Discernment - Experience and Feelings
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
There are times when we've done as scripture tells us, tested the spirits,
and we find no problems. Yet, we have been deceived. Discerning the
true from the almos true can be very difficult. Here are a few quick
ways, call them tests, that can be used to discern false teachers and
1. If the teaching focuses on having an experience or on feelings,
it is most likely a false teaching. This is particularly true if it
is an estatic experience that is being sought. What does scripture promise
Christians? The fruit of the spirit, which includes love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
These are gifts we receive the moment we become a Christian. While we
can quech the Spirit and not fully experience these gifts, they are
All of these gifts of the Spirit are attitudes. For example, Biblical
love is not a feeling. Biblical love is an attitude of serving others...
loving them with your actions, not your feelings.
What about joy? Isn't joy a feeling? Biblical joy is an attitude. You
can be terribly unhappy and still have joy. Joy comes from the knowledge
of God's promises, and the knowledge of who God is... we can thoroughly
trust Him and His promises. His greatest promise is that of the kingdom
for those who are trusting Him as their Savior. It is from this promise
of the Kingdom that our joy, peace and contentment flows.
For this reason also, since the day we heard
of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be
filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him
in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in
the knowledge of God; - Colossians 1:9-10
The foundation of Christianity is knowledge. If a teaching is promising
you an experience or wonderful feelings, it is a false teaching. If
a teaching says that you MUST have a certain experience or feelings,
then it is definately a false teaching.
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A False Jesus