Saturday, January 17, 2015

Testing The Spirits-God's Way

The means by which the presence, quality, or genuineness of anything is determined; a means of trial.

Deuteronomy 13:
1  "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,
2  and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, 'Let us go after other gods,' which you have not known, 'and let us serve them,'
3  you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4  You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.
5  But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. (Exodus 32:25-29)

2Thess 2:
9  The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,
10  and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
11  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,
12  in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 “For the LORD your God is testing you,”……….
“Therefore God sends them a strong delusion,”

It is not signs and wonders coming to pass that determine the legitimacy of the prophet. It is what he proclaims to be the Word of the Lord, i.e. “the fruit of his lips”. (Hebrews 13:15)

Matthew 7:
20  Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
21  "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22  On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
23  And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

God does not test men to see if they can rise to His standards regarding a life of sinless perfection, as all would surely fail such a trial. He tests men to reveal His handiwork, that is, to reveal those who are His; those to whom He has given a “new heart”. (Ezekiel 36:26-27; Eph 2:10)
Conversely, this testing of hearts reveals those who are not His; that is, those who preach another gospel, and another Jesus; those whom Moses warned about in Deuteronomy 13.  (Exodus 32:1-6)
“I never knew you; depart from me”.
Both the false prophets, and their “audience”, fail the test. (2 Timothy 4:1-5) 

1Thess 2:
3  For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive,
4  but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
5  For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness.  
Romans 16:
17  I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
18  For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

1John 4:1  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

The only true means of testing the spirits is the word of God, i.e. it’s presence, or lack, which determines the genuine from the counterfeit.

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