How to Recognise Religious Spirits

The manifestation and activity of religious spirits require a friendly union between ‘flesh’ (the fallen human nature) and demons. It is not solely demonic activity, so being around them requires a different spiritual response.

Jesus had no trouble with demons. Demons bowed and fled. He easily cast them out. But the Pharisees were a different matter. Religious spirits do not bow down and obey, because of the human free will element involved.

To interact with them, is like dealing with a hybrid of demonic and human. The human component makes it difficult to remove the demonic, because the human part is enjoying the fellowship, and power the demonic gives it, and does not want it to leave. Deliverance will not happen without the human will agreeing to it.

How to recognize them

Religious spirits oppress and persecute others, usually true believers. They do this in the name of God.

They criticize others almost constantly, and recruit others to join them.

They are controlling, and legalistic, rigid in opinion.

Very unforgiving about what they accuse you of doing wrong.

Their religious zeal, spirituality, and righteousness is not of God. They have no personal relationship with God, just a religious agenda they want followed, with them in control.

They focus on perfection, not progress.

They are proud and arrogant.

They find fault with others but not with themselves.

They know how to tear down, but not to build up.

They are unable to receive correction and instruction.

They will not listen to man, only God.

They will not submit to any human authority, unless that authority exalts them.

They believe that God has appointed them to fix you. God cannot do it without them. They are appointed to fix everything wrong in your life. But they fix you by tearing you down, by destroying you, and criticizing everything they think is wrong with you.

They will not tolerate weakness or failures in you. Bible says to bear one another’s burdens.

They always want recognition.

They are suspicious of every move of God as being from the devil. They watch and study and do not believe it. They spread doubts. If God did not do it before, then He cannot be doing it now. God is not allowed to do anything they do not understand. They forget that the devil copies God. God does not copy the devil.

They glory in yesterday, but not today, unless they are in the centre of it.

They will not join in any group outside of theirs and will forbid you to do the same. “We have all the truth.” Cult thinking. You cannot go anywhere else except their church, or you will be defiled.

They do not understand the work of grace in someone’s life.

They take false stand on dreams and visions, theirs are ok, but not yours.

There is no room for God working in their life. they are already perfect.

They may have started out as spirit filled, but they think they can perfect themselves in the flesh.

They will put religious curses on innocent people.

If unchecked, they will progress to the demonic, and then will need deliverance.

They make false accusations, then justify them with irrelevant scripture, to “sanctify” the evil that is spoken. This can be the most twisted and confusing experience.

Example: they accuse you of being a “snake” or a “scorpion” because you do not agree with them (you happen to be correct). Then they pull some scripture that talks about something NOT related to your “error,” but has to do with why you will go to hell, or need to repent. They say the sky is red, and you say it is blue. They then quote this passage, which is irrelevant:

“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 longsuffering 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; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”  (2 Tim:4:1-4)

What does this passage have to do with the colour of the sky? Nothing! It is there to mentally confuse you, and keep you in spiritual chaos. The scripture is a trap, not to enlighten you, but to get you to concede to them. So the devil is inappropriately using the Word of God as a sword against you, and you need to recognize this strategy, and either reject and expose what he is doing, or be well armoured with the Word of God yourself, and fight back with more than he has.

Intensely unforgiving. They recall ‘past mistakes’, even from 20 years ago. They will never let you forget a mistake and will bring it up to condemn you. It may not even be a mistake, but they think it is. They use mistakes to prove that you are evil or wrong, and need their advice.

Why are they so prevalent?

1.   Some have always been around, through history, example, the Pharisees in Jesus time. It comes from a desire to be important.

2.   The modern charismatic movement opens the door for false spirits.

a.   those which desire power, to prove they are “anointed” of God, when they are not called of God. So they are fakes. They become false teachers and false prophets, etc. Some are self- deceived, and do it to gain acceptance. Others are just corrupt, and do it for money, power, etc.

b.   those which may or may not be “anointed,” or have a ministry calling on their lives, but who criticize others who actually ARE called of God, as fakes. Limited in their under-standing they actually attack true teachers of the gospel, and true prophets (who are rare) and claim they are fakes when they are real. Example: the persecution of the prophet Jeremiah by the leaders in his day. They claimed he was a false prophet, but he was real, and telling the truth.

