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Summary: 1- We should refuse false prophets 2- We should recognize true believers 3- We should realize true power

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INTRO.- Let me name some people to see your reaction in regard to whether you believe them or not. Please give me thumbs up or thumbs down, depending on whether you believe them or not or believe in them; good, bad or otherwise.

- Donald Trump (Mr. Combover. He talks a lot)

- Bill Gates (He knows about computers and how to make money)

- Will Rogers (Great humorist in his day!)

- Tiger Woods (debatable after all of his women flings)

- Billy Graham (man of faith, consistent, faithful, amazing)

- Jimmy Carter (good man, not sure about his presidency)

- Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (good country singers and married and Christian)

- Oprah Winfrey (knows how to make money)

Can you believe in someone without believing something they say? Maybe. I’ve heard a number of preachers that I believed in but I didn’t always believe everything they preached.

Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

I think perhaps the Bereans believed in the apostle Paul very much but they still checked with the scriptures to see if what he was saying or preaching was true.

Yes, you can believe in someone without believing every word they say. And this brings to our text. John says do not believe every spirit. Or don’t believe what every person is saying, teaching, or preaching. Why? Because we believe in Christ and many who don’t believe preach a false message about life. We must cling to God, His Word and what His people are saying.

PROP.- Think about what God says about true believers versus false believers and how to overcome the false.

1- We should refuse false prophets

2- We should recognize true believers

3- We should realize true power

I. WE SHOULD REFUSE FALSE PROPHETS

1Dear 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.

Who are you listening to? Whose stuff are you buying? Are you sure? And do you believe EVERY PERSON who speaks, teaches or preaches?

ILL.- One time I went to drive a used car in our area. I knew very well the car that I was looking at. When I asked three specific questions, the salesman answered me, but was wrong every time. Now either he didn’t know his product or else he was lying to me to influence me to buy the car.

We need to be careful who we’re listening to in this world and especially, when it comes to matters of eternity!

ILL.- We all heard that Oral Roberts passed away in December of 2009 from complications with pneumonia. He was 91 years old. What a past he’s had and mainly as an evangelist, a revivalist, and a tent evangelist in years gone by. REMEMBER THOSE EARLY DAYS WHEN HE WAS ON TV AS A HEALING PREACHER?

He would say, “Put your hand on the TV screen and be healed.” I believed him and tried it because I didn’t like my nearsighted vision. However, I still have my nearsighted vision.

What’s the problem? Could Oral Roberts not heal me? No, he couldn’t, because we know that only God heals people. Even Oral Roberts said that, although he was still tagged a healing preacher. Was my faith not strong enough back then to be healed?

It may have had something to do with it, because whenever I put my hand on that TV screen I made sure that no one in the house was watching me!

Roberts felt called to build an enormous hospital complex that was to marry prayer and medicine, anchored by a 60-story tower. The project collapsed in the late 1980s and left the school with staggering debt. Then there was Roberts' widely ridiculed proclamation that God would "call me home" if he failed to meet a fundraising goal of $8 million. I think he got $9 million for the project.

When Roberts made this prediction it left a lot of people feeling like, “Come on now! Who are you kidding?”

His true followers, however, supported him and sent money, but many people thought that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It made many people think that Roberts was just a false prophet. I THINK THOUGHT WAY TOO.

However, God is His judge just as God will be our judge. All I know is this: He did do a lot of good and he did preach Jesus Christ as the only Savior of the world. I can’t argue with that even though I could disagree with some of his doctrine.

1Dear 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.

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