We are Who We Spend the Most Time With

Since we can’t control other people, we need to stay ever vigilant in who we are partnering with.  This includes watching what we do and say and guarding our heart by being mindful of what we are watching on TV, social media, and watching who we hang around.  I heard a couple of good quotes recently.  One by Matt Fox that states, “you will become like the people you hang around with” and Jim Rohn said “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”   Our flesh is easily susceptible to the influences of this world and our willpower is easily eroded when we are around the “wrong” people.  By “wrong” people I am meaning the people that are not on the path of truth and commitment to Jesus and obedience to God and His will.  This is why we need to have more wisdom in identifying false prophets, teachers and “Christians” that are not aligned with the Word of God and are more aligned with the things of this world.  It is important not to align ourselves with them, watch them, follow them or condone or defend their behavior or we will slowly adopt their behaviors and beliefs.  I believe that this is what has happened to so many “Christians” who are exhibiting rebellious actions and exerting their “rights” and unloving influence over others. 

Check your circle of friends.  Are you a good and godly influence/example to them?  Are they good and godly, speaking life to and about others with and to you?  I admit that we don’t always have complete control over who is in our circle, such as family and co-workers but, we can limit our time with them and make sure we have prayed for our hedge of protection and grace of God to be in place.  Know that when we press into God and commit to do His will to love His people, He will remove people from our circles.  It might be hard in the moment but remember that God always has our best at heart!  Know that many times it is because we are growing in a direction that does not include them or that they might hinder our growth!  Take some time to pray over your circle and ask God to only keep the people in your close circle that He wants you to associate with in this season!


What or Who is the Antichrist? 

We see many times in 1st and 2nd John where he uses the term “Antichrist” to describe deceivers and to warn us about a sign of the end times.  We can dissect the word and see that “anti” means “against” and “christ” means Christ.  Dictionary.com says it means, “ an antagonist of Christ, a disbeliever in Christ  or a false Christ.”   

It makes sense that the number of antichrists will be growing in the lead up to the end times and I believe we are seeing this growth now.  We are seeing an increase in people leaving the Church, agnostics, atheists, new cults and the new age.  These groups provide many openings to draw the elect (or us) away from God.  We are told to be aware of the signs of the time to watch for false teachers/prophets and the antichrist.  Many people think that the antichrist is just that guy in the book of Revelation, but as John says, “even now many antichrists have come.”  There have been many antichrists in the past, there are many antichrists among us now because it is not just one person, but a hateful spiritual force against Jesus and His Truth blinding individuals.

  • “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18)
  • “I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (2 John 1:7)

So, be watchful for people speaking against God, people speaking against his nature, which is love, inclusion, and building people up with the true word of the Bible.  Watch what people say, watch how they say it and watch to determine their motive.  You are smart!  You can tell when someone is deceiving you – you know that feeling of un ease you get in the pit of your stomach!  Listen to your self as your very salvation and eternity will depend on truth.  Also, ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and ears and sharpen your spiritual discernment.  Truth is NOT overrated.

How to Identify a False Prophet

The best way to test a prophet or anyone speaking in a spiritually predictive manner regardless of what they call themselves is to look again at what we are told in 1 John 4.

  • “Dear friends, 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. 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.

First do some research by looking into their website, Facebook page or wherever you can find their statement of purpose or theology.  As 1 John 4 says, every spirit that does NOT acknowledge that (1) Jesus came in the flesh or (2) Jesus himself is NOT from God.  They might have a word that sounds good or matches up with some biblical messages but they are NOT from God and thus, they probably have a deceiving spirit and not the Holy Spirit. 

If they look good on paper, next, check for what their motive might be.  If they are a prophet charging for a prophetic word for you – NOT from God.  The profit motive (and ego) is really the most common motives behind the actions of a false prophet.  Run away! 

Finally, if these do not seem obvious, then write down some of their “prophecies” and track their accuracy.  If they are wrong and do not repent and make personal spiritual adjustments – run away!  Can a true prophet be wrong or have wrong timing – YES – but they should own it and repent openly and get back into alignment with God.  I have noticed so many false prophets over the last couple of years who clearly and obviously got it wrong and they make excuses or refine “what they meant” and fail to own it and repent.  These are SO obviously false prophets and we need to close our eyes and ears and pocket books to these people.

This is an important topic that has over thirty scriptures dealing with “false” as in false testimony, false prophets, and false witnesses.  It is also important to note that a false prophet is one of the players in the book of Revelation and the end of times.  Here are a few other important scriptures speaking about false prophets.

  • “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Mark 13:22)
  • “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)
  • “My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.” (Ezekiel 13:9)

Be wary, be alert and be in close connection with God at all times!  Ask for wisdom and discernment!

  • “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)”   

Just Ask!!

We Were Warned About False Teachers and Prophets

False teachers and false prophets have been involved in the Church since the earliest days and talked about in the old testament as well.  Unfortunately, there are always people desiring to harm the Church and one of the best ways to do that is to deceive the believers and get them away from the truth of the gospel and to get them repeating the lies and deception.  I see that happening a lot these days too and we must be on red alert to stay properly and correctly aligned so that we don’t mislead others and jeopardize our spiritual relationships. 

You may recall that we were warned about false teachers in 2 Peter 2.

