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Testing the Spirits – True Spiritual Discernment

Testing the Spirits - True Spiritual Discernment

Testing The Spirits

Testing the Spirits – True Spiritual Discernment

by Deborah @ DTW

All doctrine, sermons, books and articles as well as discussions between people or at seminars and conferences should be able to be put to the test by all Christians to determine if they reflect Biblical Truth. The bible says:

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

Every message of a religious nature, even some messages that are not religious but subliminally New Age have two dimensions to it; either the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth is at work, or an anti-Christ spirit of error is at work, who’s intentions are to deceive the whole world, most importantly to deceive as many people within the church as possible.

John 16:13;  “13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

1 John 4:6; “6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

2 Peter 2:1-2;  “2 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.”

How does one test?  By carefully comparing the message with a fine toothcomb to the Word of God so as to determine if the message is authentic.  If one does not test everything that is heard or read to the Scriptures, false teachings can be so easily incorporated into our thinking, and only because we lack Biblical knowledge.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4; “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicitythat is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!”

The Bereans listened to Paul’s Gospel message and then examined the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul was saying was indeed true. Their eagerness and enthusiasm for the Scriptures as well as their high regard for the Apostle Paul did not stop them from critically and studiously examining what Paul had to say to ensure that what they believed was in full agreement with the Word of God.

Acts 17:11;  “11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”


A Christian needs discernment in order to correctly understand the Word of God.  And it’s only the Holy Spirit who can provide us with spiritual discernment.  The Holy Spirit enlightens the Christians mind to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy spirit will always guide the Christian in all truth and glorify Jesus Christ.

John 16:8-13-14;  “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me;” ….13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

Newly converted Christians who are now ‘babes in Christ’, will not immediately understand all areas of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and have to be first fed with ‘milk’ or the basic principles of the Word of God. But as time goes by as you are filled by the Holy Spirit and He leads you into all truth you will no longer require milk, but solid food.  A Christian should not be tosses to and fro between different doctrines; he should be able to demonstrate that he is capable of strong spiritual discernment.

 1 Peter 2:2   as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

Hebrews 5:12  “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!”

Ephesians 4:14;  “14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,”

The new Christian most certainly will learn very quickly and come to understand the basic fundamentals of the Gospel of Salvation, but will still have a long travel ahead of them to become true strong spiritual Christians. They will however experience a huge conflict between their old sinful nature and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who regenerated them during their conversion.

Galatians 5:17;  “17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

One needs to fully surrender your life over to Jesus Christ. When you are born again you become a new creature in Jesus Christ and because of this one needs to crucify the ‘old man’ and completely put on the new nature of Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17;  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Ephesians 4:22-24;  “22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

This sanctification of the believer, this deeper working of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life will give him enlightened eyes of the mind to better understand the hope of His calling and the glory of the rich inheritance of the saints.

Ephesians 1:18; 18 the eyes of your understandingbeing enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,”

The ongoing experience of sanctification starts the wonderful process of spiritual growth for the Christian and will continue for the rest of his/her life, as they move towards being established in the Word of God.  The Christian will also progress towards perfection and holiness, and move away from deception and sin.

2 Peter 3:17-18; 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”

We will never reach spiritual completeness during our earthly lives, but this does not mean we must not progress in that direction by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit only.

Matthew 5:48;  Jesus said to His disciples; “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect”

1 Peter 1:16;  “God says, “Be holy, for I am holy”

Christians who walk in the Spirit all walk at different levels of progress, as they grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ.  Each Christian moves towards reaching the fullness of Christ.  This is why no Christian is alike. We are all still learning as the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth.  When we are born again we are crucified with Christ and because of this our human agendas and self-interest dies.  But with regards to final perfection; this will not yet be achieved until we as Christians meet Jesus face to face.

Philippians 3:12  Paul says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”

Galatians 2:20; “20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

We are subject to weakness and limitations because we are in a human body – these weaknesses include emotional, physical and intellectual.  These human conditions hinder our ability to obtain perfection to which Jesus Christ calls us.

These factors above as well as one of the biggest factors; Satan’s agenda to corrupt the world, we know that the Word of God is being misrepresented, twisted and contorted in one way or another to lead people astray.  This is why it is imperative that the Christian must be able to rightly divide the Word of God in order to avoid deceptive/distorted misrepresentations of it.

1 Corinthians. 13:12 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known

2 Timothy 2:15; “15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

The crux of the matter is this, even though Christians are fully able to comprehend with other saints the magnitude of the love Jesus Christ, they can differ on a number of very small issues.  Therefore it is up to the Christian to take action and study the Word of God diligently to gain clarity when it comes to the more controversial issues.  Controversial issues can cause breaks in friends and family, and if it must be so, for the sake of Jesus Christ, then one must break away.

