...and to another workings of powers, to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; and to another kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues. But the one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing separately to each one as He desires. For as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ."
1 Corinthians 12:10
I AM OF THE CONVICTION THAT THIS IS ONE OF THE “GIFTS” THAT WE SHOULD BE VALUING HIGHLY AND COVETING/DESIRING
URGENTLY AT THE MOMENT:..
, this “Gift” will be especially important to the believers during these end times when there will be many false prophets.
Jesus Himself said that many will be led astray - Matthew 24:1-14:
"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, See you not all these things? Truly I say to you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said to them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and shall deceive many. And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kimgdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in various places. All these are the beginnings of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity [see Mark 7:21-23] shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come."
2. Secondly , we should be passionately coveting or earnestly desiring this “Gift” with a great sense of urgency because our human faculties are not enough in this hour. If we don’t have this “Gift” operating in our midst, we will fall prey to all kinds of seducing spirits who will seek to mislead us and deceive us.
Thirdly , we need to be reminded that not all supernatural demonstrations come from God. I am sure that the devil would not want us to know that we can have an advantage over him through the “Gifts” of the Spirit. One of the main reasons that these “Gifts” are available to us is to give us an advantage over the devil and all his works. This particular “Gift” that we are referring to in this teaching called, ‘discerning of spirits’, is therefore especially useful, because:
• The devil is passionately hateful.
• He is the agent of hurtful practices, and he kills and lies. See John 8:44 - "... He was a murderer from the beginning, and lived not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
• The major tool in his arsenal is that of deception.
• Don’t be fooled as he can appear as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:3,14): "but I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled [greatly deceived] Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted away from the simplicity that is in Christ. ... And no wonder; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
As we come now to look at this particular “Gift” I want to remind you again that this is not about human skills that we have simply learnt along the way in the area of discernment. We are not talking about human skill here, but a Holy Spirit “Gift” - that which is given in what I call a ‘break-in moment’ to give us advantage over that which could possibly lead us astray.
I am sure that there will be those who may read this script and say; ‘well, he is just focusing on the devil.’ I am a realist. Nobody can read the Bible from the beginning to the end and not come to the conclusion that there have always been opponents from the realms of darkness seeking to devour whomever they could. Peter identifies this opponent in 1 Peter 5:8, calling us to resist him.
There is no fictional book script or film ever written or directed that is greater than the stories throughout the Bible. Our God is always the victor over a vast domain of satanic darkness and deception, but he now enforces His victories through His redeemed kingdom people. We are not to be a kingdom in decline or in defeat. We are the head and not the tail - one of the mighty blessings promised by God to those who will listen hard to His voice (Deuteronomy 28:13). We are warned in Ephesians 6:10 to stand strong in the strength of the Lord’s might….putting on the whole amour of God…standing against the principalities and powers, and wickedness etc. To say that there is no enemy or no battle is to be a spiritual pacifist.
WHAT IT IS NOT:
1. IT IS NOT SUSPICION
The “Gift” of discerning of spirits is not simply being suspicious of others. Suspicion is a natural reaction based upon past hurts, not a spiritual gift.
2. IT IS NOT THE GIFT OF CRITICISM
This “Gift” is not the discerning of, or the gift of discovering, people’s faults, but of spirits. It is not an excuse to walk around in an attitude of criticism of everyone and everything.
3. IT IS NOT CALLED THE GIFT OF DISCERNMENT
This “Gift” is not simply the ability to discern things. Anyone can discern different colours, shapes and sizes of things.
It is the “Gift” of discerning OF SPIRITS - a supernatural “Gift” from Holy Spirit to discern spirits and spiritual activity.
4. SPIRITISM OR SPIRITUALISTS DO NOT OPERATE THIS GIFT
Spiritism is condemned in the Scriptures. Spirits of our dead relatives are not floating around in our houses or in the air outside. They are either with Jesus, or else they have gone to hell. Evil spirits are quite capable of impersonating dead people - they can watch human lives on this planet in detail. As spiritism and demon-possessed people increase in number, we need the gift of discerning of spirits more than ever, because people can be ‘sucked into’ what seems sensational and plausible.
