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A Gift for Today...continued

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Discerning of Spirits

Discerning of spirits is best understood when the word discern is defined. The Collins English Dictionary defines discern as "to recognise or perceive clearly".

We can therefore see the implications of this gift and its necessity in the church.

Discerning of spirits becomes a specific and individual gift in a moment of time that enables the recipient to clearly recognise and or perceive spirits in a given situation, seeing into the spiritual realm and perceiving and recognising spirits but not motives, attitudes or character faults or strengths in people.

Think about spiritual warfare and intercession and the usefulness of this gift.

W.R. Jones in the book Pentecostal Doctrine in the chapter headed 'The nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit' (8) states:

""To another discerning of Spirits" (1 Corinthians 12:10): this very clear designation given by Scripture shows both the limits and the extent of this gift. It is not discernment of motive or character. It is not the ability to discover faults, nor is it a brand of spiritual-psychological insight. It is rather the supernatural power of the Spirit enabling one to receive insight into the secret realm of spirits, and is given by the Holy Spirit to give protection to God's people against the counterfeits of the adversary.

It is vital that we always remember that Satan is a deceiver (see Revelation 12:9; 20: 1-10, and that he transforms himself into an angel of light (see 2 Corinthians 11: 14). We know that he is the leader of all evil, rebellious spirits. The most subtle means of deception is to counterfeit, and this is exactly how Satan works. The greatest danger for the believers is to accept anything and everything in the realm of the supernatural as being from God.

We have, however, already noted that the Bible itself gives us a very clear insight into what is real and what is counterfeit by the position designated to the Lord Jesus. Even so, this does not prevent the devil trying in every conceivable way to imitate God to the believer. This is an important aspect of his war against the saints.

The gift of discernment of spirits is most definitely restricted to the realm of spirit-counterfeiting, and therefore the discerning of things outside the spirit realm comes within the manifestation of the other two 'illumination' gifts, namely the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge."

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