Discernment – Testing the Spirits

Testing The Spirits - Discernment
Biblical Spiritual Discernment

Spiritual Discernment:  All doctrine, sermons, books and articles as well as discussions between people or at seminars and conferences should be able to be put to the test by all Christians to determine if they reflect Biblical Truth. The bible says:

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

Discernment of False Doctrine

Every message of a religious nature, even some messages that are not religious but subliminally New Age have two dimensions to it; either the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth is at work, or an anti-Christ spirit of error is at work, who’s intentions are to deceive the whole world, most importantly to deceive as many people within the church as possible.

  • John 16:13;  “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
  • 1 John 4:6; “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
  • 2 Peter 2:1-2;  “1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. “

How to Test the Spirits

How does one test?  By carefully comparing the message with a fine toothcomb to the Word of God so as to determine if the message is authentic.  If one does not test everything that is heard or read to the Scriptures, false teachings can be so easily incorporated into our thinking, and only because we lack Biblical knowledge.

  • 2 Corinthians 11:3-4; “3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

The Bereans listened to Paul’s Gospel message and then examined the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul was saying was indeed true. Their eagerness and enthusiasm for the Scriptures as well as their high regard for the Apostle Paul did not stop them from critically and studiously examining what Paul had to say to ensure that what they believed was in full agreement with the Word of God.

  • Acts 17:11;  “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”

All Christians needs Discernment

A Christian needs discernment in order to correctly understand the Word of God.  And it’s only the Holy Spirit who can provide us with spiritual discernment.  The Holy Spirit enlightens the Christians mind to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy spirit will always guide the Christian in all truth and glorify Jesus Christ.

  • John 16:8-13-14;  “8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

Newly converted Christians who are now ‘babes in Christ’, will not immediately understand all areas of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and have to be first fed with ‘milk’ or the basic principles of the Word of God. But as time goes by as you are filled by the Holy Spirit and He leads you into all truth you will no longer require milk, but solid food.  A Christian should not be tosses to and fro between different doctrines; he should be able to demonstrate that he is capable of strong spiritual discernment.

  • 1 Peter 2:2  “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
  • Hebrews 5:12  “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”
  • Ephesians 4:14;  “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”

The new Christian most certainly will learn very quickly and come to understand the basic fundamentals of the Gospel of Salvation, but will still have a long travel ahead of them to become true strong spiritual Christians. They will however experience a huge conflict between their old sinful nature and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who regenerated them during their conversion.

  • Galatians 5:17;  “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

One needs to fully surrender your life over to Jesus Christ. When you are born again you become a new creature in Jesus Christ and because of this one needs to crucify the ‘old man’ and completely put on the new nature of Christ.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17;  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
  • Ephesians 4:22-24;  “22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

Sanctification of the Believer

This sanctification of the believer, this deeper working of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life will give him enlightened eyes of the mind to better understand the hope of His calling and the glory of the rich inheritance of the saints.

  • Ephesians 1:18; The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,”

The ongoing experience of sanctification starts the wonderful process of spiritual growth for the Christian and will continue for the rest of his/her life, as they move towards being established in the Word of God.  The Christian will also progress towards perfection and holiness, and move away from deception and sin.

  • 2 Peter 3:17-18; 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen. “

We will never reach spiritual completeness during our earthly lives, but this does not mean we must not progress in that direction by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit only.

  • Matthew 5:48;  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
  • 1 Peter 1:16;  “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

Christians who walk in the Spirit all walk at different levels of progress, as they grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ.  Each Christian moves towards reaching the fullness of Christ.  This is why no Christian is alike. We are all still learning as the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth.  When we are born again we are crucified with Christ and because of this our human agendas and self-interest dies.  But with regards to final perfection; this will not yet be achieved until we as Christians meet Jesus face to face.

  • Philippians 3:12  “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
  • Galatians 2:20; “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

We are subject to weakness and limitations because we are in a human body – these weaknesses include emotional, physical and intellectual.  These human conditions hinder our ability to obtain perfection to which Jesus Christ calls us.

