In our society today, especially in Christianity, if there is a time we should give heed to the counsel of the apostle John the beloved, it is now, by what he counseled us in 1 John 4:1.
Going by the apostle John the beloved counsel as seen in that passage, he said, “beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God”. His reason was that many false prophets are gone out into the world.
The apostle Paul equally declared in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 that false apostles, deceitful workers, are transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also are transformed into the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
What apostles John and Paul were saying was practically made manifest in Act 8:9-12 where it was said of a certain man, called Simon, that before time in the same city of Samaria used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him, they had regard, because that for a long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
Coming down to Act 8:18-21, the said Simon the sorcerer Simon, when he saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given. He offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
In other words, what happened in Act 8:8-21 is a small thing to what is happening now in Christianity where many sorcerers are wearing designer suits and camouflaging as pastors, bewitching and making merchandise of the people.
Some of these sorcerers who camouflaged as pastors, after they bewitched people they could gather, often tell these people to do many unimaginable things that are alien to Christianity such as swallowing live snakes, drinking poison, etc.
One thing with these sorcerers that turned pastors is that by using the spirit of divination, they can tell you the most secret things in your life that you have never told any person. For that reason, many people mistake their divination for true prophecies.
The tragedy is that these days, these sorcerers turned pastors are so vocal. Especially on social media where they seem to be silencing the voices of genuine ministers of the gospel who are not prophesying accurate prophesies as they call it.
Please for the avoidance of doubt, accurate prophecies, not even miracles are never yardsticks to knowing genuine ministers of God. However, in the book of Jeremiah 3:15 God made a promise saying, “and I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding”.
Please also see what the apostle John the beloved said in 1 John 4:2-5 saying, “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.
We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. NIV
Today in our society, there are many genuine believers that have fallen victims and casualties to sorcerers turned and camouflaged as pastors today, some of these believers have made shipwrecks of their faith.
To be able to withstand many of these sorcerers that turned pastors and prophets, as well as pastoring many churches they founded, it is necessary that you pray that God should give you a discerning spirit.
Apart from other gifts of the spirits as enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12:10 which says, to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kind of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
In other words, the spiritual gift of the discerning spirit is what we should all pray that it should rest on us if we are to withstand the onslaughts of these sorcerers turned pastors and their schemes.
It is through this gift of discerning spirits and our ability to test every spirit that we will be able to identify the spirit at work in the lives of these sorcerers turned pastors.
If for any reason, we end up becoming victims and casualties at the hands of these sorcerers turned pastors, we have ourselves to blame. This is because we ought to discern and test every spirit, to ensure that they are of God. Shalom!
IMAGE CREDIT: https://olawalefrank.blogspot.com/2014/12/sunday-open-heavens-devotional.html