Do you know that there are such a thing as evil spirits? (Matthew 8:28; Acts 19:15-16) And just as God’s Holy Spirit communicates God’s will to us from time to time in various ways, evil spirits can attempt to communicate an unholy will and direction in an effort to deceive us and detour us from God’s will and purposes. In today’s text (Acts 16:1-18) we will see two examples of a spirit communicating. One spirit is evil and the other Spirit is good. How do you know the difference? It can be confusing at times. We see in today’s story for example, the evil spirit even says the right things in an attempt to associate with Jesus and the things of God. (V:16-17) But this also is deception. The Bible exhorts us to test the spirits to see if they are from God. (1John 4:1) Don’t believe every spirits communication. There are “deceiving spirits” (1Timothy 4:1) sent forth to turn us from God. These spirits can be very convincing and even appear at first to be “from God.”(2Corinthians 11:14-15)
The Holy Spirit of God can guide and direct us in various ways.
- divine visions (Acts 9:10; 10:9-16; 22:18)
- direct intuition (Acts 8:29, 39; 10:19; 20:22)
- counsel with other believers (Acts 15:29)
- guidance through prayer (Acts 13:2, 4)
- insight through Scripture (Acts 28:25-27)
- prophecy (Acts 11:28)
Guidance by the indwelling Holy Spirit helped them to accomplish their mission to be Christ’s witnesses. (Acts 1:8; 4:8, 31; 11:24; 13:9)
Read over today’s text (Acts 16:1-18) and observe carefully how these two very different spirits communicated.
Beware, for there are… “…false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15