Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Who is inlfuenced by Satan?

In the first verse of 1John chapter 4 John gives us a very clear directive.  We are to test EVERY spirit to be sure they are of God.  John is going to get focused on a particular issue that would require this simple test; however, we need to test all teachers, preachers and prophets in light of all Scripture, rightly dividing the Word of God.  Throughout Scripture we see very stark contrasts, for example, Jesus said you are either with Me or against Me. He said you either scatter or gather. He said you either walk in Light or darkness.  There is no neutrality in Christ, and the same is true of false prophets and false teachers.  That is why it is so crucial to test EVERY preacher, teacher and prophet against The Word; either they are led by the Spirit of God, or they are influenced, led, and/or deceived by demonic influence.  If we think only with the “wisdom of man” (in other words, if we only think in the flesh) a logical response to the previous statement would be, “well I don’t think “so and so” is under demonic influence, they are very loving and compassionate.”  If this is your mindset, you need to consider two things:

One-have you ever been sincerely wrong about something?  So, it is possible to be genuine and sincere, yet still be wrong, correct?  What you have essentially said is that sincerity by itself amounts to zero; after all, if I sincerely thought the gun was empty and pulled the trigger of a loaded gun my sincerity would not change the outcome.
Two-If someone is genuine and sincere, yet wrong, would that change the outcome if someone was swayed by their teaching that ultimately led them to hell?  So, if someone is teaching a religion or doctrine that deceives others from the Truth and leads them to hell, how can you call it anything other than what The Word calls it, “doctrines of demons”?  Demonic influence is so powerful and crafty that many well intentioned people are led astray. I don’t think there is any doubt that is why we are warned over and over again in The Word about false teaching.  That is the very reason we need to check everything against God’s Word and the reason Paul made this statement:

Galatians 1:8-10  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 10  For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

The ultimate point is, we need to test EVERYTHING against The Word:

 1John 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.

It seems clear that John is zeroing in on a particular false teaching that has crept in to the early church, and this lie is that “Jesus is not God”:

1John 4:2-3  By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3  and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

 When we are born of God we know that Jesus is God; however, there are several religions out there that will attempt to reduce Jesus Christ to the status of prophet, angel, or “a good teacher”.  With all this mis-information and rampant demonic influence in the world, why is it that some are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is God:

 1John 4:4  You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

If Christ is your Lord and Savior His Spirit dwells in you, but whoever is not born of God is under the sway of Satan:

 1John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

Galatians 1:3-5 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4  who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5  to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

 Notice that Paul says in Galatians 1 that Jesus MIGHT deliver us.  This does not mean He can’t, because He can do anything; however, it starts with your surrender to Him.  When you are absolutely surrendered to Him you are born-again; however, that only happens because He first loved us.  Isn’t that amazing!  Left to ourselves we would have remained sinful, selfish and wicked; but His love has drawn us to Himself and softened our heart to receive the Truth:

 1John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.

1John 4:10  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 Propitiation

1.    The act of appeasing wrath and conciliating the favor of an offended person; the act of making propitious.

WOW! God the Father, sent God the Son (His SON!)….He loves us so much He sent HIS SON from the Throne of Heaven to be humiliated, beaten, rejected, crucified; but beyond all this, to take upon Himself the Wrath of God to satisfy our sin debt.  Yet, there are many that will reject this love even though the Word makes it clear, the Wrath of God is coming for the disobedient:

Ephesians 5:6  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Hebrews 9:27-28  And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28  so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Hebrews 10:31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

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