But the Spirit says expressly that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)
It is mind blowing to me how many people sit in church Sunday after Sunday and are not saved. I mean they have either been blinded by the god of this world, they have not been taught properly, or they are being misled by seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. We need to go back to the very basics, (the milk of the Word), and teach once again the fundamentals.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (Romans 10:17)
With maturity comes responsibility and with that comes growth. Growth is never easy but certainly mandatory for our survival. As a baby Christian grows, certain things need to happen. One being that we must begin praying and learning the Word of God. Studying is one of the most, if not the most important, aspect in becoming a mature believer. The Bible says study to show yourself approved, able to rightly divide the Word. (2 Timothy 2:15) If we are to be successful and effective in our walk, we will need to also be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is whom guides us and teaches the truth of the Scriptures. It’s time to wean off the milk of the Word and start eating the meat of the Word.
No one comes to Jesus without the Father drawing them by the Holy Spirit. (John 6:44) The Holy Spirit reveals to a person who Christ is. I believe it is our job as Christians to pray that the scales would come off the eyes of those who are not saved. If you remember the story of Saul, he was on the road to Damascus, when he had a holy visitation from Jesus himself. Jesus asked Saul why he was persecuting Him. Saul was on his way to go persecute and kill more Christians.
Saul was trembling and lost his sight after this visitation. Later in the story, a prophet named Ananias was instructed by the Lord to go and pray for Saul so that he would regain his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 9) Something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes and he was then able to see the truth. Saul immediately began to preach that Christ was the Son of God.
Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4)
Discerning of Spirits
Discerning of spirits is one of the gifts of the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:10) The word “discerning” is from the Greek word “diakrisis” meaning a thorough judging. A believer who has discerning of spirits is able to through the power of the Holy Spirit sense, see, or sniff out wrong motives, wrong spirits, and also perceive clearly the differences between good and evil spirits. The Bible also says we should test the spirits.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. (1 John 4)
The Apostle Paul discerned a spirit of divination in a girl recorded in Acts 16:16: “Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.
Divination is the counterfeit of true prophecy. A person who is involved with divination is receiving his or her information from the spiritual realm by way of “familiar spirits” and “angels of light” masquerading as God. You might call people who operate in divination spiritualist or false prophets. Even a spiritualist or false prophet can receive accurate information such as details about a deceased love one. This is done by way of familiar spirits and is also known as necromancy. Necromancy is forbid in the Bible. (Deuteronomy 18:10) All of these occult practices fall under the category of divination. So just because someone can tell you that the red handkerchief folded in your left hand drawer is from your deceased love one, though it may be accurate, it is not your loved one communicating with you. This information comes by way of spirits that are familiar with both you and your loved one who has passed on.
End Times Warning
The spirit of divination often works in cooperation with beguiling spirits and seducing spirits. There is a specific warning for the end times that some believers will turn from the Christian faith and listen to doctrines taught by demons. (1 Timothy 4:1) In this Scripture it talks about those who fall away. Interestingly the meaning of the word apostasy means to depart from a belief or principle. In other words, when a believer begins to follow false doctrine or false prophecy, they have become apostate. This is also known as the “great falling away.”
The Great Apostasy
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2)
The Scriptures go on to explain that there will be false signs and wonders at the end times. There are religions or movements right now that put themselves on the same level as God, in particular the New Age Movement. Eastern religions often teach that we can be like God and attain enlightenment through meditation and self-transformation. False teachings and false prophets have also entered into the church attempting to lead astray believers into practices such as mysticism and the like. If teachings or instructions don’t line up with the Bible, BEWARE!
We must judge or discern the spirits to see if they are truly from God. Even though someone may have accurate information on an event or person, does not necessarily mean that knowledge came from the Holy Spirit. There are many counterfeits out there my friends, and we have been warned in the Scriptures to test and discern. Just like Paul, who recognized the woman following the disciples around was saying all the right things, the spirit of divination was trying to deceive them into believing she was actually there to help them.
The deliverance ministry is the ministry of Jesus Christ. By the finger of God, our Lord was able to cast out demons from people on a regular basis. This is a ministry that the enemy has deceived many into thinking there is no need for. The bottom line is the Word says you will know them by their fruit. The fruit of the Spirit include: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22) Against such things there is no law.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. (Matthew 7:15)
Not only do true prophets reflect the genuine fruit of the Spirit, what they prophesy is required to line up with the Bible. As we approach the last days before Christ returns, we will see the Word of God begin to manifest right before our very eyes. It will be the most exciting time to be alive. As the world grows darker and the gross darkness seems to prevail, there will appear believers in Christ, true Christians, men and women of God who will shine brightly and reflect the Glory of Jesus. These signs will follow those who believe: they will cast out demons, speak in new tongues, heal the sick and walk in the miraculous. (Mark 16:17