And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. 2 Kings 6:17 NKJV
Fifteen people stood up to receive salvation after I was done preaching, and a local pastor was leading them in the prayer of salvation. All of the sudden I looked up and saw white doves fly through the ceiling of the grass roofed church and go into the chests, one dove per individual, of those receiving salvation. I saw them getting saved! Were they literal doves? No. But a window into the spiritual realm had opened up to me and I had seen what was really going on!
APOKALUPSIS, literally translated revelation, means to take the cover away. Our physical eyes are covered from seeing into the spirit realm. But the cover can come off through the revelation gifts of the spirit, of which discerning of spirits is one of them. The spiritual realm dominates the physical, and insight regarding it helps us understand what is really happening, and why, and how to deal with it.
One of my favorite drives in Oregon is to the Oregon coast, which requires me to pass a casino. One time while driving to Albany, the Lord gave me a vision of that casino. Two lines of people were coming out of the front door, one line of weepers and one line of happy people carrying big boxes that were marked JACKPOT! When the people opened their boxes they were full of dollar bills with wings, and immediately they all flew back to the casino. I understood that all of the people who participated in the wickedness of gambling were losing their money, and in many cases their souls, just by participating.
The seventh gift listed is discerning of spirits, and the seventh fruit listed is faith. What is the relationship between seeing into the spirit realm and faith? ‘It’s HUUUUGE!’ as our dear President ‘45’ would say!
What does it do for your faith when God shows you something by revelation, and then it is confirmed clearly or comes to pass? Faith gets AMPLIFIED! Especially with discerning of spirits, because the primary focus of DOS is to show you God, and what He is doing! Jesus said I only do the things I see the Father doing (Jn 5:19). So, our key is to wait, listen and watch to see what the Lord is doing, and then follow along and cooperate with Him. This does not mean you don’t plan, but even your planning arises out of the conscious effort to observe Him. Do you see it?
Remember that revelation comes two ways – either passively or actively. My first two examples above were examples of passively received revelation. Other times, I ask the Lord about things, people or circumstances, for instance in praying for healing or solving a problem. The key is to wait on the Lord until you get an answer, whether its three seconds or three days (speaking in tongues much will energize the whole process). Revelation will come to your inner man of spirit, and your spirit will communicate it to your mind. Then act on it immediately…
And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. Ex 13:21NKJV
You never want to waste the manifest presence of God. I think it frustrates the Lord when we squander His presence. He wants to heal, He wants to bless, He wants to speak, but we are so busy dancing and praising that we don’t give God our full attention in humility and time to move. I had to learn to listen! When God shows up, when you sense His presence, that is the clear time to press into Him. We all love to praise, but praise is to transition into worship. Its in worship that God says, “Ask! What I shall give you!”(2 Chron. 1:7). Proper stewardship of the presence of God will release faith to see more of what God is doing!
There are three great categories of the spirit realm – the Spirit of God including holy angels, the spirit of man and evil spirits.
I wrote recently about the spirit of man. Let me include some of that here: A human spirit at times can be tremendous, but it’s not God. A human spirit can be funny, entertaining, even inspiring on a certain level. A human spirit can teach profoundly, and be witty, charismatic and personable. People with well-developed human spirits can be sharp and eminently likeable. Think about the great natural leaders in human history, many of them just operating with strong human spirits. But it is not God!
The spirit of man is what gives life to the physical body. When you raise the dead, you are calling that spirit back into that body. When God imparted the spirit of life into Adam’s body, he became a living soul. By the way, this is at conception, not at birth, because its spirit-life, not breath-life.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jer 1:5 NKJV
One aspect of discerning the spirit of man is to understand that the freewill of man is in his spirit. The Lord NEVER violates the free will of man or the Lord could never be just to rightly judge man. It’s man who puts limitations on the power of God, not God. All the songs about ‘God didn’t do this’ and ‘God could have done that but didn’t’ all place the blame where it does not belong. Jesus said, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, BELIEVING, you will receive. We are continually referencing back to the fruit of FAITH here as well as DOS. The only true measure of a man’s faith is in what he receives and the fruit he leaves in the timeline of history, his legacy. Dear one, if you understand this, it will answer a lot of questions…
Finally, lets talk about discerning demons.
I was introduced to the demonic realm as a young child through ouija boards, parties and influences from my mother. The covering authority of parents, or the lack thereof, has the most profound influence in a young one’s life. But God delivered me through the power of the Holy Spirit and the blood of the Lamb.
…and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 1 John 5:19 NKJV
Demons always run at cross purposes to what is normal and sane. Naturally, boys like girls and girls like boys. Under demonic influence, boys like boys and girls like girls. Demonic structures are shown when society is forced to declare that boys liking boys, etc. is normal and sane. So, not only do we deal with individual demons but also demonic structures. So, to recognize evil we have to understand what normal, sane and healthy looks like. Discerning evil is set in the context of recognizing righteousness.
The fruit of the Spirit are the definition of normal, healthy and sane.
…And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. 1 John 5:4 NKJV
The gospel is the great healer of men’s souls and of society in general. It you want to change individuals, lead them to Christ. If you want to change society, identify those who are great influencers, great leaders, and win them to Christ and/or become a great leader yourself and lead your followers to Christ. We complain about government but some of us need to become government leaders. Same with business, the arts, education, the military, every area of life and society and culture. Church inside church is fine, but church in the highways and byways of life is a continual adventure!
Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Ps 25:4 NKJV
Ask the Lord to teach you the great gift of discerning of spirits, and get five years of continual training and growth, not one year of experience repeated five times. Ask Him to increase in greater measure the fruit of faith. It’s never too late…you are never too old or too young. We limit God when we limit our vision of Him, and our hunger for Him. Let Him open the picture windows into the spirit realm so that you can step through them and go boldly where you have never gone before! Love you!
Remember dear ones, we must be about our Father’s business…