Spiritual Gifts- Discernment of Spirits
The spiritual gift of “discernment of spirits”, or more accurately “distinguishing between spirits” is of vital importance in an age where lies are dressed as truth and where satan can appear as an angel of light.
If somebody preaches a message or gives a prophecy, how can we tell if they are being led by the Holy Spirit, an unclean spirit or their own human spirit? How can we tell if a new person at church is a real christian or somebody sent to undermine the fellowship and destroy the ministry?
I have seen congregations destroyed by the white-anting of evil spirits in their midst. I have seen ministers driven to distraction by manipulation through unrepentant Jezebels.
This gift of distinguishing of spirits is the key to keeping us safe from the devil’s deceptions. It allows us to welcome genuine christians while avoiding people who are influenced by satan or sent on a mission of destruction.
Some years ago, a couple turned up at our night service. Through their conversation, we determined quickly that they were under the influence of demons. They claimed to have come with the support of ministers in another town, but we were able to establish that this was not the case. They had a bizarre theory about the New Jerusalem which anybody with an ounce of Biblical knowledge would see right through, but had the potential to deceive immature believers. We immediately warned the other pastors in town and the whole church was untied against them.
So how does this gift work? Often it is an impression that something is not right. Our first warning sign with any visitor to church is when they don’t give a full name or where they are from or the church they attend.
When there are strange events happening that don’t add up, or people become ill in strange ways or emotions and relationships are unusually stressed, these are signs that demons are on the prowl.
Sometimes in prayer, a word of knowledge may come that a particular person is under the influence of a particular spirit, or a key piece of information will come that suddenly makes sense of a previously baffling situation.
On one occasion, I was part of a group that was praying for a particular person. After we talked about the situation and were about to go into prayer the person said something that in any other situation would be quite innocent. Instantly I knew in my spirit “That’s it!” and my wife confirmed the same revelation.
As christians we have been given all authority by Christ. When these spirits are revealed, it is very easy (usually) to expel them. Sometimes we may need to get a group of people together and even fasting may be necessary. In any event, the blood of Jesus is our weapon in these times of spiritual warfare.