Chapter Nine

Familiar Spirits Exposed

For many years, I heard very little teaching on familiar spirits. Only glimpses of the subject were given to us as "nuggets" in the middle of someoneís sermon or teaching. A little knowledge is almost as dangerous as none at all. We were never taught the truth, therefore, we were easily led into many false assumptions concerning familiar spirits. 

Word of Faith preachers taught us that familiar spirits were familiar with us. Others taught us that they were secretary spirits keeping track of our mistakes and blunders in order to trap us in our patterns of sin. Spiritual Warfare teachers told us that familiar spirits were ancestral spirits who attached curses to family lineage. 

Is it really true that familiar spirits are evil spirits who are familiar with us? Are they demons who are watching us in order to accumulate information? Are they ancestral spirits keeping data about our families in order to use it against us? Are familiar spirits active through family curses? 

We need some accurate biblical teaching on familiar spirits in order to answer these questions. 

As I started to look at this, I found much more in the Word on this subject than I first suspected. It was not just an obscure topic ó it was immense. The subject of familiar spirits brought freedom to me because as I studied this, I discovered that I had been yielding to spiritual lies and I wasnít even aware of it. 

In the Old Testament, the familiar spirits were the medium spirits behind false prophets among Godís people. And I believe they are still active both within and without the Christian Church of today. They were the supernatural miracle workers sent to deceive. Familiar spirits were the power behind the signs and wonders of the false prophets. They were the source for the spiritual inspiration behind false visions and false prophecies. They were the fountainhead for spiritual experiences which bypassed Godís Word. Today a similar thing is happening which is yielding miracles which are essentially anti-Jesus and pseudo-Jesus manifestations. 

In the Old Testament, the spirits behind the false prophets were called familiar spirits. In the New Testament, the spirits behind the false prophets are simply called seducing spirits, the spirits of error, or the spirits of Antichrist." (1 Timothy 4:1, 1 John 4:1-6) 


The Bible is full of information about these medium spirits. This allows us to study their wiles in the Bible and find out how they work. They may appear under different names; but their works, manifestations, and their deceptive ways are found both in the Old and New Testaments. We must, therefore, be alert and be prepared because Scripture warns us that these deceiving spirits and false manifestations will be found among Godís people in the last days. 

Jesus taught us about the activities of these impostors and showed us how they would mimic the true anointing. 

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24).

How is it possible to lead the very elect away from the truth? An even more important question might be, "How in the world will those who know Christ be misled to follow a false Christ?" If the elect includes leaders, are they going to be deceived as well? 

First of all, we need to be honest. Not everything supernatural that happens in the Church is from God. We need to admit to ourselves that we have experienced and have believed in things which are un-Christ-like. There is deception in the body of Christ today: we need to stop pointing our finger at everyone else. In particular, we need to stop blaming the leaders of other camps. False teachings are not found only in isolated cases outside of our own church affiliations. Deception and false teachings have been sown as tares throughout the entire field of the Church. The flakes are evenly distributed. 

Many prominent leaders, throughout the entire spectrum of the Church, have received unscriptural visions, false prophecies, and extra-biblical experiences. These false experiences are manifestations of the "flesh" working in covenant relationship with familiar spirits. And it is happening within the setting of the Church.

Take Heed

If Jesusí words of warning, found in Matthew chapter twenty-four, indicate to us how deceptive these spirits would be, we had better listen to Him and take heed. 

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24).

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons," (1 Timothy 4:1).

Familiar spirits and their New Testament counterparts are key enemy spirits which must be identified in our battle against deception. 

We canít go on assuming that the only purpose behind familiar spirits is to be familiar with us. We canít go on assuming that familiar spirits are ancestral spirits attaching themselves to family lineage. 

The true meaning of "familiar" is linked more to the Hebrew definition than to the English. The words familiar spirits are translated from the Hebrew word "obe" which is a perverted form of "ab". "Ab" was the Hebrew word for "father" and it was a term of respect and honor. Many famous Bible charactersí names began with this prefix; Abimelech, Abinadab, Absalom, etc. Abrahamís name began with the same prefix "ab". His name was a respected name which meant "father of many" or "father of the faithful."

Baby Talk

Inherent within the word "obe" was the idea of prattling the fatherís name. To "prattle" means to talk like a baby or to speak many empty things. It also means, "babel" and "confusion." It is normal for a baby to speak "baby talk." Itís normal for a little one to not know how to speak their fatherís name clearly or respectfully. 

However, it isnít normal for an adult to act this way. It can seem very disrespectful and even mocking, for an adult to act like a baby and prattle their fatherís name. 

Immature leaders who claim to be anointed by the Spirit of God ó but speak many empty words ó are the "obe" of today. They claim to be sent by the Father, but their empty words expose their true character. They mimic and speak many religious words, but the respect for the Word is notably absent.

"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His SonÖ" (Hebrews 1:1-2).

Jesus is the Word of God made flesh and He is the Word sent from the Father. God, in these last days, has clearly spoken to us by His Son. This is the Fatherís words: we need to respect and understand them. 

False prophets under the influence of familiar spirits or antichrist spirits do not fully preach the Gospel. They preach many other things. They speak many empty spiritual words, spiritual baby talk, nonsense, and endless prattle. Spiritual babies cannot discern what the empty words are really saying. Only believers who will fill themselves with the Fatherís Word will discern these false leaders.

Supernatural Nonsense

Familiar spirits (obe) also means to sound empty like a hollow water-skin or wineskin. The picture this word is painting is not the actual physical sound of words coming from an empty wineskin. The idea portrayed here is: the words themselves are "empty." They are empty barrels. They donít contain the true Gospel. They are hollow meaningless words which result in supernatural nonsense. 

There is a bunch of nonsense being promoted as substance in the Church today, but because of our hunger, we are gullible enough to take in anything which closely resembles, sounds like, or looks spiritual. Sadly, we are ending up with counterfeit sensations, speaking idle words, and experiencing a lot of empty-headed spiritual fantasies. There is a great contrast between what we are advocating as from God when compared to the true character of the Father as revealed through the Son. The Church is being sold a bunch of fluff as substance. We are being taken in by "baby talk" and "prattle." Itís time to grow up. 

The sad thing about this is most of these experiences can hold a tight grip on us because they are associated with or accompanied by very strong sensations. To dismiss many of these manifestations as just an overactive imagination is to deny the existence of spiritual forces. Familiar spirits and antichrist spirits are not something we should belittle. Denial in this game is spiritually deadly.