Test the Spirit
The discerning of spirits is the supernatural ability given by the Holy Spirit to discern the source of a manifestation, atmosphere, underlying reasons of actions. The gift gives the ability to discern and know if it is of God, of the devil, or of man. This is not reading someone’s mind, invoking psychic powers, or human criticising and finding fault.
Is it of God?
30 Cornelius answered: Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.' 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us. 34 Then Peter began to speak: I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.
Is it of the devil?
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved. 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned round and said to the spirit, In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her! At that moment the spirit left her.
Is it of man?
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money 19 and said, Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit. 20 Peter answered: May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.
The gift of discerning of spirits is a Holy Spirit Gift that gives the individual the supernatural ability to know the realm of the spirits and their activities. When operating in this gift it can enable one to see the strategies, plans and purposes of the enemy and his forces.
The gift is not just for acquisition of knowledge alone, but to also hear the Holy Spirit for direction and instruction in the action to take. Therefore it is a gift which can protect and guard those in the body of Christ.
How to Test the Spirit
You can discern or test whether or not a spirit is of God by the following:
1 Corinthians 12:3
3 Therefore I tell you that no-one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, Jesus be cursed, and no-one can say, Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
However be careful not to dismiss and mark a prophet as false for making a mistake, they are human, and are often in a learning process. However it behoves the prophet to correct any mistakes he makes by informing those who heard the inaccurate word. It is by their fruits a false prophet is discerned, not by a prophets mistakes alone. Also be aware that most prophetic utterances are conditional and are related to a time scale.
15 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.
I John 4:1-3
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.2 This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
If you are still not sure seek Godly council from those who you can trust. It is not wise to operate on presumption.