“Believe not every spirit” Dr. William B. Smith SRDecember 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) 18And 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) • 1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. • 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: • 3And 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) • 4Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. • 5They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. • 6We 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: • spir•it(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: • spir•it(spir¿it) pneumapnyoo'-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) • 2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: • 3And 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) • 5They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. • 6We 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) • 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. • 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. • 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. • 20Wherefore 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) • 11But 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) • 33Be 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) • 14Be 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) • 15Know 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. • 16What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. • 17But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. • 18Flee 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) • 41Ye 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) • 44Ye 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 Spirits Leviticus 20:27 • Evil Spirits Judges 9:23, I Samuel 16:14, Acts 19:15 • Lying Spirit I Kings 22:22, II Chronicles 18:21 • Perverse Spirit Isaiah 19:14 • Haughty Spirit Proverbs 16:18 • Seducing Spirit I Timothy 4:1
Examples of Evil Spirits (cont) • Unclean Spirit Zechariah 13:2, Matthew 12:43 • Dumb and Deaf Spirit Mark 9:25 • Spirit of Jealousy Numbers 5:14,30 • Spirit of Error I John 4:6 • Spirit of Fear II Timothy 1:7 • Spirit of Bondage Romans 8:15
Examples of Evil Spirits (cont) • Spirit of Infirmity Luke 13:11 • Spirit of Divination Acts 16:16 • Spirit of Slumber Romans 11:8 • Spirit of Deep Sleep Isaiah 29:10 • Spirit of Heaviness Isaiah 61:3 • Spirit of Whoredom Hosea 4:12 • Spirit of Devils Revelations 16:14
A1. Satanic invasion of body and mind. Isaiah 14:3-6 (KJV) • 3And 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, • 4That 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. • 6He 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) • 12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! • 13For 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: • 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. • 15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. • 16They 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) • 11Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, • 12Son 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. • 13Thou 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. • 14Thou 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) • 15Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. • 16By 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. • 17Thine 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) • 13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? • 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. • 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? • 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. • 17And 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) • 18And 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. • 19And 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. • 20Then 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) • 21From 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. • 22Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. • 23But 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) • 1Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. • 2And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. • 3Then 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) • 5Likewise, 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. • 6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: • 7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. • 8Be 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 Wisdom Isaiah 11:2, Deuteronomy 34:4, Ephesians 1:17 • The Spirit of Understanding Isaiah 11:2 • The Spirit of Counsel Isaiah 11:2 • The Spirit of Might Isaiah 11:2 • The Spirit of Knowledge Isaiah 11:2 • The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord Isaiah 11:2
Examples of Good Spirits (cont) • Good Spirit Nehemiah 9:20 • Contrite Spirit Psalms 34:18 • Broken Spirit Psalms 51:17 • Faithful Spirit Proverbs 11:13 • Humble Spirit Proverbs 16:19 • Excellent Spirit Daniel 5:12, Proverbs 17:27 • Patient Spirit Ecclesiastes 7:8
Examples of Good Spirits (cont) • Quickening Spirit I Corinthians 15:45 • Spirit of Truth John 14:17, I John 4:6 • Spirit of Holiness Romans 1:4 • Spirit of Life Romans 8:2 • Spirit of Adoption Romans 8:15 • Spirit of Meekness I Corinthians 4:21, Galatians 6:1
Examples of Good Spirits (cont) • Spirit of Faith II Corinthians 4:13 • Spirit of Grace Zechariah 12:10, Hebrews 10:24 • Spirit of Glory I Peter 4:14 • Spirit of Prophecy Revelations 19:10 • Spirit of Christ Romans 8:9
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