[1Cor. 12:10]

“... to another discerning of spirits; to another....”
Notice it says: discerning of spirits plural. It does NOT SAY “discernment of the spirit but DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

[Hebrew 4:12], is another way of the operation of THE WORD. Here it speaks of THE WORD”, is described as a “SHARP TWO EDGED SWORD & A DISCERNER “of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

So, be clear of these distinctions, right from the beginning of our study. Also bear in mind that the nine spiritual gifts are operated by the same Spirit; The Holy Spirit. They are also interdependent, and complimentary, one to another.

A simple definition of it would be something close to this:

“It is the supernatural operation by the Holy Spirit through a believer, giving him the ability and understanding to distinguish and identify spirits behind events  or an event that has just occurred, or about to take place.“

The objective of the spirit’s action may also be unveiled and an appropriate response may then be chosen and applied to the need.

This gift may be compared to the doctor’s way of first diagnosing the problem, in order to determine the cause, so that the right and proper remedy may be applied.

Since the gift deals with discerning of spirits, it automatically implies, there are more than one spirit we are dealing with everyday. So, we should know what they are.



In our spiritual warfare, there are three main categories of spirits involved in affecting human life as well as some courses or trends of events in the world we live in. And these are the three:

(A). Human Spirit.

(B). God’s Spirit or the Holy Spirit.

(C). Angelic Spirits. [This category is made up of two kinds: (a). God’s Angels, and (b). Satan himself and all fallen Angels with him, at his fall. [Rev.12:7-9]




“Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”

This scripture distinguishes that there is a human spirit and there is a spirit of beast. It will have to take some God-provide way to distinguish between the two. Man sometimes acts like a beast on certain issues of life.

King Nebuchadnezzar had his heart made like the beasts. [Dan.5:21], and he fed on grass like wild asses, and oxen. [Dan.4:33]; his hair grew like eagle feathers, and his nails like birds claws. When we manifest a behaviour contrary to the true genuine human nature, the probability is that we have opened up our spirit unto a wrong spirit. That spirit will produce and manifest its attribute through you. So, obey the Word of God and stay safe.

It is also noteworthy to know that the spirit of man is extremely vulnerable. It must therefore be given the proper care and protection, it is easily invaded by demonic spirits,  like the demoniac of Gadara,

 King Nebuchadnezzar, of Babylon; or the demoniac of Oregon, who attacked the prophet on the pulpit.

So the bible in [Pro.25:28], warns us in this wise:

“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

Therefore we have a serious responsibility over our human spirit, to guard, to rule, and to nourish it, and that can only be done by God’s word.

  [1Corinthians 2:9-11]

“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the spirit of God.”

Here again, is a scripture telling us that there is a distinction between God’s and human or man’s spirit.

So, we shouldn’t blame the devil all the time, and for everything that happens; because sometimes we as humans, are directly responsible for certain, actions of our lives as we shall see in the examples herein.


“For God is my witness, whom I serve in with my spirit in the gospel of his Son that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers”

Here is Paul telling the believers in Rome how he, on his own volition, constrains himself to pray for them as he ministers the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

At the Garden of Gethsemane, the 12 Disciples failed to hold on in prayer with Jesus for only an hour. They all fell asleep, on their knees.  Jesus said to them: [Mat. 26:41-42]

41... what, could ye not watch with me one hour?

42. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” 

He did not rebuke the devil for being responsible for putting them to sleep.

When the redeemed of the Lord are finally gathered together in heaven, they shall be called:

... the general assembly and church of the first born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and the spirits of just men made perfect ... [Heb.12:23]

There are many more scriptures which speak of the spirit of man, distinguished from the spirit of God.



Having been born a human being, the bible says:  [Luke 2:40]

“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him”

At Jordan, he was filled with The Fullness of the Holy Ghost. On the cross, when that same Holy Spirit left him, he cried as an ordinary man: [Mark 15:34]

“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

We were created to totally depend upon God.


The Bible says in [John 4:24] that God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”

Inthe creation time,[Genesis 1:2], the bible declared God as a Spirit:

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

God’s Spirit is characterized by Holiness. When Moses encountered him at the burning bush:[Exo. 2:5]:

2. And the Angel of The Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire, out a midst of a bush: and he looked and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

4 ... God called unto him out of the midst of bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, here am I.

5. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. The presence of the holy God, brings with it, his nature of holiness


15. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.


(C). ANGELIC SPIRITS. They are either of GOD or of the DEVIL:

(i).   Angels of God; [Heb. 1: 14]: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvationHere are a few examples:

- The Angel Gabriel was sent by God to Zacharias [Lk.1:11-13]; Mary, [Lk. 1:26-31] and Daniel [9:21-23]; to minister to them God’s message.

- The Angel Michael was sent to fight devils [Dan.10:11-13, 20]; who tried to hold back God’s answer to Daniel’s prayers.

- Angels appeared to shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus Christ at Bethlehem. [Lk. 2:13: 15]

- Angels appeared to Gideon; to Manoah’s wife; to Hagar; to Cornelius etc.

