The PRINCE OF PERSIA Is Alive and Well!

The Text is DANIEL 10:13-11:1 –

The first 12 verses of Daniel Ten in Review–

DANIEL had been in mourning and prayer for three weeks.

[1] IN THE third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belshazzar – his Babylonian name). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.  [2] At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. [3] I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until three weeks were over”  (Daniel 10:1-3 NIV Bible).

Some Bible scholars think Daniel was in mourning because so few Jews had returned with Ezra from the exiles in Jerusalem.

persian-empire-2
THE PERSIAN EMPIRE DURING THE TIME OF DANIEL

 

Others believe the FAST was because Ezra had faced severe opposition in the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.

DANIEL didn’t go back with Ezra’s group of exiles.  When the Jews went into captivity by the Babylonians, Daniel was but nineteen years of age.  In Chapter 10, he is now about 84 years old and perhaps thought he could better serve the returning exiles from his high position in the current government.

PRAYING AND FASTING:

After praying and fasting for twenty-one days, Daniel is standing near the Tigris river with some other guys and see an angelic messenger.  The others didn’t see the angel, but they did become very afraid and ran away (vv. 4-8).

The words describe here in Daniel reminded me of the apostle Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus when meeting not an angel, but Christ Jesus. Paul visualized the event, but the ‘other guys’ heard but couldn’t see a thing (Acts 9:3-7).

Once alone, the angel told DANIEL,  Daniel 10:12 (The Message Bible):

“Relax Daniel,” he continued “don’t be afraid.  From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your PRAYER was heard, and I set out to come to you.”

When we PRAY, many times we want the answer NOW!  

Daniel prayed and fasted every day during this time…without an immediate answer… and noticed when God’s messenger arrives, the comfort that is given by the angel:  “relax”; “don’t be afraid”; your prayer was first heard… when you decided to humble yourself.”  

WOW!  I don’t know about you, but what insights into the forthcoming answers in my prayer life.

“HUMBLE” myself first to “RECEIVE understanding” to my requests.  My PRAYERS will be heard and angel are sent!

THE PRINCE OF PERSIA – Daniel 10:13 (The Message Bible):

In the spirit realm
In the spirit realm

“But I [the angel] was waylaid by the angel-prince of the kingdom of Persia and was delayed for a good three weeks. But then Michael, one of the chief angel-prince, intervened to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia.”

The angel-messenger that has come to Daniel gives the reason for his delay over the last 3 weeks.  In Daniel’s persistent, steadfast and fervent prayers, his God-sent answers were being held up by… “the prince of the kingdom of Persia.”

Who is this prince?  

Certainly no human could withstand an angel, because we know from Scripture that angels are incredibly powerful.

In 2 Chronicles 32:21, in the days of king Hezekiah we read…

“And the Lord sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria…”

THE PRINCE OF PERSIA is not a man on earth, but in fact, someone in the spiritual realm.

Looking at the suggestions given in Scripture, we can see these princes in the spirit world.  In fact, there is an entire hierarchy and authority among angels and demons.

According to Ephesians 3:10, there are “…the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere.”

In Chapter 6 of Ephesians, Paul seems to list a number of these positions (Eph. 6:12 AMP):

“…despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.”

Again, to the Colossians, Paul wrote that JESUS created all things…

“in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities…”  (Col. 1:16).

THE DEVIL has been given a title in the spiritual realm–

Three times JESUS called him,  “…the ruler of the world…”  (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).

And the apostle Paul refers to him as “…the prince of power of the air…”  (Ephesians 2:2).

Now although “RULER” and ‘PRINCE” are different English words, the same Greek word (AR-khone) is used in all the referenced verses.

So by using deductive reasoning from the Scriptural evidence found–if Satan is the prince of the entire world, the power of the air, it stands to reason that the PRINCE OF PERSIA is a demonic entity which had authority over this part of the world–the nation of PERSIA.

In my detective research, I found something very intriguing that might correspond to the world events occurring today in the world:

“FARSI” ( “Persian”) is the official language of Iran.  Persians come from the eastern regions of the Middle East (NOTE: Above Map) – [*See Footnote [i] ].

