"Come out of her My people" - Jesus Christ
TESTING THE SPIRITS
|1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:
Satan greatly fears a Spirit-filled Christian, thus when a person begins to seek to be filled with the Spirit, Satan will often come to hinder and to deceive. One of the ways he deceives men, is to offer a counterfeit spirit. Many in different sections of Christendom have already received a counterfeit. Here are some truths that will help you discern between the TRUE and the false.
What is the Holy Spirit?
Colossians 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Ephesians 3:16-19 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
The Bible teaches repeatedly that the Spirit is the invisible presence of Christ with us. It is through the Spirit of GOD that Christ comes and makes his abode with us.
WHAT THE SPIRIT DOES:
Through the Spirit we have communion with the Father and Son. [John 14:23, 1 John 1:3]
Through the Spirit Christ changes our hearts and gives us a new nature.
Through the Spirit Christ destroys the works of the devil in our lives.
Through the Spirit Christ teaches us, leads us and guides us.
It is through the Spirit that Christ fellowships with us. [John 14:18]
And of course it is through the Spirit that Christ empowers us.
THE SPIRIT DOES NOT:
The Spirit does not come to you as a third distinct person. [John 14:18, 14:23]
The Spirit never speaks its own words. [John 16:13]
The Spirit never glorifies its self. [John 16:14]
The Spirit is not to be worshiped or prayed to. [Revelation 5:13]
The Spirit will not give its own commands, but will deliver the Commands of Christ. [see Acts 1:2]
Any Spirit that does the above things is not ‘holy’. And be warned Satan and his demons will OFTEN disguise themselves as a third ‘person’, and seek to be honored as God
TESTING THE SPIRIT
Now this is where we must test the Spirit. 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try [test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
#1. The Spirit will NEVER tell you to do a work that is contrary to the BIBLE. If the Spirit speaks not according to this Word, then it is not the Holy Spirit. [Isaiah 8:20]
#2. 1 Corinthians 14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
The Holy Spirit does NOT possess you. The Holy Spirit does not go against your will. It will not TAKE control of your body, your tongue or your mind and do things outside of your will. The holy Spirit works with your will. The holy Spirit works with your mind. Evil spirits look to take control of your body. As you can read in the Gospels, evil spirits throw men down, shake them violently, or take over their voices and speak through them. The holy Spirit is gentle and never forces its will [James 3:17].
The following is taken from the “The Overcomer” Second Edition of 1924, and will help us understand the dangers of counterfeits:Some Light upon How to Test the Spirits.
"THE doctrine of the Holy Spirit's gifts is one of the most striking topics of Christian evidence. But Satan is wise to counteract and hinder the work of God, and his best mode of doing so is by imitating it. The passage in 1 Cor. xii. 1-3 shows that there is an inspiration from the evil spirit as well as from the Holy Spirit. The question before the Apostle is the difference of inspiration, and the test to be administered for the distinguishing of the source of inspiration.
"Paul writes "Now concerning the 'inspired' . . ." The translators have omitted the article, and inserted the word "gifts" to make sense. The word Paul used, pneumatikos, is used sometimes of things and sometimes of persons, e.g., "the spiritual (inspired) man judgeth all things" (1 Cor. ii. 15). "If a man think himself to be spiritual (inspired) let him acknowledge . . ." (1 Cor. xiv. 37).
"The question the Apostle is dealing with is the two kinds of inspiration, and as the text to be administered is a personal one, the context must speak of inspired persons. The test proposed is for the purpose of establishing the difference between true and false inspiration. The point made known by Paul is the division of certain speakers into those speaking by the Spirit of God, and those not so speaking, but still inspired. The test that he gives does not apply to every case of spiritual gift, some of which were gifts of action, but only to gifts of inspired word.
"Paul then refers to the knowledge the Corinthians already had of evil "inspiration."
"Ye know when ye were Gentiles, led away to dumb idols, as you used to be led" (v. 2). That is, says Paul, You as heathen were borne blindfold to idolatry by every influence that false spirits could bring to bear on you. You believed everything supernatural to be divine. Of your ignorance these crafty spirits took advantage. Your weakness they mocked, leading you captive at their will. Ignorance unable to distinguish the inspiration of evil spirits from that of the Holy Ghost, is dangerous, I will therefore enable you to discern the difference.
"Wherefore I give you to understand, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God saith that Jesus is accursed; and none can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost" (v. 3).
"Paul assumed in the preceding verse, that they had seen the inspiration of evil spirits, and its powerful and infatuating results. For there were visible marks attending the possession by evil spirits. The utterances of the inspired in Mr. Irving's delusions, are thus described by Baxter. "They were often in an extraordinary power of voice, accompanied by the most unnatural expression of countenance." And they spoke not only in an "unnatural and unaccustomed tone of voice," but with an "intense and riveting power of expression."
How, then, were the Corinthians to know when any rose in their assemblies, presenting all the outward and sensible marks of inspiration, whether the spirit by which he was speaking was the Holy Spirit or an evil spirit?
"The Holy Spirit then gives us through Paul, certain moral tests whereby the difference might be known-- Certain tests capable of being at once applied. Did any of the inspired voluntarily declare that Jesus was accursed? The spirit so speaking displayed itself at once to be a spirit of Satan.
But what if a man inspired made honourable mention of Jesus? What if the lying spirit accommodated itself to the believer's feeling of reverence and love for the Saviour--how was he to be detected? For that evil spirits did bear honourable testimony to Jesus is clear from the Gospels. See Mark i. 24-26.
