Temple Baptist Church - 2-18-2015
1 John 3:24-4:3
A. There are so many spirits in the world clamoring for the attention of both religious people and the children of God.
1. Mankind has always been enchanted by the suspected presence of “spirit” beings. Many legends and myths show man’s curiosity as well as lack of knowledge on the subject.
2. Since Satan’s rebellion in heaven, there has been a perpetual warfare in the spirit world. From Genesis 3 until God ultimately banishes these evil spirits to their eternal home, hell, the battle rages.
B. I do not want to do a study on Angelology but will take a quick into the spirit world because of our verses for tonight.
1. If our eyes could be opened to that which cannot be seen, the spirit world, I believe we would be shocked. Devil possession was rampant during the life of our Lord and I find no place where that has been changed.
2. The bible speaks much of spirits and devils. Lying spirits, spirits of divination, familiar spirits, possessing spirits, evil spirits, principalities and powers, etc.
C. People can be both possessed by spirits and influenced by spirits. I believe that our text speaks of the latter. Theological error emanates a wrong spirit. Men can be possessed and influenced by:
1. The Spirit of God - John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
2. The spirit of antichrist which is of the devil - 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
D. I want to look at three simple ways to try the spirits in order to know right and wrong doctrine; right and wrong prophets or preachers.
1. Try the spirits with God’s Word. John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; (32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (The Holy Spirit of God will NEVER lead contrary to the Word of God! Our Lord Jesus Christ said that the scriptures could not be broken. People always say the Holy Ghost told me to do or to say this or that but many times what these people are doing is against the scripture.)
Deuteronomy 13:1-4 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, (2) And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; (3) Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (4) Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. (We often say believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see. They may seem to do great miracles but, if they violate the scriptures at any point, they are not of God.)
2. Try the spirits by the fruit that they bear. Matthew 7:15-18 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (Does the spirit produce godliness or worldliness? Many of the new churches of our day are becoming more and more worldly while claiming to be doing things by the bible.)
Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
3. Try the spirits by the Holy Spirit that dwells within you. John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
1 Corinthians 2:9-13 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.