Thank you, Angela for your most excellent question because there is need of discernment and there is a possibility of being influenced by an evil spirit. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, Paul acknowledges that some spirits are deceitful spirits (demons); “The Spirit has explicitly said that during the last times some will desert the faith and pay attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines that come from devils” (1Tim 4:1).
On the other hand there are those who suggest that any and all apparitions are false. And of course this is not true because the Bible tells us to test the Spirits. If all spirits were false there would be no need to test the spirits. If all spirits were from God there would no need to test the Spirit. So we do not presume that all spirits are good or evil. “My dear friends, not every spirit is to be trusted, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets are at large in the world” (1Jn 4:1).
And of course this begs the question, how do we know whether a spirit is good or evil? Actually the Bible gives us some clues. The author of 1 John tells us, “This is the proof of the spirit of God: any spirit which acknowledges Jesus Christ, come in human nature, is from God, and no spirit which fails to acknowledge Jesus is from God; it is the spirit of Antichrist, whose coming you have heard of; he is already at large in the world" (1 Jn 4:2-3). In the specific apparition that we are talking about (Medjugorje), Mary greets the people with, “Praise be Jesus” and so Jesus is acknowledged. If an apparition didn’t acknowledge Jesus as God and lead people into the occult or New Age, away from the Church, it is the spirit of the Antichrist.
Jesus tells us you will know them by their fruits, “I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits. 'It is not anyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:20-21). When John the Baptist sent his disciples to find out if He is the one to come, Jesus said this; “Go back and tell John what you hear and see; the blind see again, and the lame walk, those suffering from virulent skin-diseases are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life and the good news is proclaimed to the poor and blessed is anyone who does not find me a cause of falling” (Mt 11:4-6). These were not counterfeit healings; these were real healings and Jesus used it as evidence that He was the one.
There are those that disagree with what has happened in Medjugorje because they allege Satan can produce counterfeit miracles. Satan may be great at the counterfeit, but there is not any instance in Scripture where Satan did real healings. The healings Medjugorje are real. Still others will speak of some bad example by one of the visionaries. This has been going on for over 30 years; there are five visionaries that see Mary. I can’t imagine anyone living in the past 30 years who hasn’t had some less than impeccable behavior. It is called sin and impeccability or the lack of it does not prove or disprove an apparition.
Just because the allegation is made that someone's power is of Satan does not necessarily make it so. Remember, Jesus was accused of operating, "By the prince of demons" (Mk. 3:22). And so I may not like it that someone tries to associate legitimate appearances of Mary with evil spirits; however, I should not be surprised either. After all, Jesus said, "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more those of his household!" (Mt. 10:25), and I believe Mary would qualify as being of the household of Jesus.
Mary comes in Medjugorje witnessing to Jesus telling us to pray and fast and much more. There are many healings and millions of people have experienced conversion there. You can wait till the Church approves it and then believe, or you can believe now. I personally think it is foolish to wait because if Jesus is sending His mother Mary to tell us to come back to Him, who are we to ignore her call? Angela, thanks again for your excellent question?
- "These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues, they will pick up snakes in their hands and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover." (Mark 16:17-20)