“Believe not every spirit” Dr. William B. Smith SR December 19, 2001
I. The Apostle John is putting the church on alert concerning spiritual espionage within the body of Jesus Christ. The church belongs to Jesus. Matthew 16:18 (KJV) 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
1 John 4:1-3 (KJV) 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. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1 John 4:4-6 (KJV) 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 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.
II. What is a spirit? A. The natural definition: spirit (spir ¿ it) 1. the life principle, esp. in man, orig. regarded as inherent in the breath or as infused by a deity b) soul (sense 1) 2. the thinking, motivating, feeling part of man, often as distinguished from the body; mind; intelligence. 3. a supernatural being, esp. one thought of as haunting or possessing a person, house, etc., as a ghost, or as inhabiting a certain region, being of a certain (good or evil) character, etc., as an angel, demon, fairy, or elf. 4. Frame of mind; disposition; mood; temper [in high spirits] 5. a divine animating influence or inspiration
II. What is a spirit cont.? B. The biblical definition: spirit (spir ¿ it) pneuma pnyoo'-mah A current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, mental disposition or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine). God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy spirit:—ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind.
III. John teaches the saints how to test the spirit of false teachings. A. Test the spirit by the content of the teaching 1 John 4:2-3 (KJV) 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
III. John teaches to test the spirit cont. B. We can also test the spirit by the character of the ones being taught. 1 John 4:5-6 (KJV) 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 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.
IV. So it seems we can tell what spirit is working by it’s fruit. A. Jesus told us to examine the fruit. Matthew 7:17-20 (KJV) 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
V. It is true you will take on the spirit of those you associate with. A. The Word of God warns us about the company we keep. Psalm 1:1 (KJV) 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
B. It is impossible to have close fellowship with people who have corrupt spirits and not be affected. 1 Corinthians 5:11 (KJV) 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 1 Corinthians 15:33 (KJV) 33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
C. How many times have we been warned about getting close to the wrong person? 2 Corinthians 6:14 (KJV) 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
D. Didn’t you know a spirit can be transferred from one person to another? 1 Corinthians 6:15-18 (KJV) 15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
E. Just as in the natural realm “like father like son” you can have your father’s spirit! John 8:41 (KJV) 41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. John 8:44 (KJV) 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
IV.Spirits are identified by their operations or activities. There are basically two kingdoms – the kingdoms of light and darkness. Good spirits operate from the kingdom of light while evil spirits operate from the kingdom of darkness.
A.Examples of Evil Spirits Familiar SpiritsLeviticus 20:27 Evil SpiritsJudges 9:23, I Samuel 16:14, Acts 19:15 Lying SpiritI Kings 22:22, II Chronicles 18:21 Perverse SpiritIsaiah 19:14 Haughty SpiritProverbs 16:18 Seducing SpiritI Timothy 4:1
Examples of Evil Spirits (cont) Unclean SpiritZechariah 13:2, Matthew 12:43 Dumb and Deaf SpiritMark 9:25 Spirit of JealousyNumbers 5:14,30 Spirit of ErrorI John 4:6 Spirit of FearII Timothy 1:7 Spirit of BondageRomans 8:15
Spirit of InfirmityLuke 13:11 Spirit of DivinationActs 16:16 Spirit of SlumberRomans 11:8 Spirit of Deep SleepIsaiah 29:10 Spirit of HeavinessIsaiah 61:3 Spirit of WhoredomHosea 4:12 Spirit of DevilsRevelations 16:14 Examples of Evil Spirits (cont)
The nature of spirits are manifested through their operations
A1. Satanic invasion of body and mind. Isaiah 14:3-6 (KJV) 3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, 4 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! 5The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. 6 He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.
A2. Satanic invasion of body and mind. Isaiah 14:12-16 (KJV) 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;, and the sceptre of the rulers.
A3. Satanic invasion of body and mind. Ezekiel 28:11-14 (KJV) 11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
A4. Satanic invasion of body and mind. Ezekiel 28:15-17 (KJV) 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
A5. Satanic invasion of body and mind. Matthew 16:13-17 (KJV) 13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
A6. Satanic invasion of body and mind. Matthew 16:18-20 (KJV) 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
A7. Satanic invasion of body and mind. Matthew 16:21-23 (KJV) 21 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
A8. Satanic invasion of body and mind. Luke 22:1-3 (KJV) 1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. 3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.
A9. How to resist Satanic invasion of body and mind. 1 Peter 5:5-8 (KJV) 5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
B.Examples of Good Spirits The Spirit of WisdomIsaiah 11:2, Deuteronomy 34:4, Ephesians 1:17 The Spirit of Understanding Isaiah 11:2 The Spirit of CounselIsaiah 11:2 The Spirit of MightIsaiah 11:2 The Spirit of KnowledgeIsaiah 11:2 The Spirit of the Fear of the LordIsaiah 11:2
Good SpiritNehemiah 9:20 Contrite SpiritPsalms 34:18 Broken SpiritPsalms 51:17 Faithful SpiritProverbs 11:13 Humble SpiritProverbs 16:19 Excellent SpiritDaniel 5:12, Proverbs 17:27 Patient SpiritEcclesiastes 7:8 Examples of Good Spirits (cont)
Quickening SpiritI Corinthians 15:45 Spirit of TruthJohn 14:17, I John 4:6 Spirit of HolinessRomans 1:4 Spirit of LifeRomans 8:2 Spirit of AdoptionRomans 8:15 Spirit of MeeknessI Corinthians 4:21, Galatians 6:1 Examples of Good Spirits (cont)
Spirit of FaithII Corinthians 4:13 Spirit of GraceZechariah 12:10, Hebrews 10:24 Spirit of GloryI Peter 4:14 Spirit of ProphecyRevelations 19:10 Spirit of ChristRomans 8:9 Examples of Good Spirits (cont)
C.The Selfsame Spirit Paul explaining the diversity of operations and manifestations of the Holy Spirit wrote: “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” I Corinthians 12:11