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The Discerning of Spirits

The Objective, Biblical Means to Discern Spirits

by Bob DeWaay

 

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1John 4:1)

Twenty years ago I received a phone call from a woman who claimed to have a word from God for me. She began prophesying, “You are a great man of God, full of power, and God is going to use you in a powerful way. You are going to be a mighty warrior for God . . .” I was very suspicious of this “word from God,” knowing that God was unlikely to call me on the phone to flatter me. Knowing what it says in 1John 4:1-3 I decided to try the test literally. I asked the voice on the phone, “Has Jesus Christ come in the flesh”? The answer on the other end of the line was, “She believes that.” I said, “Wrong answer” and hung up. The spirit that was inspiring the prophecy answered in the 2nd person.

Now that I have a better understanding of 1John 4:1-3, I would not need to ask that question directly, because I would know from the content of the prophesy that the spirit motivating the prophecy was not from God. The Bible gives us objective guidelines for discerning spirits. We need to know these guidelines if we are going to avoid deception.

We live in an age where mysticism and spiritual experiences are prevalent. The days of materialistic, secular humanism have given way to the New Age of spirituality. Our era is often called “post-modern;” it is an age of subjectivism. This means that we no longer believe that science, reason, and rationality can solve humanity’s problems. Our culture has turned inward to subjective, spiritual, self-validating experiences. Now people rarely ask, “Is it true?” but ask instead, “Does it work for me?”

Finish HERE

 

 

Once I was prescribed Celexa to help me through my weepy period of menopause. Looking back I wish I had just relied on God to get me through this emotional roller-coaster ride. Instead, the drug opened my mind up to the paranormal world with visions and “words.”  In essense I become a channeler. Being a Christian, I thought God was using me in a special way by the guidance I thought I was receiving. Instead I was listening to the enemy.

Today it is easy to come across those who say they are receiving visions and words from the Lord on a daily basis. I was there once and it is very seducing, but it is usually deception.

Deception by divination will usually lead to pride and paranoid delusion. Because of the nature of the evil one, and the grace of God, warning signs will come. If unheeded, this road leads to destruction.

Coming back to biblical teachings involved throwing myself on the mercy of God for my pride and rebellion.  I had to pray that all abilities not from God  be completely removed. And they were!

Here is an interesting comment from Bob Dewaay:

Divination is forbidden not because it does not work, but because it does. It works to put people in touch with spiritual forces and secret knowledge. … The evil spirits who dispense this information intend to keep people from coming to God through Messiah. They also seek to deceive Christians into thinking that what has been provided through Christ is insufficient. They are very good at what they do.

SOURCE

Prescribed psychotropic drugs  are not the only danger. This is only one way that a person can open themselves to deception. There are many ways. There is the impartation of false anointings, drugs, alcohol, eastern meditation, repetition of word, hypnosis, visualization (very occult) , and the seduction of today’s hypnotic music. The church is being bombarded with all these deceptions and spiritual influences and they must be rejected instead of being accepted.

Please also be warned that the terms paranormal and metaphysical both mean….occult.

Okay now for the feature article:

How should a Christian respond to evidence of paranormal activity?”

Answer: The word paranormal can be defined as “the occurrence, or perception of, an event without scientific explanation, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.” Paranormal activity is an encompassing term that includes not only ghosts and hauntings and demonic activity, but also includes other unexplainable phenomena such as unidentified flying objects (UFOs), and extrasensory perception (ESP), to name just a few. With the proliferation of movies and television shows that in one way or another sensationalize paranormal activity, it is clear that many are indeed fascinated with this realm. In fact, a 2007 low-budget movie titled Paranormal Activity went on to become one of the most profitable movies of all time. How then, should Christians respond when we read about supposed hauntings and other paranormal occurrences?

A common misconception is that disembodied spirits can remain on earth or perhaps come back to “haunt” or otherwise interact with us. However, nothing in the Bible supports this belief. Rather, “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). But the Bible does make it clear that there are spirit beings—angels and demons—which operate in the heavenly realm. The angels serve God. They are ministering spirits who are sent by God “to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). Demons, on the other hand, are fallen angels under the control of Satan, and they roam the earth looking to destroy God’s children (1 Peter 5:8). They are cunning and wise and keenly aware of our weaknesses and our propensity to desire that which will satisfy our fleshly desires. Worst of all, they can masquerade as “angels of light” or as “servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Regarding the immensity of Satan’s earthly “operation,” the apostle John reminds us that the “whole world” is under his control (1 John 5:19).

