113. The Principles of Identifying Various Evil Spirits
(1) All who are possessed by demons, or who often have evil spirits at work in them, are themselves evil spirits. All the demons who hate the truth and ferociously resist God are evil spirits;
(2) All who masquerade as God’s firstborn sons or angels; who do not bear witness for the true God, but for themselves; and who wish to become gods through self-cultivation, are evil spirits;
(3) Any who cannot purely understand God’s words, but are especially false and absurd, constantly misinterpreting His words and spouting fallacies, are surely evil spirits;
(4) Any who deny, attack, and blaspheme against God, who harbor a special hatred for the truth, for positive things, and for God’s chosen people are surely evil spirits.
Relevant Words of God:
The manifestations of the great red dragon are resistance to Me, lack of understanding and comprehension of the meanings of My words, frequent persecution of Me, and seeking to use schemes to interrupt My management. Satan is manifested as follows: struggling with Me for power, wanting to possess My chosen people, and releasing negative words to deceive My people. The manifestations of the devil (those who do not accept My name, who do not believe, are all devils) are as follows: coveting the pleasures of the flesh, indulging in evil lusts, living in bondage to Satan, some resisting Me and some supporting Me (but not proving they are My beloved sons). The manifestations of the archangel are as follows: speaking insolently, being ungodly, often adopting My tone to lecture people, focusing only on outwardly imitating Me, eating what I eat and using what I use; in short, wanting to be on equal footing with Me, being ambitious but lacking My caliber and not having My life, and being a piece of waste. Satan, the devil, and the archangel are all typical demonstrations of the great red dragon, so those who are not predestined and chosen by Me are all the offspring of the great red dragon: This is absolutely how it is! These are all My enemies. (However, Satan’s disruptions are excluded. If your nature is My quality, no one can change it. Because now you still live in the flesh, occasionally you will be faced with Satan’s temptations—this is inevitable—but you must always be careful.) Therefore, I will abandon all the offspring of the great red dragon outside of My firstborn sons. Their nature can never change—it is the quality of Satan. It is the devil that they manifest, and it is the archangel that they live out. This is completely true. 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 other than the Holy Spirit are evil spirits, and can also be said to be the offspring of the great red dragon. This should all be crystal clear to everyone.
Excerpted from “Chapter 96” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning 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, 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.
Excerpted from “Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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!
Excerpted from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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.
Excerpted 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 do not know, do you? If you are able to feel or touch such a thing, then it is another spirit inside of you doing something by force, having you do and say things. That is something outside of yourself, not inherent to you. Those with the work of the evil spirit will have a deep understanding of this.
Excerpted from “How to Understand the Relationship Between God’s Flesh and Spirit” in Records of Christ’s Talks
There are some people who, when no issues arise, are pretty normal, who talk and converse pretty normally, who seem normal, and who do not do anything bad. But when God’s words are being read in gatherings, when the truth is being fellowshiped, they suddenly start behaving abnormally. Some cannot bear to listen, some become drowsy, and some get sick, saying they feel bad and do not wish to hear anymore. They are completely without awareness—what is actually going on here? They have been possessed by an evil spirit. Why, when they have been possessed by an evil spirit, do they keep saying the words “I don’t want to hear it”? Sometimes people cannot understand what is happening here, but it is crystal clear to an evil spirit. This is the spirit within antichrists. You ask them why they are so hostile toward the truth, and they say they are not, and they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge this. But in their hearts, they know that they do not love the truth. When not reading God’s words, they seem normal when engaging with others. You would not know what is inside them. When they try and read God’s words, out come the words “I don’t want to hear it”; their nature has been exposed, and this is what they are. Have God’s words provoked them, or revealed them, or hit them where it hurts? None of the above. What has happened is that when everyone is reading God’s words, they say they do not want to hear it. Are they not wicked? (Yes.) What does it mean to be wicked? It means being so hostile toward something and toward positive things for no discernible reason and without even knowing why. They really want to say, “As soon as I hear the words of God, those words come out; as soon as I hear testimony to God, I feel aversion, and I don’t even know why. When I see someone who pursues the truth, or who loves the truth, I want to challenge them, I always want to scold them, to do something harmful to them behind their back, I want to kill them.” By saying this they are wicked. In fact, right from the off, antichrists have never had the spirit of a normal person and have never had normal humanity—this is what is really going on.
Excerpted from “For Leaders and Workers, Choosing a Path Is of Utmost Importance (5)” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
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. Though there are many ways in which the work of evil spirits manifests, the only way to recognize it easily is by using the truth to measure and discern it. This is because the aftermath of the work of evil spirits is completely opposite and antagonistic to the results of the work of the Holy Spirit. All those who have experienced the work of the Holy Spirit and have a relatively good understanding of the truth can easily recognize the work of evil spirits, whereas people who do not have enough experience tend to have a hard time discerning it.
