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. It is hard to discern or perceive when the enemy is upon something if you don't believe it is possible in today's world.
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, Paul 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, 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 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 full body of Christ: the worldwide Church use the gift of discernment for all things. 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: they are on target, or they are off on their own, and then when they are back again.
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 urine: ammonia scent is a give-a-way for demonic activity.
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 are you discerning' 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.” (Matthew 7:1) That night, as laid 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 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?
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 as yourself…”( 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 people up. 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 negative outcome for the demonic spirit on that person's life, as if the enemy won the battle.
If you are called as a prophet, sometimes God may tell you to say something outside of this, but remember that you are the mouthpiece of God. When we speak something like that, 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 - 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 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 another time. 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 RevealedAs the Lord told the Agape CF Board, there are three ways to respond when we receive this discernment:
- Walk Away
- Say Something
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) or should we walk away. 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.
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
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)We need If you words have been negative about others, especially where things of the spirit realm are concerned, you should do the following;
- Confess that you have spoken wrongly and sided with the accuser of the brethren.
- Renounce all negative words you have said that are not according to God's word.
- 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 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, Jericho. 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, Achan brought a garment, some silver and gold into his tent. These items brought a curse with them. 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 spiloō 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 give credit to God.
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
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 worshipping 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 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.
There is even a danger in having statues of angels. They are "a likeness of something in Heaven." As you come up a level with God, the enemy looks for any way into our lives. Not obeying God's word is an act of rebellion which the enemy may use as an entry point into our lives.
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)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 of God's ways.
Prayerful consider removing any pictures or statues of angels to become fully obedient to God's Word.
Religious ItemsJust 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 of 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 the door to the enemy.
A list of all dangerous 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? Is this placing honor at a physical location instead of focusing on the fact that I am His temple and He can speak to me anywhere, anytime.
Spiritual Realm Items
To cast lots puts an end to disputes and decides between powerful contenders. (Proverbs 18:18)There are many example 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 the 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 labelled “Christian”)
- American Indian dream catchers
- Casting ruins (any object thrown to give advice or predict the future)
Next week we will address the steps a mature Christian may wish to take concerning other items that my have a negative spiritual taint on them. This is recommended only for those wanting to go deeper with God who are ready to let go of anything holding them back from their destiny.
More Articles with messages from God can be found in:
Messages from God
tab in the menu.
More Articles with messages from God can be found in:
Messages from God
tab in the menu.
tab in the menu.
Believers' Boot Camp series
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.