Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bishop’s Note: October 15, 2015 Gifts of the Holy Spirit – Discerning of Spirits

Bishop Eric Menees

This week, as we continue our series in the Bishop’s Note on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, we look to another of the Revelatory Gifts – the Discerning of Spirits.  St. Paul mentions this gift in his list of Gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, verse 10: “For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.(1 Corinthians 12:8-11 ESV)

The Discernment of Spirits is the revelation of the Holy Spirit to a person to recognize whether the Holy Spirit, a human spirit, or an evil spirit is motivating a person or situation. This is more than the hairs standing up on the back of your neck – this is a revelation via vision, specific knowledge, wisdom, or a sense in the center of your being where God reveals what type of spirit - if any - is present in the person or situation.

St. Paul’s experience in Macedonia, where he confronted a fortune telling slave girl, is an example of this gift at work: “As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.” (Acts 16:16-18 ESV)

This gift is essential when working with people who have been involved in witchcraft, Wicca, the occult, satanic worship, grave sin, drug use, etc. and who desires to change their lives.

The person receiving this gift must be careful to seek the Lord’s wisdom and discernment when engaging in Spiritual Warfare. He or she should have teams of intercessors, be very well versed in the Holy Scriptures, and be under spiritual authority themselves as a way of putting on the full armor of God and protecting themselves and the person who may be suffering under oppression or possession.

May the Lord bless and keep you all!

Catechism Questions 169 - 171

169.    What is the First Petition?
The First Petition is: “Hallowed be Thy Name.”

170.    What is God’s Name?
God’s Name refers to his personal being – his nature, his character, his power, and his purposes. The Name God reveals to Moses is “I AM WHO I AM” or simply “I AM” (Exodus 3:6, 14). This Name means that he alone is truly God, he is the source of his own being, he is holy and just, and he cannot be measured or defined by his creatures.

171.    Does God have other names?
Yes. Through the person and ministry of Jesus Christ, God’s Name is also revealed to be “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

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