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1 John 4:1-3

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Seeking1

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1 John 4:1-3 (KJV)
 
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."
 
I recently read an article (in which I have provided the full text below) about utilizing this test on spirits by Christians. I very strongly disagree with their conclusion. To me, this puts the Word of God into serious doubt!
 
I have been strongly interpreting "1 John 4:1-3" as a tool primarily to test the spirit itself behind a prophet, and not a man of flesh and blood. While you could use it to test a man (as John also does), unsaved men can and do say the words "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh." Since the passage says EVERY spirit, I see no good reason to make it say "some" or even "most," as the authors of this article are doing.
 
I know John does say that false prophets (men of flesh and blood) have denied "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" elsewhere in his epistles, but this particular passage highlights spirits, not people. (Although some versions say "people" when the original Textus Receptus Greek says "spirits" only -- I find the original TR Greek trustworthy over any translation). 
 
Again, this puts the very trustworthiness of God's own Word into serious doubt when testing a spirit claiming to be from God! In my opinion, no demonic spirit outside the flesh and blood of a man (host) should EVER be able to say these words at all, or else the Biblical test is too ambiguous and hence worthless! The authors of the article below, rather than helping Christians realize they shouldn't willingly communicate with familiar spirits, encourages them instead to distrust the absolute usefulness of the Word of God in testing them! I frankly find this article very dangerous. 
 
What if an "angel" from Satan claimed to be from God, and it could utter the words "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh?" Remember, during the tribulation, Jesus said that the deception will be so good that even the elect could be deceived (at least away from God's protection). Since the authors have effectively voided the Word of God here, there is no absolute recourse for testing this spirit!
 
To me, if a demon is able to even say "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" in any kind of believable manner, then the Word of God is FALSE! What the authors are proposing familiar spirits (devils) can do should be impossible by the very Word of God! I feel they are actually discouraging Christians from making the Word of God their final authority for faith and practice! I could see Satan saying, "Yes, has God REALLY said that EVERY spirit that confesses 'Jesus Christ is come in the flesh' is solely from God?" The first task of Satan in the Garden of Eden was to get Eve to doubt the very plain words of the Almighty God! Talk about a recipe for disaster and pure confusion! Not every Christian is a great theologian either -- some are babies in Christ! Could you imagine what something like this would do to them?
 
What do you think? Please read my full opinion above and the article below before giving your thoughts though. I would appreciate your ideas on this matter :)
 
 
 
1 John 4:1-3
One of the most controversial Family teachings concerns their long-standing belief that Christians may freely communicate with “spirit helpers.” To the Family, spirit helpers are  people who have died, or angels, or other spiritual beings who are active in the ‘spirit world,’ an unseen dimension that coexists with the visible material world. According to the Family, these beings are unrestricted by human limitations and actively assist Christians in their work for the Lord.
In John’s first epistle, there is an often-quoted passage that appears to contain a procedure for testing spiritual beings. The Family claims that this passage vindicate their stance on spirit helpers, saying that it proves that believers may communicate with the spirit world, and even engage in dialogue with the spirit beings there, to the point that one may question them in order to discern whether or not they come from God. Then, according to the Family, one may continue to communicate freely with those that do come from God, while those that do not come from God (that is, those that originate from the devil) are to be shunned.
It should be noted that there are some Christian teachers, mainly from extreme charismatic churches, who appear to hold to a similar teaching.
This pages examines the passage in First John in its original context in order to determine if that is its intention: Was John discussing procedures for dealing with spirit helpers? If he was, then it is reasonable to assume that he would have mentioned the topic elsewhere, and that the passage would clearly say so. If he was not discussing spirit helpers, then there are pertinent two questions for Family members:
What does this passage actually mean?
If the Bible does not say that Christians may 'test' spirit helpers, then what are the implications for the Family?
Test the spirits
1 John 4:1-3
1 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. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
NASU
A surface reading of this passage gives rise to the theory that one may question spiritual beings as to whether or not they proceed from God. It appears that demonic spirits would be unable to say that Christ has come, while God’s angels would have no trouble. The 'test question' appears to be, "Has Jesus Christ come in the flesh?" or "Is Jesus Christ from God?" or a similar question.
However, this interpretation has a number of difficulties. It ignores the context of First John - which does not refer to spirits, demons or angels - and it is incompatible with a number of other relevant Scriptures. For example, Jesus made it clear that evildoers would have no difficulty in working miracles or prophesying in His name (Matt 7:21-23), and Paul explained that Satan Himself could appear as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14). Therefore, it seems that the Devil, who is the “father of lies” (John 8:44), would have no trouble lying about his own attitude towards Jesus Christ. In fact, some of the Corinthians had been deceived by some false preachers who were using the name of Jesus to promote a “different gospel.”
2 Cor 11:4 For if some one comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough. RSV
Jesus warned that many people would be misled by false teachers who would use His own name in order to lie and deceive.
Matt 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. NASU
From these passages, we can see that the name “Jesus” does not have attached to it some kind of power to prevent its own misuse. This is, of course, an obvious conclusion that may also be reached by observing the fact that the words “Jesus” or “Jesus Christ” are commonly used as curse words in the world.
Several times in the Scriptures, we also see instances of when demons used Jesus’ name, and even told the truth about who He was.
Luke 8:28 Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” NASU (See also Luke 4:33-34)
Therefore, questioning spiritual beings in an attempt to determine whether or not they originate from God would be a pointless exercise. In the first place, evil spirits are not afraid to use the name “Jesus.” Second, the Devil is a liar, and is under no compulsion to tell the truth about who he is or his plans. Third, there are specific warnings that false teachers will use the name of Jesus in order to propagate a false gospel.
So, 1 John 4:1-3 does not mandate interrogating spiritual beings. Besides, it is difficult to imagine the setting in which a human may interrogate a demon.
So, what does it mean to “test the spirits?” Is there any application from this passage that modern Christians may put into practice?
First, it is important to do some research into the background of this letter.
 
