Searching for the Truth in the King James Bible;
Finding it, and passing it on to you.




EDITOR:
Steve Van Nattan

HOME PAGE

SEARCH THIS JOURNAL

 

HOME - TABLE OF CONTENTS - WAR ROOM - THE GOSPEL - BIBLE STUDY - MORAL ISSUES - KING JAMES BIBLE - CULTS
HUMOR - PROPHECY - WORLD AFFAIRS - QUIET PLACE - STEVE'S YARNS - STEVE'S BIO - HEALTH - LADIES' PAGE - HEROES

 

THE GIFT OF DISCERNMENT

Will you be deceived by counterfeit spiritual gifts?

By Steve Van Nattan


One pastor in a northern state in the USA has a covey of discerners in his Fundamental Baptist church. They go around looking deep into peoples' eyes with dead serious and suspicious faces. Carrying on a conversation with them is frightening since they claim to be able to see into everyone they meet and tell if they have sexual sin or if they have devils in them. These discerners claim to have the "gift of discernment"

The pastor exalts the discerners as very special, and he has a deliverance ministry in which a candidate for deliverance sits with him and his discerners and they hunt for all sorts of sins and devils in people who have problems.

One time, he told me, they ended up in a four way battle between the pastor and his discerners, the candidate for deliverance, several devils, and Michael the Archangel. Now, if you believe that, my friend, I have some beautiful real estate property I will sell you very cheap. It is located just 90 miles east of Miami in Florida. Great ocean view, boat launching rights, and the best fishing in North America.

These victims being allegedly delivered of devils have sin, mental, or physical issues they need to deal with, but they would rather be told they have a "generational devil" rather than repent of sin in their lives or stop eating junk food. A lot of devils are blamed for prescription drug reactions, malnutrition, and food allergies.

The end of this horror story, about ten years later, is that the preacher from this church has left the work of the ministry and has taken to writing science fiction. Go figure. The devils he chased were fiction, so he decided to make a living selling his myth.

This discussion here is about the biblical gift of discernment-- but, we will also look at the perversion of that biblical and valid ministry of the Holy Spirit.

 

INTRODUCTION

The following article is rather exhaustive on this topic, or it may seem that way. In fact, volumes could be written, based upon biblical truth, about discernment. Perhaps at another time I will write about discernment outside the Lord's Church in detail. We have Christian believers wrapping the Bible in the American flag and calling America a "Christian nation." These folks are making fools of themselves for lack of discernment.

We also have the mega church hybrid of fast talking church house shrinks massaging the minds of tiny-tot Christians and turning Christian worship into a day care center for grown up jack asses.

Actually, you would do well, after reading this article, to visit my WAR ROOM, and study the way the devil wants to attack you daily in the name of a mongrel Jesus we do not know.

 

IS HE A PROPHET OR A FORTUNE TELLER?

If it is not of God, it is of Satan. There is not a gray area in anything having to do with God's will and the Christian life, especially local church life. The vast majority of alleged Christians in Christendom fully believe that there is the profane, and there is the holy, but lots of issues are in the gray area. They thus find ways to explain all sorts of puerile conduct in themselves and in their gurus as "gray areas.".

Here is an example of non-biblical activity that is fully appreciated by fools in some church house:

When I tuned pianos in southeast Arizona I had a lady customer who was very "spiritual" and very Mormon and very Satanic. She offered me coffee, and I was ready from a break because her piano had not been tuned in years, and I was having a real battle with it. She had been behaving herself pretty well, so I felt safe drinking her coffee. Bad idea. As I drank my coffee she started talking about allegedly spiritual things. I responded by talking about Jesus. This did not turn her off-- she dove in and philosophized about Jesus eloquently.

It was not long before she looked intently at me and then she said. "Do you know you have a lovely red aura?" Well, I did not know that. I have had a lovely red sun burn several times in my life, but not a red aura, at least not so that anyone would notice. I declined to accept her conclusion by saying I did not know of any place in the Bible where auras were seen or discerned by others.

LESSONS FROM YouTube:

Now, anyone in their right mind, the mind of Christ, would recognize
this as a spiritualist situation:

Let us suppose you want to fake an aura reading. Here is what you
can add to make your victim believe you know what you are talking about:

Now, watch this action-- reading the person and projecting god-like authority:

False doctrine is packaged in dramatic speaking, expansive gestures, and much self-assurance. But, it is still damned to hell heresy. There is indeed an aura about this wicked woman, Kathryn Kuhlman-- it is the aura of Satan. "Yea, hath God said.....?" You cannot see the aura, but it is there, and it is the presence of devils in the woman. I have seen it and felt it many times in Africa near devil dances, and in America when I am in the presence of Charismatics alleged Christians, especially Charismatic preachers.

Modern prophecies and prophets are also crawling out of the woodwork like cockroaches these days. Have you fallen for the notion that special revelation and prophecy is still being given to the Church?

Friends of ours were leading in a church in a city nearby. The husband pastored, and his wife did not do the Charismatic trick of being co-pastor in violation of the teachings of Paul. They also told us that their personal pastor was a pastor from England. These friends of ours pastored in Michigan, USA. How can someone believe their pastor can be half way around the world? Is God so desperate to find competent help? This pastor friend and his wife believed that all pastors should be accountable to some other pastor who would regularly visit and review how they are conducting the work of the ministry. This is indeed a New Testament principle. Even Paul reported in to the leaders of the church in Jerusalem.

So, our friends told us their pastor was going to visit on a Thursday evening prayer meeting, We decided to go and have a look. The meeting consisted in a very long praise singing time using only the Psalms. Great-- that is biblical. Next came a Bible lesson from the visiting pastor from England. It was mostly borderline prophecy. It was not really a Bible lesson. I did not expect much else, for British pastors are devotional and blabber and bluster with great elocution-- something I had to listen to growing up on the missionfield in Kenya and Tanzania.

BAPTIST VERSION OF GURU DRIVEN NONSENSE

In a Baptist church west of Knoxville, Tennessee in the USA, a pastor wanted to get rid of a foot dragging member of his congregation. He told the man and his family that they should, by faith, buy an RV and hit the road. Just trust God to give them meetings.

The man did this, got a few meetings by phoning ahead to churches, and his pastor recommended him to other pastors. Ironically, we were living in Arizona about 1800 miles from the church in Tennessee, and we drove into a big parking lot one day and saw the RV parked with KJV Bible verses on it.

We stopped, and I knocked on the door hoping to find fellowship and godly zeal. We were invited inside by the preacher who was dressed to the nines in Fundamental Baptist preacher uniform on a hot day between Sundays. He was sitting in a chair with his Bible open in his lap getting a sermon ready for a meeting he did not have booked. The wife and kids were screaming around his ears, and he sat calmly presiding like the Archbishop of Canterbury.

These poor people were at a virtual dead end. Long after this, I met them in Tennessee wandering around trying to invent a missionfield to go to and having meetings in churches and collecting just enough offering cash to stay alive.

That preacher who sent them off down the road should be hung by his thumbs.

After the meeting there was a fellowship time with refreshments. Our friends introduced us to the pastor from England, and he looked into our souls (that was the effect he wanted I think), and then he told us some great work was about to be done by God in our lives.

Well, that is pretty safe prophecy. If it happens, the guru can take credit. If it does not happen, the guru can simply say that we did not move forward in faith to claim our wonderful destiny. Many Christians have been victims of this scam. They later decided to move out by faith into some venture for the Lord, only to find they were up a dead end ally and probably flat broke from using up their substance.

The problem is with this sort of subtle prophecy, you do not hear it from the Lord himself. You must believe that the guru is a real man of God, and when he comes and goes in one night, and disappears over the horizon, literally, how do you test the spirits, how do you discern?

If you cannot test the spirit of an alleged "man of God" you MUST NOT ACT UPON HIS PROPHECIES. And, if God does not communicate the same thing to you in some way, YOU MUST NOT ACT UPON THE PROPHECY.

The trick behind fortune telling, and its use in the church house, is to find out something about the victim before you give them a prophecy. I now am convinced that our friend spoke to the alleged pastor from England about us, telling him some things we hoped to accomplish for the Lord. We had been close friends and talked back and forth about the struggles of the ministry and our future goals. So, the guru, like all fortune tellers, was prophesying with pre-knowledge.

At this journal I have posted a VERY thorough study of fortune telling as it is used in Charismatic and Fundamental churches.
Read and learn please
.

 

DISCERNMENT AS A SPIRITUAL GIFT

Let us get this straight right now. The word "discern" is found in the New Testament very few times.

