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Today We hear of people testing the supernatural, by what they hear or see, by their experience, or by their feelings.  If it feels good or right they "bear witness." Another way is by just accepting it by faith, since whatever is happening is inside the church, and therefore must be from God. NONE of these are a biblical measure for Truth and has more in common with the way the world operates, than the Church.

A.W. Tozer once said "It is no sin to doubt some things but it may be fatal to believe everything."

John the Apostle agrees. He wrote in I Jn. 4:1-3: "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. 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 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."

1 John 4:1 tells us to try or "test the spirits."  Why?  Because there are false prophecies given by false spirits not only outside the Church but inside. This mandate is for our protection. The way to test a false prophet was by doctrine, not by what they would actually say, because in Deut. 13 God says it can actually come to pass, but that he is testing you whether you love the Lord.

Jesus said, "If you love me you'll continue in my word." We need to be cautious in hearing spiritual"stuff".

In Ezekiel there is an interesting Scripture Ezek. 13:2-3: "Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, 'Hear the word of the LORD!'" Thus says the Lord GOD: "Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!" God says one can actually say they are hearing from the Lord, but it really is their own spirit.

False prophets speak under a different spirit, to test them is for our own protection. 1 Jn.4- "Jesus has come in the flesh" means God came by Jesus as a man. He was raised in the same body and continues living in it. In 1 John 4, he is addressing those who denied that Christ (God) actually came as a human being, and has risen in the same body and will return in that same body. Those who deny this are anti-Christ. (see 2 Jn.7-9) this was one of the doctrinal tests applied to the prophets.

There is to be a order for prophecy, 1 Cor.14:29: "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge."  Prophecy is to be judged by others who have the same gift or discernment. This guideline stresses accountability reduces the margin for error it also prevents someone from becoming a leader in prophecy. In the O.T. this is how they knew false prophets from true ones by those who really heard from the Lord and knew God and could discern whether they represented him correctly. Paul also writes in v.32 "And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." Which seems to imply the old Testament prophets as well. Do they line up with the already revealed word.

l Thess. 5:19-22 V.19: "Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not despise prophecies.2l Test all things; hold fast what is good.  Abstain from every form of evil."   We are to be open to what God may have to say but not naive'. The word "prove" (Gr. doldmazo) means to discern or examine in order to prove whether or not a thing is acceptable. There is spiritual evil as well as a worldly evil.   To Test all things means to test miracles as well as prophecy and teaching.

What I hear today is that only God heals the Devil destroys. This is nonsense! Would anyone say the true God healed someone in the Mormon church or in some cult?  What about the gurus who boast of healings and great miracles?  How do we discern that something is from God or not? Certainly to hold the position that God ONLY heals is disastrous for the reasons already mentioned. There are counterfeits and if they can take place outside the Church, there is no justification for anyone to say they can't take place inside as well.

Mt. 7:1-2: "Do not judge lest you be judged. "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. "  Those who do not want to be tested in their teachings use this verse as immunization for any scrutiny of their faulty theology. Notice he says not to judge by our standard. Why? Because we all have different standards. But, there is a greater, more ultimate standard for all - God's word. Vs.2 clarifies what Jesus is saying: if we make judgments on others, then we are to submit to be judged by the same standards.   In other words if we judge another's teaching by the word of God, then our teachings must also coincide with the truth of Gods word. How can we help another if we don't receive correction or truth in our own life?  We cannot judge another for their sin if we are guilty of the same. If we want to be a help, first remove our own sin. Then, we can operate on theirs. We can't say someone is wrong in something while we practice the same, that would be hypocritical. The main point is that we are all subject to the same authority and standard- the word of God.

We are to submit to each other in love so we can walk in humility. Those who do not want to be discerned in their teachings, use this verse out of context to protect their own flawed theology,  and prove they are walking in pride.

Matt.7:16-24 vs.15: "Beware of false prophets that come to you in sheep’s clothing.  "False prophets were the enemy of the people in the O.T (Jer5:23) by listening to them they were brought them into bondage. They look like everyone else on the outside, the only way to tell is by the word, because inside "they are ravenous wolves".  They eat sheep.  David the Shepherd killed the enemies of the flock he took care of, and would not think twice of allowing something inside the sheepfold that would bring harm.

Mt.7:16-17: "You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree brings forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree brings forth bad fruit... "therefore by their fruits you shall know them." So he is actually saying by the way someone lives, acts and says things, you can know him or her.  What someone believes will be shown on the outside, we cannot judge the persons heart, but we can determine their teachings and practices.

We are to judge and distinguish between good and bad fruit from a tree. The fruit speaks of the outward display of what kind of life is inside. The tree would be the doctrine of what one believes that will produce either good or bad fruit.  If there doctrine is false it will show in what they teach.

Remember Jesus is explaining how to determine a false prophet. He then goes into a description of what they do and say to validate themselves. Power is exhibited in miracles and exorcism's, signs and wonders. Yet Jesus said he never knew them, he had no relationship, with them. It was  one-sided because they were lawless; they didn't submit to the head of the body, Christ.

