Heaven's Point of View

Discerning Of The Spirits

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Hal Steenson (Host)


Series Code: HPOV

Program Code: HPOV000009

00:01 Hello, I'm
00:03 and I'd like to welcome you and invite you to join us
00:04 in our study on the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit.
00:07 Today on Heaven's Point of View we'll look at the gift
00:10 of discerning of spirits. I remember in the 1970's
00:13 this gift went off the deep end
00:15 in Pentecostal and charismatic circles.
00:17 People were trying to cast demons out of soda machines
00:20 and out of pay phones if they kept their money
00:23 without giving them anything. There were large church services
00:27 where demon "specialists" would pray for people to be delivered
00:31 and would even pass out little paper bags
00:34 to catch their demon in when they threw it out.
00:37 Well, are you ready to counteract the counterfeit
00:40 today? Then get your Bible and we'll be right back.
01:06 I personally believe that there is still demon activity
01:08 in this present age, and many of these demons are associated
01:12 with religion just as they were in Jesus' day.
01:14 However, our main purpose should be Christ centered
01:18 and avoid obvious witch hunts. Philippians 4:8 tell us
01:22 what our minds should be stayed on.
01:25 "Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true,
01:28 whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just,
01:32 whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
01:36 whatsoever things are of good report,
01:39 if there be any virtue and if there be any praise
01:43 think on these things. "
01:44 You are probably asking, well, what is the
01:47 discerning of spirits? This is a gift that allows one's
01:51 spiritual senses and mental faculties to discriminate
01:56 and distinguish between what is morally good and noble
02:00 and what is evil and contrary either to God's divine law
02:04 or even to human law. The gift of discernment allows you
02:08 to see past the facade of those that desire to deceive.
02:13 It gives you the ability to judge whether something is
02:17 from God or from Satan, from fallen angels
02:22 or unfallen angels. The definition of the word
02:26 discern is: to perceive something hidden or obscure.
02:31 To perceive differences showing insight and judgment.
02:36 Now let me give you a classic illustration.
02:39 I laugh when I think about this! Several years ago
02:42 after a morning worship service in Mollie and my's church,
02:46 I noticed a disturbance in the rear of the sanctuary
02:49 and I approached a group of people surrounding a young,
02:52 teenage girl lying out on the pew. And she was squirming
02:55 and writhing, and all the while growling in a deep voice.
03:01 There was an older gentleman whom I didn't know
03:04 standing over her and praying very loudly.
03:08 You know the devil's not hard of hearing.
03:10 I stopped him and I asked what was going on.
03:12 and he informed me that he was casting out a demon
03:16 of rock 'n roll out of this young woman.
03:18 And I asked him if I could have a go at it, and he told me sure
03:22 but be careful because this one was a very dangerous demon.
03:27 Well, he stepped back, I stepped up.
03:30 I told her to sit up and shut up - and she did it!
03:33 I then turned to the stranger causing this problem and said:
03:37 "That demon of rock 'n roll may be dangerous
03:40 but it sure is obedient. "
03:43 After the laughing stopped and the crowd cleared,
03:47 the man asked me how I knew it wasn't a demonic manifestation.
03:51 I told him that the gift of discerning of spirits
03:56 not only allows you to recognize what's good
03:59 and what's bad, but it will also work along with
04:02 the word of wisdom to recognize what's real
04:05 and what's counterfeit and the proper way to deal
04:08 with the situation. The gift of discerning of spirits
04:12 actually examines three arenas of spirit activity - not two -
04:17 as many would suspect it's only two. Not so.
04:20 Practical application of the gift of discernment
04:24 is the heightened ability to encounter a written or verbal
04:29 attitude, to encounter a difficulty, or to
04:33 consider a projected course of action
04:35 and then determine the fundamentals of the purpose
04:39 behind the philosophy, the difficulty, or the action.
04:43 You see, first there is the divine Spirit of God
04:48 whose axis is the spiritual senses of man.
04:55 says: "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age
04:58 even those who by reason of use have their
05:04 senses exercised to discern both good and evil. "
05:10 says: "According as His divine, His divine power
05:15 hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life
05:18 and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that
05:21 hath called us to glory and virtue. "
05:24 And next there is the spirit of man -
05:27 which is merely human and abides in every human being.
