House of Prayer Church
3020 Rosewood Lane SE
Alexandria, MN 56308
Phone: (320) 762-0828

Developing Discernment

Because we are in the last days, it is crucial that every believer develop spiritual discernment,

  • Discernment is:the ability to distinguish, judge, discriminate,
  • To be able to distinguish between the true and the false, truth and error,
  • Find the will of God — in every area of life
  • Make wise decisions — spiritually and naturally
  • Walk more accurately in the Holy Ghost.
  • There is provision and protection available for those who will learn to discern

 

1 Timothy 4:1 — “Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing (deceiving) spirits and doctrines of demons.”

 

Matt 24:5 — “For many will come in My name, saying, `I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

 

Matt 24:10-12 — “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

 

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and the Saducees in Matt. 16:3, and even His own in Luke 12:56 because they could not discern the times they were living in, or even who He was . . .

 

Luke 12:56-57 –”Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?  Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?”

 

We need to be like the tribe of Issachar which discerned or understood the times –

1 Chr 12:32 –  “And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.”

 

2 Characteristics of Spiritual Adults

  1. Capable of instructing others.
  2. Powers of discrimination or discernment.

 

Heb 5:14 — “But solid food belongs to those who are mature, that is, those who by practicing have their (spiritual) senses trained to discern both good and evil.”

The mature believer’s senses (spiritual senses) have been exercised or trained by practice or use — this is a process and is developed over a process of time by:

  1.        Knowing the truth — knowing the real will help you to recognize the false
  2.        Learning to be led by the Holy Spirit;  learning to recognize His leading and His                          still small voice
  3.        Learning to be governed by your spirit,  not living out of the flesh or the soul
  4.        By acting on the Word of God
  5.        By submitting choices and experiences to the Word for judgment.

 

 

There are 3 voices or influences that speak to every person –

  • The Holy Spirit
  • Your flesh
  • The devil

 

We must learn to discern which is which — whether it is you, God, or the devil that you are hearing.

 

Discernment is not just for church services — to judge if a particular manifestation is of the Holy Spirit, the devil, or the flesh. but rather must affect every area of life — naturally and spiritually.

  • The will of God must be discerned
  • Truth from false or error, in family, in business dealings, relationships, activities, etc.
  • Developing this discernment is for your preservation, for your prosperity,your protection and your well-being.
  • It does not always come instantly — sometimes you have to wait on God in prayer,

be in the Word;  always follow after peace in your spirit

I Jn 4:1, we are commanded to test the spirits,  test = discern

1 Thessalonians 5:21 — test or prove all things

1 Corinthians 14:29 — Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.

The word “judge” is discern,  meaning to discriminate, determine, or judge if it is the Holy Spirit speaking.

 

In the Great Awakening — Jonathan Edwards & Finney’s revivals as well as in John Wesley’s meetings, there were many manifestations of the Holy Spirit done in public places — people falling under the power, being overcome with conviction of sin and repentance.

 

Maria Woodworth-Etter stood at the state fair in 1903 suspended in time for 3 days — it was a sign and wonder.

 

The thing that hindered the Azuza Street Revival was that they were not able to discern or judge the manifestations –  There were fleshly manifestations and spirits of witchcraft — familiar spirits were in operation and manifestation.

 

There was a lack of knowledge of the Word  –  especially in the leaders.

 

Ezek.  44:23 — And they (the priests) shall teach My people the difference between the Holy and the profane, and shall cause them to discern between the clean and the unclean.

 

This is the minister’s job — to teach the people from the Word of God and by the unction of the Holy Spirit, to be able to discern between right and wrong, truth and error, and of spiritual things —

 

1 Cor. 12:1 = “Brethren,  I would not have you ignorant of spiritual things” — things pertaining to the spiritual realm including –  The Spirit of God, the human spirit, and the spirits of darkness

 

 

Under the New Covenant, every person that has believed on Jesus is a priest — not a pastor or evangelist,  but called to minister to God and serve others in His place (1 Peter 2:5,9)

If you have a relationship with Jesus, you have been born again, you have the Holy Spirit in you to teach, lead, & guide you.

He guides you in all truth, leads you in the way you should go, reveals things to come, etc.

He bears witness in your spirit — Your part is :

To exercise your priestly rights and responsibilities

To learn and be trained by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit

To discern the will of God for your life

To discern between what is holy & profane, clean or unclean; truth or error;  and which             spirit is operating — the Spirit of God, the devil,  or someone’s flesh

 

Parents (dads and moms) should act as priests in their households and teach and train their children,  beginning when the children are infants, how to choose the good and reject the bad — naturally and spiritually.

 

At different stages of childhood, different skills and emphasis are needed; because of the child’s ability to understand, different methods are needed at different times in the child’s life.

 

Teach  = to impart knowledge and skill to;  discipline, educate, instruct.

Example:  Teaching a child to learn their boundaries as a baby, toddler, child, and teenager.

 

Train = to move a weapon, a blow etc. in the direction of someone or of something — point, aim, set, zero in,  set on a course.

Ps 127:4 –Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. (NIV)

Ps 127:4 — Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. (NKJ)

 

Prov 22:6 — Train up a child in the way (way = a road; figuratively, a course of life or mode of action,) he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (NKJ)

Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it. (TLB)

Teach  –  not just tell!   There is a difference!

 

Recognize (discern) and seize or take every opportunity to do so

 

Be alert, watchful, prepared, and not too busy with other things, not lazy or insensitive

 

We must discern things for our child’s life — the will of God, their individual personalities, gifts, talents and abilities,  and discern how to train them in they way they should go.

