Discernment In The Midst Of Deception
Biblical Discernment is important for discernment of spirits especially in a deliverance ministry especially in these “Last Days”
Here are some of the keys to discernment that God has shown the body of Christ through His Word
- Godly Discernment. Know your HOLY GOD intimately. (When you have seen His glory, His holiness and His love – by drawing close to Him in prayer – then you can usually see through any “counterfeits” because you know the ‘real thing’ so well).
- The Word of God Biblical Discernment – Know your Bible. It is very important to be able to spot teachings that are either extra-biblical or directly opposed to what the Scriptures teach. However, it is important to remember that the Scribes and Pharisees were extremely learned in the Scriptures and yet they missed the very Messiah that was prophesied! So knowing the Bible is important – especially for doctrinal issues – but we need to be able to “discern the spirits” also.
- Truth Discernment. Be a “lover of truth”. This is very crucial. Are you someone who will actually stand up for TRUTH – even against the crowd? Or do you remain silent even when you feel something is very wrong?
- Purity of heart and Humility. Many deceptions only appeal to us because there is something inside us that “wants” to believe them. They are seductive because of darkness and wrong motives in our own lives. We must search our hearts and root these out.
- Spiritual Discernment – The ‘inner witness’ of the Holy Spirit. We must learn to NEVER over-ride this “still small voice”, as it will save us from deception again and again. Ask God for Biblical Discernment.
Many Christians get deceived especially since we are told in Church “Touch not the Lord’s anointed”, which makes Christians more gullible. The Bible says to test the spirits and warns very strongly that the Last Days there will be a time of seducing spirits. Many Christians throw out the God given Biblical Discernment.
Christians have an advantage over the world since we are full of the spirit of the Lord called “inner witness” of the Holy Spirit and the “still small voice” of the Lord speaking to us. We should not ignore those checks or that inner witness.
Many Christian override that inner bell or “inner witness” or “still small voice” telling them that something is wrong. We need to discern according to scripture. Hebrews 5:12-14
“For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need againthat some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles ofGod; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food.For everyone that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness;for he is a babe.
But solid food is for fullgrown men, even those who by reason
of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil”
(Heb.5:12-14).After a reasonable period of time has passed, we should have grown to be able topartake of the meat of God’s word. He went on to say such individuals should be
able to “discern good and evil,” seeing they have had their senses
exercised by the continual use of God’s word. If we will continually use God’s
word, we will develop the ability to discern between good and evil.
When trying to decide if something is right or wrong, first ask yourself these questions: Does it destroy my identity as a Christian by causing me to be regarded as of the world? Does it classify me with Satan’s realm of sin instead of Christ and the church? God has always required His people to maintain a separation from Satan’s realm.
The Bible is very clear that the Last Days are a time of such widespread deception that it would “deceive if possible the very elect”. It also shows that much of this deception will arise from WITHIN the church – luring believers with “itching ears”. Do we see evidence of this kind of thing taking place today?
Another area is spiritual power and manifestations. People see spiritual power operating and assume that it “must be God”. But
this is a very dangerous assumption to make in these days. Not all manifestations of the spirit comes from God. Even the devil can heal the sick.
Many Christians will go down to the front to have something imparted to them fire, which can be very angerous. The impartation business has very flimsy backing in scripture. Who knows what these preachers are imparting today! We saw an example from the Todd Bentley so called revival. Many came back tormented with sexual demons through impartation of strange fire.
Today is a time “Last Days” the scriptures talks about strong deceptions or “powerful delusions”. Lets be wise and be aware what is happening around us. The enemy has targeted you to take you down in the last days. Don’t be a has hap in these last days. We have been given discernment to discern the times and discern what is going on around us especially in meetings.
Do not ignore the alarm bells and jump right into something that is not of God. Because your preacher says it is ok, does not make it right. Also don’t fall into the “peer pressure” as well. These ingredients can be lasting consequences you don’t want.
Must of the information above is from Andrew Strom
By: Traci Morin, Deliverance Minister, Missionary, Public Speaker
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Growing in Discernment
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24)
Godly discernment is the divine ability to rightly judge what is going on. In its broadest sense, discernment is closely related to wisdom as an expression of the spirit of God. By this Spirit, we can function in the manner that Jesus did: “He [did] not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears” (Isa. 11:2-3).
