Custodians of Truth
1 John 4:1-6
1 John 4:1-6
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world’s perspective and the world listens to them. We are from God; the person who knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.
Who do you follow?
Who do you follow?
A Spirit of Light leads to:
A life of easiness and goodness
A life of satsifaction and fulfillment
A life of recognition and possession
A life of pleasures and good feelings
It seemed like a good idea to Darius to appoint over the kingdom 120 satraps who would be in charge of the entire kingdom. Over them would be three supervisors, one of whom was Daniel. These satraps were accountable to them, so that the king’s interests might not incur damage. Now this Daniel was distinguishing himself above the other supervisors and the satraps, for he had an extraordinary spirit. In fact, the king intended to appoint him over the entire kingdom. Consequently the supervisors and satraps were trying to find some pretext against Daniel in connection with administrative matters. But they were unable to find any such damaging evidence, because he was trustworthy and guilty of no negligence or corruption.So these men concluded, “We won’t find any pretext against this man Daniel unless it is in connection with the law of his God.” So these supervisors and satraps came by collusion to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! To all the supervisors of the kingdom, the prefects, satraps, counselors, and governors it seemed like a good idea for a royal edict to be issued and an interdict to be enforced. For the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human other than you, O king, should be thrown into a den of lions. Now let the king issue a written interdict so that it cannot be altered, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be changed.So King Darius issued the written interdict. When Daniel realized that a written decree had been issued, he entered his home, where the windows in his upper room opened toward Jerusalem. Three times daily he was kneeling and offering prayers and thanks to his God just as he had been accustomed to do previously. Then those officials who had gone to the king came by collusion and found Daniel praying and asking for help before his God. So they approached the king and said to him, “Did you not issue an edict to the effect that for the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human other than to you, O king, would be thrown into a den of lions?” The king replied, “That is correct, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be changed.” Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the edict that you issued. Three times daily he offers his prayer.” When the king heard this, he was very upset and began thinking about how he might rescue Daniel. Until late afternoon he was struggling to find a way to rescue him. Then those men came by collusion to the king and said to him, “Recall, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no edict or decree that the king issues can be changed.” So the king gave the order, and Daniel was brought and thrown into a den of lions. The king consoled Daniel by saying, “Your God whom you continually serve will rescue you!” Then a stone was brought and placed over the opening to the den. The king sealed it with his signet ring and with those of his nobles so that nothing could be changed with regard to Daniel. Then the king departed to his palace. But he spent the night without eating, and no diversions were brought to him. He was unable to sleep. In the morning, at the earliest sign of daylight, the king got up and rushed to the lions’ den. As he approached the den, he called out to Daniel in a worried voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, was your God whom you continually serve able to rescue you from the lions?” Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and closed the lions’ mouths so that they have not harmed me, because I was found to be innocent before him. Nor have I done any harm to you, O king.” Then the king was delighted and gave an order to haul Daniel up from the den. So Daniel was hauled up out of the den. He had no injury of any kind, because he had trusted in his God. The king gave another order, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the lions’ den—they, their children, and their wives. They did not even reach the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and language groups who were living in all the land: “Peace and prosperity!I have issued an edict that throughout all the dominion of my kingdom people are to revere and fear the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God; he endures forever. His kingdom will not be destroyed; his authority is forever. He rescues and delivers and performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions!” So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
A Spirit of Righteousness
A life of good deeds and morals
A life of justice and fairness
A life of serving, giving, and helping
A life of ministry and programs
You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified! The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard?Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort?Have you suffered so many things for nothing?—if indeed it was for nothing. Does God then give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law or by your believing what you heard? Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,so then, understand that those who believe are the sons of Abraham.And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.”So then those who believe are blessed along with Abraham the believer. For all who rely on doing the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the book of the law.”Now it is clear no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous one will live by faith.But the law is not based on faith, but the one who does the works of the law will live by them.Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith. Brothers and sisters, I offer an example from everyday life: When a covenant has been ratified, even though it is only a human contract, no one can set it aside or add anything to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. Scripture does not say, “and to the descendants,” referring to many, but “and to your descendant,” referring to one, who is Christ. What I am saying is this: The law that came four hundred thirty years later does not cancel a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to invalidate the promise. For if the inheritance is based on the law, it is no longer based on the promise, but God graciously gave it to Abraham through the promise. Why then was the law given? It was added because of transgressions, until the arrival of the descendant to whom the promise had been made. It was administered through angels by an intermediary.Now an intermediary is not for one party alone, but God is one.Is the law therefore opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.But the scripture imprisoned everything and everyone under sin so that the promise could be given—because of the faithfulness of Jesus Christ—to those who believe. Now before faith came we were held in custody under the law, being kept as prisoners until the coming faith would be revealed. Thus the law had become our guardian until Christ, so that we could be declared righteous by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female—for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.
