Discernings of Spirits

THE BIBLE tells us that we who live upon this earth are surrounded by spiritual beings of many kinds, of whose presence we are unaware by our physical senses. There are the Holy Angels, whose abode is in the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2; Rev. 12:7-9; Ps. 148:4), and the unholy angels under their leader Satan in the first or lower heaven (Eph. 6:12; 2:2). In addition there are earth-bound demons or disembodied spirits, who are therefore to some extent impotent unless they can gain entrance into either human (Luke 9:39) or animal (Luke 8:33) bodies, which is their great desire.

There is no spiritual gift which enables its owner to become aware of the whole spiritual situation all the time, so that all spiritual beings are within his ken—that would be an insupportable burden—but there are occasions when it is necessary to a believer to be made aware of spirits, whether good or bad, with which he happens to have come into contact. Then for a moment the veil is temporarily lifted by these gifts, and their possessor is blessed and helped by his experience.

Both Old and New Testaments are full of instances of these gifts. Holy Angels, for example, were seen in the O.T. by Hagar (Genesis 16:7-13), Abraham (Genesis 18:1-2), David (2 Samuel 24:17),