05:33 says: "The burden of the Word of the Lord for Israel,
05:37 saith the Lord, which stretches forth the heavens and layeth
05:40 the foundation of the earth and formeth the spirit of man
05:44 within him. "
05:48 says - this is just real clear - "But there is a spirit in a man
05:52 and the inspiration of the Almighty
05:55 giveth him understanding. "
05:59 "Having therefore these promises dearly beloved
06:01 let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh
06:05 and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. "
06:10 For those that are sitting there asking whether the
06:14 Seventh-day Adventists believe in demons and where they stand
06:17 on demons and demon possession,
06:19 this statement might help you understand.
06:45 Last, there is the demonic or Satanic spirit
06:48 that will try to counterfeit the ministry of God's Holy Spirit.
06:52 I Peter 5:8 says:
06:54 "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary
06:59 the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about seeking
07:02 whom he may devour. " Divination is the means
07:08 of imitating the divine. Now let me say that again.
07:11 Divination is the means of imitating the divine.
07:16 And we all know that only God is truly divine.
07:19 Hence it is a counterfeit rather than the real deal.
07:23 Now there are four classes of unfallen and there are
07:27 four classes of fallen angels that have access
07:31 to our earth realm. Now, please stay with me here, OK?
07:35 I'm going to go through this slowly. We only deal with
07:40 two of the fallen angels or what is commonly referred to
07:45 as demons. Now, let me back that up with the Word of God.
07:52 says: "Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord
07:54 and the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God
07:59 that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
08:02 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood
08:06 but against principalities, against powers,
08:09 against the rulers of darkness of this world,
08:12 and against spiritual wickedness in high places. "
08:14 Now although Jesus was confronted by Satan
08:18 in the wilderness, his main confrontations were only with
08:22 principalities and powers. For clarification, let's refer
08:27 to the principalities as the smaller demons
08:31 and the powers are the larger ones.
08:33 Now in this next scripture, please take note
08:37 that the pronouns change as Jesus stops dealing with the
08:42 little guys, the principalities, and confronts the powers
08:46 which are the larger ones. Now we are only
08:49 saying that for reference.
08:51 Mark 5 says: "And they came over unto the other side of the sea
08:54 unto the country of the Gadarenes.
08:57 And when He was come out of the ship,
08:59 immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an
09:03 unclean spirit who had his dwelling among the tombs.
09:07 And no man could bind him, no - not with chains -
09:11 because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains
09:16 and the chains had been plucked asunder by him
09:19 and the fetters broken in pieces; neither could any man
09:24 tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains
09:29 and in the tombs crying and cutting himself with stones.
09:32 But when he saw Jesus afar off he ran and worshiped Him. "
09:38 Now remember, this was the man that ran - not the demons
09:42 that were worshipping Christ. "And cried with a loud voice,
09:45 and said, 'what have I' notice this now...
09:48 'what have I' - please, please note the pronoun -
09:52 'what have I to do with Thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High
09:56 God? I adjure Thee by God
09:59 that Thou torment me not. '
10:03 For He said unto him, 'Come out of the man,
10:06 thou unclean spirit. ' And He asked him 'what is thy name?'
10:10 And he answered saying: 'my name is legion, for' -
10:15 change of pronoun - 'we. ' " It went from singular
10:18 to pleural pronouns. "And he besought Him much that He would
10:22 not send them " - pleural - "away out of the country.
10:26 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains
10:28 a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought Him
10:32 saying 'send us' - pleural - into the swine that we'
10:37 - pleural - 'may enter into them. ' And forthwith
10:40 Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out
10:44 and entered into the swine, and the herd ran violently down
10:46 a steep place into the sea. They were about two thousand
10:52 and were choked in the sea. " You see Jesus didn't stand
10:56 around all night casting out one principality at a time.
11:01 He dealt with the power and the others had to leave.
11:06 Please note that Jesus did not talk to the power
11:10 while it was still in the man. He did not talk to the demon
11:14 while it was still in the man but only after it had come out
11:18 at His command. Mark 1:21-27 says:
11:23 "And they went into Capernaum and straightway
11:26 on the Sabbath day, He entered into the synagogue
11:29 and taught. And they were astonished at His doctrine
11:33 for He taught them as One that had authority
11:35 and not as the scribes. And there were in their synagogue
11:40 a man with an unclean spirit and he cried out " - please,
11:43 once again - please note the pronouns.
11:46 "cried out saying 'let us' - pleural - 'alone.
11:51 What have we to do with Thee Thou Jesus of Nazareth?
11:55 Art Thou come to destroy us?
11:58 I know Thee, who Thou art,
12:01 and the Holy One of God. ' And Jesus rebuked him
12:05 saying: 'hold thy peace and come out of him. '
12:08 And when the unclean spirit had torn him and cried out
12:11 with a loud voice he came out of him.
