TUESDAY 1st AUGUST, 2017 READ – DAY: Act 15; Night: 1 Kings 5-6
THEME: TEST EVERY SPIRIT
TEXT: 1 JOHN 4:1-6
HYMN: EMHB 363 – Spirit of faith, come down
The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to John, one of Jesus Christ’s inner-caucus disciples, is unique in the way it is written. It is very different from the way Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote their own account of the gospel. John also wrote the book of Revelation which Jesus revealed to him in the Island of Patmos about 96 A.D.
Judaism associates the Spirit of God with prophecy but acknowledges the existence of false prophets, who, John says, are moved by other spirits. His readers would understand his point as Jewish people were familiar with the idea of other spirits besides the Spirit of God. There were many pagan ecstatic experiences in Asia Minor, as well as Jewish mystics claiming special revelations. The need for discernment would, therefore, be acute.
The first six verses of 1 John 4 dwell on spirit beings. He tells his readers and, by extension all believers, to test the spirits. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits” he says. At the end of verse six, he mentions “the spirit of truth” and “the spirit of error” Prophecy may come from either the spirit of truth (the Holy Ghost which is a member of the Trinity) or the spirit of error which is from Satan and its demons. We know that God speaks the truth but Satan tells lies and is all out to deceive people, presenting fake things to be the original. It is, therefore imperative to discern the spirit of truth from the spirit of error at all times. God’s truth must be guarded very carefully.
It amazes me, frankly, even though the Bible is clear on this, how inept the church has been through its history at protecting biblical truth. Every generation seems to fall into error. This is why Apostle Paul instructed Timothy (1Timothy chapter 6 verse 20): “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you.” i.e. the treasure of divine revelation.
In order to do that, Paul told Timothy to avoid worldly and empty chatter, to avoid arguments that oppose the Scripture, even though they might be called knowledge. We pray that the church will not lose its nerve, conviction and its commitment in standing for the truth.
MEMORY VERSE: 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
PRAYER: Merciful God, help me to embrace the Spirit of Truth so that in every situation, I will always stand for the truth in Jesus Name. Amen.