Discernment – Try the spirits

Spiritual Discernment – Try the spirits

“Beloved, believe not every spirit,
but try the spirits whether they are of God:
because many false prophets are gone out into the world”
1 John 4:1

The Day of God is upon us; it begins in darkness and culminates in the brightness and radiance of His Glory.

“And the evening and the morning were the… day”
Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31

The sifting of His Church has begun in earnest. There are many aspects of this great winnowing of hearts as God determinedly separates the wheat from the chaff; those who “serve the Lord” from those who serve themselves.

“Then shall ye return,
and discern between the righteous and the wicked,
between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not”
Malachi 3:18

The test of the hour is determined by our serving God, not a church, an organization, a ministry or a teaching. Serving God is a walk in vital communion with Him, where He leads us, speaks to us and we respond by the doing of His Will. The criteria for our life is determined by Him. We live to do His bidding. Our doing is not based on seeking agreement with those around us. It is in our submission to His Will alone whereby we are able to serve Him in truth. Those who seek the consensus of others will never know the joy and depth of communion and relationship with Him. The doing of His Will brings us to the “narrow way”, the way of the Cross of Christ.

Within the confines of the testing of the spirits, which so freely minister in the household of faith, the Apostle speaks to us of the necessity to discern the many voices of this hour. It is critical to note here where John speaks of testing the spirit and says “many false prophets are gone out into the world”, that we are introduced to the correlation between ministry and the spirit in which they are ministering. We must understand the point the Holy Spirit is making here. While many may think they can discern between the true and the false by an intellectual process or scriptural analysis they will actually be ill equipped to judge correctly in this Day.

John is stressing to us the necessity
to try the spirit of the expression
not just the content of it.

“Believe not every spirit…because many false prophets
are gone out into the world”

Excerpt from the Spiritual Discernment and False Prophets Part One Writing

Brian Troxel

Discernment – False Prophets – Balaam

Discernment – False Prophets – Balaam

Balaam the Prophet

This example is one which will require something beyond the discernment mentioned before. This is one of the highest forms of deception and one which will stretch the very limits of our walk in God. The church has been inundated with this high and unholy expression throughout her history.

It is with a certain amount of trembling that I share this for it must bring us to a place of total dependency upon our God. There is an element here by which our standing true is based in a most profound way upon the sheer mercy of God.

Balaam’s heart was totally perverse yet the prophesies which proceeded from him were in fact the infallible word of God. They are written in the scriptures verbatim for God overruled the false prophet with His own words. We are warned in the New Testament in the Book of Jude to understand the error and perversity of these expressions.

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear…
Jude 1:11-12

Jude’s heart for the people of God is to warn that these false expressions are “with us in our gatherings… feeding themselves without fear” in our very midst. Let us take heed to arm ourselves with the living Spirit of Christ to walk circumspectly in this day.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even NOW are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time”
1 John 2:18

Excerpt from the Spiritual Discernment and False Prophets Part One Writing

Brian Troxel

Discernment – Solomon and the Two Mothers

Spiritual Discernment

Solomon and the Two Mothers

Two women come to Solomon each seeking to portray themselves as the true mother of a child presented in Solomon’s court (1 Kings 3:16-28). Each claimed with great emotion that they were in fact the mother of this child. A perplexing situation indeed and one which presented a great test for the king! Those who would rule and walk in authority in God’s house must be schooled in the wisdom and council of God Himself. The spirit of discernment must work and rule within the heart of His own.

Solomon’s answer?

“Bring me a sword”!
1 Kings 3:24

Hallelujah! How can we not love the living word of God! It is a divider of that which is flesh and that which is of God’s Spirit. It is living, active and it is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the hearts of men.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do”
Hebrew 4:12-13

His living word is the sword of the Lord which pierces and divides asunder the very hidden workings of deceitful expressions and false pretenses, of seducing spirits and the presumptive expressions of false ministers in the community of faith.

These are but a few examples presented to us in the scriptures where the true and the false both seek to present themselves as true expressions. How we must grow into the place of abiding in Him for discernment and wisdom!

The purpose of all true ministry is to bring God’s people to the place of knowing and discerning the things before them. Without discernment God’s people have a very limited ability to pray, speak or react to the situations of life.

“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.”
Ezekiel 44:23

Discernment is not only a gift of the Holy Spirit it is also a faculty which must be developed within the heart of every believer. The “strong meat” of the word of God is withheld from those in which the faculty of discernment is not developed.