MICHAEL–

This story of conflict we’re reading about between Daniel’s angel and the prince of Persia is evenly matched–until reinforcement shows up on the scene.  That reinforcement is MICHAEL, one of the chief princes (this is the first time that Michael is mentioned in Scripture).

Elsewhere in the Bible we learn that he disputed with the devil himself over the body of Moses (Jude 1:9) and that he and his angels wage war against the devil and his angels in the Tribulation period (Revelation 12:7).

Chief Princes–

According to the book of Jude, Michael is an ARCHANGEL: The compound word “archangel” are two Greek words, “AR-kho” and “ANGelos,” when combined, mean “chief angel,” or “ruler of angels.” [*See Footnote [ii] ].  

The word archangel is not found in the Old Testament, only the New Testament.

Although the two times that the archangel is mentioned in Scripture (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 1:9), they are both in singular form (“the archangel”) but that doesn’t mean we should think of Michael as being the only one in charge or the “head honcho.” Remember, this angel in Daniel 10, calls him “one of the chief princes.”

So, whether he is the 5-Star General, or one of several generals, he is definitely a heavy hitter and the most powerful angel that we are told about in Scripture.

The Prince of Greece– (Daniel 10:20-21)

Then the angel says to the prophet Daniel,

[20] Do you know why I have come to you?  And now I will return to fight with the [hostile] prince of Persia; and when I have gone, behold, the [hostile] prince of Greece will come.

[21] But I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth or the Book of Truth.  There is no one who holds with me and strengthens himself against these [hostile spirit forces] except Michael, your prince  [national guardian angel].

The angel had to return to fight against the prince of Persia.

I had to meditate on these verses in particular, finding it interesting that the angel also knew the Greek Empire was going to be raised up after the Medo-Persian Empire.

I don’t know if he saw in the spiritual realm that a demonic force was being prepared, or if God had already given him the inside story of the upcoming events.  In either case, this angel was aware of what was coming.

True Spiritual Warfare Going On In The Land–

There is absolutely a spiritual battle going on and we’re involved.  But we are not called to wage it in the spiritual realm.

The apostle Paul told the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: it is not a physical confrontation with demons but a spiritual battle fought on your own plain of existence.  Let me rephrase that.

If you want to destroy fortresses in the spiritual realms, then you DESTROY SPECULATIONS that people have against the knowledge.

How to fight effectively–

Ephesians 6:13
Ephesians 6:13

You have to be defensively armed (Ephesians 6:10-17):  

With a life marked by TRUTH AND RIGHTEOUSNESS; being PREPARED WITH THE GOSPEL; WALKING IN FAITH, and being SAVED.

And finally, the OFFENSIVE WEAPON that you have to fight with is not a prayer of binding Satan.  It’s the WORD of God.

Michael, Your Prince! (Daniel 10:21 – NASB)

“However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth.  Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.”

We’ve already read that MICHAEL is one of the chief princes.  NOW we see Michael is “your prince.”  In other words, Michael is the angelic authority over the people in the nation of ISRAEL.

Encouragement and Protection For Who?  (Daniel 11:1 NASB)

“AND IN the first year of Darius the Mede, I arose to be an encouragement and a protection for him.”

In my Bible study of Daniel 10, I believe that this first verse in chapter eleven, should have been the last verse of chapter ten.

We are told that the angel who came to DANIEL had been put in a lower position of being an encouragement and protection to King Darius the Mede, the KING that DANIEL had served under as his chief commissioner.

Today’s Current Events and Daniel Ten–

We know that spirits are timeless beings and have territorial assignments.  The PRINCE OF PERSIA knows there is one way to wipe out the Jewish people and one nuclear bomb would certainly accomplish this.

Before Christ, you’ve got to understand the prince of Persia is trying to destroy the lineage–the SEED of David through wich the promised Messiah was to come.

But JESUS, the Savior of the World did conquer death; defeated the devil.  So why is the prince of Persia inciting the Arab World and their leaders to build W.M.D. (weapons of mass destruction)?

THE DAY WILL COME…when the Jewish people will repent and turn to JESUS, the Messiah.  The time doesn’t come until the “times of the Gentiles” is fulfilled.  Could the “times” have already come?  Some Messianic Jews believe the “times of the Gentiles” ended in 1967 when the Israeli army took the Temple Mount.

