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Can You Discern Evil

Concerning discernment, people who have discernment can oftentimes determine or discern the spirituality of another individual. Question to those that have discernment, do you also sometimes discern evil in another person?

Moderator - Yes.

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 ---Mima_concerning_disa on 7/22/08
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alot of the time evil does not need to be discerned, most of the times its obvious by their behavior.
- what requires discerning is what's in the heart, what's hidden. like why a person is the way they are, what they experienced that caused them to form their behaviors.
* man looks on outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.
- and from that to speak a word from God that causes them to be delivered, set free and changed for the better.
- what requires discerning is to know by divine revelation what they would do in an upcoming situation where they'd be tempted to sin. and to pray for that person that its prevented.
---opalgal on 12/13/08

Yes, certainly. Any truly saved person should have this ability. However, evil does not always come flowing out. You must [pay attention] to the overall picture.
---catherine on 12/2/08

yes I do and i also sometiomes can discern a persons problem if God gives me the discernment always when I have sopent time praying for the sitruation
---doree4573 on 9/14/08

If a person really can "DISCERN" (know the difference between GOOD and EVIL) without "JUDGING"/deciding whether a person deserves a penalty of shame, guilt, humiliation, etc., then they have a GODLY spirit/demeanor.

If a person has a habit of deciding the merits of things, ideas, or people, it is because they have a NEED and desire to always be IN CONTROL (THEY "JUDGE"). This is CONTRARY to a Godly spirit.
---more_excellent_way on 9/14/08

While reviewing answers this about discernment comes to mind. Once while witnessing in a mall the mall manager approached me and said," Now you will have to quit". (I was sitting on the bench on the sidewalk of the mall offering chances to win $500(and I was doing good too). Then the man said, a curious thing to me," I do not want to do anything against my spirit he said, but I am duty-bound to ask you to leave." Here is a case of discernment, coming from someone else,(not about me but rather about my message) about what I was doing. Very interesting.
---mima on 7/30/08

God is infalliable and His gifts once given are not taken back.I recieved this gift after salvation as a child and it's always there.I wasn't always serving Him as I should until later years but HE never failed to warn me of danger.
---shirley on 7/30/08

We ALL know what good & evil is,
we learned that back in the garden...
The problem is, NOT being strong enough to say NO I'm not going there and do evil against God & Jesus...

Weakness of the flesh IS the problem!
Many of us look in the mirror and see good and as soon as we look away, we become something other than what we should be.
remember who you are, Always!
---Duane_Dudley_Martin on 7/30/08

I have the gift of discernment. I can discern if there is something wrong or sinful or evil. I do not always KNOW specifically what it is. I just know what to pray for.

BUT not all Christians have the gift of discernment. 1 corinthians 12 talks about the gifts. The Dake Bible has an awesome break down of this chapter under Gifts... Nind GIfts, Inspiration Gifts & Working Faith GIfts
---mumzytina on 7/29/08

First, we need to be always able to discern the Holy Spirit so we are submitting to Him. Then, even if He does not have us know about a person, at least we have Him leading us according to what *He* knows is true about the person . . . so we don't marry someone we shouldn't and do not ordain a predator or con artist or trust such people.

Even if you don't have the *gift* of discernment, then, we do have *growth* in God's love with His light to see people right (Philippians 1:9). And as He shows you the real truth about a person, God is * t * r * u * s * t * i * n * g * you to discern what to do to love that person.
---Bill_bila5659 on 7/29/08

Steveng, even the disciples of Jesus Himself, did not have the ability to draw on their faith to do some miracles. Jesus, as a result, called His disciples a 'faithless generation' and could not wait to go back to His home in Heaven. You are quick to attack Christians, but do you go around performing miracles? Even those who say they did miracles run the risk of being called 'evil doers' and told to 'get away from me' when they call on the Lord's name. Matthew 7. Faith in itself is not enough. God honours those who believe and submit to Him, even if they cannot do miracles. What kind of miracles can you do? Are you a Christian, Steveng? A Christian is someone who does God's Will... A Christian does not defile other Christians.
---frances008 on 7/28/08

