How to Spot a Counterfeit


daily text logoApril 22, 2015

1 John 2:26-29

I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.


new-truthWe don’t need to be afraid of those who would try to “lead us astray,” but we must be aware of them. They are as active in the twenty-first century as they were in the first century.

One of the marks of a maturing follower of Jesus is a humble boldness born of a deep inner conviction about what is true, which consequently gives one discernment about what is false. This comes from the Holy Spirit.

But how can you know it is from the Holy Spirit and that you are not being self deceived?

Test your sense of discernment by the whole counsel of Scripture.

Is your discernment contrary to the teaching of Scripture? Does it require a stretched and strained interpretation of Scripture to reconcile with your sense of discernment? If so, there’s a good chance you may be opening yourself up to false teaching.

False teaching can take root so quickly because of the way it builds a consensus in the present through bullying the truth of the past by the sheer strength of numbers. Never mind that it flies in the face of the truth as it has always been taught and understood for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Jesus gave some pretty explicit teaching about the Holy Spirit along these lines.

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:25-26.

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” John 16:12-15. 

The Holy Spirit is always doing a new thing, but revealing new truth? Not so much.

The best way to detect the “counterfeit” is not by studying counterfeits, but by by studying the authentic article. It’s why John keeps insisting that we stick with the message we first received– day after day after day.

We don’t need to be afraid of those who would try to “lead us astray,” but we must be aware of them. They are as active in the twenty-first century as they were in the first century.

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.

All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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