Discerning Spirits: Gospel Today Devotional - 10th May, 2022

Blessed be the name of the Lord for his ever unending faithfulness. Indeed God has been faithful. Yesterday, we were able to conclude the third chapter of the book of 1 John and it was indeed a wonderful lesson by his grace. We were able to see that the commandment God wants us to keep is nothing else but to believe in his Son, Jesus Christ and to love even as he has commanded us. This is a proof that we dwell in him and that he dwells in us as well, that is, keeping his commandments. Praise God.

Discerning Spirits: Gospel Today Devotional - 10th May, 2022

Today, we shall be commencing the fourth chapter of the book of 1 John and I trust that God is ready to bless us through his word even as he did bless us in previous lessons. Hallelujah. As we already said in one of the lessons that the book of 1 John comes with so many important lessons to the believer so as to aid his walk with God. It is therefore important that we are considering lessons from a book as this. The Lord bless us continually in Jesus' name.

The apostle John all through the first chapter to this present chapter gave clear warnings about false teachers and their teachings as well as the need to be watchful against them since they were many who had gone out to deceive people. If this was an issue in his days, it is even more serious now and the lessons here are very applicable today as it was many years ago. Praise God. Let's see the passage of scripture below,

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. [2] Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: [3] 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. [4] Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. [5] They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. [6] We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error". ( 1 John 4:1-6).

He begins the chapter with what we may call a very clear warning. He begins by saying not to believe every spirit. Was he referring to some ghosts or demons? Certainly not. What the apostle John was saying to believers in his days just as he is saying to us today is not to believe every spiritual claim. You are not to believe everyone that comes saying they are of God and that they are here to share the gospel message whereas what they do is that they cause men to err from what is truth. You are not to believe every spirit. If this was a concern that such warning had to be given, don't you think there could have been a reason for it? Of course. Let's take a look at verse 1 again, shall we?

He says not to believe every spirit but that we try them whether they are of God which means that not every spirit is of God. It means that not everyone speaks by the leading of the Holy Spirit. He stated the reason for this warning and that was a result of the fact that many false prophets had gone into the world just as they are many false prophets in our world today. How do we know the spirit that be of God and those that are not? The apostle John gave an answer to that in verse 2 & 3. This is how we identify them, everyone who confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God and every spirit that does otherwise is not of God.  This means that any spiritual claim that does not admit that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is not of God, it is that spirit of antichrist that is even now already in the world. Praise God.

He then encourages us and reminds us in verse 4 that we are of God and have overcome them (false teachers and their teachings), why? Because greater is he that is in us that he that is in them who are in the world and so we cannot be swayed by their teachings. Of a truth they are of the world and that is the reason they speak of the world and those who are also of the world hears them but we are of God. He who knows God hears us and he that is not of God does not hear us. This is another way by which again we know the spirit of truth different from the spirit of error ( verse 5, 6). Today we have learnt a very important lesson, how to discern the spirit of truth from error. It is my prayer that God helps us to be doers of his word. Amen.

Thought for the day: Dear believer, you are not to believe every spiritual claim. Your duty is to test what you hear by the word of God whether they are of him or not. You must learn to differentiate the spirit of truth from error and that discerning ability is rooted in his word. How much of the truth do you know to say this is true and this is not?

Gospel Today is a comforting, exhorting, edifying and inspiring devotional published by the Delightsome Land Christian Ministry. For questions, enquiries/testimonies, please call/WhatsApp: 08174915361, 08053662272 or Email: [email protected]

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