Test All Things

1 Thessalonians 5:21–22 (NKJV) "Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil."

‎One of the greatest dangers warned about in Scripture is deception. "Oh, don't worry about me. I'll never be deceived!" If that is your sentiment, then friend, you are already deceived! The reality is that deceived people don't know they are deceived. If they did, they wouldn't be deceived! The most dangerous form of deception involves mixture. For instance, at one time a person may prophesy by the Spirit of God (1 Samuel 10:6, 10) and then later the same person can prophesy through a demonic spirit (1 Samuel 18:10). Many mistakenly assume that if a person speaks by the Spirit of God on one occasion then everything else they say must be from God. Remember Peter who spoke by the revelation of God in Matthew 16:16-17 and then as a spokesman of Satan in Matthew 16:22-23.  In regard to mixture, if we do not "test all things", then we will react in one of two ways: blind faith or cynicism. Blind faith focuses on the good and accepts the bad. Cynicism focuses on the bad and rejects the good. Both are wrong responses that will land us in opposite ditches along the pathway of truth. True discernment involves the process of testing by the Word of God. Testing enables us to discern and accept the good while rejecting the evil (Hebrews 5:14). We are living in dangerous spiritual times because people have drifted so far from the Word of God. As a result people have embraced false prophets who introduce doctrines of demons, lying signs, and false experiences. These false prophets first seek to gain credibility and influence among the flock as they "transform themselves into ministers of righteousness" (2 Corinthians 11:12-15) causing the simple to say, "What these men say is true!". Only then will they unpack their insidious doctrines. They first speak the truth and then bring in error to cover their own sins which they love. The true minister of righteousness will exhibit a lifestyle that agrees with the Word of God and lips that wholly speak what is true without mixture. In order to escape the deception of false prophets, we must be completely loyal to Christ, develop a love for the truth of God's Word, and never give our hearts to men or hold them in admiration. Don't be foolish, ignorant, gullible, or proud. Acknowledge your own vulnerability to deception apart from the razor sharp discernment of the Word of God. Obey the command of Scripture to test all things. Hold fast to what is good and abstain from every form of evil.