Friday, 26 April 2013

The Gift of Discernment

Scriptures: 1Corinthians 12 v 10; Mark 5; Hebrews 5 v 14. 

The gift of discernment of spirits of good and evil is often thought of as a word of knowledge, another gift of the Holy Spirit. Discovering for the first time that spirit beings can oppress, suppress or in extreme cases, indwell, people can be rather unnerving. But when you realize the agenda of the unseen enemy, Satan, to kill, maim and destroy God's creation, it soon becomes realistic to believe that spirits affect our lives.

God is a Spirit and we are created in His image and likeness, therefore we are spirit beings with a soul and fleshly body. Satan and his demons are spirit beings without souls and bodies. They need a body of a human or animal to express their nature and confuse and hurt mankind.

We have learnt that in the Six Days we were held hostage for ransom we were tormented by these spirits. They continue their evil torments against us here on Earth.

In Genesis the devil manifested through the serpent to bring sin into the world. The first child born, Cain, became the first murderer as the spirit of murder oppressed him and he slew his brother Abel.

In Exodus an evil spirit possessed Pharoah to kill all male babies to try to prevent God's Deliverer, Moses, from surviving to lead the Hebrew slaves to Israel. That backfired on Pharoah.

In the Book of Samuel, Saul was possessed with an evil spirit that wanted to kill David before he could become king. David would play on his harp to calm Saul and the spirit would depart from him.

In the Gospels, Jesus prayed daily for those with evil spirits to be set free of lunacy, fever, epilepsy, deaf and dumb spirits, blind spirits etc. Seventy percent of His ministry was spent in healing and deliverance from evil spirits. He anointed His disciples to cast out spirits and heal the sick.

After His Ascension He sent the Holy Spirit to Earth to give us gifts to continue this ministry.

In Mark 5 Jesus discerned that the Gadarene lunatic was possessed with a demon called  Legion. A Roman Legion consists of 6000 men. This demon was a ruling spirit with 6000 demons under his control. Jesus had a conversation with Legion the demon who said they did not want to leave that place. Jesus sent them into a herd of pigs who jumped into the sea. The Gadarene man was instantly free and in his right mind.

In Acts 19 v 19 the sons of Sceva, an exorcist, tried to cast a demon out of a possessed man. The demon knew Jesus, and Paul but said to these 7 Who are you? And he leapt on them and they ran naked and wounded out of the house. So you need to believe in Jesus and have the gift of the Holy Spirit to help people get free.

When you properly discern spirits you can sometimes smell a horrible odour where there is no source for it; sometimes you hear a demon speaking through someone in a strange voice; sometimes you get a strange metallic taste in your mouth, or you actually see a demon in someone's eyes.

If you have visited a psychic or fortuneteller an evil spirit will be sent to put her predictions into being. It will turn sceptics into believers. You would need to be loosed from her words which bring bondage. Acts 16 v 16.

Serial offenders of various awful crimes are controlled by demons. People who are involved in witchcraft and satanism open themselves up to demonic control and get involved in evil practices forbidden in the Bible.

False prophets and teachers deceive those who are seeking to know Jesus with false revelations which the Lord says in Deuteronomy 13 will cause them to be put to death. The numbers of people being led astray is increasing and our only hope of surviving is to stay as close to Jesus as possible.

Be in tune with the Holy Spirit and know your Bible thoroughly to be able to spot false doctrines and teaching. False experiences are based on lies which will cause those relating them to be rejected on the Day of Judgment.

Trust Jesus to answer when you ask about falseness in the Church. He is the way the truth and the life. Use the gift of discernment wisely and be a blessed tool in the Hand of Jesus.

Prayer: Father God please raise up helpers in the Body of Christ filled with the Holy Spirit and able to discern spirits of good and evil. Spirits of good are discerned in the hearts of believers. Spirits of evil are in the perverse and ungodly people. Raise up the workers in Jesus' name. Amen.