Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Trap in Discerning Spirits

Discernment Meeting

The world is divided on the topic of modern day witchcraft and curses. In some countries, the spirit realm, especially the demonic, is as real as our world. In other countries it is looked at as superstition. In America, many believe that science has disproved many of these things. 

Recently, God has made it very clear that the things in His word, the Bible, still apply today, maybe even more so. This is the time of the Awakening: God is calling people to Him. According to scripture, Earth is man’s. God is fair and just: when He moves, the enemy gets equal access. This means the spirit realm is coming close to the Earth, with God and Satan contacting this world more than ever. We must look to the Bible to see what dangers from the enemy may be increasing during this time. 

In the Book of Acts, Peter is in prison. When an angel set him free, Peter went to the 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. The Outpouring in on the horizon where signs, wonders, and miracles will be as present in the world as they were in the time 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 worldwide Church  learns to use the gift of discernment as they walk through life so that the Holy Spirit may guide them each and every day. The Greek word diakrisis is translated discerning but also means distinguishing or judging. This gift works in a variety of ways with more things 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. I would actually feel word by word: if they are on target, or are off on their own. 

My Counselor would also occasionally reveal spirits in people or upon them. A few of the more common ones were:

    • twisted teeth in someone’s mouth, all yellow and jagged 
    • a head that looked too big with a pointy-toothed smile 
    • smiles that looked too big, like a funhouse mirror. 
    • a smell like cat pee: ammonia is a give-a-way for demonic activity. 

We must handle the discernment the Holy Spirit gives us according to God and His ways. When dealing with discernment upon people, if handled wrong, it may even leave you open to attacks of the enemy. I found this out the hard way as I began writing this article. 

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 say what type of spirit or say that there was a spirit upon this or that person to see if they were seeing the same thing. This sounds innocent, right? 

One of our team members made a comment about holding her tongue about what she was discerning on a certain leader of a ministry for fear of bringing an attack upon herself. She quoted the verse, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” That night, as  I Iaid in bed so very tired - it was after midnight. I asked the Lord if the team member was right. 

Were we leaving ourselves open to an attack by stating the discernment the Holy Spirit brought to 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?

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.” He also brought two scriptures to my mind:
“Love your neighbor…”( Luke 10:27)
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)

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 spirit having a place is judging the battle as already lost. We need to build up rather than declare the outcome for the demonic spirit. 

If you are called as a prophet, sometimes God will tell you to say something outside of this, 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 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, where the Lord said I need 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 a 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 6 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 been experiencing vertigo, mildly, only when going from laying down to standing up in a hurry.  I jumped up out of bed and went to the bathroom with no vertigo at all! 

The energy lasted until almost 4 AM. God brought another revelation which I will talk about next week. Before I went to sleep, I sent a thought to my Lord, “Thank you for these revelations, but they are soooo different than 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 another  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

I asked the Lord, “What should we do when the Holy Spirit reveals there is another 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)

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). The Holy Spirit is our guide: He knows if that person or ministry will be turning from their path quickly or if you need to walk away. 

I thought this was all there was to discerning spirits and recorded many examples of these things in the free book, Angels Believe in You. 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 is for those who use their spiritual senses to discern, to know, good from evil. We should be using this gift, like exercising our bodies so that we can more easily know good from evil!

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

God’s people entered the promised land and faced a walled city, Jerico. In a miraculous display, God took down the walls without His people raising a sword. Afterwards, He instructed them about 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)

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 hear where we have gone wrong. 

In the Bible story of Jericho, it was a man, Achan, who had brought a garment, gold and silver into his tent. This had brought the 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 clothes can carry curses and be defiled, by the flesh and by other spirits. The newly saved, or newborn Christians may have items contaminated by their own passions or spirits they have given a place in their lives. 

Until recently I thought that being a Christian had me completely protected 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 saturated 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 great length about God being fair and just. The enemy mimics God, in many cases doing the same type of things with spirits that are not aligned with God. The ultimate example of this is the coming of the AntiChrist: someone who will operate in miracles but not giving credit to God. 

Cursed Items

There is a fine line 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 new Christian may need to grow a bit before they are ready to remove things from their life. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit is our Teacher and Guide. He will tell each person what they 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 ready to see 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:

  • Statues/pictures of other gods
  • Items from other religions
  • 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 any thing 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. 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, “other spirits welcome here.” 

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

Dragons: Satan is called “that old dragon.” By keeping things with dragons on them you are acknowledging the leader of God’s enemies. 

Kachina Dolls: These artistic, interesting dolls and carvings represent Native American gods.  

Cupid: This is actually the god of desire. 

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. 

