Watch what you eat: a practical guide to knowing why we should 'test the spirits'


Our diets determine the amount of nutrition our body receives. If we have a healthy diet, we're sure to have a healthy body especially when coupled with exercise. A nutrient-poor diet, however, assures us that we won't have enough nutrition. What we eat determines our health.

In the same way, our spiritual health depends on the kind of spiritual diet that we have. Do we have enough heart-level understanding of Scripture? Do we couple it with prayer, worship, biblical encouragement from godly fellowship, and obedience to the Word?

Watch what you eat

Having fellowships and Bible readings, however, aren't enough. 1 John 4:1 tells us, "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."

We are commanded to validate and verify if what we receive is true. Receiving, believing, following a wrong teaching assures us that we'll go nowhere near where God wants us to be.

In short, we should watch what we eat.

Jesus' very words

The Lord Jesus Himself warned us about such danger. In Matthew 24:24, He said, "false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God's chosen ones."

What will their message be? "Look, here is the Messiah" coupled with signs and wonders, pretending to be Jesus (see Matthew 24:23).

Sounds scary, right?

What happens if the people of God believe these false teachings? "And many will turn away from me (Jesus) and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold." (Matthew 24:10-12)

Whoa. Compared to having the wrong physical diet, having the wrong spiritual diet consisting of false "biblical" teachings is pretty deadly. It's even scarier because the effects of this reach out to eternity.

What's the right diet, then?

The right diet, my friends, is pretty simple. 1 John 4:2-3 says, "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 (or live out) 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." 

Friends, our diet is Christ Himself. This is why we celebrate communion, to remind us of His bodily life, death and resurrection. This is why we carry our cross daily, to remind us of what He has done.

"And Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.'" (John 6:35)