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Discerning spirits

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Ginger, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God;
    because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
    1 John 4:1

    I have heard many people say how they "know" an occurance is from God. But the answers don't agree with Scriptures. I am not denying any claims made in this forum, but rather want to be more clear aand concise from visitors to avoid misunderstandings. I would like to go thru the list of different comments made one by one to hopefully create a more thorough and complete understanding.

    1. "It was beautiful, so I knew it was from God."

    Beauty is not an indication of God. Often in the Bible, messengers from God appeared very average, nothing special. In fact the Bible says, "many have unknowingly entertained angels. That suggests there was nothing outstanding about their appearance.

    Morew striking is the fact that demons can appear as very beautiful creatures.

    "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."
    2 Cor 11:14

    I can't count how many times I've heard someone claim that they encountered a woman and because she was so beautiful they knew she was A. an angel from God or B. Mary the mother of Jesus. Beauty is not confirmation that an entity is from God.

    We are instructed to test the spirits. (1 John 4:1) The following verses tell us one way we can discern:

    2 This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh be longs to God,
    3 and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world.

    Normally, I wouldn't suggest engaging an eveil spirit in conversation, but if you think it might be from God, test it. If it fails, command it in Jesus name to leave.
    MrsS likes this.
  2. I think I would just pray and ask God if such a person or whatever else is sent from Him.
  3. 2. "The prophecy came true. so I knew it was from God."

    We know if the prophecy fails, it is a false prophet. That one is easy.

    Many false prophets have changed their prophecies when to fit reality after the original prediction failed. That should also be obvious the prophet was false. But more often the prophecy is vague and left open to many interpretations and those eager to believe, interpret it to fit the circumstances.

    But sometimes a false prophecy appears to come true.

    "If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams,
    appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder,
    and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place,
    and he says, 'Let us follow other gods' 'and let us worship them,'
    you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer.
    Deut 13:1-3

    Even when the prophecy comes true, it doesn't mean it is from God! We still need to test against the Holy Scriptures.

    “If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual,
    let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment”
    1 Corinthians 14:37

    "For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached,
    or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received,
    or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
    2 Cor 11:4
    autumn oddity and MrsS say Amen and like this.
  4. I don't see a problem with that, but the Scriptures say to test the spirit to see if it confesses Christ. Just curious, is there a verse that says that?
    MrsS likes this.
  5. 3. "It quoted Scriptures, so I knew it was from God"

    Surprise! Demons know the Scriptures, too.​

    Then [the devil] led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,
    "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,
    10 for it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,'
    11 and: 'With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'"
    Luke 4:9

    So, how do we test for truth? Once again the answer is in the Holy Scriptures:

    "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.
    By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
    Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
    A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
    Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
    So by their fruits you will know them.
    "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, 10 but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
    Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?'
    Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you. 11 Depart from me, you evildoers.'
    Matthew 7:15-23
    MrsS likes this.
  6. 4. "It made me feel good, so I knew it was from God."

    I don't even think I need to find Scripture to dispell this one!

    Doing wrong can often feel very good. And doing what is right can sometimes be painful.

    For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
    2 Ti 4:3
    My ex husband told me that having an affair didn't feel wrong - it felt so good, that he actually convinced himself the relationship was blessed b y God. (Although that realization didn't stop him from getting into another affair about a year and a half later)

    "because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."
    Heb 12:6

    An angel of God can actually make you feel bad.

    Once again, it Scriptures say it is wrong and a spirit or angel tells you it's good, don't believe it just because you want to continue doing what you are doing.

    Or if a spirit or an angel chastises you and convict your soul, if he speaks according to gthe truth in Scriptures, don't reject the message just because it makes you feel bad.

    Guilt is a mechanism God built into the human being to help us and guild us to a better way.
    MrsS likes this.
  7. I see. I'm not far into the Bible about it, but I think for someone like me who doesn't really know a lot about the Bible should pray about it or unless someone guides them that knowledge. Very interesting thread though ^.^ I'm glad your posting about it.
    MrsS likes this.
  8. Finally, does the message fit the purpose outlined in Scriptures?

