Spiritual Warfare Forum: gift of discernment
gift of discernment QUESTION from Geoff August 11, 2001 I received the gift of discernment some years ago. Apart from giving me myself protection in some very threatening situations, I have never been quite sure what do do with this gift in the service of others. I don't feel that I have been called to do direct exorcisms, but am trying to write a book about my experiences in the hope that it might help others. Other than this, do you have any suggestions?
In a very real sense, I feel that I am one of the most privileged people on the planet, because of this gift. If people could see the things I have seen, the entire planet would be Christian in a single day.
Secondly, do you have any information about the actual sizes (dimensions) of the higher angelic creatures, the cherubim and seraphim? I have had direct encounters with members (of the fallen variety) of the lowest two levels (angels and archangels), and from this I know how big they are (in naked form, so to speak, not whewn they are possessing people). I've hunted through all kinds of extra-biblical literature, but haven't found anything on this subject at all. Of the heavenly angels, only the lower levels usually communicate with humans, so we don't have access to the higher levels. (People like Enoch were an exception). Unfortunately, though, we are sharing the planet with fallen members of the higher levels.
God bless you for the work you do through your excellent site.
kind regards, Geoff
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on August 13, 2001 Dear Mr. Geoff:
I don't think I can answer this question without hurting your feelings. But my job is to tell the Truth, the real scoop about things and not to beat around a bush. I am not a diplomat, I am a General George Patton type Spiritual Warrior. With this warning given I offer my answer.
I think that many people think they have the gift of discernment but really do not. Discernment is primarily about discerning the spirit of truth from the spirit of error, not a pseudo-psychic style subjectivity that see things and perceive things in ways not much different from a medium.
It is also possible for someone to have a genuine gift but be ignorant of the theology and praxiology that the gift presumes. I think that before you consider yourself a person with the gift of discernment to aid others, you need to learn more about the nature of the spiritual world.
Angels are pure spirits and thus to not have size in the matter in which you ask. And no, you do not know how big angels and archangels are. You know only whatever happened to appear to you in whatever form they appeared.
I am sorry if I sound blunt here, but these issues are serious and dangerous. From your post, I would say that you are not yet qualified to exercise a gift of discernment. I would suggest that you educate yourself on the issues before trying to apply the gift. And remember that the gift of discernment is not some sort of subjective spirit-detector.
The Gift of Discernment is given to people to build-up the church -- to help protect the church from false prophets, to discern that a problem in the Church has a spiritual source, and to aid in the charism of exorcism. On the last point, Father Scanlan, from the Franciscan University at Stuebenville says that to have the gift of discernment is also to have the gift of exorcism.
I hope that this doesn't sour you on our site, but if you have read my writings in the past you know that I pull no punches and call a spade a spade as best as I see it even if it means losing members, friends, donations, or whatever.
I would recommend that you exercise GREAT CAUTION seeking definitions of discernment from the Charismatic crowd -- especially the more Pentecostal flavored charismatics. They are almost always wrong on such things.
For a discussion of Spiritual Gifts, you might want to read:
Everything You Wanted to Know About Spiritual Gifts.
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