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. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 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.
4 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. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 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.
1 Thess. 5:19-22
1 Cor. 12:4-11
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This morning, my message, I titled test the spirits. We are to test the spirit to see if they are of god. But before I read the scripture, i have a little story. Well, no story, but a little item I found. So this is hypothetical. So let’s suppose that you are a new to town, you moved to a new town and you’re looking for a place to worship and a place to belong. And let’s suppose that you visit a worshiping community. You pick up a board and on your way and you sit down and you read their mission statement of this group and read as follows. The mission of the blank temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy to reject tyree an tyree nickel authority, to advocate practical common sense, oppose, injustice, and undertake noble pursuits. While you might think yourself, well, that sounds pretty good. I certainly like to belong to a group that encourages benevolence, is ample and empathy. And I agree with them about rejecting tar radical radical authority. I cannot say that word very well and who doesn’t want to advocate practical common sense. It does seem like there’s a lack of that, right. Of course I oppose, injustice. There is far too much of that in the world anyway. And I really want my life to count by undertaking noble pursuits. I think this might be a good place to hang out, right? become part of but now you may or may not be surprised to learn that this mission statement. Just read is taken directly off the website of the satanic temple. True. It sounds benign, almost like a group that you know you want to be part of But of course it is complete opposite a big group, biblical christianity isn’t. We wouldn’t want to be part of that. So how do you discern between truth and error? How can we know what teaching will lead us to heaven lead us to the Lord and what is going to lead us down the wrong path leads to hell. So in his 1st letter, the apostle john held his beloved block in US to know how the cern between truth and error or scripture comes from 1st. John chapter 4 versus one or 6 Here, the word of the Lord most are beloved as no. dear beloved, do not do not believe every spirit but test the spirits, whether they are of god. That’s going to be the most important thing through here. 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 in 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 anti christ, which you have heard was coming, is now already in the world. Your god little children and have overcome them because he was in you is greater than he was in the world. amen. They are of the world, therefore they speak as of the world and the world. Here’s 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 that is pray, heavenly father, we thank you for your patience with us as I’ve already spoken. I thank you that you are long suffering with us. We thank you, father, for your word that you have given us to guide and direct us father to keep us on that straight a nearer path, but father to give us understanding. Thank you, father, that we can ask for wisdom. We can ask for knowledge, father, and you will give it freely to those who ask and father, we pray that your spirit would be in this place today that you would help us understand what you have. force. father help us to be faithful father to detect what is true and what is false, father, by your spirit, father that you would lead us and guide us in father may we live our lives in a way to glorify and honor you in jesus name. amen. So this word that John has given us this morning was written between 85 and 90 a D. So even at that time, in the, in the beginning years of the church, john saying that many false prophets have gone out into the world to deceive, to deceive the believers, to deceive the christians. So if they were there at that time, you know, we’ve already spoke this morning, is nothing new under sun, right? The things are just as evil then as they are now. There’s evil false prophets out there today just like there was back in 85 and 9080. How do we test the spirit whether they are of god? How do we test the validity of the prophets or teachers you know, is important in john’s day, and it’s just as important today that we test to ensure that it is of god the make sure that they are not false. teachers are false prophets. We make sure that it the word that we’re hearing lines up with the teachings of jesus christ. Make sure it lines up with god’s moral character. If it doesn’t line up a god’s moral character, brothers sisters, it’s false. It’s a lie. I shared last sabbath there by the time john wrote his pistols. He was well advanced in years. He was getting up there in age And most of the eye witness of jesus ministry. Why was still on earth had passed away, but yet john was still alive. So some of these believers that John is speaking to were young believers in some had greek backgrounds. So it was hard for them to believe that jesus was human as well as divine. They had a hard time grasping that in their minds because in platonic thought, the