|TESTING THE SPIRITS/DISCERNING VOICES
HIS GLORY REIGNS
Feb 15 2008 08:00AM
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of
God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know
ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in
the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is
come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye
have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. They
are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth
them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God
heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." 1
The Word is the living presence of that divine power that overcomes the world. You need the Word of God in your
hearts so that you might be able to overcome the world. Here we are dealing with satanic power so that we may be able
to discern evil spirits. We can so live in this divine communion with Christ that we can sense evil in any part of the world.
In this present world, powers of evil are rampant. The man who lives in God is afraid of nothing. The plan of God is that
we might be so in Him that we will be equal to any occasion. "Beloved" (1 John 4:1). That is a good word. It means that
we are now in a place where God has set His love upon us. He wants us to listen to what He has to say to us because
when His beloved are hearing His voice, then they understand what He has for them. God is dealing with us as sons;
He calls us "beloved." We are in the truth, but we want to know the truth in a way that will keep us free.
The fourth chapter of First John tells us specifically how to deal with evil powers, with evil voices. It tells us how we may
be able to dethrone them and be in a place where we are over them. It shows us how we may live in the world not
subject to fear, not subject to bondage, not subject to pain, but in a place where we are defeating evil powers, ruling
over them, reigning in the world by this life of Christ. In this way, we will be from above, and we will know it. We will not
be subject to the world, but we will reign over the world so that disease, sin, and death will not have dominion.
A keynote that runs through the entire Scriptures is that Jesus has vanquished and overcome all of the powers of the
Devil and has destroyed his power, even the power of death. Whether we are going to believe it or not, this is for us.
God sends out the challenge, and He says, "If you believe it, it will be so." What will hinder us? Our human nature will.
This has a lot to do with hindering God: when the human will is not wholly surrendered, when there is some mixture part
spirit and part flesh, and when there is a division in your own heart. In a house where there are two children, one may
desire to obey his father and mother, and he is loved and is very well treated. The other is loved just the same, but the
difficulty is this: the wayward boy who wants his own way does many things to grieve his parents, and he gets the whip.
They are both children in the house; one is getting the whip, the other is getting the blessing without the whip.
There are any number of God's children who are getting the whip who know better than they are doing. So you should
make every effort to wake up do what you know ought to be done, because there is a whipping for those who won't
obey. Sin is never covered by your appearance, your presence, your prayers, or your tears. Sin can only be removed
by repentance. When you repent deeply enough, you will find that the thing goes away forever. Never cover up sin.
Sins must be judged. Sins must be brought to the blood of Christ. When you have a perfect confidence
between you and God, it is amazing how your prayers rise. You catch fire, you are filled with zeal, your inspiration is
tremendous, you find out that the Spirit prays through you, and you live in a place of blessing.
Judge yourself by God's Word. There are two ways of being in the place where God wants you to be. One is to see
that you obey. The next is to examine yourself to see that "you are in the faith" (2 Corinthians 13:5). If you do not
judge yourself by the Word of God, you will be condemned with the present evil world, "For if we would judge ourselves,
we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned
with the world." 1 Corinthians 11:31.
Greater Is He Who is in You
"...try the spirits whether they are of God:" 1 John 4:1. Be ready to challenge the Devil. Don't be afraid. You will be
delivered from fear if you believe. You can have "ears to hear" (Matthew 11:15) or ears that do not hear. Ears that
hear are the ears of faith, and your ears will be so open to what is spiritual that they will lay hold of it.
When the Word of God becomes the life and nature of you, you will find that the minute you open it, it becomes life to
you; you will find that you have to be joined up with the Word. You are to be the epistles of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:3).
This means that Christ is the Word, and He will be known in us by our fruits (Matthew 7:16-20). He is the life and the
nature of you. It is a new nature: a new life, a new breath, a new spiritual atmosphere. There is no limitation in this
standard, but in everything else you are limited. "...Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4.
When the Word of Life is lived out in you because it is your life, then it is enacted, and it brings forth what God has
desired. When we quote something from the Scriptures, we must be careful that we are living according to it. The Word
of God has to abide in you, for the Word is life and it brings forth life, and this is the life that makes you "free from the
law of sin and death" Romans 8:2.
How to Test the Spirits
There are evil thoughts, and there are thoughts of evil. Evil thoughts are suggestive of the Evil One. We must be able
to understand what the evil is and how to deal with it. The Word of God makes us strong. All evil powers are weak.
There is nothing strong in the Devil; the weakest believer dethrones the Enemy when he mentions Jesus, "...young men,
because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one." 1 John 2:14
There are evil thoughts and thoughts of evil. Where do thoughts of evil come from? They come from the unclean
believer, the man who is not entirely sanctified. Remember that the Devil does not know your thoughts; that is where the
Devil is held. But God knows your thoughts; God knows all things. Satan can only suggest evil thoughts to try to
arouse your carnal nature. Yet if you are disturbed, if you are weak, if you are troubled or depressed, then you are in a
wonderful place. If you never tell anybody about your evil thoughts, you are not disturbed about them, the carnal
powers have never been destroyed in you. But if you tell anybody, then it is proof that you are clean; it is because you
are clean that you weep. If you are not disturbed, if you have no conviction, it is because of your uncleansed heart; you
have let sin come in. The Holy Spirit has all power and all language. If you won't tell any body when these suggestive
evil powers come, it is proof that you are not sanctified. It is up to every child of God to keep himself
consciously and continuously covered and washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ every moment of every
day. Pleading the Blood of Jesus causes Satan's voice to be stilled.
