Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Trap in Discerning Spirits

VIDEO: The Trap in Discerning Spirits

The world is divided on the topic of modern-day witchcraft and curses. In some countries and cultures, the spirit realm, especially the demonic one, is as real as our physical world. In other countries, it is looked at as little more than superstition. In America, many believe that science disproves and outclasses many of these practices. It is hard to discern or perceive when the enemy is influencing something if you don’t believe it is possible in today’s world. 

Recently, God made it very clear that His Word (the Bible) still very much applies today. This is the time of the Outpouring: God is moving more strongly than ever before. According to scripture, Earth belongs to mankind.  God is fair and just: when He moves, the enemy does as well. This means that during the Outpouring of God’s glory, the spirit realm is revealed and experienced more on the Earth, meaning God and Satan have contact with this world more than ever. We must look to the Bible to see what dangers from the enemy may be increasing. 

In the Book of Acts, we find the account of Peter in prison. When an angel set him free, Peter went to Mary’s house, where his friends were gathered. The spirit realm and angelic visitations were so frequent that the woman who answered the door thought it was Peter’s angel instead of Peter himself. The Outpouring is on the horizon where signs, wonders, and miracles will be as present in the world as they were in the time of the Book of Acts. Are you ready to discern good from evil? 

Discerning of Spirits 

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.... to another discerning of spirits… (1 Corinthians 12:7-10 KJV) 

The Holy Spirit brings gifts to help us in this life. It is critical that the body of Christ learns to use the gift of discernment as they walk through life, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them each and every day. The Greek word diakrisis is translated as discerning, but it also means distinguishing or judging. This gift works more ways than you might think. 

For many years, the Holy Spirit has shown me when someone is speaking with Him or without Him, guiding their sermons and messages. Word by word, I would actually feel when they were on target or off on their own, and then when they were back again. 

My Counselor, the Holy Spirit, would also occasionally reveal spirits in people or upon them. A few of the spiritual characteristics He used with me are: 

  • Twisted teeth in someone’s mouth, all yellow and jagged. 
  • A head that looks too big with a pointy-tooth smile. 
  • A smile that looks too big, like a reflection in a funhouse mirror. 
  • An ammonia scent like cat urine, which is a likely indicator of demonic activity. 

We must use the discernment that the Holy Spirit gives us, according to God and His ways. When discernment upon people is handled incorrectly, it may leave you open to attacks of the enemy. I found this out the hard way as I began writing this article. 

Revealing the Enemy’s Trap 

I was so excited to discover all the ways the Holy Spirit was giving me discernment about spirits upon others – especially leaders in the Church. In exercising this gift, I would consult with other Christians whom I knew were proficient in using this gift. I would ask what type of spirit was upon someone to see if they were seeing the same thing. This sounds innocent, right? 

For fear of bringing an attack upon herself, one of our team members commented, she was holding her tongue about what she was discerning on a certain leader of a ministry. She quoted the verse, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” (Matthew 7:1 KJV) That night after midnight, as I laid in bed so very tired, I asked the Lord if the team member was right. 

Were we leaving ourselves open to attacks by stating the discernment the Holy Spirit brought us about a person? Surely, He was bringing this information so we could warn others? How could it possibly be wrong to declare what He was revealing to us? 

I had always applied “judge not” to judging people for the mistakes of their past or even small mistakes they were currently making. None of us are perfect, not a pastor, prophet, evangelist, or apostle. Should I never judge someone, even when the Holy Spirit brings a discernment? 

The small, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit that sounds like my own thoughts said, “You are coming into agreement with the enemy’s right to be in that person’s life, which will increase that right.” This means getting a discernment about which spirit is operating through someone is right; it is a gift of the Spirit, but how we are handling it needs work. He also brought the right scriptures which apply to this: 

“Love your neighbor as yourself…” (Luke 10:27 AKJV) 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29 KJV) 

If we are operating in the highest level of love, we will not speak outside of love. We will edify and build up people. Speaking in agreement with a demonic spirit having a place in a person's life is judging the battle as already lost. We can heed what the Holy Spirit is doing, but we need to build up rather than declare the outcome for the demonic spirit. 

