Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Which "Spiritual Leaders" Should We Trust?

The idols speak deceitfully,
  diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false,
  they give comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep
  oppressed for lack of a shepherd. – Zechariah 10:2

Today’s Reading: Zechariah 9-12; Revelation 20

A few months ago I saw a really impressive guy speak. He was there to teach on words of knowledge and he did so by actually conducting a workshop. For the uninitiated, “words of knowledge” is one of the spiritual gifts. Someone who moves in this gift can know specific things about another stranger’s past in a supernatural and specific way that would be impossible without having met them before.

Let me tell ya… he was impressive.

He knew things about people that one could not possibly know about a stranger; addresses where people grew up as kids, names of parents and siblings, birthdays. He didn’t guess at them, he knew them exactly. I had never seen anything that powerfully accurate before.

But I was skeptical.

I know that the Bible tells us of soothsayers and diviners who see visions and do know things only to use them to lie to their own benefit. So I waited for what he had to say about God to determine how seriously I should take this man. In whose name does he come? Does he come in the name of Jesus, himself or some other spirit?

As he began to speak everything he said was in line with scripture. The Bible was his foundation and his guide. Then he also encouraged us to practice using words of knowledge in a scripturally accurate way. Of course no one in the audience was as good as him but there were some who did get words of knowledge. It was a cool workshop.

I have seen this work in a different way before. When I was about eight years old there was this woman calling herself a prophet that came to my church for several days to lead a revival. She too had amazing words of knowledge. She knew things that were impossible to know. Then toward the end of her stay she pointed at people and told them that God told her that they were supposed to give her money, large sums of money. And they did it. Some even gave her their rent money.

There are many people who operate in spiritually powerful ways. Some are genuine prophets; others are tarot card readers, magicians, psychics, and diviners. What I have learned is that it really doesn’t matter what kind of fancy tricks someone can do. What really matters is in whose name they are doing these things.

Are they representing for God or for some other spirit? That is the true test and the question that we must demand an answer to before receiving any spiritual instruction.

QUESTION: Have you ever received information from a person claiming to hear from the spiritual realm? What fruit did this information bear in your life?

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