“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” (1 John 4:1).
In this verse believers are commanded to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” This same command is echoed in other parts of Scripture as well. For example, in 1Thessalonians 5:20-21 we find Paul exhorting the Christians to not “despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.”
These two passages are just a few of the many that warn Christians to test the message that people or spirits proclaim. This is true in all situations but most importantly when a person or spirit is claiming to speak for God. Christians are to be discerning hearers and readers of all messages. The reason for the admonition to “test the spirits” or “test all things” is that there are “many false prophets” or “wolves in sheep’s clothing” that try to lead Christians astray. Sadly, there are many people who claim to speak for God who are presenting a false gospel that is powerless to save, but leading people to hellfire. Such errant teaching leaves people with a false hope of salvation and, in a way, inoculates them from the true message of Christ. People who are deceived into thinking everything is fine will be more resistant to the Truth.
2Corinthians 11:13-15 warns us that “such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even satan disguises itself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” So the reason for testing the spirits, and all religious teaching is to see if it is truly in conformity with God’s Word from God or if it is a lie from satan and his servants.
The test is to compare what is being taught and done with the clear teaching of the Bible. If you listen very well with your Spirit, you will know if what they are up to is the Truth or error from the pit of hell. The Bible alone is the Word of God which must be use as the yardstick to measure what men do or say, in other to know they are in line with The Truth. The Word alone is inspired and inerrant. Therefore, the way to test the spirits is to see if what is being taught or done are in line with the clear teaching of Scripture. In Acts. 17:10-11, the Berean Jews were commended because after they heard the teachings of Paul and Silas, they went to their different homes to “examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” The Bereans were called “noble” for doing so.
Testing the spirits means that one must know how to “examine the Scriptures.” Rather than accept every teaching and end up in hell, discerning Christians diligently study the Scriptures. It is said that to recognize or identify what is fake, you must first know how the original looks like. Then you know what the Bible says and therefore can “test all things and hold fast to what is true.” In order to do this, a Christian must “be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Timothy 2:15). The Word of God is to be “a lamp” and “a light” to our path (Psalm 119:105). We must let its light shine on the teachings and doctrines of the day; the Bible alone is the standard by which all truth must be judged.
CULTS DO NOT HAVE TRUE FRUIT!
Anyone with false doctrine, like in the Cult circle, does not have true fruit. They cannot have good fruit because they are not abiding in Christ’s Word, but in other men’s words, such as, magical Books. They depend solely on their ‘seemingly good works,’ for, or to maintain what they do. They do not teach from the Bible, but their prophecies and revelations come forth in other men’s Books. If you go for such works in the name of seeking knowledge, or miracles, you have simply dined on satan’s table. Remember, from the beginning of this Book, we said, ‘We are in a time when magicians don’t parades themselves openly the way they used to be known anymore. They have perfected the art of deception to fits into the endtime program.
They do not have the identification telltale, as it used to be in the time of old, for example in Africa, they used to rub chalks on their faces, and do body arts decorations with shells, chalk, and cowries to look fearful on the street or in the marketplace. Everything is revolving in our present times. satanist, enchanters, necromancers, occultist dresses in designers’ three piece suits like you and I, they packaged themselves in an expensive shoes, with Giorgio Armani perfume and powerful eye glasses; carrying bigger Bibles, so that you will not recognize them. However, Our Lord Jesus Christ warned:
False prophets (not one, they are many in your community, and all around the world) will come in sheep clothing, with intention to deceive people, but by their fruits, you shall know them. Sheep clothing means: with correct evangelical doctrine, which we all read from the Bible, but inside of them, they are wolves. What do wolves do? Wolves are the enemies of sheep, they are mainly interested in eating sheep, and they chew up the flock, sheep is their diet.
When a man’s objective behind ministration of the gospel is mainly to exploit other believers for his own personal gain, he is a wolf; if all he wants to do, are to exploits you or your Christian faith for his personal enrichment, financial gain, honor, and fame for himself. However, he comes in a façade of sheep clothing, which is absolutely perfect, and correct evangelical doctrine. This is the point people get deceived, if you listen to his doctrine, you will think he is a sheep, but he is actually a wolf in the midst, because he is trying to exploit people for his personal gain.
Today the understanding of false prophets/teachers among believers is limited only to someone whose doctrine is wrong, if you go by that alone, you will be deceived thoroughly. The Lord said, ‘look for character’ by their fruits.
Some false prophets/teachers have, and operates in the ‘seemingly gifts of the spirit.’
BY THEIR FRUITS
To be able to discern these false prophets, do not look only by their doctrine or gift:
Do not look by their mind boggling prophetic ministry (1CORINTHIANS 13:1-2)
Do not look by their display of
Do not look by his spiritual
speaking in tongues gifts
Do not look by his working of
Do Not look by his teaching (eloquence) ability, the understanding, and, his verbal quoting of the scriptures, or by being a fire fire preacher.
Do Not look by his philanthropic work (1CORINTHIANS 13:3)
IT IS ONLY BY THEIR CHARACTERS, YOU WILL KNOW
Does he/she have Christ’s Spirit?
Does he/she have Christ’s humility?Does he/she has genuine love for other brethren?
Is he/she free from the love of money ?
Is there PURITY in his/her relationship with opposite sex?
(Adapted from “Deception of the Age Unmasked” by Evangelist Bisola Johnson)