1 John 4 (NIV)
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.
Psalm 16:1-4 (NIV)
1 Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” 3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” 4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.
What is a true spirit? Heck, what is truth? Truth (it seems to me) is the varying shades of light you wish to shine into the corners of an issue. If you point your light in this corner, you’ll see x. If you point your light in another corner, you’ll see y. If you swing in another direction, you’ll see… whatever you want to see. Your truth is where you want to point the light the brightest. If you turn the light on in the middle of the room, you’ll see lots of stuff, but might miss the truth that you saw when you shined the light in the corner. Some truth is subjective. Some truth is a feeling. Some truth will never be agreed upon and, for me, I question whether that is then even a truth. This kind of truth is open to interpretation. So, what is truth and where is truth?
There is one truth, and even that truth has been challenged from the beginning, yet holds firm in the face of the challenge. When we shine our light away from the corner we wish to focus on and instead look to The Light, things become clear. Yes, we have had false prophets who wish to shine the light away from the true word of God – and have from the very beginning (1 John was written around 100 AD and he’s addressing the issue already). We have deceivers today who claim Christ but you couldn’t tell by their lives. We have false doctrine fooling many. And so it is.
The truth is that “You are the Lord, and apart from you I have no good things.” That is truth, and even though many wish to shine the light in the opposite corner it doesn’t change that it’s the truth.
“The more pure and holy any doctrine is, the more likely to be of God; nor can we by any other rules try the spirits whether they are of God or not. And what wonder is it, that people of a worldly spirit should cleave to those who are like themselves, and suit their schemes and discourses to their corrupt taste?” (Matthew Henry Bible Commentary – written in the early 1700’s)
Read that last paragraph again please.
Truth is in the eye of the beholder. Train your eye on the source of truth. Anything less is just not (completely) true.