How can we discern and test the spirits. Many people profess to have some type of manifestation in their life, who is biblical?
This question comes from Rod…
Do Christians fall down involuntarily while worshiping God? I’ve been worshiping God with the praise of my lips, and had all the strength removed from my legs which has made me fall to the ground or into the chair behind me. Is this a Biblical experience or am I being seduced by another spirit? I’m not one who wants to place my faith in experience, but the Word of God knowing that the heart is deceitfully wicked.
Now here’s the thing, listen: True Christians have experiences – no question about it. Being saved is an experience! I’ve never known a person truly saved that their salvation wasn’t an experience. True Christians have experiences. That happens. But you know what? Lots of not-true-Christians have experiences. There is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, if He bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God? That’s an experience. If the love of God is poured into my heart by the Spirit, that’s an experience. If men’s hearts are regenerated by the Spirit, you better believe experiential things happen. If I become a new man, old things pass away; all things become new. Folks, that’s an experience. You become filled with the Spirit. Acts repeatedly speaks about that. That’s an experience. But, demons also do experiences. There are unbelievers that have demonic experiences. And they think it’s of God. Ok?
Here’s the thing. How can we tell the difference? Well, the Scripture talks about testing the spirits. How do we test the spirits? By the Word of God. That’s absolutely right. And when we go to the Word of God, the Word of God teaches us things about the Spirit of God. And where the Spirit of God is, the Spirit of God works based on the truth that is revealed about that Holy Spirit in the Word of God. And so, there are certain things we can look at. I would just say this: Sarah Edwards, Jonathan Edwards’ wife, listen, she had an experience that went like this: She says, “At one time, my strength was immediately taken away, and I sunk down on the spot.” Sound familiar? Just like this guy’s situation? “Those who were near raised me, placed me in a chair.” Sounds very familiar – this guy, all of a sudden his strength’s gone, he falls in a chair. All of a sudden her strength is gone. She didn’t fall in a chair, she went to the ground and other people put her in the chair. There was another time, she says she was, “moved so exceedingly, she was drawn so strongly heavenward, that it seemed as if her body were feeling as if it were being pulled upwards.” She said, “I felt as if I must necessarily ascend thither. At length my strength failed me, I sunk down, and they took me up and laid me on the bed.” Well, guess what? I’ve seen pictures of Benny Hinn waving his hands and people fell to the ground. Ok, Sarah Edwards falls to the ground. Benny Hinn’s got people, they fall to the ground. So which category does this guy fall into? Well, let me tell you something. Let me tell you something about what Sarah Edwards said in the midst of all this. She said, “the presence of God was so near and so real that I seemed scarcely conscious of anything else.” Now listen to what she says, “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ seemed as distinct persons, both manifesting Their inconceivable loveliness and mildness and gentleness and Their great and immutable love to me. I seemed to be taken under the care and charge of my God and Savior, in an inexpressibly endearing manner, and Christ appeared to me as a mighty Savior.” Can I tell you one thing about the Holy Spirit? You know what Jesus Christ said about Him? In John 16:14, speaking of the Comforter or the Spirit of Truth, “He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.” Can I tell you what? Where the true Holy Spirit is operating, is it any marvel that the Father and the Son were made much of, but where another spirit is, the “Spirit” is typically made much of. Watch that. In the Pentecostal circles, the “Spirit” is made much of. In these health, wealth, prosperity circles, the “Spirit” is made much of, but where the Spirit is truly operating, He doesn’t make much of Himself, He makes much of the Father and the Son, and especially the Son. You watch: whatever experiences people are experiencing, is Christ being magnified? Is He the focus? Is He central? I’ll tell you this: You’ve got people falling down where Benny Hinn is? He prophesied that God would destroy the homosexual community of America by fire in the mid ’90’s. In about 1994 or 1995, no later than that, he also foretold that Fidel Castro would die during the ’90’s, that the world would end by 1999. Hinn has taught that the biblical Adam flew, had wings, that he even flew to the moon. He’s said that the Christian Trinity is actually God in nine persons, not three, because the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are each comprised of trinities. You know, Hinn said in one broadcast,
“I’ve looked for one verse in the Bible, but I just can’t seem to find it… one verse that says ‘if you don’t like them, kill them.’ I really wish I could find it. Sometimes I wish God would give me a Holy Ghost machine gun and I’d blow their heads off.”
You know what Sarah Edwards said? “My soul was so filled with love to Christ, and love to His people, that I fainted under the intenseness of the feeling.” You know what one of chief marks of true Christianity is? It’s love. And where the Spirit of the living Christ is, there’s love for God’s people. Hinn wants to blow their heads off. Sarah Edwards is so taken up with a love for God’s people. Listen: test the spirits. You know them by their fruits. Pauline’s right, go to the Word of God and see the marks of the Spirit. Go to the book of Acts. Look where the Spirit was operating, where places trembled, where there were fillings of the Spirit, where there were supernatural occurrences, where there were experiences, and look in the midst of all of it, and look at the flavor, look at the aroma, look at the fruits of those things. Weigh things out by the Word of God. Hinn gives himself away as a false prophet. Sarah Edwards gives herself away. She’s so entranced by Christ and by a love for the people of Christ.