First, the Holy Spirit is not A FAMILIAR SPIRIT; He’s A FAMILY SPIRIT – He’s the Spirit that reigns supreme in GOD’S SPIRITUAL FAMILY to which all believers in Christ belong – Eph.3:14-16, Eph.4:4.
The Bible does not leave us in the dark about familiar spirits and their operations and of course the Scriptural way to deal with them.
We need to be discerning as God’s precious people especially in this end-time when all manner of things fly around and when people are becoming more “sophisticated” in spiritual operations.
There’s a voice in the Spirit realm that “mimics” the voice of the Holy Spirit, and that sounds like a voice of a divine origin but it’s not.
That voice is the voice of a familiar spirit. Many people have become victims of its operations including believers and sadly some ministers of the Gospel too.
A sharp discerning ability will help you to differentiate between what is ORIGINAL and what is COUNTERFEIT.
Always remember that anything that is original can be counterfeited and there can be no counterfeit if the original does not exist.
As noble and lofty it is to undertake adventures in the Holy Ghost, it’s instructive to always stay within safe limits – within the bounds and perimeters of Scriptures so as not to get off track.
The Bible establishes the operations of familiar spirits especially in the Old Testament and we also have some “appearances” of it in the New Testament as well.
And when we look at Scriptures in general, we realize that God’s attitude towards them is the same.
In the Old Testament, God frowned at the operations of familiar spirits and He did not reckon with people who harboured such operations.
For Scriptural verification, you can read Lev.19:31, Lev.20:6, Lev.20:27, Deut.18:11, 1Sam.28:3, 7, 8, 9, 2Kgs.21:6, 2Kg.23:24, 1 Chro.10:13, 2Chro.33:6, Isa. 8:19, Isa.19:3, and Isa.29:4.
As we shall see, we also have a major example of its operation recorded in the New Testament and it’s also implied alongside some other demonic operations mentioned in the New Testament.
I’m thoroughly convinced in my heart that there has never been a time that a teaching of this nature is MUCH NEEDED than now.
The reason is that we have a generation that is given to SENSATIONALISM without even bothering to find out the spiritual roots of such experiences.
But truth is that there’s a wide margin of difference between SENSATIONALISM and SENSITIVITY.
God wants you as His child to be sensitive and discerning, not necessarily sensational.
God wants you to be well rooted and grounded in Scriptures, not given to frivolities and externalities.
Failure to operate within this Scriptural paradigm opens you up to the operations of familiar spirits.
You see, familiar spirits are a class of demons that are “familiar” with people. Like the name suggests, they are “familiar” with people and they know certain facts about them.
They’re not omniscient because demons are not omniscient – demons don’t know everything but they possess a degree of intelligence.
Demons are intelligent. They know certain things but they don’t know all things. Only God is omniscient.
In the Book of Acts of the Apostles, we saw a demon telling the seven sons of a priest by the name of Sceva, “Jesus I KNOW, and Paul I KNOW…” – Acts 19:15.
So, demons “KNOW” certain things about people. Remember that during His earthly ministry, they would often scream when they saw Jesus and reveal His identity.
And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.
Demons possess a level of intelligence but they don’t know all things.
Now, talking about familiar spirits, I believe based on my study of Scriptures that they operate principally in two ways.
(1) They say things that don’t line up with the Word, herein called the character of God. How do I know that?
We are told in the Book of Isaiah:
And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have FAMILIAR SPIRITS, and unto wizards that PEEP, and that MUTTER: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
Notice here that the people who operate by familiar spirits often PEEP (scanning and finding things out in the spirit) and MUTTER (they say stuffs out of the things they have peeped into).
But look at the next verse:
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Therefore they speak not according to the Word; they say things that go against God’s moral character.
How come someone is telling you by the “spirit” what the size of your bra is or what the colour of your pant is?
The Holy Spirit does not dabble into such things. What has the Holy Spirit got to do with the size of your bra or the colour of your pant?
In most cases, the person saying foolish things like this will get it right and gullible folks will be awed and enthralled by it but that does not line up with the morality of God.
It speaks not according to this Word. Someone who is always telling you the amount in your bank account and nothing else is operating by a familiar spirit.
That someone met you on the road and told you all your life history dating back to the seventh generation does not mean he’s speaking by the Spirit.
You have to watch the flow in your heart. Peace? Joy? Grief? Depression? Etc.
Sometimes the person speaking by familiar spirits may not even be aware himself but thinks he’s speaking by the Holy Spirit.
The Bible makes it clear that Christians can yield to the Holy Spirit now and in a matter of minutes still yield to the flesh or the devil if care is not taken.
That’s why the Word tells us:
Neither give place to the devil.
You also remember how Peter spoke by the Spirit and in a little moment from that time yielded to Satan? – Matt.16:16-17, 22-23.
So, according to Scriptures, familiar spirits speak not according to the Word.
(2) They say things that are correct about people but not inspired by the Spirit of God.
This second operation is very trickish except you can discern by the Spirit of God.
In a situation like this, someone operating by a familiar spirit can tell you your name, your job, or other facts around you but he is not motivated by the Spirit.
Please note that the Holy Spirit also knows those things and He can reveal them (if they don’t violate the morality of God) as He wills but it’s always going to be to the end that Christ is GLORIFIED and the Church is EDIFIED.
So, I never said that all the people flowing in the gifts of the Spirit are operating by familiar spirits. No! No!! No!!!
Context is everything!!! We’re looking at indices and parameters to determine the operations of familiar spirits and how you as a believer can stay safe within the ambit and confines of Scriptures.
Having said that, it’s important to establish that sometimes someone can say correct things but from a wrong source – a familiar spirit.
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul and his team once encountered a young lady who had a familiar spirit but said correct things about them.
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
Notice here that the spirit is called “a spirit of divination” but it’s typical of a familiar spirit. How do I know that?
Remember that when Saul the first king of Israel sought the witch of Endor who had a familiar spirit, it was with the purpose of DIVINATION.
1 SAMUEL 28:7-8
7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath A FAMILIAR SPIRIT, that I may go to her, and ENQUIRE of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, DIVINE UNTO ME BY THE FAMILIAR SPIRIT, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
So, we see a connection between a familiar spirit and a spirit of divination. Now, back to the young girl that Paul encountered, look at what she said:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. BUT PAUL, BEING GRIEVED, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
Notice that what this girl was saying was correct. Yes they were servants of the Most High God and they had come to show the way of salvation but SHE WAS SPEAKING BY A FAMILIAR SPIRIT.
She said this FOR MANY DAYS and followed Paul around yet Paul hadn’t picked it.
It tells us that we cannot control the Holy Spirit; we can only position our spirits to pick signals coming from the Holy Spirit and that was what happened to Paul.
This girl said fantastic things about them but then, way down in the spirit of Paul, HE WAS GRIEVED.
That’s the key – ALWAYS CHECK THE FLOWS IN YOUR HEART. Your spirit cannot lie to you. Your heart cannot fail you. Your heart cannot deceive you.
Paul became SORROWFUL IN HIS HEART despite the fantastic things that this girl said about him and his team.
Some other preacher would have picked that young lady as their Prayer Band Leader or Choir Leader and that would be a sad one for the ministry if nothing is done.
Always check your spirit Beloved. Always check your heart no matter how fantastic, spectacular or sensational something appears on the outside.
In Part Two, I will focus on the predisposing factors to familiar spirits’ operations and expound further on how to discern them.
Trust this is helpful Sirs and Mas?