Sunday, December 28, 2014

Test All Spirits

The saying goes that “you can’t believe everything you hear” and “things aren’t always what they seem”. Those two phrases cannot be truer today. There's much deception in this world. Even worse, there's deception within the Church. With so many Christian denominations, which one is right? Granted, no single church congregation is perfect, for we are all human at the end of the day, but there are churches at least strive to do their very best to stand strong in the Lord.

As it says in 1 John 4:1, King James Version, Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. With the way the world is today, we cannot be so naïve, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. As aforementioned, within Christianity, there are so many denominations, which one is true? To avoid division, we cannot put the particular denomination that a believer associates with to be above all others. Jesus warned against this when one of His disciples told Him that they forbade someone who was casting out demons in Jesus’ name [Luke 9:49]. 

In Acts 17, while Paul was in ministry, he went to preach in a church of Berea and the congregants were wise in verifying his speech by searching the Scriptures (Old Testament).
As Jesus also did forewarn, that we have to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves [Matthew 10:16] because there are many false prophets out in the world. I’ve come to believe that it’s worse for someone’s heart to be turned away from God but in whatever that person is doing still believes that they’re serving God than for one to be turned away and convert to other religions all together. 

We even have to test what is preached in our own churches. We have to be aware of things like “prosperity gospel” and “replacement theory”. Prosperity gospel is teaching that one just has to believe and tithe a whole lot to “get rich quickly” in a sense, that all of one’s natural needs will be met through faith. The prosperity gospel’s underlining message is that one’s natural needs, namely money/wealth & health, are above worshiping God for who He is; putting natural/earthly blessings above spiritual blessings.

Sadly, I believe that all parties involved in prosperity gospel are victims: the congregation for tithing & offering in order to obtain blessing above having an intimate relationship with the Lord and the “pastors” that teach on this. The congregants are the obvious victims because they are being fed a false doctrine and believing that faith alone will get them rich. The pastors are victims in a spiritual sense. Jesus said that what comes out of a man defiles the man [Matthew 15:20; Mark 7:15] and therefore are defiling themselves and risking eternal damnation. Their preaching of “prosperity” ends up feeding their own and not their sheep. 

We’ll get to replacement theory in another blog.

Now, maybe you’re church isn’t preaching on this but sometimes what you hear in a Sunday morning sermon just doesn’t sit right with your spirit. Don’t be afraid to do some biblical research on it or even ask the preacher on it.