Rightly Divide the Word of God

These factors above as well as one of the biggest factors; Satan’s agenda to corrupt the world, we know that the Word of God is being misrepresented, twisted and contorted in one way or another to lead people astray.  This is why it is imperative that the Christian must be able to rightly divide the Word of God in order to avoid deceptive/distorted misrepresentations of it.

  • 2 Timothy 2:15; “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

The crux of the matter is this, even though Christians are fully able to comprehend with other saints the magnitude of the love Jesus Christ, they can differ on a number of very small issues, for example, is the fire in hell a physical fire or a spiritual fire.  Therefore it is up to the Christian to take action and study the Word of God diligently like the Bereans to gain clarity when it comes to the more controversial issues, for example, does hell exist.  Controversial issues can cause breaks in friends and family, and if it must be so, for the sake of Jesus Christ, then one must break away.

  • Ephesians. 3:17-19;17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Carnal Christians

Carnal Christians (those who profess to be Christians, agree with the basics fundamentals of Christianity, but continue to live as though unsaved, i.e., with no guidance of the Holy Spirit in their lives).  These people are led by leading pastors/theologians instead of the Holy Spirit.  They allegorise and spiritualise Scripture.  For instance the false doctrine of Replacement Theology gives them the platform to exalt human understanding over and above that of Scripture – thereby ending up with erroneous doctrines full of opinion and assumptions.

Many of these academically trained pastors (trained in false gospel institutions) have set themselves up in places ideal to influence (indoctrinate) students and other people who read their writings.  They push out their doctrines of demons onto the unsuspecting such as Dominionisn/Kingdom now theology, Covenant theology (Reformed Theology), Mysticism, Predestination (Calvinistic view), Baptismal Regeneration, Lordship Salvation, British Israelism, denial of the Rapture, denial of a tribulation period, denial of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, denial of the Millennial reign, denial of fulfilment of Biblical prophecies, denial of Israel’s restoration, etc.

Many who call themselves Christians and pose as great spiritual leaders are not saved and only have a form of godliness, but deny God’s power. They deny some of the most basic fundamentals of the Christian faith such as the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, His physical resurrection and ascension, and even the significance of His atoning death on the cross, they even deny that the Bible is divinely inspired and the final authority on all things.

  • 2 Timothy 3:5;  “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

Discernment all the time

As Christians we need to remain vigilant at all times.

  • Matthew 24:4;  “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”

See article on Biblical Holy Spirit vs Unholy Spirit of Fire

Please share:

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

guest
29 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pst Laurent Mwegerano

I thank you for your message,may God bless you in Jesus name.Amen.

Chris De Wet

Debs, it remains a fact that whatever man preaches must be under constant scrutiny. There are too many warnings in the Bible that false teachers and prophets will mislead people.

While under His grace and by the power of the Holy Ghost the Lord will never deceive those who are obedient to Him.

We should all seek the Lord and study diligently.

Keep u the good work as Paul wrote: 1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Moemsie

http://gatewaynews.co.za/2011/10/26/heavenly-signs-on-day-of-prayer/

The `open heaven` comment in this article caught my eye. Looks bit like chem trails to me.
Sorry if off the point but the mass prayer gatherings always catch my attention.

Starlight

These articles are always a great blessing and based on sound Biblical exegesis. At work, I am surrounded by humanists and those who are saved, hold to reformed/calvinistic soteriology. Once again in your article you addressess these doctrines as deceptive. I have done my own research and was in a reformed type of church for a short while but we had to apply 2Tim 3:5 “and from such people turn away”. if you know the truth, it will be an easy task to turn away.

Duke

Peace be with the reader.

The time has come, judgment time.
Those who know me, recognize me.
See: rev:19:11-13

The faithful witness
Christ(my new name is Duke)

(The one that censors(‘moderates’) this comment
will be held accountable)

duke

Peace be with all those who read this comment.

“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

The question is this : Is there a way to test the spirits without reverting to religious dogma?
Yes there is. We know that natural man is deluded,
we also know that the present world system is a product of natural man. How can we put this product to the test?

