But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healings by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:7-10.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:
Jesus told the Samaritan woman whom He encountered at Jacob’s well in Sychar that, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24. This also tells you that you can worship in spirit, so you should realize you too, being made in My image and likeness, are spirit beings. Your spirit and soul are housed currently in an earthen vessel of mortal flesh but you will be changed when Jesus raises you up on the Last Day and, in the twinkling of an eye, you receive a glorified, heavenly body. “There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.” 1 Corinthians 15:40.
I tell you that I am “the Father of spirits,” Hebrews 12:9, and that all are alive to Me. Luke 20:38. Spirits never die. You will note that I am the Father of spirits, which is plural, and I have made known to you all classes of spirit beings. First, I am the omnipotent always existing LORD, the father and creator of all other spirits. I AM Spirit and I AM life. And from Me proceeds the person of the HOLY Spirit. “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.” John 15:26. He is My Spirit, Matthew 10:19-20 (“But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”) and the Spirit of Jesus, Acts 16:7 (“and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them”), and the Lord Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Second, are the angelic spirits, which consist of the hierarchies of angels and demons. Demons are angelic beings but they have fallen from Heaven by the sin of rebellion and treason and taken as their leader and lord the devil, who himself was once of the class of the cherubim. “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Revelation 12:9. They are banned from Heaven and will reside forever in Hell. They have become unclean spirits living under the cover of darkness and they are adverse to and try to destroy mankind. But the heavenly host of holy angels and angelic beings are pure translucent light, there is no darkness in them and they fill any place they enter with light, My light, they are of great beauty and nobility, filled with My love. They are all ministering spirits sent at My command to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation, which, of course, are humans who have been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus. Hebrews 1:14. They serve you upon directions from Me. I created angels to serve Me and mankind. The holy angel, Gabriel, told Zechariah, the father to be of John the Baptist, “I am Gabriel, who stands beside the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.” Luke 1:19. And very soon after I sent Gabriel to Zechariah with a message, I sent Gabriel to Mary in Nazareth, “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” Luke 1:26-27.
And the next class of created spirit beings is mankind, man and woman. You are in My image and likeness so you are of My Spirit and not like the angelic beings who are not in My image and likeness. The human spirit, in all its depths, is known by Me. And when you join your spirit with Mine through Jesus, you join with My Spirit as one. “But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” 1 Corinthians 6:17. I give My Spirit to those who believe in the Name of Jesus as Lord, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26. I give My Spirit to those who obey Me. “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32.
You will see why I am telling you all this in a moment. As you recall, this is Life Lesson No. 8 on the gifts of the Spirit. I want you to be aware of these Spirit gifts and to earnestly desire them as you pursue Love, and they are Love gifts. 1 Corinthians 14:1. As My Holy Spirit says through the pen of Paul, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healings by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:5-11.
And today we have come to the seventh gift on the list, the gift of the distinguishing of spirits. 1 Corinthians 12:10. In the Greek language in which this passage was first written, the word translated as “distinguishing” and often also as “discerning,” is the word “diakrisis,” which literally means the act of judgment, and is used to signify distinguishing, discerning, deciding, passing sentence on. The Greek word diákrisis is from diakrínō, meaning, a thorough judgment, i.e. a discernment (conclusion) which distinguishes “look-alikes,” i.e. things that appear to be the same. Remember I warned you that sometimes Satan will even disguise himself as an angel of light as he hides within those who have aligned themselves with him, either by being deceived, as Eve was, or purposefully, as Adam chose. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. And in that passage you see a glimpse into why the gift of the discerning of spirits is so important. You must be able to distinguish in whatever matter, thought, idea, dream, or person you face whether it is from My Spirit, your own spirit, or an angelic spirit, and if an angelic spirit, whether it is a holy angel or a demon, including the devil himself. As you know when the devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, he quoted Scripture but told Jesus to do things that did not align with Scripture in general. He took things out of context to manipulate a similitude of holy but it was not.
You see the distinguishing of spirits operating in My apostle Paul’s life at various times. The demons knew him and knew he had authority over them. “But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” Acts 19:13-16. Paul was well aware of the schemes of the devil and did not want you to be unaware of his tactics, “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12. The gift of distinguishing of spirits will keep you alerted to what is being fueled by demons.
