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MAY GOD GIVE US ALL THE GRACE NOT TO FOOL OURSELVES TO THINK WE CAN INTERPRET GOD’S WORD AS WE PLEASE AND FOLLOW ANY SPIRIT WITHOUT ‘TESTING’ IT “TO SEE WHETHER IT IS [REALLY] OF GOD,” (1 Ths. 5:21; 1 Jn. 1:4-1-4.)
The enemy of our souls really has a counterfeit for every work and miracle we expect from God, and often, he presents them ahead of God's time for a specific situation in our lives. Even if we prayed sincerely and steadfastly, we must still be 'vigilant and sober minded,' for "our adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking someone [gullible, self-willed, and without true knowledge of God's Word] to devour," (1 Pt. 5:8.)
Proud, rebellious, self-sufficient, and also gullible attitudes are “things that exalt themselves above the knowledge of God.” They erect “strongholds” or demonic fortifications, (lies, deceptions, false beliefs, and distorted expectations) in our minds, which prevent us from understanding God’s Word and will for any given situation, (2 Cor. 10:5.) As the devil always preys on such attitudes, being deceived, we will not submit to the truth of God’s Word and wait on His answer to prayer, to then, in God’s timing, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Hence, the Holy Spirit will not, by our own design, “lead us into all truth,” (Jn. 16:8-14.)
Remember that, being human, we can also ‘prophecy’ things to ourselves under certain situations — believing it is God’s Voice we are ‘hearing.’ And so, we form our own perceptions of people, situations — and the future, while we never “tested” our own intentions and desires before the Almighty Throne of our Heavenly Father, (1 Ths. 5:21-22.) Or we may simply do our own will without consulting God and waiting on Him to declare His will while we hastily follow every “wind of doctrine” and every spirit that speaks into our minds. Such disobedience will place us spiritually, emotionally, and even physically in a very dangerous position,” (2 Cor. 10:5.) In essence, these sins will make us unteachable and thus unreachable with God’s Scriptural Truth, which is our life-sustaining “bread and water form heaven.” And following false expectations of God’s will and work will leave us disappointed and disheartened. It can even destroy our faith.
Without obedience to Jesus’ New Testament/Covenant truth and the true leading of the Holy Spirit, there is no obedience to God at all. And so, we “cannot be Jesus’ disciples.” [Jn. 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”] To be able to be taught by the Holy Spirit, (to have a teachable human spirit and soul or mind,) and to submit to the truth of God’s contextual Word, (as in everything else in life,) we must reject our own ‘carnal flesh’ with its pride, rebelliousness, and misconceptions.
We must “crucify ourselves” or every “high thing [that controls our thoughts and beliefs, and thus,] exalts itself above the knowledge of God,” to accept God’s True Word. Gal. 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I [my own pride and self-will] that live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now life in the flesh, [as a human,] I live by faith…” Either Jesus, through the truth of His Word and His indwelling Holy Spirit lives in us, or we crown ourselves king and god over ourselves, our thoughts and beliefs, and our lives. Jesus does not share His throne with anyone. We must “die” to sin and self to truly “live” in Him – or to place Him on the throne of our hearts, souls or minds, bodies, and lives, (1 Ths. 5:23.)
Until we wholeheartedly bow to God and decidedly ‘die’ emotionally and practically to sin and self, we will never be able to accept God’s True Word, or the Way in which the Holy Spirit of the Bible work in, and through us.
I can never and will never ‘judge’ anyone, (meaning sending people to eternal damnation,) because that is God’s domain. But Jesus said we shall know one another by the constant ‘fruit’ that we bear. He also warned, “The Word, which I have spoken, will judge you in the Last Day," (Jn. 122:48.) “If you abide [stay] in My Word, you are truly My disciples…” (Jn. 14:23.) He who says, “I know Him” and does not keep His [New Testament, Covenant, Moral Law] commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him,” (1 Jn. 8:31; 2:4.)
To ‘put down’ our own perceptions, beliefs, and desires, (our ‘flesh,’) to understand, obey, and follow Jesus, form the core of our lives in Christ.
This is why the goal of all real ministry and ministers (spiritual servants) must be to get God’s True Word to the ‘minds’, thoughts, hearts and lives of people to bring them to a saving, redeeming, blessing knowledge of Christ. We can only help people to grow spiritually and emotionally by showing them the truth of God’s Real Word, which “can save their souls,” or actually, “purify their thoughts,” so that their “minds can be renewed,” (Rom. 12:1-2, 1 Pt. 1:9-14.) If our minds or thoughts and beliefs are not “renewed” through real Scriptural knowledge, we will never be able to understand and obey God’s will.
· This is the genuine ‘war,’ which Jesus called us to fight: a continuous spiritual battle for our own ‘minds,’ and for the minds of all those, whom He allows to cross our path; “pulling down strongholds, [or lies and misconceptions of the devil in the ‘minds’ of people,] casting down vain [and false] arguments and every high [or proud, unteachable, stubborn] thing that exalts itself above the [real, Scriptural] knowledge of God, bringing, [through God’s True Word, and Holy Spirit conviction and power,] every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Thus, the reason why all ‘exalted’ lies and deceptions must “fall” from the thoughts and beliefs of people, is to show them God’s truth so that they can obey and worship Jesus “in spirit and in truth,” (Jn. 4:21-24.) The only way to know Jesus and to remain in Him to the end, is to know and remain in the Truth of His Word. Obedience to His Word in Holy-Spirit leading contains everything we need in this life.
THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO KNOW IF WE REALLY HAVE GOD’S KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH OR NOT
The only way to know if we are really following the truth of God’s Word in Holy Spirit leading, is to “test and prove everything” [every spirit, teaching, manifestation, doctrine, belief, prophecy, etcetera,] according to the full contextual truth of God’s Word “to know whether these things are from God.” We cannot and dare not accept any teaching and spiritual manifestation at face value without praying and searching the Scriptures for God’s Truth and will for the situation.
What’s more, we cannot and may not use occult techniques to ‘make God perform’ according to our desires – even if our situation is dire. The Holy Spirit will not use positive confession and occult visualization to ‘birth’ miracles as Yonggi Cho, the Buddhist Christian leader taught the churches. Positive confession is not normal confession like in confessing the omnipotence of Jesus, and visualization is not ‘imagining’ before our ‘minds eye’ the way a pink and white garden will look. Through such occult techniques people ‘incubate’ their own ‘miracles’ by confessing something positively until it manifests, while wilfully focussing on ‘seeing’ that ‘miracle’ until it becomes a reality. E.g., “Confess that you already own that red Mercedes and see how you are driving it until you actually own it!” That is not a miracle from God. That is using demonic power to “visualize” your own desires and then to “speak” them magically into reality.
In contrast, God’s Word clearly explains in Heb. 11:1-12, “[True] faith is the substance of things hoped for, [i.e., I hope on a life in heaven because I believe in Jesus and have accepted all He has done for me,] and faith is the evidence of things NOT SEEN! [Where does occult visualization come into this picture?] By FAITH we UNDERSTAND that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made from things which are visible. By faith Abel, Enoch, Noah and Abraham [were obedient to the Word of God even before they had Scripture like we do now…]” This means, when we look at facts such as the marvels of God’s creation, and we have faith in the Creator God of the universe, we will understand that creation was carefully designed and meticulously made by the Almighty God. Thus, Ps. 19:1-6 marvels, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies proclaim the work of His hands!” Rom. 1:20, “Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead [of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,] so that we are without excuse…”
Because occult techniques do produce results, it does not mean that ‘visualisation creates reality,’ and ‘positive speaking creates miracles,’ and therefore, it is faith in the God of the Bible. In God’s terms, faith actually means, believing in God is metaphorically seeing Him as a Reality through nature, but also through the wonderful gifts of His Holy Spirit manifested in, and for us, and in every circumstance in our lives. In short, true faith is steadfastly believing in God under all circumstances and trusting Him to lead us in His will while we remain prayerfully at His feet and “renew our minds” or thoughts by diligently studying His Word, (Rom. 12:1-2.) Faith is to not walk by physical sight, but by spiritual sight.
FAITH IS NOT RUNNING AHEAD AND MAKING OUR OWN PLANS AFTER WE HAVE PRAYED
Faith is praying and then waiting on the Holy Spirit to answer. But we must be careful not to be misled into interpreting just any kind of faith and prayer request as pleasing to God, and thus following every ‘open door’ as an answer from God. Many people have faith in Jesus, but they never really obey Him according to the context of Scriptural truth. And when He does speak through His Word in the Scriptures, they also fail to obey Him, because they are so entangled in their own desires and perceptions of truth, they fail to understand that we must submit wholly to God to “know [or understand] that perfect will of God” for a particular situation, (Rom. 12:1-2; Jam. 4:7-10.) James stated in 2:14-18, “Without [Moral-Law works of true obedience to God,] faith is dead.” This means, if we fail to act on the clear leading of the Holy Spirit, we have no faith at all.
God will mostly speak through the true context of His Word, but also in combination with logic thought, as He does not crush our intelligence and the facts and logic of situations to make us obey His will. E.g., if a person is waiting to hear from God to marry someone, the Spirit will not blind the person to the faults of the intended marriage partner to lead the person into marrying an irresponsible alcoholic, fornicator, etcetera, who will control and defile the gullible person’s whole life. To the contrary, God will show us such bad character traits because sinful behavior will not cease after the marriage ceremony. Unless that person completely repents and follows Jesus, such wild behavior will only increase. Accordingly, Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 7:16, “For how do you know, o wife [or husband] whether [your spouse will ever come to the Lord?]” Faith is, therefore, directly linked to obeying the Holy Spirit’s leading according to the truth of His Word and in the logic truth of a particular situation.
Jesus warned that disobedient ‘miracle’ makers, ‘demon slayers,’ and ‘wonder makers’ “practice lawlessness, [and so,] He never knew them!” (Mt. 7:21-29.) We build our lives on Jesus the Rock when we obey His true teachings so that, when the “rain descends and floods come and the winds blow and beat on our [souls (will, intellect, emotions, and lives,] we will not fall, because it was founded on the Rock, [the truth of His Word in the power and leading of His Spirit.]”
Supplement reading: How do we know the Voice of God?
Casting lots to determine Gods will for a particular situation — can we still practice that under the New Covenant?
Escaping abuse: “My soul is calm and quiet like a weaned child”
To follow just any spirit that speaks into our minds, dreams, etc. is to “Exalt Ourselves Above the Knowledge of God”