Bristol, Virginia

The Need for Discernment – Pt. 6

Subtitle: Testing Spirits in the Light

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess [a]that Jesus [b]Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” (1 John 4:1-3)

Right now there is a fierce battle going on in the earth. The battle is for the souls of the son of men. We are instructed to “test the spirits” to whether they are from God. The Greek word for test there is dokimazō, meaning “to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals.”)

There is a fascinating Greek word that sheds some light on this. It is eilikrinés, from heilē, “shining of the sun” and krystallízō, “to judge” It is said in ancient times that someone examining a pot or cup would hold it up to the light to see if it had any detrimental cracks. We too must test the spirits, holding them up to the light of the Word.

We must be careful to not test people. That is not our job. We are instructed to “test the spirits.” We can do this by growing in discernment. We discussed in the last article that discernment is like a muscle that can grow “by reason of use.”

Father, we thank you for discernment. We ask that You would help us to grow in discernment by reason of use and that we would rightly test the spirits, distinguishing between the goldly and ungodly. In Jesus’ name.