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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD

Christian FictionBeloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. … They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. (1 John 4:1 & 5 ESV)

“Don’t believe everything you hear.” (Aesop) You should carefully examine what you are taught by teachers and preachers who claim you can have everything you want now. Not everyone who teaches and preaches about God comes from God.

When we test something, we are trying to decide what is true. Only very gullible people believe every claim they hear or find in books or on the internet. We should be more like the Bereans who Luke praises in Acts: “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11 ESV) The Bereans were not as lazy as are many Christians today; they actually studied the Scriptures.

The Apostle Peter also warns us of false prophets:

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies … And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.” (2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV)

We must “test the spirits” of those who claim to speak for Christ. Are they following the doctrines of the apostles? Is their teaching in agreement with the Scriptures? If not, they have the spirit of antichrist. There are many people who want to introduce new interpretations of what the Bible actually says plainly. Much too often, we find men and women who are actually willing to add to the Scriptures. They risk the curse of “plagues” and their share in “the tree of life”. (Revelation 22:18-19)

Many, today, follow false preachers and teachers who present a man-centered gospel and speak in a manner pleasing to the world. Their writings and books could all be categorized under the title of “How to Manipulate God for Your Benefit”. The Apostle Paul warned the Ephesian elders that, “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30 ESV) God has warned such false prophets, “Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the LORD.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. (Jeremiah 23:30-32 ESV)

Yes, we must continue to “test the spirits” of those who claim to speak for Christ. We must not be tricked by the Devil into becoming a disgrace to God’s Holy Name. Paul writes, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11 ESV) “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV) Just as Jesus has overcome the world, we must rightly discern how the Scriptures are to be applied to the world. In order to accomplish this, we must do more than sit in church on Sunday; we must read and study our Bibles.

Samuel at Gilgal

 

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  1. Reblogged this on A Mom Looking Up.

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