Since that time, there has been an increasing number of Jews who have found Yeshua–JESUS.  In 1967, there were an estimated 2000 believers in Jesus among the Jewish people.

An article I found on the internet in Charisma magazine mentions a 1990 survey, suggesting that more than one million Jewish people in the United States express “some sort of faith” in JESUS.

So what is the Prince of Persia after today?

Is the JEWISH REMNANT so frightening to his plans against Israel?

Is the future conversion of the JEWISH PEOPLE jeopardise the kingdom he fights for?

Is the EVANGELISM of the 144,000 Messianic Jews mentioned in the Book of Revelation so devastating to his kingdom, that he must make every effort to stop them as he attempted to stop the birth of JESUS?

What does all this have to do with where I’m living in the world?

PROPHECY UNFOLDING BEFORE OUR VERY EYES!

Instead of saying to oneself, “Woe is me,” we should be encouraged by the revelation from Scripture the way things really are as the Bile explains what is happening in the physical realm.

The Bible’s PROPHECIES are coming to pass–against all odds and as the spiritual powers battles going on unseen by us that resist their fulfillment.

 


CREDITS and FOOTNOTES:

Sermon Notes and Commentary by Ron Daniel.

Bible Translations used:  Amplified bible except where noted.

Photo Credits: Google Search; Photo Pin

Footnote [i] – wiseGeek @ http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-difference-between-a-persian-and-an-iran

 

 

Living Like KINGS In This Life!

ROMANS 5:17  (KJV):

“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”

When I study and meditate on God’s Word through the Scriptures, I love to look at bible verses in different translations.  It gives on perspective.  Although  in my library, I am fortunate to possess many different translations to compare, I also use the Internet to broaden my search, sites such as Bible Gateway or Bible Hub.

So in saying, let me give you a translation, of the same verse, from the Weymouth New Testament:

Romans 5:17  (WNT):

“For if, through the transgression of the one individual Death made use of the one individual to seize the sovereignty, all the more shall those who receive God’s overflowing grace and gift of righteousness reign as kings in Life through the one individual, Jesus Christ.”

THE IMPACT OF GOD’S WORD:

The apostle Paul, who wrote the Letter to the Roman church–inspired by the Holy Spirit–gives us a comparative look:

1.  The CONDEMNING ACT of Adam–

2.  The REDEMPTIVE ACT of Christ Jesus.

Adams sin (transgression), brought universal death to all of mankind (Romans 3:10, 23) when he accepted Satan’s lie:  “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5).

However, Jesus’ sacrifice brought salvation to those who believe (John 3:16).  Jesus’ one act of redemption was immeasurably greater than Adam’s one-act of condemnation.

HOW MUCH IS “ABUNDANCE”?

Romans 5:17 b…all the more shall those who receive God’s abundance of grace…

Did we get just enough to get by when we were saved by believing in Jesus?  Is that all there is?  Did we get just a teacup full of “grace”?

As some of you who follow my blog know, my favorite verse in the New Testament is John 10:10:

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy.  I [JESUS] came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”  [Amplified Bible]

Having “ABUNDANCE” till it overflows!

Given without a hitch, without strings attached, without measurement.  It’s like the Eveready Battery commercial: It keeps on giving every moment of the day throughout our entire lives!

Unlike Adam’s Act In Genesis…

Christ’s Acthas and will–accomplish exactly what He intended.  He called us as Christians TO “REIGN!” : That is a period during which something or somebody is dominant or powerful, has authority.

GOD’S ORIGINAL PLAN:

Genesis 1:27, 28, 30 b:

[ 27]  “So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.    [28] And God blessed them and said to them,  Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion (authority, dominance, power) over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.  [30] –to everything in which there is the breath of life–“

“Reigning in Life” (Romans 5:17):

Living like Kings
Living like Kings

The word “REIGN”  here, means to reign in life as a KING (not just in the masculine sense), to have kingly rule…possess kingly dominion as God originally intended before Adam’s act

Reign in circumstances…

Based on the authority of God’s Word, you are destined to “reign in life” as a king; “kingly dominion” over all your challenges and circumstances.  The time has come for us to stop “ABDICATING” our right to rule in life!  Remember, God has positioned us through His Son, to reign!