Fruit is described in Gal. 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.   And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.   If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."  James says: 3:17 "But this wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits. without partiality and without hypocrisy."

Mt. 12:33: "a tree is known by its fruit." The fruit of the Spirit shows the life of Christ. Fruit is not how big ones ministry is or even how effective it is. All this can be misleading. If that's all it meant than whoever has the biggest church or denomination would be the most fruitful- even those who teach things obviously counter to the Bible.

To be filled with the Spirit means that someone will act spiritual- that they are under the control of the Spirit and the fruit of his presence will show.

They will go to God's word for guidance and understanding for matters in their lives, not to an a so-called anointed teacher for the last say.

Jn. 7:24: "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment."   Here, Jesus tells us to judge. In the same chapter, he previously said the only way one can have a righteous judgment is to have it based on the word- not according to their own prejudices or feelings nor looking to the outward.  We don't judge the heart or motives, or even the style, but their teaching (content) and actions." Jesus certainly did, and was quite strong against those who knew better, who claimed to be teachers of the law, and lead others astray.

1 Cor. 2:15-16: "But he who is spiritual judges spiritual judges (appraises all things, yet he himself is judged by no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” True humility shows by ones dependence on something greater and is willing to yield to its instruction.

1 Cor. 14:29 says that a prophecy is to be judged by others who prophesy. The Greek word for “judge” is “diachronic” and means “to doubt, discriminate, or separate thoroughly.” This guideline stresses the importance of truth accepted and error rejected. It also stresses accountability, for what one says is to be judged, which  reduces the margin for error.

Acts 17:11 tells us that when Paul came to the Berean's, they reacted to his teachings by searching the Word of God to see if Paul was preaching the truth. Paul called them more noble than the Thessalonians because they were concerned with discerning Truth, using Scripture as the standard. Paul did not discourage them from questioning his teaching even though he was an apostle. He approved of it.

If those who are teaching would preach the Word in purity, they would not have to be concerned or afraid of their listeners or others checking their teachings with the Word of God, because they would be on target and accurately conveying the Truth of the Bible. Only those who know they are off-course will cry, “Don't discern or judge!”

A full examination of what is being said is the safest course for every believer in Christ. All supernatural events must be tested before they can be embraced as truth. Don't be intimidated by big names saying not too. It's your spiritual right, even your obligation, for your own protection.

To sum it all up...The spiritual man can discern all things. This shows maturity as Heb.5:13-14 says. II Jn 9 speaks to us about deceivers and tells us the only way to know is by doctrine: “Whoever transgresses (goes beyond the boundaries set forth and already established) and does not abide (live in, trust, stay in remain in) the doctrine of Christ does not have God.”

Heb. 5:11-14 says that we are to discern the good from the evil in a person's life and behavior. This applies to teachings inside the body of Christ and outside.

1 Cor. 2:15 says: “But he that is spiritual (or a spiritual man) judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no man.” Why does the spiritual man discern or judge all things? Verse 16 says because he has “the mind of Christ.”

The word “judge” used in 1 Cor. 2:14-15 means that one is to use discernment to see a thing's true value or to examine something (Gr. Anakrino). In Mt. 7:1, the word “judge” means to determine or call into question (Greek Krino).

Training ourselves to hear the Shepherds voice, his word keeps us from harm. When the Bereans heard what seemed like new truth from Paul, they went directly to the word.

God wants to protect his people. There is even a  supernatural gift of testing the Spirits that goes beyond the normal way of discerning by the word. This is one gift that is not be sought after in the Church. In 1 Cor. 12:10, there is mentioned the gift of discerning spirits. One is to distinguish, judge, or discriminate whether a spirit is from God or some other source--possibly evil (Gr. Diakrisis).

Most importantly, the Word of God is available to everyone, and, “ is quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12).  So we are to use it for ourselves and others to discriminate concerning a teaching or what exactly is transpiring in a supernatural service.

The Word must have its correct interpretation or one finds himself wandering from the original intent of the author which would put them outside the truthfulness of the Scriptures. They would then be believing in a false concept of the Word which God never intended. This is something the Holy Spirit cannot honor, validate, or communicate. God does still speak today, but it certainly is not new doctrine.

If you had a child who came home from school and said he was taught 2+2 = 5 would you correct him? Would you go to his teacher to find out why he is being taught this?   Would you being doing this because you are judgmental or out of love? If you didn't do any of this could you say you are a good parent! If we judge things which are non spiritual, how much more important are the things pertaining to eternal verities.

Rom.16:17-18: “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you 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 deceive the hearts of the simple.” 

These men have a  appetite and we need to not be naive'. We identify these people for the brethren’s own safety, we are to identify false teachers for the purpose of protecting the sheep in Christ's Church, and we certainly don’t need to apologize for it.




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