What is a monitoring spirit?

Among some Charismatic groups, a “monitoring spirit” is thought to be an evil spirit or demon that essentially “monitors” someone’s behavior for the purpose of inflicting hurt or pain into that person’s life. A monitoring spirit is sometimes called a masquerading spirit or a watcher.

According to those who subscribe to this type of doctrine, a monitoring spirit can be sent by another demon, a witch, or anyone with the spiritual know-how. The spirits supposedly monitor what you do, how you do it, what you say, and who your friends are. Their purpose is to gather information to facilitate spiritual attacks, steal blessings, infect with sickness, sabotage success, and generally wreak havoc in the victim’s life.

Tools of monitoring are purported to include mirrors, brooms, tarot cards, and crystal balls. Supposedly, monitoring spirits can possess or take the form of animals such as cats, dogs, black birds, rats, wolves, and insects. Monitoring spirits are said to manipulate the dreams of their victims, causing certain motifs to recur: eating, having sex, being chased by an animal, looking in a mirror, combing one’s hair, seeing one’s shadow, or seeing the moon.

The question, as always, is whether there is biblical support for the idea of monitoring spirits. The answer is, no, there is not. The Bible teaches the reality of the spiritual world, both angelic and demonic, and we can assume that both angels and demons can see us and do “watch” us to a certain extent. But to assume a whole category of demons and assign to them the role of “monitoring” goes far beyond what the Bible teaches.

There are many other “types” of demons, according to some imaginative religious people: python spiritsDelilah spiritsJezebel spiritsmarine spiritsLeviathansKundaliniAhabs, etc. None of these spiritual entities are mentioned in Scripture, and we should avoid those who insist on promulgating an invented menagerie of spiritual enemies. The Bible says that evil is indeed at work in this world and that believers are involved in a battle “against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). But the convoluted demonological mythologies put forward by some Charismatics are unhelpful and have more to do with fantasy and magic than with the Word of God.

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