There was a "gift of discernment" in the early church, but it was temporary until the whole canon of the Word of God was given and circulated among the churches. Here is the Apostolic teaching on this gift:

1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 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:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

You can see the gift of discernment was in the list of temporary gifts which later were withdrawn. Also, this gift of discernment was clearly grouped with sign gifts used during the early church days. It also was limited to the discerning of spirits, not to peek into people and sin or naughty thoughts in other believers. There is a GREAT difference in these two concepts. Paul told the Christians at Corinth that this would happen in the next chapter:

1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Discernment was not mentioned as such, but the understanding of mysteries clearly implies discernment because mysteries in Paul's epistles are the coming events and revelations which had not yet been revealed. Paul then tells them what to expect regarding the special temporary gifts:

1 Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

This method of revelation to the Church during the early years was temporary and delivered by the Holy Spirit through believers by empowering them to prophecy, speak in tongues, interpret, and discern spirits. This was clearly because those Christians had no New Testament as we do. The New Testament was perfect, which in the Greek speaks of completeness as contrasted with temporary or partial. The revelation with special gifts was never complete at one time and place.

Any Christian who will not use the complete perfect King James Bible to discern spirits, that is, the spirits in men who claim to be servants of God, is in rebellion. The partial gifted days have been replaced by the days of a complete revelation in the Word of God. No wonder Charismatic pastors and followers are so troubled and easily demon possessed by spirits of Satan. They refuse to examine all things with God's Word.

1 Corinthians 13:10 above makes it VERY clear that special temporary gifts were done away with when the perfect complete Word of God to the Church Age was finished and circulated. History after the Apostolic era makes it VERY clear that the early Church understood this well. Why? There is NO record of speaking in tongues and other special gift use after John's Revelation on the Isle of Patmos. Indeed, in the last chapter of The Revelation a warning is given to anyone who would add to the revelation then complete.

Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Some of you will not like this for obvious reasons--
ALL REVELATION GIVEN TODAY, UNDER THE CLAIM THAT IT IS SPECIAL AND FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT, IS SATANIC, and those giving it will go to hell and receive the curse from the verses above.

The last use of the word discernment in the New Testament is here:

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Discernment comes as:

- One is exposed to "strong meat" or deep doctrinal teaching.

- To those who are aged in the local church

- To those who have dug deep into doctrinal truth many times, probably teaching it to their families and other saints.

- Those who ONLY use the discernment gained from much use of sound doctrine to distinguish good from evil.

So, there is NOTHING implied in discernment as we know it today that implies a special gift on the order of speaking in tongues of healing. In fact, the Bible teaches, at the end of the Apostolic Age, that totally different arrangements are used by the Holy Spirit to bring discernment to believers.

One must arrive at a discerning ability by hard work in study of the Bible, NOT by the laying on of hands or by joining some Charismatic oofus goofus circus show.

Finally, this ability to discern is not used to peek into the saints and find nasty things in them that they don't know about or are hiding. That work is the exclusive work of the Holy Spirit. It is used also by experienced saints in the warfare, which is NOT against flesh and blood, especially not the flesh and blood in the local church.

Here is where this discernment becomes precious to the local church:

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Discernment is found in aged, experienced, and bold defenders of the saints in the war against unsaved intruders into the local church, especially intruders from Satan and his fallen angels. This may often come in the person of people from near and far who try to present themselves as believers but are, in fact, wolves in sheep's clothing.

So, anyone who claims to have discernment, yet they have no reputation in the use of the Word, and in teaching the deep things of the faith once delivered..... that person is grandstanding and using the church to exalt themselves. They must be soundly rebuked and told to keep their ever loving mouth shut and sit still for a good long time.

Period ! Full stop !

 

PARENTHETIC COMMENT:
I want to make something clear before moving on. When a believer is confronted with actions, appearances in dress and body language, and conversation or teachings of some other believer, this does not require a special spiritual gift to discern. It DOES require that one have experience in the Word of God, experience in life in general, and the help of the Holy Spirit which ALL believers have from the day they were born again.

Ephesians 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

So, in the normal flow of life, in Christian fellowship and in the world at large, all believers must use this discernment in a practical sense to distinguish the profane and the holy. This is not a special gift of revelation of secret thoughts and sins in other people. It is a survival process that God requires of us all.

 

BIBLICAL DISCERNMENT

A. Let a man examine himself

1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

When another Christian, or a pastor, claims to be able to discern what evil or good is inside you, beware. If YOU cannot see the thing, then the one allegedly discerning you is operating in the flesh or the devil. You are the best qualified one to discern, or examine, yourself. If you are born again you have the same Spirit in you that these alleged discerners have.

Now, you may say, "That may be true most of the time, but my pastor is a Fundamental Bible believer using the King James Bible, and he walks close to God." I am glad to hear that, but if he claims the power to discern your heart, he is a devil, not a pastor of anything.

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

If you are born again, you have the Holy Spirit in you now. If you need your pastor to discern your heart, then you are not born again at all because the Holy Spirit does a great job of discerning, and he is the ONLY ONE in that office in the New Testament Church Age.

Also, to allow yourself to come under the examiner who is not in the Spirit is a great offense to God:

2 Timothy 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

If you submit to a hireling or an accuser of the brethren, you will sooner or later be "taken captive" of those scummy creeps. If you allow this to happen to your children and wife, you are a damned fool. And, I say that as usual in all good Christian charity.

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Providing includes defense against Satan and his servants.

 

B. Invite God to examine you

If you desire to be discerned, or searched in your heart, that is a good thing, but ONLY if you go to the divine Searcher.

Psalms 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Why would you invite some allegedly "spirit filled" Christian to search your heart when they do not have the ability or authority to do so? What you crave is a guru you can see because you are too rebellious to invite God to search your heart. You also know that God will not miss anything, while you may be able to fool a human discerner, right?

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

This verse makes it quite clear that the reading of the Word of God will search you just fine. When you have the sin of gluttony, and you have a big belly that forces you to waddle around like a duck, the last thing you want to read is:

Proverbs 23:1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:
2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.
3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

The flesh in us would much rather go to a mega church service and hear soft words about self-control from a preacher with a big belly or a $5 million dollar mansion and a fleet of new cars. Those preachers make self-control feel warm and fuzzy without self-sacrifice. It is my experience that most fat preachers joke about their gluttony and fat, so that would appeal to you if you too are a big fatty.

Psalms 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Secret faults are those sins which we commit which we are unaware of, though God hates them as much as the sins we do on purpose. It is NOT the work of fellow believers to discern the heart of you or me to find these sins done in ignorance. Once one of these church house "discerners" gets started, they will find all sorts of alleged faults and sins that either do not exist, or which God has not yet seen fit to reveal to us. These Satanic "discerners" get a morbid rush out of being able to intimidate other saints. They are literally agents of Satan.

Now, when it comes to presumptuous sins, those sins we know are wicked but we will not leave them behind, that is when God may see fit to rebuke us by the love and spiritual discernment of another saint. But, it will not be discerned by some itinerant wandering guru from the Rhema mob who has a one night stand in our local church. He is nothing but a fortune teller at best. God has made it very clear how such rebuke must take place:

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

The righteous way to deal with another saint regarding sin, possibly a sin he is not conscious of, is only if he be your brother in the fellowship, AND if he is not an heretic. Heretics must be rebuked wherever you find them and run out of the local church at once.

But, you have NO business speculating and trying to pry open your brother's private life to help him get right with God. This is done by preachers of ALL denominations far too much these days. The nanny and nagging approach to spirituality is damnable and should be slapped down at once. Loving rebuke must ONLY be done regarding something open and known to you as absolutely factual. If your pastor is a Sherlock Holmes, constantly trying to pry open your soul to make you naked before himself or the assembly, you are a supreme jack ass if you stay and submit to it in some sort of morbid misplaced church house sadomasochism.

So, when a brother approaches you and rebukes you, IN LOVE AND PRIVATELY, for something in your life, you need to pay close attention. God may well be using the brother to show you a need in your life to get cleaned up in some area. If God responds to your prayer that he "search" you, as in Psalm 139:23 above, then you dare not rule out his using your brother in Christ.

Bill was a cop in a city in western Michigan. One day, as he was driving home from work, he saw a man who was a leader in a Bible believing church in that area, coming out of a bar with a woman on his arm who was not his wife. Bill meditated on the thing for a while, and he came to the conclusion that there was no way to imagine that something godly was going on. So, Bill made a time to have coffee with the brother later, and Bill told him what he saw in front of the Bar. Bill then asked the man if he could give a godly explanation of the event. Bill wanted to leave the possibility that some very odd thing was happening that was not evil, though it appeared to be. The man broke down and wept and told Bill that he had felt horrible since the event. Later, when Bill met the man at a church event in the area, the man found Bill and took him aside. The man hugged Bill and thanked him for having the Christian zeal to rebuke him. He told Bill that if he had not done the right thing and rebuked him, he would probably have destroyed his marriage.

Now, who should you arrest in Christian love? Also, has someone who cares about you recently rebuked you, and you got your hackles up over it? You may be in deadly danger because you will not allow God to use your brother to rebuke you or secret of presumptuous sin.

We have yet to discuss presumptuous sin. This is sin which you KNOW is in you, and you go right on doing nothing about it. You do not want to hear from God, and when you read the Word or hear sermons, you shovel a lot of the message over your shoulder to someone else whom you think needs it more than you.

Well, how does God look at presumptuous sin? The law of Moses shows how God feels about this:

Numbers 15:28 And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him.
29 Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.