 

In order to train our children, we ourselves must be trained and disciplined,  be watchful, alert and sober;  taking and making opportunities to learn and develop skills — spiritually and naturally.

We must learn to take the consequences for our decisions and actions — whether good or bad, and to learn from them.  This is the training process and a part of developing discernment.

 

  • One cannot assume responsibility for another’s actions.
  • Each person must take the consequences of their own actions.
  • One cannot blame another for the consequences of your choices.
  • We should not shield someone one (especially our children) from the consequences of bad decisions.This can be harmful to the growth of an individual and will keep them in the same habits and patterns.
  • Mistakes will be made in this process of developing discernment.We must learn from the mistakes and go on.  Learn from the successes as well.

 

TYPES OF DISCERNMENT

You must differentiate between discerning of spirits and the discernment available to every born again believer because they are born again and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. Discerning of spirits — 1 Corinthians 12:1, 10-11 — “To another the working of                     miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of       tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  But all these worketh that one and the   selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”

Discerning of spirits is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, given as He wills, whereby the spirit realm is opened unto individuals and they can literally SEE into the spirit with their physical eyes.  They could see angels, demons, Jesus, the heavens, into the heart of           man.  It is not just seeing devils, but any part of the spiritual realm.

Generally, the gifts of the Spirit manifest to bless someone else.

Occasionally the gifts of the Spirit operate for the person’s personal benefit.

Compare tongues for personal use,  and the gift of tongues for the edification of the body.

 

  1. The discernment available for every born again believer.

It is the Christians “radar”;  it is the Christians’ ability to sense accurately what is going    on in the unseen spiritual realm.

God does not want us to be ignorant of spiritual things, or things pertaining to the spirit.

If He does not want us to be ignorant — in fact, commands us not to be ignorant.

He has provided the means whereby we can become informed and learned.

The Word of God and the Holy Ghost are the teachers and the means by which we learn           to discern.

1 Cor 12:1 — “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”

Spiritual = 4152  pneumatikos — non-carnal, supernatural,  (Strong’s Concordance)

KJV– spiritual as compared to 5591 = natural.  Relating to things in the divine sphere as well as in Satan’s realm (Eph. 6:12);  It is put in contrast with things that are natural;  supernatural would best describe the meaning.

 

DISCERN means:

  • To distinguish;
  • To separate out (to separate is to discriminate, then to learn by discriminating);
  • To determine (to determine the excellence or the defects of a thing or a person):
  • To decide;
  • To investigate by looking throughout objects or particulars
  • To examine; scrutinize or *question.

*It is one thing to question something in the process of developing discernment, but a decision must be made or you will be forever doubting, in confusion and tossed to and fro, never accomplishing anything, never learning, or developing a sensitive spirit.

 

Greek words defining discernment:

1253  diakrisis (dee-ak’-ree-sis); from 1252; judicial estimation: discern, disputation.

(1Cor. 12:10, discerning of spirits)  Strong’s Concordance

1252  diakrino (dee-ak-ree’-no); to separate thoroughly, to discriminate (by implication,                        decide), discern,  judge, be partial,

1 Thessalonians 5:21 — test or prove all things

1 Corinthians 14:24 — the word “judged” is discerned

1 Corinthians 14:29 — the word “judge” is discern,  meaning to discriminate, determine,             or judge if it is the Holy Spirit speaking

 

 

THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPING DISCERNMENT

 

  1. Must come to know the person and the work of the Holy Spirit.

Know His work in us.  He indwells the believer at the new birth.

The Holy Spirit is a person, the third person of the Trinity.

He is not an “it” or an influence.

He is to be in close fellowship (partnership, working relationship) with us.

(John 16:13-15 Amp.)  Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be in close fellowship with us.

2 Cor. 13:14 — Paul prayed that we would know the fellowship or communion of the Holy        Spirit.

He is:

The Spirit of Truth

The Counselor

The Teacher

The Guide

The Comforter

The Revealer, the One Who discloses and declares

The Word of God, the will of God, etc.

The Helper

The Intercessor

The Power of God — the spirit of might

The Spirit of Grace

Works righteousness in us

Produces the fruit of the spirit in us, which is the character and nature of Christ

The Advocate

The Strengthener

The Standby

He convicts of sin

Brings one to repentance

He acts in behalf of Jesus (John 14:26)

Causes us to remember Jesus’ words

Brings peace (represented by the dove, also signifies purity, holiness &                         sanctification, more work of the Holy Spirit in us.)

Testifies of Jesus (John 15:26-27)

The work of the Spirit in 1 Cor. 2:9-16 –   (Note the word “things” in verse 9)

Verse 10, God has revealed these things to us by His Spirit

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal the things of the Father and of Jesus.  The Holy            Spirit takes the things of God and reveals them to us through or by His Spirit “things” = revelations, plans, purposes, the ways of God, the will of God, the wisdom of                    God.  These things (the revelations) we speak.

1 Peter 4:11 — “If anyone speaks, let him speak as of the oracles of God, in all things that          Jesus be glorified.”

Words the Holy Spirit teaches comparing (the word “comparing” means interpreting,     judging, and discerning) spiritual things.  Used in the Septuagint version as interpreting     dreams; to put together in order to judge.  Comparing spiritual (pneumatikos) things with         spiritual  (pneumatikos = things of the spirit or things pertaining to the spiritual realm).              Comparing spiritual things by spiritual (not natural) means.  The natural man =   fleshly,   sensual (sense ruled) man cannot know or understand the things of the spirit, they are       foolishness to him.  Why?   His spirit is darkened;  he is not born of the spirit and does not   have eternal life abiding in him;  the Holy Spirit does not dwell in him.

