Discerning of Spirits – Part 3 – Gifts of the Holy Spirit

discerning of spirits

This is Part 3 in our series on the Holy Spirit.  In this post I’m going to talk about Discerning of Spirits.  You can read Part 1 of the series on the Holy Spirit here and also Part 2 where we talked about the Cessation of the Gifts here.

I have to warn you that if you don’t have this gift or you’re from a conservative church background this will probably read like a Sci-Fi novel.

Of all the gifts of the Spirit this is the one I wish we all had.  It is so critical in this hour/the end time church to have this gift.  In the age of social media where anyone with a cellphone can be a journalist and anyone with a Facebook account can be an apostle, evangelist, prophet, pastor, teacher, don’t you want to know if a message is really from God, the enemy or a human spirit?

The first thing you should know is that Discernment and Discerning of Spirits is not the same thing.  Every Christian can gain discernment from reading the bible. Discernment will let you know when something is biblically true or false. The discerning of spirits is a spiritual gift imparted by the Holy Spirit which tells you the source of the information.   I love how the Passion Translation breaks this down 1 Corinthians 12

8 The Spirit gives to one the gift of the word of wisdom.

To another, the same Spirit gives the gift of the word of revelation knowledge.
And to another, the same Spirit gives the gift of faith.
And to another, the same Spirit gives gifts of healing.
10 And to another the power to work miracles.
And to another the gift of prophecy.
And to another the gift to discern what the Spirit is speaking.[m]

m. This gift imparts divine discernment to know if a prophetic message is from the Holy Spirit or from a human or demonic source.

Mechanics of how the gift of discerning of spirits work

I’m going to give you a very simple explanation on how you identify the gift.  In the natural realm you discern your environment with you natural senses.  Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste, Smell.

Let’s say you ordered a pizza and then you hear a car pulling up outside followed by a knock on the door.  You go quickly to the door because you expect to see the pizza guy except as you are opening the door you see the flashing lights and then a police car and there’s a policeman at your door.  Your entire mood will change before the policeman opens his mouth because you know it’s probably not going to be good.  If you are a blind person you wouldn’t know that anything was wrong because you’d hear the car, you’d hear the knock but because you can’t see you wouldn’t get the flashing lights or see that it was a policeman.  You would need to wait until he says “I’m officer so and so” before you know it’s not the pizza guy.

You need your senses to discern what is happening in the natural.

It is exactly the same in the spiritual realm.  You discern with the same 5 senses except now they are in the spirit. You’ll quickly begin to realize that things are not always as they seem. You’ll make better decisions as a result and be able to help many in the body of Christ.

All prophets have the gift of discerning of spirits.  It works in tandem with the prophetic gifting.  They may not have all 5 spiritual senses activated but they can actually prophesy by using only one or two.

Seers are prophets with the discerning of spirits gift (sight) in operation (2 Kings 6:16-18).  Nabi prophets don’t have sight but they will hear in the spirit.  It is still the gift of discerning of spirits.  I don’t think you can actually have a prophetic gifting unless you have at least one discerning of spirit activated.

Using the same principle that I laid out in the post on Cessation of the Gifts of the Spirit, a real prophet can have (Gift of the Father) gift of prophecy, (Gift of the Son) a prophet, and (Gift of the Holy Spirit) the gift of discerning of spirits.

There are many writing prophetic words that are not prophets and that is OK.  Because the bible does say that we are to earnest seek the gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31) and Paul did say that he wished we all could prophecy(1 Corinthians 14:5).  But I need you to see how the gift mix would look for someone who is not an actual prophet …(Gift of the Father) gift of prophecy, (Gift of the Son) evangelist, pastor, teacher, (Gift of the Holy Spirit) discerning of spirits.  The prophetic intercessor would have the mercy gift and the faith gift as well. Let me say clearly these is no less important and can look very similar to the prophet.

Let’s look at the Spiritual Senses that operate with the Gift of Discerning of Spirits/Distinguishing between spirits.

discerning of spiritsSight –  If you can see in the spiritual realm then you have the gift of discerning spirits.  You can also see through open or closed visions. I think at some point the Holy Spirit attempts to make us aware of this but many of us just brush it off as nothing.

Have you ever just thought you saw something but then you convince yourself that it was just your imagination?  Don’t do that.  If you brush it off you won’t grow in the gift.  Instead take note of it, pay attention to when it happened and then in a quick silent prayer ask the Holy Spirit what it means.  When He sees that you are interested in engaging this gift it will start to happen more.  For a scriptural reference of seeing in the spirit you can read 2 Kings 6:15-18

Sound – God does speak audibly to us.  It doesn’t happen often but it does happen.  Angels can also speak to us.  This is one account of David inquiring of God on a battle strategy.

