Testing the Spirits
Because almost all opposition to the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Father's earthly children comes from the influence of evil spirits, it is extremely important for the elect to be able to discern the difference between a good and an evil spiritual influence (1.Cor.2:11-16).
In his chapter you will find biblical laws and principles which are absolutely necessary to know and understand in order to test a spiritual influence and accurately determine whether it is good or evil. Moreover, this chapter shows how to use these laws and principles to resist and overcome an evil influence.
Some people believe a pleasant or benign supernatural experience is a confirmation of their belief system, and that such experiences are from the true God. Moreover, because no physical harm came to them during the experience, they believe that they are in no danger.
Although a religious or supernatural experience may be pleasant and seemingly harmless, it is very dangerous to automatically assume the experience is from the true God or one of his servants. Just because someone feels that he or she has had a supernatural experience, such as a dream, a vision, the appearance of an apparition, the hearing of a disembodied voice, or some other unexplained experience with religious implications, it does not mean that the experience is from the true God or one of his servants. The word of God clearly says to test the spirits to see if they are of God or not (1.Jn.4:1-6).
Gideon Tests the Spirit
Gideon is mentioned in the Book of Hebrews, chapter 11 as one of the faithful who has obtained salvation and will be included in the first resurrection (Heb.11:32-33, 39). Gideon was not a novice in the worship of the Creator God; he understood who God was, how he was to be worshiped, and God's promises to Israel. Gideon was well grounded in his faith relationship with God, yet he questioned the validity of the message sent to him by God through a spirit-being. See Jdg.6:11-40.
The account of Gideon shows that the true God does not condemn those who are suspicious of supernatural experiences and question their source and validity.
A Serious Warning
The apostle John gave an extremely serious warning to the Father's elect about people who claim to be true servants of God, but may not be. John instructs the Father's elect to put these people to the test to see if they are what they say they are. Although John's warning primarily speaks to people who are false prophets, his warning should also be taken to include the testing of other individuals to determine if they, their beliefs, or their teachings are influenced by evil spirits:
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, to see whether they are from God: for many false prophets have gone forth into the world" (1.Jn.4:1). See Matt.24:4-5; 2.Cor.11:3-15.
Here, John speaks of an influence from spirit-beings and instructs the Father's children to put them to the test of truth.
In Jesus' reprimand to the Jewish religious leaders about their false religious beliefs and practices, their sinfulness, and their conspiracy to murder him, he notes that the Devil is the father of lies (Jn.8:44). This is the same evil spirit that mixed truth with error in order to deceive Eve and cause her and Adam to rebel against God. He is also the same spirit-being who (along with other evil spirits) is deceiving the whole world politically, philosophically, and religiously today (Rev.12:9).
The account of a lying spirit going from heaven to deceive Ahab's prophets into telling him lies (1.Kgs.22:19-22) along with the end of the age prophecy of Ezekiel, which says that the spiritual leaders of the Israelitish people will be liars who deceive the gullible (Ezk.13:1-10) clearly show we should be very cautious about who and what we believe in spiritual matters.
That Which is Good
One of the simplest ways to determine if an influence, spirit-being, belief, teaching, or person is good or evil is to see if there is conformity to or a violation of God's law and his instructions to his people. Good conforms to God's law and instructions; but evil violates God's law and instructions.
The apostle Paul instructs the Father's elect at Thessalonica to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1.Thes.5:21 KJV).
THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST CHRIST
There are many people who teach things which are contrary to the teachings of God, but say they follow his ways. In his letter to the elect, the apostle John repeats a prophecy which was known to those to whom he was writing, and he tells them its fulfillment was in progress at that time. Moreover, he says those who were against Christ at that time were never true sons of God and they had revealed their true nature and purpose by leaving the body of Christ:
"Young ones, it is the last hour and as you heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have risen up; from which you know that it is a last hour. They went out from us, but were not of us. For if they were of us, they would have remained with us; but they left so that it might be revealed that they were not of us" (1.Jn. 2:18-19 Para.).