WHAT IT IS:
Discerning of spirits is God's Spirit informing a Spirit-filled Christian, which type of spirit is being manifested, often through what people are saying, doing or being -
• It is a supernatural look into the spiritual world and the natural world, telling us when spirits are at work either in a person or in the environment around us.
This “Gift” can show the kinds of spirits which are working in people today, such as unclean spirits, deaf and dumb spirits, demonic spirits, oppressing spirits, and even if it is the Holy Spirit at work.
This “Gift” is a must for all who are used of God in the following types of ministry:
• We operate in darkness.
• We can play guessing games. Without the true “Gift” from Holy Spirit, those who seek to minister deliverance are simply left guessing at whether or not a demonic spirit is actually present and, if so, what type of demonic spirit it is. This “Gift” is also a requirement for all those who operate in a prophetic ministry, for without it they would not be able to sit by and judge the prophecies of others as they are called to do. 1 Corinthians 14:29 says, "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge."
• We can be derailed from our God-given purpose/ministry (Matthew 16:21-23).
This “Gift” is given to keep the believers and the churches we attend, safe from demonic and humanistic presence and practices invading them.
1. PAUL AND A CERTAIN SLAVE GIRL - Acts 16:16-18
A certain slave girl, possessed with a spirit of divination, followed Paul and Silas saying that they were servants of the most High God. What she was saying was true, but Paul knew by the Holy Spirit that there was a familiar spirit involved. Instead of making her one of the members of the church, Paul cast the demon out of her. I want you to notice that Paul didn't take her into a special deliverance service and ask her all about her history; he just had a gift of discerning of spirits from the Holy Spirit to know that she had a demon and he cast it out of her that same moment.
• How simple it is when we do it God’s way!!!
2. PAUL AND A MAN CALLED BAR-JESUS - Acts 13:6-10
A guy called Bar-jesus sought to turn away a man called Sergius Paulus from the faith. Listen what Paul did in verse 9:
"Then Paul, FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, looked intently at him and said, O full of all deceit and fraud, you child of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?"
It is important to note that Paul first discerned by the “Gift” of ‘discerning of spirits’ that this was an evil spirit before he spoke.
3. PETER AND SIMON THE SORCERER - Acts 8:23
Philip the evangelist let this man be baptised without discerning the evil spirit that was still in the man. But when Peter started to pray for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit, he discerned the spirit in Simon and said, "For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
Simon had believed with his mind, was baptised and converted by Philip, but his heart was not right with God.
4. JESUS AND PETER - Matthew 16:21-23
When Jesus was foretelling to his disciples the path of death and resurrection that was before Him, Peter reacted from what seemed to be a natural and human concern. However, Jesus discerned that Satan was influencing Peter in an attempt to derail Jesus from the path that God had laid before Him. In rebuking Peter, Jesus directly identified and spoke to Satan who was influencing Peter.
I THINK THAT THE LESSON HERE IS:..
If more of us had the gift of discerning of spirits in our churches, there would be a lot fewer churches which have people with perverse spirits and hearts full of wickedness. They would have to change their hearts as well as their minds if they wanted to hang around the church.
EVIL SPIRITS CAN STOP AND HINDER THINGS LIKE:..
1. Healings taking place (Many examples in my own ministry)
2. Finances being released (A spirit of grief over the church)
3. Breakthrough coming to our churches and cities.
4. They can veil our mind, making us feel hopeless, and unbelieving.
5. They operate like parasites (in farm animals parasites burrow in, cause sickness and impede the growth process.)
I WANT TO REVEAL TO YOU SOMETHING SO IMPORTANT TODAY:
• I got a word given to me last week saying that God wanted to give to me a KEY to the freedom of many.
• It also said that it was a key to the releasing of the people into freedom.
WELL, OF COURSE, YOU HAVE TO REALLY PRAY ON THESE THINGS:..
In the light of this week’s teaching, I did ~
• I coveted the “Gift” of discerning of spirits
I FELT GREATLY CHALLENGED BY WHAT GOD BEGAN TO UNFOLD TO ME:..
• I feel today that God wants me to reveal what He showed me.
• I began to see by the “Gift” of Holy Spirit and through some Scriptures some things that confirmed that word.