1 Chronicles 14:14-16 (ESV) “14 And when David again inquired of God, God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 15 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 16 And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer.”

Now we know there is no way an army can be marching at the top of a tree so this is an angelic army.  God didn’t say when you see them, He said when you hear them. So David had to have his spiritual ears open to hear the marching to know when it was time for him to move out and defeat the Philistine army.

Touch – Just as someone can touch you in the natural you can be touched in the spirit as well. Have you felt the touch of the Holy Spirit while you’re in a worship service?  As a biblical reference there is the story of Jacob wrestling with the Angel of the Lord (Genesis 32:24-32) We know that in this wrestling match God touched his hip and the evidence of this is that he walked with a limp from that day forward.

Taste – “Taste and see that the Lord is good blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him” (Psalm 34:8). What you are doing right now by reading this is eating what I am giving you.  At the end of it you can decide if it tasted good or not.  When the Lord told the disciples to eat His body and drink His blood did He mean this in the natural? No.  It’s in the spirit.

Hebrews 6:4-6  (NIV) “ It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

In the spiritual realm you can also taste things in your mouth as if you are eating it in the natural when you have this gift activated.

Smell 2 Corinthians 2:14  (NLT) “14 But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.”

Jesus has a smell.
I have a friend that has the gift of discerning spirits and she can smell in the spirit.  The first time the gift started to manifest itself we were at a hospital together to pray for someone and they received Christ.  She asked prior to praying with the person”Do you smell that?”  I said “smell what?” She would let me know it smelled like flowers night blooming jasmine or something like that but of course there was no flowers around.  The next time we were somewhere else praying with someone to receive Christ, which they did, and she also smelled the sweet flowers.  I was even laughing at her saying you’re always smelling something. The third time it happened it finally clicked that every time someone was about to be saved she would smell the flowers.
(Ephesians 5:2) “and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
When He comes to offer Himself as a sacrifice for the sin of that person there is an aroma.  Is He not called the Rose of Sharon?  The Lily of the Valley?
Death also has a smell – formaldehyde.  This could also be a spirit that causes cancer.  Some illnesses are actually demons.
Demons also give off scent. Unclean spirits smell like the name sounds a pile of dirty clothes that have been sweat in and dried and smells musty. Yuck!
You could see someone all the way across a room and smell something on them once your eyes make contact.  They don’t need to be in close proximity.  Because it’s a gift and you are smelling them in the spirit.
For example, once my friend discovered that she could actually smell Jesus when someone was about to be saved, she would get excited and then ask who we needed to share the gospel with.  We knew they would be saved before we even open our mouth because she can smell Jesus when He’s there specifically for the purpose of saving people.  Isn’t that cool?

Spiritual Sonar Waves
In some people this gift can manifest itself like a sonar wave. Whales and dolphins use something called echolocation where they emit a sound and once it hits a target it bounces back to them.  This helps them to find food and know what’s in their environment.  Likewise, some with the gift of discerning spirits send out a wave (in the spirit) that can tell them what spirits are in a room.  This is how they know where all the demons are in a room and how big they are.  They didn’t see it.  They didn’t hear it.  They discerned it through some kind of spiritual sonar.
Now I know this is a stretch for those of you who don’t have this gift but I’m hoping that if you’ve already started to see the signs of some of this in your life you won’t stifle it, sweep it under the rug or allow anyone to tell you that you are crazy.  This is real.
Do not allow anyone to discourage your gift
There are so many that have turned to dark practices that actually came out of the church.  The reason for this is when they went to someone in the church looking for answers to their giftings the person told them it was from the devil.  Since they didn’t know how to control or shut off the gift they went looking for anyone who could help them with it.  Again, if you don’t have a gift and you can’t explain or mentor someone in it before you judge it, say the wrong thing and cause them to look to the dark side for answers perhaps you need to go pray about it and ask God how you should respond.  Remember, all the giftings from darkness is a counterfeit of the Light.  Every new age practice came from some biblical roots.  It is just a counterfeit.  So, do some research, find the real thing and send the person in that direction.

Have you ever had a supernatural experience or a dream where you’re looking for some answers and tried to Google it?  New age. New age. More new age.  The church is so afraid to talk about certain subjects because they don’t want to be labeled as new age so then the new age comes along and takes it over.

The same thing happened after I received the Holy Spirit and my gifts started to manifest.  I had no one to talk to about it.  I’m in a Presbyterian church.  You can’t get anymore conservative than that. After trying to explain the word of knowledge gift to Christians who had been saved for decades, I decided to back off and go back to God with it.  I almost stopped because I didn’t understand what was happening or what it was.  I go to work, I go to church, I don’t watch tv or listen to the radio, I read my bible and I pray, I don’t go anywhere to learn this stuff and I’m in a conservative church, now I have supernatural gifts..where are they coming from?

