Faithlife Sermons

Testing Teachers

Pastor Randy Bradley
The Book of First John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  25:30
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John calls his readers to put the spirits to the test. This is a call to test the teaching of anyone claiming to teach God's word. Are they teaching from the Holy Spirit, or from some other spirit?

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1 A YOUNG MAN • WENT OFF TO WORK IN A DISTANT COUNTRY FOR TWO YEARS • TO RAISE MONEY SO HE COULD MARRY HIS SWEETHEART. • THEY WROTE EACH OTHER FREQUENTLY • IN ONE OF THESE LETTERS THE YOUNG WOMAN • EXPRESSED HER CONCERN THAT THE YOUNG MAN • MIGHT NOT BE FAITHFUL TO HER BECAUSE • THE DISTANT COUNTRY HE WAS IN WAS KNOWN FOR ITS BEAUTIFUL WOMEN • HE WROTE BACK THAT HE WAS PAYING ABSOLUTELY NO ATTENTION • TO THE LOCAL GIRLS HE WROTE, "THAT SOMETIMES I'M TEMPTED. • BUT I FIGHT IT. I'M KEEPING MYSELF FOR YOU." • IN THE NEXT MAIL, THE YOUNG MAN RECEIVED A PACKAGE. • IT CONTAINED A NOTE FROM HIS GIRL AND A HARMONICA. • "I'M SENDING THIS TO YOU," • SHE WROTE, "SO YOU CAN LEARN TO PLAY IT • AND HAVE SOMETHING TO TAKE YOUR MIND OFF THOSE GIRLS." • HE REPLIED, "THANKS FOR THE HARMONICA. • I'M PRACTICING IT EVERY NIGHT AND THINKING OF YOU." • AFTER HIS TWO YEARS WAS UP HE CAME HOME • AND WAS MET AT THE TRAIN STATION BY THE YOUNG WOMAN • AND HER ENTIRE FAMILY • HE RUSHED FORWARD TO EMBRACE HER • SHE HELD UP A RESTRAINING HAND AND SAID STERNLY, • "JUST HOLD ON THERE A MINUTE, BILLY BOB. • BEFORE ANY SERIOUS KISSIN' AND HUGGIN' GETS STARTED HERE, • LET ME HEAR YOU PLAY THAT HARMONICA!” • SOME THINGS IN LIFE CAN BE TAKEN ON FAITH • MANY THINGS NEED TO BE TESTED • IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE WE ARE CALLED TO PUT CERTAIN THINGS TO THE TEST • ONE OF THE THINGS WE ARE CALLED TO TEST • IS THE SPIRIT BEHIND THOSE CLAIMING TO TEACH GOD’S WORD • TODAY WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THIS CALL TO TEST THOSE WHO • CLAIM TO TEACH GOD’S WORD • TURN TO 1 JOHN 4:1 • JOHN HAD JUST TOLD HIS READERS • TO DO TRUE DEEDS OF SACRIFICIAL LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER • CARE FOR, SERVE, HELP, ONE ANOTHER • THEY WERE TO DO THIS SO THEIR HEARTS WOULD BE ASSURED • THEY WERE WALKING WITH GOD • AND THEY COULD PRAY CONFIDENTLY • HE CONCLUDED BY SAYING • THAT WE KNOW GOD ABIDES IN US • BY HIS SPIRIT WHICH HE HAS GIVEN US • THE HOLY SPIRIT • BUT WHAT IF SOME ONE DOES NOT HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT? • AND THEY ARE CLAIMING TO TEACH GOD’S WORD? 1 JOHN 4:1 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. TESTING SPIRITS • IF WE TAKE THIS OUT OF CONTEXT WE MIGHT THINK • JOHN IS TALKING ABOUT SPIRITS, LIKE SPIRITUAL BEINGS, DEMONS, ANGELS • BUT WHEN WE LOOK AT WHAT JOHN HAS JUST SAID • “WE KNOW BY THIS THAT HE ABIDES IN US, BY THE SPIRIT WHOM HE HAS GIVEN US” • AND WHAT HE IS GOING TO SAY ABOUT THE FALSE PROPHETS • WE CAN SEE THAT THIS