spirit was all important. They thought that the body was only a prison from which one desired to escape a later false teaching called dos tourism. held that jesus cast no shadow nor left any footprints. Then leave any footprints in the sand, right. But he did proclaim that he was god, but not man. My friends, that is a false teaching. He was a man, he became one of us right. took on the flesh And you are the devil will use any lie to prevent people from believing in jesus christ, believing he is who the word says that he is. He’ll use any lie and deceptions that he can think of. But john sets him straight burst 2 and 3 said 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 come in the flesh. It is not of god, it is a false teaching. And this is the spirit of the anti christ, which you have heard was coming. It is now already in the world. So the very 1st test that we can use is what did they say about jesus christ? What did they believe out about jesus? Do they believe that he is a son of god? Do they believe was born of the virgin, mary? They believe that he lived a perfect life. Do they believe that he suffered and died for my sins and your sins? Do they believe that he rose from the grave and is now seated at the right hand of the father? Do they believe? What do they believe about jesus? They are the number one test to know that it is, if it is false or if it is true. My friends, the word became flesh and dwelt among us. John says that in the book of john, the word became flesh and dwelt among us while among men. God came in water among smudge and that we must believe that that is the truth. My friend john walk with jesus. He know that he casts a shadow. The sun didn’t discern right through him. He knew that he touched the movie, it was solid, his hand didn’t just pass through him. He lady said when he’s dressed in the scripture, john knew that he was real, had flesh and bone and muscle is just like we do. My friend, that’s why it’s so important. We have a good understanding of god’s word. Paul encourages believers to know to have knowledge and to have discernment. It takes both philippians one versus 9 to 11, says in this, I pray that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all the sermon. So in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offence, till the day of christ being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by jesus christ to the glory and praise of god. The sermon, in its simplest definition, is the ability to decide between truth and error between right and wrong. The sermon is a process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth is not. I mean there’s discernment that we can use in life for many things. spiritual discernment is the ability to tell what is true and what is false when it comes to ideas and thoughts about god and about jesus. christ son, a person with strong, spiritual discernment, can tell if a teaching or an idea or doctrine that they are hearing is from god. Or if it comes from the father of lies. It’s Karen or said, the devil comes to deceive. The devil comes to steal, destroy, deceive, and divide. We need discernment. We can pray, we can pray for spiritual discernment. The apostle paul said this, I pray that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all the sermon see again, are connected. Paul says you can pray, i pray this for you, we can pray for ourselves, pray for knowledge and all the sermon. If Paul can for I, can’t we? Yes, we can pray for me. You might think, well, I’m not very good at the servant. Well hopefully we can develop it, not hopefully we can develop it. We can we can develop bob by using god’s word, hebrews 512 to 14 reads for though by this time you ought to be teachers. You need someone to teach you again. The 1st principles of the oracles of god and you come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in a word of righteousness, for he is a bade. But solid food belongs to those who are a full wage. That is those who by reason of use have their senses exercise to discern both good and evil. My friends, if you break your leg and they put that leg in a cas for a week’s what’s going to happen to that leg after the at how do you say can atrophy the muscles in that leg when they take that cas off this way is going to be nice and muscular looking right, that’s what you’re like. Well, this is going to be skinny. The muscles are going to shrink. Why? Because you haven’t used that leg. It’s been in a cast that arms been in a casper weeks. Right? The muscles are going to drink because you did not use them. My friends by region of use. We exercise the senses. We exercise our minds we exercise are spared by reason of use and how do we do that Right here, right here. You know, god could have told us all we need to know in one page. The court of god could have said, I am god, I created the earth. I created man. You sin, i sent my son. He made a white. That’s it. The N believe on him, you live, Don’t you die? Good. But no, he gave us all this so we could exercise our minds. We could exercise or use, become strong spiritually. Paul said some of them out there. There again, the milk was, he said, you’ve been a believer for 10 years and you’re still drinking of a bottle. You have an extra size. Your mind exercise your use, use your mind exercise and make it strong spiritually, pray for disarm and pray for knowledge. And God will give it