One night as I prayed I told the Lord that if He didn’t bring some kind of help/training/mentoring to me with this I would stop because obviously something is wrong if I am the only person having these experiences. Immediately after He gave me this scripture

1 John 2:27  (NIV) “As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in Him.”

And that was it.  He told me then, I am your mentor.  I am the One who will train you. This is what the supernatural life looks like.  Once you give control over to the Holy Spirit things are never the same.  When things get too challenging for my mind I let Him know that I’m going to need a scripture.

I only had one request from Him, please don’t make me weird.  I want to look normal and remain as normal as possible, on the outside.  LOL

If you have giftings that you can’t share with anyone what you need to do is be reading your bible daily and praying.  Ask God to teach you how to use that.  Stay away from sources online that are questionable or you know are new age.  It may sound like what you are experiencing but it is a counterfeit.

Personal testimony of the gift in operation

I want to share a personal story with you of this gift in operation. True story.

I was asked to lead a prayer group to pray over a conference. This was not associated with my church and all the people in the prayer group were leaders and participants in the conference but they all came from different churches.  We met once per week to pray starting several weeks leading up to the conference.  About 5 people from the prayer group attend to the same church.  Well, their pastor, a female, heard that we were meeting every week to pray for this conference and decided to show up to one of the prayer meetings.  She wasn’t invited, she just showed up.  So they introduced me to her and then we get settled to start praying.  Out of respect for her, I asked her to open up in prayer for us. The minute I closed my eyes what I saw made me open my eyes very quickly. I was going to put the image in the post but decided against it. Before I was a Christian (1981) I watched a horror movie called The American Werewolf in London, you can Google it and look at the images if you want to see what it looks like.  I’m going to describe it…a giant wolf-like creature about 6 feet tall with protruding fangs with saliva dripping off the fangs in a stance like it was ready to pounce on me.  This thing is about 4 feet away from me. Behind it were 6 other wolf like creatures not as big as the leader but still salivating with the fangs.  I quickly opened my eyes and everyone still had their eyes closed and head bowed in prayer.  I knew then that none of them saw it.  I closed my eyes again and yep they are still there! They are inching closer to me and by this time I am freaking out.  I opened my eyes and kept them open with my head bowed because I didn’t want to look at these hideous creatures. My heart is pounding and I am talking so fast the Lord… “what in the world is this?  You’ve gotta get me out of here?  Send the angels quick.  What am I going to do?  What do you want me to do?  Help me dear God.  Show it to them.  Open their eyes and let them see it.” I was hyperventilating and freaking out inside because I didn’t see how I was going to get out of this one.

So now she unveils her agenda for being there, she turns the focus of the prayer into the fact that if you don’t speak in tongues you’re not saved and filled with the Holy Ghost.  Guess who didn’t speak in tongues? Me.  And then she proceeded to say if you don’t speak in tongues I can pray for you to receive it. Does anyone here not speak in tongues?  As if it was some word of the Lord.  No, this was the agenda – discredit, disband the prayer group and pick up new recruits all in a one hour prayer meeting. I knew she already knew I didn’t speak in tongues so there was no point in me not identifying myself so I said “I don’t speak in tongues”  So she says ok, I’ll pray for you.  As she’s praying I am rejecting every word in the spirit while still frantically crying out to the Lord “You gotta get me out of here!! Make these people see what’s happening”  When she finishes her prayer she says “Do you feel anything bubbling up in your spirit?” I said, No.  Just then the Lord gives me a scripture.  It was a Psalm. Sorry, I don’t remember which one because back then I didn’t write everything down.  I know that it was a praise Psalm that seemed as if it had absolutely nothing to do with what was going on.  It was harmless, non threatening and giving praise to God.  I reached over and picked up my bible and started reading it in my mind.  As I’m reading it I’m saying to the Lord …This isn’t saying anything?…  What does this have to do with what is going on here now?  What do you want me to do?  Tell me what to do? So I put the bible with the page still open the lady sitting next to me picks it up and starts reading it aloud.  She also puts it down with the same look on her face of “this has nothing to do with what is going on here”.

Well let me tell you, even though I thought there was nothing in that Psalm, the other lady thought there was nothing in that scripture, that demon went BESERK!!  She immediately began to manifest in the natural.  Yes, now they ALL saw it.  Her face started contorting (like the man in the movie into this werewolf) and then the voice came out of her mouth which was not her own saying “How dare you!”  “Do you know who I am?” “You can’t talk to me like that”  Please keep in mind I haven’t said one word to her other than I don’t speak in tongues.  It was like the scripture had a trigger that acted like some kind of a “checkmate” in the spirit and she HAD to manifest. She was uncovered.  She knew she was uncovered even though I didn’t say anything. Of course, I am still sitting there freaking out with her continued speech about how important she was and that she should be shown respect and how dare I do this to her.  I didn’t know what she was talking about.