12:14 And they were all amazed insomuch that they questioned
12:18 among themselves saying: 'What thing is this?
12:21 What new doctrine is this for with authority commandeth He
12:25 even the unclean spirits and they obey him. ' "
12:29 This will be a much-needed gift as we near the last days
12:34 of this age. Now let me just give you an illustration here,
12:37 OK? When Mollie and I lived in Lakeland, Florida, I had six
12:40 fruit trees in the back yard. Pink grapefruit, four tangelos,
12:43 and a Valencia. Now I wouldn't go out in the back yard
12:47 and look at the fruit and hold it in my hand and say
12:49 "Wow, this fruit needs some water " - and you can get
12:52 a hypodermic needle and stick it in the orange
12:55 and squirt water in the orange. What would you do?
12:59 I had a sprinkler system; I turned it on.
13:02 I didn't water the fruit - I watered the roots.
13:04 And when you deal with principalities and powers
13:07 the fruit doesn't affect the root, the root affects
13:10 the fruit. And so many people deal with these - cast out
13:14 two thousand demons one at a time instead of getting to the
13:16 root problem. And when re really move into the power of the gift
13:20 of the discerning of spirits then we will know what to do,
13:23 how to do it, when to do it, and where to do it.
14:25 What of the gifts? What is it? What of it?
14:29 What is the actual gift, Pastor Hal,
14:32 of the discerning of spirits? Well first let me tell you
14:36 what it is not. It is not a heart examination
14:40 because the Godhead is the only entity that correctly discerns
14:45 someone's heart. You will find that in...
14:49 It says: "For the Word of God, the Word of God is quick
14:51 and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword
14:54 piercing even to dividing asunder of the souls
14:57 and the spirit and the joints and the marrow
14:58 and is a discerner" - get this - "a discerner of the thoughts
15:02 and the intents of the heart. "
15:03 The true gift of discerning of spirits allows you
15:09 to only judge the spirit. I Corinthians 12:10 says:
15:14 "To another the working of miracles, to another
15:16 prophecy, to another discerning of spirits. "
15:19 This is not discerning of the heart of the believer.
15:23 It is only the discerning of spirits.
15:27 To try to peek into the heart of a believer is wicked in
15:31 every way. Fighting and arguing over the distinction
15:35 between the gifts and talents has little value
15:38 in discovering what gifts of the Spirit we actually have.
15:41 It would be odd for God, who made us, not to build into us
15:47 some of us, natural talents that could be used to complement
15:53 the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The flip side of that is
15:56 neither should we be surprised if the Holy Spirit gives gifts
15:59 to make up for what we lack as a natural ability.
16:04 The value of understanding the difference between
16:07 the gifts and the talents come after discovering
16:09 a spiritual gift and in understanding the temptation
16:12 and the pitfalls of obedience if natural talents are present
16:17 or absent. For those with spiritual gifts,
16:23 that intersect with natural talent, there is always
16:27 the temptation to minister
16:31 in the power of the flesh.
16:33 I have seen this happen before, and what ministers would call
16:37 the word of knowledge which we took a look at.
16:39 I have seen them look out over a congregation
16:42 and when they say well God will meet your financial needs
16:44 for the woman sitting on the third row - elderly lady -
16:47 get tears in her eyes. And he is sensitive to this because
16:52 he is a pastor, he watches a congregation.
16:54 And then at the close of the service he says:
16:57 "Well, I am going to minister in a word of knowledge.
16:59 God has shown me this lady on the third row here,
17:01 this elderly lady, has a financial need. "
17:04 God didn't show him that. He saw that with his natural eye.
17:08 Don't let your natural abilities interfere with the true
17:11 giftings of God. If this is the situation,
17:14 we must be careful not to fabricate divination
17:18 for divinity with any natural ability that God may have
17:22 given us. For those who are gifted in areas where they have
17:26 no talent, fear of failure can paralyze the spiritual gifts.
17:31 However, wow, if we are obedient to the Spirit's
17:35 low-risk promptings... why do you call it low risk?
17:39 I call it low risk because of this: we are not responsible
17:42 for the end result of what happens.
17:44 We are only responsible for being obedient to God.
17:46 When we are obedient to God, when God will tell us
17:50 what to do, prompt us with the gifts,
17:51 and we are obedient, then God will confirm the gift in us
17:57 with power and our confidence will be in God
18:01 and it will help us to remember when we are moving in the
18:04 divine will of God, we are not responsible
18:06 for that final result. We are only responsible
18:09 for obeying God. God is the one who is responsible
18:12 for the results of our obedience.