If you are called to be a prophet, sometimes God will tell you to say something outside of an encouraging word, but then you are the mouthpiece of God. Unless the Holy Spirit is heavy upon us and tells us to bring a correction, we should not come into agreement with the enemy. This is the trap of the enemy. When we accuse our brothers, even rightly so, it allows the enemy to place charges upon us for coming out of our “love” walk and disobeying the prime directive of our Lord: to love one another! 

This information was very hard to accept. However, I had known for many days that I was out of alignment with God because I had been under assault. Not only was I battling a cold, but I was exhausted. My thoughts were muddled. I had been to the Courts and in private counsel: the Lord said I needed to watch my words. I wasn’t sure what He was talking about, but as I lay there, the Holy Spirit said this was the issue. 

The thought of leading people in the wrong direction was a heavy burden on my heart. “If this is really how we need to handle this gift, I need some proof. I am teaching people about discernment in two days!” I asked the Lord, “Let me be healed and free of this sickness if we really need to be this careful about how we handle discernment.” 

It was 2 AM. I only had about six hours of sleep for the last several days. Suddenly, my nose was clear, super dry. I had a burst of energy. I felt like I could get up and start my day with zero sleep. The low energy had vanished. I had experienced mild vertigo, but only when I went from a lying to a standing position hurriedly. However, now I jumped up out of bed with no dizziness at all! 

The energy lasted until almost 4 AM. God brought another revelation, which I will talk about another time. Before I went to sleep, I sent a thought to my Lord, “Thank You for these revelations, but they are so different from what I expected. I’m going to talk to the board members of Agape tomorrow. I trust they will see this is from You.” 

I slept in until 10, waking with more energy than I had in a week. There was a message for me on Facebook: a board member had received both revelations in her time in prayer that morning! This is what she said about discernment: 

I see discernment as something we become aware of in the spirit. It’s not about flesh and blood. So, if I discern something on a book, on a picture, or on someone’s face, it’s all being made aware that there’s something spiritual on them. If we move it over to judging, then that’s where sin can come in. We discern to know if we should pray, walk away, or speak to them about it. All must involve the Holy Spirit. 

Even though I didn’t speak out loud during my prayer session, the Lord spoke the same thing to the board to confirm it! 

This doesn’t mean we can’t give warnings or speak about what we are perceiving. During my time with the Lord, I asked how to handle what was revealed. He said to choose our words carefully. 

What not to say: 

  • “That person has a demon spirit upon them.” 
  • “That person is operating through _____ spirit.” 

What is okay to say: 

  • “Be cautious when listening to that person.” 
  • “Ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment about that person.” 

Taking Action When a Spirit is Revealed 

As the Lord told the Agape CF Board, there are three ways to respond when we receive this discernment: 

  • Pray 
  • Walk Away 
  • Say Something to the person 

I asked the Lord, “What should we do when the Holy Spirit reveals there is a spirit upon someone?” Immediately this scripture came to mind: 

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints… (Ephesians 6:18 KJV) 

When we discern that a spirit is influencing a brother or sister, pray for them. Ask God to grant them wisdom about what spirit is speaking to them. DO NOT confess in the prayer that a spirit is speaking through them. Just ask God to grant them wisdom about what spirit may be speaking to them. 

We should also be cautious about listening to that person, knowing that there may be another spirit at work. If it is a ministry, pray and ask God if you should keep supporting that ministry in any way (either financially or by volunteering) or if you should walk away. The Holy Spirit is our guide: He knows if that person or ministry will be turning from their path quickly. 

If you feel the Holy Spirit wants you to say something to that person, trust Him for the words. Speak with love, kindness, and understanding. Perhaps in the past, you have accused someone of: 

  • Having a particular spirit. 
  • Operating under a spirit. 
  • A spirit operating through them. 

