I am going to share what I have come to know about Familiar Spirits, and how the Holy Spirit’s voice can be distinguished from their voices. Saints, God is equipping us, to be victorious in this hour. It is time to identify our Lord’s enemies in our own midst !
Familiar Spirits attempt to mimic the Holy Spirit. To mimic means: To copy or imitate closely, especially in speech, expression, and gesture.
This information is for the average believer, yet especially those in authority must know how to identify familiar spirits, for they attack rightful God-given authority.
It is mandatory for us all, to keep our rightful positions. To Stand is our Command. We all must learn to exercise our authority given by God. It is not prideful to stand in our rightful position.
Familiar spirits bring Disruption and Hindrance… Although they can sound as if saying all the right words…even religious words. Let us realize that Satan misquotes, slants, and deceives using scripture in a manipulative way, as in Christ’s temptation in the wilderness, and so do Familiar Spirits.
In Acts we read of a young woman following along after the disciples as they went about ministering for the Lord. Her words declaring “These men are the servants of the most high God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” were neither holy or uplifting, but grew actually very irritating to the disciples and troubled their own hearts. She kept it up for days. Until, after some time, needed for discernment, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Paul commanded the evil spirit, in operation through her, to come out of her…and within the same hour she was delivered of the “familiar spirit”. Paul, with the Holy Spirit, was finally able to recognize what they were all dealing with. A familiar spirit so mimics the Holy Spirit, we must test the spirits! It sometimes takes time for this identification to be made, yet when one is ALERT and knows how to identify a familiar spirit, God’s inner “check” in our spirit can be discerned fairly quickly. We rely on the Holy Spirit within us to discern a Familiar Spirit operating around us.
Let’s look at the account in Acts 16:16-18
16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
The familiar spirit is a “personal” spirit, and it serves or prompts the individual. They have grown so familiar with it, that they cannot often distinguish it from their own self, yet in reality, their will is a separate will from this spirit, which they are hearing and obeying or operating in. They have not “tested the spirits”, or they would know they were believing “lies” and were in deception. I am convinced, personally, that much of mental illness is the resulting of an individual entertaining a familiar spirit, although, I do not believe this is always the case. For did not God say He has given us, through His Spirit, “a sound mind”? II Timothy 1:7
The Holy Spirit knows exactly who the enemy is, and he will reveal deception to us. This is why Paul was “troubled”. And why you will be too, when in an encounter.
Familiar spirits recognize the Holy Spirit. They tremble in fear when the Holy Spirit is Dealing with Them! They are useless as the Holy Spirit is given Reign! Believe no man without searching the Scriptures for yourself to see if those things spoken are true. Test the spirits. There is but One Spirit of Truth! And he won’t be casting himself out!
Familiar spirits are at work to cause distraction, commotion, upheaval, and problems, in our life at all times.
Their goal is distracting, misleading, and turning us towards the deceptive and covetous lusts of the human flesh and worldly attractions. Teaching false doctrines and causing people to follow false gods. A friend of the world is an enemy of God.
Familiar Spirits abound even now… All around us. We believers must become alert that we be not tormented in our spirit by them. We will sense something is just not right! As Paul, we will “become troubled”. The Holy Spirit “alerting” us. He always has been, but up until now, it may be that some of you did not know what you were experiencing with that “uneasy” feeling within. That “check” in your spirit…
So, Now let’s speak of distinguishing between the Holy Spirit and a familiar spirit.
In order for one to counterfeit something, the real must exist, right? For instance, if I handed you a $3 bill, you would know it was counterfeit, for no real one exists. If, however, I handed you a $1 bill, you’d have to be able to distinguish between the real and the counterfeit. So it is with The Holy Spirit versus a familiar spirit. Both will speak. Both are spirits. Both will speak to us or around us through another person. We will hear both messages. Therefore we must distinguish.
When the Holy Spirit is leading it all begins with free will. With the spirit leading, I am given truth and guidance….the word of God confirms it, and my own spirit bears witness to what the Holy Spirit within me is speaking. And, I have free will to obey. The Spirit of God is not making me do anything. He is steering me and can influence me strongly, but He will not violate my own will. When I heed, there is agreement within my mind and heart. Peace, joy, and fulfillment come forth. Believers’ joy comes when they desire to make their own will to become aligned with His Will. This is why even the Spirit’s leading someone to salvation is called AN INVITATION. An individual is given an invitation to join his or her self TO CHRIST and TO GOD, an act of their free will.
But if another spirit is an operation… a familiar spirit…then I am given a lie, or a lust is activated. The word of God won’t be consulted, or it will be completely twisted.