The man who sins, and possibly the elders of priest see the sin, must receive mercy IF he sinned in ignorance. He still needed atonement for the sin, but he was not to be punished. This applied to both the Israelite and the stranger who was visiting from elsewhere.

But, what about the man who sinned and sinned knowing very well that he was profaning the holiness of God?

Numbers 15:30 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.

Cut off? How serious was this in Moses' day? Let's read on:

Numbers 15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.
33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.
34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.
35 And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.

When you see a stop sign, and you run it because "no one is looking," that is presumptuous sin. It may seem like the man breaking the Sabbath Day law of Moses by gathering kindling sticks was not that guilty. The point is, and pay close attention, the greviousness of the sin is not the issue. The issue with God is that you did it on purpose, and you will do it again if you get a chance. God hates THAT. God killed the queers in Sodom for their lust and filthy life style, and God called for the death of a man for picking up sticks on the wrong day. These two sins may seem poles apart to you and me, but to God the intent of the heart is what matters most.

Presumptuous sin is deadly, and if you hear about it from God, or a brother in the Lord, that may be the last time you hear about it before God takes your life or destroys your health.

 

C. Mind your own business

1 Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

When a "discerner" comes glaring at you as if he has X-ray vision and can see all your wickedness.... Or, when such a flake tells you that God has given him the gift to discern sin in people, you MUST NOT cower before this agent of Hell. You must rebuke the hireling and run him off.

I hate this late great church house inquisition. It is no different than the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church in the Dark Ages when Catholic priests went about finding allegedly rebel Christians who needed to have their thumbs put in the screws and pinched until the confessed their sins. The result was that the victims repented of all manner of wicked sins they never committed.

We have the same thing today. These damned "discerners" come along, peek into your soul, and they tell you and the pastor that you have a certain wicked sin. You know in your conscience that you do not have that sin, but in order to keep your place in the order of the peck, you confess this fictitious sin and blabber about how you repented and God delivered you of that fake sin. You are a fool if you submit in this way.

When anything like this happens in your local church, especially when the pastor accuses you directly or indirectly in an altar call of some sin, AND you know it is not true, the very least you must do is get up and walk out. Never go back there. I would be delighted to hear that you went one step further-- quote the verse above in 1 Thessalonians to the preacher. Interrupt the altar call, and rebuke the hireling preacher out loud.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

I find it very interesting that Paul associated these trouble makers in the church house-- those who teach doctrine that cause division and offense against the sheep-- with gluttony. Is it not all too common to be the victim of a run away altar call, with lots of reference to the sins of the sheep, coming from a 400 lb Gospel blimp?

I know a fellow who had a great way of dealing with the church house inquisitors-- he would stare back at them and glare at them, but he said nothing. He did this also to preachers who gave those mysterious altar calls in which the hireling describes someone in the congregation, all but naming him. My friend would glare harder and harder until the preacher was about to explode. My friend always won the showdown. Try it, it is fun, and the freak in the pulpit deserves it.

 

MOVING ON

Now, we move on to the Fundamentalist, usually Baptist, version of the above error.

This ends up being a Fundamentalist version of what worldly shrinks call "regression." Women discerners are used to dig filth out of men, and male discerners dig filth out of women victims. The pastor claims it is so spiritual that this sick violation of the Word of God does not matter to them. The discerners are so spiritual that they allegedly could not possibly be affected in mind and libido by the sexual dainties they are digging up. The pastor and church are Fundamental Baptists.  So, this thing is NOT the exclusive stupidity of the Charismatics.

I am reminded of the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages taking the word of deranged woman against Bible believers. Also, we know that such visions of discernment were used by Cotton Mather in Salem, Mass. to convict women of witchcraft. What would seem to be a thing of the demented past is very much back with us.

______________________

Who does the examining according to the Word of God?

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Jesus, who is the Word of God in person, does the discerning today though the Holy Spirit..

Who does the discerning?

1 Corinthians 12:10 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: This is NOT discerning of the heart of the believer-- it is ONLY of spirits. To leave the discerning of the spirit world and walk around the assembly and try to peek into the heart of a believer is wicked.

Who dose the searching?

Psalms 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Who brings charges and condemnation against sinners?

Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Many Fundamental Baptist, Charismatic Word of Faith, Rhema apostles, and preachers in general have a very evil tendency to "discern" the motives and mind set of the saints. Somehow, the jack boot mentality drives preachers to a rapacious lust to know the heart of the sheep. There is NO justification for this, and the father and husband of every Christian home must verbally rebuke such intrusions openly and boldly. Tell that preacher to stop meddling in the mind and heart of you and your family.

The worst place for this is the alleged "Altar Call" in which the preacher wanders all through the minds of the listeners and tries to name their deepest sins by a sort of Russian roulette inventory of sins. It is not out of order to take your family and walk out at that point. You will be accused of being "under conviction," but you must take the risk of that.

READ MORE ABOUT ALTAR CALLS.

 


A Letter From a Reader of the Journal

Editor's note: The following is very typical, NOT exceptional.
This kind of farce is being promoted in thousands of Pentecostal
and Charismatic churches, AND, there are a bunch of Baptists
doing this.

 

From: M_______________
To: steve Van Nattan
Subject: "Gifties"

Yep, Steve, you are right again! I was in "one of those churches" for a while and we had our own "giftie." She boasted the gift of discernment, saw demons behind every door. Often said to others, "that just does not bear witness with my spirit," like she was the authority. Approached people after church and asked, "is everything okay between you and the Lord?" (Since I was living as close to the Lord as possible I replied, "as far as I know.") Accused a warm, friendly man in the church of having a "familiar spirit," obviously not knowing the meaning of the term. Often pointed out those in the body in whom she discerned homosexual traits. Got people down with her gift of suspicion and ministry of exhortation.

In retrospect I have nothing but compassion for this poor woman. She had much pain. One daughter was a chronic liar, the other had a sexual obsession at age five, and as every kid in seventh grade knew (although the pastors didn't) her teenage son was headed for a life of sodomy. He eventually died of AIDS.

Where was the discernment? Do gifts always come with ribbons and fancy wrappings? I contend that discernment is given to those who choose not to be deceived.

M___________________


 

 

A SERMON ON DISCERNING OF SPIRITS


TRYING THE SPIRITS

Preached at Gower Street Chapel, London,
on June 18, 1865, by J. C. Philpot

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God." 1 John 4:1

Has it never struck you as a remarkable circumstance that in what are called primitive times, no, in the very days of the apostles themselves, there should spring up in the professing church a crop of men, some of whom were abandoned to the vilest sins, and others given up to believe and propagate the grossest errors and heresies? We would naturally have thought that when such manifest dangers awaited every one who professed to believe in Jesus Christ; when Christians were objects on every side of the deepest enmity and hottest persecution; when every convert carried his life as if in his hand; above all, when there was such a large outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the churches, that there would have been generally, as well as individually, both purity of doctrine and purity of life. But that such was far from the case is evident from the testimony of the New Testament Scriptures.

With what burning words, for instance, does holy Jude stamp some of the professors of his day� "These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear� clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withers, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever." What! were there such men as are thus described in the primitive church? and not merely here and there, timidly and cautiously concealing themselves and their real sentiments, but avowing themselves without shame?

"Ungodly men," that is, openly so, "godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality" by their base and licentious conduct, and "denying by their works as well as their words the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ;" as ignorant as they were impudent, "speaking evil of those things which they know not;" not merely falling through the power of temptation and mercifully restored, but "walking," that is, habitually living "after their own lusts," and debasing themselves to the lowest level "as brute beasts, in what they know naturally corrupting themselves."

Now how gross must have been their errors, how abandoned, their conduct, that an inspired apostle of God should denounce them in language which, for a parallel, has scarcely an equal in the word of truth, except such as Peter, in his second Epistle, has made use of to describe the character and end of the same or similar ungodly professors. You will have observed that those against whom Peter and Jude drew their flaming pens were chiefly men of ungodly, abandoned life-- whom we should call in our day "vile Antinomians."

But besides this crop of openly ungodly professors, there were in those days very many erroneous men, I mean such as held great doctrinal errors. Some, for instance, denied the resurrection altogether, as was the case at Corinth (1 Cor. 15:12); others, as Hymeneus and Philetus, said that it was past already. (2 Tim. 2:18.) John tells us in the verse from which my text is taken that "many," not a scattered few, but "many false prophets are gone out into the world." Of these, some denied both the Father and the Son; others that Jesus was the Christ; others that he was come in the flesh, that is, had only come in a kind of mystical way, and that his human nature was not real flesh and blood, but only so in appearance� the effect being to deny altogether the reality of the atonement. Into these various errors I cannot now enter, contenting myself with this observation, that there is scarcely an error, a false doctrine, or a heresy that has ever come abroad in the professing church, of which we have not some indication or intimation in the New Testament, either in a way of positive denunciation, or of solemn, affectionate warning, or of prophetic anticipation.

Of this last we have a remarkable instance in both the Epistles to Timothy, where the apostle declares in the spirit of prophecy the corrupt doctrines and no less corrupt practices which would be manifested in the last days (1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-5); describing errors which had not then made their appearance in the professing church, or, at least, only in their first buddings.

