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2. How Should You Differentiate Between the Work of the Holy Spirit and of Evil Spirits?

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Chapter 6 Several Forms of Differentiation That You Should Possess in Your Belief in God

2. How Should You Differentiate Between the Work of the Holy Spirit and of Evil Spirits?

Relevant Words of God:

If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, man becomes ever more normal, and his humanity becomes ever more normal. Man has an increasing knowledge of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan, and of the essence of man, and he has 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 capable of more and more changes—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 essence of man, is incapable of changing the disposition of man, and, moreover, is incapable of bringing him before God or giving him a true understanding of God, and even causes his humanity to become ever more lowly and his 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.

from “Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The things that arise from God cause you to become ever clearer about visions, and they cause you to get closer and closer to God, earnestly sharing love with brothers and sisters; you are capable of showing consideration toward God’s burden, and your God-loving heart does not abate; there is a road ahead for you to walk. The things that arise from Satan cause you to lose visions and all you had before is gone; you become estranged from God, you have no love for 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 brought about by the work of evil spirits.

from “Chapter 22” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The work of the Holy Spirit is all about enabling people to obtain benefits; it is all about edifying people; there is no work that does not benefit people. No matter whether the truth is deep or shallow, and no matter what the caliber of those who accept the truth is like, whatever the Holy Spirit does, it is all beneficial to people.

from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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 it enables them to pursue being made perfect by God. When the Holy Spirit works, people are able to actively enter; they are not passive or forced, but are proactive. When the Holy Spirit works, people are glad and willing, and they are willing to obey, and happy to humble themselves, and 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 are certainly 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, the love of their brothers and sisters, and 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 are possessed of humanity and constantly pursue the truth. When the Holy Spirit works within people, their conditions become 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 interrupt, 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 enlightens and guides in 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 based on their needs, and He positively guides and enlightens them based upon what they lack, and upon their deficiencies; when the Holy Spirit works, this work is in consonance with the rules of the normal life of man, and it is only in real life that people are 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 something happens to them they aren’t passive, and as it is happening to them they are able to see the lessons that God requires them to learn, and they are not passive, or weak, and although they have real difficulties, they are willing to obey all the arrangements of God.

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What work comes from Satan? In the work that comes from Satan, the visions in people are vague and abstract, and they 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 are always interfering within them, constraining the growth of their life, and stopping them from having normal conditions before God. Which is to say, as soon as there is the work of Satan within people, their hearts can’t be at peace before God, they don’t know what to do with themselves, the sight of an assembly makes them 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 and the path that their life has entered upon, in their hearts they can never draw close to God, things always happen that cause disruption to them and enshackle them, and their hearts cannot find peace, leaving no strength to their love of God, and making their spirits sink downward. Such are the manifestations of the work of Satan. The work of Satan is manifested in the following: 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. At the interference from Satan, 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, and there is even the risk of you leaving God. All this is of the work of Satan.

from “The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

God works in a gentle, loving, delicate and caring way, a way that is especially measured and proper. His way does not cause you to feel intense emotions such as, “God must let me do this” or “God must let me do that.” God never gives you that kind of intense mentality or intense feelings that make things unbearable. Isn’t that right? Even when you accept God’s words of judgment and chastisement, how do you feel then? When you feel the authority and power of God, how do you feel then? Do you feel that God is divine and inviolable? (Yes.) Do you feel distanced from God at these times? Do you feel frightened of God? (No.) No, instead you feel fearful reverence of God. Do people feel all these things only because of God’s work? (Yes.) …

… when it comes to Satan’s work on man, here I have two words 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 him, each and every one, so that it can get to the point where it is completely in control of man, harming man, so that it can achieve this objective and wild ambition. What does “forcefully occupy” mean? Does it happen with your consent, or without your consent? Does it happen with your knowing, or without your knowing? It is completely without your knowing! In situations where you are unaware, possibly when it has not said anything or possibly when it has not done anything, when there is no premise, no context, there it is around you, surrounding you. It looks for an opportunity to exploit, then it forcefully occupies you, possesses you, achieving its objective of being completely in control of you and harming you. This is a most typical intention and behavior in Satan’s fight against God for mankind.

from “God Himself, the Unique IV” 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 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 eat, and must rest—to say nothing of man. Those who have been possessed by evil spirits seem to be without emotion and the weakness of the flesh. They are able to forsake and give up everything, they are 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 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 they have great faith, and that they are never weak. In fact, this is the manifestation of the work of the evil spirit. That is because normal people inevitably have human weaknesses; this is the normal state of those who have the presence of the Holy Spirit.