A Spirit of Knowledge
A life of knowing God
A life of knowing science
A life of following the teachings of Jesus
A life of being accepted by God through the works that they do
From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother, to the church of God that is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! I always thank my God for you because of the grace of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus. For you were made rich in every way in him, in all your speech and in every kind of knowledge—just as the testimony about Christ has been confirmed among you—so that you do not lack any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ our Lord. I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree together, to end your divisions, and to be united by the same mind and purpose.For members of Chloe’s household have made it clear to me, my brothers and sisters, that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each of you is saying, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” or “I am with Cephas,” or “I am with Christ.” Is Christ divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you in fact baptized in the name of Paul?I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name! (I also baptized the household of Stephanus. Otherwise, I do not remember whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—and not with clever speech, so that the cross of Christ would not become useless. For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent.”Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching. For Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks ask for wisdom, but we preach about a crucified Christ, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. Think about the circumstances of your call, brothers and sisters. Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position.But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, so that no one can boast in his presence. He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
A Spirit of Confession
The daily confession of sin and the recognition that I am a sinner
The daily confession of Jesus as/is the Son of God and the Son of Man
The daily confession of the physical death and the physical resurrection of Jesus
The daily confession that Jesus (Found/Described in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) fulfills the position of the Christ and the promise of His return
Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats to murder the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.As he was going along, approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”So he said, “Who are you, Lord?” He replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting! But stand up and enter the city and you will be told what you must do.” (Now the men who were traveling with him stood there speechless, because they heard the voice but saw no one.)So Saul got up from the ground, but although his eyes were open, he could see nothing. Leading him by the hand, his companions brought him into Damascus. For three days he could not see, and he neither ate nor drank anything. Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias,” and he replied, “Here I am, Lord.” Then the Lord told him, “Get up and go to the street called ‘Straight,’ and at Judas’ house look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. For he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he may see again.” But Ananias replied, “Lord, I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, and here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call on your name!”But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel.For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”So Ananias departed and entered the house, placed his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, his strength returned. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “This man is the Son of God.”All who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners to the chief priests?” But Saul became more and more capable, and was causing consternation among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ. Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted together to kill him, but Saul learned of their plot against him. They were also watching the city gates day and night so that they could kill him. But his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening in the wall by lowering him in a basket. When he arrived in Jerusalem, he attempted to associate with the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took Saul, brought him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. So he was staying with them, associating openly with them in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. He was speaking and debating with the Greek-speaking Jews, but they were trying to kill him. When the brothers found out about this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus. Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria experienced peace and thus was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, the church increased in numbers. Now as Peter was traveling around from place to place, he also came down to the saints who lived in Lydda.He found there a man named Aeneas who had been confined to a mattress for eight years because he was paralyzed. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Get up and make your own bed!” And immediately he got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which in translation means Dorcas). She was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity.At that time she became sick and died. When they had washed her body, they placed it in an upstairs room. Because Lydda was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Come to us without delay.”So Peter got up and went with them, and when he arrived they brought him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him, crying and showing him the tunics and other clothing Dorcas used to make while she was with them. But Peter sent them all outside, knelt down, and prayed. Turning to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.He gave her his hand and helped her get up. Then he called the saints and widows and presented her alive. This became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.So Peter stayed many days in Joppa with a man named Simon, a tanner.
