So Just How do we “Test the Spirits?”

Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

2Co 11:3-4 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (4) For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough….2Co 11:14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

1John 4:1-2 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (2) By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

We are seeing claims of late that Jesus Christ has appeared as a so-called “light man.” The claim made is that since the Bible says God is light and Christ is the Light of the world and so on, then if someone reports that “the light man” appeared to them and said he was Jesus bringing them salvation, we must at minimum believe that such a claim is possibly valid. Even if it is made by a woman who claims to have been molested as a child by Billy Graham, Richard Nixon, and other notables who were all part of a secret conglomeration conspiracy organization consisting of the CIA, the Masons, the Roman Catholic Church, and others. The woman insists that at the age of six she was held in a cage with other children in subterranean levels of an army base and these children told her that they used to get visited by “the light man”.  When asked during an interview what does that mean, the woman said,  “they (the other children) described him and I said to them, “oh yeah, I know him.  That’s Jesus Christ.’”

And now we are being told that if we don’t believe these reports then we are denying the ways that Christ works today, that we are refusing to help abuse victims, and worse.  But this is not Christ. Nope. It is not, and I will tell you why.

First of all, the Bible warns us repeatedly against believing such alleged visions. Here are some examples:

  1. The passage from Galatians one, quoted above. Here we see that it is likely that this “light man” is what Paul calls “another Jesus.” It doesn’t matter, says Paul, if that vision is one of some supposed angelic light being. Even such an apparent glorious being that claims to be an angel is able to bring a false gospel.
  2. The passage from 2 Corinthians 11 quoted above. Paul warns us that the devil himself can appear as an “angel of light.” I suspect that he is referring to the serpent’s deceptive form in his appearance to Adam and Eve in Eden
  3. And then we are warned by the Apostle John that “many” antichrists have gone out and therefore we must carefully “test” the spirits to see if they are from God.

Any so-called teacher today who merely announces the claim that “the light man” has appeared because someone claimed he showed up to them and therefore we are to believe that this apparition is very possibly Jesus, is at best ignorant and more likely a plain false teacher working to draw the naive into the devil’s realm.

It is not enough, you see, to declare “the light man” has appeared and spoken. Oh no. As you can see from the scriptures above, such a claim is to be carefully tested. How? How do you, for instance, “test a spirit”?

You compare the nature and message of the spirit with the nature and message of Jesus Christ as recorded for us objectively in the Scriptures.

So, consider. Is a post-ascension appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ a normal, expected avenue by which He communicates Himself and His Word to human beings? Certainly not. Yes, the risen and ascended Lord appeared to Saul of Tarsus, calling Saul to take the gospel to the Gentiles. And He appeared to the Apostle John on Patmos, revealing to John the things which are to come. Paul was caught up into the third heaven, seeing visions of things he could not even describe.

But notice the obvious. These men were chosen apostles. And by them, inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Lord “inscripturated” His Word, as we say. That is, the New Testament body of Scripture was written and completed. The Bible is not still being written today. We have been given a complete Word by Christ and His apostles, that revelation being confirmed as God’s Word, as Hebrews says:

Heb 2:3-4 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, (4) while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

See it? First Jesus declared the Word, then “those who heard” (the apostles) attested that Word as truly the Word of God, and through the additional witness of signs and wonders and miracles (Jesus’ healings, miracles performed by the apostles, the outpouring on Pentecost of the Holy Spirit), we were given even further attestation.

Why? So that we are without excuse if we neglect such a great salvation. God’s revelation of Himself in His Son to us is absolutely clear. And, in fact, Jesus says this about people who are all the time looking for “more” –

Mat 12:39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

In other words, the resurrection of Christ was the ultimate evidence given to us by God that Christ is His Son and that His Word is truth. People who go about looking for “more,” (and there are always plenty of them), insisting that a “light man” or some other supposed divine vision has come to them are people who are an evil, adulterous people. Rather than rest in Christ and His truth that has been given to us, they always crave for more, more, more. This is wicked unbelief. And in the end they and all who follow them get less, less, less, until the Light of Christ goes out for them forever.

You say the “light man” appears to people and He is Jesus? I say, no he isn’t. He is either the lie of a person seeking exaltation for themselves or a demonic being parading as an angel of light. And I guarantee that all we would need to do is look carefully into what such a “light man” does and says, hold him up to the mirror of Scripture, and we will find that the liar and his servants have indeed been at work.

Mat 24:22-27 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. (23) Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. (24) For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (25) See, I have told you beforehand. (26) So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. (27) For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.