    “But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation”
    1 Cor 14:3

    If you're being given a message that you already know about, then what kind of prophecy is that? What purpose does it serve to tell you what you all ready know?​

    Or if it doesn't jive with Scriptures and says things like:​
    "I invite you to dedicate your life to me." - 11/27/1986
    The Bible says we should commit our lives to God:
    Pro 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
    Jam 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    Rom. 6: 22 -23 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
    Jos 24:15 ... as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

    "the way of salvation that I am offering you through these apparitions." - 7/25/1995
    Who offers us salvation?
    Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
    Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    Then the spirit is an imposter.
  9. Absolutely!!!! We have a great deal of power through prayer.

    If you should come across anything you think I've missed or overlooked, please share it. I'm learning, too, you know. :)
    MrsS likes this.
  10. First, I'm really sorry your former husband was so easily deceived.
    I'm a little intimidated by this and confused. If an angel of God makes you feel bad, they're trying to get you to feel guilt and possibly remorse?
    Oh, I think I'm getting it now. Just had to read it a few more times. ^^

    There are lots of people that simply don't care about others and will deceive and manipulate to gain a higher position in a job. Or gain your trust to break you just for the fun of it. Are those people incapable of feeling anything? How do we know if it's a spiritual attack?
  11. Oh of course [​IMG]
  12. Yes, if God makes us feel bad , it's for our benefit in the long run.
  13. James tells us the trials come from God and should not be confused with temptation. Trials work wisdom, and wisdom comes from God. As such, discernment isn't always "logical". It doesn't always make sense. It is rooted in the wisdom that comes from God, and we know that the wisdom of God often appears as foolishness to the world. Test the message for consistency with Scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you.
    gemma and Ginger say Amen and like this.
  14. May I encourage you to dive into the Word of God at every opportunity. I have a lot of regrets in my life but I really think that the biggest one was not studying the Bible more at an eariler age in my life.

    You see, Biblical doctrine is the container of truth and our shiled against error. We live in a day where up is down and black is white. What looks good can kill us. A mark of the last days just before Christ's return is the refusal to test all things against the Bible. Wenber went by experience and experience that is sought above all else at current revivals. No one goes to a revival to hear Biblical preaching any more but instead go there to EXPERIENCE what is called a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit".

    So then, how does one know such a touch has been received???? Only by feelings and physical manifestations of the most bizarre kind.

    We are all caught in a great spiritual war going on in these last days.
    The battle is between the truth of God and the lie of Satan. It can not be won by the binding of demons or the slaying of eveil spirits, but WITH GOD'S WORD!! Jesus said in John 8:30-31 that it is THE TRUTH OF HIS WORD THAT SETS PEOPLE FREE!!!

    Think about these things and please know that the Bible IS THE WORD OF GOD and it will bless your soul.
    gemma and MrsS say Amen and like this.
  15. I have a regret in my life that I did not go to Bible school when I had the chance. And now I really want to, I don't have the funds to do it. I can't get a loan because it's not expensive enough. I do read and pray about His Word and ask Him for guidence. Of course, patience is always a virtue. I'm always learning from this site from all the references given. Looking at the different aspects people give and again, asking for guidence there when I am unsure of something.

    I have had an experience (that happened only twice) of overwhelming love, just all of a sudden. I felt so much peace. Now, I'm not sure if this came from God or if it just came from within me and leave. I can't deny what I felt, nor can I fully explain it.

    Thanks for your encouragement, I will keep reading and studying His Word.
    MrsS likes this.
  16. I had the exact same situation. Couldn't afford it, and it wasn't expensive enough to get a loan. I signed up anyway figuring I could save up for one class at a time if I had to. Then I found out that when God calls, He also provides. It's hard work, but so far it hasn't actually cost me any money to go.
  17. It hasn't cost you anything? [​IMG] I wonder how that could be. I could try it your way, but I'll definitely continue to pray about it. ^^
  18. Always in prayer. The reason it hasn't cost me anything is because after I paid for my first class and my boss found out about it, he offered to pay for all of my classes and books. I don't work for a Christian company, but he is a Christian. He's also from a pretty radically different denomination from the one I attend. It was definitely a blessing.
  19. Oh! This is SO encouraging! [​IMG] He truly does work in mysterious ways. maybe there's a lesson in that as well? That he is from a completely different denomination; that we shouldn't be against one another, but with each other? ^^
  20. Exactly. Our beliefs are pretty different. IMO, about as different as two people can get and both still be Christians. But that is the thing, we both recognize that we're Christians. I don't think that just because his path is different than mine that he is any less assured of Heaven.
    Christine likes this.

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