Doing this may bring charges against you in the Courts because you have agreed with the Adversary about his rights over that person. This is not what the Bible tells us to do. Rather, it says: 

Let your speech be always with grace... (Colossians 4:6 AKJV) 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29 AKJV) 

If your words have been negative about others, especially where things of the spirit realm are concerned, you should do the following: 

  1. Confess that you have spoken wrongly and sided with the accuser of the brethren. 
  2. Renounce all negative words you have said that are not according to God’s Word. 
  3. Ask for the blood of Jesus to blot them out of all records in Heaven and Earth. 

A Deeper Level 

I thought this was all there was to ‘discerning of spirits.’ I assumed that when the Holy Spirit had something important to share with me, He would show up and reveal it in a unique way. The Bible tells us differently: 

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. (Hebrews 5:14 KJV) 

The “strong meat” of the Word of God refers to those who use their spiritual senses to discern and to know good from evil. We should use this gift like we exercise our bodies so that we can more easily distinguish good from evil! 

There are deeper levels to this gift. Since the beginning of the year, the Holy Spirit has begun revealing when normal, everyday objects like paintings or knick-knacks are tainted by another spirit. I didn’t even know that objects in my small town in America could be tainted! While we have heard about defiled or cursed things in the Old Testament, the enemy hasn’t stopped using this tactic just because we are more civilized. One story comes to mind: 

God’s people entered the promised land and faced a walled city, Jericho. In a miraculous display, God took down the walls without His people raising a sword. Afterward, He instructed them about the contents of the city: 

And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein… (Joshua 6:17 AKJV) 

The objects were cursed, and God told His people to keep away from them. A few verses later, He warned them about what would happen if they brought cursed items into their camps: 

And you, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest you make yourselves accursed, when you take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. (Joshua 6:18 KJV) 

Having a cursed object in our home will bring trouble into our house. In the case of God’s people, it caused them to lose a battle when they greatly outnumbered the enemy. When circumstances show that everything is against us, loss comes instead of victory. We need to do what Joshua did in this case: he sought the Lord and cried out, “Why is this happening?” 

Just like He did with Joshua, if we seek Him, truly ready to hear whatever has allowed the enemy into our lives, He will reveal it to us. This is what happens when our prayer team at Agape Christian Fellowship takes people into the Courts of Heaven. We are able to plainly hear where we have gone wrong. 

In the Bible story of Jericho, it was a man named Achan who had brought a garment, gold, and silver into his tent. The object brought a curse with it. Cursed or defiled items are not limited to the Old Testament: 

And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh… (Jude 1:23 KJV) 

The Greek word spiloĊ means defiled. Items and clothing can carry curses and be defiled by the flesh and by other spirits. The newly saved or newborn Christians may have objects contaminated by their own passions or spirits that have been given a place in their lives. 

Until recently, I thought that being a Christian protected me in every way from any type of spirit that was not from God. I thought that nothing could harm me because I was covered by the blood of Jesus. This scripture is proof that God expects us to use the gift of discernment concerning physical things, just as God expected His people to stay away from cursed items in the Promised Land. 

Many are aware that the garments of Paul carried the anointing of the Holy Spirit: 

So that from his body were brought to the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. (Acts 19:12 AKJV) 

Items of clothing that were upon Paul were imbued, infused with the Holy Spirit and God’s anointing. Why should it surprise us that the opposite could also be true? In the free book, “Why Doesn’t God Speak to Me?” we talk at length about God being fair and just. The enemy mimics God; in many cases doing the same type of things with spirits, but that which is not aligned with God. The ultimate example of this is the coming of the Antichrist: someone who will operate in miracles, but not give credit to God. 

Cursed Items 

There’s a fine line of distinction between exercising discernment and giving into a religious spirit that isn’t from God. We need to let the Holy Spirit guide each one of us. A newly initiated Christian may need to grow more in their faith before they are ready to remove things from their life. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit is our Teacher and Guide. He tells us what we need to get rid of. Mature Christians may have a much longer list than newborn Children of God. 

When I came to God, there were many things in my life that I wasn’t prepared to recognize as “bad.” However, the Holy Spirit opened up my gift of discernment and I began to see demons in my house on a weekly basis. They were easy to get rid of, but they kept coming back. When I got tired of the struggle, I asked for help. If you are at this point, there are some basic items that are easy to see as allowing the enemy access to us: 

  1. Statues/pictures of other gods 
  2. Items from other religions 
  3. Things that access the spirit realm 

Let’s look at these, one by one, to see where the danger lies. 