Spiritual things are discerned spiritually (pneumatikos) which means they are not                         discerned physically or through the 5 senses, through logic, mental reasonings, or natural       means.

This type of discernment is not of the soul — not of the mind, will or emotions.    

He who is spiritual, discerns (judges, separates, distinguishes) all things.

How does one discern?

  • By the written Word of God (the Word and the Spirit always agree)
  • By the inward witness
  • By the fruit produced
  • By confirmation of 2 or 3 witnesses

 

The spiritual man lives under the control of the holy Spirit and minds the things of the      spirit — sets his mind on the things of the Spirit — Romans 8:5-4;   Col. 3:1-4

 

He has the mind of Christ and discerns and esteems the spiritual things above the natural (sensual, fleshy) things.  He has crucified the old man with it’s passions and desires, walking in the newness of life.

 

Hebrews 5:11-14 — his senses (spiritual senses) have been exercised or trained by        practice or use.  This is a process and is developed over a process of time by revelation of the Holy Spirit and acting on the Word of God and the voice of the Holy Spirit.

By submitting choices and experiences to the Word for judgment

Hebrews 4:12 — The Word of God is alive and active;  The Word is made alive by the Holy Spirit –  The Spirit gives life to the Word.  It is sharp — it penetrates and cuts,        pierces, divides, the soul and the spirit, joints and marrow (or the inner most parts).  The   Word of God is a discerner or separator, of the thoughts — God’s thoughts, your thoughts,             or the devil’s thoughts.  The Word discerns the intents or motives of the heart — the plans,         purposes, will, of the spirit. It separates flesh from spirit.

 

  1. Must know the voice of Jesus
  2.       John 10:3-5

Verse 3,  hear = to listen, to hear with the mind; to understand or recognize

  1.        John 10:27

“My sheep know My voice.”

know = oida, to perceive;  to know intuitively, as contrasted with ginosko which is to know by experience;  know intuitively = to know from birth (our spiritual birth, being born of the Spirit.), not as a result of having been taught, (1 Cor. 2:13-14;

1 John 2:20)

  1.       John 10:27

“They follow Me”  – follow = cleaving to Him in believing trust and obedience;

those cleaving to Jesus, also follow His leadership, acting according to His example                   (**believing trust (faith) and obedience are very important to developing and                                     progressing in discernment)

  1.  John 10:14

“I know My sheep, and am known of them.  My Father knows Me and I know My                   Father.”

Know = ginosko, usually to know by experience; to be acquainted with a person;  to                 be conscious of; to understand; to discern and distinguish.

In this context of “knowing”,  is Matt. 12:33 & Luke 6:44,  “A tree is known by it’s fruit.”

 

John 13:35 — “By love will all men know that you are My disciples”

By the love manifested or produced, will men be able to discern  that you are my                                   disciples

 

We must become acquainted with Jesus and come to know His voice — abide in Him and He in us through the Word and in prayer

 

  1. The inward witness

We must understand how the inward witness operates;

The witness of the Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit passes God’s message on to          our human spirit in which He dwells.

This produces the assurance or confidence within the believer that something is “of God”            or not “of God” — that it is true or not true,  that it is good or not good.

The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit, not our mind .

This has nothing to do with the feelings in our soul!

 

Learn to look to your Spirit

The divine leading of the spirit can be described as:

  • inward intuition
  • a premonition
  • green light/red light – stop or go
  • peace or check (red flag)

 

 

1 John 5:6  – And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

1 Jn 4:13 — We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his     Spirit.

Rom 8:16 — The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

 

 

  1. Must have a renewed mind

 

If there is doubt in your mind, you will have no confidence that you hear from God.

Rom 12:2 — “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  Renewing = a renovation which makes a person different than in the past.  We think differently.  If our thinking is changed, what we believe changes, and that changes our actions, or what we do.

 

Phil 2:5 — “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Have the same        attitude and thoughts that Jesus has, always submitted to the Father’s Word, will, plans, &            purposes.

 

1 Cor 2:16 — For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Joe Jordan — “We only have the mind of Christ that is revealed to us.”

This is the work of the Holy Spirit — It cannot be done in the flesh or by natural means, although there are natural things we must do such as read and study the Word, meditate,   pray, worship, etc., these are all acts of our will in this process of renewing the mind

Be careful of what you allow in your mind or spirit.

            Be careful of what you feed on,  what you see and hear; spiritual and natural. 

A little leaven leavens the whole lump.  Example:  The book of Galatians.  The Judaizers            came and preached that you had to follow the law even though Jesus had freed them from    the law.  As they received that teaching, it caused them to go backwards in faith and         grace.  It brought them into bondage.

Be alert for mixtures — we need to depend on the anointing of the Holy Spirit to teach us.

1 John 2:20 & 27

Example:  Going to several different churches or trying to be “hooked up” with various   ministries who preach different things, which produce confusion, doubt and unbelief, and          steals faith out of your heart.  Various doctrines, like healing, or the baptism in the Holy         Spirit with tongues and the gifts in manifestation today.

 

Be like the Bereans,  Acts 17:10-11;  They received the Word with a ready mind, and   searched the Scriptures daily to see if the things they were hearing was true.

Attitude!  Watch the attitude (or spirit) in which you receive and respond to the Word.

Don’t be gullible, don’t fall for everything you hear — test, and try it. Yet don’t be so      doubtful, fearful, and proud that you automatically reject something that is new to you and    set out with a wrong attitude to try to disprove it.

James 1:21– Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your     souls.

 

  • Wrong attitudes will hinder the development of discernment in your life and will hinder the Holy Spirit’s ability working in you to teach you and bring you revelation.