freely In 1st less alone ins. 519 through 22. It teaches us that is the responsibility of christians to be discerning do not quench the spirit. Do not despise prophecies. test all things hold fast to what is good in abstain from every form of evil. So he’s telling us test all things, test it to make sure it’s true. Make shorts of god. Unfortunately, determinant a scenario where many christian stumble. They exhibit little ability to measure whether the things that we are taught or the infallible standard of god’s word. Or if they not, why? Because they’re not in the word They might hear once or twice a week. That’s it. But they’re not in the word. How are we going to know if it’s the infallible word of god? If we don’t know the word of god, right? So they may unwittingly engage in biblical behavior because they don’t know that the decisions they made are against god’s word. In 1st corinthians 12, it teaches that the sermon is one of the spiritual gifts i’m going to read more than just that verse. So for through 11 there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same lord. There are diversities of activities, but it is the same god who works all in all. But the manifestation of the spirit is given to each one. For the profit of all, I’m going to pause there. God didn’t did give you the gift that you may have just for yourself to enjoy to make you look good. But he gave you those gifts for the profit of all. Are you blessing others with a gift that god is giving you? 4 to one is given the word of wisdom through the spirit. So we can say that is the gift of wisdom to another is the word of knowledge. So again, the gift of knowledge to the same spirit, to another faith. Our friends gift the faith, right? By the same spear to another gifts of healings by the same spirit to another the working of miracles to another prophecy, to another the serving of spirits to another different kinds of tongues and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one in the same spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually. As he wills. We can pray for seek it, seek the gifts, seek them all, But may we be faithful to use them for his glory, for his purposes, as he wills? Any page and chapter 6, not going to read the chapter, but to describe the spiritual armours the believers are supposed to put on right. You know them, the sandals of peace, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation. The St. The shield of faith don’t get ahead of me. The field of play. And then there’s a sword, right? What is the sword? The word of god. It is the word of god. So therefore those who are mature in the word of god. If they, if they are not in the word of god, guess what? You are not fully armed to do battle. So you need all of the armor. Not just part of it. Are you going to get all dressed up? Put all that other armor on and go into battle without your sword. No, you need all of the army. You need to be complete. We need to be equipped to discern true and false teachings. No, there is a spirit of war that’s been raging between garden gods. heavenly forces in the fallen angels of darkness. Says satan the fail, there’s been a battle going on ever since he fell from heaven. He is see has been seeking to divide the world. He seeking to deceive people. He’s attempting to keep people from coming to God. That’s been his goal from day one. From the time he tempted even the garden division has been the devil’s playground. He has been at work from the beginning and he’s still working right now to advise We can see it. We can see it on a national level. But what’s the difference? We’re going to make jesus his love, vienna, and his word discerning We can see division even in the church. One mirrored of issues last week. I heard on the news, i won’t say what denominations was, but if you heard the news, you may have heard it where they just inducted the 1st transgender bishop into their church. Now transgender as someone did, I mean, if you just came out of the cave, you wouldn’t know so, but you probably do know it’s someone that does not identify with the gender that they were born with. So a young boy identified as a girl, or vice versa. You know, little michael now says on now, michelle. So that’s what it is. Now, they’re confused. We need to pray for them, not condemn them. We need to pray for them. When he’s all of them is Karen already said, love the person but there to see because they don’t have the servant because if you had to serve and they would have opened your bibles, the 1st time of the 3 is not going to be up there. It says this is a faithful saying, if a man desires to the position of a bishop, he desires a good work, a bishop must then be blameless. The husband of one wife, temperate, sober minded of good behavior, hospitable able to teach, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not course, and not covetousness. One who rules over his own house, well having his children and submission with all reverence for if a man does not have know how to ruzen, household ro is own household, how we take care of the Church of god. It doesn’t take a lot of discernment to figure out that a bishop needs to be a man of one wife. So he needs to know that he’s a man. A friend, satan is trying to destroy our nation. And he’s trying to destroy god’s church. And we must not sit by idly and do nothing. We must stand against the forces of