People who are possessed by demons do not have any normal sense. Their words are hysterical and irrational, and this is a clear manifestation of demonic possession. Of course, this is not the same as the reincarnations of devils and personification of the king of devils. The reincarnations of devils may appear normal, but they hate the truth to an extreme, and in every regard, they are hostile to the truth, to justice, and they can frantically resist God’s work. This, too, is a case of possession by evil spirits, but it is an innate personification of the king of devils, and though it may outwardly appear different from an acquired possession by an evil spirit, in nature essence, both contain a wicked, satanic nature, and are evil spirits. People who have obviously been possessed by demons are easy to identify. When it is less obvious, they appear somewhat normal, but closer inspection reveals them to be abnormal; these people unquestionably also have the work of evil spirits. Anyone of abnormal sense, who is utterly unfettered in their behavior, is unquestionably possessed by a demon. Strictly speaking, all who exhibit any of the “ten manifestations of the work of evil spirits” have been possessed by demons. People who have the work of evil spirits (no matter in which way it manifests), if it persists for several months or one or two years, have been possessed by demons. If a person has the work of evil spirits for a few days on occasion, or one or two months at most, after which it disappears, and they return to normal, and there is no more sign of it, then they count as one who previously had the work of evil spirits, and must not be treated in the same way as one possessed by demons. For something to be identified as a manifestation of the work of evil spirits, it must fall within the ten manifestations; if a manifestation is not among the ten, then it is not necessarily the work of evil spirits. For example, some people say that sleepwalking is the work of evil spirits; that grievous lascivious desire is an example of the work of evil spirits. But there are differences; these things are not absolute. You cannot be sure that it is the work of evil spirits based on these manifestations alone; something only counts as the work of evil spirits or possession by a demon if its manifestation is especially abnormal, to the extent that it is unreasonable. If someone occasionally manifests something a little unusual, or sees something, hears something, or dreams something, this absolutely cannot be classed as the work of evil spirits. Therefore, the primary manifestations of the work of evil spirits are the ten listed. Identifying them in this way is relatively reliable and accurate. Things that are not so clear require more moderation, or else people can easily be harmed and wronged.
Simply put, the work of evil spirits can be discerned using 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 their own, or asks others to treat their 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 them, is possessed by an evil spirit.
6. Anyone who often speaks in tongues, interprets tongues, can see any sort of supernatural vision, or who often hears voices in their head that command them to act, is possessed by an evil spirit.
7. Anyone who claims to be able to supernaturally hear spirits speak inside their head, who can frequently 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 the mental faculties of normal humanity, who often speaks devilish words, speaks to themselves, or 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 normally with others, is possessed by an evil spirit.
10. Anyone who usually expresses themselves normally, but who can be provoked into bouts of insanity every few months or every year or two and appears to be identical to 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 since, this is one who is no longer possessed by an evil spirit.)
It is accurate to say that anyone in whom the work of evil spirits persists for several months or even one or two years, has been possessed by demons—and such people must be expelled. If they only have the work of evil spirits for a short time, and it disappears after a few instances, and there are no further relapses, then they should not be classified as people with the work of evil spirits, so as not to cause them mental stress. So long as people are able to pursue and understand the truth, then the matter of whether they once had the disturbance or work of evil spirits should be dropped and not raised again. This is because if people are able to understand the truth now, and they have been enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit, then they are unquestionably people with the work of the Holy Spirit, and they are objects of God’s work and salvation. Such people, without doubt, do not have the work of evil spirits; this is absolute. If a person has believed in God for years, but has never been enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit and is incapable of understanding the truth, just like those who do not understand spiritual matters, then such people are not wanted by God, and they could perhaps have the work of evil spirits. Despite believing in God for years, people who have the work of evil spirits are bereft of any knowledge of God, and are even bereft of true faith. This is an irrefutable fact. The state of people who have the work of the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, grows increasingly normal, and their understanding of the truth grows increasingly lucid; more and more, they have a path to entry into reality, and their life disposition increasingly changes. These, too, are irrefutable facts. Thus, people who have the work of the Holy Spirit absolutely do not possess the work of evil spirits. If they really did have the work of evil spirits, they could no longer have the work of the Holy Spirit; this is an irrefutable fact, and it is also the principle of identifying those who possess the work of the Holy Spirit.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements
Most people can identify the work of evil spirits when it is supernatural, but struggle to do so when it is not. This requires people to equip themselves with the truth, and to use the truth to identify the myriad fallacies born of evil spirits; then it is easy to identify the true face of the work of evil spirits. In fact, all fallacies and heresies originate from evil spirits, and all of the demon kings of Satan are the incarnations of evil spirits. But are their words and actions supernatural? Not at all; outwardly, some people even appear highly rational—which is precisely what makes Satan so cunning. Thus, the most fundamental principle for identification is the use of the words of God and the truth to measure all theoretical arguments. All that does not accord with the truth is heresy and fallacy, and it all originates from evil spirits. All who dupe people and meddle with the work of God are evil spirits; all false Christs and antichrists are evil spirits; and all who do not testify to the true God, who do not exalt the true God, who do not worship the true God, who do not obey the true God, and instead testify that they are God or they want to be made into God—they are all evil spirits, no matter how great the signs and wonders they perform. God’s chosen people should understand that performing signs and wonders is not a true power; only being able to express the truth and using words to perfect people and accomplish all is a true power. And so, all who fixate on signs and wonders and pursue the supernatural work of spirits are absurd, and not possessed of the truth. All who are unable to accept the truth, and invariably accept evil spirits that are able to perform signs and wonders and whose work is supernatural—these people are all evil spirits; all whose hearts brim with every manner of fallacy and heresy—they are all evil spirits; all who invariably embrace every manner of heresy and fallacy, yet are incapable of accepting the truth—they are all evil spirits; all who are forever incapable of the pure understanding of God’s words, who forever pervert God’s words and espouse fallacies—they are unquestionably all evil spirits; and all who are especially absurd and ridiculous are evil spirits. This is absolute. In fact, everyone has a past, they all have a spirit inside them that directs what they say and do—this is beyond question. The spirit of Satan was in the ancient serpent, and is in the great red dragon, too; and evil spirits are within all of the demon kings that oppose God. As soon as they are held up against God’s word the truth, their true colors are exposed. Some people’s understanding is particularly absurd, as is their perspective on things. Can you claim their spirit is without issue? Some people are particularly partial to various heresies and fallacies, and do not accept the truth. Can you claim their spirits are without issue? Some people particularly fixate on and love pursuing supernatural things. They invariably claim that the supernatural work of evil spirits is the work of the Holy Spirit, and do not even turn back after they are tricked. Can you say their spirits are without issue? Some people have accepted the true way for several years, and have heard many sermons and fellowships, and are capable of recounting many letters and doctrines, yet they are incapable of truly understanding the essence of the truth, and there is not the slightest change in their life disposition. Can you say their spirits are without issue? In fact, the work of the Holy Spirit is absent from such people, and they lack any means of understanding the truth and entering into reality. Of this there is no doubt. So just how can the various work of evil spirits be identified? Of chief importance is identifying people’s essence, for only when you can identify their essence can you tell which kind of spirit’s work they are. If people are especially evil, insidious, and venomous, they unquestionably lack a human spirit; if they have a spirit, then it is an evil one. If people consistently accept and espouse all manner of fallacies, there is unquestionably some absurd—and evil—spirit inside them. The understanding of those who possess the work of the Holy Spirit is relatively pure, their humanity is relatively untainted and honest, and so the knowledge they fellowship is relatively pure, and of benefit to people. Only such people are God’s chosen ones, and beloved of God’s chosen ones, and those whom people are willing to engage with, and capable of being of one heart and mind with. If people are especially deceitful, insidious, and venomous, then they absolutely do not possess the work of the Holy Spirit, for God does not save those who are evil. Those predestined and chosen by God are people who love and pursue the truth. Even if they are service-doers, they are unquestionably of relatively good humanity; only people of relatively good humanity are faithful in the performance of their duty, and conscientious and reasonable in their interactions with others. In the churches, only when those who love the truth gather is there the work of the Holy Spirit, and the true life of the church. If people’s words and fellowship are particularly absurd, if they lack pure understanding no matter how many sermons and fellowships they hear, and show no signs of progress, and their humanity is especially ignoble, especially bad, and they have not changed at all, and they are abhorred and despised by others, then there is no question that they shall be eliminated by the Holy Spirit. There is no benefit to living and interacting with such people; they will only have a bad impact on you and disturb you. It can be said the humanity of all who do not love the truth is relatively deceitful, venomous, selfish, and ignoble; they believe in God only in order to be blessed, and have never known to be mindful of God’s will and repay God’s love and satisfy God; they lack any conscience or reason. Such people are not likely to gain the work of the Holy Spirit. It should be clear to God’s chosen people that of all who are bereft of the work of the Holy Spirit, most suffer from the meddling of the work of evil spirits. People who have long been without the work of the Holy Spirit are highly dangerous, and should be guarded against. If people are forsaken by the Holy Spirit, all manner of evil spirits take the opportunity to enter them, at which time these people’s conditions become ever more dire, to the extent that they fall into their old ways, and even become no different from the unbelievers. This is the devil Satan showing itself. Clearly, being able to identify different kinds of people is of the utmost importance. Only when you can identify people can you identify spirits. If you cannot identify people, then you will surely be unable to identify the various work of evil spirits.
Excerpted from Work Arrangements