2 Cor. 5:15 π 2 Tim. 2:6 π 1 Jn. 4:1
“Try the spirits, whether they be of God…” ( 1 Jn. 4:1; top )
Any spirit (attitude) that attempts to annul, replace or misrepresent the character and person of Jesus is not the Spirit of God and cannot proceed from God. What was Jesus’ character? It included self-sacrificing rather than self-interest, the denying of self rather than exalting of self, a servant’s spirit rather than desiring to be served. Further, His character was not of seeking after “things” and success, but one of teaching the storing up of treasures in heaven. Jesus’ humility annihilates any self-assertive attitude; and pride, the basis of all sin, is the antithesis of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His relationship to God was one of complete obedience rather than doing His own will. “And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” ( 2 Cor. 5:15; top )
Therefore any theology, message or ministry that promotes anything contrary to the spirit and character of Jesus should be rejected.
To prove or try the spirits means to compare them to the Scriptures concerning the life, character and fruits of the life of Jesus. Discern the attitude behind any teaching or message. What spirit is it projecting? Is it one of pride, self-assertiveness, indulgent in seeking its own pleasure and own desires? Does it feed the carnal man and the self-life? Then it is a man-made proposal, not of Christ but anti-Christ.
Sin will always be revealed. That is the reason for reading Scripture. It isn’t to get “things,” but to get holy. If we fix our eyes on goods and “things,” or the 100-fold return, we will miss God. “The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops.” ( 2 Tim. 2:6; top ) As our oneness with God progresses and we become partakers of the character of Jesus, then we will be more (able) proficient to discern and try spirits, whether they are consistent with God’s character. Until then, the holiness required for God’s holy, end-time outpouring will be nonexistent – and we get “Ichabod” for a label, rather than “well done, you good and faithful servant.”
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