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Wanting What the Lord Wants, an Interview with Paul King Your new book, Is It Of God? is about spiritual discernment. What are some of the criteria that Christians should use to discern if a teaching, practice, or manifestation is from God?

Paul L. King, Is It Of God? A Biblical Guidebook For Spiritual Discernment Volume 1 (Newberry, FL: Bridge-Logos, 2019), 384 pages, ISBN 9781610364065.
Read John Lathrop’s review.

Paul King: I provide 8 principles in the book using the acronym DISCERNS

  1. Discover Biblical Precedent.
  2. Investigate for Scriptural Harmony (if not clearly found in Scripture)
  3. Scrutinize for Sound Doctrine.
  4. Confirm with Experience.
  5. Examine the Fruit.
  6. Receive Supernatural Discernment.
  7. Note Examples and Lessons from the Past (throughout church history)
  8. Sift and Weigh for Divine Equilibrium. (Balance and purity) There are Christians who think that if something is mentioned in the Bible, and they observe the same thing taking place today, then it is obviously from God. They also say that if they observe something happening that they cannot find in the Bible, then it is clearly not from God. How would you respond to a person who holds this viewpoint?

Paul King: Some things in Scripture are rare and either not repeatable or seldom repeated. We cannot build a doctrine or practice on a single Scripture or event, like Mormons do with baptizing the dead. Scripture itself says we need further confirmation. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses” (2 Cor 13:1).

We can quench the Spirit through fear and doubt on one hand, and by allowing too much excess and flesh on the other hand.

If it is not found in Scripture, it is non-biblical, but not everything that is not found is unbiblical (e.g., terms like Trinity, incarnation, eschatology, theology, practices like youth groups, Sunday school, etc.). If it is not in Scripture, it is a blinking yellow light, saying, caution, look in all directions, and check out further to see if it is in harmony with the rest of Scripture. You have a chapter in your book called “If God Is Not the Author of Confusion, Why is Revival So Messy?” Why is revival so messy?

Paul King: First, the Holy Spirit is like wind. Wind messes up my hair, my clothes, scatters my papers. The Holy Spirit is an agent of change messing up the status quo, the usual, our ways of thinking and doing.

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Category: Living the Faith, Summer 2019

About the Author: Paul L. King holds a D.Min from Oral Roberts University and a D.Th. from the University of South Africa. He served for 16 years on the faculty of Oral Roberts University as Coordinator of Bible Institute programs and Adjunct Professor in the College of Theology and Ministry. Author of 12 books and more than 60 articles, he was ORU 2006 Scholar of the Year. He has also served as Scholar-at-Large for the D.Min. program at Alliance Theological Seminary, Doctor of Ministry Mentor for the Randy Clark Scholars program at United Theological Seminary and Global Awakening Theological Seminary, Leadership and Church Ministry Consultant and Trainer, an ordained pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Interim Consulting Pastor for the Plano (Texas) Chinese Alliance Church, and Faculty Director of Purdue Ratio Christi/Christian Faculty and Staff Network. His books include God's Healing Arsenal: A Divine Battle Plan for Overcoming Distress and Disease (2011), Anointed Women: The Rich Heritage of Women in Ministry in the Christian & Missionary Alliance (2009), Only Believe: Examining the Origin and Development of Classic and Contemporary Word of Faith Theologies (2008), Genuine Gold: The Cautiously Charismatic Story of the Early Christian and Missionary Alliance (2006), Binding & Loosing: Exercising Authority over the Dark Powers (1999), and A Believer with Authority: The Life and Message of John A. MacMillan. Twitter: @PaulLKing.

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