We must take heed to what you hear, and we must take heed to how we hear.

They are equally important — remember the character of the Holy Spirit.  He can be grieved, and the Spirit can be quenched.

 

The grace He brings can be frustrated and nullified as it was in the church at Galatia.

You can hear the Truth of the Word, but if your spirit is wrong, it will pervert what you hear, and will pervert the powers of discernment operating in you.  Instead of the Word   being a blessing to you, and profiting you,  you will end up being deceived, and in error,     bitter, critical and judgmental.  If your attitude (spirit) is right, humble, teachable, and you             hear a wrong doctrine or there’s a wrong spirit operating, you will be able to pick it up and        filter it, or discern it to your profit

 

Job 12:11 Amp.  “Is it not the task of the ear to discriminate between (wise and unwise)            words;  just as the mouth distinguishes between the (desirable and the undesirable) food?”              Does not the ear try the words? Try = prove, examine, search out, discern.  The ear is the        spiritual ear.

 

Test your motives and intentions — What is your motive for wanting this ability to discern?  What will you do with the revelation or the knowledge once it is revealed to you?   There is a purpose for every revelation given by God.

 

  1. Must know the Word of God

If we are not going to be deceived or led astray from the Truth — then we must know the           truth = the Word of God; to know personally – to have experiential knowledge

 

The Word of God must be the basis by which we judge (discern)  every decision, thought,         or action in life — spiritually and naturally

 

Be like the Berean believers who searched the Scriptures to see if the things they heard from the apostles was true  (Acts 17:11)

Every manifestation, revelation, etc. must be judged by the written Word of God.

The Word and the Spirit agree — always!

If the Bible does not speak specifically about something, with a chapter and verse, then there must be a principle, or it must line up with God’s character and nature,

and then must be confirmed by the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses in the Word in order for it to be established as doctrine.

 

Not only manifestations and revelations must be judged, but our thoughts, attitudes,        motive, and actions must also be judged.

Romans 12:2 — “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the      renewing of your mind, that you may prove (test or discern) what is that good and                acceptable and perfect will of God.”

 

Renewing the mind a work of the Holy Spirit.  He reveals and illuminates the written       Word,  and makes it the revealed Word to our mind. This causes our thinking to be        changed — so we would think like God thinks; thinking and doing what pleases Him.

The mind and the will, our thinking, and the decisions we make must be subjected to the            Word of God

 

The warfare is in our mind — Who is in control?  Your spirit man or your flesh/devil?

The question is — Who is going to rule?  All of the works of the enemy start in the          mind.

 

We must learn to discern (separate) our own thoughts.  Thoughts have power — they are           like a seed.   If they are planted in the ground, they take root and begin to grow,       eventually producing after it’s own kind or bearing fruit.  Whatever thoughts — good or   bad — we allow to be planted in our mind, will take root and grow and eventually produce             fruit.

The end-time warriors are those who will submit their flesh and their mind to the will       (Word) of God, regardless of the fact that it could be easier to do it another way which is    more comfortable to your flesh;  less time consuming;  less cost or sacrifice;

The devil and your flesh always tell you that it would be easier to do it another way —    that brings only death.

 

There are no shortcuts to:

  • spiritual growth or maturity
  • to renewing the mind
  • walking in the spirit
  • developing discernment

2 Cor 10:3-5 — “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.         The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they (the   divine weapons) have divine power (Holy Ghost) to demolish strongholds.  We demolish      arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God (the             Word of God), and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV)

What are strongholds?  Strongholds = a mind set filled with doubt and hopelessness;

this causes a believer to accept as unchangeable something they know to be contrary to             the Word and will of God.  Strongholds result from not taking thoughts captive to the             Word of God.  The first time they come to your mind — learn not to entertain them.

 

  • Thoughts become imaginations, imaginations lead to actions.Repeated actions give strength to these contrary thoughts.  They become a stronghold, a barrier,  in our lives resulting in confusion, bondage, fear, etc.  Makes one unable to walk in faith, in peace, in joy, freedom.  How do we deal with the strongholds?  They must be dealt with!  Cast them down!   YOU cast them down!
  • Casting down = to lower — or with violence to demolish; destroy;bring to extinction;

Must be aggressive or violent;  must master contrary thoughts.

 

  • Imaginations = computations, reasonings of your conscience, conceit (because it is  rooted in self); thoughts.

 

  • Every high thing = barrier; elevated thing;every thought that is elevated above the

knowledge, will or word of God;  these thoughts are barriers, strongholds.

 

  • Exalts itself = that raises up itself– these thoughts are rooted in pride and rebellion        against God; makes one lofty and high-minded;  this is the same sin that got Lucifer          kicked out of heaven — he lost his God-given position for one of his own choosing (       Is. 14:12-14).  It all began with thoughts rooted in pride and rebellion,  usually the next

step is to speak it,  then the decision is made to act on those thoughts, brings death and

destruction it keeps one from walking in and functioning in their God-given position,        authority and power.

 

  • Bringing & captivity are the same word = to make captive: bring into captivity.

 

  • Obedience = attentive hearkening; compliance or submission: hear – understand – obey;             hearing and obedience are the same word in Hebrew.

You can only punish disobedience (the works of the enemy in prayer and spiritual warfare           – coming against principalities and higher powers) when your obedience is fulfilled.

To effectively tear down strongholds over cities, territories and nations — it must begin on a personal level.  Strongholds in our personal life weaken our authority and power to         stand against the enemy on higher levels and make us more susceptible to his attacks. It also limits our ability to discern things accurately.

