In order to understand the context of this verse, it is essential to look at the verses preceding our featured verse. 1 John 4:1-3 tells us, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already." First, we need to know that this epistle (letter) was written by John for Christian believers (primarily Gentiles). His audience, none other than the Body of Christ (The Church---the Called out Ones, Born-Again, John 3:3). It's extremely important that we understand---not all of God's promises in His Word applies to everybody on earth. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22 clearly tells us, "For all the promises of God are "Yes" in Christ. And so through Him, our "Amen" is spoken to the glory of God. Now it is God who establishes both us and you in Christ. He anointed us, placed His seal on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a pledge of what is to come." Knowing the context of a passage can help us effectively share the Word of God and avoid misleading or twisting the meaning of the Scripture. Those who reject Christ will not have spiritual understanding about God, His ways and His Kingdom. So, I would like to share what my Life Application Bible shared about our highlighted verses today. As much as it was timely in the time of John and the Apostles, we find these verses applicable today. So for all my fellow believers in Christ, it explains, "Do not believe the spirit, but test the spirits" means that we shouldn't believe everything we hear just because someone says it is a message inspired by God. There are many ways to test teachers to see if their message is truly from the Lord. One is to check to see if their words match what God says in the Bible. Other tests include their commitment to the body of believers (1 John 2:19), their lifestyles (1 John 3:23-24), and the fruit of their ministries (1 John 4:6). But the most important test of all, says John, is what they believe about Christ. Do they teach that Jesus is fully God and fully man? Our world is filled with voices claiming to speak for God. Give them these tests to see if they are indeed speaking God's Truth. The antichrist will be a person who epitomizes all that is evil, and he will be readily received by an evil world. He is more fully described in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 and Revelation 13. The "spirit of the antichrist" is already here. Those who reject Christ are unknowingly or consciously siding with the spirit of the antichrist. It is easy to be frightened by the wickedness we see all around us and overwhelmed by the problems we face. Evil is obviously much stronger than we are (compared to our human abilities). John assures us, however, that God is even stronger. He will conquer all evil---and His Spirit and His Word live in our hearts!
You see, these timely verses from 1 John 4:1-4 both warned and comforted me as I was reminded of the things I saw at the first ever State of the Union (SOTU) address by our POTUS, Donald Trump, last Tuesday night. I thank God for all the great accomplishments He made possible through our President that helped our country rise economically while restoring faith and love for God, family and our nation, I applauded the many men and women who sacrificially placed themselves in harms way just to save others from danger. I rejoiced in the courage of one North Korean man who fled from tyranny and injustice showing the crutches he used in his journey to freedom. There were many others that shared stories of bravery, courage, resilience in tragedy, success and hope. I also had my share of disappointment when the POTUS talked about a proposal to offer DACA (Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals) Amnesty to more than 2 million illegals and a path to citizenship for the so called "Dreamers" in exchange for the Wall funding which I believe is a step in the wrong direction. But hey, I take my concerns to the Lord! If there's anyone who can change a man's heart, it is God! But my story does not stop here...As I watched the full coverage of the SOTU, it is crystal to me that the spirit of the antichrist have completely saturated one political party. It is disgusting to see these so-called leaders of this nation display utter disrespect, gross hatred and despicable selfishness proudly displayed/broadcast for all Americans to see. With few exceptions, they (as a group) made it clear there's nothing good to be expected of them. On things that matter to every American such as millions of jobs created, higher wages, employee bonuses, low African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates, securing our border, respect for our flag and national anthem, destruction of the Islamic State (ISIS), lower prescription drugs, fighting opioid epidemic, recognizing Israel as Jewish capital and "In God We Trust" among others, they refused to stand/applaud (show any kind of respect). What they succeeded to do is this---to show (without a shadow of a doubt) that they are anti-God/Christ, anti-American/people and anti-Trump--- in that order. It's appalling to see how deranged they'd become, allowing themselves to be filled with satanic hatred. Call it harsh but there's no other way to describe it! They can no longer distinguish between right from wrong and utter darkness filled their hearts. I'm not saying this to build up the other party. No individual is perfect. But as a group who truly hates America and everything it stands for---it's undeniable! If you are a God-fearing individual who loves your country and are thankful for your blessing as a citizen of this nation, go and watch this SOTU VIDEO and see for yourself. Only spiritually blind people (have no reverence for Christ) can look at these ungodly politicians and agree with their behavior. Somebody asked me (with sarcasm), "How do you know who are the ungodly and liberals" from the politicians at the SOTU. I answered with Matthew 7:17-20 which says, "Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." I submit to you that the primary reason we see these blind and rotten politicians today is because these people first rejected/denied Christ. They exchange the knowledge of God to advance their careers---pursuing riches, power and fame. Proverbs 2:6 says it all, "For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." Should we put the blame on those who elected them to office? But you see, the deceived elects another deceived. The blind leads another blind. The only cure to their terminal disease---the knowledge of Christ! As believers, we are to continue to share God's Word, refuse to be bullied by the left's rhetoric, elect and support God-fearing men and women to office or if called by God---run for office ourselves and continue to fight for what is right in the sight of God. There is a reason why today's believers are called at this time and age. By the grace of God, let us raise up our voice, shut the lies with the Word of Truth, pray---take charge---and conquer! Hey, we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus! Whose with me?
For this Card, I used the stamped images from Hampton Art and colored them with my Touch Five and Prismacolor markers. The card measures 4.25 x 5.75 inches. The colored CS used are from Paper Studio, the glitters from Stickles (Crystal) and the nail head gems from Imaginisce. I also ran this card through my sewing machine for those fancy stitches. It's my first time to try this card style and would like to thank the inspiration VIDEO from Dawn's Stamping Thoughts. She has a lot of videos on different card styles that I will surely try in my upcoming projects. So much fun!
GREATER IS HE STEP PANEL CARD
GREATER IS HE STEP PANEL CARD FLATTENED (For Mailing)
GREATER IS HE STEP PANEL CARD MESSAGE SPACE
GREATER IS HE STEP PANEL CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX
This Card is entered into the following Challenges:
Art Impressions---Sweet Treats
As You Like It---Fave Way to Add Stitching (Real of course)
Cards for Galz---Think Pink
CRAFT---Three of a Kind (Clouds/Nail head Gems)
Crafting with Attitude---ATG
Little Miss Muffet---ATG
Star Stampz---Valentine/Lots of Pink or Red
Crafty Gals Corner---ATG
A Bit More Time---ATG
A Perfect Time---ATG
Crafts Galore Encore---ATG
Createful Heart---ATG/Add a Heart
Digistamps 4 Joy---ATG/I Love You
Love to Craft---ATG
Scor-Pal---More than One Score
Not Just Cards---ATG
One Crazy Stamper---ATG
Worldwide Open DT---ATG
Make sure you join us at WAW Challenge. You can use the free Word Art in your creation and link it to our Challenge but is not a requirement. As long as it's family-friendly, uplifting and inspirational, you can enter up to 5 times each week. Our Challenge winners will be awarded wonderful prizes by our awesome sponsors---The Project Bin ($15 GC) and Imagine That! (Digis). So excited to see what you come up with. Anyway, cheer up as we meditate on the name of Jesus today. There is power in His Name and it's available to everyone that believes.