But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1
* "try the spirits"
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (I John 4:1)
To "try" means to "test" the spirits. If you test the spirits it does not mean you are operating in unbelief. If the spirits are of God, they will pass the test!
In order to recognize the false doctrines of Satan's teachers, apostles, prophets, and ministers, you must know what is taught in the Word of God. Apostle Paul told Timothy:
I find this saying to be true: if it’s not found, it’s not sound! Satan establishes much spiritual wickedness in high places through so-called "special revelation of new truth." People will claim special dreams, appearances by angels, visions, voices, or other supernatural events. But Apostle Paul warned:
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; (Romans 12:6)
. . . and which does not come to pass
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22)
Do not accept any revelation that leads you away from God and the truth of His Word
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)
Because Satan imitates the power of God through supernatural manifestations of miracles, signs, and wonders, God has provided a special method of evaluating ministries. You are to evaluate the supernatural on the basis of spiritual fruit.
God warned Israel to avoid every type of Satanic influence:
Believers must not ignore this spiritual wickedness in high places. Pastors must preach the whole counsel of God in face of deception:
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (2 Timothy 4:1-4)
False teachings of the occult and doctrines of demons must be identified. Believers are not to participate in the "unfruitful works of darkness" but rather should expose them.
God's organization, the true Church, is more powerful than that of Satan. Jesus is the head of the church and believers are the body.