- The Angel Gabriel appeared to Joseph, Mary’s spouse to resolve the issue of Mary’s Immaculate    Conception

- An angel appeared to Joseph to instruct him to take the child Jesus to Egypt, and also to bring him back to Israel. Angels are truly ministering spirits to heirs of salvation.

 But there are impersonating spirits too. And these need discernment to identify them. Martin, the messenger to Pergamos church age encountered one who pretended to be Jesus and demanded worship from him. But the spirit God in Martin discerned; identified and exposed him to his own shame.

(ii). Angels of the devil, [Rev. 12:7-12]: They are fallen angels who were cast out of heaven because they rebelled against God. Since their fall, they became evil and unclean spirits;

7. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his Angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

8. And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

9. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil. And Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

12.... Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having

great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

[Rev. 12:4]: Tells us how many of them fell from their estate:

“And his tail [tale], drew THE THIRD PART of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:”

53-0729 - Questions And Answers On Genesis
63. And two thirds of the earth is in sin, and more than that, which two thirds of the angels was kicked out. And those demon spirits come into people and habitate their body.

See what I mean? They're demons that once existed and they come into the people and give them a nature. Jesus cast seven of them out of Mary Magdalene: Pride, boast (big people, you see?), unclean, filthy, vulgarity, emulations, strife, all these things. See?  [Mark 16:9]
 Rev. William Marrion Branham

Lucifer and all his devils are made up of certain characteristics: Here are some of them:

  1. They are rebellious to God; to his authority and to his word. They inspire the same on people.
  2. They are ministers of lies and deception. Watch yourself if you take lying lightly.
  3. They minister spiritual blindness to his own subjects. See where spiritual blindness comes from.
  4. They cause sickness; disease; and death.
  5. They resist and withstand God’s people and messengers. Watch against your nature if it opposes
  6. Their work includes setting traps to cause fall and failure. Avoid all seduction, and ungodliness.
  7. They inspire minds with doubt and unbelief. Believe God and his word without questioning.
  8. They beguile people into temptations to cause sin. Watch against women, money and popularity
  9. They impersonate and work false, fake miracles, signs, and wonders for deception. Deception.
  10. They are capable of impersonating God and many of his works and ways. Deception.

Therefore, with this background in mind, this will make us see the need, the necessity and the importance of “the gift of discerning spirits 

This gift helps the Christian or the genuine believer to differentiate who is behind an event. The gift helps us to know if it is just a natural occurrence or supernatural. Not all supernatural occurrences are of God. 

Supposing a question like this is asked, would you be able to say with absolute certainty, who was really behind these? For example:

  1. Who caused The Red Sea to part, allowing Israel to pass through, but drowned the Egyptians?
  2. Who stirred up the storm on the Sea of Galilee while Jesus and his disciples were in the boat?
  3. Whose voice was in the whirl wind, speaking to Job?
  4. Whose work was in the wind which destroyedJob’s Children; their houses; cattle  and herds
  5. Who caused Ananias and Sapphira to lie against the Holy Ghost?
  6. What was it that turned King Saul to suddenly cast javelins against David, on various occasions?
  7. What caused Elisha to curse the 42 little children who were killed by two she bears?
  8. What made Moses smite the Rock twice when he was instructed to only speak to it to bring water?
  9. What inspiration were the 2 sons of Thunder [John and James] under, when they wanted to call on fire to burn down the entire city of Samaria?
  10. Did Eve know who was behind the plan that caused her fall into sin with the serpent?

Are we not grateful to God that he sent us a prophet who has made us know the answers to these questions?

Through the operation of the Gift of Discerning of Spirits the elect cannot be deceived anymore because by this gift, the elect can either:

  • Confidently go ahead to do something because they are sure it is of God to do so, or
  • Refrain from doing something because they know it is the devil behind it or
  • Wait and hold onto God because it is the self trying to do something without God’s authority.



EXAMPLE # 1. The spirit on Saul is distinguished and identified. [1Sam.16:13-21]

13. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

14. But the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.

15. And Saul’s servants said unto him, behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

God’s provided remedy for Saul’s troubled state:

16. Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shall be well.

22. And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

DISCERNING OF SPIRITS allows the Holy Spirit to prescribe the right remedy to the need. The evil spirit from the Lord does not mean it is from God. It was an evil spirit permitted by God to trouble Saul. God’s way to cast it out from Saul was by Music.

63-04-28 - LOOK
5.  When we heard these fine songs, I said to Brother Outlaw, "I'm glad they're being taped, because I like to study that. I like to hear those songs and play the tape, hear the songs when you can set down."

6. There's nothing like music. You know, God heals by music. Did you know that? Uh-huh. God heals by music.

7. God heals by love. See? God heals by medicine. God heals by prayer. God has many ways of healing. Depends on what type that you need.

8. Sometimes a little love, stretched out, will just cure an old sore, an old place that's been a grudge or something. It'll heal it right over, just a little love, a little care.