Ephesians. 3:17-19; “1that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Carnal Christian or the unsaved

Carnal Christians (those who profess to be Christians, agree with the basics fundamentals of Christianity, but continue to live as thought unsaved, i.e., with no guidance of the Holy Spirit in their lives).  These people are led by leading pastors/theologians instead of the Holy Spirit.  They allegorise and spiritualise Scripture.  For instance the false doctrine of Replacement Theology gives them the platform to exalt human understanding over and above that of Scripture – thereby ending up with erroneous doctrines full of opinion and assumptions.

Many of these academically trained pastors (trained in false gospel institutions) have set themselves up in places ideal to influence students and other people who read their writings.  They push out their doctrines of demons onto the unsuspecting such as Dominionisn/Kingdom now theology, Covenant theology, Mysticism, Predestination, Baptismal Regeneration, Lordship Salvation, British Israelism, denial of the Rapture, denial of a tribulation period, denial of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, denial of the Millennial reign, denial of fulfilment of Biblical prophecies, denial of Israel’s restoration, etc.

Many who call themselves Christians and pose as great spiritual leaders are not saved and only have a form of godliness, but deny God’s power. They deny some of the most basic fundamentals  of the Christian faith such as the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, His physical resurrection and ascension, and even the significance of His atoning death on the cross, they even deny that the Bible is divinely inspired and the final authority on all things.

2 Timothy 3:5;  “having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

As Christians we need to remain vigilant at all times.

Matthew 24:4;  Lord Jesus said: “Take heed that no one deceives you”


16 comments to Testing the Spirits – True Spiritual Discernment

  • I thank you for your message,may God bless you in Jesus name.Amen.

  • Chris De Wet

    Debs, it remains a fact that whatever man preaches must be under constant scrutiny. There are too many warnings in the Bible that false teachers and prophets will mislead people.

    While under His grace and by the power of the Holy Ghost the Lord will never deceive those who are obedient to Him.

    We should all seek the Lord and study diligently.

    Keep u the good work as Paul wrote: 1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

  • Moemsie

    The `open heaven` comment in this article caught my eye. Looks bit like chem trails to me.
    Sorry if off the point but the mass prayer gatherings always catch my attention.

  • Starlight

    These articles are always a great blessing and based on sound Biblical exegesis. At work, I am surrounded by humanists and those who are saved, hold to reformed/calvinistic soteriology. Once again in your article you addressess these doctrines as deceptive. I have done my own research and was in a reformed type of church for a short while but we had to apply 2Tim 3:5 “and from such people turn away”. if you know the truth, it will be an easy task to turn away.

  • Peace be with the reader.

    The time has come, judgment time.
    Those who know me, recognize me.
    See: rev:19:11-13

    The faithful witness
    Christ(my new name is Duke)

    (The one that censors(‘moderates’) this comment
    will be held accountable)

  • Peace be with all those who read this comment.

    “We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

    The question is this : Is there a way to test the spirits without reverting to religious dogma?
    Yes there is. We know that natural man is deluded,
    we also know that the present world system is a product of natural man. How can we put this product to the test?

    “The Inconvenient Reality” is a way to put the teachings of natural man to the test. Here is a link to the video:

    The faithful witness(see rev 1:5)

  • Arthur


    We know that the natural man is deluded. Yep you are right there. But the spiritual mind is also deluded. Other wise how do you explain all the different doctrines and factions in Christianity. I just read the post on the seven day Adventists. Boy do they go into the scripture. I used to say let fifty people read one verse and you will have fifty different versions of it. My denomination split up because one half wanted Bible college training for its Pastors and the others said that revelation by the Holy Ghost is all you need. No wonder Christianity is divided. Its a free for all. If you do not like a teaching start your own church. At least the Catholic church has unity of Doctrine. Every thing has to be sanction by the Pope. In the other churches every one wants to be the Pope.

  • Riaan Meyer


    thanks for this article – well said

    how can i put comments under Kobus van Rensburg
    i see a couple of people use ‘ judge not to be judge , and i wonder whether they understands it in it;s contex or they just use it according their own opinion.

    i confronted Kobus by e-mail directly and on the one the response was only ‘ peace ‘ and on the other mail no response at all

    Love in Christ
    Brother Riaan

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    Hi there, I closed the comments section under the Kobus articles because I was being bombarded by this followers with the same garbage day in and day out. I am going to put up a new article soon. Watch this space – I know for a fact that Kobus van Rensburg does. –

  • Will4God

    You make some claims such as “Many who call themselves Christians and pose as great spiritual leaders are not saved and only have a form of godliness, but deny God’s power”, yet nothing is quantified? Is it EVERY great Spiritual leader? Only those spiritual leaders who are not writing a critique of other spiritual leaders?
    Is there a difference between being in error vs. sending people to Hell by their false teachings?
    If someone believes they are predestined – and it turns out they were wrong – does that error disqualify them from eternal life?
    I don’t believe believe in the Rapture or the 7 year tribulation.. does that mean that Tim LeHaye will be going to Heaven while I wallow in Hell?

