Thursday, December 23, 2010

Discerning Videos

Several times in the past year, a Christian has directed me to a video of a church meeting that they were concerned about and suggested that I discern what spirits were present.

The problem with these requests is that they fail to understand the way the gift of discernment works. The Holy Spirit lives within me. If I encounter a person or enter a place controlled by an evil spirit, the Holy Spirit get agitated with in me to warn me that I have encountered an evil spirit. He may even name the spirit to me. The process works through contact or proximity.

This gift does not work when I watch a video. To understand why, we need to understand what is happening when I watch a video of a church meeting. For example, if two people that are controlled by a spirit of deception come to a church and misbehave, the deceiving spirits will go home with them at the end of the night. If the spirits are restless and looking for a new home, they are most likely to enter a vulnerable people attending the meeting. They are not likely to enter the video that is being recorded. If one were to attach itself to a copy, it would be unlikely to be the one that I am watching.

So when I watch the video recording in my living room, the only evils spirits present will be those that I have allowed into my house (hopefully none). The spirits of deception will not be there, because they went home with the people they controlled.

So what will the Holy Spirit discern when I am watching the video? Nothing, unless I have allowed an evil spirit into the room. The spirits that the people on the video carried are not present so the Holy Spirit will not discern their presence.

When I watch a video of a church meeting, I can judge what I see. I can test it against my experience, or against scriptural standards, and decide that I will not like what I see, or I may decide that it looks okay, but that is not the same as discerning the spirits present.
I may receive a word of knowledge. The Holy Spirit might say, “What happened is wrong”. That is a valid form of knowledge, but it is not the gift of discerning spirits.

When we watch a video of meeting to decide what is happening, we should be careful how we describe our judgement. We should not say that we have used the gift of discernment to decide that evil spirits were present at the meeting.

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