John confirms that those who have the spirit of God also have the knowledge and ability to discern truth from error in spiritual matters:
"And you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I did not write to you because you did not know the truth, but because you know it, and because every lie is not of the truth" (1.Jn 2:20-21 Para.).
John presumes the people to whom he is writing are not novices in the faith, but are experienced in God's truth. Herein is a major key to having discernment between good and evil; in order to know the truth, a person must diligently, sincerely, and prayerfully study God's word. People who lie about spiritual matters will be known by people who have the holy spirit within them, because the holy spirit reveals truth: See Jn.14: 16-17; 15:26; 16:12-13; 1.Cor.2:12-16.
Those Who Deny Christ
Those who are against Christ do not teach the truth concerning Jesus as the Creator God and Savior of humanity. They also deny the individuality of the Father and the Son. Evil spirits teach a mixture of truth and error and pervert the knowledge of God and his system of worship in order to deceive the gullible:
"Who is the liar, except the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? The one who denies the Father and the Son is the antichrist. Anyone who denies the Son does not have the Father" (1.Jn 2:22-23 Para.).
Only those who understand and believe the truth about the Father and the Son have the Father's spirit. John says that all others who claim to be followers of the true God are liars. They are liars because they deny the foundational truth about the individuality of the Father (the Sovereign God) and the Son (the Creator God and Savior of humanity).
"What you heard from the beginning, let it abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you will abide both in the Father and in the Son" (1.Jn 2:24 Para.).
The truly converted people of the first age of the church understood exactly what John was saying about the Father, Christ, and the Father's holy spirit, because they were taught the mysteries about the plan of God by the apostles. However, this knowledge was lost when the organized church disappeared shortly after the apostle John's death. Now, in the last age of the church, this knowledge is again necessary and is being revealed to those whom the Father is calling to salvation. See Dan.12: 1-10; Matt.13:10-12; 1.Cor.4:1; Rom.16:24-26.
One of the things that John stresses in his writings is that the spirit of God residing within the children of God separates them from the world, makes them sinless before God the Father, and reveals to them those who oppose and reject Christ and the Father. This is an extremely important understanding because each of the elect has been given the ability to discern good from evil; however, it is the responsibility of the elect to strengthen and exercise this ability:
"Everyone who remains in him does not sin. Everyone who continues to sin has not seen him, nor known him" (1.Jn.3:6 Para.).
John speaks of the purity and sinlessness of those who practice righteousness and have the spirit of God. In 1.John 3:6, the English word seen is translated from the Greek word horao, which means to stare at, to discern, or to perceive. John says that the children of God who reside in Christ remain sinless and understand the things pertaining to Christ, whereas sinners cannot understand or know God:
"Little children, let no one lead you astray; the one practicing righteousness, is righteous, even as the One is righteous. The one practicing sin is of the Devil, because the Devil sins from the beginning. For this the Son of God was revealed, that he undo [destroy] the devil's works" (1.Jn.3:7-8 para.).
The Devil's works refers to the deception of Eve, which resulted in humanity being placed under the death sentence for the violation of God's righteous law. Christ has destroyed the Devil's work through his righteousness, his life, and his perfect sacrifice. Thereby, he removed the death sentence for those who obey God.
"Everyone being begotten of God does not sin, because his seed [spirit of God] abides in him, and he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the Devil are revealed: Everyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God; neither is the one who does not love his brother" (1.Jn.3:9-10 Para.).
It is impossible to understand what John is saying here, unless one understands that the spirit of God the Father which resides within his children keeps them in a sinless condition before him. As long as a child of God seeks to live a righteous life and does not willfully and habitually practice sin, no sin is imputed to them. This is because the spirit of Christ also lives in the Father's children through the holy spirit. Therefore, his righteous qualifications are also imputed to those who possess the Father's holy spirit. See Rom.8:33-34; 1.Jn.1:1-7; 2:1-2; 5:18.