But if it excites our wonder that such fearful errors and such gross evils should have manifested themselves at so early a period, yet it may also raise our admiration at God's providence, if they were to appear at all, in allowing them at that time to appear. It certainly was a very remarkable provision of the wisdom of the all-wise God, that, if error and sin were to spring up in the church, as tares among the wheat, they would first raise their head in the apostolic times, when inspired men of God could denounce it with their pen, and leave upon record, for our instruction in all ages, a clear description of who the men were that gave them birth, both in their character and in their end. The church was thus forewarned, forearmed.

Spiritual weapons were laid up as in an armory, which every Christian warrior might take down as fresh enemies of truth in its purity or in its practice might arise, and hew them down, as Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal. Those who contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, are generally accused of a bad and bitter spirit. Such accusations have often been launched at my unworthy head. But that there may be a union of the tenderest spirit of love with the sternest denunciation of error and evil, is very plain from the character and writings of John; for which, of all the inspired epistles, breathes a more tender spirit of love, and yet contains stronger denunciations of error and evil?

But let us now approach the words of our text. John gives us in it a very solemn warning: "Beloved", addressing himself in most tender and affectionate language to the church of God, "Beloved, believe not every spirit." Do not receive everything which comes abroad under the name and guise of religion. "Try the spirits." Weigh the matter well; examine for yourselves whether these spirits are of God. And why? "Because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

Believing that John's words and John's warnings are as applicable now as they were then or ever have been, I shall endeavor, with God's help and blessing, to lay open the mind of the Spirit in the words before us, and, in doing so, to bring these three things before you:

First, the false spirit: what holy John calls in a succeeding verse "the spirit of error."

Secondly, the true spirit, or what he calls "the spirit of truth."

Thirdly, the trying of the spirits, "whether they are of God."

 

I. "The spirit of error."

But before I show you the marks and features of the false spirit, I must explain a little what is intended by the word "spirit," or, rather, what meaning it bears generally in the New Testament, and especially in the words before us; for you will observe that John does not bid us try men or the words of men, but try the spirits, that is, as I understand, the minds, breathings, and influences of men.

A. There is something in "spirit," in its New Testament sense, which goes far beyond words.

In spirit; taking a broad view of the subject, there is something eminently subtle. We see it in the very wind, of which the word "spirit" is merely another name. There is something keen and penetrating in the wind. Some of us feel how it can search the very bones, especially where there is not much flesh upon them to keep it out. By this subtlety it can, so to speak, propagate itself as well as penetrate into every corner. Like the air, it cannot be kept out, but will enter through the least opening, and make itself felt wherever it penetrates. Words come and go� they are mere sounds, which have often no more real power or effect than the beating of a drum or a shrill blast from a trumpet. Thousands and tens of thousands of words have been spoken, aye, and sermons preached, which have had no more influence on the minds of men than the tunes of a organ in the street.

But in spirit there is something eminently penetrating, diffusive, suggestive, influential. Have you caught my idea? Do you see the distinction between the words of a man and the spirit of a man, whether for good or evil? And do you not see that it is not what a man says, nor even what a man does, but the spirit which a man breathes which carries with it the influence which acts upon the minds of others?

In nothing is this more true than in religion. Observe this especially in the ministry of the word. It is not a man's speech which has an influence, that is, a vital, permanent influence upon the church and congregation. It is the spirit which proceeds from him; the spirit which he breathes, whether it be a spirit of error or a spirit of truth, the Spirit of God or the spirit of Satan, which stamps his ministry with its peculiar effect. I have watched and observed this for years, and have seen how a hard spirit in the pulpit communicates a hard spirit to the pew; and, on the contrary, that a tender, Christian spirit in the minister, a humble, solemn, reverent, God-fearing spirit in the ministry of the word carries with it a similar influence, and moulds according to the same pattern the minds of the people who habitually listen to it. We almost insensibly catch and drink into the tone and spirit of those with whom we associate; and though we scarcely understand the process, or mark its growth and progress, we gradually drop into it, become, as it were, imbued with it, and in our turn propagate it to others.

It is quite right that we should try men's words; for, as Elihu speaks, "the ear tries words as the mouth tastes food" (Job 34:3); and we should also narrowly watch men's actions, for our Lord has said, "You shall know them by their fruits." (Matt. 7:16.) But neither words nor works so much discover the real minds of men as their spirit. Is it not the possession of a tender, gracious, humble, and godly spirit which so particularly distinguishes the living family of God, which indeed we can hardly describe, yet sensibly feel when we are in their company? that meek and lowly spirit of Christ in them, which draws our heart towards them in admiration and affection, creating and cementing a love and union which cannot be explained, and yet is one of the firmest, strongest ties which can knit soul to soul? And do we not see also in most that we casually meet with� a worldly, carnal, selfish, proud, unhumbled spirit, which sets us as far from them as the broken spirit of which I have spoken brings us near to the others?

B. False spirits and the spirit of error.

Having thus taken this slight view of the meaning of the word "spirit," as bearing upon the words of our text in which we are bidden to try the spirits, I will now bring forward, as the Lord may enable, a few marks of this false spirit, the spirit of error, against which we are to be upon our guard. And do try the spirits as I go on, and see whether you can trace anything in your bosom of the false spirit; for bear this in mind, that we would not be interested in such an admonition as John has given us, unless there was in our nature a corrupt principle, which could drink into a wrong spirit. If we could stand separate and isolated from the influence of a spirit, whether good or bad, it would little affect us what spirit we inhaled from others, or breathed in turn ourselves. But our soul, in one sense, resembles our body, to which it makes a great difference whether we breathe pure or impure air, whether we inhale the breeze which brings health in its wings, or that which comes loaded with the vapors of the pestilential marsh. The pure air can purify the blood, as well as the impure can taint and defile it; the one can be the source of health, the other of disease.

Let us not think that our soul is so fortified as to be able to neglect all precaution. Our blood may be tainted before we are aware, and poison may even now be circulating in our veins, which will not indeed kill us if we are the Lord's, and yet may have a very pernicious influence upon our spiritual health. It is because we have deeply imbedded in our very nature a corrupt principle, which is akin to, and but for God's gracious help and interference, would greedily drink into a wrong and false, a corrupt and erroneous spirit, that we need some close self-examination to ascertain whether we have drunk into that spirit or not.

Let no man think himself beyond the necessity of self-examination. How strongly does the apostle urge this Christian duty� "Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove your own selves." (2 Cor. 13:5.) It marks an honest spirit when we can say, "Search me, O God, and know my heart� try me, and know my thoughts� and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm. 139:23, 24.) The Lord give us grace and wisdom to "prove all things; and hold fast that which is good." (1 Thess. 5:21.) "That we may approve things that are excellent; that we may be sincere and without offence until the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God." (Phil. 1:10, 11.)

1. There is first, then, an ANTINOMIAN spirit, and that spirit has been, if not now is, very prevalent in the Calvinistic churches.

In avoiding one rock men have fallen upon the other. Disclaiming, justly disclaiming, and disavowing all good works as matters of justification, many professors of the doctrines of grace seem utterly unconcerned whether there should be in heart, lip, or life any good works at all; setting aside, justly and properly, human merit upon which to stand before God, and making salvation to be, as indeed it is, wholly of grace; men, many men, both ministers and people, have, I am sorry to say, perverted and abused these glorious doctrines of grace to bad ends. I am well convinced from long observation, that among many professors of the glorious truths of the gospel, there is a sadly and widely prevailing Antinomian spirit� that is, an ungodly spirit, a spirit of carelessness, if not open immorality, a spirit of worldliness and self indulgence, of levity and looseness in their general conduct and conversation, a spirit of hardness, negligence, and allowed indulgence in things which are altogether opposed to the fear of God in a tender conscience. We may almost wonder that there could be such characters among those who profess "the doctrine which is according to godliness."

A little examination however will clearly show us the reason why this Antinomian spirit manifests itself in the way that I have described. The word of God has very clearly pointed it out in various places. The way in which this subtle spirit works and acts seems to be much in this way. Convictions of sin lay hold upon men's 'natural' conscience, the effect of which is to compel them to relinquish their sins, that is, the open practice of them. This change in them taking place under a minister of truth, attaches them to his ministry; and therefore the next step is to receive from his lips and the example and conversation of the people who meet at the same place, a scheme of sound doctrinal truth into their natural mind, without any real change of heart or any work of grace upon the soul. Thus by a conjunction of convictions in the natural conscience with a knowledge of the truth in the judgment, they, as Peter speaks, for a time "escape [literally, fly from] the pollutions of the world," make a profession of religion, consider themselves, and are often considered by others, true and undoubted children of God.