The only good thing about this is that everyone around her saw and realized that it was a demon when her face started contorting so they all jumped back from her several feet.  Imagine the people that were sitting right next to her. Some started speaking in tongues.  I remember one other woman saying “Oh my God, Pastor what is happening to your face?!” Another man was saying “it’s not her, listen to the voice”.

She gets up grabs her purse tells her husband “We’re leaving!”. Meanwhile her husband starts saying “Why? We should let her talk and listen to what she has to say” He’s talking about me.  She glares at him and says “Did you hear what I said?”  and he runs behind her out the front door.  In my mind I’m thinking there’s the Ahab.  What is even more amazing now that I’m writing this is that her husband didn’t seem disturbed by the fact that his wife just manifest a demon.

Once they left the rest of the people grabbed anointing oil started praying out anything left behind out of the house.  It was mayhem!  They were all shaken and just in total shock.  I fell to my knees on the ground and started weeping like a baby.  I had never felt terror or fear like that.  It made me realize when the bible said that Elijah ran and hid in a cave from Jezebel, it’s not a joke!  He probably saw what she looked like in the spirit.

Now years later after having more experience dealing with this I realize a few things.  Prior to this experience, I had seen demons and I’m not afraid of them but this was not the same and the reason for that is:

  • Jezebel does not travel by itself it has other spirits under it because it’s a principality
  • That’s why I saw the smaller sizes wolf creature they are representing the other spirits
    • Ahab
    • Pride/Lust for Power
    • Fear
    • Intimidation
    • Terror
    • Manipulation
    • Control

So if you have this spirit of terror coupled with fear you are going to feel terrified.  Especially if you are not prepared going in knowing that you are about to face it.

I have come in contact with this after this incident on another pastor, this time a man, and he also gave me that same feeling in my spirit which told me exactly what it was.  I’m talking about a full blow Jezebel spirit.  This is not the same as one of these smaller demons that you may pick up on someone like a spirit of manipulation or a spirit of control.  When these things are present as stand alone demons you’re not going to feel the terror.  And most people label this on others a Jezebel spirit when sometimes it may not actually be that.  As well as if could be but if you don’t have the gift of discerning spirits you may not pick up the others.  Hope that makes sense.

I can tell you that a full blow Jezebel never repents.  The only thing that ever happens is she’s thrown down, she moves location and starts another church.  She always has the Ahab encouraging the behavior so there is no change.  They just move and set up shop elsewhere.  It’s what happened with the two people that I saw with this spirit.  Again, I’ve met people people with a controlling spirit or a spirit of fear or an intimidating spirit, this doesn’t mean they are a Jezebel spirit.  These are the ones that I will usually counsel to go before the Lord and get delivered from that before it turns into something worse.  I was terrified of her, even though she made absolutely no threats to me in the natural.

The other thing I reflect on is that there has to be a connection between the Psalm that was read, the Jezebel spirit and Elijah.  King David existed before Elijah and also Jehu which was the one that saw her destruction so I’m thinking Jehu probably used the same language used in the Psalm which was the trigger to the spiritual checkmate that happened once it was read.  If this spirit heard the same Psalm right before its demise then I was basically telling it “You’re going down” without knowing that I was actually doing that.  And that is why she got mad and manifested.

Everyone from her church that was in attendance immediately started calling other church members and telling them what happened.  The word spread and literally within 24 hours she lost her entire church.  It is one thing to think your pastor has a Jezebel spirit because they have a controlling personality and a completely different thing to see the actual manifestation of it and hear the voice, you can’t unsee and unhear that.

What the gift is not

  • Guessing
  • Judging someone because they have a different belief system
  • A feeling
  • Being Critical
Stewarding the gift
1. If you are having experiences with smells and no one else has them, don’t discount it. Write down how it smelled, what was going on when you smelled it, what happened before and after and who was around.  You will start to notice the pattern in the smells and what happens when you smell that particular smell or what you find out about that person after.  The next time it happens you will be prepared to take the necessary action.
2. Understand that just because you are aware of the source or spirit behind someone’s behavior you still need to use wisdom and self control in how you use this gift.  You have to be prayerful in asking the Lord to show you how to handle the information.
Let’s look at how Paul handled this gift
Acts 16:16-24 New King James Version (NKJV)

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. 17 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.” 18 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. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.

