You often hear people say:

“They give me the willies”

“You look depressed.”

“It was a very tense situation.”

“I felt someone looking at me.”

When someone talks about picking up on the emotion of a person or the spirit/atmosphere in a situation, we understand what they mean.  Ninety-three percent of communication is communication by something other than words. 1 Thompson, Jeff.  Is Nonverbal Communication a Numbers Game.  Psychology Today.  9 October 2011.  Accessed 5 August 2013.

Discerning of Spirits Meaning

But many times the concept of “discerning of spirits” is foreign, or a little uncomfortable for people.

Or they may think you are talking about discernment.

Discernment:  The ability to judge well.

(in Christian contexts) Perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding

Perception of that which is obscure.

Synonyms:  discrimination, perspicacity, acumen, judgement, insight, judgment, penetration

Discernment is used in discerning of spirits, as it is in the use of other spiritual gifts as well, but the “discerning of spirits” is something distinctly different.

Spiritual Warfare:  The Two Camps

The passages in Isaiah 14, 2Isaiah 14:12. New Living Translation.   Revelation 12, 3 Revelation 12. New Living Translation. and Ezekiel 28 describe a war in heaven, a battle between the angels of God and the angels of darkness.  Satan was once the “mighty angelic guardian” 4 Ezekiel 28:13-19 New Living Translation.   above all the other angels in the presence of the Lord.  However, because he decided to exalt himself and be like The Most High God, he was cast out of heaven with the angels that were his followers.

This was the origin of the demonic realm.  There is a theory based on the book of Enoch that dark angels are something other than demons and that demons are actually the disembodied souls of the Nephilim, the offspring of the Sons of God and the daughters of men mentioned in Genesis 6. 5 Genesis 6:1-4.

Regardless of exactly what they are and how they came to be, there is more than what we see in the readily apparent world around us.  Some of those things are of God and under God’s authority.  Some are not.

 Do Christians Have to Worry About Demons?

I never really thought much about this question until a little over a year ago.

After all, Jesus defeated Satan and death at the cross and through his resurrection, and by the gift of atonement through his blood, we are more than conquerors, 6Romans 8:37. New Living Translation. so why do we have to worry about it?  Right?

But the Bible, and the New Testament specifically, talks a lot about spiritual warfare.  Everything in the Epistles is written to the church and its members.

So when it talks about battling “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places,” 7 Ephesians 6:12. King James Version. there is more than an implication there of an expectation, and even instruction, that is something we are going to be encountering.

References   [ + ]

1.  Thompson, Jeff.  Is Nonverbal Communication a Numbers Game.  Psychology Today.  9 October 2011.  Accessed 5 August 2013.
2. Isaiah 14:12. New Living Translation.
3. Revelation 12. New Living Translation.
4. Ezekiel 28:13-19 New Living Translation.  
5.  Genesis 6:1-4.
6. Romans 8:37. New Living Translation.
7. Ephesians 6:12. King James Version.