What to do

1.   Beware of them . Jesus said to “beware the leaven of the Pharisees.” (Matt 16: 8)

2.   Resist them, as “God resists the proud” ( James 4:6)

3.   Recognize them (Rom 10:2-4) as those with convictions, zeal, and righteousness that is not of God

4.   If you have the authority in a church, as in pastoral standing, etc, dismiss them. If you don’t, they will cause you a lot of trouble, including trying to have you dismissed, because you are not up to their standards.

5.   If you do not have any authority over them, just leave them alone, or leave the church environment, if the pastor will not do anything. Given enough time, they will attack you and cause you spiritual harm. Remember, they crucified Jesus. Imagine what they would do to you, if given the chance.

6.   Be realistic. These are the last days. You will find religious spirits everywhere. If you leave one church, you will find more in another. So if you pick a big enough church, if you want one, then you will have a better chance of finding some nice people to associate with.

7.   Pray for wisdom, and the ability to discern spirits, for your own protection.


Responses to “Religious Spirits”

This is so true because I’ve had this very experience several times in some smaller churches I can attest to because this where I was confronted in a negative way.  I thank GOD for the spirit of discernment and I’m sure if I didn’t have some knowledge about these dark things I would have been none the wiser.  These people prey on the weak and most vunerable.

I am glad you have this discernment. This whole thing is going to get worse, and you will be in a position to help others.

Thank you for your message, I think I have been attacked by these Church religious people before, and now. I am Christian, I am new at it still. Say five years, and still learning to search for God and use the real messiah. I moved into a suite and shortly three months later an Old lady moves in with illnesses. She is a ‘catholic’ but also said “She didn’t believe in Jesus anymore”.  She complains about a lot of things I do, like laundry or wearing hair spray. I was fine, now last month and this month I find I am getting spiritual attacks. Pins, screws in my neck, and oppression, ears ringing all the time. She is an old lady and very angry one. She then pretends to be kind. Wolf in sheeps clothing. She had got people to pray against me and I never did anything to her. I know cause she gave me a doll and I threw it out, I also had a dream of her licking my face and also snakes and spiders. My son also had a dream similar then we began to feel weak and headaches, and aching bones. Even my mind is numb, I can’t think. She was digging in our garbage a couple months ago for hair that was outside and she might have given it to someone who is using this hair against me. Anyone know how to cast this out. I have been praying for so long, that I am actually tired and hurt all at once. I have been prayed for but it is still lingering.

Hi brandy I read your comment just now and I have experienced something similar to this. I know that its rather scary but this is your chance show your faith. Sometimes God won’t remove some things because he is being strong where you are weak but nevertheless he is right with you only God can conquer the supernatural but you must trust him completely. Doubt will only slow you down and at the same time the enemy will gain momentum so first remove your doubt it takes a lot of studying the word of God and that being said you’re not alone stop listening to doubt.  I have to practice as well and I want you to have peace just as God does. Stay away from this person completely and keep praying for yourself as well as her.  May god bless your life.

She is your roommate, or she just lives in the same building as you?

The woman is a whacked out witch, and you need to put physical distance between you and her. Can you move?

You need to pray simple prayers
I cover my self with the blood of Jesus
I reject all curses, in Jesus name

Get someone – maybe your son – to agree with you. There is spiritual strength where two people agree.

When you get this message, you will get my email address. You can hit the reply button and we can discuss this more.

Do not give up. You will be ok.

No, we are not roommate’s, we do share a door to come into the building , we might as well be roommate’s. Other then that she lives right next door. There are tow Suites close together. However, I did get some Box’s as I am ready to just move next month.

If you can find another place, that would be best. The woman picks on you because she is aware of you. If someone else lived where you are at, she would turn her attention to them instead. You are just convenient. You are next to her, so you make a good target. Avoid her, not because there is any reason to fear her, but so her attention will not be towards you.

Repeating what I said earlier:

You need to pray simple prayers like this:
“I cover my self with the blood of Jesus”
“I reject all curses, in Jesus name”

Get someone – maybe your son – to agree with you. There is spiritual strength with 2 people agree.

Let me know what happens next.

One thing I do notice with people with religious spirits they tend to isolate their bible verses and use it against you, for example one ministry uses James 4:4 and they won’t fellowship with you if they think your promoting the world. One thing I do notice is you can never apologize to people who have religious spirits because they withhold forgiveness and isolate you. If a Christian makes a mistake in their eyes your gone and they isolate you. When you are isolated these people do in fact stay away and hide from you.