Overcoming Evil Powers
How can the believer believe so that he will not be tormented? The question is: How can we be master of the
situation? We must know this Scripture: "...Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:"
1 John 4:2. Did Jesus come in the flesh? Mary produced a Son in the likeness of God. In a similar way, the eternal
seed that came into us when we believed produces a life, a person, "...which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"
Colossians 1:27, and which rises up in us until the reflection of the Son of God is in everything we do. Mary produced
a Son for redemption. God's seed in us produces a son of perfect redemption, until we live in Him and move by Him,
and our whole nature becomes a perfect Son of God in us (Acts 17:28). In the name of Jesus, cast self out, and you will
be instantly free.
A Place of Discernment
We must be in a place where we can discern evil things and evil spirits. Remember, the Word says: "...greater is he that
is in you, than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4. God will change you until you will not be afraid of anything.
Life comes after you have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Get down and pray for power. There are two reasons why
you would come away from prayer without feeling that nothing has changed. First, when you go into your place, lock
the door. Should you pray silently? No, pray loudly. The Devil has never disturbed anyone who prayed aloud. There
the Holy Spirit's power is a proof. Next, if you will, you can rebuke and you can cast out, satanic powers. Rebuke
Satan. Never cast a demon out twice or he will run about and laugh at you. He will know you did not believe it the first
time, "...ask, and ye shall receive...." John 16:24. The moment you ask, believe you will receive, and you will have it.
How to Discern Voices
There are many voices in the world. You need to be able to understand voices, to understand spiritual voices, and to
understand exactly what the scripture means about these things.
There is no difference between the spirit of "disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2) and the spirit of "lawlessness" (2
Thessalonians 2:7-8), they are one and the same. They are the spirit of antichrist, and they are right in the midst of
Man, being essentially a spiritual being, can hear either the voice of the Spirit of God or of Satan and his demon spirits.
Remember, it is not wrong to hear a Satanic voice, it is wrong to obey it. It is wrong to allow yourself to become
obsessed with his voice. You have to be in a position to try the spirits to see whether they are of God. Why should
believers try the spirits? You can always try the spirits to see whether they are of God for this reason: you will be able
to tell the true revelation, and the true revelation that will come to you will always sanctify the heart; it will never have an
"if" in it. When the Devil came to Jesus, he had an "if." He said, "If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones
be made bread." Matthew 4:3 and "...if thou wilt fall down and worship me." Matthew 4:9. The Holy Spirit never comes
with an "if." Oh, thank God for Jesus. Notice that Jesus wants you to be so under His power, so controlled by and filled
with the Holy Spirit, that the power of authority in you resents all evil. This is an important lesson for believers, because
there are so many believers who are not on their guard. Every believer should reach a place in the Holy Spirit where he
has no desire except the desire of God. The Holy Spirit has to possess us until we are filled,and divinely led, only by
the Holy Spirit. It is a mighty thing to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Do not desire to lead Jesus; Let Him lead you, He will
lead you into truth. He will lead you into nothingness, but when you are in nothingness, you will be in power. He will
lead you into weakness, but when you are in weakness, God will be with you in might; everything that seems weak from
a human perspective will be under the control of divine power.
There is a difference in the right and wrong way to discern voices and thoughts that may come into your mind. You have
the Scriptures, and you have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has wisdom, and He does not expect you to be foolish.
The Holy Spirit has perfect insight into knowledge and wisdom, and truth always gives you balance. You always need to
have one thing removed from you: being terribly afraid. However, fear leaves, and power and confidence comes in its
place. You also need to have another thing that must remain, and that is love: love in order to obey God rather than
your inclinations to be something or to do something (the voice of the flesh) without the leading of the Holy Spirit; but if
God wants to make you someone, that is different.
The Holy Spirit versus Deceptive Voices
A lot of people are very much troubled by voices. Some people are so troubled that they get very distressed. Some
people take it as a great thing; they think it is very remarkable, and they go astray. Lots of people go astray by foolish
prophecy, and lots of people are foolish enough to believe that they have tongues and interpretation and that they can
be told what they should do. This is altogether outside the plan of God and bordering on blasphemy.
How do we dislodge the power of Satan? How can we deal with satanic power? How may I know whether a voice is of
God or not? Are there not voices that come from God? Yes.
"Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And
every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist,
whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." 1 John 4:2-3
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.
Amen." 2 Corinthians 13:14
The first Scripture tells us how to deal with power that is not of God but is satanic. The second Scripture reveals that
we have within us a secure position in God so that we may have the communion of the Holy Spirit, who has all the latest
plans, thoughts, and language from heaven. You know that a business executive is one who has a right to declare
everything for the board of directors. And the Chief Executive of the world is the Holy Spirit. He is here today as a
communication to our hearts, to our minds, to our thoughts, of what God wants us to know. So this Holy Executive, who
is in us, can speak wonderful words.