A Spirit of Denial
The daily denying of self (glorification, interests, esteem, worth, etc.) and the acceptance of being totally depraved
The daily denying of self as the Christ and the acceptance that Jesus is the Christ
Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you most certainly, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God.”
A Spirit of Gathering
Gathering with those who are of a unified mind and motive
Gathering with those who are seeking and searching
Gathering with those who are lost and betrayed
For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship.For otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers would have been purified once for all and so have no further consciousness of sin? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year after year. For the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins.So when he came into the world, he said, “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me. “Whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you took no delight in. “Then I said, ‘Here I am: I have come—it is written of me in the scroll of the book—to do your will, O God.’ ” When he says above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you did not desire nor did you take delight in them” (which are offered according to the law), then he says, “Here I am: I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first to establish the second. By his will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands day after day serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again—sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, he sat down at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made a footstool for his feet.For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy. And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us, for after saying,“This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,”then he says, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no longer.”Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the fresh and living way that he inaugurated for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings, because we have had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy. And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works,not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near. For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us,but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume God’s enemies.Someone who rejected the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for the Son of God, and profanes the blood of the covenant that made him holy, and insults the Spirit of grace? For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But remember the former days when you endured a harsh conflict of suffering after you were enlightened. At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and afflictions, and at other times you came to share with others who were treated in that way. For in fact you shared the sufferings of those in prison, and you accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy, because you knew that you certainly had a better and lasting possession. So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward. For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised.For just a little longer and he who is coming will arrive and not delay.But my righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I take no pleasure in him.But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls.
The Testing of ourselves
The Testing of ourselves
Does our life reflect the belief that we are of God?
Does our life reflect the belief that we are not God?
Does our life reflect the belief that we have a relationship with God?
Does our life reflect victory over sin through the blood of Jesus the Christ?
Does our life reflect victory over the tactics of Satan and his followers through the prayer?
Does our life reflect victory over the “fiery arrows” of Satan and his followers through the proper reading and application of Scripture?
Does our life reflect joy of being around fellow believers?
Does our life reflect joy of serving God?
Does our life reflect joy of serving one another (Believers)?
Does our life reflect joy of serving our neighbors (Non Believers)?
The Testing of Others
The Testing of Others
What are your presumptions and assumptions of the following?
Bible - your interpretation, my interpretation, God’s interpretation
Sin - Original, Lawlessness, Illness, all of the above
Mankind - Naturally good, Center of the universe, Power within,
Authority - Bible, God, Government, Health, Wealth, Me
Position - Saved, Unsaved, Slave, Servant, Child, Adoption, Jew, Greek, Man, Woman
Success - Material, Money, Bigness, Death, Life, Eternal
What or who influences you?
Family: Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother, etc.
Politics: Democrats, Republicans, Pharisees, Sadduccees, Libertarians, Kings
Theology: John Calvin, Martin Luther, Catholicism, Baptists, Methodists, Charles Ryrie, Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, Beth Moore, Paula White
Social: Facebook, Snap-chat, Instagram, Friends, Books, TV, Movies, Music
What are your opinions of the following?
The incarnation of God (God becoming flesh)
The righteousness and sinlessness of Jesus
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus
The ascension and exaltation of Jesus
The Judgment by Jesus
The return of Jesus
The Monarchy of Jesus
Application according the Concise Oxford English Dictionary is putting something into operation. To apply this to God, is by looking at these things with God at the center point. Does this information help or hinder my understanding of who God is, of what God is planning, and of how God is caring out His plan? Does this information encourage me to walk closer with God, or does this information bring doubt? Application is a challenging and trying objective by which we work out our salvation.