 

Ed Silvoso — “I have found that in every place where the scriptures speak about spiritual warfare, it is always in conjunction with teaching about relationships — family, marriage, church, neighbor.

If the enemy has a foothold in any of these areas it must be dealt with before we can ever wrestle with principalities and powers”

 

TESTS TO DISCERN

From:  “How To Test Prophecy, Preaching & Guidance”  by Roxanne Bryant

 

  1. “Is it Scriptural?”
  2. “Does it glorify Jesus?”

3          “Is there an inward witness?”  If so, is it a green light?  Yellow? Red?

  1. “Does it produce liberty or bondage?”
  2. “Is the fruit in the life of the ministry good”  A character issue
  3. “If it is prophecy, does it come to pass as well as all of the above?”
  4. “Is the timing right? Does it go with the direction or flow of the service?  Is there an opening from the leadership or the person at the platform?”

 

  • Pray, especially in the spirit.
  • Search the Scriptures.
  • Ask yourself — does this lead me (or others) closer to Jesus or farther from Him?

Will it hinder or promote my (or others) spiritual growth?

Make sure it agrees with in principle with the written Word of God and

  • Follow after peace.Col. 3:15 Amp. — “And let the peace (soul harmony which comes from Christ rule (act as an umpire continually)  in your hearts (deciding with all finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state to which as members of Christ’s) one body you were also called to live.”
  • Act — Do what you seem to be hearing in your spirit, or what is in your heart, or what seems to be the sensible thing.

Proceed unless there’s a check in your spirit. If that happens, stop.

Action is required if you are moving in faith.

Don’t be afraid to stop or change directions if you find that in the testing process                                    you are going in the wrong direction.

It should be obvious that you will not be changing your mind or direction all the                          time.  This produces confusion and will never accomplish anything.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes — you can learn from it.

It is all part of this process of developing keener and more accurate discernment.

Watch for pride in this area –  Don’t keep going in a direction that you know is                                     wrong simply because you are not willing to admit that you missed it.

Don’t be so quick to say “God said” or “God told me”.  It is too final.  If there is a mistake it is not on God’s part.  “I felt led” or “I felt impressed” is better.

 

You are in a much better position to receive correction if the discernment or leading is wrong.  You are fallible — God is not! When one says “God told me”, especially before one has proved it by walking it out, it is very difficult to be      corrected, as God is the highest authority in ones life; and for someone to tell another who feels he has a word from God that he is wrong, it would appear that you are attempting to go against the authority of God in his life, and we must obey           God rather than man. If they yield to another’s counsel and if they are not convinced in their own heart, they will always think they missed God.

 

 

YOU MUST DESIRE DISCERNMENT

1 Cor 12:31 — “But earnestly desire the best gifts.”

1 Cor 14:1 — “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may            prophesy.”

 

Ask and believe God:  To open our spiritual ears, eyes, and heart;  to give us the spirit of           wisdom  and revelation in the knowledge of Him, His will, His ways, His plans and His           purposes.

 

Paul’s prayers for the church . . .  Eph 1:17-18 — “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,         the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge     of Him,  the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the        hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

 

Col. 1:9 Amp.  “For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to           pray and make special request for you, (asking) that you may be filled with the full (deep           and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom (in comprehensive insight into the         ways and purposes of God) and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things.”

 

Phil. 1:9-10 Amp  “And this I pray:  that your love may abound yet more and more and             extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight (that your love may         display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment),  so that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve what is excellent and of real       value (recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences) and             that  you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless (so that with hearts         sincere and unsullied, you may approach the day of Christ not stumbling or causing others    to stumble.)”

 

Both our love and spiritual perception should grow stronger so that we might approve the          best things and the vital things,  distinguishing them from what is wrong and erroneous.

 

Heb 5:14 —      “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained        themselves to distinguish good from evil.” (NIV)

 

This is a progressive work — It does not happen automatically, or as a result of a one time prayer, or the ministry of laying on of hands

 

I Kings 3:9-12 — “Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?  The speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.  Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.”

 

Verse 9 — a hearing, discerning, understanding heart; to be able to judge, to decide.

“That I may discern” = to perceive, to pay attention to, to understand, to be intelligent,   knowing, to be sensible, to regard, to deal wisely.

 

In the Old Testament, the primary word is understanding and insight. Note the motive and attitude of Solomon, to help, not hinder God’s people;  to edify, to encourage, to strengthen them, to bring them to maturity, to help them follow God more closely.  This keeps in character with the Holy Spirit — the paraclete, the helper.

 

Verse 11, discern = to hear.  The Hebrew = shama, to hear, understand and obey; to hear        intelligently.

Verse 12,   He was given a wise and understanding heart (discerning), plus riches, honor            and long life.  Matt. 6:33

 

Study Prov 2:2-22;

Vs. 2,  “So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart (spirit) to              understanding.”

Incline = to prick up the ears, sharpening them like an alert animal;  to listen; to give       heed

Understanding = from 995; intelligence; discretion, reason, skillfulness, understanding,    wisdom.  995 = biyn, a primitive root; to separate mentally (or distinguish), .(generally) understand: discern, know,  perceive, be prudent, view, deal wisely,

The word  includes the concept of discerning between good and evil.

The word does not refer to mere accumulation of data, but superior (supernatural) data.

 

Prov 2:3 — “Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and lift up thy voice for understanding.”

Criest  =  To cry out, to call aloud, to roar, to proclaim, to preach, to call or to summon,            to invite, to implore, or to call together.  Usually addressed to a specific recipient (God) and intended to elicit a specific response.  Usually the context has to do with a critical        need.  We need discernment — it is a most critical need in the body of Christ today.  Lift      up your voice and cry out for discernment!

