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This is the Truth Network. We'll be right back. I want to test the spirits correctly, so if you could just give me, um, you know, I'll be fine. Absolutely.
Thank you, thank you. That is a fantastically important question. So in 1 John chapter 4 it says, Beloved, 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. By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.
This is the spirit of Antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is he that is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world, therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Number five. So here John gives two crucial tests for testing spirits. We live in a world filled with spirits, filled with spiritual experiences, and some people believe that because they have had this very real and positive and good feeling spiritual experience, that that experience must be true, must be of God, because it feels so good.
It's so affirming. But that is not. We're warned there are false spirits. In the same way, it parallels that with false prophets. So we have false teachers and false prophets who speak by these spirits other than the spirit of God, and their message may be powerful, and it may be stirring, and it may be very persuasive.
Number four. But we're given here in this passage two important tests. First, what do they say about Jesus? Do they say that Jesus came in the flesh?
And that doesn't just mean that Jesus have a physical body, though there certainly were Gnostic teachers in the late first early second century and afterwards who literally denied that, said that Jesus was only a divine being and never became man. But this is drawing back to first John is written by the same John who wrote the Gospel of John. And when in John chapter one, in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh and dwelled among us. So this idea that the divine Son, the second person of the Trinity, came and took on flesh and dwelled among us, this is what John's pointing back to and saying, if that teaching is denied, then they are not speaking of the Spirit of God. Any spirit that would lead you away from that is not the Spirit of God.
But he goes on further. He says, we, he and the apostles, we are from God. He who knows God listens to us.
He who is not from God does not listen to us. And by this, you know, the Spirit of truth and the Spirit of error. So we compare spiritual testimony that we experienced today, we compare that to the testimony of scripture. Number three, the writings of the apostles in the New Testament, we go back and we look, is what they're saying, does it line up with whether it's an inner spiritual experience or the voice of a so called prophet or teacher, if what they are saying does not line up with the plain teachings of the New Testament, this person, they are not speaking from the Spirit of God, or the spiritual experience you're having is not coming from the Spirit of God.
I live in Utah, and here people put a lot of weight on spiritual experience. Well, I prayed and I have this feeling, and it told me and yet, so often where that feeling leads them to is a denial that Jesus is the one true God, and a denial of many of the New Testament teaching. And so Paul in Galatians chapter one, even an angel from heaven were to preach to you any gospel other than what the apostles preached, other than what the one you find in their teaching in the New Testament, then they are to be accursed, even having a vision of an angel telling you this teaching, if it does not line up with scripture, and it does not teach Jesus as the one true and living God, then we are not to trust that spirit, we are to reject it. Number two, what does it mean to be made in the image of God? To be made in the image of God deals with what's called the communicable attributes of God. So God, for example, has incommunicable and communicable attributes. So God incommunicable attributes, that means they cannot be communicated to us, we cannot experience them, we can't know them. For example, God is omniscient, we can't know that. God is omnipotent, we cannot experience that.
God is all places all the time. This is beyond our comprehension and we certainly are not that. Incommunicable attributes mean those attributes that belong to God alone and cannot be communicated to us, we cannot participate in them.
However, there are communicable attributes. So God can think, we can think. God can love, we can love. God can hate, we can hate. God can reason, we can reason. God can show mercy, we can show mercy. God's self-aware, we're self-aware. And so the image of God deals with what's called the communicable attributes of God.
That's all. So say, for example, you are going to visit a relative and it's going to be like a little family reunion, but the person who's hosting it doesn't share the same Christian values as you do, but they say a prayer at the table and then they end it with a different name. Instead of Jesus, they need something else. What would you do in that situation? I don't pray with them. If I was at a Mormon church or Mormon gathering and they're praying, I do not pray. I do not bow my head. I do not acknowledge the false God.
I don't participate in it. I'm not going to give them the idea even that I'm joining them in prayer to their false God. So if I was in a Catholic church and they're praying to the Lord Jesus, that's legitimate because they really do know who he is. A Mormon, forget it. Roman Catholic, forget it. Muslims, I would never, never join them in prayer. Never join with a Jehovah's Witness or a Unitarian or a Hindu. It's just not going to happen. You're joining and praying to a false God, a pagan God. Christians can't do that. Period.
You don't do it. Y'all come back now. I always trust a guy named Matt Slick on the radio. We hope you've enjoyed this episode of Matt Slick's Top Six. For more on Matt and his live syndicated call-in radio show, go to truthnetwork.com. Got a question? Matt Slick has your answer. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-06 21:37:21 / 2022-12-06 21:40:52 / 4