18:15 It is when we disobey God that we become responsible
18:19 for the outcome. Hear that, now.
18:21 Now let's look at some New Testament examples
18:24 of true discerning of the spirits.
18:31 "And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands
18:36 the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money
18:39 saying 'give me also this power that on whomsoever I lay
18:43 my hands he may receive the Holy Ghost. '
18:46 But Peter said unto him: 'Thy money perish with thee
18:49 because thou has thought that the gift of God
18:54 may be purchased with money. ' Remember what I said?
18:56 It can't be earned. It can't be learned.
18:58 And now we know it can't be purchased.
19:00 'Thou has neither part nor lot in this matter
19:05 for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
19:08 Repent, therefore, of this thy wickedness
19:10 and pray God if perhaps the thought of thine heart
19:13 may be forgiven thee.
19:16 For I perceive that thou art the gall
19:23 of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. ' "
19:27 Once again, let me communicate this.
19:36 Do not let it work in your life. Learn to discern the difference.
19:39 We all know that there is only one God
19:44 and He is the one that is truly divine.
19:47 Hence, it is a counterfeit rather than the real deal
19:51 if it is not divinely given by God.
19:56 says: "But a certain man named Ananias" - you all know it
19:58 but I am going to share it anyway -
20:00 "with Sapphira his wife sold a possession and kept back
20:03 part of the price. His wife also being privy to it
20:08 and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet.
20:13 But Peter said: 'Ananias,
20:17 why hath Satan filled thy heart
20:21 to lie to the Holy Ghost and to keep back part of that price
20:25 of the land? While it remained was it not thy own
20:31 and after it was sold was it not in thine own hand?
20:33 Why hast thou conceived this thing in thy heart? '
20:36 Not in his head, in his heart!
20:38 'Thou has not lied unto men' - whoo - 'but unto God. '
20:43 And Ananias hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost
20:47 and great fear came upon all them that heard these things. "
20:53 Do you know that our churches would stop being invaded
20:58 by people that come in through deception and try to
21:01 tear things down if the fear of God ruled in our churches
21:04 like it did here on this day. It goes on to say:
21:07 "And the young men arose, wound him up,
21:09 and carried him out and buried him. "
21:12 Ananias and consequently his wife Sapphira
21:15 attempted to lie to the apostles by giving only a portion
21:19 of their possessions. The Holy Spirit showed
21:21 Peter their true motivation. Never assume
21:25 there is an exact or repetitious process
21:29 or procedure that's to be performed in every case
21:34 or on every occasion. Now hear that.
21:37 It's not, it's not a program. It's not a process.
21:41 It's not a procedure. You've got to be led by the Spirit
21:43 What you might do in one deliberate service
21:47 you would never even attempt to do in another one.
21:50 The gift of discerning of spirits may not ever be manifest
21:54 through you in the exact same manner as before.
21:59 says: "And one of the multitude answered and said:
22:02 'Master, I have brought unto Thee my son
22:04 which hath a dumb spirit. ' I heard one pastor say
22:07 'As far as I'm concerned, they're all dumb spirits. '
22:09 But we were talking about the natural tongue.
22:13 'And wheresoever he taketh him he teareth him and he foameth
22:17 and he gnashes with his teeth and pineth away
22:20 and I spake to Thy disciples that they should cast him out
22:24 and they could not. ' " Even the father knew he had a devil.
22:27 "He answered him and saith: 'O faithless generation,
22:32 how long shall I be with you how long shall I suffer you
22:36 Bring him unto Me. ' And they brought him unto Him
22:39 when He saw him, straightway, the spirit tear him
22:43 and he fell on the ground and wallowed foaming
22:47 and He asked his father 'How long is it ago since this
22:52 came unto him? ' And he said 'Of a child -
22:55 and oft times it hath cast him into the fire
22:58 and into the waters to destroy him
23:00 but if Thou canst do anything have compassion on us. '
23:04 Jesus was compelled with compassion!
23:06 'and help us. ' And Jesus said unto him, 'If thou canst believe
23:10 all things are possible to him that believeth. '
23:14 And straightway the father of the child cried out and said
23:18 with tears 'Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief. '
23:21 And Jesus saw that the people came running together.