• I am fully aware that some may be irritated by what I say … but that is not my motive (I hope rather to challenge).
THE DEVIL’S TOOL IS THAT OF DECEPTION!
ONE OF THE MOST WICKED SPIRITS PREVALENT IN THE WORLD TODAY IS ONE CALLED DECEPTION. IT UNDERLIES SO MANY THINGS:
The devil has always used this tool and still does.
Firstly let’s look at some of the Scriptures:
• Revelation 12:9-
• 2 Corinthians 11:3
• Matthew 24:4 & 11
• Isaiah 26:13
• Isaiah 47:10. This spirit sits in the heavenlies, boasting that no one sees it.
• Isaiah 27 ~ God gave me this Scripture to confirm to me. Please note the repeat of the word serpent here.
Here the serpent is also identified as satan and the devil of old. Note what he does: “Deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).
• Devil means: slanderer
• Satan means: adversary
• He also called: the accuser
• Note what his tools are: deception!
HOW IS DECEPTION AT WORK TODAY?
I WANT TO SHOW YOU SOME OF THE AREAS THIS SPIRIT IS AT WORK TODAY:
I want to list some. Firstly, let me emphatically say this:..
• I am not anti-Semitic
• I am not anti-Israel
• I am not anti- the Church
• I am a redeemed sinner saved by grace who found all this reality in One Person alone, that of Jesus Christ my Lord.
• In the light of the Scriptures you will have to decide whether I am someone bringing a timely warning, or just someone ‘blowing his own trumpet.’
I FEEL THE BURDEN TO CARRY THIS MESSAGE LIKE A WATCHMAN:
1. There is a huge contention to rob us of our freedom in Christ, i.e. that which came to us by simple faith in His amazing grace. The contention is to make us feel that we have to do more. The devil is always telling people that grace is not enough. Much of Galatians and Ephesians was written to counter this - especially Ephesians 2:8-9: "for by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
2. There is also a huge contention to get us away from the simplicity of Christ in us, and cause us to think that there are other ‘add-on’s’ to make us more spiritual (2 Corinthians 11:3-).
3. In Genesis 3, we see the serpent talking Adam and Eve out of what God had talked them into. In the beginning and now, God alone was to be their all-sufficiency, but the serpent pushed them to believe that God was holding out on them and caused them to believe a lie, doubt God and cause them to look for more. Paul warned the Corinthians about this evil intention of the serpent.
4. God wants to warn people of the subtlety of the evil one who seeks to have Christians bowing down to other masters:
Isaiah 26:13 ~ “Other masters beside Me have you had.” The devil’s tactic is to have us revert back to Old Covenant religious rituals.
• Things under the law that pull us away into bondage.
• Types instead of realities.
• Places/experiences that take the place of The Person of Christ.
People will go all over the world to have an experience that they erect as a Monument, and then propagate that this is the only way and the only place that people can meet with God. I recently met a man at the airport. I started up the conversation about Christ, but found that the conversation from him quickly headed in the direction of him wanting to impress me by the fact that he had been to Israel many times. Three Passovers and Feasts of Tabernacles, was his boast. May I say I didn’t feel impressed by such, I just wanted know how much he loved Jesus. Of course, I would like to go to Israel as well but, if I do, such a visit will not alter who I am and what I have. It will not make me any more spiritual. If Christ is not the Centre of who I am, then I have missed the mark. Going somewhere will not make it. Going to Someone will!!
5. Jesus (our Saviour) said that the devil comes only to steal and kill (John 10:10).
The serpent is always telling people to do more. ‘You haven’t done enough,’ or ‘You have to add more by your works so that you can become really spiritual.’
He will rob our lives by having us bow down to fears and failures. He does not mind us being consumed in another programme. Shadows of the real thing are fine with the serpent. The devil hopes people will try to add to the Gospel so it loses its power. He doesn’t mind if you go half-way around the world to feel more spiritual. Some pride themselves on elite experiences and end up bowing down to them like an idol. ‘Maybe another Passover’ is the devil’s reasoning. ‘Maybe even circumcision will help?’ If the devil cannot keep us away, he will push us too far and get us caught up in rituals.
• Satan does not mind how religious we are!
