Monday, October 10, 2011

Know the Real Thing

"Beloved, 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."
1 John 4:1

One of the most effective ways to recognize a counterfeit is to be completely and intimately acquainted with the real thing. People who recognize counterfeit money are deeply familiar with real bills. The way they feel, the intricacy of the artwork, the weight of the paper and the way the ink bleeds into it. In John's day, false teachers were leaving the church and drawing others to come after them.Today there are many teachers claiming to be followers of Christ who are teaching heresy. They have "gone out into the world", giving their false messages not only through their churches, but through the internet, books and TV. Sadly, many people are being led astray. John told his readers to "test the spirits." Behind every teacher there is either the spirit of God or the spirit of evil. So, how can we recognize counterfeit teaching? By comparing everything we hear to the real thing -- the truth of scripture. For example, Jesus said He is the only way to God (John 14:6). If anyone says there are many ways to God, they are not teaching the truth. Scripture is clear on this point and does not contradict itself. Don't take anyone's teaching as truth -- not even the writer of Mountain Manna -- without first knowing the real truth of the Bible. 

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