As believers, we should always seek after wisdom. What’s more, as James 1:5 and 6 remind us, we can be sure we’ll receive it when we ask in faith!
Discernment grows as we read and study God’s Word, practice holy living as God desires, pray and ask, and gain experience.1
A more specific form of discernment, discerning of spirits, is a spiritual gift imparted by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:10). It is also closely related to wisdom, but it is somewhat different in that it involves specific knowledge given supernaturally. Because of this, the gift of discernment is sometimes considered a special expression of the word of knowledge.
Distinguishing the Source
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God…” (1 John 4:1)
Discerning of spirits involves distinguishing between the three possible sources of spiritual motivation and activity. The three areas of spirit activity are:
– The Spirit of God: Most important is being able to discern the activity of the Holy Spirit; He will also give the ability to recognize the activity and presence of angels.2
-The spirit of man: Discerning the spirit of man involves perceiving the true motivation or intent behind a person’s words or actions. Peter, for example, determined that Simon’s heart was not right in asking for authority to lay hands on individuals to impart the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17-24).
– The spirit of Satan: Discerning the spirit of Satan or demons includes identifying when someone has a demonic problem, or determining when something is from Satan rather than God.
Jesus demonstrated this type of discernment when He rebuked Peter by saying, “Get behind Me, Satan.
” He rightly determined that Peter’s declaration came from Satan and was contrary to God’s purpose (Matt. 16:22-23).
Identifying The Purposes
Of course, God would not give us the spiritual gift of discernment for no reason. The major reasons are:
– To test the genuineness of the spirits behind spirit manifestation. This is the most primary application—to know those who acknowledge and confess Christ and to have knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s movement so as to cooperate with Him.3
– To enable deliverance from demonic spirits. Jesus did this often, as in Mark 9:25, when He rebuked the deaf and dumb spirit.
I was once part of a small group of women who met for fellowship and prayer. At the end of one meeting, a woman laid hands on another woman who had been ill for some time with a lingering cough. The sick woman began feeling better right away, but oddly enough, the woman who had prayed for her began feeling poorly shortly after.
I had not been present at this meeting, but after being contacted by the second woman and learning she was about to be hospitalized with bronchitis, I discerned that a spirit manifesting as sickness had passed from the first woman to her. I met with her, read several scriptures, cast out the spirit, and she was healed immediately! (Don’t let this make you afraid to pray for the sick—this was extremely unusual!)More recently, the Lord’s been giving me dreams revealing regional spirits as we prepare for a state prayer journey (we’re from Montana). One, for instance, involved the era of cattle rustling, which released a spirit of robbery!
– To discern the presence of angels or demons at a service or occasion of ministry. In the New Testament, Paul very effectively determined the source of the slave girl’s words—on the surface, it seemed of God, but it was actually demonic and causing great disruption in their midst (Acts 16:16-18).
– To expose deceivers/deception and error. This will become increasingly essential as we move toward the end of the age.4
Cultivating The Gift
“But solid food belongs to those who are of full age… who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:14)
The Lord is bringing new levels of discernment to His people—discernment is a weapon you can shoot and use often. If you desire to grow in the gift of discernment:
– Ask! We have a good heavenly Father who gives good gifts.
– Determine to fellowship with believers who can help guide you as you gain experience.
– Seek after wisdom.
– Keep in mind that, all gifts related to the prophetic, the purpose of discernment is to bring life and to build up the body of Christ—not to tear down. We must be cognizant, not critical—Spirit-led, not suspicious.
A season of accelerated harvest is about to begin, just as the people of God are about to reach the age of maturity. Using godly discernment, we will be able to unmask deception as well as recognize the presence of angels in order to cooperate with them to bring in the harvest!
For further study:
See also 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet 1:13-19; Matt. 7:7-11.
John 1:32-34; Matt. 4:11
1 Cor. 12:3; John 3:8
Matt. 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; 1 Tim. 4:1-2
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What Is Spiritual Discernment? A Bible Study
What does it mean to have spiritual discernment? How can we gain in our understanding and spiritually discern truth from error?
