Subject 12 : The Faith of the Apostles Creed

● Sermon on the Holy Spirit 8 : Test the Spirits to See Whether They Are from God

( 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 )
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Verse 7 from the above passage says, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.” This tells us that Satan spread the authority of the Devil by working with his own power (not the works of the Holy Spirit), something that God does not want.
Those who are seized by the lawless one are, to put it plainly, those who have “the faith of witches,” not of Christians. These are those who devote themselves only to the gift of exorcism, other tongues, prophecies, healings, and other such works. They place more importance on what they claim to have seen, or what spiritual powers they claim to have received. But God said that He would end such works that block the truth.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 states, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
The works of Satan are manifested, for example, among those who claim to have the power to heal. Some Christians, including pastors, church officers, and laymen, go to all kinds of meetings to fill their void of power, from special mountain prayer meetings to special charismatic movement meetings and special gatherings for the laying on of hands. Such people hang onto God earnestly, wailing and fasting before Him. Their purpose is to get their ministry approved by men, believing that proper ministering can come about only when it is accompanied by the kind of charismatic power that is shown in the Bible. But when people thus try desperately to be clothed in God’s power, the Devil appears as Jesus and gives them his satanic power.

How Does the Mystery of Lawlessness Work?

Jude 1:11 states, “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” What, then, is the way of Cain? Cain went out from the presence of God after the Lord punished him. It was turning away from God. And turning against God is not believing in the gospel of the water, the blood and the Spirit given by the Lord.
Those who are seized by Satan work for money. The passage above continues, “they… have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit.” The pastors who are seized by Satan are ministering ultimately to make money. Imprisoned by Satan, they do the works of false prophets. These false prophets love it when their flocks bring in a great deal of money as their offerings to the church. They give their benediction for their flocks only when they cough up a lot of money, and when they don’t, then these false prophets do not bless them. Like this, those who minister while being seized by Satan are ministering ultimately for the sake of money.
If you hand out a lot of money, then they make you into a deacon or an elder as soon as possible. But if you do not cough up enough money, then you cannot become an elder at all.
The people to whom the above passage refers worked only for money. Who were they? The passage refers to Balaam, a prophet of the Old Testament, who led the people of Israel to fall into the secular world by selling them off for money. People who are like Balaam, and who work with the power of Satan, are the ones who work only for the sake of money.
The passage finally tells us that such people “perished in the rebellion of Korah.” These people formed their own parties and stood against God’s Church. People who love money will in the end turn into someone who stands against God.
Jude 1:12 states, “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots.”
Those who see people only in monetary terms are geniuses in deceiving others and are expert in robbing their naïve followers of money. Because Satan’s servants are the kind of shepherds who are only interested in feeding themselves, they do not think about the souls of the many at all. Even as people believe in Jesus, many of them are only exploited and have no peace of mind, with a constant anxiety over their sins and being driven insane by their worries.
Satan’s servants are the charismatically inclined religionists who plant false faith with lies by receiving the power of Satan. And whenever these people speak about the Bible, they mix in lies, and they know no shame. Therefore, the Bible describes them as “raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame” (Jude 1:13).
When the end times of this world come, demons will work even more hard, and so the servants of Satan will also exercise more power. In the end times, before Jesus Christ returns, Satan will work forcefully even inside the churches on this earth. Like this, demons will be run even more rampant then, driving out demons and prophesying.
What is the most important is for those who have not been born again even as they believe in Jesus to know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord, and thereby receive the remission of sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit. And by having the Holy Spirit, they must have eternal life. But the self-styled servants of God who are seized by Satan seek after only the blessings of the flesh, the power to heal, speaking in tongues and experiencing miracles as their sole wish and purpose. This is why these people always front the weird experiences given by Satan.
In today’s world, when someone starts to speak in other tongues in one of the famous prayer houses, people around this person applaud him/her for doing so. And those who are unable to speak in tongues are especially gathered together in a room where they are taught by a trainer how to speak in tongues, repeating, “Lul-lu-lujah, Lul-lu-lujah, Hallelujah.” When they try to utter this phrase faster, what they speak becomes incomprehensible gibberish, spewing out strange words as if running a bad recording tape (in trying to speak faster, people’s tongues get all tied up). When 80 percent of them have already lost their reason and their tongues are all tied up, how could any of them pronounce correctly? It is because people receive the laying on of hands from the fanatics who are possessed by demons that they themselves become possessed as these demons move onto them and dwell in their hearts. It is because they are demon-possessed that they speak demonic words.
Do not be deceived by the works of demons, but believe that the true Holy Spirit works in the hearts and surroundings of those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit written in the Bible. Even now, the lawless works of demons are unfolding among those who pursue charismatic faith.

But Even If You Repent on That Day

Matthew 7:22-23 also states, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
Many people believe that acting as a prophet in the name of the Lord, driving out demons, and doing wonders in His name are all the works of God and of the Holy Spirit. There are people in today’s Christianity who claim that driving out demons is the work of the Holy Spirit. When some ministers seem to bring about wonders, they undoubtedly regard all of them as the works of the Holy Spirit.
But the Word says that such things are not the works of the Holy Spirit. It clearly records that such power of driving out demons, signs, miracles, and doing wonders are the works of Satan. Yet despite this, people believe them to be the works of the Holy Spirit. Satan’s works come to those who are to be destroyed, and people who pursue such signs and miracles cannot be saved. Therefore, the Bible warns us, saying, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
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The Faith of the Apostles’ Creed - The Elementary Principles of CHRIST