists do not appear to have the supernatural work of evil spirits in them, they are just like the great red dragon, the reincarnation of demons into the world, born devils, more sinister, vicious, and deceitful than anyone with the work of an evil spirit. All antichrists are most ferocious, in possession of every toxin, and once these wicked ones mix into the church, they always develop many notions about God’s work, they have no fear of God in their hearts, and toward the man used by the Holy Spirit and everyone who pursues the truth they are hostile, and deeply dissatisfied, so they often judge and belittle the man used by the Holy Spirit, say things like “this was made by man, not God” to deceive people, and disrupt the work of God’s house. In the name of resisting the work of man, they oppose and condemn God’s work. This is one of Satan’s cunning tricks. It is precisely such people who are antichrists, accomplices of Satan, who are Satans and devils wrapped in human skin, and who attempt to continue to corrupt, possess, control, and swallow others.

from “Two Kinds of People That Most Disturb the Work of God’s Family Must Be Purged” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of the Church of Almighty God

Previous: 116. The Principles of Discerning Heresies and Fallacies

Next: 118. The Principles of Discerning When Evil Spirits Are Trying to Deceive People

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