What About Satan's Counterfeits
What About Satan’s Counterfeits?
Pastor Keith Hassell
I. Reasons Christians avoid the supernatural
A. IGNORANCE: Many Christians avoid spiritual gifts simply because they are ignorant of how they operate and through whom they can operate.
B. DOCTRINAL BIASES: Some have rejected spiritual gifts and manifestations because of doctrinal biases that either reject or sideline their importance. Some doctrines even say that all modern manifestations of such things is of the devil
C. FEAR: One of the biggest reasons Christians avoid any involvement with spiritual gifts and spiritual manifestations is because of the FEAR of satanic counterfeits and the deception involved in them.
II. The importance of embracing Spiritual gifts or manifestations
A. God is Spirit. Therefore to be involved in a relationship with God will be spiritual in nature.
B. Spiritual things are more real than the natural. They existed before the natural and will exist after the natural no longer exists. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
C. God has always operated in supernatural ways throughout Scripture.
D. The weapons of our warfare (against Satan) are spiritual in nature (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-12)
E. Supernatural signs and wonders are to be a vital part of preaching the gospel (Mark 16:17-20; John 14:12-14; Romans 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
F. You can be just as deceived by rejecting the true supernatural manifestations of the Spirit as by embracing the counterfeit (Matthew 16:3; Mark 16:20; John 2:11, 23; 3:2; 10:37-38; 12:37-40)
G. Counterfeits testify that there is a real. Satan is the father of lies and he who deceives the whole world (John 8:44; Revelation 12:9) It is not surprising that Satan would like to either frighten us away from the true or to deceive us through the false by counterfeiting what God has given to bless His people.
III. Examples of the TRUE and COUNTERFEIT operating at the same time
It is not always easy to discern or detect the origin of a supernatural manifestation. We see this reality portrayed in Scripture.
A. The magicians of Egypt could not interpret Pharaoh’s dream, but Joseph operating by the Spirit of God could (Genesis 41)
B. Moses and the Pharaoh’s magicians
1. Turning the rod into a serpent (Exodus 7:10-12)
2. Waters turned into blood (Exodus 7:19-22)
3. Plague of frogs (Exodus 8:1-7)
4. The magicians could not reproduce the following plagues: Lice, Flies, Cattle-disease, Boils, Hail, Locusts, Darkness, Death of the firstborn
C. Book of Job: Satan’s power demonstrated over
1. The violence among mankind (1:15, 17)
2. Lightning (1:16)
3. Great wind (1:19)
D. Prophets of Ahab prophesy success in battle; God’s prophet Micaiah prophesies Ahab’s death in battle (1 Kings 22)
E. Nebuchadnezzar calls for magicians, sorcerers, and astrologers of Babylon to tell and interpret his dream. They could not. Daniel, however, interprets the dream by the Spirit of God. (Daniel 2)
F. Jesus casts out devils by the Spirit of God. The sons of the Pharisees cast out devils through incantations (Matthew 12:27-28)
G. The true Christ Jesus and the true prophets perform signs and wonders as a sign of the kingdom of God. (John 14:11) False christs and false prophets show signs and wonders in order to deceive (Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)
H. Simon, the sorcerer, at one time bewitched the people through his sorceries but is convinced of the power of Jesus Christ through the message and miracles of Philip (Acts 8:1-13)
I. The power of the two Witnesses of God vs. the power of the beast (Revelation 11:3-6; 13; 5, 13-14)
IV. Preliminary responsibilities of every believer
A. Receive Christ as your Savior and develop a genuine relationship with Him (John 10:
B. Do not be ignorant of spiritual things (1 Corinthians 12:1) Read and study God’s word. Those trained to detect counterfeit money are shown only the real. They study every detail of the true so that when something different comes along, they know that something is wrong. Avoid studying too much of one stream of teaching apart from the word of God.
C. Develop a love for the Truth (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) This will safeguard against being deceived by lying signs and wonders. Lying signs are signs that promise you one thing and lead you to another.
D. Learn the to discern the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd (John 10:4-5)
E. Do not forbid the use of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:38)
F. Desire spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1, 39)
G. Test the spirits (1 John 4:1; Revelation 2:2); Prove the messenger and the message. “TEST” comes from Latin word “testum” signifying the use of a small shallow cup (cupel) to examine metals. How does the message hold up under the light of God’s word? How does the messenger act or react under pressure and ill treatment? Does the messenger live a double life?
H. Abhor what is evil; hold to what is good (Romans 12:9) We are to embrace the real while rejecting Satan’s counterfeits. We don’t stop using dollar bills just because criminals make counterfeit dollar bills.
V. Two ways to distinguish the true from the false
A. Discerning of spirits: (1 Corinthians 12:10) This is a Holy Spirit given discernment or revelation of a spirit’s presence, identity, and operation in a person’s life. This is not to be confused with a critical and faultfinding spirit that operates through pride and secret hate. True discerning of spirits comes as God grants it.
B. Detection: This is determining demonic activity by observing what evil spirits are doing in, to, or through people’s lives. This is the process of knowing a tree by its fruit.
VI. False christs, False apostles, false prophets, and lying signs & wonders: Distinguishing the TRUE from the COUNTERFEIT
A. Is the message consistent with God’s word? (Deuteronomy 13:1-5) Lying signs you shall not follow, but you shall follow the commandment of the Lord.
B. Is the message consistent with the New Testament Gospel? (2 Corinthians 11:3-4; Galatians 1:6-10)
C. Is the message given in the right spirit? (Ephesians 4:15; Luke 9:54-56; 1 John 4:1)
D. Does the message distort or reject the person of Jesus Christ? (Matthew 16:13-17; 1 Corinthians 12:2; 1 John 4:2-3)
E. Does the message stray far from the Cross of Christ? (1 Corinthians 2:2)
F. Does the message point to Christ? (John 16:12-15; Revelation 19:10)
G. What is the fruit? (Matthew 7:15-20; Galatians 5:22-23)
1. The character of the person
2. The fruit in the lives of the hearers
3. The image of Christ being formed in people
H. Does the person insist on ignoring God’s order? (1 Corinthians 11:3-10; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Timothy 2:9-15; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
I. Is the person or their teaching subject to correction or adjustment? (1 Corinthians 14:29)
J. Is the person submitted to the leadership of a local church? (Romans 13:1-2; Hebrews 13:17)
K. Does the person demonstrate the spirit of Cain---JEALOUSY? (Jude 11)
L. Does the person demonstrate the spirit of Balaam---GREED? (Jude 11)
M. Does the person demonstrate the spirit of Korah---REBELLION? (Jude 11)
N. Does the person serve (pastor) their own life? (Jude 12)
O. Is the Holy Spirit the source of the sign or wonder? (Luke 11:9-13; John 10:1-2)
P. Are the works of the devil being destroyed? (Matthew 12:25-28; Acts 10:38)
Q. Is the person’s goal to edify the church? (1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:26)
R. Is the person willing to subscribe to the principle of “decent and in order?” (1 Corinthians 14:33, 40)
S. Does the individual visibly demonstrate love in their message and ministry? (1 Corinthians 13)
T. Learn to listen and trust the witness of the Holy Spirit inside of you (John 16:13; Romans 8:16; 1 John 2:27)