Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, Nov. 5, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. For more outlines, including a zipped file of all of my 1999 sermon outlines, click on the link at the bottom of this note, and go to our website:

THE SPIRIT OF ERROR

By Michael D. O'Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:1-21

Text: 1 John 4:6

1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Introduction: The Bible speaks of "the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." The spirit of truth is God's Spirit, the Holy Ghost. He is a person. He is God, manifest in spirit. He guides into TRUTH.

The spirit of error is any of many spirits in this world. They are UNholy spirits, called unclean spirits, or devils, in God's word. Their origin is a mystery, although some Bible students believe they are the disembodied spirits of sons of God, fallen angels, who inhabited a preadamic earth. They inhabit all lost people, and they trouble saved people. They guide into ERROR.

Have you ever asked, or heard someone ask, "Where did you come up with THAT idea?" or "Why did you think THAT?" or "What possessed you to say THAT?" Well, it could be that the answer to each of those questions is: THE SPIRIT OF ERROR.

You can identify the spirit of error by observing where the spirit leads:

I. THE SPIRIT OF ERROR LEADS YOU TO THE WRONG PREACHING

1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

1 Corinthians 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

The wrong preaching consists of:

A. Teaching that does not call for a commitment

B. Theories of man to scratch itching ears

C. Terms designed to impress a worldly mind

II. THE SPIRIT OF ERROR LEADS YOU TO THE WRONG PRACTICE

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

The spirit of error leads you into the world's temptations:

A. Sinful pleasure - the lust of the flesh

B. Seeking possessions - the lust of the eyes

C. Self-promotion - the pride of life

III. THE SPIRIT OF ERROR LEADS YOU TO THE WRONG PRECEPTS

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

A. Precepts of unclean spirits

B. Precepts of unbelief

C. Precepts of ungodliness

IV. THE SPIRIT OF ERROR LEADS YOU TO THE WRONG PEOPLE

1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

A. It will lead you to the wrong crowd

B. It will lead you to the wrong counsellors

C. It will lead you to the wrong companions

V. THE SPIRIT OF ERROR LEADS YOU TO THE WRONG PLACE

Matthew 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

If you are lost, it will lead you to

A. Damnation

If you are saved, it will lead you to

B. Defilement

C. Discouragement

D. Discontentment

E. Doubt

F. Defeat


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