Here, in the verse I have quoted above, is the essence of how having real faith is the key to understanding scripture. It is only those who have faith, those who know God personally, who will listen to John and the other apostles and prophets. This is so true of my own experience. It wasn’t until I had heard the call of Jesus, and then committed my life to him, that I felt compelled to read and obey the scriptures in the Holy Bible. The other lesson here, is that we should never just believe someone because they say they are a prophet. We should test them. The evidence of whether they know Jesus or not, will be evident in their behaviour and their attitudes. We should be able to sense if Jesus is in their heart by the way they actually live their daily lives, regardless of what they say they believe.
1 John 4:1-6 NLT
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
My goal is to live according to what I believe. I believe that the scriptures contain the eternal truth of God the Father almighty. I believe he has called his people, his children, to live together in love and harmony by the example of his son Jesus, who died as the ultimate and perfect sacrifice for the sins of all the world, past, present and future. I believe that we can hear from God through the gift of the presence of the Holy Spirit, sent as a confirmation of the new covenant to all who believe in the name of Jesus. I believe that when we read scripture as believers, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can hear the voice of God speaking to us now, through the words of the prophets and apostles who wrote it down all that time ago.
Daniel 11:36-12:13, 1 John 4:21, Psalms 123:1-4, Proverbs 29:2-4