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Test the spirits

(1) Make the diligent study of God’s word our number one priority.

Anything can be proved by proof-texting (quoting verses out of context). Let the Bereans of Acts 17:11 be our guide. They were commended because, instead of naively accepting what Paul and Silas preached, they searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether those things were so. When I was a student in Bible school I heard the Holy Spirit instruct me to take 1 hour each morning, of the 2 hours I was spending in prayer, and use it for serious reading and study of Scripture. Some today need to modify their “soaking” time and spend time “soaking” their minds and hearts in the truths of God’s word.


(2) Don’t be afraid to “test the spirits “.

We will not quench the Holy Spirit by doing what He has commanded us to do. We may quench spiritual pride and religious ambition, but not the Holy Spirit. Smith and the early Mormons did not test the spirits nor did they judge their prophetic-supernatural experiences. Instead, they twisted Scripture to make it fit their experience. Avoid this at all costs.


(3) Stop chasing the sensational.

Let the supernatural happen, don’t try to force it. The early Mormons were obviously enamored with the sensational—visions, angelic visitations, etc. This led to their departure from Biblical truth. Get back to practical Christianity. Read the Sermon on the Mount. Don’t be afraid of using some sanctified common sense, which the Bible calls “wisdom”.


(4) Avoid spiritual pride.

Stop trying to be important. Cartwright says that Smith told him that if he (Cartwright) would join with him (Smith), “We could sweep, not only the Methodist church, but all the churches, and you would be looked up to as one of the Lord’s greatest prophets”. Do you see and hear the pride in that statement? Remember that, “the stronghold of deception is pride”.


(5) Avoid an elitist mindset.

Smith claimed that he and his followers were the true restored church of the New Testament and that all other churches were false churches (the Mormons still believe this). This too was based in pride and an unhealthy lust for importance and power.

My Prayer

My prayer is that God will have mercy on us, and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, that His ways may be known upon earth and His salvation among all nations (Psalm 67). May God give us a love and hunger for His word, a sharpened sense of discernment, and the courage to speak and walk in His truth. Amen!


Previously published at the Pneuma Foundation (the parent organization of website on February 7, 2008. Used with permission.

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Category: Ministry, Summer 2019

About the Author: Eddie L. Hyatt, D.Min. (Regent University), M.Div. and M.A. (Oral Roberts University), serves the body of Christ around the world by teaching with academic excellence and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He has authored several books, including 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity. His passion is to see authentic spiritual awakening transform the Church and impact the world in the Twenty-first century.

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