This war of good against evil is very serious: Do Christian lambs learn to know and discern whom the wolves and enemies are? of course, those of us whom have taken abuses and persecution from those serving evil will easily detect and address the evil. Greater is he that is in us, than he that is in the world: and when God Almighty is for us, then who is foolish enough to be against us.
---Eloy on 7/28/08

I believe spirit knows spirit. I wouldn't say I had the gift of discernment but I have come up against some people who in my spirit I knew immediatley had satan, not the Holy spirit dwelling within them.
---stephanie on 7/28/08

If I feel evil present I tread lightly, but ask them about their life, loves, disappointments etc. I will talk to them about Christ in my life and how HE helps me be an overcomer of life's sore spots.

I won't be judgemental to them, I let them know that they are not alone. If they allow me I will pray with, and for them, making physical contact such as touching their hand. All of this depends of course on what God is leading me to do. I will pray for them on the spot, either with them as they allow, or quietly if they refuse.

I will show God's love even if they don't know where that love comes from, and I always tell them that I will pray for them.

(This is a 'rough draft', how I react will vary from one person to another)
---NVBarbara on 7/25/08

Okay, so after you've discerned "evil/SIN in another person" then what? Do you ostracize, avoid them like the plague? Being careful not to be self-righteous (an evil in & of itself), what are you led by the Holy Spirit to do Mima (and/or any other bloggers)?
---Leon on 7/25/08

The devil has many disciples. Some of them do not even know they are his disciples. These people look really nice, and sound really nice. It is by their fruits that we will know them. Appearances can be, and in fact usually are, deceptive. Don't judge by appearances but make right judgements. Listen carefully to what someone is saying. Watch what they do. Look at their lives. Discern. Fruit takes time to grow, and most of the time the trees look the same. At harvest time we see the good fruits coming off the good trees.
---frances008 on 7/24/08

Of course, the ultimate goal is to do the Christian thing and avoid a WITCH HUNT while guarding against the deception of others when necessary.
---more_excellent_way on 7/24/08

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The Holy Spirit leads me fairly quickly to discern good and evil.

Often I can tell by talking to a person on the phone without ever meeting them in person, or by e-mail.

Cool Z-Pha, you know God is with you when you get heckled!
---NV_Barbara on 7/24/08

One way is to look in their eyes. You can see Satan if you look close enough. The gleam shooting out. Evil makes one's eyes shine with pure delight.
---catherine on 7/24/08

Yes, there have been times when I have discerned evil in people. Many times we have seen demons walk in the room in the homeless shelter where we used to minister in Vegas. You could see them in some peoples' eyes. At times spiritual discernment is not necessry as people tell on themselves. Such is true of those who continually tell about all the problems they are having, have had in their whole life, or are about to have. These same people are calling themselves Christian. Then there are those who tell what "spiritual" people they are and yet tell us about their sinful lifestyle at the same time. If you will just keep quiet long enough, some people will always tell on themselves.
---SusieB on 7/24/08

Yes,we can discern evil in a person as The Holy Spirit gives us discernment.When a person has evil in them, that spirit does not mix with The Holy Spirit within us.
---Gabby on 7/23/08

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Steven G the tricky part is being human
---Pharisee on 7/23/08

This is great, I have my own heckler.

Brother, it's not my fault that you believe a false doctrine, if anything you should be grateful for the time I took to correct the error you were sold.

That's my take on it, obviously you disagree.
Is the bitterness you're expressing toward me a greater miracle than Jesus? Now I'm mocking you, do you see how this works?

Let's get rid of it right here OK, because we still have a lot in common. God Bless you Steven G, I love you and just because we don't find agreement on healing doesn't mean we have to be enemies.
---Z-Pharisee on 7/23/08

If a person is truly saved, if they carefully and faithfully study the Bible, 2 Timothy 2: 14-19, and if they follow the example what is written in Acts 17:11, they should have discernment, of what is true or false, and what is good or evil.
---Rob on 7/22/08

Pharisee: "Here's the part where the gift is tricky, it's concerning alignment to the Kingdom of God."

