Prophecy is a beautiful and awesome gift from God. The Holy Spirit gives His children such intimate personal interaction. There are times when all believers use that gift, speaking God’s truth and will to people. There are some people who have the gift, and regularly God gives them words and messages for the people they come into contact with. Always it is to build up the church or to bring people into the kingdom.
There are many people in the world who claim to speak for God, yet the message isn’t Christ. There are even people who say they are Christians and take personal feelings and hopes then falsely masquerade them as prophecy. They use words to build themselves up and reach their own goals. The Lord doesn’t much like that. Lies, no matter how sweetly dressed are still lies. Regardless of the intention whether to comfort or stop a bad decision a lie is a lie. God does not lie. A lie can’t be a firm foundation and cannot build someone up in truth. In the end, a lie causes harm. Harming a person is the opposite of loving them. The truth might hurt, but in love it doesn’t harm. But Believer, you have the Spirit of God within you and you are able to discern God’s word from false spirits. Verses 1-3 read,
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for 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, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”
These false prophets are as plentiful today as they were when John wrote this letter. On a social network site where I share this blog each day, I had a respondent who actually called himself God Above. This Person responded to an article as if he were God. His words made my stomach turn and he actually gave commandments to people. I see countless posts each day from people talking about unhindered beliefs and paths to enlightenment. There are a handful of us on the site who keep posting truth, scripture, and Biblical encouragement.
Yesterday, on another social network I had a person follow me who called himself Jesus Holy Christ. I didn’t follow back. I was stunned when I looked at his page, whether or not he was joking and thought it funny that people could follow Jesus by clicking the follow button, I don’t know, but he too claimed to speak for Jesus.
As a Spirit-filled believer of The One True God through Jesus Christ, it was obvious to me that both these people were not filled with God’s Spirit but with spirits of deception. Neither person confessed Jesus. But they like so many other false prophets lead people away from the kingdom of God. People want to believe pretty things. They want to believe that they can earn heaven or that all people will each paradise. Those deceits are keeping people from the truth.
We don’t have to fear those false prophets. We don’t even have to argue with them. We should have nothing to do with them. 2 John 1:9-10 says it like this.
“Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.”
What about the Christian who is spreading false teachings? In Titus 3:10-11 Paul writes,
“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.”
We cannot allow them to bring down the church. We can’t allow them to keep us from God’s work. We have to remember that we with Jesus have already conquered the devil. Those people are with devil. They are working with him to keep people away from God. We’ve got to use the discernment God gives us to know the difference between truth and deception. Verses 4-6 give us this encouragement,
“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
We have to keep speaking and living the truth. How else will people hear it? How will they have the opportunity to accept the wonderful gift of salvation? The false prophets will keep pumping out lies and the masses will follow and swallow that garbage because it is wrapped up in an appealing package that tells them they are okay, even good with whatever god they wish to call on. Those lies never convict them. Without conviction a person cannot realize his need of Christ. We have to be the Light of world and reveal Jesus to them and tell them that there is only One God and that Jesus is the only way to Him. We have to speak the truth as the Spirit gives it.