A child of God who is serious about their calling will be diligently seeking to live their life according to every word of God. This is yet another way to test the spiritual influence behind anyone who professes to follow the true God.
Jesus Christ has Come in the Flesh
The apostle John cautions those who are truly the Sovereign Father’s earthly children to test the spirits and not become deceived:
"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. 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" (1.Jn.4:1-3 NIV).
John says that a child of God can determine that a spirit (i.e., a spirit being or spiritual influence) is from God if it acknowledges that Christ has come in the flesh. If this acknowledgment is not made, the spirit being or spiritual influence is evil and against Christ.
On the surface, it seems the formula John gives to determine the character of a spirit-being or spiritual influence is simple and direct; however, the key to understanding John's instructions is understanding what he means when he says, "Jesus Christ has come in the flesh."
Most people admit that the person Jesus lived and was a religious leader. Some acknowledge that he was a prophet, and some acknowledge him as the prophetic Savior of humanity. However, very few truly understand or will acknowledge him as the Creator God who became the Savior, died, was resurrected, and now lives in the flesh of the children of God through the presents of the holy spirit.
The Mystery of Christ in You
In speaking to the Galatians and Colossians, Paul reminds them of the importance of Christ who resides within them.
To the Galatians
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Gal.2:20 KJV).
Paul says that his past life is dead through the application of Christ's sacrifice. The old Paul died at baptism and a new Paul was born with Christ living in him through the presence of the holy spirit:
"My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you" (Gal.4:19-20 KJV).
In speaking to the Galatians about his concern for their spiritual growth, Paul uses the Greek word morphoo, which means to form, to fashion, and to take on form (especially in the womb).
This is the only place in the New Testament where this Greek word is used in the context of growth. Paul's concern for the Galatians’ deteriorating spiritual condition reached the point that he had serious doubts that Christ's spirit was ever within them.
To the Colossians
"Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but is now made manifest to the Saints; To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col.1:25-27 KJV).
The mystery of how Jesus Christ lives in the flesh of every child of God was understood by those of the first age of the church and it can be understood today by those who have the Spirit of God residing within them.
"Little children, you are of God and have overcome them, because he in you is greater than he in the world" (1.Jn.4:4 Para.).
John says the children of God have overcome those who were against Christ through Christ who lives within them.
"They are of the world; therefore they speak of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God; the one knowing God hears us. Whosoever is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error" (1.Jn.4:5-6 Para.). See also 1.Jn.2:18-29.
Only those who have the spirit of God dwelling within them are truly able to understand and discern spiritual matters (1.Cor.2:9-16). If a person does not understand the foundational things of God's truth, it is a strong indication that they are neither called of God, nor have the indwelling of the holy spirit.
Those Who Cannot Understand
A very intelligent man with whom I worked many years ago asked me during a lunch break one day to explain a rather simple biblical concept to him. As I remember, I quoted some scriptures and explained their meaning as simply and clearly as possible. After listening intently to what I told him, he told me that he knew what the words meant, but could not understand their meaning.
This person had no trouble understanding the dictionary meaning of the words, but he could not grasp their spiritual intent. Such is the situation with a person who is not being called to salvation during this age and does not have the indwelling of the holy spirit, which gives spiritual knowledge and understanding. See Jn.14:17, 26; 16-12-13: 1.Cor.2:9-16.
For many years I had a close acquaintance who was a fellow minister and married to an intelligent, articulate woman who had been baptized correctly, was a highly principled person, and an excellent wife to her husband and mother to her children. This woman thought that because she was baptized correctly and had an academic knowledge of the scriptures, she had the indwelling of God's spirit.
I had many conversations with her over the years and knew from our conversations that she did not have a depth of spiritual understanding. Not too long before his wife became ill and died, she told her husband that she did not understand the scriptures or other things the same way as others in the congregation understood them. Although this woman had been baptized correctly she never received the indwelling of the holy spirit, so she could not understand scripture beyond an academic understanding. See Matt.13:10-16.