But not having the right spirit, the fear of God in a tender conscience; not having the teaching and operation, work and witness of the Holy Spirit in their bosom, it happens to them, as Peter speaks, "according to the true proverb; The dog returns to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." (2 Pet. 2:22.) The reason of this is because they never were really divorced from sin by the separating power of the Holy Spirit, piercing by the word of God even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow." (Heb. 4:12.) Thus, the tie that united them to the works of darkness was really never broken. The Spirit of God never really broke up the love and power of sin in their breast, either by a series of spiritual convictions, or by planting the fear of God in their heart, or by a gracious discovery of the Person and work, love and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Their old corrupt nature was 'covered over by a gilded profession'; but after all it was only the original, rotten, worm-eaten wooden casket. When, then, their convictions had become lulled asleep by a reception of the truth merely into their 'judgment', without any real work of grace upon their 'heart', the natural bent of their mind towards sin began to manifest itself; and as they could not decently throw away their profession; and as this was their grand salve if conscience felt uneasy, they became in spirit if not in practice Antinomians.

But we would greatly err if we thought that none had this spirit except such characters as I have just described. For a time and to a certain extent, through the power of temptation; the influence of a loose and careless ministry, or the example of ill-chosen associates, even one who fears God may be entangled in this Antinomian spirit; and as this spirit is very subtle, he may hardly see how far he is possessed of it until the Lord is pleased to break the snare, and by his chastening rod convince him what secret poison he has drunk of, and how it has enervated his strength, hidden from him the face of God, and brought leanness and death into his soul. There are few of us of any long standing in a profession who have not at some period or other of it been tempted by this spirit, or been entangled in it, like Bunyan's pilgrim, falling asleep in the arbor, or turning into By-path meadow.

2. But there is a spirit the exact opposite to this. I mean a SELF-RIGHTEOUS spirit.

You may divide men, generally speaking, who have a wrong spirit, into two grand classes� there are those who have drunk more or less deeply into an Antinomian spirit, who think little of sin, and indulge it secretly or openly. And there are those, who, from natural temperament, general strictness of life and conduct, absence of powerful temptations, and having been shielded by various restraints from the commission of open evil, are secretly imbued with a strong spirit of self-righteousness. These having been preserved from the corruptions of the world and the open sins of the flesh, frequently manifest in their religious profession a Pharisaical, self-righteous spirit, which, though not so gross or so palpable as an Antinomian spirit, is hardly less dangerous, and casts almost as much contempt upon salvation by grace as that which abuses it to licentiousness.

Deer justly observes, that the space between 'Pharisaic zeal' and 'Antinomian security' is much narrower and harder to find than most men imagine. It is a path which the vulture's eye has not seen; and none can show it to us but the Holy Spirit. This witness is true; and the longer we live and the further we walk in the ways of God, the more do we find it so. As the same vessel in the same voyage may have to encounter opposite winds, and be exposed to the same peril from both, though in opposite directions, so the very same believer may sometimes be caught by an Antinomian spirit, and be driven out of his course in one direction, and sometimes by a self-righteous spirit, and driven out of his course in the other.

3. A WORLDLY spirit is another spirit of error, against which we have to be upon our guard, and to try ourselves whether this spirit be in us or not.

The first effect of sovereign grace in its divine operation upon the heart of a child of God is to separate him from the world by infusing into him a new spirit, which is not of the world, but of God. We see this in the case of Abraham. When God called him by his grace, he was bidden to "get out of his country, and from his kindred, and from his father's house." (Gen. 12:1.) The words of the Lord to his chosen Bride are� "Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear; forget also your own people, and your father's house; so shall the king greatly desire your beauty, for he is your Lord; and worship him." (Psalm. 45:10, 11.) When our gracious Lord called his disciples, they forsook all and followed him. The apostle expressly tells us that Jesus "gave himself for our sins that he might deliver us from this present evil world" (Gal. 1:4); and God's call to his people is, "Come out from among them, and be separate." (2 Cor. 6:17.) Indeed there is little evidence that grace ever touched our hearts if it did not separate us from this ungodly world.

But where there is not this divine work upon a sinner's conscience; where there is no communication of this new heart and this new spirit, no infusion of this holy life, no animating, quickening influence of the Spirit of God upon the soul, whatever a man's outward profession may be, he will ever be of a worldly spirit. A set of doctrines, however sound, merely received into the natural understanding, cannot divorce a man from that innate love of the world which is so deeply rooted in our very present being. No mighty power has come upon his soul to revolutionize his every thought, cast his soul as if into a new mold, and by stamping upon it the mind and likeness of Christ to change him altogether. It may be checked by circumstances, controlled by natural conscience, or influenced by the example of others; but a worldly spirit will ever peep out from the thickest disguise, and manifest itself, as occasion draws it forth, in every unregenerate man.

4. A PROUD spirit, an unhumbled, self-exalting, self-esteeming spirit, is a spirit of error.

It is not the spirit of the meek and lowly Jesus. It savors not, it breathes not of the spirit of Christ, who said of himself, "Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart." The foundation of this proud spirit lies deeply imbedded in the human heart, and is one of the most marked features of the fall. Wherever, then, you see pride, whatever form it assume, worldly or religious, pride indulged, pride not confessed, mourned over, and fought against, for we all have pride working in us, there is the very spirit of anti-Christ; there is the false spirit, the spirit of error.

5. Again, a CARELESS spirit, a reckless, thoughtless, light, and trifling spirit, is a spirit of falsehood and a spirit of error.

To trifle with God in a light, frivolous manner; to profess the solemn verities and heavenly realities of our most holy faith, and yet to carry into the house of God or into the things of God that light, trifling spirit which we see manifested in the world: all with eyes to see and heart to feel must see and feel that this is opposed root and branch to the Spirit of Christ. And yet how prevalent it is in the professing church! How we seem surrounded on every hand with a company of light, trifling, carnal professors, who not only in their habitual life and demeanor, but even at those very moments when we think their minds should be solemnized and their levity subdued, seem more given up to it than at almost any other time.

Mark them as they come tumbling out of the house of prayer; hear their light conversation with each other; watch their smiling countenances, and the loud familiar greetings with which they hail those of the same spirit as themselves; and see how all those solemn impressions, and that grave, reverential demeanor which befit the saints of God after hearing the word of life are swallowed up and buried in an overflowing tide of almost crude merriment. Surely there is enough of what we see and feel of evil within us and evil about us, and of what the Lord suffered to deliver us from it, to solemnize if not sadden our spirit. But instead of this chastened spirit of grave and solemn recollectedness, which is a very different thing from a mere sanctimonious appearance, in how many places are rather seen almost the exuberant spirits of a worldly holiday.

6. An UNFORGIVING spirit, a bitter, harsh spirit, a dividing spirit.

This is a spirit that, like the storm-bird, is most at home in a storm; that loves contention for its own sake, and is never so pleased as when it is in the midst of it, has marks upon it of being the very spirit of falsehood, the very spirit of error; for it is directly opposed to the gentle, kind, loving, affectionate, tender spirit of Christ. How this bitter, contentious spirit has again and again ruined the peace of churches, rent asunder the dearest friends, sown the seeds of prejudice and ill-will in fellow-worshipers and fellow-members never to be eradicated, broken the heart of godly ministers, grieved and troubled tender consciences, scattered causes of truth to the winds, made truth contemptible, and put into the hands of its enemies one of their strongest weapons against it.

 

II. But I pass on now to show you by way of contrast some of the marks of the true spirit.

But here, at the very outset, lies a great difficulty, because as we possess a corrupt nature, as well as a nature born of God, both of these two spirits will be in our own bosom! It is as the apostle speaks, "the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other." Now the effect of this is, that a man who truly fears the Lord, finds in his bosom two different spirits, two adverse winds blowing opposite ways, and driving him, or threatening to drive him into two contrary directions. But in this as in so many other instances, God has given us a gracious provision to meet with and overcome this difficulty.

First, he has given us his holy word to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, which is full of instruction to show us the difference between these two spirits; and secondly, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, he gives his people a measure of spiritual discernment to guide them aright in this important matter. He therefore enlightens the eyes of their understanding to see, and renews them in the spirit of their mind to feel, what the true spirit is as distinct from the false. He plants his fear in their heart as a fountain of life to depart from the snares of death, of which this false spirit is one of the most subtle and seducing. He makes them of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord, for his fear is their treasure. He gives them the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16.) And as he thus breathes the Spirit of Christ into their soul, that Spirit of Christ in their bosom becomes a guiding light, who sheds his rays and beams through all the secret recesses of their breast. He searches out, brings to light, and passes sentence upon everything which is evil, for it is "the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the heart."(Prov. 20:27.)

And thus, with all the sagacity of a detective hunting out the perpetrator of some crime, or of a policeman turning the eye of his lantern to bear upon a suspected man in the dark, so the spirit of Christ in a believer's bosom hunts up each track of evil, and casts a clear broad light on everything which would hide itself in the dark chambers of imagery. In fact, so needful is the possession of this inward light, that if a man has not in his bosom a measure of the Spirit of Christ, of the grace of Christ, of the presence of Christ, and of the power of Christ, he is not in a position to see the spirit of error or of sin in himself or others. He follows blindly on where Satan leads him. Traps and snares are spread for his feet, and into them he recklessly falls. There is nothing in him to keep him back from evil or to hold him up from error. He has not the guiding light of the Spirit of God in his breast, nor any warm, tender life breathed into his soul out of the fullness of Christ. Therefore, lacking light to see, and life to feel, and destitute of the spirit of gracious discernment, he is almost sure to slip into some evil, or be entangled in some error.