Ephesians 2:4-6  (AMP):

[4]  But God–so rich is He in His mercy!  Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us. [5] Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses,  He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are SAVED (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).  [6] And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the anointed One).

NOTICE VERSE 4:

But God, who is RICH IN MERCY, because of His great LOVE with which He loves us; yet we were Spiritually Dead, but God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love…

SALVATION IS FOR GOD’S GLORY!

GOD took you and I who were Spiritually Dead, gave us His boundless mercy and love.

IN VERSE 5:

Spiritually speaking here in verse 5, “at your best, you were dead in trespasses.”

Salvation brings Spiritual Life to the Spiritual Dead…

Remember, the POWER that raises the BELIEVER out of death, is the same POWER that brought you to life and it’s the same POWER that energizes every aspect of our Christian living–our circumstances, our trials, our doubts.

ALSO VERSE 6:

When we are SAVED from eternal death, we are raised up together; made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  Your physical body is still on earth, but your spiritual body…you get the picture here I hope.

The tense of “RAISED” and “MADE” indicates that these are immediate and direct results of SALVATION!

Verse 6 says, in the HEAVENLY PLACES in Christ Jesus.  It is the supernatural realm where God reigns.

LIVING IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM:

The SPIRITUAL is as real as the PHYSICAL world–BUT…it is different because it cannot be seen and tested.  Though the body itself is in the PHYSICAL REALM, the life within the body comes from the spirit.  [i] –See footnotes.

The Bible states clearly, we are to REIGN in life through Christ Jesus and… RECEIVING two important things from Him:

1.  The ABUNDANCE of Grace

2.  The GIFT of RIGHTEOUSNESS   (He declared you “righteous” at the Cross).

Worldly Thinking By Man–

Man’s thinking goes like this:  For God to BLESS him/her, he needs to DESERVE, EARN and MERIT God’s favor.  Man thinks that God’s blessings are based on his performance and good works.

God’s Way–

God’s way isn’t about ACHIEVING, but about RECEIVING!  (We are to receive!).

The WORLD’S SYSTEM Regarding SUCCESS in Life–

The SYSTEM is driven into our heads from the time we are children, through the teenage years, and emphasized through our working years.  All built on SELF EFFORT and DILIGENCE.

How many times did my parents advise and direct my paths?  “Quit being a procrastinator…a lazy teenager!”  Continue with your schooling; with the idea of being successful in life.  Now that IS good advice, don’t get me wrong.  However, a stigma can sometimes arise in a impressible child growing up:  “If I keep at this thing…due diligence will lead to my success!”  We can be sometimes find ourselves on the deserted island of “I”  (I did it).

We are driven to “do, do, do,” forgetting that Christianity is actually “done, done, done.”  [ii] See Footnotes.

k5929537The Question of “CHAIRS” and “SITTING DOWN”:

I’m a very visual person when reading and studying God’s Word and the Bible can certainly give us a picture of the believer, resting in finished and completed work of JESUS.

Hebrews 10:12, 14:

[12]  “Whereas this One [Christ], after He had offered a single sacrifice for our sins [that shall avail] for ALL TIME, sat down at the right hand of God.”

[14]  “For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy.”

VERSE 14 once more–

DECLARING that you were PERFECTED FOREVER!

Our works, self-efforts, will, and can rob us of REIGNING in life by His grace.  You cannot earn your SALVATION, your HEALING, your FINANCIAL breakthrough by your own efforts.

GOD has called the REDEEMED to REIGN!

Revelation 1:6  (Young’s Literal Translation):

6  and did make us kings and priests to his God and Father, to him [is] glory and the power to the ages of the ages!  Amen.

So if that’s you, reach out to Him in your spirit and RECEIVE your DESTINY…your AUTHORITY!  How do you reach out?

YOU PRAY…Lord, your Word is true and I believe it!  I’m tired of trying to be worthy in your eyes and everyone elses.  I was made worthy when your Son’s blood was shed on the Cross for my sins.  I am the REDEEMED in Christ.  I am worthy to RECEIVE the gift of kingship and to receive my destiny.  Have Your Holy Spirit empower me to take dominion over my life.  In JESUS’ Name I pray.  AMEN.

 

Footnotes and Photos:

Photo Inserts:  Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe Courtesy of Starpulse.com and Disney Productions & Foto Search.

