Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brothers’ eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye”; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)
Jesus teaches us not to be judgmental, that is, not to be prejudiced and condemning. Everything we do and say needs to be done and said in love, for God is love (1 John 4:8). This does not mean, however, that we are not supposed to be discerning. We see this in Matthew 7:6:
Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
To obey this directive, we need to be able to discern what is holy and what are the pearls. We must also be able to discern what are the dogs and the swine. We also need to be able to discern the false prophets:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Matthew 7:15-17)
In order to discern the false prophets, we must be able to discern their fruit, whether it be good or bad — whether it comes from the Tree of Life or from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
There is even a spiritual gift of discernment given by the Holy Spirit. It is the “discernment of spirits” (1 Corinthians 12:10), the ability to know whether something originates from God, from satan, or simply from the heart of man. The Greek word for “discernment” is diakrino and comes from the word for “judge” (krino) in Matthew 7:1.
God is light, God is love, God is life. His way will always be about those things which shed light, express love and promote life. When we have God at work in us, we have light, love and life at work in us. Because of light, we have the ability to discern. Because of love, we do not condemn. The judgment of discernment promotes life; the judgment of condemnation brings death.
We must always practice discernment, and there are even times when we must declare what we have discerned, but it is never right for us to condemn anyone. Before we seek to discern anything else, we must first discern our own heart. For how can we help someone with a tiny speck in their eye if we have a large plank hanging out of our own? But when our heart is clear, and operating in the light, love and life of God, then we will be able to see, discern and be of help.
It is always appropriate for us to discern, but it is never right for us to condemn. Godly discernment sheds light, shows love and promotes life.
The Kingdom of Heaven on EarthKeys to the Kingdom of God
in the Gospel of Matthew by Jeff Doles
Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”
Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.
Declarations and decrees of godly discernment for government leaders and breaking of unholy alliances; wisdom to deploy or withdraw troops; protection for all people in the shelter of the most high.
I write these decrees in the Name of Jesus Christ and in His authority and through His power.
The Angelic troops stand ready to dispatch these decrees to the heavenly realms to the rulers, and authorities, and to post in the King’s Palace (Revelations 2-3, Ephesians 3:10, Esther 8:10,13).
- We decree President Trump will have AN UNDERSTANDING HEART ABLE TO ADMINISTER JUSTICE to the people of this land and the People of God throughout the World.
- We declare President Trump honing his ability to DISCERN. He will QUICKLY discern between good and bad.
We praise You Father for placing angelic guards around the President and his staff.
Block all attempts to sabotage Your work in this nation.
- We declare those who are REBELLIOUS against the LORD Most High are being REVEALED.
- We speak DISCERNMENT for the President, government leaders and spiritual counsel that they will RECOGNIZE the danger in the camp.
- We decree the UNHOLY alliances are being uncovered.
The time is coming to an end for the disruption caused within this administration.
- We decree the President and the Secretary of Defense will NOT progress with logistics and deployment of troops based on physical perception alone.
We decree that every move, every confrontation, every battle will be PRESENTED BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD.
God alone knows the end from the beginning: He knows the outcome.
We speak CLARITY into the PROPHETS of the Most High God. No deception will be executed upon the United States of America.
- We declare PROTECTION and STRENGTH for God’s People, for the Children who are being exploited and harmed in any way throughout the United States and the World.
Father provide a means of hiding that they would not be detected.
Cover them with Your wings, send your angel armies to guide and protect them, and to battle the enemy.
The enemy will acknowledge that they have seen the hand of God.
- We declare a CLEANSING and UNIFYING of the people of this land as these decrees go forth.
In the name of King Jesus Christ, empowered and led of the Holy Spirit of God, we dispatch the Angelic troops, throughout this land and in the spirit realm, to deliver these decrees to all, both flesh and spirit.
The enemy, the principalities and powers, have no authority to act against these decrees of our King, the LORD God Almighty; their actions will be of no effect to God’s chosen ones, but will be turned back on themselves for destruction.
The LORD God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, we praise Your Name for You are True and Faithful and Just to perform it. Amen!
“Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
It was pleasing in the sight of the LORD that Solomon had asked this thing. God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you,” 1 Kings 3:8-12.
“Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the LORD, “Who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation,” Isaiah 30:1-3.
“Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of the LORD.”
Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”
But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?”
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.”
Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah son of Imlah.”
Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them.
Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are consumed.’”
All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper, for the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”
Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. Please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.”
But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what the LORD says to me, that I shall speak.”
When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we refrain?” And he answered him, “Go up and succeed, and the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”
Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”
So he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said, ‘These have no master. Let each of them return to his house in peace.’”
Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left.”
The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’ The LORD said to him, ‘How?’ And he said, ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and also prevail. Go and do so.’
Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you,” 1 Kings 22:5-23.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark,” Psalm 91:1-4.
~ Dawn Flores
Dawn Flores has been involved in the LORD’s lay ministry since 1971, volunteering, attending prayer meetings and growing in understanding of Hebrew Scriptures. in 2015 she began to receive greater revelations from the LORD and increased her networking in WA, USA and BC, Canada. She began a Facebook group for intercession and encouragement and started the Washington State Revival Network to facilitate communications between congregations and encourage individuals to visit groups experiencing REVIVAL.
