On a Mission to Michigan

Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray (Matthew 24:11, ESV).

Recently, as I was riding my bike south on a bike path south of Springfield, Ohio, I noticed a fellow cyclist with his bike upside down. Following the golden rule of bicycling, I stopped to see if I could help. 

The stranded cyclist said, “I’m on a mission to Michigan.”  

This statement wasn’t expected, but I could see that his chain had come off and that he was attempting to reinstall it. After explaining his urgent Michigan mission, he asked if I could help replace it. 

I tried and failed, too. 

With nothing more that I could do, I left him stranded. However, I was discouraged by his fate because I firmly believe that Michigan needs a mission!

For the next 24 hours, I wondered if the “thrown” chain was fixed, about the mission to Michigan, and how we know the difference between false teaching/prophecy and God legitimately speaking to us.

I came up with three scriptural tests defining false or correct prophecy.

First: The Jesus Test

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God (1 John 4:2).

This isn’t a simple statement of, “I believe in Jesus,” but affirmation in our spirit that the Holy Spirit is working in the person claiming a vision or mission from God.

God has given His followers discernment, which will sound an alarm when a false prophet promotes himself or demons rather than Jesus.

Second: The Emotional Stability Test

Jesus said, “You will recognize them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16). 

Scripture defines fruit as: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

The fruit of the Spirit creates stable emotional composure.

False teaching can’t produce the true fruit of the Spirit, but it can counterfeit it. Those who have trained their senses to discern good from evil (Hebrews 5:14) will know the difference.

Third: The Good News Test!

If we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8).

False teaching prospers on fear, anxiety, and disunity. We witness this in politics, doctrines of the flesh, and the outworkings of many protests around our country.

Let’s contrast turmoil with the good news of peace!

That’s my three tests.

The day after encountering the “thrown chain” bicyclist, I was riding north of Springfield, heading south back to town. While riding, I heard a loud voice—and the loud voice was quoting the book of Genesis.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 

I looked up and saw the “thrown chain” bicyclist riding towards me with a large boom box strapped around his neck and dangling like a large necklace. 

The earth was without form and void.

I flagged him down and said, “I see you got your chain fixed.”  

He replied, “Yes, after you left, I prayed, and all my ancestors reached through my hands and fixed it. And if that isn’t proof that God exists, I don’t know what else would be.”

Then, he remounted his bike and continued riding north.

I believe that he was still on his mission to Michigan. I think that TTUN (That Team Up North) needs to hear a reading of the book of Genesis and to be honest, so do The Ohio State Buckeyes.

We all do!

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