23:23 He rebuked the foul spirit saying unto him:
23:26 'thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee come out of him
23:30 and enter into him no more. '
23:33 And the spirit cried and rent sore
23:35 and came out of him and he was as one dead; insomuch that
23:39 many said, he is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand
23:42 lifted him up; and he arose. When He came unto the house
23:46 His disciples asked him privately,
23:47 'Why could we not cast out this demon?'
23:51 And He said unto them: 'This kind can come out,
23:54 come forth by nothing but prayer and fasting. '"
23:59 Don't try to do it the same way every time.
24:01 We are going to take a short break, and we'll be
24:03 right back in just a few minutes. Don't go away!
24:08 If you've been confused about what the Bible says
24:10 about the Holy Spirit's amazing gifts for the church,
24:12 you'll want to order your very own copy of this 13-part series.
24:16 It's available on DVD or video cassette from 3ABN
24:20 at a very special price. This 13-part series
24:24 with Pastor Hal Steenson makes a wonderful gift
24:26 for a friend or a family member. Just call us at:
24:34 You may also order it online at:
24:53 I want to take just a few minutes here and just share some
24:56 things with you that come from experience.
24:58 Experience is a good teacher! You really learn
25:01 from experience. You learn the good and you learn the bad.
25:04 The first thing I want to reiterate is never talk to
25:07 a demon or a spirit, demonic spirit that is in someone.
25:12 Here's what happens. Back several years ago
25:15 this was a big thing, you know. Tell me who you are.
25:17 What is your name? And I remember one time
25:19 I was just observing, I was in a time of observation,
25:23 and they were going to show me how to cast this demon out
25:26 of this guy, and I remember his name was Ronnie.
25:28 And so they all got around him and they began to pray
25:31 and praying in these babbling tongues and everything
25:33 and finally one of them looked at him and said:
25:36 "All right, what is your name? " And he said:
25:38 "My name's Ronnie. Y'all ought to know me. "
25:41 And they were trying to talk to a demonic spirit
25:44 while it was in there. Jesus never did that.
25:46 He always cast it out before he talked to this.
25:50 Now there is another reason not to talk to the devil.
25:52 Somebody said: "How can you tell when the devil's lying? "
25:55 I'll tell you how you can tell. Any time his mouth moves
25:58 he's lying. Anything that he would say to you, he is lying.
26:03 The Holy Spirit is always out front drawing you,
26:05 and the enemy is behind you pushing you.
26:08 I was in a service in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
26:11 and I'll never forget this one. The pastor was going to show
26:14 everybody how to cast out demons.
26:17 Said, what you do... you find out what kind of demon they are.
26:20 Remember, Jesus didn't cast out 2,000 little principalities.
26:23 He cast out the power and then dealt with it.
26:27 And this is what we need to realize.
26:29 It is not the fruit that affects the root, it's the root that
26:31 affects the fruit. Well, this pastor
26:35 got over this man and he said: "I want to know, you foul spirit
26:38 of hell, I want to know what kind of spirit you are. "
26:43 And this is the truth, this is not a joke.
26:45 This man said back to the pastor:
26:50 "I am a lying spirit. "
26:53 And the pastor's response was: "Are you telling me the truth? "
26:58 How ridiculous! What we need to do is learn the true operations
27:03 of the gifts of the Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit are not only
27:07 for discernment. They are for witnessing.
27:10 The discerning of the spirit is for witnessing.
27:13 And what we can do when we witness and truly
27:16 witness for God, we can tell whether that person is receptive
27:20 whether they are standing there turned off.
27:22 We can tell also before a demonic spirit
27:25 or someone that is meaning us harm ever even gets to us
27:28 Before it even gets close, we can discern by the Spirit of God
27:32 what this person is all about. What we can do is we can
27:36 receive spiritual insight through the discerning of the
27:39 spirit how to minister to someone.
27:41 Through the discerning of the spirit you will know
27:44 whether to use the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom,
27:46 the gift of faith, or whatever it might be,
27:50 we can truly build up the body of Christ.
27:52 We need these gifts in the end times.
27:54 We've got too many hurting people, too many people that are
27:57 scattered and are not brought together, and the gifts of the
28:00 Holy Spirit can truly move the church into unity.
28:03 Wouldn't that be great? Well, I've got news for you.
28:06 You get ready, because it's going to happen...
28:09 and happen soon!
28:30 So far on Heaven's Point of View we've been looking at the
28:33 gifts of the Holy Spirit. But on our next program
28:35 we are going to show you how to receive the baptism
28:38 of the Holy Spirit according to scripture.
28:40 So check your 3ABN World for the dates and times
28:43 and I'll see you there.


Revised 2014-12-17