We need discernment and insight into the Word of God, into the ways of God the will of            God, for direction, for truth, etc.

 

Prov. 2: 6 — For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and                      understanding;  From His mouth — words come from His mouth.  From His words        (rhema) comes spirit and life, discernment, etc.

 

John 6:63 — “My words they are spirit and they are life.”

 

Job 32:8 –”But there is a spirit in man, and the breath (inspiration) of the Almighty gives            him understanding (discernment).”

 

Prov. 2:7 — “He stores up or hides sound wisdom for the upright;  the wicked cannot find          it;  the righteous man must dig for it;  it is in safety from the enemy.”

Prov 2:11 — “Discretion (meditation, thought, prudence) will preserve you (Josh. 1:8);  understanding (discernment) will keep (guard, protect, maintain) you”

 

One must know how to use the information wisely.  That also is part of the discerning     process

 

We may perceive through our senses –  Job 2:11 — “Does not the ear test words and the         mouth taste its food?”

 

Job 6:30 — “Is there injustice on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern the unsavory?”

 

Ps 34:8 — “O taste and see that the LORD is good.”   taste = 2938  ta` am, to taste;     figuratively, to perceive, to discern.  This verse refers to testing the good by means of the    sense of taste.

 

As Jesus noted in Matt. 13:13 — “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing            they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”

It is possible to hear without perceiving.

 

Prov 29:7 — “The righteous considers the cause of the poor, but the wicked does not    understand such knowledge.”

 

Dan 12:8-10 — “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be          the end of these things?  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and         sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the        wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall         understand.”

 

We can pray for discernment –

Ps 119:34 — “Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it         with my whole heart.”

Ps 119:144 — “The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting; give me                  understanding, and I shall live.”

Ps 119:169 — “Let my cry come before You, O LORD; give me understanding according         to Your word.”   We must diligently pursue discernment, it does not come automatically !

Prov 28:5 –”Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD                        understand all.” (NKJ)

Prov 7:4-7 — “Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your nearest             kin, that they may keep you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters      with her words. For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice,  And saw      among the simple, I perceived among the youths, a young man devoid of understanding.”

Devoid = lacking understanding and discernment, personal discernment to preserve, to guard or guide.  He was seduced and led into sin as a result.

 

 

 

JUDGING (DISCERNING) OURSELVES FIRST!

Examine or test our own heart and lives first before attempting to judge or discern          others.  We must deal with ourselves first.

 

Ps 51:6 — “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You       will make me to know wisdom.”

 

Truth and Love must be in our heart

True discernment is motivated by love, not judgment, criticism, or suspicion

Must have a renewed mind.

It is not just to see evil, devils or demons

 

John 3:16-17 — God so loved that He gave  – He did not send His Son into the world to          condemn (judge) the world, but rather that the world would through Him be

saved (sozo = to heal, deliver, make whole, prosper, preserve, protect).

 

John 5:30 — “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is           righteous (conformed to the will of God in every thought purpose and action, emphasis mine), because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

2919    krino = to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); to try, — conclude determine, judge, call in question, think.

 

John 8:3-11 — The woman caught in the act of adultery;  The word He wrote brought   conviction on the judges who had wrong motives (Vs. 9 refers to 1 John 19-21).

Jesus confronted the sin in the woman’s life, but He did not condemn her, but rather gave           her a word to “save” her — “Go and sin no more” He did not condone or approve of her       sin, but rather forgave her.

 

John 4:15-19 — The woman at the well of Samaria

Jesus knew the woman’s situation by the Holy Spirit, a word of knowledge

He gave her a command — “Go call your husband”

He knew she did not have a husband — Jesus was getting to the root of her problem

She said,  “I have no husband”  Jesus said that she spoke truly, or that she spoke the truth.

She could have tried to cover up (self-preservation), lie, or tried to justify her situation

If she would have done that, it would have perverted her understanding or         discernment of who Jesus was.

There was truth in her heart, she admitted her sin;  because of this attitude, she was        able to discern who Jesus was — she was “saved” — forgiven of sin.

 

Luke 8:15 — “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart,             having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit (the product or the result, growth,     greater understanding of truth, revelation and discernment) with patience (endurance).”

 

Ps. 51:6 — God wants truth in our inward parts — we must know ourselves and be honest         in our own heart

2 Cor 13:5 — “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves     (prove yourself). Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?– unless indeed     you are disqualified. “

 

The test is how we handle day to day life situations.  Life is the test. How we react and respond to the pressures of life, is a discerner which determines what we believe in our heart, and how much our soul (carnal nature or flesh) is under the          Lordship of Jesus – how much of our character reflects His.

 

1 Cor 11:28, 31 — “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and   drink of the cup.  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.”

 

I Jn 1:9 — “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to      cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Examine your own work and conduct first by the law of Christ, not by what others do or don’t do.

 

Jesus, the Living Word, is our standard by which all judgment is made.

Gal 6:3-4 — “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he                       deceives himself.  But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”

 

Matt. 7:1-5 Amp.  “Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you use to deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you. Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the tiny particle of timber out of your eye’, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first get the beam out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.”

Vs. 1 — judge = act as a judge, to pronounce judgment

Vs. 2 — the law of sowing and reaping

Vs. 3 — look = beholdest, the act of looking even though nothing can be seen;  used of mental vision and implying more contemplation.  Consider is stronger than beholdest or      look, to perceive with the senses, discern, understand.

Vs. 5 — get the beam out of your own eye — examine or contemplate what is in your own         heart and then … you will be able to see /judge/discern/help others

In order to discern anything correctly — even in receiving the truth of God’s Word,         your own life must be straight – attitudes right, no known sin, etc.