This point, however, I shall have occasion to enter more fully into when we come to the last head of my discourse. Bearing then in mind these remarks which I have thrown out by way of anticipation to guide your judgment for the present, now look at a few marks of the TRUE spirit� the Spirit of Christ in a believer's bosom.

1. The first mark of that spirit, due to its birth and origin, and as being a copy of the Spirit of Jesus, is that it is a TENDER spirit.

I pointed out as one of the marks of a false spirit, a spirit of error, that it was a hard, harsh spirit, what the Scripture calls "a heart of stone." Now the opposite to this, as the Spirit of Christ in the believer's bosom, is a spirit of tenderness. We see this eminently in young Josiah, and it was that special mark on which God put the broad seal of his approbation, "Because your heart was tender." (2 Chron. 34:37.) But what makes the heart tender? When God begins his work of grace upon a sinner's soul, he puts his finger upon his heart, thus doing to it what he did to that band of men who went home with Saul, of whom we read, "whose hearts God had touched." (1 Sam. 10:26.) The touch of God in a man's soul makes it soft and tender. It is with the soul as with the earth and the hills� "He uttered his voice, the earth melted." "The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord." (Psalm. 46:6; 97:5.)

This tenderness of spirit thus produced, manifests itself in its actings, movements, and dealings towards God and man. First, it is tender toward GOD; for it is often very sore under divine pressure. The hand of God is very weighty and powerful wherever strongly laid on. This made the Psalmist cry, "Day and night your hand was heavy upon me." (Psalm. 32:4.) "Your hand presses me sore." (Psalm. 38:2.) So also, "Remove your stroke away from me; I am consumed by the blow of your hand." (Psalm. 39:10.) Under the pressure, then, of this hand, sin is felt as a heavy burden, and very many keen sensations agitate the breast, making the conscience sore, and causing it to smart under painful apprehensions of the anger of God, and of his displeasure against the sins we have committed and the evils that work in us. This tenderness of spirit, God notices and approves of, for there is in it that brokenness of which we read� "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit" (Psalm. 51:17), rising up as it were before him like the smoke of an acceptable sacrifice.

Now it is by the keen sensations which are thus produced by the Spirit of God in the soul, that the gracious convictions of a child of God are distinguished from the natural convictions of a reprobate. A man may have the deepest convictions, may be, to use a common expression, shaken over the mouth of hell, and yet never have the fear of God in his soul, never possess any one feature or mark of that tenderness of spirit of which I have spoken, of that contrite and humble spirit with which God dwells (Isa. 57:15), or of that poor and contrite spirit that trembles at God's word, to which he especially looks. (Isa. 66:2.)

Natural convictions, however severe, if they are but natural, may drive a man to desperation, but they will never produce real tenderness of spirit Godwards. After a time they will wear off, and his heart will become as hard toward God as a piece of the nether millstone; hardened, one may say, as the blacksmith's anvil, by the very blows which have fallen upon it. But the grace, the Spirit, and the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is tenderness itself, will ever manifest themselves by producing in the soul a tender spirit Godwards. This is especially shown in the tender sensations of a living conscience under a sight and sense of sin, not only in its guilt but in the discovery of the dreadful evils of the heart as they rise up to view, and as their exceeding sinfulness is more and more opened up as being hateful and detestable to God.

But as this tender spirit is thus manifested toward God and the things of God generally, so it is also to the PEOPLE of God. The soul under divine teaching is led to see and feel that he who touches God's people touches the apple of God's eye. This makes him tender of wounding the feelings of God's saints, of speaking anything to their injury, even thinking anything to their detriment; for having a tender feeling toward the Lord, he has a tender feeling toward those who are the Lord's. This tender spirit manifests itself as one of the first evidences of divine life in the warm love and gentle affection which spring up in the believing heart toward the people of God. The grace of God making the heart and conscience tender, kindles, produces, and keeps alive a tender affection toward God's saints as a conspicuous part of this tenderness; and it thus becomes the first sensible evidence of its divine origin; as John speaks: "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." (1 John 3:14.) And again: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God." (1 John 4:7.)

2. But this spirit, this new spirit, this true spirit, this Spirit of Christ in a believer's bosom, is a PRAYERFUL spirit.

I have no good opinion of any man's religion which did not begin with a spirit of prayer. I know that mine began so, and that it came upon me without my seeking to produce it, and has more or less abode with me to this day. This spirit of prayer indeed is one of the chief marks which distinguish gracious convictions from those which are merely natural. Do you find that Saul, or Ahithophel, or Judas ever prayed? "They have not cried unto me with their hearts," says the prophet, "when they howled upon their beds." (Hosea 7:14.) Is not this spirit of prayer a special gift of God? Has not he declared that he will pour upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication? (Zech. 12:10.) And what is the effect of this heavenly shower? "They shall look upon me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for his only son."

Here we have the union of three gracious marks: a spirit of prayer to cry for mercy, a looking unto and upon Jesus whom they have pierced, and repentance and godly sorrow over their sins and over him. None of these things are found except in those on whom God shows mercy.

The same mark is given by another of the prophets: "They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them." (Jer. 31:9.) We see this mark eminently in the case of Saul. "Behold, he prays," was God's word to Ananias to assure him that this bloodthirsty persecutor was a new-born soul; and that he who had no mercy upon Stephen was crying to God for mercy to himself. (Acts 9:11.) Wherever then there is a prayerful spirit, it is a blessed mark, and that it is the Lord's purpose to grant him every desire of his heart. Indeed, until God is pleased to pour out upon us the spirit of grace and of supplications, we cannot worship him aright; for God is a Spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24); nor can we, without this Spirit, offer up that spiritual sacrifice which is acceptable to him through Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. 2:5.)

When this spirit has been once given and kindled in a believer's breast, it never dies out. It is like the fire upon the bronze altar, which was first given by the Lord himself from heaven, and concerning which God gave this command: "The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out." (Lev. 6:13.) This fire might sink low; it might be covered with the ashes of sacrifice, but it never was allowed to go out for lack of supply of fuel.

So at times it may seem to you as if there were scarcely any spirit of prayer alive in your bosom; and you may feel as destitute of a spirit of grace and of supplication as if you had never known its lively movements and actings. But you will find it drawn out from time to time by circumstances. You will be placed under peculiar trials, under which you will find no relief but at a throne of grace; or God will in tender mercy breathe again upon your soul with his own gracious Spirit, and by his quickening breath will revive� I will not say kindle, for it is not gone out, that holy fire which seemed to be buried under the ashes of corruption, that inward spirit of prayer which he gave you at regeneration, and which will never cease until it issues in everlasting praise.

3. This new and true spirit is also a CAREFUL spirit: by which I mean, it is utterly opposed to, and distinct from that careless spirit which I have denounced as eminently a spirit of falsehood and error.

There is nothing of this recklessness and thoughtlessness in the new spirit, the spirit of truth. On the contrary, it is jealous over itself with a godly jealousy. It fears to be wrong, it desires to be right. Whatever the consequences or the sacrifices which to walk in the right way of the Lord may entail, the soul born of God desires to be right. "Lord, lead me right;" "Lord, keep me right," is the constant, the earnest desire of every new-born soul. And by this spirit of godly jealousy over self, by this earnest and unceasing desire to be made right and kept right, it is preserved from many of those snares into which others heedlessly fall, and by which they bring either destruction or misery upon themselves.

4. Again, it is a spirit of FAITH. There is a distinction to be made between faith and the spirit of faith.

"We having," says the apostle, "the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believe, and therefore have I spoken, we also believe, and therefore speak." (2 Cor. 4:13.) The spirit of faith is faith in exercise. Faith sometimes is like a day in which there is no wind blowing. It is so calm, that there scarcely appears to be any air stirring to move a leaf. But after a time a gentle breeze comes and blows over the earth. Thus it is with faith and the spirit of faith. Faith in repose is like the calm air of a summer's day, when there is nothing moving or stirring; faith acting, faith in exercise, is like the same air in the gentle breeze which makes itself sensibly felt. If God has given me faith, that faith is never lost out of my breast. If once a believer, I always am a believer; for if I could cease to believe, I would cease to be a child of God; I would lose salvation out of my heart, for I am saved by grace through faith.

And yet there may be many times and seasons when I may not have much of the spirit of faith. Faith may be very inactive, I will not say stagnant, for that would almost imply death, but still, quiet, calm, sleeping like a bird with its head under its wing. But in due time there is a stirring, a movement; a gracious blowing of the Spirit: "Awake, O north wind, and come O south wind; blow upon my garden." (Song 4:16.) "Come from the four winds, O breath." (Ezek. 37:9.) This heavenly breath of the Holy Spirit acts upon faith, awakens it, revives and reanimates it, and draws it forth into lively operation. It thus becomes a spirit of faith, acting spiritually and energetically according to its measure. John was "in the Spirit on the Lord's day." (Rev. 1:10.) He was not always in the Spirit by lively action, though he was never out of the Spirit by his extinction. So faith is sometimes, so to speak, in the Spirit; and then its eyes are open, like the eyes of John, to see spiritually what he saw visibly, the Person of Christ, and its ear open to hear inwardly what he heard outwardly, the words of Christ.

