“Dear friends, 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.” (1John 4:1)
Here Apostle John is warning all believers. Paul also warns the believers about “the deceptive spirits in the later days.” (1Tim.4:1) As believers, we must discern (not judge) the spirit to see whether a person is moved by the Holy Spirit or by an evil one lest we may be deceived.
Now the question is, how can we test the spirit? These days we see many spirit manifestations presumably by the ‘Power of God’ and are confused. When we see some spirit manifestations like uncontrollable laughter, shaking, falling, shouting and screaming in tongues, etc. on TV or online videos, many are made to believe it to be the work of God and are deceived. Jesus said “Many false prophets will appear and deceive many.” (Matt.24:11)
We understand from the scriptures that anything uncontrollable is not from God, because you cannot be possessed by the Holy Spirit. We have examples in the Bible where people are possessed by evil spirits. When a person is possessed by evil spirits, he has no control over his actions and the demons take total control of him. Then he is forced to do things which he normally does not want to do. But nowhere in the Bible have we seen anyone being possessed by the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of God will never take control over your body and force you to do anything against your wish. That is not the character of God. If anyone loses his self-control and behaves like a drunken man, beware! One of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Many people are fascinated by such manifestations; yet these are not Biblical.
The Spirit of God does not possess a person; He only leads. The decision whether to follow or ignore is left to him. “The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.” (1 Cor. 14:32)
Even in case of speaking in tongues, Paul says how to use this gift of God; “If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.” (1 Cor. 14:28). This means the person who speaks in tongues has control over his tongue. He can decide when to speak and when not to. He cannot say, he lost control because he was possessed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not possess anyone. “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” (1 Cor.14:33)
Beware of deceptions and false teachings in these last days. DO NOT be deceived.
Let us be rooted in God’s Word so that we may stand firm. Be self-controlled! Ask God for the Spirit of discernment. May God give us His grace to follow Him, as the Spirit leads. Amen!
Share this Post