Friday, 15 September 2017

Discerning Good and Evil

Scripture:  Genesis 2 v 16 - 17:  "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
Hebrews 5 v 14:  "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

From the very beginning our Creator commanded the first humans to beware of the knowledge of good and evil.  The combination of the two is a lethal mix for us.  That those original beings broke that commandment and opened a Pandora's Box of evil and death that has continued and intensified for 6000 years.

Only the sinless Son of God could deal with it effectively by the extreme of laying down His own life to free us from eternal separation from God.  We are spirit beings who have a soul and body.  At the Cross every human being is given the potential to be saved through being born again.

It is not automatic, you must understand conviction of sin and repent, change your mind about enjoying sinful pleasures, and proclaim Jesus as Lord of your life.  There is no set prayer in the Bible, but it is a helpful guide to follow.  Your salvation is completed by baptism in water.  You can then be baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, and be a witness for Him.

Along the way you need to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2 v 12 - 13: "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
 13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

Before you met Jesus you collected spiritual baggage that blinded you to the truth of the gospel.  Drugs, alcohol, forbidden sex, lies, false religion, rebellion, pride, etc which are now forgiven by God,  but are still present in our nature.  You are still vulnerable to temptation until you deal with the memories of past hurts that led you to escape into drugs or alcohol.

You need to discern between good and evil in your own life before you can help others to know Jesus.  In Hebrews it states that when you are spiritually mature you will even be able to discern through your physical senses.  Your 'nose for trouble' can be enhanced into a powerful tool for discerning an evil spirit.  

Certain diseases give off a distinctive odour that many good doctors recognize.  Evil spirits have distinctive smells too.  Humans have pheromones, or signature smells too.  Dogs use this sense to help police airports for banned substances.  A mature believer will have a gift from the Holy Spirit to discern good and evil.

You discern good when you can discern another believer through the contact of your spirit with theirs.  You can immediately determine that the other person is in the light of Jesus by an inward witness.  A knowing, an insight and a feeling of trust.  The Spirit of Jesus within you both has made a connection and you will enjoy sweet fellowship together.  When Jesus is present with you, you can sometimes smell a beautiful rose called the Rose of Sharon.

You discern an evil presence when your senses are alerted by the Holy Spirit to feel, see, hear, smell or taste something He wants you to deal with immediately.  Your obedience can save lives, prevent disasters and open people's eyes to Jesus.  When you walk in the Spirit for many years, these discernments become as natural as breathing.

Over the years I have come across a number of people who were discerning through their senses but never knew what it actually meant.  To some who read this today and connect the dots, ask Jesus to show you the deeper meaning and pray accordingly.  It may be for yourself, your family or complete strangers that you are praying, but be obedient to Him no matter what.

When the Apostle John was receiving revelations from Jesus he had a taste of honey in His mouth which made his belly bitter.  A similar thing happened to Ezekiel the prophet in the Old Testament.  
Revelation 10 v 10:  "And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter."
Ezekiel 3 v 3 - 4: "And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
 4  And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them."

So if you are filled with the Holy Spirit expect Him to open your understanding and use His revelation gifts to bring help to others.  It is a great honour and very rewarding.

Prayer:  Father God, You have equipped us to live and walk as Jesus did.  Even as Moses did when You rained down manna for the Israelites in the Wilderness, and for Jesus when You filled the baskets with bread and fish to feed the 5000.  Nothing is too difficult for You!  Please Father open us up to receive the ability to discern between good and evil;  and to discern true from false so we can be in safety, as well as helping others.  In Jesus'  name. Amen.