“The Inconvenient Reality” is a way to put the teachings of natural man to the test. Here is a link to the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBLlf0FpsOc

The faithful witness(see rev 1:5)

Arthur

@Duke

We know that the natural man is deluded. Yep you are right there. But the spiritual mind is also deluded. Other wise how do you explain all the different doctrines and factions in Christianity. I just read the post on the seven day Adventists. Boy do they go into the scripture. I used to say let fifty people read one verse and you will have fifty different versions of it. My denomination split up because one half wanted Bible college training for its Pastors and the others said that revelation by the Holy Ghost is all you need. No wonder Christianity is divided. Its a free for all. If you do not like a teaching start your own church. At least the Catholic church has unity of Doctrine. Every thing has to be sanction by the Pope. In the other churches every one wants to be the Pope.

Riaan Meyer

Morning

thanks for this article – well said

how can i put comments under Kobus van Rensburg
i see a couple of people use ‘ judge not to be judge , and i wonder whether they understands it in it;s contex or they just use it according their own opinion.

i confronted Kobus by e-mail directly and on the one the response was only ‘ peace ‘ and on the other mail no response at all

Love in Christ
Brother Riaan

Will4God

You make some claims such as “Many who call themselves Christians and pose as great spiritual leaders are not saved and only have a form of godliness, but deny God’s power”, yet nothing is quantified? Is it EVERY great Spiritual leader? Only those spiritual leaders who are not writing a critique of other spiritual leaders?
Is there a difference between being in error vs. sending people to Hell by their false teachings?
If someone believes they are predestined – and it turns out they were wrong – does that error disqualify them from eternal life?
I don’t believe believe in the Rapture or the 7 year tribulation.. does that mean that Tim LeHaye will be going to Heaven while I wallow in Hell?

Bottom line… I think many of us (myself included) get so wrapped up majoring in the minors that we take our eyes off the MAJOR! I’m SAVED and I Pray that Y’ALL are too!!!

BLESSINGS

Werner

Will4God,

I’m not judging you in terms of your final destination, but if you are born again, and have tasted the streams of living water, i.e. Christ, i’m most concerned if you cannot see the 7 year Trib? as it’s in your face, you just have to read the bible, the rapture takes a bit more time to study and identify, which brings me back to being born again. (you will want to study the Word)

I recently met up with a so-called christian bike group here in Western Cape, as I love to hit the roads on a sunday afternoon, anyhow, only to find they belong to the Dutch Reformed church.

This was not a problem at first, the problem started when the dominee said that homosexuals can be born again, and the guy organising the trips did not know what the rapture was when I asked him… their fruits identified them for what they are, when I was invited to a braai, and the entire church group were dopping, smoking, and cussing.

What I’m trying to say is this, if you cannot see the obvious, you will not see the not so obvious, like the dutch reformed, they are totally blind, do not believe in adult baptism, rapture, etc. The blind leading the blind.

I will seriously examine myself to establish whether I’m in the faith,the only, Jesus Christ!

John

An excellent DVD regarding this subject is [name removed], distributed in South Africa by Grace Media. You can purchase it for R120 from [url removed]

[Edited by DTW – Sorry John, but Justin Peters is a Calvinist and has his own bed fellows like John Piper who he endorses]

Nicky

Dear Mam ,

I am new to this site, i want to learn more about spirual warfare and evil stubborn pursuers.

K10

Hello,

I have stumbled across your site in a time of great confusion and sadness. My husband and I were part of a charismatic church and not only saw but participated in a variety of activities that were supposed to help us grow in our relationship with God and to help us be more “Jesus Like” to others. These activities included: laying on of hands to pray for healing/deliverance, fire tunnels, praying for gifts of tongues/gifts of the Holy Spirit in general, practicing hearing from God and giving prophetic words to people (we would learn this by starting with “prompts” to help us like “when I looks at you I see…” or “object prophecy” using an object in the room to help us discern God’s voice. After a few years attending and serving (at one time we were pastoral interns) we realized that this church is very often not following the Bible or the Holy Spirit and many of the people who are hired as pastors on staff or who are “promoted” in some way have to be a certain type: alpha male/female, give everything about themselves to the church, use a variety of judgment/control/manipulation to recruit and promote their ministries, etc. My husband and I (but more seriously my husband) became hurt by this church-we still love the friends we made but we couldn’t stand for what the leadership was doing.