9. Sometime when you feel all down, and, as we call it, a street expression, down in the dumps, see, just put on one of those tapes, that music or a record, and go to playing it. The first thing you know, you're patting your foot, or your hand, and it's all over then. You're right up and ready to go again.
Rev. William Marrion Branham



Satan has known this all along. He also wants to in-dwell man even as God so does. But God has reserved to Himself that right. Satan cannot do that. God alone appeared in human flesh. Satan could not and cannot do that.

He does not have creative powers. The only way for Satan to accomplish what he wanted to do was to enter the serpent in Eden even as he entered by evil spirits into the swines at Gadara.

God does not enter animals; but Satan can and will to accomplish his ends.

He could not have a child directly by Eve as did God by Mary, so he entered into the serpent and then beguiled Eve. He seduced her and by her did Satan have a child vicariously.

Cain bore the full spiritual characteristics of Satan and the animalistic (sensual, fleshly)

characteristic of the serpent. No wonder the Holy Spirit said that Cain was of that wicked one. He was.
Rev. William Marrion Branham


54-0515 - Questions And Answers
10. Remember, I borrowed somebody's overcoat here to wear. I didn't have any coat to wear. And I went over and set in an old chair car to go to St. Louis. You remember the time? And I borrowed one of the brother's coats; it was too big for me. I carried it on my arm, 'cause it was cool and I didn't have a coat.

 And then we went over, and I went to St. Louis, and I met Brother Daugherty there. His little girl, all the doctors around there, specialists and hospitals had given her up; she was like a raging maniac.Ministers throughout the city had been everywhere, in there praying for her. And I went in and prayed for her, and the poor people just looked so dreary. And the little girl laying there, screaming and crying, fighting.

And she couldn't make a noise like a human any more, sounded like an animal; she was so hoarse from, oh, around three or four months… It was spinal meningitis, or, no, Saint Vitus' dance in the spine. And her little lips was all eaten, bleeding, and her little fingers just bleeding all over where she had biting her fingers, and things like that, and just screaming and going on.

And I prayed, went down to the church, waited hours after hours, set out in the old car and waited. I wasn't going to leave that case till I heard from heaven. Just setting there in the car, a vision broke before me, said, "Go tell the father and his father…" Said, "Look… Tell the woman that the other day, downtown, she bought a little white kettle.It's never had water in it before." And said, "Tell her to look in the third drawer and she'll find a handkerchief that's in a piece of paper that's never been used before. Tell her to fill it with water. Stand the father on your right hand and the grandfather on your left hand, and repeat, 'Our Father, Who art in heaven…'And as you start that, let her wipe the rag across its face. Then in the middle of the prayer have her touch its hands, then its feet. Then stand and say, 'THUS SAITH THE LORD.'"

You know what happened, don't you? She was healed right there. And we put our hands together and walked down the street and drank a soda pop together. That's right. That's right. It stirred St. Louis. In my meeting there, fourteen thousand the first night… That's right. In Saint…

It's just too bad that I got away from that, to go and just start them coming through a line, just one right after the other one, after the other one. Just go to a house and stay there till it's over and return home, I believe that would've been better than all the meetings
Rev. William Marrion Branham


Notice, what he was told in the wooden Box Room; [Cf what The Angel told him about closet prayer and result?]

We are informed by the book that Satan entered Judas and like it did to Saul, Judas started to behave differently toward his master, The Lord Jesus Christ.

An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages - Chapter Eight - The Philadelphian Church Age
Let me show you what I have been trying to teach all along about the two vines which come from two different spirits.

Take the example of Jesus and Judas this time. Jesus was the Son of God. Judas was the son of perdition. God entered into Jesus. Satan entered into Judas. Jesus had a full Holy Ghost ministry for: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him."  
Rev. William Marrion Branham


[Luke 22: 2-6]

2. And the chief Priests and Scribes sought how they may kill him; for they feared the people.

3. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

4. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests, and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

5. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

6. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

With Satan inside Judas, he became the tool leading to what happened to Jesus.

  • Judas received the anointing that gave him the courage, everybody else didn’t have.
  • He conferred with the Sanhedrin to arrest and kill Jesus.
  • He got paid to betray Jesus to them.
  • He led soldiers to where they arrested Jesus.
  • When Judas came to himself again, he regretted, and sought repentance. 
  • He returned the money to the Sanhedrin, but it was rejected.
  • He took it to the temple, cast it in for an offering, went out and hanged himself.
  • This spirit imparts the same nature that Cain manifested back there in Eden.
  • That influence can be discerned by the Holy Spirit’s gift of discerning of spirits.


“And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”

63-1103 - GO, WAKE JESUS
143Devil gets amongst the air and whirls it up, causes death; gets amongst the water, whirls it up. See? God created it,but they permitted the devil to come in.

The devil got into it, "the prince of the power of the air." Notice, he got into it, and there come the winds and the wavesThis is true with lightning, snow and rain storms; typhoons; hurricanes; tornadoesTsunamis etc.
Rev. William Marrion Branham

Let us proceed to:[ PART B];  and learn more examples.

Pastor Martin Tombe,

Restored Bible Truth Assembly.

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