Yesterday we spent some time on making sure we are reading and listening to the word of God. It is very important for us to test the spirits and know the right voice, as there are many voices and spirits vying for your attention. If you cannot distinguish the voice of Jesus and discern the spirits, you will be lead astray. Hebrews 5:11 “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” This is so important that this is one of the gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:10 “to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits.” This is why the body of Christ needs to operate as one in one spirit but notice that they no longer try to understand, so then we have people unaware they are being lead astray. We must discern whether or not someone is teaching or preaching truth. You must always test the spirits. Do not let your guard down. Stand firm and wear your amour always.
We also must understand that there are false prophets that are teaching and preaching among us. Most do not acknowledge this as they are waiting for a particular point in the future for this deception to happen. It is already here. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” Remember what Paul said to the Thessalonians and to Timothy. 1 Thessalonians 1:6 “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Timothy 3:14 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it.” Don’t start listening to something new that is foreign to scripture.
Here are a couple of verses that talk about false teachers. What they teach will be similar but not truth. Remember how satan when tempting Jesus used scripture out of context; they also do the same thing. It sounds like scripture but it is this. 2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” And this. 2 Peter 2 [False Teachers and Their Destruction] But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” And this. Matthew 7:15 [True and False Prophets] “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” You may find it interesting to do a study on false teachers and prophets as found in scriptures. Look up false teachers and then look up false prophets.
It is really important for us to understand that there are also other voices other than the words of Jesus vying for your attention. Just as wisdom Proverbs 9:3 “Calls from the highest point of the city, 4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight” and so does folly. 14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, 15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, 16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious! 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.” Notice how similar these two are both calling out from the highest point of the city. If we do not know the right voice, we will be led down the wrong path. Proverbs 2:6 “Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, 17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. 18 Surely her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. 19 None who go to her return or attain the paths of life.”
We need to be wise and test the spirits and understand who is calling out to us. Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.” John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” John 10:24 “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” Notice that this verse is about belief. Notice also that he is talking to the Jews, the Pharisees, and he said they were not his sheep because they did not believe. I know! This verse “no one will snatch” is a big verse for some. Let me ask this question; what happens if you are not his sheep due to your unbelief in the whole counsel of the word of God. I do believe Jesus answered that when he said, “you do not believe because you are not my sheep.” Don’t get to secure in your man-made theology. Many Christians today hold to that verse but yet they do not believe in all that the Holy Spirit has available. All throughout scripture we are held accountable to obey the word of God.
Tomorrow I am going to look at why many Christians automatically think that anything supernatural is demonic. Again test the spirits and listen for truth. They give more power to satan than they do the Holy Spirit and thus their unbelief leads to a form of godliness but they still deny the power. Just as Solomon asked for discernment so should you. We live in deceptive days. Colossians 2:6 “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” If you have not been taught this. Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”