A list of items would be too long to be practical. Just ask yourself, was this used in honoring a spirit that wasn’t the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel? 

Spiritual Realm Items

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

There are many examples in the Old Testament where God’s people cast lots to find God’s will. This is akin to our flipping a coin to see what we should do, except Israel expected God to guide them through 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)

For Mature Christians ONLY

Many of them also who used magic arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. (Acts 19:19) 

Destroying written words is not a new thing. As long as there have been books or even scrolls, there have been book burnings. God commanded people to destroy the written works of any prophet who spoke presumptuously and said “Thus saith God” and the prophecy didn’t come true. We see this repeated in the New Testament with books with other spirits upon them: witchcraft books. Why is this? 

Many Christians read a book and say they can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit upon the book. Is it inconceivable that the presence of other spirits may be upon books? Perhaps this is why God had His people destroy the writings where people claimed the information came from Him but was later proved to be not from Him. The writings would allow the other spirit to influence people. 

I am a Kindle bestselling author and a lover of books. This was not an easy revelation for me to accept. However, God revealed the power of tainted books in a very miraculous way.

The Lord brought guidance to our team that books could, indeed hold a spirit other than the Holy Spirit. To our great surprise, even some books about God could hold an evil spirit. We talked about this in a Tea & Coffee meeting online. We also spoke about  contaminated objects. The Holy Spirit led me to bring a picture from my bedroom for testing. Several people were stunned by the level of contamination and said as much. I set the item aside to deal with later.

The meeting continued, led powerfully by the Holy Spirit. The picture sat on the desk next to me. As I began to pray for others, my nose became more and more stuffy, my eyes itched and my throat was scratchy. The Holy Spirit told me it was coming from the picture. I got up and took it to the garage and threw it into the trash. 

This was how I discovered one of the ways the Holy Spirit brings discernment to me. I had received guidance like this before, but only upon entering rooms where there were hordes of demons afflicting someone. Now I knew the Holy Spirit was continuing to use this type of discernment with me.

A few weeks later, a member of our church asked for help, let’s call her Mary. She was in her 90’s and had been collecting books for decades. Confusion plagued her no matter how much of the Bible she read. She couldn’t seem to hold onto the teachings about the Courts of Heaven, often asking the same question week after week. 

The Holy Spirit suggested to Mary that perhaps there were spirits attached to her books which were contributing to this issue.  I drove 45 minutes to her house on Saturday to help her discern which books were contaminated. 

On the way there, the Holy Spirit said to put the books in my car and throw them away for her. I wasn’t at all surprised when Mary told me that her husband might be upset if he found boxes of books in the garbage: I offered to take care of them for her. 

There were four large boxes of books, most by well-known men of God, that were tainted. I had an additional 20-30 set aside and called members of our team to double check them for me. All but one of those had to go. 

Not long after I got into the car, my eyes began to itch. “It’s probably just the dust,” I told myself. Halfway home, my sinuses were so clogged, it felt like I had a massive weight upon my face. My nose began to bleed and my back ached like I was carrying sandbags on my shoulders for miles. 

I was stopped at a light a few miles from my house and began thinking about one of the books in the boxes. It had really helped me understand the power of the blood and the name of Jesus… it didn’t tell me I should only use these things with the guidance from the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, a thought came into my head, “Who do you think you are telling people they need more than the name and blood of Jesus…” The thought was mean, harsh, condemning. This was not my Counselor who had led me to teach on these things just the week before. 

It took a great amount of self-control to not pull over at the next gas station and put all the books into the closest dumpster. If these books could have that effect on me, it’s no wonder Mary was so confused! Oh, and she did let us know that following the cleaning out of her bookshelves, the confusion had left. 

Since this time, the Holy Spirit has been talking to me about books and gifts. There is danger in both of these things.  


I would not take a thread or a shoelace or anything that is yours, lest you should say, I have made Abram rich. (Genesis 14:23)

Abram knew not to take gifts from certain people. It is the heart and intent of the giver of the gift that counts. If someone has spoken against you or your destiny with God, you should ask the Holy Spirit before accepting a gift from them. God showed me in a miraculous way that accepting a wrong gift could allow the enemy to hinder you.

 (Read that story in this article: Tainted Gifts


We do not want to be religious about getting rid of books. For this reason, I am not going to give a list of which books we have discovered that carry a wrong spirit. Instead I will give general guidance that the Holy Spirit has shown me.

Fiction vs Nonfiction

Fiction by definition means that you are accepting it as “not true.” Where Nonfiction is something you are accepting as truth. This means if you have spiritual nonfiction books, you are accepting it is fact, true. A fiction book, you are accepting it as fake, not true. 