King Solomon’s Gift of Discernment
First Kings 3:8-12: “And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude.
Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.
And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none you has been before you and none you shall arise after you.”
When Solomon became king he didn’t ask for wealth or power but for wisdom and with the wisdom God gave him he had great discernment.
The principle here is that God is the one who gives biblical discernment and we can have discernment through the working of the Holy Spirit for the Spirit of God gives us wisdom that is from God and we can also have discernment from reading the Word of God as we will read about later.
Solomon and Christians today must strive daily to discern between what is evil and what is good because today what is evil is now thought to be good and what used to be good is now thought of as evil.
The worldly wisdom in contrary to godly wisdom so when a person is born again they have access to the Holy Spirit’s power of discernment and the Spirit frequently speaks to us in our hearts to say this is right and this is wrong but we must be sensitive to the Spirit’s prompting and conviction of sin but if we are living in a state of sin and particularly unconfessed sin, we grieve the Holy Spirit and the Spirit cannot speak to our conscience’s quite so easily.
The Bible Gives Discernment
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
To be able to discern between right and wrong, especially when there are grey areas about which we are not sure, daily intake of the Word of God helps us to identify what is the will of God and what is contrary to that will.
Regular Bible study and reading, as well as continual Sunday school and Sunday morning feedings from pastors and teachers will go a long way in helping us to discern right and wrong and put us in a position to make the right choice when we are not certain.The Bible is able to help us in “discerning the thoughts and intentions of [our own] heart” so read the Bible often and pay careful attention to what God is speaking to you about a particular subject.
If you fail to read the Bible then you are leaving out godly wisdom and the human, carnal mind cannot possible discern what the things of God are all about because “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor 2:14).
Spiritual Discernment is from God
Hosea 14:9 “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.”
The way this is written we see the end result in the beginning but the cause for it at the end so we can say it this way, “the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them [but] whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them.” What Hosea, and ultimately God, is saying is that the person who is wise and discerning knows that that the ways of the Lord are right and since we know that the Lord’s ways are right, then we ought to “walk in them.” If your walk is a godly, upright way in life then you will have true wisdom and “understand these [or many] things” and the discerner should “know them” (the ways of the Lord). We can know them but if we don’t “walk in them” we will be the “transgressors [and] stumble in them.” I could put it this way, information without application cannot lead to transformation.
Constant Practice Brings Discernment
Hebrews 5:13-14 “for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
The principle of milk and the believer is that there has been no spiritual growth and a baby Christian, they are still feeding on the milk or the basic, elementary things about God but for the mature they have partaken of the solid food or the meat of the word and this takes some chewing.
When we chewing on the solid food of the Word we are taking our time and studying more diligently and learning the more deep, spiritual truths and this more mature Christian has been “trained by constant practice” or continual, daily Bible reading and practicing what they have learned and by taking the information and applying it to their life and this process is leading them to transformation and this is how they can “have their powers of discernment.”
The wisest thing you can do is to bend the knee, repent of your sins, and confess them to God, apologizing for your offenses before a holy God and then trusting in the only one Who can save you…Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
If you are not a Christian, then you cannot have true spiritual wisdom and will be susceptible to and fall for any spiritual deception because you don’t have the Spirit of God which gives a believer true discernment and with that, the ability to distinguish between the grey areas as to whether it is good or evil, sin or not.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas.
Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon
This past 4th of July, the news reported that in an Oklahoma Wal-Mart a person dressed as an armored vehicle delivery driver was handed 75 thousand dollars in cash without anyone suspecting that he was an impostor until the real driver arrived an hour later that afternoon.
How can such deception be possible? How could it be that none of the staff noticed this deception?
It was obviously a case of lack of discernment. Everything seemed normal and authentic, but it wasn’t.
In Wednesday morning’s delegate plenary session of Kansas City 2015, Ervin Stutzman, executive director, made an excellent presentation about discernment—the action of finding the difference between what is real and what is false.