The Indwelling of the Father
"No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and his love having been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him, and he in us, because of his spirit he has given to us" (1.Jn.4:12-13 Para.). See Lk.24:46-49; Acts 5:32.
Here, John speaks of God the Father who no human has seen and presupposes that those to whom he is writing know who God the Father is and that his presence dwells within those whom he has adopted into his earthly family of king-priests.
"And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God" (1.Jn.4:15 Para.).
The Father sent the Creator God to earth to become his Son and the Savior of humanity. Only those who truly understand and acknowledge this fact will have the Father residing within them and they will reside within the Father. See Jn.14:23.
"And we have known and have believed the love which God has in us. God is love, and the one abiding in love abides in God, and God in him" (1.Jn.4:16 Para.).
The understanding and the acknowledgment of the indwelling of the Father and Jesus Christ within the elect of God is one of the many ways one can determine whether or not a person, a spirit-being, or a spiritual influence is of God.
Testing False Ministers and False Doctrine
Paul's instructions to Timothy (2.Tim.4:1-3) and Titus (Tit.2:1-8) about the teaching of sound doctrine, as well as his warning about elders who go astray and people who are false ministers are still very important today, because there are many who claim to teach the truth, but actually teach false doctrine, which lead people astray.
In order for us to discern the influence behind a spiritual leader and their doctrine, we must carefully study the leader's life and what is being taught. The warnings to six of the prophetic churches in chapters two and three of the Book of Revelation are examples of spiritual leaders and the people they lead not fulfilling their responsibilities pertaining to true doctrine.
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (2.Cor. 11:13-15 KJV). See also Deut.13:1-5; Jer.23:21-22; Rev.2:2.
Satan has many ministers (Rev.2:9; 3:9), and some of them are within the congregations of God's true followers. Some of these individuals are truly deceived themselves, but some are not and they go about actively trying to destroy the unsuspecting, the ill informed, and the gullible. Jesus knew this would happen and warned his followers to be aware of those who were not sent by him to shepherd his people:
"Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many" (Matt.24:4-5 KJV). See also Matt.7:21-23.
Although it is true that not all individuals who teach things in opposition to biblical truth are possessed by an evil spirit, it is a biblical fact that the majority of the world as a whole is being influenced and deceived politically, philosophically, and religiously by Satan and other evil spirits; therefore, it is extremely important to be able to differentiate between what is just a deceived person and one who is being actively influenced or possessed by and evil spirit.
A Prophetic Warning
Isaiah records the following prophetic warning to the House of Israel who are scattered throughout the world during the end of this age, just prior to Christ's return:
"Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwells in mount Zion. And when they shall say to you, Seek to them that have familiar spirits, and to wizards that peep, and that mutter:
should not a people seek to their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa.8:18-20 KJV Para.).
After Solomon's death and the break-up of national Israel into two distinct nations (the House of Judah and the House of Israel), the ten tribes of the House of Israel departed from the worship of the true God in pursuit of gods of their own choosing. Throughout the centuries, these Israelites who are scattered throughout the world have had a fascination with spiritualism and occult practices and have incorporated many of these practices and rituals into their various philosophies and religions, which is why Isaiah recorded this prophetic warning.
This prophetic warning reveals the basic method to use in determining if a person is influenced or possessed by an evil spirit: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." This tells us that, if what a person says or what a religion teaches does not conform to the true God's laws, precepts, and principles, what is said or taught is without God's truth.
This prophetic warning gives us a benchmark from which to evaluate a person in the light of God's truth. If there is no spiritual light in them and they are speaking things which are in opposition to the true God's way of truth, there are only two sources from which this information can come: 1) The person's own thoughts and opinions predicated on their life experience; or 2) An evil influence.
Christ said the following about individuals who are at odds with him and his Heavenly Father:
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks! And why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?" (Lk.6:45-46 KJV Para.).
Conformity or opposition to God's truth is an indicator of the spirit behind religious words and practice.
