LIVE IN DISCERNMENT
Friday, 27 September 2019
1 John 4 : 1-6
“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. ” -1 John 4:1
Here Apostle John urges us to be cautious, discerning of the spirits that would appear in the world to deceive people. At the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came and filled the believers and from there on we see the beginning of church history. The Spirit of God is present in the world to prepare the bride of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:7 says “for the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.” Most theologians believe that this restrainer is the Holy Spirit. When the body of believers, the church, is taken to mid heavens (The Rapture), the Holy Spirit also will move away from this world. But until then the Spirit of God is here helping us to discern the spirits that lead people to false beliefs and destruction.
Plenty of counterfeits are existing in this world proclaiming visions, false doctrines, prophecies and revelations. But remember that, Spirit of God will always move and guide His children through the path that is in agreement with the Word of God. It is just like a train moving on rails which cannot run off the track, being guided by the rail tracks. Any guidance, teaching or prophecy which is not in accordance with the Word of God is not from God.
Another way of testing such teachers and prophets is to see their commitment to the body of believers (1 John 2:19). Are they Christ-centered or self- centered? We can check their lifestyles too. We can also discern such people by looking at the fruit of their ministry. Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-18). False teachers are popular because they tell people what they want to hear. Many don’t want to hear about sin, righteousness and judgment because they don’t want to change from their sinful ways. Some will propagate hatred and dissension.
We should be all the more alert against this. 1 John 4:20 portrays a clear message. If you say that you love God and continue to hate your brother, then you are a liar. It is very comfortable to say that you love God, when that doesn’t cost you anything. But the real test of your love toward God will be evident through your treatment of the brethren around you – those who see and interact with, in your life. You can never love God while neglecting to love those who are created in His image. James 3:9 says with the same tongue we praise our Lord and Father and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness— your tongue gives the picture of your basic nature.
True prophets and teachers of God are never accepted in the society or even in many churches. We know that Jesus came to His own people and they rejected Him. So was the experience with Disciples and Apostles. Our hearts should be tuned with the Holy Spirit in listening to the true message from God.
Heavenly Father, change me from the inside out through
the abiding presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit so that
I will not be deceived and I will reflect You in all my actions.
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