The First Epistle of John
The first epistle of John is in the nature of a family letter from the heavenly Father to His “little children” who are in the world. The great theme of the epistle is fellowship in the family of the Father. The intimacy of the epistle has always had great attraction for the people of God.
Occasion and Date. The epistle was apparently written to compete with various forms of error, particularly Cerinthian Gnosticism. False teachers of this cult had denied the essential truth of the incarnation, that Christ had come in the flesh, maintaining that matter was evil. The writer also combated false mysticism that denied the reality of the sin nature in the Christian. He also railed against those who violated Christian fellowship and rejected Christian morality and love. The first epistle of John is in a sense a moral and practical application of the gospel. The time between the two could not have been long. It was probably written a little later than the gospel, around  A.D. 90 or 95.
Purpose. The apostle plainly refutes the false ideas of the errorists. He does this positively, giving fresh interpretation and application of the gospel to the urgent demands of his time. He shows the reality of the fellowship with the Father and that believers possess eternal life now in this world. He stresses the close connection of the possession of eternal life with the manifestation of love, right conduct, and sound morality. The apostle apparently does not develop this thought in progressive fashion but in what has been called a “spiral” manner, treating a number of related topics and interweaving them. For this reason outlining the epistle is difficult and to some extent arbitrary. The book is commonly divided into two principal parts.
(The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary)
While the letter has universal application, in that its principles may be applied to all Christians, it is important to discover exactly what those principles are. The recipients of the letter (probably believers in or near Ephesus), had been exposed to teachings from false prophets, so John wrote with a specific purpose in mind: He would refute their arguments and set the church straight.
1 John 2:26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. NASU
In the letter, John addresses three main topics, each of which he returns to again and again. The three main topics are:
The incarnation of Christ
Sin and forgiveness
Love and Hatred
It appears that the false teachers were trying to infect the church with a form of Gnosticism, a heresy with mystic elements in which the universe was eternally separated into “good” and “evil.” This meant that it would have been completely impossible for Christ (good) to enter a human body (evil). John rejects this as “the spirit of the antichrist” (1 John 4:3), and repeatedly emphasises the fact that Jesus was actually incarnated into a real human body. In fact, in his opening sentence to the epistle, John stresses the physical reality of Christ’s body.
1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched — this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. NIV
Following is a brief explanation of the heresy John was combating:
EPISTLES OF JOHN
Docetism: To such a view of the universe Christianity could be adjusted only by a docetic interpretation of the Person of Christ. A real incarnation was unthinkable. The Divine could enter into no actual union with a corporeal organism. The human nature of Christ and the incidents of His earthly career were more or less an illusion. And it is with this docetic subversion of the truth of the incarnation that the “antichrists” are specially identified (1 John 2:22-23; 4:2-3), and against it that John directs with wholehearted fervor his central thesis-the complete, permanent, personal identification of the historical Jesus with the Divine Being who is the Word of Life (John 1:1), the Christ (4:2) and the Son of God (5:5): “Jesus is the Christ come in the flesh.” In John 5:6 there is a still more definite reference to the special form which gnostic Christology assumed in the teaching of Cerinthus and his school. According to Irenaeus (Adv. Haer., i.26, 1) this Cerinthus, who was John's prime antagonist in Ephesus, taught that Jesus was the son of Joseph and Mary, and was distinguished from other men only by superiority in justice, prudence and wisdom; that at His baptism the heavenly Christ descended upon Him in the form of a dove; that on the eve of His Passion, the Christ again left Jesus, so that Jesus died and rose again, but the Christ, being spiritual, did not suffer. That is to say, that, in the language of the Epistle, the Christ “came by water,” but not, as John strenuously affirms, “by water and blood .... not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood” (1 John 5:6). He who was baptized of John in Jordan, and He whose life-blood was shed on Calvary, is the same Jesus and the same Christ, the same Son of God eternally.
(International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia)
So, with this in mind, we may now look at the passage containing the injunction to “test the spirits.”
1 John 4:1-4
1 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. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
NASU
What does John mean by “spirit”?
The Greek word used here can have a number of meanings.
NT:4151
1.         a movement of air (gentle) blast
a.         used of the wind:
b.         breath of the nostrils or mouth
2.         the spirit, i.e., the vital principle by which the body is animated
3.         a spirit
a.         generically: Luke 24:37
b.         a human soul that has left the body Heb 12:23
c.         a spirit higher than man but lower than God, i.e. an angel: plural Heb 1:14
d.         the spiritual nature of Christ, higher than the highest angels, close to God and most intimately united to him (in doctrinal phraseology the divine nature of Christ): 1 Tim 3:16
4.         The Scriptures also ascribe a pneuma to God, i.e., God’s power and agency. By metonymy, pneuma is used of:
a.         one in whom a spirit (pneuma) is manifest or embodied; 2 Thess 2:2
b.         the plural pneumata denotes the various modes and gifts by which the Holy Spirit shows itself operative in those in whom it dwells 1 Cor 14:12
5.         universally, the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of anyone; the efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, 2 Cor 12:18
(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)
While it is possible that John is referring exclusively to spirit beings, this is unlikely as there is no other reference in the epistle to spirit beings at all, whether angels or demons. It is far more likely that John is either referring to the false teachers themselves, or possibly to the demonic entities that influence these false teachers. In either case, the believers were not urged to examine a spiritual being as such, but to look closely at what the false teachers had said, and so discern whether or not these people were “from God.”
 