[i] – From ChristWords.com–Christ’s words in Ancient Greek.

[ii] – Quote from a Howard Strickland sermon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detecting the Presence – (Part Two) of “Separating the Gold From the Junk” Series

In PART ONE, we looked at the apostle Paul’s admonition to the First Church of Corinth (1 Corinthians 2:1-16), regarding DISCERNMENT for ALL.  In PART TWO, we will be looking at the special GIFT of DISCERNING SPIRITS within the body of Christ, the church.

20090527_spiritual-gifts-discernment_poster_img

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 Amplified Bible:

[7] But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit.  [8] To one is given in and through the [Holy] spirit  [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another  [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit;  [9] To another  [wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit;  [10] To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight  (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between  [the utterances of true]  spirits  [and false ones] to another various kinds of [unknown]  tongues, to another the ability to interpret  [such] tongues.       [11] All these  [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit,  Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses. 

“Discerning of Spirits”  (verse 10):

Discerning of spirits is a vital gift to the body of Christ, the church.  The enemy has gotten away with a lot of junk of demonic manifestations in our church services because of the gift of discerning spirits… is not functioning in the leadership.

This particular GIFT reveals the “kind” of spirit behind a supernatural manifestation.  If somebody is crawling around on the floor during a church service, barking like a dog, the pastor better have the ability to DISCERN what spirit is operating in that individual.

THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:

The GIFTS of the Holy Spirit, are talked about in Christian circles with differing reactions.  I believe ALL the GIFTS are for the body of Christ today and are given by the Spirit for the common good of the church.  They didn’t pass away with the original apostles, and as God’s Word explains in verse 11,  “ALL these gifts…Who  (the Holy Spirit) apportions to [not “SOME”, but ] EACH PERSON individually as He chooses” (Mel’s paraphrase in brackets).

God is still moving, still healing, still performing miracles, and still bringing deliverance to 1000’s of people!  We can deny the facts or accept His gifts.  But our God is alive and well and He wants to use us in His kingdom.

Why are these GIFTS given to believers in JESUS?  

1 Corinthians 12:7 begins in telling us why.

“But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] for good and profit”

GIFTS are not given to be personal blessing to us, to make us feel special or holier than the next guy.  They are given for the common good of the church.

In my Word investigations over the years, I believe we must accept His gifts—so the BODY can prosper and function according to His purpose and plan…not our purposes and plans. (By the way, there is more than one list.  *See 1 Cor. 12:28; Rom. 12:6-8; Eph. 4:11 for additional GIFTS.)

None of Us Have ALL the GIFTS:

JESUS is the only one who possessed every gift in its fullness.  The GIFT OF DISCERNING SPIRITS is a good example of this.  It may be pretty nifty to be able to see what is going on in the spirit realm, but what are you going to do with the information?

It may take someone with the GIFT OF WISDOM to know.  Or, someone with the GIFT OF PROPHECY to be able to speak about God’s plan or purpose in the situation presented.  Many gifts will blend together to bring God’s kingdom on the earth and to the body of Christ.

WHAT IS THE GIFT OF DISCERNING SPIRITS?

Discerning spirits is first…a God-given ability to detect the presence of–to see/perceive into the spirit realm; to know the roots of issues and true motives of people whether from good or an evil spirit.

To the person possessed of the gift, they have the ability to skip to the bottom line faster and not to be sidetracked by appearances.

[An Important Note]:

The discerning of spirits is NOT the “gift of discernment”.  Have you ever heard someone say, “I have the gift of discernment”?  Biblically, this person is incorrect, because the Word of God makes no mention of the gift of discernment; however, it does mention the GIFT of discerning spirits.

Ephesians 6:12
Ephesians 6:12

LOOKING INTO THE SPIRIT REALM:

“This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness” were two of the first Christian fiction novels that I read all the way through [In record time for me].  It was the battle between good and evil that has been raging for centuries.  Some of the characters in the books, obviously have the gift of discerning spirits.  Frank Peretti brings alive the events in a small college town in the Northwest, where nothing much ever seems to happen, until Scripture comes alive on the book’s pages.

“For we are not contending against 

flesh and blood, but against the

principalities, against the powers, 

against the world rulers of this present

darkness, against the spiritual hosts of

wickedness in the heavenly places.”