Nothing is better than God because he created us and we owe him entirely. We must love God with all our hearts, spirits and souls. With respect and show our love for Christ by keeping his commandments. This is not to offence – just to share my perspective.

Religious spirits can be very stressful to deal with, especially if it is in the family, as well as the church.

Yes, I saw this in my last church. They were always supposedly hearing from God, but if I said that I did, they would try to convince me it was probably the devil. One person even commented to me that I was not mature enough in my faith to be able to hear from God properly.

They are fakes and you are on to them so you are a threat.

Sound familiar. I do forgive but I do not forget if I was harmed by others simply because I was waiting patiently for their apologies. My flesh father who I never would get along.. loves to criticise me or anyone else.. and even worse spreading all lies about me to set against my own mother to break. Believe it or not, he used to be priest himself. I remember asked him once about seeing Jesus Christ… he told me I was seeing the Devil. I knew he was wrong because my question is still with me even nowadays.
I have many flaws and knew I am no perfect but a sinner. NO ONE on this earth is perfect in flesh nor in spirits. It took me a long long time to learn how to merge my flesh with spirit to understand and to listen and to feel closely to track.

Frustrating, yes. Lost, yes. I kept myself distance from people nowadays.. simply reason is.. I am extremely too sensitive every time I step out of the door… the impact of invisible energy would bowl me over and vibes through and through.. Mix between good and evil.. intense wars that is unseen. I cannot see them.. but I can feel and sense and knows it is everywhere and getting worse.

The only one thing I can say… for this page about religion spirits.. I do not know which I belong at all. But it does not matter to me at all. It might matters to you or God or everyone else.. It doesn’t bother me at least. I learned the pain and hurt and abuse for too far long years until my best friend/ex hubby is patiently work with me.. I do have very terrible temper every time anyone try to tell me WHAT to do or WHAT I SHOULD DO with myself or my life.. or worst.. telling me HOW to raise my kids.. THAT is THEIR mistake. To me, it is MY own free will that I wanted to learn the flesh and spirit and how to balance them and merge them to become one to understand myself and God better. I have accepted for a long long time is that I ain’t blessed nor chosen.. but more likely a curse in entire family because they always pity me and spoil me thinking it is WHAT I need.. which isn’t so. lol.. I do love them all dearly no matter how much they pity or hate me.

It is a matter of soul searching to know myself.. and yes, I am stubborn to a fault whom always have hard time listening to men… I absolutely hate man’s laws on earth.. because way TOO many laws that seem endlessly… yet I do my best to follow without break it.. as much as I try to follow God’s laws.. see ?? I also accepted that if I am destined to go to hell.. that’s okay because it does not mean I stop loving God everyday.. I understood his laws and accepted his plans or his conquences set for me.. I have NO idea what holds me in the future.. only God does know.

Read the bible, talk, pray, worship constantly

I know I say too much but.. it just need to get off my chest so I can move on without holding it all inside. And no, I do not need anyone to feel sorry for me if I accept God’s plans or consequences. I am holding on to my faith and to God as best as I am able is all I needed.

I’m confused. I admire your website and have agreed with everything I have read so far, but one statement in this article is very troubling to me. You said that 2 Tim 4:1-4 was irrelevant. Did I read that wrong? Could you please clarify what you meant?

I have a son-in law that left the Catholic church and recently gave his heart to Christ. Every since, his family has “gone to war” with my family so to speak. I feel like they are “praying” curses upon us. Do you think that the Catholic church is full of religious spirits?

Nothing in scripture is irrelevant, unless it is intentionally and inappropriately applied, in order to justify evil, instead of good.

If you look carefully at the post, I am referring to the person with the religious spirit, quoting scripture to justify condemnation of a saint.

The USAGE of the scripture is irrelevant to their argument, as it actually describes them, not the one they are criticizing. They are abusing scripture for an evil motive.

2 Tim, and all other scripture is pure, and people should heed the guidance. They should not twist it, and use it as a weapon to harm innocent people.

Your son in law made a positive decision. According to the Catholic Church, he is now a fallen away Catholic, and headed for hell, because he has left the “true” church.

Protestants would act the same way if he left them, and converted to Catholicism.

He is going to have to show them that his relationship with God is still intact, and that he is still headed for heaven.

He can start by using the Bible to show that he IS saved, and maybe witness to his family at the same time.

