"God/the Spirit told me to [sin]..."

When I wrote this article, I read of a pastor and his wife in Colorado who stole over 1 billion dollars from their church and people. The pastor and his wife’s reason was that the Lord told them to do it. Oh, how many, many times I have heard this terrible reason for sinning: God or God’s Spirit told me to or led me to. Once again, like Paul’s habit was, this evangelist will reason out of the Scriptures (Acts 17:2), and I ask the reader to be like the noble Bereans (Acts 17:11) and search the Scriptures whether this is so. Notice these important truths:

  • -There is only “one Spirit” referring to God’s Holy Spirit (I Cor 12:13), yet there are any number of “seducing spirits” who try to deceive believers. (I Tim 4:1)
    -Believers are to “try the spirits whether they are of God.” (I Jn. 4:1)
    -God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is called the “Spirit of truth” (Jn. 14:17, 15:26, 16:13, I Jn. 4:6).
    -God’s Word likewise is called “truth” (Jn. 17:17) and “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17) referring to the fact that God’s Spirit of truth only uses God’s Word of truth as His weapon.
    -We also learn from Jn. 16:13 that God’s “Spirit of truth” does not “speak of himself”, but guides “you into all truth”. God’s spoken truth, the Bible, is the only thing His Holy Spirit hears and speaks.
  • Jn. 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

Contrary to common belief, this speaking of himself is not referring to the Holy Spirit not talking about Himself since He obviously and rightly talks about Himself a LOT in the Bible. No, if you continue reading past the phrase “speak of himself”, you learn that the Holy Spirit will only speak what He hears from God, in other words, God’s Word, the Bible, which is God’s “truth” and the Spirit’s sword.

  • -One may counter, “But God says we can pray for wisdom, and He promises to give it.” You are correct, and this is addressed in the article, “Myth #6 – ‘I prayed about [sinning]’”.
    -Here are Bible examples of true Spirit leading: Acts 8:29 and 39; Acts 10:19; 11:12; 11:28; Acts 16:7; Acts 21:4; and Rom. 8:26-27.
    -Examples this evangelist can give of those misusing God’s Spirit as an excuse to sin: skipping church (Heb. 10:25), not winning souls (Pro. 11:30), not tithing (Mt. 23:23), not keeping your word and promise (Jms. 5:12), speaking evil of a fellow believer (Jms. 4:11-12), and a myriad other sins and excuses.
    -God’s Spirit will never disobey or contradict God’s Word and lead you to sin. Stop blaming God and His Spirit for your sin.
  • James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

In conclusion, God’s Spirit of truth does not “speak of himself”, but only God’s Word of truth, the Bible. The Scriptures are the only sword the Holy Spirit wields. Other spirits might use God’s Word as a springboard, but they soon “speak of [themselves]” by using their own words, their opinions, their philosophies, etc…. Dear reader, when someone or something is trying to push you to accept their views, do not take their word for it. God’s Spirit of truth will only use God’s Word of truth to back up everything He “speaks”. Any word, thought, feeling, or practice that contradicts God’s Word is not from God’s Spirit, and God’s people must stop sinning and blaming God and His Spirit as the reason for their sin.

(This article is from the “Are You ‘More Noble’?” series.)