6. My friends, Jesus taught that spirituality is not found in a place, it is about a Person, and found in Him alone.
John 4:21-24 "... The hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship Him in spirit and truth.”
7. Even back in the day of the great prophet Isaiah, he found that another religious thing had taken the place of the prominence of Almighty God. Isaiah 6 ~ Uzziah was a religious self-seeking man who had taken the focus away from pure devotion to the Lord Himself. This man had become consumed in his own egotistical efforts.
• He had his own religion going on!
Today, other things have taken the place of the uniqueness of Christ alone. Friends: (They have to die)! (God will let them die)!
• He is bringing His people back to Himself.
• He is jealous for His own glory.
WHY IS THE BOOK OF GALATIANS SUCH A KEY BOOK?
Because it addresses so many key issues and warns us of the things that can deceive us and bind us to traditions and religion:
1. You have to watch the subtlety of another gospel
2. Effort verses grace
3. Works verses the Spirit
4. Life verses death
5. Gifts verses empty religion
6. Shadows verses realities
7. Types challenging realities
MY SUMMARY IS BRIEFER THAN PAUL’S PLEADING, BUT PRESENTS TRUTHS WORTHY TO BE REPEATED:Just about everything that Paul addressed here is a challenge against some form of deception having crept in to lead the believers astray. It is not that we should be paranoid about being deceived, but aware of the truth.
• It does not take much to get us away from the ‘Simplicity of Christ’!
STORY: I read a true story that really has a profound truth to it. A plane took off on an international flight to another country. After having been in the air an hour or so, there was a radio break-in to the cockpit to the pilot and navigational crew saying: ‘Identify yourselves.’ They quickly responded by saying this: ‘we are flight number…on route to, quickly naming the destination of the country.’ The reply comes back,’ you are flying over foreign soil and we demand that you leave immediately. The navigator quickly looked at the co-ordinates that he had given at the beginning of the flight only to discover that he had been one degree out.
Of course the lesson of the story is this; you only have to have made a small miscalculation, and after a little time, you can be a long way off course. One degree at the beginning may seem so small, but after a few thousand kilometers will equate to being a long way off course!
Paul was trying to warn these Galatians that some of the things that they had got tangled up with were taking them a long way off course.
1. Galatians Chapter 1:6 - You are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to another gospel.
2. ch. 1:13 - He warned them about the power of Judaism and its destructive motive to destroy simple faith in Christ.
3. ch.1:14 - He warned about the drive of tradition that seeks to rob and smother the spontaneity of the Spirit in our lives.
4. ch. 2:4 - He exposed and warned others about those who came to spy out their liberty, but their motive were to bring them into bondage.
5. ch. 2:11 - Paul warned about returning to the law and works.
6. ch. 3:1 - He told them that they were foolish. (Harsh words)
7. ch. 3:1 - He told them that they had become bewitched. (I am sure that would stun some of us today.)
8. ch. 3:3 - He told them about the dangers of having begun in the Spirit, but then trying to be made perfect by the flesh.
9. ch. 3:13 - He said that Christ alone has redeemed us from the curse of the law, nothing else and no one else.
10. ch. 3:26 - He said that we are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
11. ch. 3:28 - That there is neither Jew nor Greek…we are all one in Christ.
12. ch. 4:10 - He spoke of his fears of the people observing days and months and season and years.
13. ch. 4:21 - He spoke of the 2 covenants and the 2 sons.
How the “New” now cancels out the “Old”! It is now the New Covenant and how the true heirs of Christ are free and should not go back to yokes of slavery.
14. ch. 4:28 - He said that we are now children of promise.
15. ch. 4:31 - Not children of the bondwoman but the free.
16. ch. 5:1 - He told them to stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage.
17. ch. 6:14 - Paul’s boast was in a ‘finished work’ at a place called Calvary where Christ was crucified and all was done on his (Paul’s) behalf.
18. ch. 6:15 - Our only boast can ever be: “A NEW CREATION”
• Galatians 6:11-18
• Philippians 3:1-
TAKE HEED MY FRIENDS:
• The serpent wants to talk us out of what God has talked us into!
• Ask the Lord to deliver us from the evils of deception. AMEN!
My Father's House
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