My husband and I were also leading a life group-where we sincerely wanted people to interact with God and have intimate moments with Him where they knew that He loved them and would answer their prayers. I know deep down we wanted the best for all of the people who came through our door but now, I am afraid of what we might have it into their lives, especially after reading your article “The Biblical Holy Spirit vs. The False Unholy Spirit of Fire,” and am now wondering how much of what we experienced was truly God or if everything we experienced was a lie, some type of false demonic spirit.

At this time, my husband has completely walked away from the Church and God because he blames God for all of the confusion and pain that he suffered at our old church and questions whether or not God loves him. I know that God is real, that His Holy Spirit is real, and I believe what the Bible says is true. However, I feel at a loss as I feel like we were taught so many spiritual practices (including lectio divina!!) that I thought were helpful but maybe were not. I honestly feel like I don’t know how to interact with God anymore and I don’t know how to pursue a relationship with Him as I question everything our old church taught us. I always thought praying in tongues was helpful but now I’m not so sure (I read your article on tongues and it seems like there is no definitive answer). If you could please help give me some insight as to how I can move forward-get free from the harmful spiritual practices and interact with God by the Holy Spirit, not a demonic spirit. Thank you!

Tom (Discerning the World)

Dear K10,

Thank you so much for your comment which echoes what many saints have experienced and are still being subjected to in their churches. It is always a very sad and bewildering thing to go through when you have to decide whether you want to stay put or to leave your church and especially your friends and family members who may also be in those churches. Nonetheless, it is always best to obey Jesus who said:

“And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:36-38).

Note: He does not say we shouldn’t love our family and friends. He says that if we love them more than what we ought to love Him, we cannot be his disciples. It brings us to what your husband experienced. You wrote:

“At this time, my husband has completely walked away from the Church and God because he blames God for all of the confusion and pain that he suffered at our old church and questions whether or not God loves him.”

We tend to blame God for things that go wrong and conveniently forget that we ourselves are responsible for our own misdoings and misjudgments. Jesus never said, “Join any church you like, especially the ones where they are friendly, loving and always hugging one another. Don’t be concerned about them misleading you with their smiles and niceness because I will protect you against their false doctrines and deceptions.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). No, He said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:4). The onus rests on you and me to guard ourselves against any form of deception.

We also tend to blame God for not loving us when things go wrong. Well, God cannot do otherwise but to love us because He is the very essence of love. We should rather ask ourselves whether we dearly and truly love God. In fact, God often needs to test our love for Him. Here’s an example.

“If a prophet arises among you, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder which he spoke (foretold) to you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us follow after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve and worship them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and all your soul [your entire being]. You shall walk after the Lord your God and you shall fear [and worship] Him [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect], and you shall keep His commandments and you shall listen to His voice, and you shall serve Him, and cling to Him.” (Deuteronomy 13:1-4).

You may argue that your church never told you to follow after other gods. I beg to differ. The god’s name they serve is Jesus but he is not the Jesus of the Bible. It’s another Jesus. (2 Corinthians 11:4). Please don’t doubt God’s love for you. He gave his only begotten Son to die for you on the cross. What more do you want? Rather ask yourselves whether you love God with all your heart, mind and soul.

I will answer your questions on speaking in tongues in a follow-up comment but first I would like you and your husband to give us your testimony of how you received forgiveness for your sins. Will you do that? (1 Peter 3:15).

K10

Hi Tom,

I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior at 12 years old at a youth retreat for a Baptist church. I had a revelation of God’s love for me and decided to accept Him as my Lord and Savior. At the time, however, I don’t believe it “stuck” because it was only a year or so later that I didn’t go to that youth group anymore. My parents weren’t really Christ followers-we would only go to church on Christmas and Easter and Jesus was never discussed at home. Then, in college, at the church I wrote about initially, I had an intense encounter with (what I think) was the Holy Spirit that was convicting me to turn back to God as I had been running from Him for a long time. I got water baptized at that church a couple of months later where I officially accepted Christ as Lord and Savior (this was in 2008). Since then, I have considered myself a disciple of Jesus.