Commentaries
 
Stedman
Stedman wrote that the “spirit” mentioned was the antithesis to the Holy Spirit, an evil spirit of antichrist that guides false teachers.
It is of this that John writes and says, “Do not believe these spirits -- until you have tested them.” First test them. Don’t be a sucker, don’t believe anyone who comes along. It is important to note that there is here a very clear recognition of what the Bible teaches all the way through -- that behind the false prophet or false teacher is an evil spirit. Men simply do not speak out of their own intellectual attainments. Quite unconscious to themselves they are being guided -- and misguided -- by an evil spirit, a “spirit of error” John calls it, an anti-Christian spirit which is behind these false prophets and teachers. There is a true Spirit, the Holy Spirit of truth, the Spirit of love, and just as he speaks through men, so evil spirits, false spirits, the spirits of error, also speak through men. When you hear men and women talking about religious things or values, do not gullibly swallow everything they say, especially if they appear to be attractively setting forth something about love and sweetness and light and concern for others. Especially test that line, for it is the usual approach of error. Recognize that behind the individual may be a spirit of error.
(Ray Stedman)
Adam Clarke
[Beloved, believe not every spirit] Do not be forward to believe every teacher to be a man sent of God. As in those early times every teacher professed to be inspired by the Spirit of God, because all the prophets had come thus accredited, the term spirit was used to express the man who pretended to be and teach under the Spirit’s influence. See 1 Cor 12:1-12; 1 Tim 4:1.
[Try the spirits] Put these teachers to the proof. Try them by that testimony which is known to have come from the Spirit of God, the word of revelation already given.
[Many false prophets] Teachers not inspired by the Spirit of God, are gone out into the world-among the Jewish people particularly, and among them who are carnal and have not the Spirit.
(Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
Barnes
Verse 1. [Beloved, believe not every spirit] Do not confide implicitly in everyone who professes to be under the influences of the Holy Spirit. Compare Matt 24:4-5. The true and the false teachers of religion alike claimed to be under the influence of the Spirit of God, and it was of importance that all such pretensions should be examined. It was not to be admitted because anyone claimed to have been sent from God that therefore he was sent. Every such claim should be subjected to the proper proof before it was conceded. All pretensions to divine inspiration, or to being authorised teachers of religion, were to be examined by the proper tests, because there were many false and delusive teachers who set up such claims in the world.
[But try the spirits whether they are of God] There were those in the early Christian church who had the gift of “discerning spirits,” (see the notes at 1 Cor 12:10,) but it is not certain that the apostle refers here to any such supernatural power. It is more probable, as he addresses this command to Christians in general, that he refers to the ability of doing this by a comparison of the doctrines which they professed to hold with what was revealed, and by the fruits of their doctrines in their lives. If they taught what God had taught in his word, and if their lives corresponded with his requirements, and if their doctrines agreed with what had been inculcated by those who were admitted to be true apostles, (1 John 4:6), they were to receive them as what they professed to be. If not, they were to reject them, and hold them to be impostors. It may be remarked, that it is just as proper and as important now to examine the claims of all who profess to be teachers of religion, as it was then. In a matter so momentous as religion, and where there is so much at stake, it is important that all pretensions of this kind should be subjected to a rigid examination. No one should be received as a religious teacher without the clearest evidence that he has come in accordance with the will of God, nor unless he inculcates the very truth which God has revealed. See the notes at Isa 8:20, and Acts 17:11.
(Barnes’ Notes)
 
