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Test The Spirits January 15, 2007

Posted by rattazzimedia in Christianity, Church, God, Religion, Spiritual, Spiritual Overview, Spiritual Study, Spirituality, Theology.

In some of my posts last year we defined spirituality as thinking on eternity.  There are various schools of thought on this topic, there are various spirits we could listen to and believe.  The apostle John instructed believers on this topic as he wrote:

Dear friends, 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.

How do we identify a spirit?  How can we know it is from God?  John goes on to outline a method for determining the source of some teaching or pattern of thought.  He tells us to focus our attention on Jesus Christ and the truth from God the apostles were teaching:

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.  We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

So then the question becomes for each of us: What do you think about Jesus Christ?  Some are very careful to discover and clearly understand the truth about Jesus.  Some, while not actively disputing the importance of Jesus do not put much effort or thought into investigating the truth about Jesus Christ.  Some are hostile to the concept (the Spirit) that Jesus is the chosen one of God and must be listened to.  These people have decided that one of these other many spirits (that are not from God) is true.  The apostle Paul puts it this way:  

I do not want you to be ignorant.  You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.  Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord ,” except by the Holy Spirit.

Remember our definition of spirituality.  The mind and the spirit are closely connected.  A person’s thinking is closely related to his or her spirituality.  Don’t be thinking it doesn’t matter what you think.  Do not rely on the disorganized chatter of everyday life to define your spirituality.  Do not let the commercial media tell you what you think about Jesus.  Test the spirits.  Be organized and diligent in investigating the truth about these things.  The Spirit that is from God is concerned with revealing Jesus to us.  The mind of Jesus is the mind of God.  The apostle Paul wrote:

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.  The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:

“For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

The mind of God is revealed to us in Jesus Christ.  The apostle Paul expresses the contrast as the spirit of the world versus the Sprit from God.  The various spirits from the world express various thoughts on spirituality.  The Spirit form God is focused on Jesus Christ.  This is how God chose to reveal himself to us.  Test the spirits.  Are our spirits, our minds in perfect agreement with this truth?  Paul also wrote:

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him,  rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

There is this contrast and they key to understanding what is from God is Jesus Christ.  So we each must do our best to understand the truth about Jesus so that we can effectively and accurately test the spirits.


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