“For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:13-14

Ψ

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man”
1 Corinthians 2:14-15

Brian Troxel

Discernment – The Pythonic spirit

Discernment

The Pythonic spirit in the Book of Acts

“And it happened, as we went into a place of prayer,
a certain girl slave having a Pythonic spirit met us,
whose divining brought much gain to her lords”
Acts 16:16 (LITV, BLB)

What was this Pythonic (original Greek word used here) spirit declaring?

“…These men are the servants of the most high God,
which shew unto us the way of salvation”
Acts 16:17

To those who have had at least some experience with true spiritual warfare this is not surprising. The fact that these things are found in the scriptures prove that His people should have some knowledge of the deceptive nature of our enemy. In many places today such “prophesying” would be readily received to their shame and their own spiritual deception. It is imperative that we test the spirit that birth these expressions and not judge simply by the mere words of the utterance. It is here where many of God’s people are ill equipped in the discernment of things they allow in their midst. Spiritual ignorance is the product of a shallow and untutored walk with God. It is an indication of a heart which has not been open to the voice and the leading of His Spirit.

The Pythonic spirit is one of change, camouflage, deceit and is difficult to discern. The scripture describes its manner of working:

“There be three things which are too wonderful for me,
yea, four which I know not…
the way of a serpent upon a rock…”
Proverbs 30:18-19

Paul in addressing the Church at Corinth spoke hard words in order for them to stay true to the Gospel of God. Here Paul upbraids them for their willingness to receive false expressions over the true because they did not really want to embrace the truth of their condition.

“But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve in his craftiness, so your thoughts should be corrupted from the purity which is due to Christ. For if, indeed, the one coming proclaims another Jesus, whom we have not proclaimed, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you never accepted, you might well endure these
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (read the previous verse as well for context)

He is saying if one comes and presents another gospel or another spirit you might well endure such a one. Yet they had more trouble with Paul because he spoke the truth to them instead of nice smooth words. He actually cared for them with a godly love and jealously. It is because of these things the Church of God requires the Apostolic and Prophetic ministrations of God.

“Take heed to yourselves,
that your heart be not deceived,
and ye turn aside”
Deuteronomy 11:16

Excerpt from the Spiritual Discernment and False Prophets Part One Writing

Brian Troxel

Butter and Honey – Part Two –

BUTTER AND HONEY

PART TWO

“…for butter and honey shall every one eat
that is left in the land”
Isaiah 7:24

Earlier, (See Part One) in the fifteenth verse of this chapter, we read the prophetic word given to Isaiah concerning Jesus the long awaited Messiah and Saviour. Here we read that what was true of Him is to be true of those who remain in the land after His judgements and dealings; they will also eat of “butter and honey”. The grace and beauty of the Son are to become ours also through the power of His Life ruling and reigning in us. Throughout the ages men and women of God have seen the power, majesty and purpose of God for His people. Faith has brought them to the place of embracing His Power in spite of their weaknesses. The Son becomes their “life” in substance and reality by a Grace not limited by their own doubts and blindness.

“By Grace we become what God is by nature.”
Athanasius

Even in this hour there are people who know the wonder of Life working within. This deep and powerful work of God brings clarity and separation in the midst of religious flippancy. It necessitates an obedience, submission and yielding of themselves to His Word and the moving of His Spirit. The intensity of His fire has one purpose: to purify and cleanse in order that He may empower with a fresh and Holy Expression of God in the earth.

The Word of God is not to be held in the intellect; it must be eaten and digested as butter and honey. Those who eat of His word cannot remain unchanged. There is no salvation in hearing, no safety in quoting the scriptures or listening to Sunday sermons and following great teachers.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you…”
John 6:53

The power and life contained within the Word, when assimilated, will never leave the recipient unchanged. Those who only hear the word but do not obey will not experience lasting impressions. The effects of the Word are momentary and temporal (James 1:24). Some are ever learning but never come to the truth. Others, who eat of the “butter and honey” of God’s Word, will know the fire within that consumes and purifies from all that is not of Him. By this “refiner’s fire” His people come to “discern between the righteous and the wicked” and “between him that serves God and him that serves him not” (Malachi 3:18). They are not fooled by the appearance of those who claim to serve God but in reality are serving themselves and their worldly ambitions.

