Monday 18 August 2008

Todd Bentley and Revivalism in Florida???

1John 4:1 ¶ Beloved, 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.

Background to 1 John
· A book to test your assurance of salvation
· He distinguishes between true and false grounds of assurance and applies seven different tests
· One test of a true Christian and maturity is to know the difference between what is the spirit of truth and spirit of error.
· Chapter 4: Summary

1. John’s experience of truth and error
2. Test the Spirits
3. Keep in the love of God

1. John’s Experience of Truth and Error
A. Jesus
· Jesus distinguished between three categories of person; truly righteous, religious and unrighteous, ungodly and unrighteous.
· The Sermon on the Mount is an exposition of what is true compared to much false teaching by the Pharisees.
· “You have heard it said…but I say unto you”. Have you accepted some false teaching unknowingly? If Jesus were personally here what would he say to us as a congregation?
· Matthew 7: 15 “Beware of false prophets”, these are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
· The parable of the wheat and the tares.
· The cross was the result of false doctrine, error and the spirit of antichrist. Peter says in Acts 2 to the religious Jews “You crucified Jesus”.
· Matthew 23: Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees. Uses Woe 8 times and denounces them as hypocrites, blind guides, whitewashed tombs, you serpents, brood of vipers.
B. The Book of Acts
· Acts 15, the judaizers and the acceptance of the gentiles. The old covenant versus the new covenant.
· Paul comes to Jerusalem to discuss the ‘gospel’: The content of the message not methods in Galatians 2.
C. John’s Gospel
· John’s gospel and the background of Cerinthus who denied the deity of Christ in Ephesus. Story of the Bath house.

2. Test the Spirits
A. Should I be Critical as a Christian?
Love teaches believe the best of every person: explain the difference between discernment and a critical spirit.
V1 ‘do not believe every spirit’
B. What does it mean ‘Test the Spirits’?
Test= prove or test like £ 50 notes or diamonds in a jewellers shop. Illustration!
Test the spirits =whether something is truly from God, therefore avoid personalities or preferences.
V2 confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh: Islam, Jehovah’s witnesses,
V2-3 Spirit of God versus spirit of antichrist (now is in the world)
V5 They are of the world: prosperity teaching, money centred teaching, success and Christian motivation conferences.
V6: Spirit of truth versus spirit of error.
V 10 Christ is our propitiation: Steve Chalke and the denial of a substitutionary atonement to avert the wrath of God.
V 15 Confesses Jesus is the Son of God.
C. Why should we test the spirits?
V1 many false prophets have gone out into the world
2 Peter 2: 1-3 many will follow them. But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
3 ¶ and in [their] greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

· Brings destruction
· Sensuality =the senses, explains Florida
· Do miracles lead to faith? The example of Israel in the wilderness proves this is not the case.
· The way of truth is maligned
· They exploit people.

3. Keep Yourselves in the Love of God (Jude21)
Encouragement; 1 John 4: 4 Greater is He!!
The thread of love: ‘Let us love one another’ (V 7): do not unreasonably write people off.
Love is used 19 times in this one chapter:


Self examinationEncouragement
Searching questions

Closing Prayer

Closing Song; The Lord’s my Shepherd (with descant)
Benediction: Jude 24-5.

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