5. But the spirit of LOVE is one of the grand characteristics of this new and true spirit; for "love is of God, and he that loves knows God and is born of God."

I can have no satisfaction, real satisfaction, that I am a partaker of the Spirit and grace of Christ except I feel some measure of the love of God shed abroad in my heart. I may have hopes, expectations, and evidences, fainter or brighter; but I have no sure, clear evidence in my own soul that I have the Spirit and grace of Christ there, except I am blessed with the love of God; for until love comes, there is fear which has torment. And while we have fear which has torment, there is no being made perfect in love. You have no clear assurance in your own breast that God has loved you with an everlasting love; nor have you any bright testimony that the Spirit of God makes your body his temple until this love comes into your soul. But when the crowning blessing comes of the love of God experimentally felt and enjoyed by his own shedding of it abroad in the heart, with the communication of the spirit of adoption to cry "Abba, Father," that is the sealing testimony of your possession of the true spirit; for it is "a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind;" and where there is this there is also a spirit of love and affection to all the family of God.

I am obliged to pass by various other marks of this true spirit, for I must not omit to bring before you the 'trying of the spirits' as one prominent feature of my present discourse.
 

III. The TRYING of the spirits.

Observe the strong and striking language of John� "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

A. John here addresses himself to the family of God.

"Beloved." It is these beloved ones, beloved of God and of himself, whom he warns, and upon whom he urges the necessity and the importance of this trial. He would not encourage that foolish, childish credulity which receives everything and everybody that makes a profession of religion. And this warning cry is addressed to us as well as to them, if we are among the "beloved;" and indeed was never more needed than now. There is much delusion abroad, many errors, many abounding evils. There is then with us a kind of spiritual necessity not to believe every spirit, not to receive with superstitious credulity whatever any man or minister, however high in a profession, may tell us. We are to be upon our guard not to be imposed upon by erroneous men, however plausible or however popular, not to be beguiled by any false spirit, from whatever quarter it blows or from whatever mouth it comes; but in the calm, quiet depths of our own bosom, in all simplicity and godly sincerity, with meekness and humility, to try the spirits, to weigh them, to examine them well, and come to some decision in our own conscience what manner of spirit that is, which calls upon us for our acceptance as of God.

We are continually thrown into the company of professors of religion. What must we test then, in them that we may follow John's directions? Not their words altogether, though words sometimes are quite sufficient to manifest a man's real character, for a "fool's voice is known by the multitude of words." (Eccles. 5:3.) But men may say anything; and the more men's consciences are hardened the more boldly and presumptuously they can speak. What man in business trusts men's words, unless they have other evidence? How deceptive words are! What imposition is continually practiced by plausible words and strong protestations, loud declarations, and repeated promises. Men of business look for something beyond all these words� they want realities, substance, facts, deeds and documents, responsibility and security. And shall we be less wise than they? Shall the children of this world be wiser in their generation than the children of light? We then have to try the spirits, our own and others, to see whether they are of God, leaving to novices and self-deceivers to be beguiled by the plausible words of 'hypocrites in Zion'.

B. But how shall we try them? There are four ways whereby we may try the spirits, whether they are of God.

1. The first is by the word of truth.

God has given us the Scriptures, blessed be his holy name, as a perfect revelation of his mind and will. There he has deposited his sacred truth in all its purity and blessedness, that it may shed a continual and steady light from generation to generation. We must then bring ourselves and others to the test of the Scriptures to know whether the spirit which is in us or in them is of God or not. Now in this chapter John gives us several tests whereby to try the true spirits. One is the confession that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. In those days there was a set of pestilent heretics who denied the real humanity of our blessed Lord. They held that his body was not real flesh and blood of the substance of the Virgin, but a mere shadowy appearance. But what was the effect of this vile and damnable error? To destroy in a moment all the effects of Christ's suffering and death; for if his body were a shadowy body, there could be no taking of the nature of the children, no substitution of himself in their place and stead, and therefore no true sacrifice, no real atonement for sin. In this day we do not hear much of an error like this, for it seems quite to have died out. And yet men may deny that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh if they deny the fruits that spring out of his coming in the flesh.

An Antinomian, for instance, still denies it, because Jesus Christ came to make us holy, to keep us from ungodliness, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. The Antinomian spirit, therefore, really denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh; for it denies the power of his resurrection in raising us up to a new life, the efficacy of his blood to sanctify as well as to atone, and indeed all that Jesus has done to reconcile us unto God, as far as regards its manifestation in our hearts and lives.

So also the Pharisaic spirit equally denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. If you can save yourself by your own works, what do you need Jesus Christ for? Why need Jesus Christ have come in the flesh if your works could save you, and you can stand upon your own righteousness? Thus the Pharisee denies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh as much as the Antinomian.

And could we pursue the point through all its various bearings, we would find that every manifestation of the spirit of error is a virtual denying that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; for his coming in the flesh is the root of all blessings and of all blessedness, as the root of all our standing in him and of every blessing with which we are blessed in him. The spirit, therefore, of error, in all its branches is a virtual denial of Jesus Christ having come in the flesh.

But again, John gives us another test, the hearing of the apostles. "He that is of God hears us." A listening to God's word as revealed in the Scriptures, a drinking into the very spirit of truth as delivered by the apostles and handed down in the word of God, a receiving tenderly and graciously, with a child-like spirit, God's truth, so as to be saved and blessed thereby, is a test to which we must bring every spirit, whether the spirit of truth or the spirit of error.

2. But I said that there is another test whereby we are to try the spirits, and that is by the work of God upon our own soul.

Many have the word of God in their hands and in their mouths; but what is the word of God to them? They have no light to see its meaning; no understanding to enter into its holy and gracious declarations; no faith to believe what it reveals; in a word, it has no effect upon them. To bring them therefore to the word of God would be like taking a blind man and putting scales in his hands to weigh an article of merchandise. He has no eyes to see scales or weights. You must have eyes to see the tests in God's word that you may apply God's word as a test to try whether you possess a true or false spirit. The work of God upon your own soul, the life of Jesus in your own breast, the operations of the Spirit upon your own conscience, the gracious feelings produced within you by the power of God� this is a test besides the Scriptures whereby we try the spirits.

Let me open up this a little more fully and clearly by appealing to your own experience. You are thrown sometimes into the company of some of those characters which I have just described, and get into conversation with them; for they are generally very forward to talk. Say then that you meet with a man, a great professor of religion, but full of that light, trifling, carnal, careless spirit, which I have pointed out as marking a spirit of error. Is not your soul grieved? Do you not see, do you not feel that the grace of God is not in that man, or, at least, sadly buried by his worldly spirit?

Can you not come to some decision in your own breast that this carnal, trifling, worldly, proud, covetous spirit which you see in him or in others is not the Spirit of Christ, and that the man who is so thoroughly under its influences and manifests it so clearly and visibly in his life and conduct, is not a partaker of the grace of Christ?

But why do you come to this decision? Because you know what the Spirit of Christ does in you, and that you are a living witness of the tenderness it communicates, the fear of God it implants, the reverence of the name of God it produces, the carefulness and jealousy over self, the desire to be right, the fear to be wrong, which are the effects and fruits of the grace of God. You find these things in your own breast if you are a partaker of the grace of Christ. You bring then the spirits which you daily encounter in your path to the test; and if these are directly opposed to what the Spirit of Christ has done for and in you, you say, "The Spirit of Christ is not here. There is no tenderness of conscience in this man, no reverence of God, no fear of his great name, no sense of the evil of sin, no holy mourning nor godly sorrow for it, no forsaking it, no walking as becomes a Christian. Call this the Spirit of Christ? The Spirit of Christ is not in it."

Thus, as you have divine teaching in your own bosom, you bring to that inward test the spirits which are continually presenting themselves; and by weighing them tenderly, cautiously, and carefully� not in a proud, dictatorial way, but with great caution, fearing lest you may deceive yourself from a wrong judgment, you weigh in this inward balance the true spirit and false, and from the inward testimony of God in your soul spiritually discern for your own guidance which is the spirit of truth and which is the spirit of error.

This may seem harsh doctrine; and indeed it would be so unless it were scriptural, and unless this spirit of judgment were carefully regulated by the Spirit's inward teaching. Does not the apostle say, "He that is spiritual judges all things?" (1 Cor. 2:15.) "You have an unction from the Holy One," says John, "and you know all things." But where is this unction? "The anointing which you have received of him abides in you." (1 John 2:20, 27.) In this way the Lord is "a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment." (Isa. 28:6.) Are you not sensible, you discerning people of God, what spirit is breathed from the pulpit by the minister under whom you sit?