IS NOT ABOUT SPIRITUAL BEINGS • BUT ABOUT THE “SPIRIT” IN THOSE WHO CLAIM TO TEACH GOD’S WORD • WHEN JOHN SAYS • BELOVED, DO NOT BELIEVE EVERY SPIRIT, • HE CALLS FOR ALL CHRISTIANS TO QUESTION • THE SPIRIT BEHIND THOSE CLAIMING TO TEACH GOD’S WORD • WE NEED TO CAREFULLY EVALUATE THE MESSAGE AND THE MESSENGER • EVERYONE WHO CLAIMS TO TEACH GOD’S WORD • MAY NOT BE TEACHING BY THE HOLY SPIRIT • AND THE TRUTH IS EVERY TEACHING HAS SOME SPIRIT BEHIND IT • THOSE THAT ARE NOT TEACHING BY GOD’S SPIRIT • ARE TEACHING BY SOME OTHER SPIRIT AND THAT CANNOT BE GOOD • THEREFORE WE ARE CALLED TO TEST WHAT WE ARE TAUGHT • SINCE THOSE WHO CLAIM TO TEACH GOD’S WORD • MIGHT NOT BE TEACHING BY THE HOLY SPIRIT • BUT BY SOME OTHER SPIRIT • JOHN SAYS; BUT TEST THE SPIRITS TO SEE WHETHER THEY ARE FROM GOD • THAT IS, TEST THE SPIRIT BEHIND THE TEACHER • WHERE IS THE TEACHER COMING FROM? • WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TEACHING? • IS IT THE HOLY SPIRIT? OR SOME OTHER SPIRIT?..... • THE CHRISTIAN FAITH IS NOT BLIND FAITH • TRUE FAITH EXAMINES, TESTS, COMPARES WHAT IS • TAUGHT TO WHAT GOD HAS SAID IN HIS WORD ACTS 17:11 NOW THESE WERE MORE NOBLEMINDED THAN THOSE IN THESSALONICA, FOR THEY RECEIVED THE WORD WITH GREAT EAGERNESS, EXAMINING THE SCRIPTURES DAILY TO SEE WHETHER THESE THINGS WERE SO. • PEOPLE REVEAL THE SOURCE OF THEIR TEACHING • BY THEIR WORDS AND ACTIONS • PROPER TESTING, EXAMINING CAN REVEAL • IF THEIR TEACHING IS FROM GOD OR SOME OTHER SOURCE TEST FOR FALSE PROPHETS • NOW, THE ONLY REASON TO TEST FOR SOMETHING • IS IF THERE IS ACTUALLY A CHANCE IT CAN BE THERE • IF THERE IS NO CHANCE FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN • THEN YOU DON’T REALLY NEED TO TEST FOR IT • BUT JOHN GIVES THE REASON WHY WE SHOULD TEST THE SPIRITS • BECAUSE MANY FALSE PROPHETS HAVE GONE OUT INTO THE WORLD. • HE ASSURES US OF THE NEED TO TEST BECAUSE • THERE ARE ACTUALLY FALSE PROPHETS • OUT THERE IN THE WORLD THAT ARE CLAIMING TO TEACH GOD’S WORD • HE CALLS THEM FALSE PROPHETS OR LITERALLY PSEUDO-PROPHETS • BECAUSE THEY PRETEND TO HAVE THE SPIRIT OF GOD • TO BE MOVED BY GOD, TO BRING GOD’S TRUE WORD • BUT, AS HE WILL SAY IN A FEW VERSES THIS IS THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTI-CHRIST • THESE FALSE TEACHERS ARE AGAINST CHRIST • THEY ARE NOT TEACHING GOD’S WORD • THEY ARE TEACHING HURTFUL, HARMFUL THINGS • THEY ARE UNDERMINING THE GOSPEL • CRIPPLING PEOPLE’S FAITH IN CHRIST IN SUNDAY SCHOOL A TEACHER ASKED THE CHILDREN, • "WHAT IS FALSE DOCTRINE?" • UP WENT A LITTLE BOY'S HAND, HE SAID • "IT'S WHEN THE DOCTOR GIVES THE WRONG STUFF • TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK, YOU KNOW FALSE DOCTORING" • FALSE DOCTORING INDEED! • SOME OF THE THINGS WE HEAR PREACHED IN CHURCHES TODAY • ARE CERTAINLY PEOPLE GIVING THE "WRONG STUFF" TO SIN-SICK SOULS. • THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO NOT BELIEVE EVERY SPIRIT • BUT PUT THE SPIRITS TO THE TEST • BUT WHAT TEST DO WE PUT THESE