evil. Number one, we must stand in the strength and the power of almighty god, the mighty god that we serve. We must stand on the word of god and we must stand on the truth that is found in his word, but do it with love not condemnation vendors. His mind saith the Lord is not ours. We’re called to love them right. Back and 8. Yeah. 989 that a prestigious well known bible college in America. There were about a dozen students Who began asking a simple question. Where in the bible, does it say that it became the life preserver for this group of believers? Because one of the professors who taught biblical counseling rarely A, or a normally rely primarily on so called truth of secular counseling theory, counseling theories. The students, many of whom were serious bible students, did not know how to refute the professor or to interpret or introduce scriptural perspective into the discussion. The students were asked what book was on your desk throughout this course. They replied with a name of the course textbook, a book based primarily on secular psychology and psychotherapeutic practices. When ask about the location of their bibles while they were in the classroom, the answered under or dest. This isn’t a biblical college, a bible college. Even though the students carried their bibles a class every day, the professor did not reference specific verses and did not assign any homework using the bible in the biblical counseling course and ever to bring the class presentation back to scripture. The students eagerly committed to start asking a professor where in the bible, does it say? Where in the bible does it say that when he stated things that were in conflict with scripture? Where in the bible does it say that my friends are answer today? Where in the bible, does it say that As believers we must have or disarm? You know, are the sermon intersects? Are life at every point. It does. Every day we have choices to make. And god’s word provides us with a needed the sermon about every single issue in life. It’s in there. It’s in the book is just right or wrong. Go to the book, sin there, coordinate appear. God is granted to us everything pertaining to life and goodness, to the knowledge of him who call us by his own glory and excellence. That’s in 2nd, peter chapter one 5th through the true knowledge of him that we’ve been given everything we need to live the christian life in a fallen world. We can live a christian life in a fallen world. And how do we have true knowledge of god, but through the pages of his word, Jesus warned against the vision in matthew 1225. But jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. And every city or house divided against itself will not stay and our friends, we need to stand together and we stand together on god’s word. And on his truth we must not allow god to destroy His church. Now this the devil to destroy god’s church romans 161718 says no. I urge you, brother. And note those who cause division and offenses. contrary to the doctrine which he learned and avoid them for those who are such do not serve our lord jesus christ. But their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech, they deceived the hearts of the simple take. Note of them have no part in it. No part of them avoid them, stay away from them. discernment is indispensable in living and uncompromised. life is absolutely necessary for the christian to have discernment Without it will be like a toss and a see with a ways right that we do not have discernment. We’re going to be tossed back and forth in the ways, believe in everything that comes along, test it against the word of god. When you look at the sermon in a bible, as I’ve already noted, is always connected with spiritual maturity. If you want to be a discerning christian, you need to be a mature christian get off the milk, get on the solid food. The word of god. One who is growing in his faith one who is understanding the bible. One is growing. In the knowledge of the Lord that is the mature christian John macarthur commenting on 1st john chapter 4, verse 3 said the same demonic deception that will work to produce the final wor, rural world ruler who rules as a false christ is always actively seeking to distort jesus christ, true nature in the flesh right? perverting the gospel. The final and christ won’t be will not be something new but will be the ultimate embodiment of all the and christ spears that perverted and propagated satanic lies since the beginning. The spirit of anna christ has been in the world since satan tempered eve in the garden of eden, and brought about mankind’s fall from grace from the Grace of god. In his book, live not by lies a manual for christian dissidence rod. greer said of the spirit of anna christ, this fear, or spiritual power, takes material form in government and private institutions and corporations in academia, and media, and change in the changing practices of everyday american life. There has virtually no where to hide. But my friends, we must always remember what adverse for tell us he who is in you is greater than he was in the world. We need not be overcome by evil, but we can overcome evil with good. We can overcome evil. We have can overcome evil by blood of christ because he who is in you is greater than he is in the world. We must stand against evil. We must have discernment. We must have knowledge and understanding of god’s word. A man.