20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; 21 and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” 22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

So again, what the girl was saying was not bad,“These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” If you were standing around as she’s saying this you would think nothing was wrong with what she was doing but Paul having the gift of discerning of spirits recognized that this was a spirit of divination.  She was doing this for many days. How did Paul handle it?  It says in verse 18 he was “greatly annoyed”  I would imagine after putting up with her for many days he was over it and so he addressed the spirit, not the girl, and cast it out.  However, what happened after that?  He ended up in prison.  So, was his motivation of being “greatly annoyed” the right reason to cast it out?  Perhaps not. Annoyance is not a fruit of the Spirit.
There is a timing issue with this gift.  Understanding why God is showing you what He’s showing you and also when to address what needs to be addressed.  Think about what happened in my situation, imagine if the minute I closed my eyes and saw these demons I quickly opened my eyes and began rebuking and speaking out against this woman.  How do you think this would’ve turned out?  Not good because at that point no one else saw what I saw.  The spirit would’ve won because I would seem like a crazy person to everyone else and they would think I was rude for talking to their pastor in that manner when all she was trying to do was pray for me to receive the gift of tongues.
I’ve seen people operate with this gift and they talk to other people about what they are discerning and the answer is always the same…I didn’t see that?  I didn’t hear that?  Are you sure?  Now they think you’re being judgemental and critical.
3. You must always remember that our war is not against flesh and blood so even though you are picking up evil spirits on someone you are not fighting them.  Remember how Jesus demonstrated the gift of discerning of spirits when he was dealing with Peter
Matthew 16:13-17 “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”
Notice, Jesus said the source of Peter’s answer was not Peter Himself but God the Father.  Then a few days later this happens
Matthew 16:21-23 21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Now, what was wrong with Peter’s answer?  On the surface it sounds like a concerned disciple who loves Jesus.  However, Jesus’ response tells another story that the source of Peter’s response was the devil Himself.

I also want you to pay attention to how Jesus handled the situation, He addressed the spirit and not the man himself. Likewise with Paul, he addressed the spirit of divination and not the girl.

We need this gift in the end time church!

Another point I need to make is that I’ve come to realize even with dream interpretation, it’s not really one gift but rather a combination of other gifts of the Spirit. To accurately interpret your dreams or the dreams of others, you need a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom, a prophetic gifting and also discerning of spirits so you that you can know if the dream was from the flesh, the enemy or God.  So you need this to interpret your dreams.

So here is a prayer for this gift.  I hope you understand why I wish you all had this gift.  I’ve seen too many people get wounded because they don’t discern the spirits.

Holy Spirit, I pray that you would give me the gift of discerning spirits so that I will be able to discern the source of all the information that I read and what I listen to.  I need to know what is from You, the enemy or the human spirit. Give me the guidance and training I need to steward this gift in a way that glorifies you and builds up the body of Christ, in Jesus name, Amen.

Do you have the gift of discerning of spirits?  Share with us below.  How has it manifested in your life and how has it helped you in your Christian walk? Remember you don’t need to use your full name if you don’t want to be identified.  Your initials or anonymous is fine.  In the next post I’ll share on the word of knowledge gift.


21 thoughts on “Discerning of Spirits – Part 3 – Gifts of the Holy Spirit”

  1. Thank you! You are the first person I have heard of that describes perfectly what it’s like to have the amazing blessing of multiple gifts from The Holy Spirit… to see you write that God explained that He would teach you…. that is exactly what has happened with me. God spoke to me saved me, buillt me up from the very broken person I had been, God taught me about the gifts that I’d always had but was afraid to talk about… I think you described it best when you said it’s like “Spiritual Sonar” , I have been blessed more than words can explain, The Holy Trinity has at different times in my life taught me about gifts I didn’t know existed, of course the devil has tried to intervene with his own “lessons” but by the Grace of God I am now confident and unafraid when fighting against spiritual warfare… I needed to read this and while I am humble and grateful and absolutely love being a warrior of God , a daughter of God, A servant of God…. He knows my needs before I do and finds ways to let me know I am not alone. Thank you and God Bless

  2. Thank you so much for this post. It was eye opening for me. I have had these strange experiences my whole life and have been afraid of them because most of them were encounters with evil spirits. I believe i have the sonar thing except it is something i hear. I hear like a fluttering in my ear and dont know exactly what to do. I tried pinning down the circumstances to find comparisons but it seems to happen randomly. I try to get guidance from Holy Spirit, but I dont feel like I understand it clearly like when Im reading a post like yours. How can I understand how the sonar thing works? Also how do I overcome the fear I feel when I see these spirits? I see shadows walk by or hear voices sometimes and it frightens me mostly because its startling, and I rebuke it but then I feel worry that I will be bothered again? This gift will not go away even though I asked God to take it from me as a child. I want to do Gods will now and I dont know how to walk in obedience and wisdom even though I ask.