The test
 
Exactly how were John’s readers to administer this test? John gives specific criteria by which his readers would be able to tell if a particular teacher was speaking error. If he denied the incarnation of Christ, he had been inspired by the spirit of antichrist. If he confessed that “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh,” he was from God.
Now, it is important here to note that John does not imply that this is the only test of whether or not a teacher was from God. In his epistle, he gives many other ‘tests’ of truth and error.
 
Other ‘tests’ of error in 1 John
 
Each of the following references contain a ‘mini test’ in which John says that if his readers saw this particular thing happening, they would know that the person was not from God.
Walking in darkness (1 John 1:6)
Saying we have no sin (1 John 1:8-10)
Disobedience to God’s commandments (1 John 2:4)
Hating one’s brother (1 John 2:9-11, 3:15, 4:8, 4:20-21)
Loving the world (1 John 2:15-16)
Departure from the church (1 John 2:19)
Denial that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2:22)
Practising sin (1 John 3:4-10)
Not listening to the apostles (1 John 4:6)
Clearly, John gave his readers many ‘tests’ whereby they could discern whether or not a particular person was a true or false teacher. If that person ‘failed’ any one of those tests, he was to be rejected.
 
Summary of 1 John
 
Now we may begin to understand the text as John’s original readers would have understood it.
False teachers were present in the church, and John knew exactly what they were saying. His epistle repeatedly warned the Christians to avoid and reject them. False teachers could be recognised by any one of a number of errors they were prone to. There would then be no doubt; if someone failed one of those tests, he was a false teacher not to be tolerated. For example, if he said he had no sin, he was a false teacher to be rejected, whether or not he admitted that Christ had come in the flesh. In other words, suppose someone had proclaimed that they believed that Christ had come in the flesh (according to 1 John 4:2), but also claimed that he was sinless, this man would have been totally rejected as a false teacher, a liar motivated by the ‘spirit of antichrist.’
It is clear that the church was under attack from false teaching that specifically denied the incarnation. In fact, it seems that this false teaching was not entirely cleared up by this epistle, for the apostle refers to it again in his next letter.
2 John 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. NASU
The passage in chapter four about ‘testing the spirits’ refers specifically to the false teachers who were infiltrating the church. John was not instructing the believers to attempt to interrogate spirit beings to determine whether they were angels or demons!
 
Application
 
The first principle we may apply from this passage is the responsibility of all believers to discern whether or not their teachers are from God. We are not to passively accept everything we are told, as John explained to his followers:
1 John 2:26-27
26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him
NASU
People were trying to deceive them, and they were to reject those teachers.
The second principle from this passage is that discernment of doctrine is only accomplished through comparison with true doctrine as revealed in the Bible. The New Testament contains a record of the inspired teachings of Christ and His anointed Apostles. These teachings are authoritative, in that God will hold us accountable if we fail to obey them.
1 John 4:1-3 does not contain an infallible quiz question for differentiating between angels and demons. Rather, it is one of a series of questions that should be asked to determine whether or not a teacher or his message is of God. If the teacher himself does not obey Scripture, or his message does not conform to biblical teaching, then both are to be rejected.
Having understood the purpose of this passage, one can now see the spiritual peril involved in the false belief that this is a procedure that will provide protection against demonic deception. For example, a Family ‘prophet’ may assume that he can at any time trust that the ‘messages’ he receives come from God as long as he receives a confirmation that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” However, what may be happening is that a demonic entity is deceiving the ‘prophet’ in order to present messages that actually originate from the Devil.
It is a major weakness in Family theology that ‘regular’ Family members are not permitted to evaluate the truth of prophecies they are given. The Bible, however, says that each believer can and must do so, and should reject any message that fails to conform to biblical truth.
 
