Thursday, April 26, 2012

Checking For Spiritual Counterfeits

Useless as a counterfeit
A counterfeit is defined as a copy of something made in order to defraud or deceive people. It is also defined as something that pretends in order to deceive somebody. 

We all hate counterfeits. Not to mention, counterfeit money! I mean, just think about what it would be like to receive a bundle of $100 dollar bills and to later on find out that they were all counterfeit money! No matter how REAL they may look like, anything that is counterfeit is USELESS in the end.

Perhaps the worst kind of counterfeit is what we can call the "Spiritual Counterfeit." This here is something that will affect not only your present life on earth, but will affect your eternal destination as well! Who would want to have something that promises them heaven, but in the end will prove to be as useless as that bundle of cash in the after life? Just ponder upon Jesus' own words:
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22-23)
Spiritual counterfeits are just like their tangible counterparts. They are just a copy of what is real, and they are made in order to defraud or deceive. The Bible cautioned us about these spiritual counterfeits, describing them as wolves in sheep's clothing! (see Matthew 7:15).

Many spiritual counterfeits come looking like the real thing, sounding like the Truth, and acting like they really are the real deal. And just like any good counterfeit money out there, you have got to look closely into the subtleties in order to recognize that what you have in your hand isn't real after all.

Checking things out at ALL times

Counterfeit money can go unnoticed if unchecked. Business owners find dealing with counterfeits a headache. For one, there is no way to be compensated for accepting the fake money and the end scenario is a loss of profit. We are just fortunate today to already have measures to detect the bad bills. 

Today, we see clerks almost always check the cash that come their way for the very reason that even $1 and $5 bills are being faked. One just have to make sure to check everything out nowadays to detect whether it is fake or not. 

Much like the counterfeit money, we ought to also develop that REGULAR HABIT of checking everything spiritual that comes our way. John, the apostle, even made mention about this in his epistle in 1 John 4:1, 

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God

because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (KJV)

Even the apostle Paul warns us about spiritual counterfeits in his letter to the Galatians when he said,

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8)

How to spot a counterfeit
So, how exactly do we check to know if something is a counterfeit? More importantly, how do we know how to spot a SPIRITUAL counterfeit?

Well, the answer would be similar to how people detect any kind of counterfeit... STUDY & KNOW THE ORIGINAL TO BE SO FAMILIAR WITH IT THAT ANY SUBTLE DEVIATION FROM IT CAN BE EASILY DETECTED. 

People who are experts on historic documents, paintings, signatures and the like only study and become well-versed with the original. They become so familiar with how the original looks like that any subtle deviation from the original becomes easily apparent to them. 

That is how we spot a spiritual counterfeit as well. We ought to STUDY and become very familiar with the original source of TRUTH, and that is the Word of God. The Bible tells us this:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed
rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

In order for us to know how to spot a spiritual fake, the Bible tells us that we must STUDY the Word of Truth. 

Now many will try to tell us that they have the word of Truth, a revelation from God, or a divine appointed from God. So, we also must know where to get the Word of Truth! Well, here is what the Bible tells us:

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17)

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: 
the words that I speak unto youthey are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD
and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23:29)

As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. (Psalm 18:30)

Every word of God is pure
he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Proverbs 30:5)
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, 
purified seven times. (Psalm 12:6)
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16)

Today, we use a kind of light to check for counterfeit money. It is the quickest way to check for fakes and everything is exposed the moment it is exposed to this light. 

Spiritual counterfeits can also be easily exposed through the Light. And if you wonder what light exposes fake spirits, listen to what the Bible says...

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Beloved, TEST everything against the perfect and pure Word of God. Do not rely on the words of mere man. Study the Word of God always in order to equip yourself with the TRUTH!

Come to the LIGHT of His Word to expose what is not true! Get in the habit of TESTING EVERYTHING as they come your way! 

In the end, if someone comes to you claiming to have authority over things including the "interpretation" of God's Word, keep in mind this one important reminder from the LORD...

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in prices. (Psalm 118:8-9)

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