    1. Hi Britany,

      We have a wealth of resources on this website on this topic. I believe as you read through a lot of these the pieces of the puzzle will start to come together for you. Sign up for our mailing list and you’ll get other information that way as well. The most important thing is when these things happen you need to immediately ask the Holy Spirit “what does this mean?” “what do you need me to do with this?” God Himself will walk you through the training. You just need to be patient with yourself and ask. Whatever He says you obey. Obedience. Blessings

  3. Thank you for this teaching I have learnt so much. I use to smell jasmine and roses and was very confused by it to the extent that I thought I need to buy a jasmine and rose plants. I had thought it might be the fragrance of Yeshua but I could find no real information and no one I asked confirmed it as such. My son and I tend to see fleeting images but I have learnt to go quiet and then I know the size of the person whether male or female or a child or dog. I would just ask Father God to remove what is not from Him. Because it is so sporadic I was too embarrassed to ask anyone and now you have clarified.
    I appreciate your time to write and inform us I pray Abba Father will continue to bless you and your ministry.

  4. I have the spiritual sonar and smell gift. Are there any other resources online about how to operate these gifts (especially the former)?

  5. This is my experience with the jezebel spirit… When God showed me something amazing in a vision, I decided to talk to my uncle about it since he had many years experience being a pastor.

    ***Big mistake, I didn’t inquire of the Lord if I should be sharing this info or if I should be going to him.*** Visions were new to me and I didn’t know much of what to do with them since our church denomination does not believe in the gifts of the spirit.

    Anyhow, I booked a flight and came over. First thing I noticed upon entering his home, a statue of some lady. This bothered me very much. Why does he have this statue? We began talking and after I shared what God showed me, prophetic vision, that’s when it began. He began twisting Bible verses and making every point to bring down what I shared. Soon enough I began doubting everything about myself, about God’s message, complete confusion overwhelmed me and by evening I did not have the desire to live. The physical effects of this spirit were irregular heartbeats. When I looked at him I heard/saw “jezebel”. (That was prob jezebel’s statue at the entrance.) I flew back home and for the next several weeks continued in this lifeless state, no desire for life at all, totally confused, doubting God. Many problems after this encounter that effected most of the year. Another big mistake I made was being inconsiderate to the consequences of sharing this and specifically since it touched on a close person in his life.
    Fast forward a year later during the MOP weeklong January fast, I was feeling convicted that I need to make peace with my uncle and his wife so I called his wife to apologize for my words (I was scared to speak with him). Later that day, uncle calls me. This is where every aspect of this spirit came out. Some things that came out of jezebel… “I am shocked at the way you twist God’s word…how can you say such things…if you have any further questions, call ME first…” While listening to the spirit speak, I was in complete terror, like run for your life type of feeling. The last statement he spoke was a joke trying to make light of the situation, making fun of me. All key characteristics of jezebel spirit…hates prophecy, makes you look like the bad guy, wants you to come to them for all the answers, makes you feel like Elijah, carries a mocking spirit as well, confusion, makes you doubt your calling in life.

    After the conversation, God showed me the iron scepter at the fireplace and to take it and prophetically pound it to the ground that my enemies shall be shattered (Revelation 2:27, 2 Kings 13:18-19). In the spirit I felt relief. Several hours later, my uncle calls me again. I ask the Lord, “does he come in peace?” God says, “he comes in peace.” But I don’t pick up still. The following day he keeps calling and calling but I don’t pick up. Finally I return his call and he says “I’ve been thinking and praying about what you shared and spoke with that person.. I can’t take the authority/responsibility to go against…do what God tells you.” No apology, he backed off and insisted to not do what he told me to do. I was so relieved and grateful for God’s interference into the situation. The jezebel spirit was defeated here. I was crying tears of joy and victory that God gave that day. From terror to peace and gratefulness, what a range of emotions.
    Praise God for raising us up with Him and seating us up with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, for the victory He has and gives to us to be victorious on earth!

  6. One time while I was sharing in a Christmas party with a woman prayer group, my daughter was also present and she was 10 years old. When a women came for prayer, so the leader began to pray for her but the Holy Spirit told me to talk to her in Spanish instead of English. So I asked her in Spanish if she received the Lord as her Savior and she responded, no. I asked her if she wanted to receive Jesus as her savior and she responded yes. She came to get delivered but the leader did not diserned wgat she actually needed. I was surprised, so we began to pray the sinners prayer. I had placed my hand on her arm and that is when all broke loose. There was like finger trying to push my hand out and the Holy Spirit filled me up like a freight train and she was delivered and received the Lord. The most amassing thing was that my daughter tells me the lady came in with her face dirty and left cleaned. So I believe my daughter has a gift also, since I never saw the difference in her face when she entered. I saw her glowing afterwards.

