The gift of “distinguishing between spirits” is having the gift of discernment. It is able to discern scriptures and their application to believers in the church. It is also being able to tell whether someone is earnest and sincere, or they appear to have an agenda. Peter displayed this in Acts chapter five when Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property and kept back part of the money and brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet but lied saying they had given it all to the church (Acts 5:1-10). Those with this gift of discernment or “distinguishing between spirits” may be able to know whether the church should or should not do particular things. Bible Scripture Images
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. Bible Scripture Images
Jesus knew the heart and since He is God, He knows the thoughts and motives of every human heart for He is also the Creator. God looked at the religious leaders and knew that they were hypocrites because they taught one thing but did another as Jesus said “on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness” (Matt 23:28). They liked to be seen and wanted others to think highly of them but Jesus knew that inwardly they were as dead as could be and were full of all sorts of evil and uncleanliness. It is never what others think about us that’s important; it is only what God knows about us that counts. We might be able to fool others but we can never fool God because “Lord, you know everyone’s heart” (Acts 1:24) “for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed” (1 Sam 2:3).
I was saved at the age of 4 and yearned to receive the gift of speaking in tongues since I was around 12. I would ask God for it, but He had His own timing for me to receive the gift. I received it in the beginning of huge trials I’ve been going through for the past 2 years (I’m now 30–finances, buying a home that the inspector lied about and the home was unhealthy to live in, in turn creating marital struggles, and dealing with severe depression in my spouse and the way he treats me because of his depression). I know it has different uses, but I feel God gave it to me in order to pray and speak to Him about what I’m going through. I definitely run out of things to say and when I’ve run out of words, I begin speaking in tongues—I’ve found that when I have spoke in tongues it’s always been when I’ve hit my breaking point in my situations and I’m crying out in desperation to the Lord. Many times I will pray in tongues for awhile and then it turns into beautiful worship songs. As it goes on my tears and crying calm down and I feel more and more calm and at peace. It’s been a real blessing and I’m trying to learn more and more about uses, but for now its been a way for God to help me through these hardships and hurt. Bible Scripture Images
This actually has left many of those betrayed feeling like they were the cause of their spouse’s sinful choice! This is not just in the secular world of attempts to ‘fix’ a marriage but also is found in many church counselling paradigms. I have read many testimonies of how frustrated people who have gone to get help who have come away with either useless , cliche advice , or worse , damaging them by lack of wise counsel upon this most difficult issue.
I apologize if you think what I said was accusing you of teaching anything contrary to the gifts of the Spirit. That was not my in tensions. I was just trying to emphasize the importance of learning from the Holy Spirit using whatever vessel He chooses or even when reading the Bible. For instance I will give you two examples of the Holy Spirit teaching me.
Why is this so? Do you have a boyfriend or a best friend that you feel that way about? Psalm 37 is based upon God granting us the desires of our heart if our delight is in Him. You must think of what He has saved you out of (Rev 20:12-15, Rev 21:8). Can you still feel that way after reading Romans 8? Do you spend much time in His Word? That might be the problem. I just don’t know. What has your pastor said about this?
Hello Pastor Jack! Thank you for a great article. I completely understand the confusion and hesitancy to believe that miracles, healings, and tongues could exist today. But when I read in the Bible about how such great wonders were done back then I think to myself “Why couldn’t such things happen today within the church?” I believe it’s because we’ve set limits to what we think is possible in our day. But is anything impossible for our God? If we let Him work in us and through us anything is possible. With regards to speaking in tongues, I can testify that tongues can be both a known and unknown language. Several years ago I left a women’s retreat speaking in tongues. While the Spirit spoke through me in what sounded to me as an unknown language, my husband understood what I was saying in his native language, spanish. I had no idea what God told him at the time because it was a message only for him at that moment. That same night the Spirit sent me to call someone else who I spoke to in this unknown language and they understood me in english. I encourage you to seek further with the Lord; experiencing these gifts are too wonderful to pass up! For me, I felt closer to the Lord, like He was allowing me to participate in His plans in a very unique and special way. God bless you! Scripture Images
Unless otherwise indicated, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Contact me: openbibleinfo (at) gmail.com. Cite this page: Editor: Stephen Smith. Publication date: Aug 13, 2019. Publisher: OpenBible.info. Bible Scripture Images
Roger, I don’t understand “I am a married man and six months before my wedding day, during a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit told me “whatever you want from your wife, you have to love it out of her, and no matter how she may act your only response is to be love.” If you can please show me where this is stated in the Bible?” and in particular, are you wanting to know where this is found in the Bible? It is no where that I know of. The Great Commission is central to the mission of Christians but yet a person’s first and most important earthly ministry is to his or her family. Central to the Christian’s life is that of the Great Commission to take the gospel to the whole world, even if it’s next door. Repentance, confession, sanctification, and trusting in Christ are the essentials to what we learn from the Bible and so, although I do not disagree with what you are saying, the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing, and that is Christ died for sinners and to rescue them from hell fire. Agree? Bible Verse Wall Art
As for having a forum or website that allows discussions for Christians to grow, there are several but some problems occur where readers differ and sometimes argue over non-essentials (to salvation) issues that are needless to debate. What I sense you want is to grow and many churches have Sunday school programs (such as the church I am under-shepherd of) that allow the class to have input (which we do). Others have Sunday night services that are dedicated to a more intensive Bible Study and still others have Weds. night studies of the same magnitude. There are many Christian forums but you will find that frequently they are taking about issues that do not have to do with doctrine but about personal beliefs in grey areas that sometimes lead into wrangling which the Bible commands Christians not to do. Please note that our website allows comments on all of the articles and you can ask or comment with other readers and even the authors of these articles and to me, it is one of the greatest tools for growth. The vast majority of our readers and commentators who reply with comments have so much to add that I grow too in the process. I hope this helps. We have over 300 articles about various topics. You can type in a key word or question at the top of the webpage Homepage where it says “Questions? Need Answers? Ask Us.” and type into the search box. Happy hunting and growing in grace and knowledge Cynthia.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. ...
I must say that I had not thought he would go as a far as he did ….14 years of having set up such a deceitful way to excuse his many absences and late returns in the evening . He mastered the ability to deceive and I was kept busy with all that I had to do at home with teaching our family …showing and selling our homes and moving alone over many many moves while he was sent ahead.
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Thanks Jerry. I love the grace and humility you have my friend. You wanting to share the gospel is wonderful because only 1 in 20 believers have ever led more than one person to faith in Christ. That is not good but I see you have a passion for the Great Commission. Your own personal testimony is a great way to do so. No one, as you say, can dispute this because it is objective testimony to the work of God in your life.
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I am thankful for the men who have seen this …I spoke with a man yesterday at church …one we found that teaches bible without the new age stuff…He told me that he left his wife and the new wife had gotten cancer and felt guilty because she felt this was because of her sin . He also did not OWN the sin of adultery as he felt his ex wife …his covenant wife was to be pittied because she could not “get over it’ . Bible Verse Wall Art