My husband grew up in a Catholic household-he went to a Catholic elementary school for a couple of years. He saw a lot of hypocrisy in his household-the adults around him were definitely not living like Jesus but were “good Catholics” who went to mass every Sunday. At 15 he had a similar experience to me where he was at a youth group (evangelical) where he accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. He dabbled in college ministry groups but really didn’t go to Catholic church or any church in college-he ascribed to the idea that if you are a good person and do the right thing that it’s good enough. When I got baptized, he also recommitted his life to Jesus and got water baptized in 2011 at another church when he was traveling for his job.

I have read quite a few articles on your site and reflecting on our past with God I have realized that both of us, but especially my husband, were very attracted to seeing signs and wonders as I believe we both needed to know without a shadow of a doubt that God is real and He really does love us. We are both science majors (I teach biology and my husband went on to a career in human resources) and I know that we needed to see God move to truly know that he is Lord…for both of us it wasn’t enough just to read the Bible we needed the experience to disprove what we grew up with (especially me) as I wasn’t even sure God was real.

I do believe that the onus does rest on us to piece out deception from lies. However, my husband struggles most right now because he hasn’t been able to hear God’s voice clearly and is angry that He didn’t warn us more clearly (loudly) about what was going to happen or spoke to our leaders and course-corrected them. He believes that if God was truly good and truly loved us, He would have warned us about all of this years back. I can’t say that I disagree with him…can we really trust a God who lets these false teachers walk around and deceive so many people? Your site lists so many false teachers that are affecting millions of Christians. How can we truly trust what is being taught to us is truth? Why isn’t God intersecting with us and helping us to discern more clearly? This is honestly at the heart of the issue with both my husband and myself. Should we even follow God if it’s going to be this heartbreaking and challenging to know who He is? I still want to and I want to stay in faith that God is good and kind and loving. My husband has basically said he only wants to rely on himself and his own abilities because he is so hurt and doesn’t want to trust God again.

I appreciate your help and prayers for us-as well as how quickly you both responded!

K10

Yes, please be patient. I have been trying to respond timeously but mundane things which I could not ignore kept me extremely busy today. I will try to finish my response ASAP.

Tom

Tom (Discerning the World)

Hi K10

Thank you again for your comment and your openness to discuss with us your and your husband’s testimonies. I’m sure you will understand that I cannot beat around the bush when eternal salvation is on the agenda and therefore it is of vital importance that I be austerely candid whenever it is necessary.

You wrote:

“I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior at 12 years old at a youth retreat for a Baptist church. I had a revelation of God’s love for me and decided to accept Him as my Lord and Savior. At the time, however, I don’t believe it “stuck” because it was only a year or so later that I didn’t go to that youth group anymore. . . . I got water baptized at that church a couple of months later where I officially accepted Christ as Lord and Savior (this was in 2008). Since then, I have considered myself a disciple of Jesus.”

Nowadays, most churches and their pastors urge their members to “accept Jesus as their Savior.” Their main reason for doing so is because they are reluctant to speak out against sin and do not want to load their congregants with feelings of guilt. They rather tell their congregants “to fall in love with Jesus,” (a.k.a. “Contagious Discipleship” of David and Paul Watson), “to give their hearts to Jesus,” “to become a follower of Jesus,” and/or “to accept Jesus as their Savior.”

As shocking as it may be, the word “accept” appears only once in the New Testament (Acts 24:3) and, therefore, hardly makes it necessary for salvation. To illustrate the Biblical way to be saved, I would like to use Paul of Tarsus’ conversion as an example. Most people believe that he was saved when he was on his way to Damascus to put the saints in chains and bring them back to Jerusalem, probably to be executed. As you already know, Jesus appeared to him in a vision, and while lying “in the dust after his horse had thrown him off, He said to him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”

Notice how Paul answered Him, “And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:5-6). At first he did not know who was speaking to him although he addressed Him as Lord. And then, when Jesus revealed his identity, he again called Him Lord. Did that make him a child of God because, as Calvinists believe, Jesus saved him monergistically (without faith) because he was allegedly an elect whom God had chosen and predestined unto salvation before the foundation of the world. Calling him Lord, Lord actually means nothing when one is still unsaved. (Matthew 7:21-23).