And, if under a familiar spirit’s influence, I won’t feel like I have a choice. I’ll feel pressured. I’ll press. I’m not in agreement between my mind and heart. As a believer I will almost feel “violated”. Troubled, for sure. I will feel haste, instead of wait.
Hiding is an indication of Not Being Led by the Holy Spirit. Are you afraid of exposure? Then you better come into the light. Command the familiar spirit to depart. You opened the door to its influence and lies….and in Christ, you can close the door. God can then redeem all, and undo all the damage, using even ‘what you come out of’, as part of your life’s testimony. When I say “hiding” I am not referring to discretion being shown by the righteous, or by leadership, but rather an individual’s awareness that he or she doesn’t want others to discover what he or she is doing or who you are really, because motive or sin or iniquity is being harbored by that familiar spirit.
In a church or house meeting … and some are full of familiar spirits….When a familiar spirit is manifesting and causing hindrance or distraction, through a particular person, deal with it! As Paul did! It can bring increasing destruction. This is not simply immaturity – which is marked by a sincere desire to know the Lord and is fully submitted. This is a spirit trying to take the reins….of the meeting, of the hearts of people, of the agenda, etc….robbing from God or some God-given authority.
We command IT, or IT will destroy! We will be engaging in spiritual warfare from now until the end of days. A familiar spirit is the enemy of God, not a friend! And you can love the person whilst addressing the spirit. Command the familiar spirit to depart, with the Holy Spirit giving you words, and it will obey the authority of the name of Christ Jesus.
So, how do we open ourselves up to a Familiar Spirit’s influence? A clue can be found in this passage:
Second Thessalonians 2:12
“They did not receive the love of the truth, and for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, and that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Familiar Spirits are connected to witchcraft. Witchcraft is simply satanic power in operation. Satan’s way of imposing his will on your will…or imposing emotions, behaviors, or circumstances on people, causing them to do or follow, that which they would not follow, if under their own free will. There is no distinguishing between “white” witchcraft and another darker kind of witchcraft. All is simply Satan’s rule over God’s rightful rule.
Rebellion is as witchcraft in that it is the rejection of the righteous legal legitimate government of God in one’s life, church, or anywhere.
All Familiar Spirits are in rebellion of God, therefore this is how they manifest in people.
Rebellion uses manipulation, domination, or intimidation ….to get My Way…
When someone is taking authority, not given by God, it is called witchcraft. It is rebellion against delegated, legitimate authority. Familiar spirits draw people into evil.
Some types of familiar spirits are so rampant within the body of Christ, they have been given identification by the Church.
For example we call the Jezebel Spirit “Jezebel” because Ahab, the King, was the legitimate power… but Jezebel was the “illegitimate authority” or the power behind the throne. She was evil and swayed leadership toward evil, directly threatening God’s anointed, who was speaking for Him.
Jezebel – is simply a name given for a familiar spirit that has these identifiers:
- Hungers for control.
- Uses any means at her disposal to do it.
- She undermines true authority.
- Found among weak men, with passive authority.
- Jezebel is all about committing sedition – the undermining of God delegated constituted authority with intent to Overthrow.
- This spirit drives true anointed leaders to discouragement, despair, suicide, and depression.
- A “personal” familiar spirit operating in a “rebellious” woman
A submitted woman of God exercising her God-given power and authority should never be classified as having a Jezebel spirit, simply because she carries spiritual authority through her yielded heart to God. Many times it is a man with the Lucifer spirit that starts such a persecution. Usually not her own mate. And yet his identifiers are similar, howbeit male.
Lucifer – He steals the hearts of people away from their predominant leader. He is predominant. He craves authority not given him by God. Identifiers: Proximity, pride, perceived injury, divisive, splitting, rebellious, selfish ambition drives him. A “personal” familiar spirit operating in a “rebellious” man.
Another “personal” familiar spirit influencing believers is the Absalom Spirit. This spirit is charming, deceptive, cunning, subtle, and treacherous. This spirit brings chaos and confusion to a church or business, all under the pretense of really caring. How many decent and loving people have been destroyed by the proposal of Absalom’s “care” and “concern” for the church, the district, or the business? The spirit of Absalom is a personification of a master usurper…and a pretender. In the bible, David’s son, had a way of judging everything by his own criteria. His brother, Amnon, sinned and Absalom determined that he deserved to die, so he arranged the execution of his own brother. Instead of seeing himself as a murderer, he saw himself as a hero, worthy of a Medal of Honor or some other kind of special recognition for his noble achievement. He was twisted in his thinking.