This makes fiction books a lot less dangerous than nonfiction books. Anytime we overly focus on things that are not of God it can be a distraction or worse. Some fiction books  can be dangerous for these reasons:
  1. If they have actual spells in them.
  2. If they have materials that will train young minds in ways against God.
  3. If they have dragons on the cover. 
  4. If we focus too much on these things.

I didn’t let my kids read the Potter series until they were over twelve - this way I could establish them in God’s way first. They only watched the first couple of movies then lost interest. The book-burning days of fiction may have been well meant, but I think they accomplished little other than giving into a religious spirit. 

Nonfiction books that have formula prayers in them are the most dangerous. Any book that tells us to trust in a certain prayer or ritual instead of telling us to rely on the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit is provoking us to pride. We are the Body of Christ: He is the Head. Would you want your mouth speaking, declaring, decreeing without your head telling it to? In the natural world this is a disorder known as Tourette Syndrome. Unfortunately the Body of Christ is suffering from this condition as well. 

What is right for one situation may not be right for another. Just because you find it in the Bible, doesn’t mean that God wants you to declare and decree that with the Name of Jesus for your situation. When our Lord walked this earth, His disciples asked if they should call down fire upon those who were preaching about Him without being part of His group. He said, no, not at this time. 

Would an earthly king appreciate it if he gave you his name and you began using it for whatever you thought was right at that moment? Or would he want you to use it for the things he told you to use it for? 

We have the name of Jesus to use. He told us to use it, but we must read the rest of the book to know how to use it. “If it is the will of God,” then it will be done. How do we know if it is God’s will? “Those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God.” We must be led by the Holy Spirit. Then we will know what to ask for in Jesus’ name and it will be done! 

Let’s get back to the topic of books: Which books should you get rid of? I will only give you the name of one:

Keys to Authority for Every Believer 
by Lynn Hardy

The first edition of my book needs to be thrown out. It was based on the word of faith teaching I grew up under before God brought the deeper revelation about needing the guidance of the Holy Spirit instead of learning formula prayers. If you have a copy you received before 2019, please throw it out and send for a new one (they are free).  

You can refresh the Kindle copy from your Amazon account online. I have taken out the old wineskin teaching and put the relevant scriptures to using authority guided by the Holy Spirit in their place. Look in the copyright area for the edition information and the new publication year of 2019.

We are all learning and growing together. Thank you for your patience as God corrects me when I leap out ahead of Him. If you would like help discerning the spirit upon things, you can send pictures to us at

More Articles with messages from God can be found in: 

Messages from God
tab in the menu.

FREE Books

Believers' Boot Camp series

Believers' Boot Camp - Volume One
Believers' Boot Camp: Volume Two
Roadmap to Heaven
Destroying Curses
in the Courts of Heaven

Many people think of boot camp as a place you train for combat. Any veteran will tell you that basic training is about three things:
  • Knowing what weapons are available 
  • Learning how to use those weapons 
  • Receiving orders and following them 
Believer’s Boot Camp series is a collection of books which teach us how to hear more clearly from God with the goal to ready ourselves for a face-to-face meeting with our Lord, Jesus. The series reveals the “weapons and tools” God has given us and how to use them, so we can bring God’s kingdom to Earth. Each book in the series focuses on a single topic to clearly define one tool or weapon from our Heavenly Father. 

The series uses the Word of God to reveal all that He has given us through Jesus. The Bible is our instruction manual and the Holy Spirit is our guide to understanding it.

Volume 1: Why Doesn't God Speak to Me?

Eager hearts cry out, hoping for a single word to confirm that He hears us. Yet, many times the only sound is silence. Over the years I have heard several reasons why God speaks to some and not to others. One night, as I tossed and turned, I brought each of these reasons before the Lord, stating why each of them did not line up with who I thought He was. 

Words rose from my soul, pleading for Him to reveal why He has remained silent when a single word from Him would mean so much to so many. For the next few hours, God used things I learned about years ago and things I had just discovered to show why He talks to some and why He doesn’t, and in demonstrative ways. 

In His grace, He also showed me how people could hear more from Him. Basic instructions on how to hear more from God and how to be led by Him are included in this book. Thank you for taking time to consider the answers I received and share with you now.

Keys to Authority for Every Believer

There is untapped power that is easy for every Christian to access in the form of authority. The keys to this authority will unlock weapons we can use to free ourselves from the attacks of the enemy. We must be intimately aware of the bounds and limitations of our weapon if they are to be used effectively. 

Find out about your authority:
  • Why you need it.
  • Where it comes from.
  • What you can do with it.
  • How to get more.

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