I’ve heard that some people can have a sort of “recruiting spirit”, where they are getting people saved; but they are led by the devil. I’m not sure where this is in scripture (I haven’t studied it out), so I wondered if it is truly possible for someone who’s winning people for the Lord to be working for the devil.
My short answer to this is no, someone winning people for the Lord is not working for the devil. However, that doesn’t mean that someone winning people to the Lord is never working for the devil either.
Let’s look at an often misunderstood scripture. 1 Corinthians 12:3 says, “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” I once heard a minister say that someone who was accusing him of being inspired by the devil once came to him demanding, “Say Jesus is Lord!” They we’re trying to prove this scripture out thinking that it would be impossible for him to say it if He was indeed acting inspired by the devil. To my amusement he said to them, “No, I won’t say it!” Now, let me put this in a little context. The people were trying to trap him with their misunderstanding of the Scripture and he wasn’t playing their game. I commend him for that. Certainly I have heard this minister declare over and and over the lordship of Jesus.
What this scripture is really relating is the idea that the words a person uses, if inspired by the Holy Spirit, will always truly point to Jesus and His teachings. If they don’t they are not inspired. It’s actually the only way sometimes we can spot false teaching or bad doctrine. If it doesn’t line up with the Word (Jesus is the Word), then it can’t be Spirit inspired. I once had a man tell me confidently that the Holy Spirit told him to stop going to any church and just seek Him on his own. He was excited but he was also completely deceived! How do I know? It completely goes against the principles of the Word.
Wait! Did Jesus ever say you have to go to church? Maybe not that specifically but the whole of scripture speaks to being “connected” to the Body. If you don’t go to church you aren’t serving your brothers and sisters in the Lord. God didn’t constantly bring His people together so they would be separate, and the miracles of the early church were found in the coming together of the Body.
As to this man, he was and I’m sure is a brother in Christ. I have no doubt he loves God and has a certain desire to follow him. However, in this case he was following the unction of an evil spirit, that was not exalting Christ! God gave humanity local churches and He gave them pastors. Without either, you simply cannot flourish in the Lord. You may think that is a bold claim but the truth is, that is God’s design not mine. I don’t always like it either, but I get my thinking in line because God does.
So to answer this question, I don’t think that someone inspired of the devil will be winning souls for Jesus. However people trying to win people for Jesus may do things that are inspired of the devil. An example of this is people that focus on judgement and hell never bringing the love of Christ into the picture. Yes it’s important to tell people the truth, but often times starting with you’re going to hell is not a great way to get someone to listen to you. I’m not saying it could never be, I’m just saying that if that’s the method you use you better be sure it’s God!
When I was on a mission trip in Europe, I heard in my spirit, “These people will not be won without relationship.” How true that statement is! Honestly, that applies everywhere you go. I am not saying there is no place for street preachers, I am saying that relationship is God’s desire. Some will be won that way but most will not. Romans 2:4 tells us, “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” Let me ask you, how many people have you ever seen won to a side of anything through arguing and yelling?
If you read about the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5 you will see what’s lacking is negativity, anger, and the ability to win an argument. Furthermore, the Bible doesn’t tell us to condemn people in our speech but that, “…everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” (James 1:19) We are called to preach the good news to the world, that Jesus came to save people because God loved them. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict of sin (John 16:8). That is not to say that a pastor or minister should not teach on sin, they should, but the purpose is to help. We cannot, as good Christians, be motivated by sin. Our motivation always has to be love!
In closing, there certainly can be “recruiting spirits” at work in people. I believe that the principle is solidly founded in scripture. The idea that they are winning people for Jesus I don’t think is scriptural at all. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 12:25-26, “And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them,’ Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?’” This was in reference to the people of accusing Him of exactly that.