No matter how cleverly crafted and eloquently stated a false doctrine is, it is a teaching that is in opposition to the Father's truth. Although a false teaching may have some elements of truth within it, a false teaching will always have some error that will lead a person away from the foundational truth of God, which will result in eternal death for those who believe it. The following are five of the foundational errors of false doctrines:
- The false teaching that Christ has released humanity from the obligation to obey God's law.
- The lie that there are no faith and works involved in obtaining salvation.
- The deception that God the Father and Jesus Christ are the same spirit-being.
- The false teaching that God accepts many different methods of worshiping of him.
- The lie that God's truth is subjective without empirical values.
Discernment of Spirits
The apostle Paul mentions at least twenty-one separate authorizations, gifts, and responsibilities which are given by God the Father and administered to his elect children through Christ for the edification of the church and the performance of its work. One of these authorizations, gifts, and responsibilities is the discernment of spirits:
"To one there is given through the spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same spirit, to another faith by the same spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of languages, and to still another the interpretation of languages. All these are the work of one and the same spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines" (1.Cor.12:8-11 NIV Para.).
The English word distinguishing in verse 10 is translated from the Greek word diakrisis, which is derived from the Greek word diakrino, which means figuratively, to separate, to discriminate (by implication, decide). Diakrisis, basically means to make a judicial estimation; i.e., to compare what is known against a standard of law and then make a determination based on law. The law concerning God's code of law and standard of righteous behavior is found in the Bible.
Although comparing a person's words, attitude, and behavior against God's code of law and standard of righteousness is certainly one way to determine if a person is influenced or possessed by an evil spirit, the method Paul writes of to the elect at Corinth is very different and involves the dwelling of the holy spirit within a righteous person.
The apostle Paul wrote that the use of an authorized function of the holy spirit within a person provides them with the ability to make correct spiritual evaluations and judgements:
"But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them to us by his spirit: for the spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God" (1.Cor.2:9-10 KJV Para.).
It is through the holy spirit that revelation is given and inquiries are made into all things, which include the mysteries of God.
"For what man knows the things of a man, if not the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God no man knows, but the spirit of God" (1.Cor.2:11 KJV Para.).
The spirit in man is man and contains the knowledge of things pertaining to the physical realm of existence. The spirit of God, which is the holy spirit, contains the knowledge of the things pertaining to God and the spirit realm of existence.
"Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the holy spirit teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1.Cor.2:12-13 KJV Para.).
Paul reminds the Corinthians they are not like other human beings, because they have been given the Sovereign Father's holy spirit, which gives them access to spiritual knowledge and understanding. This knowledge and understanding includes the Sovereign Father's plan for humanity, what the spirit of God is, who and what God is, and many other things pertaining to the spirit realm.
Verses 12 and 13 are very important because they tell us that the holy spirit which dwells within each of the Father's earthly children is the conduit through which spiritual knowledge and understanding is given. The indwelling of the holy spirit provides a person with the ability to compare spiritual things with spiritual things.
The English word comparing in verse 13 is translated from the Greek word sugkrino, which basically means to determine the difference between one thing and another.
A person with the ability to determine if another person is influenced or possessed by an evil spirit knows with certainty that their judgement is correct. This person is not merely making an educated guess as to whether or not a person is influenced or possessed by an evil spirit based on an observation of a person's words, attitudes, or behaviors; this spiritually gifted individual has a knowing beyond the normal physical senses which provides the ability to recognize an individual who is influenced or possessed by and evil spirit.
"But a natural man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But truly the spiritual one discerns all things, but he is discerned by no one. For who knew the mind of the Lord? Who will teach Him? But we have the mind of Christ" (1.Cor.2:14-16 KJV Para.).
The knowledge taught by Paul, the other apostles, and elders was not obtained from the spirit of man; it was knowledge conveyed to them through one of the functions of the holy spirit which resided within them.
