The Gifts Part 72
Discerning of Spirits continued...
So why is it that after all this time we’re still discussing the gift of discerning of spirits? Why haven’t we moved on to the next gift on the list by now? Because as I said during the introduction of our discussion on the gift of discerning of spirits, given the times we are living in, knowing what the word of God says the spiritual climate will be like, it is one of the most necessary gifts for today.
Deception, apostasy, and individuals departing from the faith are repeatedly mentioned throughout the word of God within the context of these end times, and just because it is an uncomfortable topic, just because it puts us ill at ease it doesn’t mean we can ignore it, or bypass it. We have been forewarned of what we are seeing with our own eyes. Time and again, in His love and mercy God has revealed what is to come through His Holy Spirit, and if we hope to be among those still standing at battle’s end, we must possess the weapons of warfare which have been made available to all believers and children of God.
1 Timothy 4:1-2, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.”
In his letter to Timothy, Paul is quick to make the distinction between what is his counsel, and what is of a divine, and prophetic nature. Timothy was Paul’s spiritual son, and the bond of brotherly love between these two men was undeniable. Paul wrote two letters to Timothy, exhorting him, counseling him, but also including prophetic words and insight as the Lord led, as well as writing down that which the Spirit had shown him concerning the latter times.
Paul’s declaration concerning the fact that it is the Spirit, who explicitly speaks of the latter times, is forceful and absent of ambiguity.
What the Spirit was speaking concerning the latter times, is first, that some will depart from the faith. Now in order to depart or remove yourself from some place or some thing, you must have first and foremost been in it. The troubling thing about Paul’s prophetic utterance concerning the latter times is not that those of the world would give heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, but rather those who were once in the faith will depart from it and give heed to such things.
To those who believe that once you come into the faith God keeps you in a chokehold so you could never wiggle away, it’s not me you have to contend with, it is the word of God. In the latter times, some will depart from the faith, and rather than follow the narrow path, rather than seek after righteousness and holiness, rather than humbly obey the Lord their God, they will give heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. As a direct result of having given heed to these deceiving spirits, and these doctrines of demons, the aforementioned individuals who departed from the faith will speak lies in hypocrisy and have their conscience seared with a hot iron.
Just as fire destroys the nerve endings in skin deadening it, and rendering it unfeeling, sin destroys the nerve endings of the conscience, deadening it and rendering it unfeeling. When one’s conscience is seared, their moral compass has gone haywire, and the notion of sin is no longer a reality in their lives.
There are those who have departed from the faith, who have given heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, who have had their conscience seared with a hot iron, who practice that which the word of God forbids, yet because of their fallen state, because of the deception and delusion they are under they claim it is Christian liberty allowing them to live in sin and not the fact that they have been deceived.
The God who changes not is still as holy a God as He ever was, He is still as righteous a God as He ever was, and He is still as jealous a God as He ever was. Men change, God doesn’t, and as such His standard remains the same from generation to generation.
If the word of God forbids it, it’s not legalism; it’s obedience to the word of God. If the word of God calls it sin, abstaining from it is not self-righteousness, it is submission to the authority of scripture. In the Master’s house we must acquiesce to the Master’s rules, and follow them to the letter. The Body of Christ does not belong to a man, neither does a given congregation, it belongs to God for He is the head of the body, and as such we must do as He commands and not as we would will. The Body of Christ belongs to Christ, and we will give account for that which we do within His Body. We will not give account to the Board of Elders, we will not give account to the deacons, we will not give account to the denominational commission, we will give account to the King upon His return, and He will judge righteously all that we did in His name.
It is because discernment is lacking or in some cases wholly nonexistent that so many are swayed and turned away from the truth, and confusion concerning even the most basic tenets of the faith has reached an apex in our day and age.
Love the Body of Christ, love the brethren, love your soul enough to take the time and evaluate that which you receive as gospel truth in your heart.
Knowing that deception is prevalent, knowing that the days in which we live will be marked by an abundance of false doctrines, false teaches and false prophets, the gift of discerning of spirits is a paramount necessity in every congregation and every body of believers.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.