Pamphlet 1564 1 John kc 7-2
Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God
1 John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Again, how do we tell who is a false teacher and who isn't?
How do we tell whose spirit dwells in them, whether it is the Spirit of God, or the spirit of Satan?
It is real easy!
John says DO NOT BELIEVE EVERY SPIRIT!
That's right, John just admonished us not to believe every spirit, but to TRY THEM first!
We are to TEST the spirits, ALL OF THEM!
What exactly does that mean, to "try" them, to put their spirits to the test to DETERMINE whether or not they are of God?
The Greek word for "try" is "dokimaz" which means "to assay, to make trial of, put to the proof, examine, as metals by fire, etc., to prove, try". (This definition is taken from "A Critical Lexicon and Concordance", Kregel Publishers, by E. W. Bullinger.)
There should be NO EXEMPTIONS from the fiery test, whether they are a pope, bishop, priest, minister, deacon, layperson, or teacher, including this teacher.
Check them all out!
If what they say aligns with the Word of God then it is "good as gold".
If it is contrary to God's Word then consider it consumed and burned as a straw man and his words!
Paul said in 1 Thes. 5:21, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
That means let go of that which is bad!
Note: Always be courteous and use good common sense and wisdom, but if you think it might be offensive to your minister to hold him or her accountable to God's Word for what he or she teaches, then consider this question: Is your minister or pastor above the stature of the apostle Paul, the man who wrote the majority of the New Testament? Did you know that the Bereans checked him out in the scriptures and he was not offended. It is written of them that they were more "noble" than those Christians in Thessalonica for doing their due diligence:
You see, that is HOW you know whether or not a spirit is of God!Acts 17:10
And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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