Conclusion
 
The Family (and other churches with similar interpretations) have totally misinterpreted these verses, and in so doing have left themselves open for gross deception. Demons do exist, but the Family's false notions that they have the ability to discern between demons and angels, or between demons and spirit helpers who come "from God" leaves them in the perilous position of being open to demonic spiritual attack.
The practice of contacting the spirit world is forbidden in the scriptures for good reason, and it seems that the Family is blindly walking to its own destruction.

Edited by Seeking1, 06 August 2014 - 07:45 PM.

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Seeking1

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Oh, and unlike what the authors of this article are insinuating, I see NO place in the Holy Bible where demons EVER said the exact words "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" NOR "The LORD Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 12:3 -"Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.")

 

Unsaved men can say that Jesus Christ is Lord, but inwardly they cannot mean it. The flesh may allow for this. I think a demonic spirit may not be able to lie this way though, because nowhere in Scripture do they ever call Jesus "LORD!"  It is always something like, Son of the Most High or the Holy One of God! I feel the author is definitely stretching here in favor of their argument to say that since demons do respect Jesus in their words, therefore they could pass "1 John 4:1-3." Exact words utilized in Scripture DO seem to matter, if you pay attention closely!

 

More thoughts are welcome :)


Edited by Seeking1, 06 August 2014 - 09:00 PM.

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Seeking1

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Jesus also says directly that unsaved men CAN falsely call him "Lord" in Matthew 7:22-23:

 

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

 

Therefore, it is appropriate to put "1 Corinthians 12:3" into a greater context since it seems to contradict "Matthew 7:22-23" if taken at face value.

 

However, notice that Jesus NEVER says that demons (who are spirits NOT flesh) can do this! There is NO example in the entire Bible of demons actually doing this either! If anyone can provide a single verse where this occurs, I will stand corrected. I have read the King James Version three times now with audio, and I have never seen this happen once! Therefore, there is no seemingly contradictory verse in conflict with "1 John 4:1-3," unlike "Matthew 7:22-23" and "1 Corinthians 12:3." Thus, I believe that "1 John 4:1-3" should be taken literally when it says EVERY spirit!

 

I will warn that I could be wrong here, but it doesn't seem like I should be. Any other thoughts, both for or against? Thanks!


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Seeking1

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The author is also acting like no false spirit would or could ever approach a Christian entirely on their own in order to deceive. They act as if only Christians dabbling in the occult or seeking "angelic guides" could ever have such a occurrence, to which I say: nonsense!


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spirits and people have gotten around this test by telling themselves that the technical words that they mouth are a lie.

 

If they do this then they are not really confessing that Jesus has or is come in the flesh but they are only giving lip service because they know it is a test and they are trying to gain your confidence.

 

Further interrogation is needed.

 

I once saw as the title of a book, "I talk back to the devil."

 

It inspired me to begin having conversations with the voices that I used to hear so that I could discern better what their personalities are; because there is a 't' in the word of knowledge gift and you need to be able to discern their voices from the voices of holy angels, God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, God the Son, and people saved and unsaved alike.

 

I am no longer accosted by demonic voices on most occasions.  God has not given me the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  The hearing of voices indeed has nothing to do with what the world calls mental illness; but is rather a gift of sensitivity to that which is spiritual through an ear that pays attention to everything and discounts nothing as having no basis in reality.  If you experience something it is real to you and if similar things are also real to certain other people though some may have no experience of it, then chances are there is something very real about your experience.  And since there is not just one person on the face of the earth who is said by others to be mentally ill because of hearing voices; it is definitely true that hearing voices is a common experience of those considered mentally ill and therefore is not the result of losing touch with reality since it is a common reality that is experienced by a specific label of people in society.

 

And did not the prophets of old also hear at least the voice of YHWH?  I can think of three examples of prophets who heard the audible voice of the LORD:  Samuel, Elijah, and Moses (who also spoke with God face to face inside the temple).  And I am quite certain that when God spoke to the other prophets His speaking to them was not limited to impressions.  In fact those prophets who went by impressions were rebuked by the prophet Jeremiah when God told him to say "Woe to the prophets who speak and say "Thus saith the LORD" when the LORD has not spoken."

 

Of course true prophets of God do indeed speak as they are moved along by the Holy Ghost; but this is no proof that God does not also speak to them the specific words that He wants them to say since we have given the examples of Moses, Elijah, and Samuel as those who heard His voice in audible messages.

 

I may have digressed from the original subject a little but all of it applies to the subject at hand.


Edited by Geoff Primanti, 11 August 2014 - 01:48 AM.

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Most of the time when I hear God actually verbally with my ears he's telling me,  "NO, don't do that."   or something of that nature.


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I too have often wondered if a demon or malevolent spirit is actually physically incapable of admitting that Jesus came in the flesh, as if God has put some limit on them and blocked them from being able to do so.


