DISCERNING THE TRUTH
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good
If you accept prophetic utterances as valid for today, I would encourage you to test them in the following ways.
First, is the person giving the prophetic utterance living a balanced and righteous lifestyle? You must carefully evaluate the person announcing, "Thus saith the Lord." Also, be on guard for the person who wants to bring a "new thing." If it is true, it's not new. If it is new, it's not true.
Second, is the person committed to building God's kingdom or his own? Is Christ being lifted up or is he?
Third, does the prophetic utterance establish confidence in the Word of God and is it consistent with a balanced presentation of it? Are people going to have a greater dependency on God's revelation or man's inspiration? Are prophetic utterances a substitute for the serious, personal study of God's Word?
Fourth, does the use of the spiritual gift bring unity to the church and build up the body? Be careful in this test because those who hold to a form of godliness but deny its power are not in balance either. They will quench the Spirit through censorship and very little will be accomplished in the church. They can cause disunity as well.
Last, do the spiritual manifestations bypass the mind? God operates through our mind; Satan bypasses it. If a person takes on a medium-like trance, be assured it is occultic. God renews our mind and brings back to our mind all that He has taught us. We are to think so as to have sound judgment.
All of us receive input from a myriad of sources today. With Satan still using false prophets in his battle for your mind, determine to discern the truth God wants you to know to set you free and keep you free.
Lord, I want to be so in tune with your Word that I can discern error and darkness even when it appears as truth and light.