    Bottom line… I think many of us (myself included) get so wrapped up majoring in the minors that we take our eyes off the MAJOR! I’m SAVED and I Pray that Y’ALL are too!!!


  • Werner


    I’m not judging you in terms of your final destination, but if you are born again, and have tasted the streams of living water, i.e. Christ, i’m most concerned if you cannot see the 7 year Trib? as it’s in your face, you just have to read the bible, the rapture takes a bit more time to study and identify, which brings me back to being born again. (you will want to study the Word)

    I recently met up with a so-called christian bike group here in Western Cape, as I love to hit the roads on a sunday afternoon, anyhow, only to find they belong to the Dutch Reformed church.

    This was not a problem at first, the problem started when the dominee said that homosexuals can be born again, and the guy organising the trips did not know what the rapture was when I asked him… their fruits identified them for what they are, when I was invited to a braai, and the entire church group were dopping, smoking, and cussing.

    What I’m trying to say is this, if you cannot see the obvious, you will not see the not so obvious, like the dutch reformed, they are totally blind, do not believe in adult baptism, rapture, etc. The blind leading the blind.

    I will seriously examine myself to establish whether I’m in the faith,the only, Jesus Christ!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Email from Natasha C


    Although I do not “follow” any of these preachers that this site condemns, although I have heard their preaching before, I must say I am sad to read what is going on here. I have been a member of this site for about 3 years now and I am more and more disappointed. Jesus once asked me when I faced disappointment and confusion with the Christians, “Do you want to love me with your whole heart? … Then Love my church!” Who is His Church? – ALL who confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that Jesus came in the flesh, is our Savior, the Son of God, died on the cross and rose again…

    I agree with what Jeremy wrote who commented in the subject about Angus Buchan. This site is not beating in the same rhythm as the heart of God! It is not doctrine that bind us together but love! This site is nothing more but becoming “as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal” it has and shows no love (1Cor 13). Why on earth are we picking on brothers and sister in Christ. No-one is perfect or has a perfect message and God uses the foolishness of preaching (1 Cor 1:21). I believe that everyone who confesses Jesus as Lord and Savior is my brother and sister in Christ and WE OUGHT TO COVER ONE ANOTHER, not expose one another. You purify yourself by learning to love like this. If we love Jesus we should be loving one another it’s the only real proof that you love God (1Peter 1:22/Col 3:14/Prov 10:12/ 1Cor 13:1-13/) 1Jo 2:4 “He who says, I have known Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”. What is His commandments? Love God and Love your brother.

    1Jo 2:4 He who says, I have known Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    1Jo 2:5 But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God is perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.
    1Jo 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked.
    1Jo 2:7 Brothers, I do not write a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the Word which you have heard from the beginning.
    1Jo 2:8 Again, I write a new commandment to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true Light now shines.
    1Jo 2:9 He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness until now.
    1Jo 2:10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no offence in him.
    1Jo 2:11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because darkness has blinded his eyes.

    Luk 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return. And your reward shall be great, and you shall be the sons of the Highest. For He is kind to the unthankful and to the evil.
    Luk 6:36 Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
    Luk 6:37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.
    Luk 6:38 Give, and it shall be given to you,(THIS IS NOT TALKING ABOUT MONEY BUT JUDGING, CONDEMNING, FORGIVING) good measure pressed down and shaken together and running over, they shall give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure, it shall be measured to you again.

    – this site is not based on Biblical principles. Calling Cobus a liar instead of covering a suffering fellow Christian who is battling a awful illness is so short sighted. We cannot as mere human beings know exactly what is going on in his life. Who are we to judge. Calling our brothers and sisters deceived and their works false is demonic and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. A church divided against itself will not stand!!

    I use to enjoy this web site exposing the world, its media, cults and satan. I enjoy it when the devil is exposed and the carpet taken out from under him but this web page seems to be more interested in harming its own, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus builds the church and is the head of the church, We should trust Him to know what He is doing, we have no business trying to control it blinded by our own arrogance claiming to have all the right answers and everyone else is wrong. This is a sign of cultism. The devil us using this web page to take the focus from what is really happening out there – we are on the edge of a new world order – this site is causing confusion amongst ourselves. The oldest trick in the world which is not mixing truth with error Robbie, but causing us to ask ourselves, “Did God really say…” The oldest trick in the world is to cause us to doubt Gods word and this site promote that.

    Please do not ignore this warning – What you dish out will come back pressed down, shaken together, and running over. They shall give into your bosom.
    I cannot be in covenant with your pursuit against brothers and sisters in Christ. I tried to unsubscribe from your site but am still receiving your mail. Please remove me from your site. My posts and perspectives are in line with biblical doctrine. I have posted on your site and you do not post my mail, why?