SPRITS TO? 1 JOHN 4:2–4 BY THIS YOU KNOW THE SPIRIT OF GOD: EVERY SPIRIT THAT CONFESSES THAT JESUS CHRIST HAS COME IN THE FLESH IS FROM GOD; AND EVERY SPIRIT THAT DOES NOT CONFESS JESUS IS NOT FROM GOD; THIS IS THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTICHRIST, OF WHICH YOU HAVE HEARD THAT IT IS COMING, AND NOW IT IS ALREADY IN THE WORLD. YOU ARE FROM GOD, LITTLE CHILDREN, AND HAVE OVERCOME THEM; BECAUSE GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN YOU THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD. TESTING BY THEIR CONFESSION • JOHN TELLS US EXACTLY HOW WE CAN KNOW SOMEONE IS FROM GOD • HE SAYS; BY THIS YOU KNOW THE SPIRIT OF GOD: EVERY SPIRIT THAT CONFESSES THAT JESUS CHRIST HAS COME IN THE FLESH IS FROM GOD; • THIS IS NOT THE ONLY WAY WE CAN KNOW WHO IS FROM GOD • BUT IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT WAY • WE ARE CALLED TO LOOK AT WHAT SOMEONE CONFESS ABOUT JESUS • WHAT DO THEY PUBLICLY STATE ABOUT JESUS • FIRST DO THEY CONFESS THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST? • THE SAVIOR SENT FROM GOD TO SAVE MANKIND • SECOND DO THEY SAY THAT HE CAME IN THE FLESH? • WAS HE REALLY A MAN, OR DID HE JUST LOOK LIKE A MAN • AND THIRD WAS HE FROM GOD? • THESE ARE SPECIFIC THINGS FOR THIS SPECIFIC SITUATION • THE BIBLE CONTAINS OTHER STATEMENTS ABOUT CHRIST • AND WE SHOULD SEE WHAT PEOPLE • CONFESSES ABOUT THOSE THINGS • DO THEY CONFESS, STATE PUBLICLY • THAT CHRIST LIVED A SINLESS LIFE AND DIED TO PAY FOR OUR SINS? • THAT CHRIST ROSE AGAIN AFTER THREE DAYS AND ASCENDED TO HEAVEN • DO THEY CONFESS THAT CHRIST IS COMING BACK • THAT SALVATION IS THROUGH FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE. • DO THEY CONFESS THAT CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY TO THE FATHER • EACH AND EVERYONE OF THESE THINGS IS FOUND IN SCRIPTURE • IF THE BIBLE HAS SAID SOMETHING ABOUT CHRIST • AND SOMEONE CONFESSES, AGREES WITH, PUBLICLY STATES THESE THINGS • WE CAN KNOW THEY ARE FROM GOD • IF THE BIBLE HAS SAID SOMETHING ABOUT CHRIST • AND SOMEONE WHO CLAIMS TO TEACH GOD’S WORD • WILL NOT CONFESS, PUBLICLY STATE, AGREE WITH THESE THINGS • WE CAN KNOW THEY ARE NOT FROM GOD • NOTICE IT DOES NOT SAY THEY HAVE TO CONTRADICT THEM • IT DOES NOT SAY THEY HAVE TO OPENLY DISAGREE WITH THEM • IT SAYS.. DOES NOT CONFESS THEM • SO IF SOMEONE WHO CLAIMED TO TEACH GOD’S WORD • WAS ON TV AND THEY WERE ASKED • IS JESUS THE ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN • AND THEY REFUSED TO ANSWER • THAT WOULD BE THEM NOT CONFESSING THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST • ACCORDING TO JOHN THAT WOULD BE AN INDICATION • THAT THEY WERE NOT FROM GOD • THAT IS WHY JOHN WRITES • AND EVERY SPIRIT THAT DOES NOT CONFESS JESUS IS NOT FROM GOD; • NOT ONLY CAN WE KNOW WHO IS FROM GOD BY WHAT THEY CONFESS • WE CAN KNOW WHO IS NOT FROM GOD BY WHAT THEY CONFESS • THOSE WHO WILL NOT CONFESS, AGREE WITH GOD, ABOUT JESUS • ARE NOT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT THEY ARE OF THE ANTI-CHRIST • JOHN SAYS; • THIS IS THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTICHRIST, • SO I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE • IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO AVOID ANY TEACHING • THAT IS FROM THE ANTICHRIST • NOW THE ANTICHRIST WILL NOT COME ON THE EARTH • UNTIL SOMETIME IN THE TRIBULATION • BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN HIS SPIRIT OF THE ANTI-CHRIST IS NOT ON THE EARTH NOW • IN FACT JOHN TOLD HIS AUDIENCE IT WAS ALREADY IN THE WORLD AT THE TIME HE WROTE THIS LETTER 2K YEARS • OF WHICH YOU HAVE HEARD THAT IT IS COMING, AND NOW IT IS ALREADY IN THE WORLD • SINCE THIS SPIRIT THIS SPIRIT OF THE ANTI-CHRIST IS IN THE WORLD • WE SHOULD PUT TO THE TEST ANY TEACHING • THAT CLAIMS TO BE GOD’S WORD SO THAT….. • WE ARE NOT DECEIVED INTO FOLLOWING SOMETHING THAT IS NOT FROM GOD TEST BECAUSE THIS IS A WAR • JOHN HAD JUST TOLD THEM THESE FALSE TEACHERS • WHO DO NOT CONFESS THAT CHRIST CAME IN THE FLESH • ARE OF THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTICHRIST • HE THEN TELLS HIS READERS • YOU ARE FROM GOD, LITTLE CHILDREN, AND HAVE OVERCOME THEM; • THIS IS A DESCRIPTION OF THE CONFLICT, THE WAR • THAT RAGES ON THIS EARTH EVERY DAY EPHESIANS 6:12 FOR OUR STRUGGLE IS NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT AGAINST THE RULERS, AGAINST THE POWERS, AGAINST THE WORLD FORCES OF THIS DARKNESS, AGAINST THE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES. • AND JOHN HAS JUST ASSURED HIS READERS THAT • IN THIS BATTLE THAT RAGES ON THE EARTH • THEY, THE BELIEVERS, HAVE OVERCOME • THEM, THOSE WHO ARE OF THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTICHRIST • BUT, TO MAKE SURE THEY UNDERSTAND THAT • THEY DID NOT OVERCOME BY THEIR OWN POWER • JOHN ADDS; BECAUSE GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN YOU THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD. • THE WAY THEY HAVE OVERCOME IS NOT • BY THEIR OWN POWER OR SKILL, OR MIGHT • BUT BY THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN THEM…. • THE INDWELLING HOLY SPRIT IN BELIEVERS • WAS GREATER THAN THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTICHRIST • IN THE FALSE TEACHERS… • HOW CAN IT BE THIS IMPORTANT FOR SOMEONE TO SAY JESUS CAME IN PHYSICAL FORM? • WHY WOULD IT MATTER IF THEY TAUGHT EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE BIBLE • AND DENIED THIS ONE THING? • WOULD IT REALLY CHANGE THE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL IF CHRIST JUST • LOOKED LIKE A MAN BUT WAS REALLY NOT A MAN?.... A TIC TAC MAY LOOK A LOT LIKE A PILL • BUT IT IS NOT MEDICINE IT IS NOT GONNA DO THE SAME THING • IF YOU ARE SICK YOU DON’T WANT A TIC TAC • YOU WANT REAL MEDICINE NOT SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE MEDICINE • IF CHRIST JUST LOOKED LIKE A MAN • AND WAS NOT A MAN • HE COULD NOT BE TEMPTED AS WE ARE TEMPTED • HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS