The Gift of Discernment Discerning Whether the Good Spirit the Influence of God

the Church, one’s soul) or the bad spirit (the influence of Satan, the world, the flesh) is at work requires calm, rational reflection… “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” (1 John 4:1). In this verse, believers are commanded to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” This same command is echoed in other parts of Scripture as well. For example, in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 we find Paul exhorting the Christians do not “despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.” Who is able and qualified to do this, according to the Word of God? The answer is that only an individual who is truly a regenerated believer in Christ, only a person who is therefore indwelled by the Holy…

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