“Test Every Spirit”

By Akin Ojumu

If there’s one thing that sets the folks in the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements apart from the rest of Protestant Christianity, it is the all-consuming fixation and totally unbiblical fascination with the Holy Spirit. Those who belong to these movements have an unholy obsession with the third Person of the Trinity.

More than their erroneous belief that all Christians must get baptized with the Holy Spirit after salvation as evidenced by “speaking in tongues,” is the way they fetishize the Holy Spirit turning Him into a celestial genie trapped in a temporal bottle.

Many in the Charismatic movement see the Holy Spirit as some mystical force that can be summoned to slay their enemies. To others, the Holy Spirit is a magical power possessed only by specially “anointed” select few. And whenever these anointed Elites wield this power, people get slain in the spirit; they fall down and writhe like a snake or descend into hysterical spectacle.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).

Any perverse view of the Holy Spirit is a form of “speculations and every lofty thing” that Satan has raised up against the knowledge of God. It’s just another one in a long line of the fig leaves of counterfeit religion and imitation of the true faith that have come to define modern-day Christianity.

“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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” (1 John 4:1-3).

Easy believism is the bane of modern-day Christians. A widespread infestation of religious gullibility is rampaging the Household of faith. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry who calls himself an anointed man of God and comes preaching the false gospel of health and wealth is bound to draw a massive following.

In 1 John 4:1-3, Apostle John provides us a roadmap for testing the spirits to see whether they are from God. If you want to know whether a supposed man of God is operating by the power of God, this is what to look for.

Test 1: True work of the Holy Spirit exalts Jesus Christ (1 John 4:2-3)

What Apostle John is specifically addressing in these texts is Docetism. This was one of the earliest heresies that crept into the Church. It’s a false belief affirming that Christ did not have a real or natural body during his life on earth but only an apparent or phantom one. According to the Docetists, Christ didn’t actually have a body, He merely appeared to have one.

Docetism is one of the cardinal features of Gnosticism which itself is a heretical belief that salvation is attained only through esoteric knowledge, or gnosis. Not surprisingly, the contemporary Church is experiencing an ongoing invasion by modern-day Gnosticism. Whenever a minister boasts about possessing special powers and unique knowledge that others don’t have, that is Gnosticism.

Preachers who claim that God comes regularly to their bedroom or that they receive angelic visitations while taking a dump are infested with Gnosticism. Those frequent flyers, celestial crawlers, who tell cock and bull stories of their numerous trips to heaven and how the Lord Jesus takes them on tour of the Throne Room are manifesting Gnostic heretic beliefs.

This much is certain from Scripture. Any false representation of Christ is not of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who presents a Christ that is different from the Christ in the Bible is not operating under the influence of the Holy Spirit. A Spirit-filled minister of the Gospel will always present Christ in an exalting, accurate, and truthful way.

We’ll continue next time.


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