When you are fully in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit will teach you, "...he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your
remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26 Now you do not need any man to teach you. But the
anointing remains (1 John 2:27). You do not need teachers, but you need the Teacher, who is the Holy Spirit, to bring
all things to your remembrance. This is the office of the Holy Spirit. This is the power of His communication. This is
what John meant when he said, "for God is love" 1 John 4:8. Jesus, who is grace, is with you. But the Holy Spirit is the
speaker, and He speaks everything concerning Jesus.
There are people who have been hearing voices, and it has put them in a situation in which they have been moving
from place to place. These voices that have caused tremendous issues in their lives, brought a great amount of
distress and brokenheartedness, and led them into confusion and trouble. Why? They did not know how to judge the
voices. If a voice comes and tells you what to do, if a person comes and says he has a special prophesy that God has
given him for you, you have as much right to ask God for that prophecy as they had to give it to you, and you have as
much right to judge that prophecy according to the Word of God. You need to do this, for there are people going about
pretending to be tremendous people, and they are sending people nearly out of their wits end because they believe
their damnable prophecies, which never are of God but are of the Devil and people end up in a terrible state.
The Spirit gives joy and gladness. The difference between those who are being led by the Holy Spirit and those who
are being deceived by Satan is joy, gladness, and a good countenance instead of sadness, sorrow, and depression.
When Jesus comes with joy into the soul and lifts you higher and higher, it is the Spirit who gives light. When satanic
power begins to rule, then there is weariness, then people's faces are like a tragedy, then their eyes glare as though
they had passed through a terrible trial. You are always right to "...test the spirits, whether they are of God" 1 John 4:1.
If you do not do it, then you will be sure to be caught napping. The wisdom of God is full of goodness and truth (James
3:17), full of peace and gentleness, it is willing to submit, and it is without partiality. If you are disturbed in your spirit
and not at rest, you may have missed the plan:
* First of all, you can miss it because you have taken on someone's else's burden. All the time you are told to cast
your burden on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7). Any number of people are overflowing with sorrow because they are taking on
someone else's burden. That is wrong. You must teach yourself that you have to cast your burden on the Lord.
* Secondly, if you do not have peace, you have gotten out of the will of God in some way. You may not have sinned.
You can be out of the will of God without sinning. You can be out of the will of God if you are not making progress.
Everybody is a backslider who is not going on with God. You are a backslider if you do not increase in the divine
character and likeness of Christ. You have to move from state to state "from glory to glory" 2 Corinthians 3:18, by the
Spirit of the Lord.
* Thirdly, you can lose your peace because you have gotten your mind on something natural. A natural thing is a
carnal thing. The Word of God says that the carnal things have to be destroyed because they are not subject to the
law of God and cannot be subject to them (Romans 8:7). Every carnal thing must be destroyed.
Examine yourself to see where you are. If you are not in perfect peace, you are out of the will of God. Therefore, if
these voices take away your peace, you will know they are not the will of God.
Spiritual Gifts Will Exalt Jesus
"Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to
understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is
the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." 1 Corinthians 12:2,3.
Paul was speaking to the Church at Corinth. These folks had previously worshipped idols and in this idol worship,
motivated by the wrong spirit, they would say a lot of things that were in error. For instance, Church history tells us that
some of these folks would come into the Christian assembly and when the Spirit of God began to manifest Himself,
these people would yield to a wrong spirit and say things under the influence of the wrong spirit. In fact, some of them
would even rise up in the services when the gifts of utterance were in operation and they would say that Jesus was
accursed. The Bible says that no one speaking by the Spirit of God would call Jesus accursed (when the
Spirit is in manifestation).
Paul is saying that when the Holy Spirit is in manifestation, He will make Jesus Lord. If an utterance gift, that is, a vocal
gift - prophecy, divers kinds of tongues, or the interpretation of tongues - is in manifestation, then, of course, it will be
clear by what is said that Jesus is Lord. If the other gifts are in manifestation, they will always uplift the Lordship of
Jesus, not the lordship of some man. They will not attract attention to some man, but rather to Christ. You can be sure
that if someone is operating in what appears to be one of the vocal gifts, and calls Jesus accursed or speaks against
Him in any way, then he is not speaking by the Holy Spirit.
Paul says in First Corinthians 12:3 that no man can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. In other words,
Paul was saying that if someone is speaking by the right spirit, the Holy Spirit, then what he says will exalt the Name of
Jesus. When the Spirit of God is in manifestation, He will make Jesus Lord. The wrong spirit won't acknowledge
that Jesus is Lord and won't say that Jesus is Lord. A Spiritualist, for example, will never say that Jesus came in the flesh.
The Holy Spirit and His Gifts, by Kenneth E. Hagin, Copyright 1991, by RHEMA Bible Church.
Smith Wigglesworth on Spiritual Gifts, by Smith Wigglesworth, Copyright 1998, by Whitaker House.
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