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After I gave my life to Christ, I spent years in a fellowship that did not believe that any of the marvelous provisions of power, instruction and intimacy that Jesus told us would come when He went to the Father after His resurrection, and that they would stay "forever" for those of us who love and follow Him, still happen today. After 23 years, God Himself invaded our lives in undeniable ways showing my daughters and I that He was indeed still fulfilling all He said He would...forever.

I said all that as a groundwork for what I want to discuss. Since 1998 when all this happened and I received the Holy Spirit baptism, I was of course no longer welcomed where I had been and have fellowshipped in a very different area of Christianity. I have met wonderful people. And I have met the greatest heretics and kooks imaginable that bring great shame on His name and alienate the lost and the saved alike with their heresies.

I never met people like that before, when I was in the part of Christianity that believe all the "special stuff" has ended. The reason is easy. When you don't believe you can literally "hear" God speak to you, or that He can and will impart divine revelation understand directly into your mind, when you base everything you believe only on God's Word, the Bible, you stay grounded in truth. Just sadly, not all the truth. Missing the wonderful good news that everything in that Bible is still true and we can have so much more of a relationship with God here in this life.

But when you know that God can and does "speak" audibly to individuals at times, that He surely does impart divine revelation to individuals at times, that there are no limits to what He can do if and when He wishes, you open yourself to error big time.

God teaches us balance. He commands us to consume His written word, telling us that not one bit of it will ever change - no matter how "advanced" or "modern" man thinks he gets. He also commands us to be filled with His Spirit, live by His Spirit and be led by His Spirit. Then He commands us to TEST THE SPIRITS to be sure who we are listening to, His Spirit, the evil one's spirit, our own sinful flesh? These are three COMMANDS, not suggestions open to our choosing to do or not do. They are commands because that is the only way we can protect ourselves from going off into heresy. Mark 13:31

On the one had we have the group I came from which excels in knowing God's Word, but refuses the Holy Spirit's full work in their lives which deprives them of the power to fully succeed in what the Word commands and robs them of the fantastic level of intimacy, teaching and comfort that God arranged for us to have after Jesus ascended to Him.

On the other hand we have the "Spirit filled group" who has been blessed with special personal experiences with God, but lazily ignores Bible study to any depth that would arm them to know when they are being led astray. They just want to party down with the delicious Holy Spirit. The result is that they are easily lead into heresy and don't notice when the Holy Spirit's manifestations in their lives are being replaced with false prophits showing great signs and wonders (who we were warned will deceive the elect if it is possible), as they slip into heresy. Matthew 24:24

Both these conditions are entirely unnecessary. Just do what He tells us in the Word:

  • He commands us to consume His written word so we will know the truth from lies.
  • He commands us to be filled with His Spirit, live by His Spirit and be led by His Spirit.
  • He commands us to TEST THE SPIRITS to be sure who we are listening to, His Spirit, the evil one's spirit, our own sinful flesh?
How do we test them? One way is to always check what you believe God is telling you with His printed word. He will NEVER contradict Himself. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 Don't take a random scripture all by itself - you must use scriptures in context and in harmony with the overall principles and messages of the Word in it's entirety.

Don't forget...it's "Spirit and truth"...a balance! John 4:23

Let's not shame God and alienate the lost so they never come to salvation in Christ by our spouting bazaar things "God told me". Be vigilent! It is no small thing to say, "Thus says the Lord God Almight...". There will be a day of accounting!

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