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I too have often wondered if a demon or malevolent spirit is actually physically incapable of admitting that Jesus came in the flesh, as if God has put some limit on them and blocked them from being able to do so.

I don't know if they can't say it, but when you tell them that Jesus is Lord and Satan is defeated, they get really really agitated....   It's a reminder to them where you/we assume they will spend eternity.

 

It's been a good thing for me for they tend to leave me alone much more than they did 25 years ago.


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#9
Geoff Primanti

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Totally, otherone, that is an excellent way of dealing with them that I never thought of.  Thanks for revealing that tidbit.


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#10
Hobbes

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Hi Seeking1,

 

The passage in 1 John 4:1-7 is about testing the spirits presently.

 

Modern believers today and so called Biblical scholars has attributed verses 2 & 3 to be about whethor or not Jesus Christ had come in the flesh, but that is not the heresey the apostle John was reproving.

 

The term "is come" means presently;  not past tense.  Therefore any spirit that says that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.  That is the same thing as saying 2 Corinthians 13:5.

 

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

 

Verse 3 is exposing that spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is in us;  hence as outside of us is not of God.

 

Now the point about the spirit's testimony.  If our own actions testify of us and not just our words, so are the actions of the spirit.  If the spirit testify by being felt outside of us or coming over or filling a saved believer "again" that already has Jesus Christ in them, then that spirit is the spirit of the antichrist which believers are not to believe as being of God. 

 

It concludes one point in the testing of the spirit in that respect in verse 4 as greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

 

The other point of testing the spirits is one of the major result given by the spirit of the antichrist and that is a supernatural tongue that comes with no interpretation as it is just babbling nonsense which can be found in the world in occults, and other religions before Pentecost when the real God's gift of tongues came which is of other men's lips to speak unto the people & not babbling nonsense.  So tongues without interpretation as babbling nonsense is the way the world speaks and hears in verse 5 & 6.  And we are to correct believers that are astray in Christ's love reagrding these seducing spirits that seek to come inbetween us and the Son of Whom we have been reconciled to God the Father by.  Those that are astray are to shun vain & profane babblings & pray normally; and to chase no more after those spirits in seeking to receive them for any sensational sign.

 

So in readdressing your contention;  our actions and not just our words testify of us and so the actions of the spirit also testify of them for us to test them by to know if they are of God or not. The words also testify of the spirits as not of Him when the "words" come with no interpretation as supernaturally influenced, but is babbling nonsense and so they are not of Him either.


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#11
He giveth more grace

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    Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Most of the time when I hear God actually verbally with my ears he's telling me,  "NO, don't do that."   or something of that nature.

God audibly speaks through the air to you and you hear him with your natural, fleshly ears? You said "most of the time" so this is a common occurrence, I am not trying to be mean, you are one of my favorites, but come on, do you know what you are saying. I am your friend.
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#12
other one

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Most of the time when I hear God actually verbally with my ears he's telling me,  "NO, don't do that."   or something of that nature.

God audibly speaks through the air to you and you hear him with your natural, fleshly ears? You said "most of the time" so this is a common occurrence, I am not trying to be mean, you are one of my favorites, but come on, do you know what you are saying. I am your friend.

 

yes I do mean that......   and it's kept me from disaster more than once.    I don't know if it is from my fleshly ears or directly into my mind, for there really isn't any way to know since you mind actually is what hears and understands sound.....    were my ear drums vibrating.......   I don't have any way of knowing.....      comes with living on the edge I guess.... 


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#13
He giveth more grace

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    Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Most of the time when I hear God actually verbally with my ears he's telling me,  "NO, don't do that."   or something of that nature.

God audibly speaks through the air to you and you hear him with your natural, fleshly ears? You said "most of the time" so this is a common occurrence, I am not trying to be mean, you are one of my favorites, but come on, do you know what you are saying. I am your friend.
yes I do mean that......   and it's kept me from disaster more than once.    I don't know if it is from my fleshly ears or directly into my mind, for there really isn't any way to know since you mind actually is what hears and understands sound.....    were my ear drums vibrating.......   I don't have any way of knowing.....      comes with living on the edge I guess....
On one hand you afirm that God audibly speak to you then you say that you don't know with you fleshly ears or he put it in your spirit, the is ambiguity there. I am your friend just desiring a full understanding of the matter and I think that it is beneficial to all to have this cleared up. The people of God heard him speak out of the air and they beg him, speak to Moses and he will relay your message.

So forth and so on.
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#14
other one

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Most of the time when I hear God actually verbally with my ears he's telling me,  "NO, don't do that."   or something of that nature.