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”

As you can see, Peter is warning the believers to beware of the false teacher and prophets and not to participate in their lies or follow them so that we don’t fall into their destruction.  These false teachers were teaching legalistic things contrary to the saving grace of Christ.  They were pulling believers away from the truth of the gospel with slick words and lies and creating divisions among the beleivers.  See 1 Corinthians for the record of the lies and deception in the early Church.  Paul wrote this letter to address many of the false teachings and gave instructions in how to act as a true follower of Jesus.  Notice how many of them are still alive and deceiving in our society today.

Stand firm, my brethren, and ask the Lord to check every person you follow, listen to and give money to so that you do not unknowingly follow any of these false teachers and false prophet.

How to Protect Yourself From False Spiritual Teachers and Prophets. Part 2

We can only discern or identify false teachers and false prophets by comparing what they say/write with truth and this means the truth of God.  Remember that the enemy knows the Bible as well or better than we do and he uses twisting and misstating the Bible to draw us into his lies.  As you may recall, Jesus was tested by the devil in the wilderness (see Matthew 4 and Luke 4), the devil quoted the Bible.  But he quoted it out of context and with nefarious motives and Jesus saw right through it and corrected him.  For instance, Jesus had been fasting for 40 days and the devil appeared and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:3-4).  Jesus knew the devils’ motive was to tempt him to break his fast for God and to show his power.  Jesus was stating that for us to feast on the Word of God (The Bible) and be nourished by our Father in Heaven and not to worry about what is happening in the world or what people think.

The best way to discern whether the teaching/word is a lie is to judge it against the word of God in the Bible.  I like to read the commentary in my study Bible for the verses I am reading.  The commentary are those little footnotes at the bottom of the page but you can also google the commentary for the scripture.  I also use an app called the “Blue Letter Bible” because you can also zip into the Greek or Hebrew words and their definitions or usage.  Know that reading and studying the Bible starts to build up your Spirit, knowledge and wisdom and soon you will be able to quickly spot the lies because the truth will be strong and hidden in your heart!

Are You a Peacemaker?

“Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:1-3.

In this scripture, Paul is speaking of the unity of the body of Christ or the Church, but I can’t help but apply it to this world we live in now.  The commentary in my NIV Bible says “It is the heavy responsibility of Christians to keep that unity from being disturbed.” Remember that Jesus states in the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God.”

Are you are peacemaker (unity keeper or builder) in this world?  In your family? At your job? In your household?  This does not mean to not speak truth or correction but do you do it with peace and love?  Take a few minutes before you respond in every situation to ask if the words you want to say are your flesh (indignation, anger, hurt or resentment) or from God spoken in and with Love.  The truth of how you feel about something does not always need to be told!

God Will Never Leave Us  

Do you ever feel like God left you or forgot you?  Perhaps we left Him.  I say this because He said “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Heb 13:5).  When we feel like we have been overlooked, that is the time to press in and make sure we are studying the Bible and we are praying for others and looking for God’s hand in everything we do.  I have felt that I was not plugged into the God circuit as strongly as I wanted to be and when I focused on my time with God and praying and blessing others, I was able to see God at work again. 

This year of 2023 is a year to realign with God and refocus on learning about God and being obedient in loving and blessing others.  When we take the focus off of ourselves we can see God at work in others and affirm that He never leaves us!  If nothing else, just look around at the beauty around you that is all created by God for us to enjoy!

We Reap What We Sow.

Reaping and sowing is a world principle also know as planting and harvesting.  What is it that you want to harvest and have in abundance this new year?  Health, love, peace, joy, finances, blessings…?  2 Corinthians 9:6  states, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”  Think about it, if you plant 2 seeds will your harvest be different than if you planted 2,000 seeds? YES!  So when we sow into others we will receive in proportion with how much we sow. 

Many people will think they want more financial benefits and think they will just work more, but we can have so much more when we operate with Godly or Kingdom principles by sowing financial seeds into others to grow our finances.  Sowing into others by donating money to organizations that take care of people, giving money to the homeless, helping a ministry or taking care of the needs of someone with a financial blessing to them.  This is the same principle with other things.  You want love – love others, you want peace – be peaceful with others, you want joy – find joy in everything. 

Oh, by the way, when you sow ugliness guess what you get?  Yep, ugliness!

Guess what?  We can sow many types of seeds at the same time and have it ALL.  I call it blessing others.  Ask God to show you who to bless and watch your joy, love, peace, health and finances grow!

Love God and Love Everyone is The Greatest Commandment.

Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment in the law and Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40.

When we operate out of love we also have peace!  It IS hard to love the unlovely, but remember that hurting people hurt others.  Let’s make a conscious effort to ask God to bless them and give them grace.  Pray for them to have the peace of the Lord to know that whatever they are going through, God can handle it and bring them to the victory!  Do NOT take on offense – forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing since they are operating out of pain and they don’t know who you are in Christ.

Happy New Year 2023!

So many things in this world are still unsettling and can be stressful, but remember we rest in the work of Jesus’ from His crucificxtion on the cross that has granted us His protection, provision, and His peace that is not of this world. 

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Do not be afraid or troubled by the things of this world, we can tap into the peace of knowing that God has got this and He has a plan that will end with His glory and our eternal vacation. 

Memorize this verse and recite it often to keep your peace during this next year and to remove any stresses that come on you.  When we have peace in our lives, we open up ourselves to have joy, gratitude, and to bless others.

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