  7. Hi there, I had experienced once, when we had a prereview. We had a groupchat in facebook where it says “mga papasa sa remedial” it means students that will pass remedial exam, (sorry I don’t remember the exact name back then) suddenly when I woke up in the morning I saw it written “mga hindi papasa sa remedial” it means you will not pass a remedial, I thought I was just seeing or imagining things. I got a goosebumps then the next few days. It happened, no one in the member of the groupchat passed the remedial exam. What amazed me most is that I was not the only one who sees it, there was one also… Now, I don’t know if it discerning spirit or just my human imagination.

  8. In 2014 the Lord spoke to me and told me that the space my best friend has in my life, He wanted that space. Shortly thereafter I separated from her and He visited me. One of the things He told me is that He will teach me all I should know. I too have been given the gift of discerning of spirits. From your teaching I recognize that smell, sonar and hearing has been activated; they also smell like rotten eggs (foul/fowl spirits), I too smell the old dirty sweaty male odour sometimes. One night during my Church’s Tent Crusade, while walking/praying around the perimeter I smelled the rottingess, stinkingess odour of all my life! I had to retract my steps and put down a piece of warfare in that spot! Last year during Tent Crusade, the Holy Spirit mandated me to watch over the preacher one specific night, He told me not to leave him. The preacher at one point thought that he was simply ministering to drunken man, but that fellow no doubt has legions! All of a sudden this new Church member who is always staring on me and shouting Hallelujahs, touched a senior member in her back, the woman moved forward, laid hands on the demoniac and began to intercede; I kept praying for my Pastor friend in the spirit. All of a sudden, this young woman slithered through the space between the preacher and the demoniac, the first thing that came to my mind was, “What a girl move like snake, mon!” At one point I heard imitation spirit, because she began to do something that another prayer warrior had done the previous year – like tearing off whatever was holding a demonic woman bound. While the preacher was preaching, I knew that I shouldn’t follow behind him, so I called the senior Deacon told him what to do and sent him off behind the preacher (he is weak in a particular area). I noticed the young woman “worshipping” and thing, kneeling down on the grass as I would. There was another sister there who wants to be like me and she was about to help her go around the perimeter of the Tent, but in the opposite direction of which I went. (I’m the only one who walks the Tent in prayer, I used to complain the first few nights at the inception, but the Lord chastised me, “To whom much is given, much is required.”) I normally pray for God’s fire to surround His people. I’m not sure if I disobeyed, but I quickly took hold of her and we both ran around the Tent, looking back, I believe that the enemy’s plan was thwarted, because the fire on my feet lapped up whatever was on hers. This took place prior to me hearing “imitation spirit” and seeing that she moved like a snake. Also, last year I got “hit” during the first week of Crusade, just 3 nights after it began! Terribly hit, so much that the Lord withdrew me for 1 night. When I inquired of Him, He said, “This is the spirit of rejection.” The night He withdrew me, He also gave me an open vision (snippet) of a whitewashed demon and told me that it’s a religious spirit.
    Quite recently, I’ve been seeing things fluttering pass me and when I turn my head, there’s nothing. But I’m wise enough now not to throw away anything, because I’ve asked the Lord to let me see them but to take away the fear. Twice I was hit by incubus, when lascivious men grabbed onto my hand! I didn’t even know of such things until I asked the Lord what was wrong with me and He audibly spoke the name of the fiend to me.

  9. Last week I cleaned the back bedroom and put clean sheets on the bed for family visitors. After they left I began to smell a rather unpleasant odor in that room. I opened the window, changed all the bedding, put a fan in there and even sprayed scent. Not only did I continue to smell this odor but it seemed to be coming out into the hall. I was driving to the store today, when I heard: “The smell reveals a spirit.” I said “What kind?” I heard “Confusion.” This made sense to me as I considered the scenes of confusion that often occur when these family members get together. I prayed (still driving) and I heard “It’s done.”

    1. I’m so glad I came across this. Thank you for this page which has taught me a lot about the gifts. Every day I get this fullness or pressure in my ears and it can go on for a few minutes. Medically there’s no explanation. I have been praying for God to reveal what the meaning is but I still don’t know. I have since decided to pray in the spirit whenever the feeling comes.
      May the Lord bless you for these teachings

  10. Wow, another great topic covered that is a hush-hush in Hmong churches – at least the ones I have attended. I admit I did feel scared when you mentioned seeing demons even though I know that God is with me.
    A few years ago, I lived and grew up (unfortunately) in haunted house. I had many dreams where I felt something around me but not seeing it. Even had a close call in a dream when one of the demons impersonated my sister, then said sister walked in my dream and I realized who it really was. I was so scared I woke up before it could show me what it really looked like. A few months ago I thought I felt like another person behind me in bed(?) but it wasn’t doing anything. Between those 2 incidents, I have had many spiritual attacks when I feel a bad presence pushing down on me and it only went away when I call on the Lord, his words. Even now I rarely have it but it still happens at night when I sleep. It always felt like dream.

