Thursday, June 7, 2012

Try The Spirits

1 John 4:1-6  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.  (2)  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  (3)  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.  (4)  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  (5)  They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.  (6)  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

In my mind, the word “prophet” as used within the scripture above needs to be defined.  John The Revelator is referring to the preachers, the Apostles, and of course himself.  He was speaking to the preachers and to the brethren.
Romans 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Today we can read from our old King James Bible.  Their problem was they didn’t have a Bible, so how did they grow their faith?  They gained their faith by attending Preaching services and “hearing” The Word of God.
Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Two contextual attributes to “Faith” (but not the only attributes) are “hearing,” and “try[ing].”  The congregations during John’s time had to listen intently to learn (by hearing it over and over.)  Through that “hearing” and learning, the required information was received.  When prompted to listen to The Holy Spirit, they then knew what they heard was contrary to the Preaching.
So, what is going on in America today?  Aren’t the brethren listening anymore?
There are “prophets” (preachers) claiming to be speaking from God’s Word preaching that all that is required for Salvation is for us to forgive.  (Forgiveness is only a part of our Salvation; first we must accept Jesus as our Saviour.) 
Ephesians 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
It is not what you and I do.  We receive our Salvation from God.  It is His gift.
Another “group” of “prophets” tell us that we should not “judge” others.  However, reader without the ability to “judge,” “how do we determine good from evil, righteousness from sin?” 
Matthew 7:3-5  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  (4)  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  (5)  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
We are NOT to stand up and point our finger and chastise (judge) others when we haven’t considered our own sin.
Other “prophets” tell us that salvation will come through baptism.  That also is not what The King James Bible teaches.  Our Bible teaches that once we have received Jesus Christ, we are now indwelled with The Holy Spirit.  Then we are to be baptized in obedience to Christ.
Acts 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Some “prophets” also claim our sins are washed away in the baptistery. 
1 John 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Our sins are washed by the “blood of Jesus Christ his Son” and “cleanseth us from all sin.”
All these “prophets” I have mentioned are the “spirit of antichrist.”  (They are found to be liars and untruthful. Regrettably, there are many more examples.)  
God wants us to “try” the “prophets.”  Many scriptures in our Bible teach us that salvation comes by “faith” and only through Jesus Christ.
Galatians 2:16  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
All that is expounded by these  false “prophets” has created (and is still creating) a new doctrine that is derived from scripture taken out of context. 
What is “context?”   “Context” is the subject of the book, the chapter, and what is being said in sub-subjects within the chapters.  Our derivation must be within the context, and not freely on its own.
“Reader, you have God’s Word, (The King James Bible.)  Read it, study it, love it, and you will never “sit” under another “false prophet” again. 
Look to The Holy Spirit prior to reading and ask Him for enlightenment.  He will surely give.
Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Baptist Pastor
Wylie, Texas         Fundamental Thoughts