–Ephesians 6:12

ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE BIBLE:  Isaiah and John’s  Gifts–

“IN THE year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple”  (Isaiah 6:1 KJV).

How was Isaiah able to see the Lord?  He saw by the gift of discerning spirits; the ability to see into the spirit realm.  And the apostle John…on the Isle of Patmos, he saw the Holy spirit as seven spirits before the heavenly throne.

“Yeah, but those examples were thousands of years ago, not for todays’ church!”

A Personal Story and Testimony–

My son and daughter-in-law had asked me to attend a two-day conference being held at their church.  Although I wasn’t really excited about two days of guest speakers; inside of a poorly vented building,  but said I would attend:

The first day was informative and with worship and praise accompanying the speakers, I was having a Holy Spirit good time.  And then on the second morning, as I sat with head bowed and eyes closed in prayer of the last day, it happened.  I began to see an army of mighty angels descending on the roof of the church.  With no clue to what was happening or why, I looked straight up at the inside ceiling and could see cracks forming and expanding like spider webs.  And while all of this was going on, hoping the evidence of chaos happening on  the roof would become clear to my spirit.  Why was this happening here and now?  Was I dreaming…with my eyes open?  And why me, was anyone else in the church building having the same experience?

And then as suddenly as it had appeared, it all stopped.  Deadening silence until…I was given a clear understanding; a discernment, an understanding of what I had seen in the spirit realm.

Holy Spirit explained, “God was being manifested on the inside of the church from those in attendance of our ‘prayer and praise.’  Already, Satan’s demons had been sent to create chaos during the FAITH conference.  And since our prayers had released God’s messengers, they in turn cleared the roof from any other hindrances–‘spiritual hosts of wickedness’.”  

There had been a battle going on top of the roof, so much so, the cracks in the ceiling became visible to my spiritual eyes.  Although the entire vision was over in minutes, which at the time seemed much longer, I immediately tapped my son on his shoulder and told him the course of events and what I had seen.  And his quiet response in my ear was: “Dad, you just had your first experience into the spirit realm– of ‘discerning spirits’.”  After the conference had ended, my son asked if I would relay the gift of discerning spirits to his pastor.

I have had other experiences in this gifting since then, but none as visual and dramatic as the one I just shared with you all.

What is a “spirit”?

A spirit is a living personality, whether it is the Spirit of God, the human spirit (which is the spirit of man), or an evil spirit.  There are many voices speaking today and we must allow the gifts of His Holy Spirit to operate and function in us.

Being Careful At the Same Time–

We are not to confuse suspicion with perception and discernment.

Suspicion is from the mind, not from the Spirit of God.  We cannot be led by our “suspicions” but led by the power of the Holy spirit.

SHOULD WE DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS?

King Solomon, David’s son is praying and asking God for direction:  “I know not how to go out (begin) or come in (finish)”  (1 Kings 3:7).  He continues in his prayer saying, “Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen…”  (verse 8).  And now the petition, Solomons desire in his prayer:

“So give Your servant an understanding mind and a hearing heart

to judge Your people, that I may DISCERN between

GOOD and BAD…”

~1 Kings 3:9~

To answer the question “should we desire spiritual gifts”, we must look at the reasons they are given in the first place; TO PROMOTE THE COMMON GOOD OF THE ENTIRE BODY OF CHRIST!  If we can think of it this way, it should deter us from corrosive pride, as each gift has a specific use and one gift is not any better or inferior to any other.

Dr. Basil Frasure, a counselor and minister with the Fellowship Church in Angelo, Texas has written a fascinating article, “Discerning of Spirits”.  Dr. Frasure writes,

“One of the best ways to discern the nature of a spirit is to check the Word of God (your Bible).  Does what the spirit says match up with the Word of God?”

In the Genesis Story, Eve certainly didn’t have this gift of discernment.  God had told Adam and Eve one thing by His Word, and the serpent, Satan, a ‘spirit’ had told them something else.  REMEMBER, the main principle of interpreting Scripture is that the Bible, God’s Word interprets itself.  Only by repeatedly cycling through God’s Word in the manner of the Bereans (Acts 17:11)-“Separating the Gold From the Junk”, can we properly exercise the gift of discerning of spirits.