    Thank you for this information and sharing it even though it sounds quite traumatizing.

  11. This page is so blessing me.

    Both me and my husband have gifts of discerning of spirits.

    He sees and hears them. I “sense” them – I feel a weird tingling in my forehead when a person has a demon or when an object is accursed it has a demon attached to it.

    When I was a girl I used to wet the bed because I sensed them and they scared me so much I couldn’t get out of bed to use the bathroom.

    We are learning from the Holy Spirit.

    I pray the Lord would continue to bless you as you write and pray for others and that he would multiply the fruit if your ministry more than you could ever ask or think


  12. Thank you for explaining. I thoroughly enjoy reading your (the Holy Spirit) work. It has helped me a lot. I did not know exactly what discerning of spirits were and I am enlightened. I must admit since I have gotten closer to God and especially when I started praying at midnight. I sometimes lie down to sleep and my eyes are closed then I would get visions. Sometimes I would see faces of people and I just pray in the spirit and as the Holy Spirit leads. I have also seen demons like that. Also, I seem to get a smell of the flower marigold (I don’t know if it is the same as formaldehyde – but I have learned now that when I get it, I immediately come against the spirit of death in either a person I smell it on or otherwise I pray in the spirit. I have also heard a few things – even demons speaking in my lounge but I got a bit scared. I also sense the Holy Spirit and sometimes demons. I am not fully operating in it but I have told God that I desire all His gifts. Once again, thank you for teaching us. May God bless you abundantly above all you can ask or think according to the Power that work in you.

    1. Hi Karen, thank you for sharing! You definitely have this gift and the great thing is that it appears you have all of your senses activated as well. What does Marigold mean to you? What feeling do you get when you smell that? If you are not sure ask the Lord to give you clarity on it and the next time you smell it just quickly acknowledge the smell to Him in silent prayer and then ask Him to tell you what it means. He may actually give you a vision which will clear that up for you. If you do a search for marigold online it is used in Hindu rituals so He could be using the smell to warn you of false religion or false doctrines. I don’t want to steer you in this direction but it is something to consider and sometimes just doing a search online for somethings may bring clarity. Also, you can recall the past times you smelled marigold and the people it was associated with and look for the common thread. Concerning being afraid this is normal when you are first experiencing seeing visions or hearing demons, you need to learn how to put on the armor of God without using the bible and quickly armor up before you get into prayer especially when you see or sense demons. Here’s a post that explains the armor. https://www.missionariesofprayer.org/2014/02/putting-armor-god-prayer/ God bless you and continue to grow you in these gifts.

  13. I have really been blessed since I found this page. I ask that you help me pray for my husband. We have been married for 10years and blessed with a son who is 7years old. He has been Unfaithful in our marriage for some years now. I occasionally confront him with his acts but he’s still unrepentant. I have been praying for him for a while now and convince in my spirit that God will convict his heart. I pray daily for the grace of forgiveness so that can I be able to forgive and pray for him. I got so many signs from God to wait upon Him concerning my husband. In the course of praying for my husband I got pregnant after waiting upon the Lord for 7years for another child unfortunately I had a miscarriage, but the good news is that the day I lost the pregnancy in my pain God gave me a gift, the infilling and manifestation of the Holy Spirit and it’s been an awesome experience though I know my husband still see this strange women I am confident that the Lord will reveal Jesus to him and convict his heart in a way that only He can. I just ask that you are also remember my husband in your moments of prayer. His name is Godwin.

    1. Praised be the Name of Jesús.
      Iam a believer of Jesus Christ and desire to draw close to him each day of my life.
      I thank God for getting to this site. I have desired so much to know The Father and the Holy Spirit’s gift in my life.
      The gift of The Son; an evangelist.
      If i can be assisted and directed to clearly know the above mentioned gifts i will appreciate.
      Sometimes back, i could see in the spirit images and faces of people and i would pray for them.
      Sometimes i used to see dreams about people, situations that came to pass only to repent because i did not pray as i ignored.
      Nowadays, thete is foul smell i get whenever i go to the marketin our town area and this hapoens in a particularly street.
      Thank you so much Pastor for sharing your past experiences this helps so much to connect with my spiritual life.
      God bless you and replesh you spiritually.

      1. Hi Eddah, I would suggest that you start watching videos of the men of God who have their main gift as evangelism. So this could be Billy Graham, Reinhard Bonnke, Daniel Kolenda. Find them on YouTube and watch as many videos as possible. You will be able to learn about the gift of Evangelism through this and also know if you have that gift. As far as the foul smell in the market, wouldn’t this be normal in a market? It is common to have a foul smell in a market in some areas if you have rotting food left over on the streets or that may have fallen into the gutter. To be sure, the next time you are there pray and ask God to show you where the smell is coming from. Hope this helps. Blessings

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