“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone into the world”
IF the truth should cause offence, it is infinitely better that offence be caused than for the truth to be denied. Just this past week, the country rang with indignation and radio stations were awash with news of a Sunningdale-based prophet who had a much publicized claim that “God told me that he would be visiting Zimbabwe on 20 October 2016”.
The man claims that he has been to heaven twice and this time around God had told him of the impending visit but everything came to naught on the 20th of October. Instead, the claim became a subject of many blasphemous jokes. Now, there is nothing that has become more common in Christendom than rogue religious doctrines that aim at unjustly enriching church leaders at the expense of the hapless and gullible laity.
There are some people who feel that religious practices must not be put to the test but this is a hopelessly erroneous way of thinking especially in Christianity. The Bible itself encourages Christians to test all things, to prove everything taught. Through writing this, I do not seek fame or bashing any denomination but, as Christians, we have a duty to the truth, even if it offends someone. It has always been like that in the Bible. This ‘touch not God’s anointed’ misconception has seen the rise in ponzi schemes like seeding cons, ludicrous miracles and money doctrines flooding contemporary churches.
In this article, therefore, I make a strong claim that religious doctrines and even leaders must be tested under the microscope of the Word. The Bible admonishes us to test all spirits, I am no exception, even the claims that I make in these writings ought to be tested in the light of the Bible. Nothing must be taken at face value. The Bible encourages us to prove all things and above all to test spirits as captured in the above verse (1 John 4:1).
Nothing can be far from the truth; we are living in the times foreseen by the author of the above verse. Prophets have risen everywhere and all are claiming to speak for God. Most denominations have to have the word ‘miracle’ or ‘prosperity’ as part of their names, somehow, in order to lure the laity. It has become a religion, not of representing the truth but one that seeks to entice through money and miracles. I am a strong advocate against the teaching of religious error especially when it is palpable that we have a case of rogue ‘Bishops’ or ‘pastors’ seeking to prey on people and dissuading people from questioning.Advertisement
Test Every Spirit
This verse (I John 4:1) forms the nucleus of this piece of writing and if there is one thing you can get out of reading this, it is that in Christianity we are called to prove all things. It is a duty placed on every Christian to test what they are hearing, to test everything in the light of the Bible. Run away from the purported prophets, pastors, bishops and reverends that discourage you from questioning what they do.
The catch phrase in contemporary Christian churches is “Touch not God’s anointed”. This has allowed for the greatest fraud in Christendom where outright satanic rites are practiced in church while people do not dare ask the ‘Prophet’. If we rewind to just a decade ago, it was anathema, an abomination as it were, for people (Christians that is) to kneel in reverence to a pastor – whether people like to call it respect or worship, the effect is the same.
In Christianity, not even an angel enjoys the privilege of people kneeling down before it. It is however, strange that we have people, supposed Christians, kneeling before mortal men of flesh. We even have people titling their human-founded organizations, “The Miracle Centre” as if Christianity is premised on miracles. Miracles are actually a thing meant to benefit unbelievers. There is no point in making miracles the focal point for those who truly believe.
Now, it is important that the above-mentioned verse be broken down; it puts all we may argue for and against into perspective.
1. “Do not believe every spirit…” This part confirms that there are many spirits in the world, otherwise no one would say, for example, “Don’t use every road”. A person can only say so where there are plenty of roads. Likewise, this part of the verse hints that there are spirits that appear like the true spirit but are not. It says that there are rogue spirits out there and the instruction is not to believe every spirit.
2. “…but test the spirits to see whether they are from God”- That is a powerful admonition. Test to see the spirits, whether they are from God. Put simply, this means there are plenty counterfeit spirits that are not from God that claim to speak for God. The Bible states clearly that by their ‘money-mongering’ and ‘miracle-loving’ fruits you shall know them. The spirits referred therein are deceptive spirits barring people from questioning.
3 “…because many false prophets have gone into the world” – That puts everything to rest. Can the Bible be clearer? The reason for testing every spirit is clearly laid out. It is because a few false prophets have gone into the world? No, read again; it is because many false prophets have gone into the world. They are plenty today. They have rushed to proclaim things that God never said.
Rogue doctrines must be criticized. I make no apology for this message. The Bible is clear: “Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.” 1 Thes 5:21.