1 John 4:1 – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are if God…
The majority of today’s Christians have little or no discernment! What is discernment? It is the means to perceive or recognize clearly, and discernment is needed to make sound and wise judgments or decisions. Applied biblically and spiritually discernment is needed to recognize what is of God and what is of the devil so that proper decisions or choices can be made.
1 John 4:6 - ….Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
This lack of discernment shows that most Christians are dependent on their own limited fleshly understanding rather than inspiration and direction from the Lord.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own
understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
This also shows that most of today’s Christians are NOT walking and living in the power, ability or gifting of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 – Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 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: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Many churches teach against the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit while others say that it is not for today. However, we read that this power and these gifts are to be in operation until the return of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:7 – So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
This lack of discernment was recently exemplified by the massacre of Christians at the church in Charleston, SC on June 17, 2015. This is when a demonically inspired young man came into the church and spent a whole hour among thirteen Christians in a prayer meeting and then began shooting them. This 21 year old demonically inspired man, filled with hate, reloaded his .45 caliber pistol five times to shoot nine worshippers.
Here’s the real problem: none of these Christians were able to DISCERN the evil hateful spirit that was driving this young man, even though they had a whole hour in which to do so. What is most striking is that these Christians were in a prayer meeting; a time when they are supposedly drawing closer to the Lord.
James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
However, there is a condition that all Christians need to be aware of that should always be a matter in prayer and that requires repenting and cleansing yourself of any and all sin when approaching God; and don’t be double minded, (don’t play religious games with God).
James 4:8 – Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.
Yet none of those Christians could discern the evil enemy manifesting in their midst who was about to fulfill the devil's plan.
John 8:44 – Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
John 10:10 – Jesus said, The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
This young man came into that church to do the devil’s work and no one was able to discern or recognize the evil spirit in him. Unfortunately, most Christians today are in this same spiritual condition; they are not walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and are not equipped with the full armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10-18 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
This is a very serious problem because scripture warns us that in these last days, prior to the return of Christ, that perilous (dangerous) times would be upon us, along with great deception and the abundance of false teachers and false prophets (preachers who claim to speak by inspiration), who are able to deceive MANY.
Matthew 24:24 – For there shall arise false Christs (anointed ones), and false prophets (inspired preachers), and shall show great sighns and wonders; insomuch that , if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Matthew 7:15, 20-23 – Beware of false prophets (preachers who claim to be inspired), which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Wherefore by their fruits (not their supernatural gifts) ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied (preached) in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (do you own thing).
Too many so-called Christians are “playing” church. They are going through the motions and rituals but failing to have a genuine intimate and loving relationship with God and Christ. Thus they are devoid of, and even deny, the power that comes from that relationship; they deny the power that can maintain them and sustain them when such evil comes.
1 Timothy 3:1-5 – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
As we approach the end of this age, prior to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are told that things will get far worse as conditions prepare for the rise of the false prophet and the antichrist. This means that true Christians will be targeted for persecution by a hostile government and a worldly system leading to the one or new world order.
Matthew 24:9-14 – Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Christians, it is time to truly repent and get serious, and get right with God, and walk with Him in the power of the Holy Spirit with all of the Gifts of the Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-24 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Therefore, the church needs to do the following: repent of its lukewarm-ness, worldliness and materialism, as called for in the Church of Laodicea:
Revelation 3:14-20 – And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Next, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness:
Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Then begin to walk in the spirit and not after the flesh:
Romans 8:1, 5-6, – There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Finally, Christians need to recognize the lateness of the hour!
Romans 13:11-14 – And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.