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PROPHETIC TRAINING CLASS - DISCERNING SPIRITS -INTRODUCTION - 11/08/19 - Firestorm Ministries, International
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FS Prophetic Training Class

Discerning Spirits – Introduction

Bonnie Nelson


This last week, in the prophetic training class, we started discussing what it means to have the gift of “discerning spirits.” This is an important gift, especially in this day and age, as the enemy of our souls is increasing his spiritual attacks, bringing havoc and distress to people all over the world, including the United States. Never before have I seen or heard such evil things happening in the US, through all our media outlets, the work places, markets and stores and even in the churches.  Perhaps this is why Yahweh is bringing attention to us regarding the gift of discerning spirits. 

Without the gift of discerning spirits, we are spiritually crippled. How can we stop spiritual attacks, if we don’t know who or what is attacking us?  Our enemies are cunning and know how our body functions. They are quick to attack our brains through the way our thoughts process our emotions and belief systems. 

There are two forces or voices residing inside of a Born Again Christian. The soul and all it entails and the Spirit of Christ, both of which speak into our brain and motivate us to make decisions, which at times, war against each other.  In one encyclopedia I found this some interesting information regarding our soul.

Discernment of Spirits is a term used in Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Charismatic (Evangelist) Christian theology to indicate judging various spiritual agents for their moral influence. These agents are: from within the human soul itself, known as concupiscence. Not sure about you, but I did have to go look up concupiscence, which means:  Strong sexual desire. 

Our soul has some flesh issues, which can rise up and cause us to do things, we should not do. How do we get control of these things in order to live a righteous life? The Word of God and the Voice of Yahweh. When an issue arises, what does the Word of God say about it? What voice are you hearing in your thoughts? Does that voice line up with the written Word?

The Bible shares the fruit of the Spirit of God contains self control (Galatians 5:22-23) and when it comes to our flesh, we know we are to take authority over it and bring it into subjection because in 1 Corinthians 10:5, it says:  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Even more specific is Romans 6:12 :

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Learning to listen to the voices we hear in our thoughts and identifying the “feelings” of our soul (flesh) is a learning process our “mind” has to go through. The Bible says we are to “renew” our mind from the world system of thinking. Look at Romans 12:2:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Studying what Yahweh has said, gives us a compass to follow, and enables us to make decisions in our lives. It is His Word we are to follow, not opinions or desires, but what does His Word Say! Hebrews 4:12 reveals the Word of God is more than able to help us discern, which voice we are hearing.

For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edge sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Once we begin to recognize whether we are hearing the Voice of God, or the voice of our soul, we can move to the next level of the gift of discerning spirits.

Although knowing the Word is necessary for the gift of discerning spirits to function, the actual gift is a by-product of spending time in the Presence of God and getting to know Him, His Ways and His Wise Counsel.

The gift of discerning spirits is, a gift birthed in God’s Presence and, comes from Him. James 1:17


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Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Discerning of spirits is not something we should be lackadaisical about or dismiss. We should press in to Yahweh and seek Him for this gift. It is foolish and dangerous to think we don’t need it.

This gift of discerning spirits is linked to the prophetic gift, as it is imperative for us to hear the voice of God, in order to put this gift to use. If we can’t hear the voice of our Shepherd, we can be deceived and misinterpret the identity and/or reasons behind a spiritual disturbance.

The spiritual gift of discernment is also known as the gift of “discernment of spirits” or “distinguishing between spirits.”  The Greek word for the gift of discernment is Diakrisis. The word describes being able to distinguish, discern, judge or appraise a person, statement, situation, or environment. In the New Testament it describes the ability to distinguish between spirits, as in 1 Corinthians 12:10,

To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues and to discern good and evil as in Hebrews 5:14.

The Holy Spirit gives the gift of discerning spirits to enable those He chooses, to clearly recognize and distinguish between the influence of God, Satan, the world, and the flesh in a given situation. The church needs those with this gift to warn believers in times of danger and keep them from being led astray by false teaching as in: Acts 16:16-18

Acts 16:16-18 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.  18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Acts 5:3-6 Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. 

A lot of people today in the Church can feel a spiritual presence, but cannot identify it. Yahweh can! It is His Presence in us, which enables us to understand, who or what we are dealing with and how to deal with it.

Just being aware of demonic beings or influences around us is not enough and can be dangerous, especially if we don’t have the “spiritual power” of God in, us to resist and discern their deception. 



It is knowledge learned, through the washing of the Word, hearing the living (rhema) voice of our Shepherd inside us, and taking control over our soul, which will enable us to be victorious over the influences and plans of the demonic realm.


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Author Becca Card

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