 

The critical spirit of fault finding that overlooks ones own faults while assuming the role of supreme judge in regard to others relates to 1 Cor. 4:1-5.  Correct your own faults and solve your own problems first.  Let any judgmental attitude in yourself signal the need to examine yourself for the things that bother you about others.

 

Gal 6:4 — But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in       himself alone, and not in another.  (NKJ)

 

1 Cor 4:4 — For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who           judges me is the Lord. (NKJ)

 

Ruth Heflin — “If there is death in you (sin), you cannot raise the dead.”

Death can be:  lying, deceit, lust, anger, resentment, unforgiveness, strife, rebellion, pride,           jealousy, bitterness, or any other sin (stronghold)

 

The Word of God is the judge — the Word is Truth, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of             Truth.  We must judge ourselves in light (revelation) of the Word of God.

 

1 Cor 1:10-13 — “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,         that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.  For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

 

1 Cor. 3:1-3 Amp.  – “However, brethren, I could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to non spiritual men (men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates), as to mere infants in the new life in Christ (unable to talk yet!)  I fed you with milk and not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough to be ready for it):  but even yet you are not strong enough to be ready for it. For you are still (unspiritual, having the nature) of flesh (under the control of ordinary impulses).  For as long as there are envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?”

 

If there is envy, jealousy, wranglings, factions, division, selfish ambition, pride, within yourself or within the body, it will hinder your ability to discern things     correctly.   (See James 3:13-17 Amplified)

 

Everything is discerned by the Word and by the Spirit — not the letter of the law,           for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life and light — revelation, illumination.

 

John 6:63 — “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

 

2 Cor 3:6 — “Who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

 

 

 

 

Discerning our soul — Is the King and the Kingdom reigning within us?  If the Kingdom is not in manifestation, then who or what is?  The Kingdom can be discerned by recognizing whether or not “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” are in manifestation in our lives.  Rom. 14:17

 

One of the ways we discern something is to examine the evidence (the fruit being produced) and ask questions . . .

 

The same is true of discerning the state or condition of our soul and whether or not the kingdom of God is in manifestation we are living controlled by our flesh/soul . . .

 

The Psalmist knew this principle —

Ps 42:5 — Why are you in despair (depressed), O my soul? And {why} have you become disturbed (disquieted) within me? (NAU)

Disquieted = to make a loud sound like the English word “hum”); to be in great commotion or tumult, to rage, war, moan, clamor: make a noise, rage, roar, be troubled, be in an uproar.

 

Isa 26:3-4 — “You will keep him in perfect peace (both words are 7965, indicating double emphasis), whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.”  (NKJ)

 

Peace = 7965  shalom –  from 7999; safe, i.e. happy, friendly; also welfare, i.e. health, prosperity, peace:  favour, good health, perfect peace, prosperity, rest, safety, wholeness.

7999  shalam;  a primitive root; to be safe (in mind, body or estate); figuratively, to be or to be made completed (perfect, entire, lacking nothing, mature, finished); “peace; completeness; welfare; health.”  The Septuagint gives the following translations: eirene (”peace; welfare; health”); eirenikos (”peaceable; peaceful”); soteria (”deliverance; preservation; salvation”); and hugiainein (”be in good health; sound”).

peace = 1515  eirene — probably from a primary verb eiro (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication, prosperity: one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.

 

Peace = health, prosperity, safety in spirit, soul, body and property;  happiness and joy, quietness and rest, total and complete welfare, to be saved.

 

“Our peace is destroyed by focusing on what is wrong around us, rather than HE who is right within us.”

 

John 14:1 Amp.  “DO NOT let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in  and rely on God;  believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.”

 

John 14:27 Amp.  “Peace I leave with you:  My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

 

 

 

 

Heb 5:7-9

7          who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with    vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard        because of His godly fear,

8          though He was a Son, yet He learned (came to understand) obedience (attentive hearkening, compliance or submission, [to the will of His Father] )by the things which He suffered [experienced].

9          And having been perfected (became mature and complete), He became the author of     eternal salvation to all who obey (attentively hearkening, compliance or submission, [to       His will]) Him.  (NKJ)

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

Someone in transition is always in pain.  Why?

Mature people are learning to discern, understand, communicate, articulate and describe the processes in God.

The point of our services should be to meet with God and to afflict the soul. What does “afflict the soul” mean?  What could be the possible benefit of something that sounds so miserable?  Would a loving God afflict our soul or offend our mind?

As we mature in God, we must learn to manage our own life, our behaviors, thoughts, and words.  This is becoming “self governing”.  Using this terms seems like a contradiction – it is another paradox.  Why?  People need to be trained to reign (influence) in life, in their own world (kosmos).  People need to be challenged and trained to think, to be creative, and think profoundly, and esteem and hold to eternal values.

 

Three ways to discern something:

  1. By the fruit produced  — Matt. 7:15-20

Examples are in 1 Cor. 3:1-3 & James 3:13-17

You are able to see what was operating in their lives by the fruit that was produced;  they           were acting as unsaved men, not producing the fruit of the Spirit, or were influenced and           yielding to demons

 

  1. By the Spirit

Discern the spirit by the Holy Spirit indwelling your human spirit, which has knowledge   imparted to it by the Holy Spirit

The witness of the Spirit occurs when the Holy Spirit passes on God’s message to our    human spirit in which He dwells.

This produces the assurance or the confidence within a believer that something is of God            or not of God.

 

  1. By the manifestation of the gift of discerning of Spirits

            (This operates only as the Spirit wills.)