Contact Dawn via Facebook or [email protected]
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There is a famine in our land today, and it isn’t a famine of food or water, but of spiritual discernment! In recent days, I have been perplexed as I have witnessed pastors and church leaders applaud things that shouldn’t be celebrated. If anyone in the church should be expected to possess a good measure of spiritual discernment, you would think that pastors and church leaders would be among the top on the list.
With the rise of Glenn Beck’s new political revivalism that boasts of a faith engine, many evangelical leaders are supporting and celebrating his movement without question. In fact, Beck is currently complaining of the fact that the political left is in an uproar about his faith message, but it’s interesting that he doesn’t mention anything about the concerned Christians. Why? Perhaps there really isn’t a great concern among professing Christians! Isn’t that the real tragedy? When an open professing Mormon rallies the troops of conservative Americans around his message of a conservative political revival in the name of a false god of Mormonism and thousands of professing Christians lock arms with him – that’s a tragedy!
This past week, I have heard stories of a dancing woman who anoints chairs with oil and is able to see visions of angels, religious perversions in the name of conservative politics, verses of Scripture ripped out of context, and bumper sticker theology accepted as truth without searching the Scripture. It seems obvious that we have a true famine in our church today centered on a lack of discernment.
The Apostle Paul addressed the church at Philippi by saying the following:
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:9-11).
Notice the phrase, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.” Paul desired for the church at Philippi to have spiritual discernment that would protect them from the false teachers and sinful traps of the world. As we see the tragic perversion of God’s Word on television broadcasts like TBN and other media outlets, it is extremely important that all Christians seek spiritual maturity that leads to spiritual discernment. While all Christians may not have the same level of discernment, the Spirit of God provides all Christians with a measure of discernment as it relates to understanding Holy Scripture.
As we strive toward holiness and spiritual maturity in our faith, may we likewise seek spiritual discernment that will allow us to see false doctrine, biblical perversion, and sinful traps like a red barn in a green field!
For the glory of Christ!
Pastor Josh Buice
Will you pass this on to your friends?
My father in law served as an assistant fire chief during his career in Northern California. I am always intrigued with the many stories that he has shared with me. From massive building fires to forest fires, he has fought them all. What I found interesting was that there was a method to putting out fires. You see, they didn’t go into those fires and just shoot the water haphazardly at the fire. They had a strategy for putting out the fire.
Reversely, we want to have a strategy and plan to prevent the quenching of the Spirit. First Thessalonians 5:19 commands us to, “Quench not the Spirit.” To quench the Spirit literally means to extinguish the flame of God’s work, whether in your life or in that of someone else. We are to be sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must be receptive to His conviction, yield to His control, and walk with Him every day of our lives.
The command of 1 Thessalonians 5:19 is followed by a strategy you can implement to prevent quenching the Spirit, and it involves discernment. Let’s see what 1 Thessalonians 5:21–22 says about discernment: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
1. Prove All Things
The word prove means to “examine” and is translated from a very common and familiar word. It carries the idea of testing something in order to ascertain its true character or nature.
Ancient stone masons would go through quarries and examine rocks. On those stones that passed the examination was painted a delta or letter “d” for approved. Those stones that failed the inspection were labeled with an alpha or “a” for unapproved.
So this verse means that we are to inspect our lives to see what is true and what is false, what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong.
We need to examine our entertainment. I always ask myself, “Would I feel comfortable if Jesus was sitting on the sofa beside me and I had control of the remote?”
We need to examine our worldview. Are your political views tied to your understanding of Scripture or are they tied to party loyalty?
We need to examine our motives. If we are honest, we often do many things to the glory of self. Examine your heart. Why are you doing what you are doing? What is your motivation?
2. Hold Fast that Which Is Good
Have you ever participated in a tug of war? You get a good grip on the rope and try not to let go. What things do you “hold fast” to in this life?
For me, I “hold fast” to my wife and children, children-in-law and grandson. Beyond my relationship to the Lord, they are the most precious on earth to me. Shelli and I have been through trials and struggles in thirty years of marriage, yet we are still committed to one another. Even when everything is not perfect, we still cling or “hold fast” to one another.
I also “hold fast” to the ministry of the Word of God. The Word of God consumes my life. I know its power, I want to embrace its truth. I want to be bound to its command. I want it to occupy my mind. I want to possess more and more of it.
We are to “examine everything carefully” and when we find things that are good, we are to get a firm grip on them.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there by any praise, think on these things.— Philippians 4:8
3. Abstain from All Appearance of Evil
Abstain is a strong word. Literally, it means “to shun away from.” It is the idea of being repulsed by something gross. Imagine walking across a field and encountering a rotting animal carcass infested with maggots… well maybe that’s a little much.
Of course you would shun away from the putrid sight. Let’s try another approach, imagine walking across the same field when you hear a rattlesnake rattle (we have a lot of those here in Tucson). What do you do? You shun away from it. You get as far away as you can as fast as you can! Paul is saying in the strongest possible terms that we should shun away from every form of evil.
Appearance means type, shape or kind of evil. Evil comes in all shapes and types. When we carefully discern and discover something is evil, we are to run away from it, shun it.
Paul is basically saying, “Look, evil is going to come at you from every direction so you need to pay attention!”
We need to have a strategy for godly discernment. Paul lays a specific strategy out here in first Thessalonians. Let’s put it into practice and have Godly discernment!