  • Deborah (Discerning the World)


    As replied to in an email:

    My website has always CONDEMNED these preaches that you speak of. Kobus van Rensburg and Angus Buchan etc and its FOLLOWERS. If you had been on my site for 3 years you would know this. Nothing has changed. You lie Natasha you have not been on my site for 3 years if ever. You are an Angus follower…

    My website binds GENUINE Christians together who LOVE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST – It UNITES the Genuine Bride of Christ. Your false Gospel binds you together in false love with every other fake Christian out there like Angus and Kobus. ‘

    Next time comment on my website.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Natasha C

    >> I have been a member of this site for about 3 years now and I am more and more disappointed

    That is a lie, you only registered to receive emails on the 3rd of June 2011!

    >> I have posted on your site and you do not post my mail, why?

    And you have not commented on this blog before… so don’t lie. I have checked the SPAM section and the Trash section and no where is your name to be found.

    What spirit in you makes you lie the way you do? An Angus spirit? Or is it the Kobus Spirit?

  • John

    An excellent DVD regarding this subject is [name removed], distributed in South Africa by Grace Media. You can purchase it for R120 from [url removed]

    [Edited by DTW – Sorry John, but Justin Peters is a Calvinist and has his own bed fellows like John Piper who he endorses]

  • […] lead people astray.  And the people he has led astray are people who do not open their bibles to test the spirits to see if what Kobus van Rensburg is saying is true or […]

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Testing the Spirits - True Spiritual Discernment

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  10. Discerning the World has the right (but not the obligation) in their sole unfettered discretion to remove any “Comment” that is posted on or available through the Site. Without limiting the foregoing, Discerning the World has the right to remove any “Comment” that violates these Terms or is otherwise deemed objectionable by Discerning the World in its sole discretion.
  11. You understand that Discerning the World in their sole unfettered discretion is not obligated and can not be forced in any manner, be it legal or otherwise to remove any “Comment” that is posted on or made available through the Site by you.
  12. When submitting a “Comment,” you will be asked to provide your name and your email address. While Discerning the World does not object to your use of a pseudonym instead of your actual name, Discerning the World reserves the right, but not the obligation, to reject, change, disallow, or discontinue at any time any submission name that, in Discerning the World’s sole unfettered discretion, is objectionable or inappropriate for any reason. Discerning the World requires the submission of your email address, but Discerning the World warrants that it will not publish your email address to an outside third party without your consent.
  13. Discerning the World does not sell or rent your personal information to third parties for their marketing purposes. From time to time, Discerning the World may contact you personally via email. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge and understand that the “Comments” feature of the Site is designed to permit users to post information and commentary for public review and comment and thus you hereby waive any expectation of privacy you may have concerning any likeness or information provided to the Site by you.
  14. You are solely responsible for your interactions with other users of or visitors to the Site.
    1. Discerning the World shall have the right, but not the obligation, to monitor interactions utilizing the “Comments” facility of the Site, between you and other users of or visitors to the Site. You acknowledge and agree that Discerning the World, or any third party shall not be, and you shall not seek to hold them, responsible for any harm or damage whatsoever arising in connection with your interaction with other users of or visitors to the Site.
    2. Discerning the World does not verify any information posted to or communicated via the “Comments” sections of the Site by users and does not guarantee the proper use of such information by any party who may have access to the information. You acknowledge and agree that Discerning the World does not assume, and shall not have, any responsibility for the content of messages or other communications sent or received by users of the Site.
  15. The Site contains content created by or on behalf of Discerning the World as well as content provided by third parties.
    1. Discerning the World does not control, and makes no representations or warranties about, any third party content, including such content that may be accessible directly on the Site or through links from the Site to third party sites.
    2. You acknowledge that, by viewing the Site or communications transmitted through the Site, you may be exposed to third party content that is false, offensive or otherwise objectionable to you or others, and you agree that under no circumstances shall Discerning the World be liable in any way, under any theory, for any third party content.
    3. You acknowledge and agree that the Site, and the contents thereof, is proprietary to Discerning the World and is protected by copyright. You agree that you will not access or use the Site or any of the content thereof for any reason or purpose other than your personal, non-commercial use.
    4. You agree that you will not systematically retrieve data or other content from the Site by any means, and you will not compile a database or directory of information extracted from the Site.
    5. You agree that you will not reproduce, distribute or make derivative works of the Site or any of the contents thereof without the express consent of Discerning the World.
    6. You hereby agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Discerning the World, its affiliates and licensees, and all of their officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives from and against any and all liabilities, losses, claims, damages, and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) in connection with any claim arising out of your use of the Site or violation of any of these Terms.



16. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between Discerning the World and you with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersede any previous oral or written agreement between us with respect to such subject matter.

Thank you!