Archive for the ‘Holy Spirit’ Category

Gift of discernment

1 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 10, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.


Discernment is the capability to be able to distinguish whether people, events, spirits or teachings are really from God, from a demonic source or a worldly source.  Men and women have always been capable of faking belief in order to make monetary gains from unsuspecting believers.  Satan and his followers are quite capable of mixing with and claiming to be believers themselves:-


2 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 13 to 15; For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So, it should come as no surprise that his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.


2 Peter chapter 2 verse 1; But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.


The above are just two warnings amongst many found in the Bible that there will be people within the church whose real mission is to destroy it or render it impotent.  The gift of discernment is one of the main defences against these incursions.  Paul had this gift and used it in Philippi:-


Acts chapter 16 verses 16 to 19.  A slave girl was declaring that Paul and his companions were servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way to salvation.  Her words were all true but Paul discerned that it was coming from a wrong spirit and so commanded the spirit to leave her.  He was not fooled by the facade of honesty.  A deceiver will always have an element of truth in order to lure the unwitting into a trap.


The gift of discernment is the Holy Spirit’s defence against the lies and deceit that come from lying Spirits and people.  The power and influence of spirits can be discerned whether by word, deed or appearance.  Satan speaks words that are inconsistent with Scripture which we should know to be false.  Satan contradicted what God had told Eve in Genesis chapter 3 verse 4 which led to the fall of man.  Jesus, Himself rebuked Peter, by saying get behind me Satan.  This happened when Peter denied that Jesus would die Matthew chapter 16 verses 21 to 23.  Jesus discerned that Peter’s voice was used by Satan’s lying spirit.  Whether or not we have the gift of discernment we should test every word of God in light of the Bible.  The Berean’s as recorded in Acts chapter 17 verses 10 to 12 show how we too should proceed.  Ultimately Christian’s are individually responsible for what they choose to believe so therefore all really need to model themselves on the Berean’s.


Satan and his subordinates are capable of deceiving believers with signs and wonders.  There is a warning of this in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 9.  Christ Jesus Himself also gave a warning in Matthew chapter 24 verses 23 to 26 about the coming of false prophets performing signs and wonders.  No matter how spectacular these miraculous deeds appear they must be examined and compared to Scripture.


Discernment is God’s gift to His people to expose false prophets, false teachers, false spirits and false miracles.  Christian’s with this gift have a duty to warn believers of deceivers and charlatans.  They also have a duty to confirm genuine acts of the Holy Spirit.

All Bible quotes taken from the English Standard Version.