Yes, spirits are all around us.
[youversion]Romans 8.14[/youversion] says that we, followers of Jesus, are led by the Holy Spirit.
In [youversion]Hebrews 1.14[/youversion]., the Apostle Paul writes that angels are ‘ministering spirits’ sent to help us followers.
But, Jesus warned about evil spirits around us for deceptive purposes; see [youversion]Matthew 24.24[/youversion]..
John, the Apostle, also warned that demonic spirits had already gone into the world; see [youversion]1 John 2.18[/youversion]. and [youversion]2 John 7[/youversion].
Have you seen them?
If not, why not?
Some demonic spirits are easily identified.
Paul lists some demons in his contrast of flesh from spirit in [youversion]Galatians 5.19-23[/youversion].
We read the stories about ‘flesh-driven’ demons in our newspapers and magazines.
The base nature of mankind encourages the historic definition of news: dog bites man.
We have seen ‘Spirit-led’ newspapers fold for lack of subscription and advertising.
People like the salacious!
We watch the adventures of ‘flesh-driven’ demons in R-rated movies and in reality television, soaps, and dramas.
We are told and believe that they portray real life.
And, so, society follows their devolution.
Have we become so accustomed to the activities of ‘flesh-driven’ demons that we no longer fight back but, even, look forward to seeing their abuses of mankind?
Remember God’s standard stated by Solomon in [youversion]Proverbs 8.13[/youversion].
Some demonic spirits are not so easily identified. Paul says that this is so because we are not mature.
Consider [youversion]Hebrews 5.14[/youversion]..
Mature believers can distinguish good from evil demons because they learned the difference and practice/use/exercise the gift of discernment regularly.
What do mature believers use?
John discusses this in [youversion]2 John 7[/youversion]. and [youversion]1 John 4.1-6[/youversion].
John was dealing with the problem of false teachers who had attacked the body of Christ.
They gave enough of the ‘commonly known’ Biblical facts but warped these with their additional teachings, just like the serpent did with Eve.
Paul condemned this in [youversion]Galatians 5.1-6[/youversion]. and [youversion]1 Timothy 4.1-7[/youversion]..
Peter discusses this problem in [youversion]2 Peter 2.1-22[/youversion].. Luke commends the believers in Berea for searching the Scriptures for validation of what their teachers taught; see [youversion]Acts 17.10-12[/youversion].. See [youversion]Revelation 2.2[/youversion]. for Jesus’ commendation.
How will we know if a pastor or teacher is ‘false’?
Know the Word of God, especially [youversion]John 14.6[/youversion]., and compare what is said and written.
Still other demonic spirits are more subtle.
Remember Paul’s admonition in [youversion]Colossians 2.8-10[/youversion]. as you consider Jesus’ discernment in the following situations. [youversion]Matthew 22.15-22[/youversion].:
Jesus sees the demons in the Pharisees’ question about paying taxes to the Roman government. [youversion]Matthew 22.23-33[/youversion].:
Jesus unravels the demons teachings through the Sadducees’ question about marriage in Heaven.
Read His similar argument in [youversion]Mark 10.1-9[/youversion].. [youversion]Matthew 22.34-40[/youversion].: Jesus outwits the demons in the lawyer’s question about the greatest commandment.
[youversion]Matthew 22.41-46[/youversion].: Jesus asked the Pharisees the ultimate commitment question, akin to the question in [youversion]1 John 4.1-6[/youversion]..
In fact, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount ([youversion]Matthew 5-7[/youversion].) is a confrontation with demonic spirits!
What are several lessons about discerning demonic spirits that we learn from Jesus’ exchange with them in [youversion]John 8.30-47[/youversion].?
Be in the world but not of the world, as Jesus said in [youversion]John 17.14-15[/youversion]., by following the Holy Spirit ([youversion]Romans 8.14[/youversion].) and by listening for His voice ([youversion]Isaiah 30.21[/youversion].).
We hear what we listen for!