You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in Heaven above, or that is in the Earth beneath, or that is in the water under the Earth. (Exodus 20:4 AKJV) 

This verse follows the first of the Ten Commandments: you shall have no gods before Me. God's people had a tendency to make idols out of all sorts of objects. You don’t have to be bowing down and worshiping an item for it to give the enemy access. Look at it like a flashing sign in the spirit realm that says, “Other spirits are welcome here.” 

By having pictures or statues of other gods, you are making it known to the spiritual realm that the level of your devotion to God and His ways is questionable. In essence, you look like an easy target. Any pictures or statues of gods from any other religion should be removed. Some lesser-known items, which are really gods, include: 

  • Dragons: Satan is called “that old dragon.” By keeping items depicting dragons, you are acknowledging the leader of God’s enemies. 
  • Kachina Dolls: These artistic dolls and carvings represent Native American gods. 
  • Cupid: Actually, represents the god of desire. 

There is even a danger in having statues of angels. Angels are spirit beings; fallen angels are demons. When you have a statue of an angel, how do you know if it is a good angel or a bad one? Paul said to test every spirit: 

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God... (1 John 4:1-2 AKJV) 

How can we test and make sure the statue is of a good angel or a bad one? Scripture tells us to “be holy unto God as He is Holy.” You should prayerfully consider if this means to remove all statues and pictures of other spiritual beings from your home. 

As you come up a level with God, the enemy looks for any way into our lives. It can be tempting to focus on the powerful servants of God instead of focusing on God alone. 

And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. Then said he to me, “See you do it not: for I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.” (Revelation 22:8-9 NKJV) 

Even John, when he was taken to heaven, was tempted to worship the powerful being: The angel escorting him. Anytime we focus on the power and beauty of God’s creation instead of God Himself, there may be a danger of creating an idol, or at the very least, being in rebellion against God’s ways. 

Religious Items 

Just as Paul’s clothing held God’s presence, if items were used to worship other gods, they may hold a presence of a spirit opposed to God. Items from other religions or witchcraft symbols are something we should give up if we feel a spiritual battle or negative circumstances constantly upon us. 

Bringing other religious practices into our lives is also a danger. We have no need for ceremonies or religious items. The Lord told us that we are God’s temple, and the Holy Spirit resides in us, just as He was in the Jewish temple in the past. We have no need for altars, or any religious relic, or even a place to worship, for we are His temple and worship Him in spirit and truth. Relying on anything else may open a door to the enemy. 

A list of every dangerous item would be too long and thus impractical to itemize. Just ask yourself, is a particular item used to honor a spirit that wasn’t the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel? Is it placing honor at a physical location instead of focusing on the fact that you are His temple, and He can speak to you anywhere, anytime? 

Spiritual Realm Items 

To cast lots puts an end to disputes and decides between powerful contenders. (Proverbs 18:18 ESV) 

There are many examples in the Old Testament where God’s people cast lots to discover His will. This is akin to our flipping a coin to help us decide what we should do. Except Israel expected God to guide them by tossing certain objects into a dish or drawing straws. 

Once we take Jesus as Lord, we receive the Holy Spirit; He is to be our guide, not physical items. Anything used to receive direction by chance or from the spirit realm is an open portal for spirits to come into your home. This includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Ouija boards 
  • Tarot Cards (even if they are labeled “Christian”) 
  • American Indian dream catchers 
  • Casting ruins (any object thrown to give advice or predict the future) 

These are among the basic things that may provide an open door to the enemy. Every Christian needs to consider these items if they feel attacked or hindered by the enemy. 

More Articles on the Courts of Heaven can be found in the: 

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1 comment:

  1. Good morning again
    Please see answers below for questions from class 1D.

    3-A and C
    4-A,C and D
    5- C
    6-Jude 1:23
    7-A,B and C
    9-B and C
    10- yes