They may be very devout Catholics, and are afraid for him. They need assurance that all is well with him.

The enemy has conspired against this great God fearing nation and the nations of the earth:
There is none to stand in the gap and intercede for the people of the Lord. All seek their own gain.  People roam over the mountains like sheep without a shepherd. But the Lord God of Hosts will not allow the mischief of the evil one.

Just read this post. I don’t totally agree with you that this is always a spirit or demon that controls these people, but rather their sinful nature. I believe that some of these people may even be Christians, but have not had that sanctifying work of G-d in their lives. I myself was brought up in the church, and had a genuine conversion experience as a child. I had a zeal to follow G-d and do his will. I was even teaching some youth groups in my church. But with all this authority , my pride began to show, I began to put myself on a pedestal above those others. G-d then had to “knock me down” off that pedestal.

Through His sanctifying work, and by his grace he took me away from this church setting, and the positions of authority I was in. In the process of humbling me he also showed his immense love towards me, as well as making me see the errors of the church to which I belonged and was part of the inner circle. I was always certain of my faith and conversion, but it was at this point that my relationship became vibrant in him. I began to see people that did not know Christ as humans like myself rather than something less, and others in Christ as brothers and sisters in Christ, not as those to be controlled. The souls of those who do not believe are to be loved as much as those whose souls are saved. The best way to love is to share this good news with others in mutual respect for each other.

In my experience, many who have been saved out of adverse conditions such as alcoholism, or other addictions and afflictions often condemn those that succumb to these afflictions. this is not an evil spirit, but rather their fear of falling back into that lifestyle and an expression of their knowledge of what these things can do. In their experience there can be zero tolerance for these things, which makes them seem overbearing and controlling. Instead of seeing this as demonic, we should respect them and their position, and let them know that G-d works differently in each person.

The best example I can give of what our attitude should be, is that of Paul the apostle, who had every right to boast about his life, yet G-d put a “thorn in his side” that he might remain humble and be in touch with his humanness. We do not know what this thorn was, But we do know that G-d chose not to remove it.

I think the thing that should be condemned with respect to people with these weaknesses, is the institution of the church which often gives authority to people who are easily prone to the sin of pride. Then we have a Jimmy Swaggart moment, and the hypocrisy of the church shows. 

“The first shall be last and the servant the master.”

Further reading:

Twenty-one Jezebelic Footprints


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5 Responses to How to Recognise Religious Spirits

  1. Pastor Palash Roy says:

    It is a wonderful article for the church ministers. Thanks God and thank you.

  2. Maria L'Amore says:

    Thank you for this Holy Spirit inspired article. I had been praying whole heartedly after a visit with my mother. I was prepared to enjoy and improve my relationship with her (so I thought). My visit of a month and a half left me bitter, angry and resentful to say the least. My mother has always been controlling, has a hatred for men, is very manipulative, etc. I asked the Lord to reveal to me the nature of all this behavior. After a period of seeking the Lord, He revealed “your mother has the spirit of Jezebel”. It was such a gentle thought, non accusing and convicting. I thought, if my mother has this spirit, then I too have been tolerating the spirit of Jezebel and all my brothers and sisters have been worshiping this wicked spirit. I immediately repented and decided to do a search study of the spirit of Jezebel. That’s when I came across your study. Thank you. It has changed my life.

  3. beau says:

    breaking strongholds are the easiest thing and the most impossible thing you can ever do.
    its impossible for you as yourself to contend with powers who rule under the prince of the air for a number of reasons.
    1. adam gave up his authority to satan. and that authority is still being held by satan to this day.
    2. the wages of sin are death. satan is quick to set his stamp of authority on human kind even though the birth, death and ressurection of Jesus Christ have removed satans authority.
    3. satan is the father of lies. satan doesnt want you as a child of God to exercise your returned authority that was given to you on the Cross.

    we as Christians need to understand some truths about spiritual warfare and the sphere of influence that God has allowed satan to have.
    i will use an OT Book that will give us at least one insight.
    Job 1:6
    satan attacks Job’s character.

    in the above chapter we see that at the time that the Book of Job was written that satan had the right to enter God’s own throne room and to publicly attack Job’s character before God himself.
    ( if you havent read the full book of Job than i would suggest that you would as it is a great example to us in how to behave when we are being persecuted by satan.)

    ok but thats OT stuff- we live in an age of Grace. How does Jesus Christ and everything that goes with his ministry his life and his death and resurection apply to us today??