In the same manner, a modern Absalom gets offended at leadership, then, secretly arranges the subtle “execution” of the leader’s reputation, achievements, or integrity. An Absalom spirit typically harbors camouflaged bitterness, unresolved offenses, disappointments, and anger, as we see in his treatment of his brother’s offense. His father, King David would never have approved the murder of Absalom’s brother, so he plotted it all on his own.
When a modern day Absalom’s ideas are not accepted or promoted by the leadership, as he believes they should be, he becomes offended. Once a person takes on an offense, and does not resolve it, he becomes offended at everything, no matter how minor. He will carry that unresolved offense in his heart often searching for others to agree with him in the offense (2 Samuel 13:20-29) Absalom, David’s son, ended up bringing shame to his father, his family, and his kingdom.
So these are just a few identified spirits in conflict with The Holy Spirit.
Let’s go on…
Why do you suppose the Spirit of Christ who dwells within believers is called The Holy Spirit. Because holy is one of HIS identifiers! He will lead to truth. He will lead to righteousness. He will love enough to be speaking the truth in love. He is himself holy.
Whereas, let’s recap what manifestation of familiar spirits in operation looks like:
- making haste – pressuring
- direct conflict with God given authority
- selfish ambition
Church, Let’s tolerate this NO MORE!!
Pray on this article. Ask for discernment. Put its truth in your mind and heart. You may not have need of it yet, but you may be “in basic training” for a war you may be called to fight in your near future.
Believers are given a choice to follow their Savior, to obey from love and devotion, and appreciation for their liberty… Just as US Soldiers do. We have Free Will. However, if you are being coerced, tormented, hindered, manipulated, oppressed, hiding for fear of exposure, etc… Be alert to the possibility that a familiar spirit may be in operation, and needs to be addressed. Rather, annihilated! Give that spirit no place! The Holy Spirit will lead you in how to deal with it.
Yet remember what Ephesians 6:12 says:
We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Our authority is over evil, not over people. We love and minister truth to people. We exercise spiritual authority and power over evil and it’s reign in our life and others’ as led by the Spirit of God. Do not go outside of your Spirit Led and Spirit Given realm of authority…
Or you could end up as the acts 19:11-20 attempting exorcists:
11And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. 13Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 19Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
Evil spirits recognize the servants of the Lord as their mortal enemies. They know Jesus, Paul, Peter, and others throughout Christendom. Those who walk in the light as He is in the light will be used, for in that Light the evil spirits would be forced to recognize our authority. In Christ, you have that authority, but only if you are living righteously. If you exercise this power unworthily, you may hear the ominous words, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” I don’t know about you… But I would hate to be fleeing naked and wounded!
On the other hand, we can see from this same passage above, that the Holy Spirit is powerful, and as familiar spirits are identified and rooted out, others will see…fear of God will come on them, and they will leave their own evil ways behind…growing in the word of God…and prevailing!
Therefore, another conclusion in dealing with Familiar Spirits is this:
To LIVE for Christ is our greatest position of warfare. We are recognized then by both sides of the conflict of Good and Evil. The enemy messes with the undecided, to those ignorant of the Word of God, to those with one foot in each camp, to those who haven’t quieted themselves long enough to hear the Holy Spirit’s counsel. As we draw near to God, the familiar spirits will hide from us.
Remember, the Holy Spirit does not CONTROL. We grant Him the controls. (smile) Familiar Spirits control…but they are about to lose their control! Amen?!
So, I INVITE YOU to enlist in the Lord’s Army, of your own free will, and let’s do some serious damage to Satan’s forces! Pass this article along to others who will benefit from it’s information, or teach it yourself to others at church or a gathering. I am only sharing what God told me to write TODAY.
IN CLOSING, I DECLARE as a daughter of God, and bride of Christ:
Familiar Spirits, you will be exposed, and you are no longer welcome in our midst! In Christ we have the victory over you! And will “entertain you” no longer! The blood of Jesus has defeated you! And we believers will no longer tolerate your coming against the rightful authority of God! Prepare to do battle! In Jesus Name, Amen!
Written by Elizabeth Norland, Nov 12, 2012 (REPOSTED 2016, Elizabeth is now married and going by Beth Ann Smith)
I cut and paste this list about the Holy Spirit. Author unknown… but these are HIS IDENTIFIERS. Again, I reiterate, if we have intimacy with the real Holy Spirit, dwelling within our hearts, it is the best way to go forward. and be able to identify the voices without, which conflict with his voice, character, or workings.