Timothy Bhambatha Nhlapo

The Biblical Injunction to discern and test the Spirits

This book is an academic and a scientific research project that was conducted for my Masters Degree. It was accepted by North West University in South Africa by a number of panel of examiners. When reading this book one will realize that not much has been alternated or tempered of its original stated, the intention was that it must always retain its academic and scientific status. That it must maintain its original authenticity to the reader as researched work.

There is no time in the history of the Church when it has be besieged by false prophets like these days. One will realize this especial in Africa where everyone who feels like been a pastor or prophet can do so without any prohibitions or prerequisites. Any person is at liberty to start his own church at any given moments. And their churches doctrines cannot be questioned by authorities or sound minded community members or other church leaders irrespective of age or qualifications. Most of these kind of churches are characterized by incredible and unfamiliar practices that are degrading human dignity and lethal to the members of the society. The intention of this book is to call the charismatic church leaders back to the basics. To caution them not to overlook and ignore the injunction to discern and test the spirits. Not to believe that all spirits are from God. But there is also the spirit of the anti-Christ that has come to deceive many (1 John 4:3–4). The injunction to discern and test spirits is the crucial aspect that seems to have been ignored by some church leaders these days. Although this has been the litmus test throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament that false prophets and the false teachings could be rejected. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were cautioned by God to distinguish between true and false prophets by the results of the prophecy, to say that if the prophecy comes to pass they will know that, that one is the true prophet. But if the prophecy does not come to pass, the nation must know that one is a false prophet and they must not listen to that kind of prophet because he is a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:20–22). One must think that it is a grievous error for the church to undermine or ignore the injunction to discern and test the spirits. One will think that this is the reason we see unfamiliar practices and teachings that are contrary to the Bible. Some practices are lethal to the congregants. Giving congregants petrol to drink, and feeding them grass, rodents, snakes and lizards to eat, spraying insecticides on their faces in the promise of miracle healing, including prophecies in the promise of prosperity, calls for serious concern. All of these are not only harmful towards people, but also degrading the message of the Gospel. The book of 1 John 4:3–4 states that we must not believe that all spirits are from God but that we must test the spirits. This book calls to all church leaders to test the spirits and to be cautious when dealing with any spirit or spiritual phenomenon or practice. The church leaders are called to be cautious when dealing with any person claiming to be a pastor, prophet or an apostle. Many false prophets have come out to deceive many in our communities but the church has no prophetic voice to provide leadership and rectify this kind of situation in the African continent.

301 printed pages
Original publication



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