God's Truth Not Smooth Words

Discerning the Spirits

Discerning the Spirits

©copyright 2006 Bonita M Quesinberry, R.C.  

Does God give us instructions and examples about discerning the spirits? All scriptures herein are paraphrased or quoted from exclusively the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

I Kings 3:9— Give thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

Solomon had been given the throne of his father, David, and asked our Lord for wisdom to properly discern all things both good and evil. Verse 11 reveals God granting his request, because “Solomon did not ask for things for himself; such as long life or riches or the destruction of his enemies: instead, Solomon had asked to discern judgment.”

This then, is the same discernment we, as Christians, are cautioned to do; that we properly identify both the spirits of good and of evil. According to I Corinthians 12:8-10, discerning of spirits is the seventh of nine Spiritual Gifts of power. However, the Gift of Discernment is reserved for those spiritually mature, according to Hebrews 5:13-14, for young Christians are considered amateurs in the Word of Righteousness: like a baby. But the weightier matters of God’s Word belongs to them of full age, those who have learned by experience to discern both good and evil. I Corinthians 2:14-15 adds that a discerner of spirits has the mind of Christ; for the flesh man rejects Spiritual things as foolishness thus he cannot know them, because they must be spiritually discerned.

Ezekiel 44:23-24 tells us that a discerner of spirits teach the people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to learn the difference between the unclean and clean. And in controversies the discerner stands in judgment and shall judge according to God’s Biblical judgments, which define how His Commandments are to be obeyed and, if violated, what type of punishment is appropriate during the here and now. A discerner also is defined as one who obeys God’s laws and His statutes in all God’s holy assemblies; and they obey God’s Sabbaths.”

Malachi 3:18 adds that they also discern the difference between the righteous and the wicked, the difference between he who serves God and he who does not.  Ecclesiastes 8:8 adds that a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment; time referring to prophecy time lines as well as what God calls a day, from sundown to sundown.

With respect to Ezekiel 44 above, Isaiah 8:16,20  clarifies who are discerners of the spirits, paraphrased: “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. They teach God’s Law and preach His and Christ’s testimony.” Then, in Matthew 5:19 Jesus stated adamantly, “Who ever obeys and teaches God’s Law will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Everyone understands that discerning of the spirits is to determine for whom a person speaks and teaches; because both God and Satan work through human beings: Satan taking on the guise of an angel of Light and his ministers appearing as ministers of Light. It should be clear that young Christians are not discerners of spirits; rather, they must look to the elder, mature Christian for guidance in discerning spirits, while also learning through experience.

For example, one professed Christian lives and teaches God’s Law as well as His and Christ’s testimonies and another professed Christian says it is not necessary: the young Christian, enlightened only in the basics of salvation, easily could be wooed by the person saying it no longer matters, that all you have to do is love and believe Jesus is the Son of God. After all, it is easier to live IN and be OF this world if we go along with the majority. However, an elder Christian mature in God’s Word would caution the younger that not all things taught are coming from God: to always determine if what they say wholly lines up with God’s Word, ALL of God’s Word on any given topic.

If there is so much as one flaw in a teaching, then none of that person’s teachings are coming from God’s Holy Spirit. We judge the spirits only by God’s Holy Word: ALL of it, not just parts here and there, taking only scriptures that will please the hearers. This is exactly why God gave us clear instructions on how to study His Word; and, there is a great difference between reading the Bible from cover to cover versus indepth study that is Spirit guided.

Additionally, if someone who claims to be a Christian does deceitful things or lies about and/or attacks other Christians or even non-Christians, he or she does so by evil spirits; for certainly God forbids such behaviour of His sheep. If a person supports two different teachings, this also is by evil spirits; for one either supports only God’s Word or they do not. We are not allowed to have it both ways; there is no straddling the fence, not in God’s eyes.  We are either in God’s camp or we are not. We either choose life or we do not. We either choose Truth or we do not. There simply are no gray areas with God; therefore, there are no gray areas with those who discern the spirits.


13 August 2006 Posted by | Bible, Bible Related Articles, Blogroll, Religion, Spiritual, Spiritual Study | 10 Comments