This is a case of peculiar difficulty, to meet which the Apostle was commissioned to give this rule. Of the spirit, so speaking in the inspired man, the question was to be asked, "Is Jesus Lord?"
The passage in 1 John iv. 1-6 throws further light on this subject. In this case, again, the question is concerning the "inspired," and the saints of God are warned that not every inspired person is to be credited. Two parties also are distinguishable in the matter-- the spirits that inspired, and the man in whom the spirits dwelt.
The Church of Christ was to question not the man, but the spirit that inspired him, even in the case of the true prophet when under inspiration.
In this passage in John another test is given for distinguishing the true spirit from the false, and that is the enquiry "Is Jesus come in human nature?" The denial of this marked infallibly the spirit of antichrist, as the confession of it was the proof of the speaking of the Holy Ghost.
In the passage in 1 Cor. xii. the Apostle says none can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. This does not apply to any unconverted man. It refers only to the inspired, of whom Paul is professedly treating. Their simple word, not their knowledge of Jesus, nor belief in Him, nor answering life, is the question here. It does not refer either to believers in the habit of acknowledging Jesus, but to a single act. It refers to the visible state of exaltation which attended on inspiration, and to which these tests at once applied. Be it further observed that the Apostle requires the confession that Jesus is Lord. The false spirits of that day, and of the days to come, might confess that Christ is Lord, because they held that 'Jesus' was a mere man on whom a mighty spirit--the Christ--descended at baptism, distinguishing Jesus and the Christ as two different persons. This was the old Gnostic heresy. The Apostle, treating only of the case of the inspired, affirms that none of these can say that Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
The neglecting to make this enquiry of the spirits inspiring the speakers, led to the delusions that arose in Mr. Irving's congregation--and as a remarkable modern confirmation of the test referred to, the following gives a striking proof.
"A clergyman and his wife were in London with one of their children, a little boy, when they received intelligence that the twin sister of this boy, under eight years old, had received a gift of the Holy Spirit, which had been evidenced by prophesying in a manner that proved the child to be speaking by a power superior to her own.
“The parents returned home, and on their arrival heard the child speak in the spirit at their accustomed family prayers. Two days afterwards, the little boy also prophesied by a supernatural power. The burden of what they said, was to preach a very pure and holy Gospel, calling upon all who heard them to be ready for the coming of the Lord, giving awful denunciations against sin, mixed with precious promises, and declaring the blood of Jesus sufficient for the cleansing of all sin; that God was love, and waiting to receive whoever would come to Him by Jesus' blood. By this means the parents were led off their guard, and never doubted that the children were speaking by the Holy Spirit: and were greatly delighted, as all pious parents would be.
“The children described their sensations in such a manner as to show that some extraneous power must be influencing them. The boy, who was always sleepy before his bed-time, asked one night, Who had kept his mouth open while speaking, for he felt sure that someone had? and was much surprised when he was assured that no one had touched him. At other times, he said, the 'spirit' pushed him in the side; and if he did not attend to that, he felt a pinching pain, until he was compelled to attend! His sister appeared always to be seized with a fit of speaking, and would shrink into her chair, and cover her face, and then give utterance. The little boy likewise spoke with unknown sounds, and sang. The spirit called upon them repeatedly to watch and pray against Satan, who was in the midst of them, and desired them to fight bravely.
“The spirit having got the parents completely to trust him, began to entice them to do many things. which if not absolutely wrong, were at the least foolish; until at length the father, and also his curate, were induced to suspect the spirit, in consequence of something which had been said directly contrary to Scripture. They then remembered that they had 'believed the spirit' without 'trying the spirit' as they were enjoined to do by Scripture, and accordingly determined to do so forthwith. While conversing on this matter, the spirit cried out to the child, 'Ye may try the spirits in men, but ye must not try them in babes and sucklings.' This alarmed them greatly.
“The father on the next morning prayed over the Word, that the Lord would enable him to try the spirit which spake in his child. The spirit said in a loud voice, 'Ye shall not try the spirit.' The father said, 'I will try the spirit by the Word of the living God.' The spirit said, 'If ye try the spirit, ye shall be chastised.' The father then read 1 John iv. 2-3, adding, it was God's blessed Word, and he would not be forbid. Being much overcome, however, by his natural feelings, his friend, the curate, took the Bible, and reading the same passage, and laying his hand on the boy's head, said to the spirit, 'Thou spirit which possessest the child, wilt thou not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh? ' The spirit answered loudly, 'I WILL NOT.' The child looked pale and was quite cold, and said he felt something in his inside, like a cold hand fluttering, and then it left him. After a short time the boy cried out that it was coming again. The curate said, 'Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.' They all prayed together, and the evil spirit never more returned…."
Test your "tests."
Believers who are baptized with the Spirit must realize that there are two Spiritual forces in the supernatural realm, and know how to discern between them. They must realise that there are evil spirits, and know that there is a possible counterfeit of the Divine workings. They say, "I am afraid I will grieve God, if I question the manifestation," but in ACCEPTING THAT WHICH THEY HAVE A DOUBT ABOUT THEY WILL GRIEVE GOD. If God wants them to accept what is Divine, then let God make it quite clear to them, so that they have no doubt of it, for "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." You say you think it is Divine! But you must KNOW; you must test your tests and prove your proofs. "Thinking" is not knowledge! Make sure of the source from which all supernatural workings come, and trust God to make you sure--until then WAIT. TEST YOUR TESTS! PROVE YOUR PROOFS. Make sure, and wait until you know for yourself as you watch, and pray for light. - Evan Roberts.