1 John 4 v 2 - 6

The ones who walked with Jesus and lived with Him whilst He was alive on the earth are the ones believers should listen to. That was vital to the Christians in John's day and it is still relevant to us today. We read the Gospels written by apostles and by those who got their information from those who walked with Jesus, notably Peter and Mary, the mother of Jesus. We read the other New Testament books written by James, the brother of Jesus; Peter; John; Luke and Paul-who declared himself an apostle as He had seen the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. The witnesses we are to listen to are the original followers of Jesus. This is vital when prophecy and tongues are encouraged in a fellowship: the words have to be consistent with the Bible and weighed up through Biblical teaching: they are not to be treated as superior or as a uniquely new voice. The church I grew up in was fairly standard, but there were occasional prophecies given from within the congregation. One person was a woman who had been blind from birth and she gave such wonderful words from the Lord, more ones of encouragement than prediction, but it was like she was reading verses from Song of Songs or the Psalms! As we have said before, when we are adopted by God into His family, we are given the Holy Spirit and it is He who gives us spiritual wisdom, understanding and discernment. That means that, if we are walking with Him and listening to Him, we will be able to discern what is good wholesome teaching and what is teaching that we need to check up on. As a child of God, your victory is complete as long as you continue to listen to God's voice and live a life of trust and obedience in Him. However, the charge is to remain vigilant. Every fellowship requires the actions of mature, Spirit-led men and women to keep it safe.

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