“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” (1 John 4:1-3).
Don’t just take my word for it. Test what you hear from the pulpit against the truth of God’s word.
Don’t just take what the church teaches. Test the teaching of any particular church against the word of God.
Not all teaching is true. Not all teaching is from God.
How can you tell? Test it against the word of God.
The standard is the word of God. That’s the standard by which we regard everything else. There are false prophets. There have always been false prophets.
How can you tell? It has everything to do with Jesus. Every spirit, prophet, preacher, or church that does not acknowledge Jesus is from God is a false teacher. Why is this so important? Because if Jesus is from God then Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. And if Jesus is God, creatures obey.
When we read the Bible, there will be sections that will offend modern sensibilities. And if Jesus is God, then what needs to change is not God’s truth, but our sensibilities. When we are offended by the teachings of the Bible, we do not adjust the Bible to fit our modern sensibilities, it’s our modern sensibilities that need to adjust to the truth of God’s word.
That’s why “acknowledge Jesus is from God” absolutely matters
Toby Mac said it like this: “Satan’s target is your mind and his weapons are his lies. So fill your mind with God’s word.”
That’s pretty good advice. Not all teachings are valid. Not all churches proclaim Jesus as Lord. Test the teachings against the word of God.