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How do we "try the spirits"?

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3And 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.

This man has the plan of salvation outlined here and uses verses from the King James Bible By all indications, this man "confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" . How do we try the spirit? http://www.bennyhinn.org/salvation/default.cfm

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Mark 9:38-40 "And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. "

I always found this to be an interesting portion of scripture...any comments?

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Mark 9:38-40 "And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part. "

I always found this to be an interesting portion of scripture...any comments?


It is intterresting though I have heard it taken out of context. I have heard it used to attemt to justify anyone and everyone no matter what they actually teach which it does not.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

:ot: opps...Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

This is another verse that intrigues me...any comments

I also find it interesting that Paul went over his credentials so to speak in one portion of Scripture..1 Corinthians 9:1-9 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, Have we not power to eat and to drink? Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?

:11backtotopic: This truly is an interesting question...how does one try the spirits...I believe you line them up with the Word of God and ask God for discernment because even our foe can make himself as an angel of light 2 Corinthians 11:14-15And 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... and the Word also says something Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. This may be after the rapture I am not sure but my point remains that "in so much, if it were possible..."

The answer to this question should be taken seriously enough to have believers of age in the Word to jump on it for the insight of those who are young in the Word...

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Comparing Scripture with Scripture is always a good way to try the spirits.

Re. Mark 9.38-40, part of the issue seems to be, Just because someone isn't involved with me or with us, he or she shouldn't be condemned out of hand, since they may be serving the Lord faithfully, unconnected with us.

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The verse doesn't say "judge" the spirits: it says "try". And it doesn't say "try" a "Man" or "servant": it says to try the "spirits" . Doesn't the word "try" here mean to "test"?


Try, test, discern: I guess these have very similar meanings. The point being, surely, although we cannot read minds, attempt to figure the motivating doctrine behind words and actions. A good foundation of Scripture knowledge, prayerfully acquired, is a good help in this way.
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  • Advanced Member

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3And 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.

This man has the plan of salvation outlined here and uses verses from the King James Bible By all indications, this man "confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" . How do we try the spirit? http://www.bennyhinn...ion/default.cfm

That "plan of salvation" - salvation by saying a prayer has been discussed on this forum as

All RCs & many sects & heresies know that text & claim by that confession to be genuine. BUT is that simple confession proof that one is speaking by the Spirit of God? Denial is proof of antichrist, but is confession proof of the Spirit of Christ? Obviously not, so how do we affirm the inspiration of that text & add other Scriptures to it?
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I think part of the trouble is that many people have gotten used to repeating formulas, and asking for stock responses, and thereby a 'decision' is 'knotched up'. The deeper problem is an unrealistic expectation that, merely by evoking a response which sounds plausible, there has actually been a work of the Holy Spirit in the heart.

People need to be presented with the truth and challenge of the Gospel of Christ from the Scriptures. But to pressurize them to respond can lead to a lot of problems. If a person is truly under conviction, he or she will be brought to the Lord by the Spirit. We need to encourage them, but not put words in their mouth.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The verse doesn't say "judge" the spirits: it says "try". And it doesn't say "try" a "Man" or "servant": it says to try the "spirits" . Doesn't the word "try" here mean to "test"?


The off topic Sciptures were ones that came to mind...hence "off topic" my brain works funny sometimes and I was just expressing what popped up .... my husband calls them "pop ups" this phrase he got from a book he read once :)
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  • Lady Administrators

When Christ was faced with the devil, what did He do? He quoted scripture. He, as God, could have commanded Him to leave (and He did at the end of the trial time), but He didn't until He had answered him with the Word.

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

Dovetailing scripture is vital for us to have the proper discernment to know if one is a true follower of God or false. That is one of the reasons that it is dangerous to take one verse or one portion of a verse and claim a doctrine. Other verses could be seen as refuting that same thought. Comparing scripture to scripture, and rightly dividing the Word (in other words: not putting our own spin on it) is, in my mind, the way to try the spirits.

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When Christ was faced with the devil, what did He do? He quoted scripture. He, as God, could have commanded Him to leave (and He did at the end of the trial time), but He didn't until He had answered him with the Word.

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

Dovetailing scripture is vital for us to have the proper discernment to know if one is a true follower of God or false. That is one of the reasons that it is dangerous to take one verse or one portion of a verse and claim a doctrine. Other verses could be seen as refuting that same thought. Comparing scripture to scripture, and rightly dividing the Word (in other words: not putting our own spin on it) is, in my mind, the way to try the spirits.


Happy Christian:

Yes, this is very much how I, too, would understand the matter of 'testing the spirits', that John speaks of.

Blessings.
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many 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? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Just how much like a sheep can sheep's clothing look? According to this, you can only tell the difference by the fruit.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The scripture itself tells us in 1 John how to "try the spirits", beginning in v. 1. It goes on to give certain things such as obedience to God's Word, "hereby"we know that we of God, and he is us, or something similar to that. The entire chapter, along with chapter 5 and a few other verses from the Book,of 1 John, we see that trying the spirits is much more than what has been mentioned already.

Let the scriptures speak...

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist


That "plan of salvation" - salvation by saying a prayer has been discussed on this forum as

All RCs & many sects & heresies know that text & claim by that confession to be genuine. BUT is that simple confession proof that one is speaking by the Spirit of God? Denial is proof of antichrist, but is confession proof of the Spirit of Christ? Obviously not, so how do we affirm the inspiration of that text & add other Scriptures to it?

Maybe "plan of salvation' wasn't the best choice of wording it. But doesn't the man's webpage outlines the Gospel? Doesn't It show the sinfullness of man, the need for a Saviour and it outlines the death, burial, and ressurection of Jesus Christ. proclaiming Jesus as our only hope for salvation? It does that, does it not? He uses the King James Bible too. If it does that, then the man(in this case Benny Hinn) is "confessing that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" is he not? In other words; he admitts, proclaims and publishes Jesus as the only way. So if something still doesn't seem quite right, what makes you uneasy about it? And how do you go about putting a finger on it?
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The scripture itself tells us in 1 John how to "try the spirits", beginning in v. 1. It goes on to give certain things such as obedience to God's Word, "hereby"we know that we of God, and he is us, or something similar to that. The entire chapter, along with chapter 5 and a few other verses from the Book,of 1 John, we see that trying the spirits is much more than what has been mentioned already.

Let the scriptures speak...


Amen
And if we back up to the end of the previous chapter (3), it explains what to look for in a genuine Godly spirit.....

1 John 3:18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

A person may say all the right things, even say that Jesus is Lord and Saviour, but if he never keeps the commandment of loving God and his brother as himself, he doesn't have the Spirit of God. If does things like bearing false witness on or lying to his brother, , the Bible says, he actually hates his brother, This spirit denies God, who is love It is the spirit of antichrist, (1 John 4)
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

And another way to look at that.....
Any person, layman, 'preacher' or teacher who knowingly teaches false doctrine to people, is lying to them. They may act sweet and sugary and say nice things and smile and flatter people. But they actually have the spirit of antichrist because they knowingly lie to the 'dumb sheep' and the Bilbe says that is actually hate.

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

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And another way to look at that.....
Any person, layman, 'preacher' or teacher who knowingly teaches false doctrine to people, is lying to them. They may act sweet and sugary and say nice things and smile and flatter people. But they actually have the spirit of antichrist because they knowingly lie to the 'dumb sheep' and the Bilbe says that is actually hate.

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.


But what of the false teacher who is so doing in ignorance rather desiring to do so? Even on this site, I have seen people who are teaching opposite one from another but I do not doubt that in most cases at least, they are sincere in their beliefs.
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