God audibly speaks through the air to you and you hear him with your natural, fleshly ears? You said "most of the time" so this is a common occurrence, I am not trying to be mean, you are one of my favorites, but come on, do you know what you are saying. I am your friend.
yes I do mean that......   and it's kept me from disaster more than once.    I don't know if it is from my fleshly ears or directly into my mind, for there really isn't any way to know since you mind actually is what hears and understands sound.....    were my ear drums vibrating.......   I don't have any way of knowing.....      comes with living on the edge I guess....
On one hand you afirm that God audibly speak to you then you say that you don't know with you fleshly ears or he put it in your spirit, the is ambiguity there. I am your friend just desiring a full understanding of the matter and I think that it is beneficial to all to have this cleared up. The people of God heard him speak out of the air and they beg him, speak to Moses and he will relay your message.

So forth and so on.

 

No I didn't say it was in my spirit I said it was in my head......   when you hear something your ear drums wiggle and the little hairs in your inner ear  send signals to the circuits in your brain and your brain makes sense of it and you perceive it as sound.........    so just to give you some slack I mentioned that he might have put it directly into those circuits in my brain, however it sounded like it came from my ears.........     don't spiritualist something that is clearly not.     When he speaks spiritually you just know what he says but not hear the words....

 

Considering the times this has happened to me i would not wish it on you or anyone......   he kept me from being across the street under that old oak tree when Tim McVey blew up the Federal Building.  That would have been 91 feet from the truck with 5,000 pounds of nitrate explosives and nothing between us but one line of cars.

 

One learns to listen to that voice....   real or perceived.

But you can take it or leave it for in the scheme of things it really doesn't matter.


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#15
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    Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Most of the time when I hear God actually verbally with my ears he's telling me,  "NO, don't do that."   or something of that nature.

God audibly speaks through the air to you and you hear him with your natural, fleshly ears? You said "most of the time" so this is a common occurrence, I am not trying to be mean, you are one of my favorites, but come on, do you know what you are saying. I am your friend.
yes I do mean that......   and it's kept me from disaster more than once.    I don't know if it is from my fleshly ears or directly into my mind, for there really isn't any way to know since you mind actually is what hears and understands sound.....    were my ear drums vibrating.......   I don't have any way of knowing.....      comes with living on the edge I guess....
On one hand you afirm that God audibly speak to you then you say that you don't know with you fleshly ears or he put it in your spirit, the is ambiguity there. I am your friend just desiring a full understanding of the matter and I think that it is beneficial to all to have this cleared up. The people of God heard him speak out of the air and they beg him, speak to Moses and he will relay your message.
So forth and so on.
No I didn't say it was in my spirit I said it was in my head......   when you hear something your ear drums wiggle and the little hairs in your inner ear  send signals to the circuits in your brain and your brain makes sense of it and you perceive it as sound.........    so just to give you some slack I mentioned that he might have put it directly into those circuits in my brain, however it sounded like it came from my ears.........     don't spiritualist something that is clearly not
Backing off, clearly, I have offended. I was just thinking of the babes in Christ and the Novice hearing that God speaks to you by vocal vibrations in the air, why doesn't he speak to me that way.

Making myself scarce.
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#16
other one

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Most of the time when I hear God actually verbally with my ears he's telling me,  "NO, don't do that."   or something of that nature.

God audibly speaks through the air to you and you hear him with your natural, fleshly ears? You said "most of the time" so this is a common occurrence, I am not trying to be mean, you are one of my favorites, but come on, do you know what you are saying. I am your friend.
yes I do mean that......   and it's kept me from disaster more than once.    I don't know if it is from my fleshly ears or directly into my mind, for there really isn't any way to know since you mind actually is what hears and understands sound.....    were my ear drums vibrating.......   I don't have any way of knowing.....      comes with living on the edge I guess....
On one hand you afirm that God audibly speak to you then you say that you don't know with you fleshly ears or he put it in your spirit, the is ambiguity there. I am your friend just desiring a full understanding of the matter and I think that it is beneficial to all to have this cleared up. The people of God heard him speak out of the air and they beg him, speak to Moses and he will relay your message.
So forth and so on.
No I didn't say it was in my spirit I said it was in my head......   when you hear something your ear drums wiggle and the little hairs in your inner ear  send signals to the circuits in your brain and your brain makes sense of it and you perceive it as sound.........    so just to give you some slack I mentioned that he might have put it directly into those circuits in my brain, however it sounded like it came from my ears.........     don't spiritualist something that is clearly not
Backing off, clearly, I have offended. I was just thinking of the babes in Christ and the Novice hearing that God speaks to you by vocal vibrations in the air, why doesn't he speak to me that way.

Making myself scarce.