Do you recall that in Philippi a slave-girl having a spirit of divination, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling, met Paul and his companions. Following after Paul and those with him, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you a way of salvation.” She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment. Acts 16:16-17. You see, Paul discerned what spirit was driving her even though what she was saying appeared helpful to them.
And when Paul was in Salamis preaching the Gospel he was having good success but a certain Elymas, the magician, was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, discerned the spirit behind his behavior and fixed his gaze on him, and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.” And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord. Acts 13:8-12. Paul’s discerning the evil spirit saved his mission to the island and saved the man possessed.
Satan and his demons hide in darkness. To discern him and his cohorts you must turn on the light. The gift of distinguishing of spirits does just that, it turns on the light for you so that you see into the spirit world with the eyes of your spirit and know what spirits are operating around you and in people. You can discern the thoughts and motives of the heart.
When Peter saw the angel come to open the gates in prison and lead him out, that too is the gift of the distinguishing of spirits. First, he could see the angel. That in itself was the gift of discerning of spirits for he could see into another realm. Sometimes I will let you see your guardian angel or that of another for a brief moment, or like Zachariah and Mary I will send the angel to give you a message. You see this in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Gabriel appeared to deliver My messages to Daniel.
You also see discernment of spirits in operation in Elisha’s life when he looked upon the hillside around his home and saw the heavenly host with their fiery chariots encircling his home to protect him. His servant could not see them. But Elisha prayed, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And I opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:17.
And the gift also gives you discernment of human spirits. Jesus knew well what was in the heart of man and many times he rebuked the Pharisees for evil thoughts they were having that they had not expressed. And he told them their father was the devil. He was distinguishing their spirits and who they had aligned with. “And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?” Matthew 9:4.
“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12. “Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved. How long will your wicked thoughts lodge within you?” Jeremiah 4:14.
David sang, “Do not drag me away with the wicked and with those who work iniquity, who speak peace with their neighbors, while evil is in their hearts.” Psalm 28:3. He was discerning the human spirit, the heart. I tell you that Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, “did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 12:14.
Man, though clothed in flesh, is a spirit being. You cannot kill a spirit. The flesh dies but the spirit and soul live. Adam died when he rejected My Word for the word of the devil, but I want you to understand what I call spiritual death. Adam still had a spirit but it was dead to Me and alive to the devil. He no longer was in contact with Me in his spirit, which he had been alive and connected to Me before. He became dull in heart to spiritual realities and became a slave of the flesh, he slavery of sin and death. He was in connection with the one he had given dominion and jurisdiction to as the “god” of this world, which is what Adam had been by the dominion authority I had entrusted to him.
So what I term as being born again from on High when you receive Jesus as Lord and come back under My jurisdiction, the benefits and laws of My Kingdom, the Kingdom of Light, is actually like adult adoption. You have a spirit that is living but not living unto Me but as a child of the devil because you are born of Adam’s corrupted seed. But when you receive Jesus, you receive the Spirit of adoption witnessing with your spirit (distinguishing of spirits) that you are My child and crying out “Abba,” “Father.” You are dead to sin but alive to Me. Romans 6:11. You join with Jesus, you are One spirit with Me. You stay joined to the devil, you are one spirit with him. And I call that being dead to Me. The death of Adam’s spirit to Me, disconnected him with eternal life flowing into his spirit, and thus his body eventually died. But his spirit and soul did not. However, if your spirit and soul remain dead to Me and alive to Satan, you must, in the end, go with him to the fire of hell, the kingdom of darkness, prepared for him and the angels who followed him as their master.
This is why this gift is so important. Before you say or do things, you must discern of what spirit it is from. “When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” And they went on to another village.” Luke 9:54-56. And when Peter tried to dissuade Jesus from going to the Cross, Jesus turned, having discerned the spirit that seemingly care and sympathy was from, and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Matthew 16:23. Watch out for stumbling blocks, discern them. Earnestly desire the spiritual gifts as you pursue Love.
I love you. Take this lesson to heart and do not be unaware. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith.” 1 Peter 5:8-9.