God does not hand out tricky gifts. Either you're a Christians having the Holy Spirit reside in you or you're a Christian by title. It's truly sad that a great majority of Christians today are the latter. If today's Christians were truly Christians, they would be performing greater miracles than Jesus. Every Christian has ALL the gifts, but one is greater than the rest.
---Steveng on 7/22/08

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Hebresw 5:14 "but strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Malachi 3:18 " then shall you return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that severth God and him that severth him not." Answer to your question is yes
---Frances_Smith on 7/22/08

Being able to SEE (have eyes to see) whether a person has evil/bad intentions or not does not really require special 'mystical' spiritual knowledge, just INSIGHT.

If a person is all 'smiley face', it's because they work out SCHEMES (in secret, and are glad/happy that they are getting away with it).

When a person speaks in uncertain terms (being vague or ambiguous), it is because they want to cause controversy/confusion so they can 'distract' or divert from the topic.

Unless there's a danger of deception to other people, we should take care not to be judgemental/'DECIDERS' of whether anybody is a 'schemer', (they might need correction/reproof to learn correctly the way of The Lord, but don't rejoice in their rebuke).
---more_excellent_way on 7/22/08

I have possibly had a number of girlfriends with discernment. Having someone see right through you and tell you things you don't see yourself . . . and you can't fool them > as I have grown as a Christian, I have found this more and more enjoyable, since it means Satan has a harder time getting me to fool myself (o:

But, at first, all I was concerned about was that I couldn't fool a sister into marrying me (o:

"There can be a problem > when you are shown something about a person, and you are not ready to face that reality about that person whom you have been nurturing a perception of differently."
---Bill_bila5659 on 7/22/08

If we're going to "discern" objective truth from scripture, we must discern the "depths of God" (1 Corin. 2:10, SPIRITUAL discernment), but understanding whether a person is either sneaky or truthful/just requires that we ourselves have set our own 'reference point' properly.

When we learn to make a clear division between right and wrong (as with a sword) so that the change from good to bad is clear and abrupt and there is no middle ground between the two ("no variation or shadow", James 1:17), then we will know the "sword of the spirit" (Ephesians 6:17, our reference point).

For the sake of HUMILITY (GENUINE humility), no gift should be seen as a SPECIAL gift (Luke 20:21, James 2:1).
---more_excellent_way on 7/22/08

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Mima mounds (not mimi mounds). :-]
Thought to be found in areas of seismic activity or result of earthquakes, etc.

If you can't discern evil, it's doubtful you are a Christian.
---zerph on 7/22/08

Mima, I have also discerned a spirit of evil in a room...just walking into it, you can feel a presence.

Just as Christians can discern the Holy Spirit in another Christian....and evil people can discern the Holy Spirit in a Christian....and act strange and hateful etc. Christians can just walk into a place, saying nothing, and the Lord is with them. DL Moody had this experience many times. He'd walk into a room, and people who would normally swear, just couldn't while he was there.

I can tell certain people I do not want to do business with based on just this very thing. It's the Lord who gives us this discernment as we abide in Him.
---kathr4453 on 7/22/08

Here's the part where the gift is tricky, it's concerning alignment to the Kingdom of God.
Some of the best Christians I've known had/will have days where they might as well be the devil's son in law!

If you purposely don't use the gift to find salvation in others you'll see it progress to that, I can't tell you how long that takes, but instead of you guessing and reaching (imagining evil) God will start to show it to you and you'll just know.

The paradox of man as a redeemed sinner in a fallen place is almost always immediately picked up. That can at times be thrown by a Christian in the flesh.

The thing that determines if your ability is a gift or not is how you use the information Heaven has opened to you
---Pharisee on 7/22/08

A tree is known by its fruit...

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them."

Matthew 7:15-20 (NKJV)
---Bobby3 on 7/22/08

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