Humans with only the spirit of man cannot receive or understand the things of God, because they are of the original human creation. However, sons of God are not of the original creation; they are a new and different creature and have different potentials and abilities (2.Cor.5:17; Gal.6: 15). One of the abilities given to specific individuals within the Father's earthly family is the ability to know whether or not an individual is influenced or possessed by an evil spirit.
A Gift of Discernment
Within a congregation I once attended, there were two men who had a long history of spiritual leadership and were talented speakers in the pulpit; however, there was something about these men that seemed a bit odd and inconsistent with a righteous thought process.
When giving a sermon before the congregation, one of the men would always subtly inject a thought that would question the validity of God and the Bible. The other individual was always subtly promoting controversial subjects, questioning established doctrine, or insinuating things which could cause controversy. Both of these men were very clever in their speech, so it was difficult to detect the deception in their words.
Because of their behavior, several elders suspected they and some other individuals who occasionally associated with the congregation were either highly influenced or possessed by evil spirits, but could not prove this suspicion beyond a shadow of a doubt. Therefore they could not take the appropriate action without causing chaos within the congregation.
During one of the annual festival days, a man visiting the congregation for the first time, came to one of the elders and told him that there were several individuals there who were possessed by evil spirits, and that one individual was highly influenced but not possessed. Hearing this, I asked the elder to have the man write a note documenting his allegations in order to see if his observations matched ours.
Upon inspecting his list along with his comments, we found that what he was able to discern about these individuals matched perfectly with what we had been thinking all along.
His list and comments confirmed two things to the group of elders with whom I was associating: 1) Our suspicions were correct concerning certain individuals; and 2) The man who presented us with the list and comments had the gift of discernment of spirits, which is one of the spiritual gifts noted by the apostle Paul (1.Cor.12:10).
As individuals in this present age become more influenced and deceived by evil spirits and subsequently become more corrupt, deviant, and evil, it becomes extremely important for anyone who is serious about their salvation to clearly understand how to differentiate between good and evil individuals and between good and evil spirit-beings.
Whether your area of concern is with spiritual leaders, religious teachings, the manifestation of spirits, spirit influence, or anything else concerning the spirit realm and its interaction with the physical realm, it is your responsibility to diligently and prayerfully study the Bible, meditate on what you find there, and diligently apply the instructions and wisdom revealed to you through the holy spirit.
The writer to the Hebrews wrote the following about spiritual maturity and the importance of diligently studying the Bible in order to become skilled in the practice of a righteous lifestyle and to be able to judge between good and evil:
"For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb.5:13-14 KJV).
Try the Spirits
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1.Jn.4:1 KJV).
There are important things you can learn from what John says which will help you determine what is and is not truth.
Do not believe a new teaching without doing your due diligence to find out if it is true or not, because there are many people who teach many things which are in opposition to God’s truth. Therefore, the person who is promoting a new teaching may be being influenced by a lying spirit or have some other goal which is not compatible with God’s truth.
There are many who teach the Bible who seem to be of the Sovereign Father's earthly family, but do not have his spirit dwelling within them. Additionally, many of these counterfeit Christians are in leadership positions within many of the congregations of God’s elect or are closely aligned with the true elect in some other way. See Acts 20:28-31; 1.Tim.4:1-3; Jude 1-19.
There is a spiritual influence on earth that is against Christ (John calls this influence "the spirit of antichrist") and this spiritual influence is actively attempting to destroy the Father's earthly children and his worship system.
If you have the indwelling of the Father's spirit of truth, you can know the difference between truth and error if you will put in the time and effort to seek the truth on any teaching regarding your salvation, such as obedience to the Sabbath commandment.
Just because someone says something is true, it does not make it true. The spirit of antichrist is very clever and deceptive. However, no matter how clever the teaching, the argument, or the logic presented, if it does not conform to the other teachings in the Bible, it is a false teaching which is designed to lead a person away from God's truth and the true path which leads to eternal and immortal life in the Kingdom of God.
By B.L. Cocherell b9w32