“Butter and honey shall he eat,
that he may know to refuse the evil,
and choose the good”
Isaiah 7:15

Ω

“Ordinary human motives will appeal in vain
to the ears which have heard the tones of the heavenly music;
and all the pomp of life will show poor and tawdry
to the sight that has gazed on the vision
of the great white throne and the crystal sea”
Alexander MacLaren

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Butter and Honey – Part One

BUTTER AND HONEY

PART ONE
(See Part Two)

“Butter and honey shall he eat,
that he may know to refuse the evil,
and choose the good*
Isaiah 7:15

Spiritually we are what we eat. The richness of the Word of God is revealed here as producing within the lives of His own discernment and right choices. How people walk reveals the depth and the import of their partaking of the things of God. In our day of lukewarm attitudes towards sin and conformity to the world it becomes clear that a religious gospel is not capable of producing a separated people. By and large the church is more concerned with the numbers in the pews rather than the righteousness of the people of God. The Word has been robbed of its power and purpose. Smooth things are spoken. Oratory has replaced the anointing. Programs and written resources have taken the place of the individual’s responsibility to seek God and His Will for themselves. Knowledge about God replaces the knowledge OF God. We have become as comfortable as Samson in Delilah’s lap. We have fallen asleep and know not the hour and the day that is about to break upon us. In our slumber we characterize those who cry out to the current condition of things as “legalistic” and overly religious. We have “discovered” new methods of evangelizing where we seek to appeal to the masses with a Jesus that can tweak human nature but still allow them to enjoy the world. This gospel is presented as a band aid rather than a cure; a new paint job rather than a new creation.

Unto those who feast upon the butter and honey of the word of God there is a growing ability to refuse evil and choose good. What a precious gift this is! Discernment is critical to our growth and maturity in God. Without discernment there is no ability to partake of the “strong meat of the Word”.

“But strong meat belongs
to them that are of full age,
even those
who by reason of use
have their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil”
Hebrews 5:14

Those who refuse the “butter and honey” of the Word cannot eat of the strong meat that produces men and women separated unto God. We read of Moses though raised in the very house of Pharaoh and given the opportunity of living a life of luxury…

“Choosing rather
to suffer affliction
with the people of God,
than to enjoy the
pleasures of sin for a season
Esteeming the reproach of Christ
greater riches
than the treasures in Egypt:
for he had respect
unto the recompense of the reward”
Hebrews 11:25-26

This empowerment to esteem the reproach of Christ as “greater riches” only comes by the eating of the Word through obedience and having our senses exercised to see things as they really are.

Ω

“The issue is now clear.
It is between light and darkness
and everyone must choose his side”
(The last words of GK Chesterton)

*NOTE: The prophetic word spoken here of the Son communicates to us His manner of life and His Beauty. All that is true in Him is to be true of those who are in Him.

“…because as he IS, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

DISCERNMENT

DISCERNMENT

“My judgment is just, for I do not seek My will,
but the will of the One sending Me, the Father”
JOHN 5:30 (LITV)

Discernment is proportional to the degree that a man is free from his own will and agenda. Men who are focused on building up a church, a ministry, or want recognition for themselves or others, will not have the ability to judge things rightly. In their own pursuits they become blinded by their lack of objectivity. The Judgement of Jesus was clear for He did not seek His own will. He was not here to be the Messiah, a prophet or some great teacher; He came to simply do the will of the Father and in the doing of that WILL He fulfilled all that was spoken of Him. The out working of the cross, whereby men die to their own desires, is the essential element in becoming objective in discernment.

“But the spiritual one discerns all things,
but he is discerned by no one”
1CORINTHIANS 2:15 (LITV)

Spiritual discernment is relative to the depth of being crucified with Christ in the experiential reality of life. Man’s need to control and have our own way is in itself a path to blindness and stagnation. Objectivity and Judgement suffer when men are not free from their own desires. Men who want to build up a large following are not concerned with the true condition of the people of God; for numbers in the pews determine their success as pastors and leaders. That standard of success will hinder a man from preaching the truth. This horror in the religious world today is why Truth is disregarded. The consequences of truth will never be popular and as a result true discernment is hidden from such a one.

Discernment is a spiritual faculty that is developed by the exercising. It is for our growth and maturation and is nurtured by seeking to minister to others by His Spirit. It is in learning how to discern the heart of those with whom we come into contact that we are enabled to sense the need and true condition of our brothers and sisters. This enablement is for the purpose of ministering His Word and His Grace to the glory of God. The development of this grace will only come as we walk learning to be sensitive to Him and His ways. It is by exercising of our “senses” we are able to grow in this faculty of discernment.

“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to
discern both good and evil”
HEBREWS 5:14

This growth in discernment is also the very means by which God opens His Word to us to partake of the “strong meat” of the Word.

Freedom from self is the window through which God shines.

Brian Troxel