Note Jesus’ words, “ . . . . it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Surely Jesus could immediately have told him what to do. The question is: why didn’t He? The reason is that Paul needed someone who had experienced a true biblical salvation himself to tell him what to do. Yes, Jesus could have said to him, “repent ye because the Kingdom of heaven is hand.” However “repent” is not salvation proper and merely the first step to salvation. The word for repentance is “metanoia” and means to change your mind about everything concerning Jesus Christ and his Kingdom. Many people change their minds about Jesus is but never get saved Why? Here’s the answer:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14).

In order to go through a gate you must first approach it and then enter through it. Jesus said “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (Joh 10:9). The question we need to ask is why so few find the Door to enter through it. Jesus again gives the answer: He said:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat 11:28-30).

Only the ones who realize and admit that they are laden with a yoke of sin will come to Jesus for their salvation. That’s why He also said, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” (Matthew 9:12). Nevertheless, most people freely admit that they are sinners but fail to come to Jesus for their salvation because they think they can be saved in ways that supplement the finished work of Christ on the cross, such as water baptism, speaking in tongues, joining a certain church, or practicing mystical traditions such as lectio divina, silence, contemplative prayer, labyrinth walking, praying with icons etc. etc.

That’s why Jesus also said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was (are) lost. (Luke 19:10). It is impossible to be saved unless those who realize and admit that they are sinners also realize and admit that they are lost sinners bound for hell. Most people admit that they are sinners but very few will admit that they are lost and bound for hell. That’s why Jesus also said, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. (John 8:24). There are only two ways of dying — with your yoke of sin still intact and upon you for which you will then have to pay in hell forevermore yourself OR with your yoke of sin transferred to Jesus in the act of faith, i.e. that He has already paid for all your sins on Calvary. Having said this, let us now return to Paul and his conversion.

Immediately after Ananias laid his hands on him and he received back his sight, Ananias urged him to do what Jesus commanded him to do when he fell off his horse on his way to Damascus. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Act 22:16). It was the apostle Peter who first used the phrase “call on the name of the Lord in Acts 2:21. Note carefully, he did not say “call on the Lord.” He said “call on the NAME of the Lord.” Nothing said or written in the Bible is coincidental. Every word is important. That’s why Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Luke 4:4). His Name, Jesus, was given to Him when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21).

Whoever calls on the Name of Jesus, shall be saved, is a promise God cannot and will never break because they call on his Name (which means to be saved from one’s sins) for their salvation. Listen again to what Ananias said to Paul as we turn the wording around a bit, “By calling on the Name of the Lord, you shall have your sins washed away and simultaneously be baptized.” The baptism to which Ananias referred was not water baptism. It’s the baptism of the Holy Ghost. How do we know? John the Baptist said: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:11-12). Baptism with water cannot save. The baptism of the Holy Spirit has a two-pronged purpose — to baptize you into the body of Christ Jesus (salvation proper) (Romans 6:3) or into fire (God’s judgment and wrath). (John 3:36).

If you and your husband haven’t done so yet, I want to urge you like Ananias to call on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

Thomas

The gifts of the spirit are still alive. I Cor. 13:10 is not referencing the bible but rather Christs return. Look at verse 12 in context and there is no denial of that.

[Edited by DTW: Your other 2 comments that I deleted from other articles and move them here, you say:

1) “How can you adamantly say I Cor. 13:10 is referencing The Word of God in light of verse 12? Clearly that verse in context is not the bible but rather Christs return.” This question is answered here: https://www.discerningtheworld.com/2010/07/18/speaking-in-tongues/

2) “You are bereans who base your philosophy that the Holy Spirit no longer directs the gifts because of one verse, I Corinthians 13:10. You interpret this to fit your narrative and in doing so have to ignore ignore verse 12. Heed this warning: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:5…”

Stop posting comments under articles that have nothing to do with the article. And stick to using one name please Thomas or Andy]

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Hi Thomas,

Would you mind giving as a list of all the gifts you practice and why?

29
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x