Thursday, October 14, 2010

Believe not every spirit but Try The Spirits

Okay, so hubby and I were in 1 John as we wend our way through the Bible and we come upon this:

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1"

Now, what a world! John actually expects us to be seeing spirits. Oh sure, some folks will say that he meant "the spirit of the prophet" but I don't think so. If one reads the verse plain and simple, it seems as if John is actually believing that part of the Christian life is to live under an open heaven where folks will see spirits. And not only will believers in Christ -- who are the sons of God-- see spirits (and angels going up and down into heaven) but we will see them so often that we have to know how to deal with what he seems to be implying is a common experience. (Strange that the supernatural side of Christianity has been robbed from us) 

But then he tells us that although we'll be seeing spirits, we have to try them. Okay, this requires a bit of boldness. I mean we are trained by modern Christianity to reverence any old spirit or angel who just happens to walk by. But here John tells us to be bold and to try the spirits. Really? Oh sure an angel puts one in awe and the typical angel says, "Don't be afraid, don't worship me" etc. But really...if one sees a spirit, will one have the Biblical knowledge, the gumption, the wherewithal, the strength to actually test it. 

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 1 John 4:2

Okay, so what does that mean? I mean at face value it seems to say "Was there a historical Jesus?" And even the antichrist might attest to that. So if one is bold enough to challenge an angel of light, one should know what one is saying. Looking back at the passage, I think John is saying we should ask the spirit something like this: "Did God send His son Jesus to earth as a human being to live and die as a human being so that through Jesus all the world would be saved? And do you believe that the blood of Jesus covers me and testifies to that truth? Do you believe the Word of God testifies to this truth? Do you believe the Spirit of God testifies to this truth? Do you believe they testify to this truth on earth and in heaven?"  

Mohammed didn't test the spirit, I think. The angel said it was Gabriel and he believed it. Joseph Smith didn't test the spirit, I think. The angel said it was Moroni, and Joseph Smith believed it.  And if it's not a spirit that passes the test, then it's a spirit of antiChrist whose purpose is to deceive and to create deceiving prophets. But how exactly are we to test it? John tells us this:

Islam                                                                               Mormonism

One God                                                                         Many Gods

The Bible is corrupted                                                    The Bible is corrupted/badly translated

Only the Koran has truth                                                 Only the Book of Mormon has truth

Polygamist                                                                      Polygamist

In Heaven, women used for sex                                      In Heaven, women used for sex

Mohammed is God's prophet                                          Joseph Smith is God's prophet

One goes to heaven by Works                                       One goes to heaven by Works

As for the God of Islam and the God of the Mormon Church: 

The Creator God of Islam is unapproachable, holy, distant. But He is not Love. He cannot even be described as a father because even that is insulting to the Moslem.         

The Creator God of Mormonism is unknown because he is either way back in a long line of Gods who created gods who created gods who created gods. Ultimately, the immediate Creator God (of planet earth) is not the uncaused causer of all He is unapproachable.   Plus He isn't beyond sexuality. 

Okay, I'll admit it: I once pulled this on a spirit. Not one I actually say though. I was too flabbergasted by the angel I saw to do anything but look at him shellshocked. But if he had said anything, I think I would've been annoying enough to actually try him. And I think he would have allowed it. But there was a time I tried it. My friend Tiina was table-tipping and I was sitting across the table from her. Table-tipping and certain other flaky activities never worked through me and I am glad. God was protecting this little idiot from all sorts of troubles. But they worked through Tiina and she could tell all sorts of things... well, the spirit would tell her stuff and she would know it. Anyway, one day a spirit comes and starts up with, "Peace, Love, and Truth to you all." Something like that. I forget the exact greeting, but I thought.. "Well, that is all very nice but...." Then I launched into the test. And what did the spirit do? It stopped talking. The table stopped tipping. Then Tiina turned around and glared at me: "You offended it!" Yes, alas, little old 19 year old me had hurt the feelings of a thousand year old spirit. The spirit never came back. Am I sorry? Heck no!

The upshot: 

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! Galatians 1:8

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