Now, some of the paranormal activity we read about today could very well be hoaxes perpetuated on a public that is all too eager to believe. In some cases, well-meaning people could be innocently mistaken as to what they think they might have seen or experienced. There is probably a logical explanation for much of what gets passed off as “paranormal activity.” However, if there is genuine evil spiritual activity occurring, it would have to be the work of demons. Either way, however, when Christians read or hear of such activity we should not be intrigued by it or drawn to it; rather we should use it as a solid reminder of the spiritual battle that is the Christian life and the one against whom we struggle. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood,” but, rather it is against the “powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12 emphasis added).

Many people are no doubt intrigued by tales of ghosts and hauntings. Yet, if getting angry can give the devil a “foothold” into our lives (Ephesians 4:27), how much more so would a fascination with the “dark forces” of this world that he controls? Jesus Christ came to earth to destroy the devil’s work (1 John 3:8), and it took His death to accomplish it. Our response to paranormal activity, at least as it pertains to any sort of demonic activity, is to be reminded of the evil which ultimately led to our Savior’s great sacrifice. Beyond that, Christians should avoid any and all contact with the paranormal.

http://www.gotquestions.org/paranormal-activity.html

*note *

I selected the photo because this is what I saw in a dream when I denounced and rejected what I was receiving. Satan was exposed and he left and so did the oppression.

In this video clip Bob Dewaay talks about the Emergent Church, Postmodern Theology, Mysticism and the church Re-imagined.

The Dangers of Divination
by Bob DeWaay


“When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations.  There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:9-11).

One of the claims I often hear from those who use techniques to gain spiritual information is this: “Methods are neutral.” Another statement often made by the purveyors of new techniques for “hearing from God” is: “God cannot be limited, He can use anything.” My intent is to show from Scripture that the first of these statements is false and the second is misleading.

The Bible forbids certain methods for contacting the spirit world.  The passage cited above lists several.  This is not an exhaustive list because methods for contacting the spirit world are limitless.  The term “divination” is a general term that covers any such method.  Old Testament scholar Eugene H. Meff ill comments on this: “The phrase ‘practicers of divination’ refers generally to the whole complex of means of gaining insight from the gods regardless of any particular technique.”‘

The reason for the existence of divination is the fact that the spirit world is hidden from our eyes and information about it cannot be gained by normal means of learning.  The various cultures that the ancient Israelites contacted all had means of divination.  They believed that their fate and well being was in the hands of gods whose intentions were mysterious.  A good diviner, like Balaam (see Numbers 23), was adept at interpreting signs and omens. His desire was not only to learn the future, but to influence the present.  Thus Balaam was hired to curse Israel.  Diviners hope to break curses and forestall bad fate.

Why God forbids Divination

God spoke authoritatively to his chosen people through Moses.  What Moses wrote was God’s revealed will.  It was the only access they had to true information about their relationship to things hidden from normal means of learning (general revelation).  Moses wrote: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law(Deuteronomy 29:29).  The word “occult” means secret or hidden knowledge.  Divination is any practice not specifically ordained in scripture that seeks to gain secret knowledge (i.e. spiritual knowledge God has not revealed).  God purposely limits His people’s access to such spiritual knowledge for their own good.  That which is outside of “the things revealed” is not for us.  Why?  Because there are spirit beings out there who have been practicing the art of deception for many thousands of years.  They are good at what they do.  If we dabble in their world we will be deceived.

In the same section of Scripture that forbids divination, we find this promise: “For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.  The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among yot4 from your countrymen you shall listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:14,15).  The “prophet’ who God was to raise up was none other than Jesus Christ (see Luke 9:35; John 5:45-47; Hebrews 1:1,2).The true prophets that came after Moses were not law-givers.  They exhorted Israel to be faithful to the Law and they predicted the future.  They did not add to the Law of Moses.  As further protection against deception, Moses declared that the prophets had to be one hundred percent accurate or they were to be dismissed as false (Deuteronomy 18-22). Also, if they made true predictions but led the people away from God they were false (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).  The next authoritative law-giver was Jesus Christ.

By limiting both the methods and the persons that were available to Ms people, God was protecting them from deceiving spirits.  Every pagan culture has had its methods of divination.  Balak would not have been willing to pay Balaam richly if Balaam had not been good at what he did.  The evil spirits that Satan uses to deceive people make these practices work.  The reason that divination is so prevalent is that it works.

Divination in the Church Today

The teachings of Jesus Christ are contained in the New Testament and constitute the further divine revelation that Moses promised when that new “Prophet” came.  These writings are authoritative and combined with the Old Testament constitute “the revealed things” (Deuteronomy 29:29) that belong to us.  This is the limit of authoritative, divine revelation.  Prophecy in the New Testament is not adding to authoritative revelation, but exhorting from it and applying it.  Just as the Old Testament prophets (except Moses) were not law­givers but law-appliers, so are the “prophesying ones’ in the New Testament.  The other function of Old Testament prophets was to inerrantly predict the future of Israel and her Messiah.  Since the One to whom the prophets pointed has come and spoken in full and final revelation, that role no longer exists.  All the prophecies about the future that we are allowed are already contained in the Bible.