1 Cor. 12:4

Matt 7:15-16 — “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but     inwardly they are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather        grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?”

Jer 23:16-17 –Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets          who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own                         heart, not from the mouth of the LORD.  They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The LORD has said, “You shall have peace” ‘;and to everyone who walks according to     the dictates of his own heart (this is the rebellious ones), they say, ‘No evil shall come     upon you.’”

These false prophets scatter the sheep and bring division

They come in disguises — in sheep’s clothing — they look like  sheep

They come in deceitfully, in all sweetness,

They relate to the sheep –  not the shepherd

Inwardly they are ravening, hungry wolves — what are they hungry for?

Power, leadership, the pulpit.  Hungry wolves eat sheep!

They don’t like the taste of shepherds.

Vs. 20 — By their fruits you will know (discern) them.

What is on the inside will come out — sooner or later (best sooner! More damage is done if these things are revealed later.)

A false prophet or a wolf spirit always undermines the true authority; seeks the weak,    gullible people and preys on them;  draws them after themselves with great swelling words    and appear to be very “spiritual”.  They tend to spiritualize everything.

 

The book of Jude gives the characteristics of false leaders/false teachers

2 Pet 2:1-3 — “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be         false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying             the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.  And many will      follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.  By          covetousness (wanting something for themselves that is not theirs)  they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their                    destruction does not slumber.

 

 

DISCERNING THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, ERROR AND FLESH

 

  1. THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH
  2. Agrees with Scripture
  3. Glorifies Jesus
  4. The inner witness
  5. Produces good fruit — edifies, exhorts, comforts, or the character of Jesus
  6. Teachable, meek, humble spirit

 

  1. THE SPIRIT OF ERROR
  2. Will be unscriptural in some way
  3. Will glorify man (self)
  4. Produces bad fruit — confusion, rebellion, division fear, flesh,
  5. Is unteachable

 

  1. THE FLESH

A person can act independently in and of himself or by his own will.

Most problems are not caused by the devil.

We can make our own problems.    Example:  Eating 3 pieces of chocolate cake —                   that is not the Holy Spirit; not necessarily the devil – though it could be a spirit of                            gluttony;  it is an act of your will to yield to the flesh.  The appetites of the body,                             or the old nature are not destroyed when we are saved.

You do some things just because you want to.

Cannot blame everything on the devil.

 

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF DISCERNMENT

Job 32:8 — “But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.”

 

Job 33:14-17 — “For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive (discern) it.  In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds,  Then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction.  In order to turn man from his deed, and conceal pride from man.”

 

The purpose of having the powers of discernment operative in our lives is:

That it would lead, guide, teach, protect, preserve, guard in all our ways that we might   more fully walk in God’s ways — spiritual and natural, in relationships — family, church,    ministry, business, etc.

 

When we have discerned something, we have a responsibility to the revelation we have been given.  God does not reveal things for no reason.

 

 

 

 

Ask the Lord, “What should I do, if anything?”

  • Do I speak?
  • Is there something I should obey?
  • Do Ipray (only)?  If so, how do I pray?  Pray according to the will of God revealed to you.
  • Do I do anything at the present?The revelation could be for the future, because the Holy Spirit shows us things to come.

Isa 50:5 — “The Lord GOD has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn            away.”

I was not rebellious = active opposition against authority;  anything independent of God,             His will, His Word, His Spirit

 

Discern the thoughts and motives — if the motives and intents of the heart are rooted in   rebellion, are self centered, or to get your own way or have control — they are wrong and   will pervert true discernment.

 

The word rebellion means bitterness.  “Bitterness is as the sin of witchcraft”

(1 Sam. 15:23)  Witchcraft seeks to dominate, intimidate and manipulate.

 

Obedience to the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit is a key factor in        developing discernment — Heb. 5:14, says it is by reason of use, doing the word, or           practice that we train our senses.

 

James 1:22 — “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  When we do not obey the Word, we deceive our own selves.  The word deceive is to deceive by false reasoning, in which conclusions are drawn and evidences assumed may seem conclusive in themselves but are false and are contrary to the truth of the gospel.

 

James 1:26 — “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue            but deceives his own heart, (to cheat or outwit) this one’s religion is useless.”

The most dangerous thing we can do is to live by feelings out of the soul –  (soul = mind,           will, emotions, intellect).

Example:  There was a woman who came to the meeting where the Holy Ghost was in manifestation in a powerful way.  She was uncomfortable by what she saw and heard and “discerned” or felt that “something is not right”.  she was caught in warfare in her mind and did not realize it. One can be uncomfortable because they are being convicted by the Holy Spirit and they do not recognize the spirit of conviction. (Many mistake Holy Ghost conviction for        condemnation.) Or, because what is happening is new to their experience or the level of knowledge they have of God, the Word, the Holy Spirit.

We must learn to hear and know the Holy Ghost and not go by feelings.

If you do not hear from God something specific, realize that it is an attack in the soul.     Understanding or discerning things wrongly is out of the soul.

 

 

Illustration:  A man was sleeping.  His wife wanted to play a trick on him, so put some foul smelling stuff on his mustache.  When the man woke up, he smelled the foul odor.  He went into the bathroom to shave and thought the smell was in the bathroom.  He looked everywhere for the cause of the odor and could not find it.  He searched the kitchen and smelled it there.  He searched and could not find the cause.  Everywhere he went, he smelled the horrible odor.  After searching the whole house, he went to the window, threw it open and took a deep breath.  He still smelled the smell and determined that, “The whole world stinks”.

He thought it was everything else that stank, but it was him.  He did not discern correctly.

Leave a Comment