The apostle Paul writes very little about Satan and even less about demons or evil spirits. This in spite of the fact that he was on the front lines planting churches in places that had never heard the Name of Jesus.
He makes only five references to the demonic; four of those in the context of food and drink offered to demons; the other is a future reference to the time when weak believers will “surrender their minds to subversive spirits and demon-inspired doctrines (1 Timothy 4:1) That time is now here!
The Message version: “The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars”. It is regretful that these ‘professional liars’ are actually ordained ministers and once were followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. First they are deluded and then they infect others with their demonic doctrines and elusions.
Well, I could name some Canadian and American Church leaders and ministers who are doing just this. Deceiving many and more every day. But really the problem is not with the ‘minister’ of the Gospel but with the followers. They are lacking discernment and so are unable to tell truth from error.
Discernment is not a gift from the Holy Spirit (that would be the discerning of spirits). Discernment comes simply by knowing your Bible. The Bible does not contain truth – it is the truth as God has had it recorded for us. It is an expression of the heart of Jesus who said He is the Way, THE TRUTH, and the Life. We come to know Jesus and the Truth needed to walk successfully as believers in the world by reading, studying, and inwardly ‘digesting’ the Word of God, your Bible. This is “bread’ for your spirit-man and you cannot live on “physical bread” alone but by every Word (spiritual bread) that continuously proceeds from the mouth of God.”
So, you can catch the counterfeit and the lies and demonic illusions by becoming so familiar with the Truth that when something that is false is taught – even by an anointed minister of the Gospel – your spirit will immediately respond by rejecting what is said.
It is time for individual believers to be responsible for their our spiritual health and to guard themselves against false teachers, false prophets and false Christs (Matthew 24:24)