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

Evil spirits are opportunists. They can speak from within you or into your ear, or else they can throw your thoughts and mind into disarray, they push back the moving of the Holy Spirit so that you can’t feel it, after which they begin to interfere with you, making your thinking confused and your brain addled, and leaving you restless and unhinged. Such is the work of evil spirits.

from “The Meaning of God’s Experiencing the Pain of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks

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 or 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 will have a deep appreciation of this.

from “Whether or Not You Have the Truth Decides Everything” in Records of Christ’s Talks

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; these are nothing but the work of the evil spirits, for the Holy Spirit no longer does such work in the present day, and all those who imitated the work of the Holy Spirit from that time onward—they are evil spirits indeed.

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

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.

from “Results That Can Be Achieved Through a Genuine Understanding of the Truth” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life

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.

from “Knowing the Work of the Holy Spirit Is of the Utmost Importance to Man’s Salvation” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (II)

The most obvious characteristic 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. When evil spirits possess people, some feel great fear, some become 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. Evil spirits make people loathe and despise them, and have absolutely no benefit or aid for people. The only things Satan and all kinds of evil spirits are capable of doing are corrupting, harming, and swallowing people.

The main manifestations of those who have the work of evil spirits (those who are possessed by demons) are:

The first kind is that evil spirits often tell people to do this and that, or tell someone something, or direct people to speak false prophecies.

The second kind is that people often speak the so-called “tongues” in prayer that no one understands, and even the speakers themselves do not understand. Some of the speakers can even “interpret the tongues” themselves.

The third kind is that a person often receives revelations, with great frequency, at this moment being directed this way by evil spirits, the next moment being directed that way, in a constant state of anxiety.

The fourth kind is that people who have the work of evil spirits urgently want to do this or that, too impatient to wait, they don’t consider whether conditions permit, they even run out in the middle of the night and their behavior is particularly abnormal.

The fifth kind is that people with the work of evil spirits are wildly arrogant, they lack reason, and all of their speech is condescending and comes from a commanding position. They put people at a loss, and like demons, they force people to do things.

The sixth kind is that people who have the work of evil spirits are unable to fellowship about the truth, much less pay attention to God’s work, and they are defiant of God and act arbitrarily, committing all kinds of outrages to destroy the normal order of the church.

The seventh kind is that a person who has the work of evil spirits passes himself off as someone else for no reason, or claims that he was sent by someone and that people should listen to him. No one can figure out where he came from.

The eighth kind is that people who have the work of evil spirits usually have no normal sense, nor do they understand any truth; they do not possess any capacity to receive and also are not enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and what people see is that in receiving things these people are exceptionally absurd and are not the least bit right.

The ninth kind is that people who have the work of evil spirits pay particular focus to lecturing others during work, they always behave wildly and they always cause disruption and disturbance; everything they do and say attacks, binds and corrupts other people, and they go as far as to break people’s resolve and cause them to become negative so that they are unable to lift themselves back up. They are devils, pure and simple, who harm others, toy with others and devour others, and they are secretly happy when they get their way. This is the primary aim of the work of evil spirits.

The tenth kind is that people who have the work of evil spirits live an utterly abnormal life. Their eyes exude a murderous gleam, and the words they speak are extremely gruesome, as if a demon had descended to the world. There is no order to this kind of person’s life, they are very unstable, and are as unpredictable as a wild animal that has not been trained. They are extremely repulsive and odious to others. This is precisely what a person whom the demons have bound looks like.

The ten kinds above are the main expressions of the work of evil spirits. Any person who displays one of these expressions will certainly have the work of evil spirits. To be precise, all who display the above expressions of the work of evil spirits, regardless of which kind they possess, are people who have the work of evil spirits. A person who has the work of evil spirits often hates and keeps far away from people in whom the Holy Spirit is at work and who can fellowship about the truth. Often, the better someone is, the more he wants to attack and condemn them. The more foolish someone is, the more he tries to fawn upon and flatter them, especially desiring to come in contact with them. When evil spirits work, they always confuse truth with falsehood, saying that the positive is the negative and that the negative is the positive. This is precisely the doings of evil spirits.

from “12 Problems All Churches Need to Resolve Urgently” in Selected Annals 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.

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

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