Praise the Lord Saints.
Today We hear of people testing the supernatural, by what they hear or see, by their experience, or by their feelings. If it feels good or right they “bear witness.” Another way is by just accepting it by faith, since whatever is happening is inside the church, and therefore must be from God. NONE of these are a biblical measure for Truth and has more in common with the way the world operates, than the Church.
John the Apostle agrees. He wrote in I Jn. 4:1-3: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
1 John 4:1 tells us to try or “test the spirits.” Why? Because there are false prophecies given by false spirits not only outside the Church but inside. This mandate is for our protection. The way to test a false prophet was by doctrine, not by what they would actually say, because in Deut. 13 God says it can actually come to pass, but that he is testing you whether you love the Lord.
Jesus said, “If you love me you’ll continue in my word.” We need to be cautious in hearing spiritual stuff.
In Ezekiel there is an interesting Scripture Ezek. 13:2-3: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, ‘Hear the word of the LORD!’” Thus says the Lord GOD: “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!” God says one can actually say they are hearing from the Lord, but it really is their own spirit.
False prophets speak under a different spirit, to test them is for our own protection. 1 Jn.4- “Jesus has come in the flesh” means God came by Jesus as a man. He was raised in the same body and continues living in it. In 1 John 4, he is addressing those who denied that Christ (God) actually came as a human being, and has risen in the same body and will return in that same body. Those who deny this are anti-Christ. (see 2 Jn.7-9) this was one of the doctrinal tests applied to the prophets.
There is to be a order for prophecy, 1 Cor.14:29: “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.” Prophecy is to be judged by others who have the same gift or discernment. This guideline stresses accountability reduces the margin for error it also prevents someone from becoming a leader in prophecy. In the O.T. this is how they knew false prophets from true ones by those who really heard from the Lord and knew God and could discern whether they represented him correctly. Paul also writes in v.32 “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” Which seems to imply the old Testament prophets as well. Do they line up with the already revealed word.
l Thess. 5:19-22 V.19: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies.2l Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” We are to be open to what God may have to say but not naive’. The word “prove” (Gr. doldmazo) means to discern or examine in order to prove whether or not a thing is acceptable. There is spiritual evil as well as a worldly evil. To Test all things means to test miracles as well as prophecy and teaching.
What I hear today is that only God heals the Devil destroys. This is nonsense! Would anyone say the true God healed someone in the Mormon church or in some cult? What about the gurus who boast of healings and great miracles? How do we discern that something is from God or not? Certainly to hold the position that God ONLY heals is disastrous for the reasons already mentioned. There are counterfeits and if they can take place outside the Church, there is no justification for anyone to say they can’t take place inside as well.
Mt. 7:1-2: “Do not judge lest you be judged. “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. “ Those who do not want to be tested in their teachings use this verse as immunization for any scrutiny of their faulty theology. Notice he says not to judge by our standard. Why? Because we all have different standards. But, there is a greater, more ultimate standard for all – God’s word. Vs.2 clarifies what Jesus is saying: if we make judgments on others, then we are to submit to be judged by the same standards. In other words if we judge another’s teaching by the word of God, then our teachings must also coincide with the truth of Gods word. How can we help another if we don’t receive correction or truth in our own life? We cannot judge another for their sin if we are guilty of the same. If we want to be a help, first remove our own sin. Then, we can operate on theirs.
Till next week, God Bless.
Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harrison, PhD