And here let me drop a word to all who fear God now before me. Don't look to the words of the minister you hear so much as to his spirit. Of course, if he preaches the truth, his words will be in harmony with it; but he may preach the letter of truth without being under the influence of the Spirit of truth. Is the Spirit of Christ in him? Does the blessed Spirit communicate through him any gracious influence to your soul? Is there any softening of your spirit under his word; any unction resting upon your soul; any tenderness drawing up your affections Godwards; any sweet reviving and blessed renewing of the love and power of God in your soul, as known and experienced in the days of old? Or are you searched, rebuked, reproved, admonished, warned, cautioned by an inward light, life, and power which flow into your heart through his word? Are you sensibly humbled, broken down, and softened into contrition, humility, meekness, and quietness of spirit, with confession and supplication before the Lord? I repeat the word: Try the man's spirit; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

How many ministers breathe a harsh, proud, contentious, self-exalting spirit; a spirit which, call it what you will, or disguise itself as you may, is alien altogether to the Spirit of Christ. No humility, no brokenness, no tender regard for God's honor and glory, no separation of the precious from the vile, and no commending themselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God, show themselves in them. Again, I say, try the spirits whether they be of God.

3. There is a third test, whereby we try the spirits; that is, the effects and influences of this spirit in our own bosom.

This test is closely allied to the preceding, but is of a more practical nature. If you are possessed of the light and life of God in your soul, you will watch the influence of your own spirit. You will observe how it influences your thoughts, your movements, your words, your actions; how it is in you as a guiding light to all that is good, and a sensible bar to all that is evil. Sometimes, for instance, you feel softened, humbled, melted down before the footstool, sweet spirituality of mind flowing in, heavenly affections flowing out, a separation from the spirit of the world, making you desire to be alone with God, and to enjoy a sense of his presence and love in your heart. This is a right spirit� the very spirit of truth, the very spirit of Christ. It has right effects, right influences, and by this you see it is the spirit of truth.

Or sometimes you may find a different spirit working in you: pride, harshness, self-justification, covetousness, rebellion, self-pity, entanglement in business and worldly cares, and all these secretly quenching the life of God in your soul. You are sensible of this wrong influence in your breast; you can see it is not the spirit of holiness nor the Spirit of Christ, but an alien spirit, a spirit diametrically opposed to the spirit of truth and love.

4. There is another test, the influence which the spirit has upon others.

You will have an influence upon those with whom you live. There will be an influence emanating from you towards your families, your servants, your friends, and those with whom you are brought into daily contact. And you may trace in your own bosom, for you will be honest with yourself, the workings of a gracious spirit and the workings of an ungodly spirit. Sometimes you find peevishness, fretfulness, hasty temper manifesting itself in words and expressions highly unsuitable the grace and spirit of Christ. You are condemned; you go to bed with a heavy heart; you can hardly go to sleep because through the day you have manifested an angry temper, or been too much entangled in business. Here you trace the effect of a wrong spirit.

Or you get into argument and find working in you a dividing spirit, a spirit of jealousy, or prejudice, or enmity, or dislike to some of the dear family of God. You are conscious you have an unforgiving spirit that you cannot master, but you are not insensible to it; you hate its workings and abhor its influence. Now watch the influence of your spirit upon others.

And a minister has to watch this especially� the influence his spirit has upon the people. Are there effects and fruits following his word? Are they searched, tried, examined? Is their conscience made more alive and tender? Is there a gracious influence attending the ministry of the word? I would not be fit to stand here in the name of the Lord unless I stood up in the Spirit of Christ; and if I stand up in the Spirit of Christ, and with the grace of Christ in my heart, the word of Christ in my mouth, there will be communicated to you a gracious influence which you will sensibly feel-- not always feel; but from time to time there will be a gracious influence attending the word to your heart, by which sometimes your doubts and fears are removed, your burdened soul encouraged, your difficulties cleared up, Christ made precious, and the things of God sealed upon your heart with fresh life and power.

Thus, by these tests:
the word of God,
your own experience,
the effect and influence of the Spirit upon yourself,
the effect and influence of your spirit upon others:
we may try the spirits whether they are of God.
And if we find that we have the right spirit, or are seeking more of its influence, let us thank God and take courage.

 

 

VIDEO

This you BETTER be able to discern, and it takes the mind of a Bible believer who has much experience in the World of God:

THIS IS A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF WHAT DISCERNMENT IS NEEDED FOR:

THIS IS JUST LIKE A NORTH AFRICAN DEVIL DANCE WITH ISLAMIC BLASPHEMY
What the girl says is, "A shadu la ilaha illa Allah."
This is the Islamic declaration of faith called Al Shahada-- "There is no god but Allah."
The devil in the woman is declaring that Jehovah is really Allah.
After the Islamic declaration of faith, you hear the word.....
"Ha'llah" over and over which means, "I swear to Allah"

Now, in the context of the foregoing discussion of what discernment really is, I have been allowed by our Lord to see and experience many things over the past 60 plus years. I also have studied and taught the Word of God in many situations in the local church and on the missionfield. I have much experience in situations where the local church was attacked by devils. Finally, I spent six years studying Islam and its forms and rituals.

Now, if you decide to disbelieve me in my analysis of the above video, I would think that your are asking for trouble if God is using my age and experiences in Bible study to show you something important. This is how discernment works. You owe me nothing, and I do not know you, but God is telling you to sit up and pay attention to what is before you.

You may ask, "Why do you have so much of this wicked stuff in this journal?"

Answer:

Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

What God has given me by experience, study of the Word, and in the battle for the faith, I must pass on to you. If I do not do that, I will answer to God for your souls. I would much rather receive your condemnation in email than to not talk about the wickedness our there and how it may endanger your soul.

 

 

CONCLUSION:

We are not to pass off our duty to try the spirits onto the Church's leaders. Wickedness rises up anytime during the week, and we cannot wait for a consultation in most cases. So, every believer, especially husbands and fathers, must be alert and ready to discern evil spirits, whether of men or of devils.

Any spirit in man or devil which violates clear Bible teaching and doctrine must be marked openly for all to see and take action to avoid their evil devices:

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

There is nothing more provoking than a preacher who marks the false doctrine, social forms, or behavior of false teachers and wicked men, but he will not name them. How can the saints know who to avoid?

The word "mark" in the King James Bible is very close to the meaning we have for branding cattle in Texas. Mark them so that no one will be able to miss who they belong to. Also, if you see a side of beef at a butcher shop, you will see a line of purple ink the full length of the carcass. It will say "PRIME," "CHOICE," or some other grade for that beef. If it is not there, the butcher may not sell it.

That is your job, saint. Mark them so no one can miss the mark.

 

VIDEO:

So, what is so important about that purple mark which the USDA stamps on the meat?
Watch this rather old movie about the process of inspecting meat in the USA.
Does your pastor go to this much trouble to inspect everything that comes into your local church?

You men, do YOU inspect everything in your home, and all that your kids are exposed to, with this kind of diligence?

I suspect some of your good old boys are more careful about your hamburger than your daughter.

 

FINAL EXAM

Well, let's see if you learned anything here. The following is an example of the need for human reason and discernment. We will see if you figure out what is going on:

If you decided that someone mixed 1920s silent movie footage with "Party Train" by The Gap Band, you are right. If you figured they either slowed or speeded up the play back of either the movie or the sound, you are right again? You get an "A" in this part of the exam.

Now, it gets a bit more tricky here:

Now, if you did not know there was a wireless radio link trick going on, how would you DISCERN that Popoff was a fraud? It can be done.

Answer: We learned in the article above that healings in public to verify the message in the Early Church Age ceased after the Bible was complete. The Bible has been complete for about 1900 years, so the big show here, with or without the radio trick, should be discerned as a Satanic trick on pathetic gullible people.

You see, what you see and what you hear are not the ultimate test-- the Bible is the final and only source of truth, and if all evidence disagrees with the Bible, the Bible is still right.

A PARABLE:

When a pilot is VFR (visual flight reference) qualified he may fly during clear daylight hours, but he cannot fly at night legally. Once he is IFR (instrument flight reference) rated, he may fly 24/7. This is not because the VFR pilot has no sense of flight principles. He may know the IFR rules, but, but he has not proven to the FAA that he totally TRUSTS his instruments.

Why is this such a big deal? The VFR pilot may believe his instruments are great, and he may trust them in theory, BUT he must trust his instruments when all his senses disagree with the instrument. He must change course and level off the place when his instruments tell him he is not flying correctly, regardless of how he FEELS.

Do you make choices in life, take action, and attack Satan when your Bible tells you you must, though your feelings tell you that nothing is wrong? If you wimp out at those times, you are not worthy to be in the battle for Christ and his Gospel.

Here is how it works:

If the pilot trusts his instruments explicitly, nothing could be safer.

Genesis 1:1 through The Revelation 22:21--
Do you trust your flight instruments explicitly?

 

 

SEMD MAIL

 

BACK TO SERMONS AND BIBLE STUDIES

BACK TO ASYMMETRIC CHRISTIAN WARFARE

BACK TO WAR ROOM- WAR IN THE CHURCH HOUSE

BACK TO OPENING PAGE OF THE JOURNAL