This is not a new dilemma for the Christian church
History has shown us that serious mistakes have been made due to a lack of discernment. Therefore, for the good of the Church, there is great urgency to fully investigate and take the necessary action to uncover that which is false in the midst of what is true.
As a medical doctor conducts exams, runs tests and does research to find out a patient’s condition, so has the Church for years been discerning what might be the disease that ails her, not wanting to acknowledge that sin sickens and enslaves all people?
If someone believes otherwise, he or she forgets the words of Jesus (Matt. 9:12-13) who said that patients need a doctor and he has come in search of them.
If anyone thinks that they are well thus denying infections, fractures, pain and disorders of all kinds—not accepting their sickness—he or she is delusional. The sin of a life not surrendered to God will continue to govern such a person.
And if we live lulled by soothing our pain and only treating the symptoms of the disease, the inevitable result is death.
Today evil is called good, and good is called evil
And to those who denounce sin and wickedness, they are called homophobic, intolerant, ignorant, hateful and other sophisticated epithets. Well then, we should know that God is holy and does not tolerate sin much less our justifications (Luke 16:15 and Rev.
2:20). Neither did Jesus tolerate sin when he drove the temple merchants out—thieves protected by a system that was abusing the people (John 2:13-16). Jesus did not care for the use of well-chosen words to sound politically correct so as to not offend the audience.He was clear in calling those religious leaders “hypocritical, foolish, blind guides, white washed tombs and brood of vipers,” (see Matthew 23:1-36).
Jesus was also assertive with his own disciples when he spoke to them of the cost of following him, so much that some found his words hard and preferred to leave him. It was then that he asked his inner circle if they too would to leave as well (John 6:60-67). Jesus never went around begging and supplicating as is the norm with some leadership of today.
Jesus preached repentance, forgiveness, and a life renewed and rehabilitated
The problem of our day is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer pointed out decades ago when he said that there would come a time when forgiveness without repentance would be preached to justify the sin and not the sinner.
So many adherents of the Church fail to understand that all sin is abhorrent to our Creator and our justifications are nothing more than filthy rags before God? Discernment is clearly missing in the midst of the church.
This can be seen by the approval of tolerance or patience to sin. The Church is being handled by social activism. It is with great reason that the wise Solomon (Ecl. 1:9) said ” … there is nothing new under the Sun.
The same shamelessness, deceptions, abuses, violence and perversions that brought about the fall of powerful empires and nations of the past will destroy any nation that moves away from God and despises him. Especially the Church that allows herself to be dragged by the current of the world by disregarding God’s call to be salt of the Earth and light to this lost world.
The repentance of sins and conversion, which Christ preached is the same message for today (Mark 1:15). Not the, God loves you, come as you are and stay as you are, so that you can be part of a community of love.
Why is it so difficult to confront reality?
Society without God is sick with death and eternal perdition, and the Church which harbors sin in her midst is also sick and on her way to destruction unless she repents of her wicked ways and turns to God. Do we not know that no painkiller will cure disease?
The diagnosis of the Church is clear: The counsel of the eternal Word of God has been put aside and replaced by a poorly understood concept of God’s love, cheap humanistic arguments and excuses.
Yes, God is good. God is love. God is forgiving. God welcomes us
God loves the sinner, but the sinner must acknowledge his or her condition, repent, seek forgiveness, convert and receive new life.
There can be no new life if you live in sin
To proclaim a certain religion or denomination does not save anyone! That which is false can be seen clearly by looking at it through the lens that God uses—his Word.
Can we discern this, or will we continue being misled by those who appear to be, but are not?
How can we continue the countercultural Anabaptist legacy, if we follow the flow of the world? Meanwhile God is holding us accountable for what we have done with the Gospel that rescues the sinner. The good news of salvation calls us to repent of sin, to convert and walk with Jesus confronting sin and leaving it behind for newness of life.
Is Jesus, our Lord and Savior, also Lord of the churches where we gather?This is the English translation of Rafael Barahona’s editorial from the July issue of Meno Acontecer. Barahona is the editor.
The views expressed do not necessarily represent the official positions of Meno Acontecer, Igleisa Menonita Hispana, Mennonite Church USA, or The Mennonite, Inc.