    Jesus Christ gave authority to his followers to cast out demons.
    but there was one case that the followers of Christ failed in.
    Mathew 17: 14-21
    A boy is Healed.

    Jesus basically says that some kind of demons can only be called out by intense prayer.
    in this case it was a particularly nasty spirit.

    so where does that leave us? can we cast out demons by speaking the name of Jesus or do we have to submit prayer to God and trust in his judgement and his sovereign will??

    well we need to do both. there cant be one without the other.
    we also need to recognize OUR sphere of influence.

    We have 100% authority and all legal standing in casting out demons that dwell inside us AND dwell in our legally owned or rented home.
    we also have authority to cast out spirits that are attached to us but may not actually posses us.
    IE: if your parent was involved in witchcraft and you grew up in that environment then spirits may be attached to you through your parents rebellion even if you personally were not involved.

    Where we do not have authority is to cast out spirits that are in another person WITHOUT the persons express desire for freedom.
    Mathew 12: 43-45
    an unclean spirit returns.
    ( you must read the above verse’s)
    the chances are that if you command a spirit to leave a person and they dont have faith in Jesus then the person will eventually be in a state far worse than when you meet them.

    ok in your situation its very different.
    you have an evil person who may be controlled by evil spirits who are tormenting you.
    they have invaded your life, your house and your spiritual realm.
    there desire is to oppress you.
    you have the legal right to rebuke any evil spirit directed to you and your household and more importantly your child.

    one of satans biggest lies is to tell you that he is stronger than he actually is.
    the first sentence that i wrote stated that spiritual warfare can the easiest thing in your life to control and this is what i mean.

    satan only has power over those who serve him.
    You as a child of Christ have authority over satan and his minions.
    it doesnt matter how powerful this evil lady thinks she is. it doesnt matter what pacts or oaths she has made to dark powers. and IT DOESNT matter what previous victories she has had in the past over other people.

    I personally have experienced victory over spirits in my own life thanks to the power of Christ alone.

    my family was steeped in the occult. my grandfather was a high degree freemason.
    he made pacts for his offspring that basically delivered us up to torment to satan.

    i personally have had no dealings with the occult or freemasonry but i have felt the affects through out my life.
    here is how it was broken.
    i had to remove from my household all things that were unholy.
    secular books, music etc
    the only Book i read now is the Bible.
    i had to pray to God over each individual spirit that was affecting my life.
    i had to reject and ask for forgiveness for my inadvertent sin that my family committed.
    i had to physically look at each item in my house that needed to be removed then pray to God to break strongholds in each item.
    ( satan flees from the light. when you expose things to the light and turn it over to God satan flees.)
    i had to ask forgiveness for every person who i had wronged AND at the same time i had to forgive everybody who hurt me.

    most importantly i had to submit fully to Jesus Christ.

    this person who is attempting to influence you is like the wind, she has no form and no authority over you.
    Claim your legal right as a child of Christ.
    Listen to the prompting of The Holy Spirit.
    ( The Holy Spirit will lead you through every step you need to do)
    Check every prompting you receive by the Bible and reject anything that doesnt sit right within you.
    ( The Holy Spirit is God and as such isnt limited to your current understanding of Biblical verse’s)
    The Holy Spirit will speak to you on YOUR level and will teach you step by step.

    there are somethings you can do straight away.
    1. dont ever except anything from her.
    2. Pray to God to protect every corner of your house.
    3. Pray to God to give you a sound mind and a Humble heart.
    4 Read the Bible every chance you get.
    5 Read Ephesians 6: 10-20. and then re-read it.
    6. find a good Church. ( easier said than done)
    7. Understand and accept that the Power of God isnt in other people to deliver you.
    8. the Power of God is in YOU- claim it as the special Child of Christ that you are.

    yep slightly long winded i know but hopefully this will help you a little.
    just never forget that the battle is already won and the fulfillment of God;s promise’s to us has come.

  4. bev says:

    I need help! I think I have a religious spirit. I think I also have a Jezebel spirit too! I want to be delivered!

  5. Debbie says:

    I have this spirit how do I get rid of it? I have been advised to keep reading the bible especially psalms and proverbs for wisdom, and to leave it to the Holy Spirit to deliver as I’ve had 3 failed deliverances already for this spirit. I am a new convert and thought it was the Holy Spirit I was obeying

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