GOD WARNS US TO TEST SPIRITS BEFORE BELIEVING THEM
(By: Norm Rasmussen)
Christians are warned to not believe every person, or angel, until they are certain of what spirit is operating inside that person or angel. Either a person or angel is operating under the influence of the Holy Spirit, or they are operating under the influence of Satan's Antichrist spirit. There is no third option.
1 John 4:1 (NKJV) is God's warning to us: 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.
At the time John wrote about testing spirits, the major controversy at that time was whether Jesus Christ was the long promised coming Messiah going way back into early Jewish history who would one day set up His kingdom over Israel, or was he a false Messiah claiming to be the real one. A number of the evil religious leaders of the day along with deceived people of the general populace of the Jews decided Jesus was a false Messiah, having demons operating in him no less they surmised, and needed to be done away with. But some knew He was the true Messiah, and still wanted Him killed. King Herod was one of them. Hence they ultimately had him hung on the cross to die to get rid of him.
So the point being at the time 1 John 4:1 was written: If you believed that Jesus Christ was the true Messiah sent from heaven, you had the Holy Spirit operating inside you quickening the truth of the matter to your spirit and mind.
On the other hand, if you did not believe Jesus Christ was the true Messiah, but a false messiah and a liar, then a Christian who had the Holy Spirit operating inside them could know by your confession that you were operating by the Antichrist spirit, and you were a false prophet of God (false-deceiving-wolf in sheep's clothing spokesperson really representing Satan's causes).
That confession holds true to this very day, as it will hold true right up to the return of Jesus Christ back to earth for all to see. A person must have the Holy Spirit quicken in them the truth that Jesus Christ was and is the TRUE promised Messiah sent from God the Father, and if a person can't confidently say that to you, BEWARE of what you believe that person is saying to you, or giving you literature to read or something to watch and/or listen to!
But after 2,000 years now since John gave us that test to use to discern who was the real deal from God and who wasn't, God wants His people aware of another TEST that is much more important than the one John wrote for us in Chapter 4 of 1 John.
Whoever it is you are dealing with, ask that person (or the publisher(s) of the resource you are presented with) if they believe GOD HIMSELF, Co-creator of all things - was the one who came from heaven and lived a perfectly sinless life as a man, which qualified Him to be the ONLY acceptable sacrifice God the Father and God the Holy Spirit would find acceptable to pay ransom payment for the sins of every person so they could be forgiven for them and their sins would not be held against them on the Judgment Day, and therefore they would not have to suffer in hell for eternity for them.
If that person answers something to the effect: "Well, yeah, I believe the Son of God died for the sins of every person," that's not good enough! That is true, but it's only a HALF truth. The other half of the truth, the most IMPORTANT part of the truth in fact -- is that you need to hear them confidently confess, when asked: "I believe GOD HIMSELF died for the sins of every human being on the cross."
To a wolf in sheep's clothing - to a false Christian - to a demon, to the antichrist spirit operating in a person, God will not allow them to say that GOD HIMSELF died on the cross for the sins of humanity so they could be freed from suffering for them for all eternity in hell, but rather, be assured they will spend eternity with God enjoying everlasting life because God forgave them of their sins because of asking Jesus Christ to forgive their sins, and believe that He paid full ransom payment by taking their punishment for them on the cross.
The ultimate test to test someone is to ask them if Jesus Christ was fully God before He came to earth and became a man, and when He resurrected back to heaven, he once again took on His full deity (that He had purposely set aside while in the form of a mere man for his 33 years of living on this planet) and once more is not only fully God -- fully One of the three persons of the eternal Godhead -- but in fact all judgment has been granted to Him by the Father. If they emphatically state "NO!", beware. If they say, "That could be possible; I'm not really sure at this time, but I'm open to it being so if the Holy Spirit reveals that to me one day," then be a bit more patient with them, giving God some time to continue to expand revelation of truth to him/her as wisdom dictates by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Bottom line: Jesus Christ is fully God -- He always was and always will be -- and if someone strongly denies this, assume they are not of God. Perhaps a time will come when they will change their belief by the work of the Holy Spirit inside them regarding who Jesus Christ really WAS and IS and forever WILL BE, but until that should happen ... beware of what they they believe and especially what they want YOU to believe!
The very same line of testing goes for an angel, should one or more appear to you. God EXPECTS you to test them to see if they are from Him, or from Satan in disguise. A true angel sent from God will be delighted to agree with you in truth about who Jesus Christ WAS and IS, and what He accomplished for humanity by dying on the cross for their sins, so never fear of testing them. On the other hand, if an angel flunks the above questions, or tries to skirt and/or dodge them, tell that angel to be gone in Jesus' name NOW and not return! That demonic angel-of-light will be gone in a flash, as the Holy Spirit will see to it.
1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV):
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit (John 1:14- Matt. 3:16)
Seen by angels, (Matt. 28:2)
Preached among the Gentiles (Romans 10:18)
Believed on in the world, (Col. 1:6,23)
Received up in glory (Luke 24:51)
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)