Summary: John warns the church against listening to those in false ministries.
PREWARNED & PREPARED - I JOHN 4:1-6
I came across a list of ANAGRAMS(rearrange letters of one word or phrase to form another)
DORMITORY – Dirty Room/DESPERATION-A rope ends it
THE MORSE CODE-Here come dots
SLOT MACHINES-Cash lost in em
ELEVEN PLUS TWO-Twelve plus one
ASTRONOMER-Moon Starer/PRINCESS DIANA-End is a Car Spin
YEAR TWO THOUSAND-A Year to Shut down
Missed prophesy which was a concern to all of us.
Somebody missed it and most everybody to one degree or another was effected.
· Our passage this morning is John’s warning about our believing what isn’t true and that one test as to whether we are truly born again might be called THE DOCTRINAL TEST.
· It is interesting that part of what it means to be a Christian is not just what you believe but what you don’t believe. Faith is no better than it’s object.
Beloved, 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. 4:1
· Share four spiritual truths with you this morning
WE HAVE A COMMAND WHICH IS BASED UPON A FACT – Test the Spirits……many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1. Every Christian is commanded to be discerning about what they receive as truth. Not just Pastors/teachers /school professors but every Christian.
George Whitefield asked a man, ‘Sir what do you believe?
I believe what my church believes.’ What does your church believe? It believes what I believe. And what do both of you believe? We both believe the same thing!
a. It is a command and not a suggestion.
Why is it so important?
b. GOOD & BAD NEWS:
BAD: World is filled with false messages.
In both the religious and secular world.
At the turn of the century the world’s most distinguished astronomer was Sir Percival Lowell. He was esteemed for his study of the solar system and had a particular fascination with Mars.
He was certain that he had determined that there were CANALS on the surface of the Red Planet and that these canals were proof of intelligent life there.
The balance of his life was spent squinting though a giant telescope in Arizona mapping the channels and canals he saw. He was so esteemed his teachings gained wide acceptance.
Since that time our space probes have orbited mars and even landed on it’s surface. Entire planet has been mapped and no one has seen even one canal.
It is now assumed that Percival Lowell had a rare eye disease which is now called ‘Lowell’s syndrome’ which makes a person see the bulging blood vessels in their own eyeballs.
Man from his limited perspective has brought to us many error-filled ideas that one day will be exposed as foolishness.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY. Among those who profess to have a belief in Jesus?
Mt 7 Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheeps clothing
2 Pet 2 There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies…
Acts 20 After my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock
GOOD: False messages are meant to distort what God is trying to communicate to us.
THE BEST LIE IS THAT WHICH LOOKS THE MOST LIKE THE TRUTH.
John affirms that God is communicating His truth to us and we need to hear it.
A mark of spiritual maturity is not just belief but unbelief. Not just what you agree to be right but what you discern to be wrong.
A spiritually immature person is described in Eph 4 ‘tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting’.
Jude 4 For certain person have crept in unnoticed… That tells me that they are CREEPS and that we need to find ways to notice them.
‘Sit down spirit, you are going to take a test. Answer these questions and see it they fall in line with the revealed Word of God’.
WE ARE CAUTIONED ABOUT WHAT THE KEY ERROR IS IN A FALSE MESSAGE: (2-3) By this you know the Spirit of God; every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
1. A false message is always wrong about one thing: Jesus.
Our Home Mission Board has a two phase test for a cult:
1) Do they have a different Bible?
2) Do they have a different Jesus?
2. What does a different Jesus look like?