Using prophetic techniques to learn secret information or the future is divination.  Today it is like it was in Jeremiah’s day: “Then the Lord said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name.  I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divinations, futility and the deception of their own minds” (Jeremiah 14:14). 

For example, the “prophet” Rick Joyner went into a trance, visited heaven, and talked to the apostle Paul.  Here is what the departed “Paul” told Joyner: “If what I have written is used as a foundation, it will not be able to hold the weight of that which needs to be built on it … You must see my teachings through the Lord’s teachings, not try to understand Him from my perspective.” (Joyner, The Final Quest, 133).  Necromancy (communicating with the dead) is a technique for gaining secret information that is forbidden.  When forbidden techniques are used, deception is gained. 

 The information from Joyner’s “Paul” is contradictory to the New Testament where Paul claims that his writings are foundational and authoritative. I do not deny that various practices from guided imagery, to EMDR (a technique used by some practitioners of “Theophostic Ministry” to help people find hidden memories and gain personal revelations from God), to contemplative prayer (which uses techniques to silence the mind in the hope of hearing God’s voice), and many others “work.” They do. I deny that they are from God.  God has chosen the valid means by which we can hear from Him.  Those means are revealed in the Bible.  Going outside of God’s ordained means is rebellion which constitutes divination.  Samuel told Saul: “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is an iniquity and idolatry.  Because you have rejected the word of the Lord He has also rejected you from being king” (I Samuel 15:23)

Using divination puts one in the realm of deceptive spirits.  Paul predicted: “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons ” (I Timothy 4: 1).

Conclusion

I said at the beginning of this article that methods are not neutral.  That much has been proved by the fact that the Bible forbids divination, a practice which involves innumerable possible methods.  The other claim that “God can use anything,” is misleading.  That God could use something if He chose to does not mean that He will.  It also does not mean that if He does use something it is a good thing.  For example, God used Balaam to prophesy of Messiah, yet Balaam is condemned through Scriptures as a wicked person who led Israel astray (see Numbers 24:17 for Messianic prophesy; Balaam is condemned – 2 Peter 2:15; Jude I 1; Revelation 2:14).  Balaam was a practitioner of divination, hired to curse Israel yet God chose to sovereignly use him to bless Israel instead.  God may indeed use things He condemns, but that does not exonerate those who are thus used.

Today divination is rampant in the church.  It is just as poisonous to the faith today as divination was to Israel’s faith in the Old Testament.  It is rebellion in that it involves refusing to stay within the boundaries God has set for our own good.  Those who are thus deceived have put themselves into that horrible state because they did not receive the love of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12). The truth is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We need to purge divination from the church and replace it with Gospel preaching and Bible teaching.

Bob De Waay is the pastor of: Twin City Fellowship P.O. Box 8060 Minneapolis, MN 55408 Phone: 612-874-7484 http://www.twincityfellowship.com pastorbob@twincityfellowship.com Pastor DeWaay produces a newsletter called: “Critical Issues Commentary.” You can subscribe to this newsletter by contacting Twin City Fellowship; previous issues are archived on the Twin City Fellowship website listed above.

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A Biblically based commentary on current issues that impact you

Todd Bentley, Bob Jones, and Patricia King Practice Astral Projection

By Bob DeWaay

In a bizarre You Tube.com video of “prophet” Patricia King’s TV program, fellow “prophet” Bob Jones and revivalist Todd Bentley discuss the practice of visiting “the third heaven”. Jones also professes to have taught Bentley and King the practice.1 In the clip from her aptly-titled show, “Extreme Prophetic” (which has been viewed more than 50,000 times), she introduces Jones as a seer: “Many people don’t understand seer prophets because they see visions and revelations and supernatural encounters and mystical experiences, and Bob Jones in our day, I think, is one of the champions of the seer realm. In fact, as a prophet he’s probably the most accurate prophet in our generation, but he is going to share some insights with us.” King evidently has low standards for accuracy. In 1997 Jones prophesied that an earthquake would destroy Los Angeles and that terrorists with nuclear bombs would also attack the city.2 He told Christians to flee, which means he considered the events to be imminent.

The topic of the day for this particular interview, however, was not predictive prophecy but travel to the third heaven. Bentley had previously called King and described traveling into heaven. Here is the account of how he learned this:

Click HERE for rest of article from

Critical Issues Commentary

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