P.T. Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute."
2nd largest income for Nigeria are the scam emails to US citizens saying if they send them money they'll get a bunch back.
"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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error." 1 John 4:1-6
There are a lot of spiritual scams. In Christan church some pastors have angles. We have to be careful. John was dealing with gnostics. The believed Jesus became Jesus at the baptism, that the Holy Spirit possessed HIm and made Him Jesus. The Holy Spirit doesn't possess us like demons possess people.
There's a reason for discernment.
1 John 4:1 -- Test the spirits.
Satan can't stop the message but he can and will twist it. People say it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you believe in something. Wrong!
We must believe the Bible. Satan slides things off to the side. We can be like the frog in the boiling water.
We have to hold all things up to the light of God.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4: "Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11: "that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send up on them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false,"
Satan and his deception -- Satan usually doesn't look evil. He comes across as sophisticated, polished, glamorous at times.
"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." Matthew 7:15
"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:13-14
Satan will make it really appealing to follow Him. It's not about the miracle. It's about the miracle worker.
Who is performing the miracle and what does the miracle point to?
Discernment is based on Jesus.
"that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." Romans 10:9-10
It's about Jesus.
You believe. You confess that belief. You submit to that belief.
Don't be fed magic beans. Being a believer is not having a magic ticket. We aren't promised riches and fame and easy lives.
We cannot be partial believers. Sort out the false things.
The one that is in you is greater than the one in the world.
Satan is much more popular than Christ because he's got the candy store and he likes to feed a person's lust.
Truth is often uncomfortable. The truth might be painful to hear but its for your benefit.
I care more about you than your hurt feelings. God doesn't water down His truth.
If we don't have the Holy Spirit how can we discern? We must be a Christn first to get discernment.
To become a Christian you gotta let go of the world.
Submission is the hardest part because we have a hard time of letting go of the easy, of the "it's good for me" mentality.
My will not yours.
All about me or all about He.
The challenge comes when Satan tires to take away your testimony, your witness.
High standard. I try to use discernment.
When Satan tempted Jesus, he used scripture.
Jesus rebuked Satan with the Word.
A.W. Tozer's list of questions to ask about teaching.
#1 How does it reflect my relationship with God?
#2 How does it affect my attitude toward Christ?
#3 How does it deal with scripture?
#4 Does the teaching lift up self or crucify self?
#5 What does this teaching do to my relationship with other believers? Divide or unify?
#6 Does it glorify the world?
#7 How does this teaching affect my view of sin?