vrijdag 31 oktober 2014

Testing (charismatic/supernatural) inspiration and messages in pastoral care and in the church

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all;hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

1 Thess. 5: 19-22 (NIV)

Guidelines for testing (charismatic/supernatural) inspiration/messages spoken on Gods behalf:

- Examine the message ( regardless of the circumstances or the person who is the

- Evaluate the message in light of the teachings of Jesus and his example

- Select whatever  information has passed the test and see evaluate how this can be

- Communicate this information in a loving, humble and gentle manner to the person (s) for
  whom the message is intended

- Keep a record of the information for future reference

Please note:

Spectacular circumstances do not make a message more or less true!
This applies whether a person speaks with authority or confidence or in meekness. The silent voice of a child may at times convey more truth than the thunderous voice of a charismatic figure. Never assume that God cannot speak through a particular person because he is not a committed Christian or because he/she wrestles with certain problems. If God could speak a donkey in the Bible and through pagan kings and an apostate high priest then He can speak through anyone!!! We should never reject a message just because we do not like the messenger or think he is not really fit to be a messenger. God is so much greater than all our human limitations!!!

No-one is immune for deception!
Even if we do like the 'postman '  it should not be a factor. The character or appearance of a person, even if he/she is very friendly, polite and loving, or is full of spiritual authority, does not make a message more or less true. No one is immune to deception by the evil God can use anyone and at the same time . We should always test the message and keep what is good.

It is never about the messenger but about the message and about whether it honors Christ!
God is not a respecter of persons (rom. 2:11). It is never about the messenger but about the message!!! Even if the 'postman ' does great wonders, signs and miracles this does not validate his/her message. Many in the charismatic/Pentecostal movement have been misled by the idea that those who are used mightily by God are immune from error. This is tantamount to blind hero worship and idolatry. We must never be followers of any person. Even if the messenger is well known and famous and has many books to his name; even if the messenger is blessed with wealth and success; even if the messenger has a large group of followers; this does not validate their message. The only validation any message gets is that it agrees with Christ and His explicit teachings!!!

Even the greatest servants of God can be misled!
Even if someone has been mightily used by God in the past, or is mightily used today it does not mean that he/she has become immune to deception. The Apostle Peter spoke one moment full of the Spirit and accepted Jesus as Lord and God but shortly afterwards he was deceived because of his fear of losing his dear friend Jesus and he became a mouthpiece of Satan trying to discourage Jesus from going the way of the cross. Yet he was still the one of whom Jesus had said "on this rock I will build my church."  Peter’s example shows that nothing, not even the greatest miracle, should dissuade us to test everything in the light of Christ and his teachings. He is the Lord who has all authority (Matt. 28:18) and only His teaching is essential for discipleship (Matt. 28:19). Therefore everything, including every thought and idea must be subjected to Him in obedience. So test everything and keep what is good in His eyes!!!

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