Have you ever seen a counterfeit dollar bill? I have, I actually have had one given to me and gave I gave one to someone unknowingly. Counterfeit bills are interesting, because they look just like the real thing. If you are not properly trained you will miss that they aren't real. The first time I was introduced to one, I was in shock, I couldn’t tell the difference between it and the real thing. After I was exposed to it, it was easy for me to see the difference between what was real and what wasn't real. Now I have never encountered a super note (high quality bills), which could be difficult to tell with the naked eye. However, a trained expert can see it with no problem.
1 John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” We will encounter counterfeits in the spirit of according to the Word, they will be in our churches, can manifest in our homes, be amongst our friends and loved ones. Their goal is to deceive us into believing some truth, not "the" truth. These counterfeits, will look like the real thing, but not be the real thing. It is important as Christians that we understand these false spirits are manipulations in our lives, they want us to get off course.
In Matthew 4:1-11, “ satan came to Jesus to tempt him after fasting and being in the wilderness. Jesus knew he needed the fast, and what satan’s goal was to hit him in his weakest moments. He thought he could present Jesus, with what he needed instead of with biblical truths.
Paul and Timothy dealt with an evil spirit on their journey in ministry.
Acts 16: 16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17She 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 annoyed 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.
So how do you know whether or not you are dealing with a counterfeit spirit?
If you are in a situation like Paul and Timothy, as in the scripture ask that spirit to identify that Jesus Christ is their Lord and savior and that he died on the cross and that he lived here in the flesh? A deceiving spirit won’t be able to tell you that. 1 John 4:4
Is it a lying or manipulating spirit ? If a person is trying to get you to do something associated with a lie or a manipulation, it is not from God. 1 Kings 20:22-23. Proverbs 6:16-19, Proverbs 19:9, Psalms 101:7 and Colossians 3:9-10
If it offers you an option, that doesn’t line up with the word of God, such as gives you permission, to sin and live contrary to the Word of God, then it is not of God. Matthew 7:15, Matthew 24:4 and Galatians 5:19-21.
We have to be strong in the Lord, according to His power and might. (Ephesians 6:10), it is not ok, for us to walk around ignorant to what the Word says, and easily deceived. Gird yourself with the truth of God, so that you can walk into the place that He called you, remember the enemy will try to present you with an option, so that you don’t fulfill your assignment on earth. You have to be filled with the Spirit, and sensitive to what the Spirit is saying, this is done through prayer and supplication (see Ephesians 6:18).
Lord Help me to Not Be Deceived,
P.S. Remember we don't wrestle against flesh and blood, sometimes these counterfeit spirits come through those we love, it's hard but we have to recognize when they are being manipulated as well. We don't deal with the person, we deal with the spirit.