WOULD NOT PAY FOR OUR SINS • BECAUSE HE WOULD NOT BE ONE OF US • HE COULD NOT BE RESURRECTED… BECAUSE HE WAS NEVER REALLY ALIVE • ON THIS ONE SIMPLE CONCEPT, GOD CAME IN THE PHYSICAL FORM OF A MAN • RESTS THE ENTIRE GOSPEL MESSAGE, • WITHOUT THIS TRUTH ALL THE REST OF THE GOSPEL IS POINTLESS • AND YET THESE FALSE TEACHERS TAUGHT CHRIST HAD NOT COME IN THE FLESH 1 JOHN 4:5–6 THEY ARE FROM THE WORLD; THEREFORE THEY SPEAK AS FROM THE WORLD, AND THE WORLD LISTENS TO THEM. WE ARE FROM GOD; HE WHO KNOWS GOD LISTENS TO US; HE WHO IS NOT FROM GOD DOES NOT LISTEN TO US. BY THIS WE KNOW THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH AND THE SPIRIT OF ERROR. TEST BY WHO LISTENS • THE WORLD WILL LOVE FALSE TEACHERS BECAUSE THEY ARE FROM THE WORLD. • WHEN JOHN SAYS • THEY ARE FROM THE WORLD; THEREFORE THEY SPEAK AS FROM THE WORLD • HE IS TALKING ABOUT WHERE THEY GET THEIR TEACHING • THEIR IDEAS, THEIR WORLD VIEW, WHAT THEY BELIEVE (PAUSE) • THEY DID NOT GET WHAT THEY TAUGHT FROM GOD • THEY GOT IT FROM THE WORLD • JAMES TALKS ABOUT THE WISDOM OF THE WORLD WHEN HE WRITES JAMES 3:15–16 THIS WISDOM IS NOT THAT WHICH COMES DOWN FROM ABOVE, BUT IS EARTHLY, NATURAL, DEMONIC. FOR WHERE JEALOUSY AND SELFISH AMBITION EXIST, THERE IS DISORDER AND EVERY EVIL THING. • AND BECAUSE THESE FALSE TEACHERS GOT THEIR • WISDOM FROM THE WORLD • THE WORLD LISTENS TO THEM. • PEOPLE LOVE TO HEAR WHAT THEY ALREADY BELIEVE • SO WHEN FALSE TEACHERS SPEAK THE THINGS OF THE WORLD • THE WORLD LISTENS • WHEN FALSE TEACHERS SAY THAT GOD WANTS YOU TO BE RICH • PEOPLE FILL A STADIUM TO LISTEN TO IT • BECAUSE THE WORLD SAYS YOU SHOULD WANT TO BE RICH • WHEN FALSE TEACHERS SAY THAT EVERYONE GOES TO HEAVEN • PEOPLE BY BOOKS BY THE MILLIONS • BECAUSE THE WORLD SAYS TOLERANCE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING • FROM THIS WE CAN SEE • THAT WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHO WE LISTEN TO • IS THE WORLD FLOCKING TO HEAR SOME TEACHING • IS THE WORLD ALL EXCITED AND AGREEING WITH A TEACHING • WELL THEN WE NEED TO TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT IT • IS THIS A CASE OF THE WORLD LISTENING TO WORLDLY WISDOM? • WHILE THE WORLD CHASES AFTER THOSE TEACHING WORLDLY WISDOM • BELIEVERS ARE CALLED TO LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD TEST BY WHO DOES NOT LISTEN • THE WORLD FLOCKS TO THOSE WHO TEACH WORLDLY WISDOM • BUT IT FLEES FROM THOSE WHO TEACH GOD’S WORD • THOSE WHO KNOW GOD, WHO ARE IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD • WHO ARE ABIDING IN CHRIST • LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD • THIS IS WHAT JOHN MEANS WHEN HE WRITES • WE ARE FROM GOD; HE WHO KNOWS GOD LISTENS TO US • THIS IS THE EXACT SAME CONCEPT THAT JESUS HAD IN MIND WHEN HE SAID JOHN 10:27 “MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE, AND I KNOW THEM, AND THEY FOLLOW ME; • THIS IS ONE WAY WE CAN TEST THE SPIRIT OF THOSE TEACHING GOD’S WORD • IF THEY LISTEN TO THE GOSPEL, IF