Sep. 21, 2022

Test the Spirits: Discern!


1 Jn 4:1-6. NKJV. “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. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

Notes: John mentions those who confess the Incarnation - that Jesus has come in the flesh as the God Man - versus those who don’t. 

These would be the other Jesuses of which there are many, none of which can lay claim to the souls for which He bled and died. None by whom we are raised up as new creations in Him. None who will raise us from the dead, or before whom we must stand at the last day. 

These false Jesuses are the “spiritual” Jesuses who never had a body, the way shower Jesus, the ascend master Jesus. 

There is the hippie peace freak Jesus Who lets anything go that one could want, a hyper grace Jesus who promotes “only love”. 

There’s the name it and claim it Jesus who does one’s personal bidding teaching the “motivational magic” of prosperity and wealth - in terms of this finite world. 

There’s the liberal social justice Jesus who works for the politically correct. 

And let’s not forget the patriot Jesus too. 

Or worst yet, the “Christ consciousness Jesus” of “inner wisdom” that comes from the (fallen) self - chief idol in the humanistic pantheon of idol Jesuses. 

Those who advocate for these Jesuses (and many others) are acceptable to the dark and lost world, which listens to them. They require no repentance, no surrender to His work or His word. 

Usually anyone who has appeared on Oprah Winfrey or TedTalks will advocate for any Jesus who is not the Jesus revealed in Scripture. A good first clue about where to see the promoters of false Jesuses.

Jesus comes to us on His own terms. One could say, the terms of full, absolute, and unconditional surrender to His truth.

Testing the spirits really covers a great deal of territory, considering the extent and implications of Jesus’ teachings. John also gives us a clue for discernment not often considered, according to Jn 8:31,32 - as to the practice of abiding in His Word as being a key to the unfolding of truth to our minds and hearts. “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” …  “If... then(implied)... and... and.”

If those who believe in Him will - by the power/authority of the Holy Spirit - actually follow and walk in His teachings, then by experience we will come to know His truth and be set free by it. (We could call that a “testimony.”) Not free to do as we please in some libertine manner, but free from sin and death, Satan and hell, and especially the “lower case g” god of self!

Discernment arises not only from the study of God’s Word and prayer, but out of the process of following Jesus on the Way. One can pray haphazardly for discernment, yet still go awry if there is no willingness to adhere to all that Jesus commands and teaches, as we keep asking and seeking and knocking for the Holy Spirit. 

Let us be warned! Yes, we can and do stumble, but that - no longer a desire or a lifestyle - will often become a good lesson, when we will humble ourselves, admit it, ask for forgiveness, and press on.

When any church - ancient or modern - introduces beliefs and practices contrary to the clear commands of our Lord, His teachings both Old and New Testaments, this is where people become “envenomated” (See post ) and lured away by lies from the simplicity of the pure Gospel and it’s implications for our lives! Over and over there is the pattern of idolatry and spiritism! Often cleverly rebranded and Christianized. This is not a new phenomenon. The Apostles gave plenty of warnings!

Let God’s Word alone be the final authority for our belief and practice!

So also let us ever be asking, seeking, and knocking for the Holy Spirit - another directive of Jesus to us, along with the promise that we will not be deceived, since it is the Father’s will for us to have the Holy Spirit. And abide in His Word!!!

When will we ever learn to hear and heed the Word of Him we call Lord? We have Bibles in print by the millions, online Bible apps. Yet even many clergy will not open the Bible on a regular basis to read and heed it for themselves! Let us return to the word that reveals the Word Made Flesh Himself who dwelt among us!

A Prayer for the Times

Dear Lord God Heavenly Father, please grant that Your Holy Spirit will descend like a mighty rushing wind and a holy fire, sweeping all over the world, but especially among all who claim Your name and belief in You. Burn out and blow away the chaff from amongst us of every false teaching, teacher, view, belief, and practice - new or old, regardless of how long it has been entrenched. Reveal Your truth to our hearts.

Cause, oh Lord God, a desire for the revelation of Your truth, regardless of the paradigms shattered, the cost, loss, or the cross that follows. Create in all of Your people a hunger and thirst for the righteousness of Christ alone and for repentance from every wicked way… For it is when Your people humble ourselves, pray, seek Your face, and turn from our wicked ways that You promise to hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land. (See 2 Chronicles 7:14) Please help us to walk the Narrow Way!

Please let us be filled with Your Spirit to the fullest, continually empowered to share Your Good News and to disciple all who will receive You according to the fullness of Your Gospel truth - that this earth, and this USA especially - may be purged of every dark spirit and every work of the agenda of the evil one. 

Instill in Your people the hunger also for the Holy Spirit of prayer and intercession. Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done, in the almighty name of Jesus, to Whom all authority is given in heaven and on earth. 

Soli Deo Gloria!