“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
The development and honing of discernment skills is vitally important. There are more false preachers, teachers, and prophets in the world now than at any time in the history of our nation.
What does is mean to discern? The word is a transitive verb that is defined as “to detect with senses other than vision”. That requires the use of our hearts and minds.
Detecting with senses other than vision is an interesting concept. How do we as followers of Christ detect things with senses other than our vision? The answers to this question can be found in the Scriptures.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
When we have faith and accept Christ as our Savior, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9 says “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”
The Holy Spirit does many things for us. One of which is the ability to understand the Word of God in the Scriptures. This is also vitally important. The first passage above tells us to test the spirits to see whether they are from God. We must have the Holy Spirit to learn and use discernment skills.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:13
When we test something, we must have some standard to test it against. That standard, dear reader, is the Word of God in the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says”All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;” Ephesians 6:14
In the above passage, the Apostle Paul tells of us about what happens if we are without discernment. We will be tossed about like a ship in a storm. We will be deceived by the false doctrines of men. And by all kinds of tricks and schemes.
Dear reader, I implore you to put your faith in Jesus Christ. And to ask for the gift of discernment from the Holy Spirit. False doctrines and teachings abound in the world today. It is the only way we can be protected from them.
The days are moving along towards the end, and time is short. I will leave you with the following passage from the Revelation given to the Apostle John:
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” Revelation 22:12-15