 

maybe you don't do really dumb things to cause near disasters......   and maybe you don't have the devil riding your back day and night....  I really tee'd him off about 30 years ago.

 

Just for the record I am not offended in the least...  I just wanted you to understand what I was trying to say...   If you think I'm just skitziod, that's ok too......   but I'm still alive from it.


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#17
He giveth more grace

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    Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

 

Just for the record I am not offended in the least...  I just wanted you to understand what I was trying to say...   

 

 

Praise God that your not offended.


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#18
Warrior777

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Jesus also says directly that unsaved men CAN falsely call him "Lord" in Matthew 7:22-23:

 

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

 

Therefore, it is appropriate to put "1 Corinthians 12:3" into a greater context since it seems to contradict "Matthew 7:22-23" if taken at face value.

 

However, notice that Jesus NEVER says that demons (who are spirits NOT flesh) can do this! There is NO example in the entire Bible of demons actually doing this either! If anyone can provide a single verse where this occurs, I will stand corrected. I have read the King James Version three times now with audio, and I have never seen this happen once! Therefore, there is no seemingly contradictory verse in conflict with "1 John 4:1-3," unlike "Matthew 7:22-23" and "1 Corinthians 12:3." Thus, I believe that "1 John 4:1-3" should be taken literally when it says EVERY spirit!

 

I will warn that I could be wrong here, but it doesn't seem like I should be. Any other thoughts, both for or against? Thanks!

 

First, Matt 7 and 1 Cor 12 do not contradict each other. You for some reason assume that the people in Matt 7 that call Him "Lord" are unsaved, which is not the case. These people were saved, at one point at least, they even try to prove that to Jesus, because they are surprised that they are not entering heaven. 

Unsaved people do not cast out demons, they first of all can't (see the sons of Sceva) and then usually why would they want to, or prophesy and teach etc. You need the Holy Spirit and His power to do that. Rather these people lost their salvation since they did not obey God and kept leading a lawless, sinful life (workers of iniquity). 

Further I think the context in 1 John 4 is meant in a way of confessing with your total conviction, not just saying it. Demons know that Jesus came in the flesh and actually they say it in other words:

 

Matt 8:29

And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

They "confess" here that Jesus is the Son of God, meaning that He is God that has come in the flesh, since He is standing right in front of them in the flesh, but the very thought of it even is tormenting them and they are afraid at the same time. Like James 2:19 says:

You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

 

If that is all that is needed, to confess this, then demons would be honored by God when He says in:

 

Lk12:8

Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God.

 

...Since they did this right there with other people standing around hearing them.  Scripture will always line up with other scripture in context.

 

 

Rom 10:9-10 again talks about confession to be saved:

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 

Demons know now, after the cross, that Jesus was raised from the dead, they believe it and the confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but they still won't be saved by that.

 

 

 

I heard demons say that "Jesus is Lord" before myself, you can even make them say it, but a the same time they hate it, it torments them. So just saying the words alone, I strongly believe, is not meant to be used as a spiritual discernment. Anyways there is the gift of spiritual discernment, one needs to have the gift by the Holy Spirit to really know what they are dealing with.


Edited by Warrior777, 12 September 2014 - 10:54 PM.

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#19
Warrior777

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Most of the time when I hear God actually verbally with my ears he's telling me,  "NO, don't do that."   or something of that nature.

God audibly speaks through the air to you and you hear him with your natural, fleshly ears? You said "most of the time" so this is a common occurrence, I am not trying to be mean, you are one of my favorites, but come on, do you know what you are saying. I am your friend.

 

Yes, sometimes God still speaks audibly. I have heard His voice before several times. E.g., once heard someone saying something to me, I turned around and there was nobody behind me and the other times He called my name and I thought it was a friend (sounded like him) calling from the other room and I went there but nobody did call. Other times His voice woke me up calling my name again. Don't know why, but several times I could literally say I heard it with my ears not only in my head. And yes, I know it was from God and not another voice (scripture reference would be Samuel who thought Eli was calling him).


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#20
kwikphilly

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Blessings Seeking 1,,,,,

     Welcome to Worthy.......I am so glad you are here,no doubt lead here by our Loving Father & I praise Him & Give Him all Glory!! I am sorry I will not really comment on your OP because I do not have the patience this morning to read such a long,long,long article.........I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to simply rely on the Holy Spirit for the discernment you seek....you have read the Scriptures,it doesn't matter what anyone's opinion is........what you/we hear with our ears & judge with our unreliable hearts & minds of flesh will never do to discern the spirits,,,,it is only of effect when we walk in Spirit & in Truth with Gods Holy Spirit ......He will reveal these things to you,Glory to God!

                                                                                                                                                     With love-in Christ,Kwik


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