1 John 4:1-3 ESV
Beloved, 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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
What is a spirit? It can be an evil spirit or an angel or the Holy Spirit. It can also be a person’s temperament, attitude, and character, i.e. the essence of who they are as an individual, i.e. a person’s soul, their inner self, and their personality. It can also be their nature, i.e. their sinful flesh.
Yet, it can also be something that intoxicates, such as alcohol is intoxicating, but so are many things. For, intoxication can also be “overpowering exhilaration or excitement of the mind or emotions” (dictionary.com). And, sometimes that leads to stupidity and sinful addictions.
So, we are instructed here that we must not believe every spirit, but we are to test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
But, let me say this before I go on. Although this says that every spirit that confesses that Jesus has come in the flesh is from God, we must read this in the context of the whole of 1 John, and the whole of scripture. And, then we will realize that a mere outward confession of such is not true evidence that someone is from God, for there are many who fake it, you know?
There are many who profess with their lips that Jesus is Lord, but their spirits (nature, character, behaviors) speak the opposite. So, a confession is not just with our lips, but it has to be with our hearts and with our lifestyles, i.e. with our walks; how we conduct our lives consistently and habitually.
Discerning the Spirits
When you hear the word “church,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Many people will ask me, “What church do you attend?” What most of them are thinking of is a building or a church denomination, like First Presbyterian Church or West Hill Baptist. For, the word “church” has become synonymous with a building built by human hands or with a particular religious affiliation or denomination, such as anything with the name “church” after it. But, is that true? Is that the church? No! It isn’t!
Is that a problem? Yes, it is! For, many people give blind loyalty to these organizations called “church,” and they even give their worship to these organizations, and their money, time, talents and hearts, etc. But, what they are dedicating themselves to, probably in most cases, is human-based organizations, much of which are in an unholy union with the government (in America, it is). And, the US government is in a union with the beast New World Order of the elite (wealthy and powerful) of the world.
But, many of these organizations can be very intoxicating in how they do things, for many of them utilize mind-control, manipulation, trickery and the like in order to move people in the direction they want them to go. For, they are businesses. And, they will use intimidation, too. I know! They will strong-arm people emotionally into submission to them in the name of “unity,” but it is not unity with God, but with the flesh of man.
Have you ever noticed how some preachers always begin a sermon with a joke and end it with a tear-jerk story in order to move your emotions? That is of man, not God! Or, how about these organizations (called church) who play music super loud, and some of them even hand out ear plugs to people as they enter into the buildings called “church.” Is that of God? No! That is of man! And, what are they appealing to? Human flesh!
Or, how about the preachers who start speaking slowly and softly and then they gradually increase the volume and the speed of their sermons to the point of emotional intimidation? Many of them do this, you know, and they all follow the same human-based pattern. I believe it is psychological manipulation, i.e. intoxication, i.e. those spirts we need to be testing.
False vs. True Church
The false church is the institutional church, which is of man, not of God. For, it is a business, and it is run like any other market-driven business. Its goal is to bring in large crowds of people of all walks of life and of all religious backgrounds, too. The congregations in these churches are filled with people, some who truly believe in Jesus, some who only give lip service to Christ, and many who do not believe in Jesus, or at least not in the Jesus of the Bible.
The true church, nonetheless, is not a business, not a building and not a church denomination. It is the people of God who have truly trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of their lives, who have died to sin that they might live to righteousness. They are the body of Christ, which is a living organism, not an organization. And, its purpose is for the building up of the body of Christ to spiritual maturity so that they might go out into the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ to win people to Jesus.
The false church, though, is very flesh-driven, for they do what will draw in large crowds of people to their businesses, and, too, they will do what will weed out those who are truly serious about their walks of faith with Christ, in many cases. Their main thing is to entertain the masses and to make all people feel at home in their “churches.” Thus, they also dilute the gospel message to make it more appealing and acceptable to human flesh.
Much of today’s institutional church embraces false teachers and false teaching, i.e. a false grace gospel. For, the true gospel offends people, and they don’t want to offend their customer base.
But, we have to understand where this is all coming from. For, it wasn’t always this way. The church wasn’t always married to the government in an unholy union, and the church wasn’t always so market-driven and focused on entertaining the masses, as it is today.
We have to understand that this is a deception of Satan, and so many have bought into his lies, too, for I hear them spewing them out pretty routinely now, as though the followers have all memorized the same script, but not scripture, at least not scripture in context.
This is all coming through Satan, through the elite of the world who serve like a false god, i.e. the beast, then through his false prophet, i.e. the false church. And, this is not just about the Roman Catholic Church, either. For, many protestant churches are on board with this false church, too! And, they are giving it their worship. And, this false prophet is teaching that a simple confession of Christ secures us heaven, but that we don’t have to repent, obey or submit to Christ, our Lord (owner-master).
And, people are flocking to this false-grace gospel of the false church and the false prophet because it makes them feel good. They don’t have to change anything about their lives. They can continue living for the flesh, believing what they want, ignoring God and his commands, and filling their lives with the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. For, they have been promised (of man) that they are going to heaven when they die.
And, this false grace gospel can be very intoxicating, for it appeals to human emotions and lusts and the sin nature, so we must test these spirits (intoxicants and people’s natures) to see if what they are teaching is of God or of the flesh of man. And, the only way to test this is to compare what they are teaching and how they are living and what they are offering against the Word of God, but in context, for context is everything!
1 John 4:4-6 ESV
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
How have we overcome them? In the power and working of God’s Holy Spirit within us and by the Word of God. We don’t have to accept the lies as truth. We don’t have to allow ourselves to be manipulated or intimidated by this false church which tries to convince us that it is the true church. Our allegiance should be to God and God alone, and not to the flesh of man.
So, we need to be testing these spirits BIG TIME, for many people who call themselves followers of Christ are being deceived by this false church with its false prophet (gospel message). We need to examine what we hear against the Word of God, but in context. And, we need to realize that just because something is called “church,” it doesn’t mean it is church.
Or, just because something is called the gospel of salvation, it doesn’t mean it is the true gospel. Watch for scriptures taken out of context, and look them up, and see the context, and then compare them with other similar scriptures, for many false beliefs are formed around a few verses taken out of context and made to say something they don’t say at all.
For, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). And, that fits the context of all scripture.
For Our Nation
An Original Work / September 11, 2012
Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.
Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.
Monday, January 14, 2019