THEY LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD • WE SHOULD LISTEN TO THEM • BUT IF THEY DO NOT LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD • IF THEY ARE GETTING THEIR TEACHING • FROM THE WISDOM OF THE WORLD • FROM PSYCHOLOGY, OR PHILOSOPHY • OR THE CURRENT CULTURAL TRENDS • WE NEED TO BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT LISTENING TO THEM • CAUSE JOHN SAYS • HE WHO IS NOT FROM GOD DOES NOT LISTEN TO US. • SEE, JOHN EVEN TELLS HIS READERS THIS IS A WAY TO TEST A TEACHING • BY THIS WE KNOW THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH AND THE SPIRIT OF ERROR. • WHEN HE SAYS BY THIS HE MEANS BY THE FACT THAT • THOSE WHO ARE FROM GOD LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD • AND THOSE WHO ARE NOT FROM GOD… DO NOT LISTEN TO HIS WORD…. • WHAT THIS REALLY COMES DOWN TO IS • ARE WE LISTENING TO PEOPLE WHO VALUE GOD’S TRUTH? • OR PEOPLE WHO VALUE THE LIES OF THE WORLD… • WHEN WE DECIDE WHO WE ARE GOING TO LISTEN TO • WE ARE DECIDING IF WE VALUE TRUTH OR NOT • AND HOW WE FEEL ABOUT TRUTH IS VITALLY IMPORTANT… • WHEN REGARD FOR TRUTH HAS BEEN BROKEN DOWN • OR EVEN SLIGHTLY WEAKENED, ALL THINGS WILL REMAIN DOUBTFUL…. • LEANING ON, TRUSTING IN, ANYTHING OTHER THAN GOD’S WORD • WEAKENS OUR WALK WITH GOD • LEARNING FROM ANYONE WHO CLAIMS TO TEACH GOD’S WORD • WHO GOT THEIR TEACHING FROM THE WORLD AND NOT THE WORD • WEAKENS OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST LIKE THE YOUNG LADY WHO WANTED TO HEAR • HER FIANCÉ PLAY THE HARMONICA BEFORE ANY HUGGIN AND KISSIN • WE NEED TO TEST THOSE WE WOULD LEARN FROM…. • JOHN HAS INSTRUCTED ALL BELIEVERS TO • TEST THE SPIRITS TO SEE WHETHER THEY ARE FROM GOD • JOHN HAS PROVIDED SOME WAYS WE CAN TEST THEM • (1. WE CAN TEST BY THEIR CONFESSION • DO THEY PUBLICLY CONFESS THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST THE SAVIOR? • DO THEY CONFESS THAT CHRIST IS GOD COME IN THE FLESH? • DO THEY CONFESS THAT CHRIST LIVED A SINLESS LIFE • AND DIED ON THE CROSS TO PAY FOR OUR SINS? • THAT HE ROSE AGAIN AFTER THREE DAYS • ASCENDED TO HEAVEN AND HE IS COMING BACK? • IF THEY DO NOT CONFESS THESE THINGS WE NEED TO REMEMBER WHAT JOHN SAID • AND EVERY SPIRIT THAT DOES NOT CONFESS JESUS IS NOT FROM GOD; • (2. WE CAN TEST BY WHAT THEY TEACH • DO THEY TEACH WORLDLY THINGS OR BIBLICAL THINGS • WHERE DOES THEIR TEACHING COME FROM • FROM THE WISDOM OF MAN OR THE WISDOM OF GOD • (3. WE CAN TEST BY WHO LISTENS TO THEM • IS THE WORLD ATTRACTED TO WHAT THEY ARE SAYING? • ARE THEY FILLING STADIUMS? • ARE THE SELLING MILLIONS OF BOOKS? • IF THE WORLD IS THAT ATTRACTED TO WHAT THEY ARE SAYING • WE MIGHT WANT TO REMEMBER WHAT JOHN SAID • THEREFORE THEY SPEAK AS FROM THE WORLD, AND THE WORLD LISTENS TO THEM • THE GOAL HERE IS TO AVOID FALSE TEACHING • AND STICK WITH WHAT JOHN AND THE OTHER APOSTLES TAUGHT • THE WORD OF GOD, THE GOSPEL, THE GOOD NEWS • THAT THERE IS A GOD WHO LOVES US… 93
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