The Litmus Test
The Oxford dictionary defines ‘litmus’ as “a blue colouring-matter which can be turned red by acids and can be restored to blue by alkalis. Litmus paper, which contains litmus, is used to test whether a solution is acid or alkaline.” Testing for acidity is an important function in many trades, as any engineer, scientist, doctor, chemist or gardener will tell you. In the Bible we are told to ‘test the spirits,’ to ‘prove all things’ whether they be good or evil, beneficial or harmful. The Bible says:
1 Thess. 5:
|20: Despise not prophesyings.
21: PROVE ALL THINGS; hold fast that which is good.
Why is testing necessary in spiritual matters? The answer is because we are on a spiritual battlefield and every one of us is engaged in a life or death contest. Failure to recognise error can be fatal. Concerning this spiritual battle the Bible says:
|12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Anyone who watches nature films on TV will know that at every level of life there are predators and potential victims. Even the humblest creature, be it a worm, an insect or a gazelle, needs to be on constant guard if it wants to stay alive. Because lurking in the background, unseen and unheard are hungry predators waiting to pounce and devour. The Bible says:
1 Peter 5:
|8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.|
2. False Prophets
How does Satan work? After all, none of us have ever seen him or heard him speak. Does Satan exist? And if so, where is he? How is it possible to wrestle with an enemy you cannot see or feel or hear? Who and where is this ‘roaring lion’ the Apostle Peter is writing about? We find the inspired answer throughout Scripture; but mainly in some Old Testament experiences involving pagan religions and false prophets. The Bible says:
|13: And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in BAAL, and caused my people Israel to err.
14: I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
15: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.
16: Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
17: They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
The stunning thing about this whole drama is that the general public loves to feed on this spiritual broth of paganism and falsehood. Currently there are many thousands of Christian sects, cults and groups with a registered membership. Add to them the billions from the other faiths: Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, the Occult and New Age religions etc. and one is faced with a befuddling choice of faiths, all claiming to be the Truth! Some say: “Just believe what you think is best and do as you please. Select the faith that suits you best. They all lead to God anyway and what difference does it make.” That’s what many people think. The Bible says:
|30: A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;
31: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
3. Why is Falsehood Permitted?
No doubt some will ask: “But why does God Almighty allow falsehood to continue, especially when it contains some truth? What is His divine objective? We find His answer in this Bible passage:
|1: If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2: And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3: Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4: Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5: And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; BECAUSE he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
In short, God allows falsehood to exist in order to see whether or not we will wholeheartedly love Him and keep His commandments.
4. Your Reaction to Truth
Religious authorities react to truth in a variety of ways.
- The FIRST reaction is to fight it. “Forget about the rights and wrongs involved, this teaching goes against the popular beliefs of the masses. So it cannot be right. Fight it! Stop it – immediately!”
- The SECOND is to silently ignore it. “Let’s wait and see what happens. Let it run its course. Don’t say anything. Don’t make a decision – for or against. Just bide your time, be patient, be neutral, be quiet, then no one can blame you for being wrong.” This is the easiest and most popular reaction to truth. It is the choice of the majority.
- The THIRD reaction is to study the Scriptures to see what the LORD God of Israel says about it.
|8: Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die…
11: Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.
12: Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard.
13: Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.
14: As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you.
15: But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.
16: Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God.
5. God Hands People Over to Vile Affections
How we react to His truth determines how the Almighty reacts to us.
He does not sit back twiddling His thumbs doing nothing. He reacts to our actions. He blinds or gives more vision. He blesses or curses. He walks with you or He turns away! He always reacts to our actions. Fix that stunning and vital fact in your mind. Notice how He reacted to king Ahab’s sins.
1 Kings 22:
|20: And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
21: And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.
22: And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
23: Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
In the New Testament we are told of how God reacts to people who, though knowing the marvels of Creation, refuse to accept the fact that the universe came into being by special creation not Evolution. The Bible says: God hands them over to a reprobate mind and VILE AFFECTIONS: homosexuality, fornication, adultery, murder, pride and without natural affection. Believe it or not, that is exactly what our generation is being handed over to. Like king Ahab of old, this generation is charging headlong to its destruction!
|18: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19: Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20: For the invisible things of him from the CREATION of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22: Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23: And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24: Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the CREATOR, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29: Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30: Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31: Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
6. The Ecumenical Movement
In a desperate effort to be taken seriously by our ‘couldn’t-care-less society,’ the Christian churches are now coming together in an ‘Ecumenical Movement.’ They are seeking world-wide unity! Alas, they are not uniting under the banner of Bible truth and righteousness, but under a hazy, watery constitution which allows everyone to believe what they want; so long as they ‘love one another and keep the peace.’ The laws and doctrines by which the Bible Prophets, Apostles and Reformers lived and died, are jettisoned in favour of smooth-sounding clichés which will eventually accommodate all the religions of the world! All will find repose under the so-called ‘banner of love and peace!’
‘But,’ someone will say, ‘isn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t we be against bigotry? Shouldn’t we unite under one banner? What does it matter if a few doctrines are jettisoned on the way and the Pope is accepted as the Head of the Christian Church?’
Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones once told his congregation at Westminster Chapel in London:
|‘I remind you that the Protestant Reformers were not just bigoted zealots or fools. Their eyes were opened by the Holy Spirit; Luther, Calvin, Knox, all of them. They saw this horrible monstrosity depicted in the Bible and the warning against it. At the risk of even losing their lives they stood up and protested. They confronted Rome,…
The Roman Catholic Church is a counterfeit, a sham, it represents prostitution of the worst and most diabolic kind. It is indeed a form of the antichrist; it is to be rejected and denounced, but above all, it is to be countered. And there is only one thing that can counter it and that is a Biblical, doctrinal Christianity. A Christianity that merely teaches “Come to Jesus” cannot stand before Rome. People who hold evangelistic campaigns and say, “Are you Roman Catholics? Go back to your church,” are denying New Testament teaching. We must warn them.” (Bible League Quarterly October/December 1981)
Speaking in the 1880s, Dr H Grattan Guiness voiced this staggering commentary on Apostacy in the Christian church.
|“I see the great Apostacy, I see the desolation of Christendom, I see the smoking ruins, I see the monsters; I see those vice-gods, that Gregory V11, that Innocent 111, that Boniface V111, that Alexander V1, that Gregory X111, that Pius 1X.
I see their long succession, I hear their insufferable blasphemies, I see their abominable lives; I see them worshipped by blinded generations, bestowing hollow benedictions, bartering lying indulgences, creating a paganized Christianity.
I see their liveried slaves, their shaven priests, their celibate confessors; I see the infamous confessional, the ruined women, the murdered innocents; I hear the lying absolutions, the dying groans; I hear the cries of the victims; I hear the anathemas, the curses, the thunder of the interdicts; I see the racks, the dungeons, the stakes; I see that inhuman Inquisition, those fires of Smithfield, those butcheries of St Bartholomew, that Spanish Armada, those unspeakable dragonnades, that endless train of wars, that dreadful multitude of massacres.
I see it all, and in the name of the ruin it has brought in the Church and in the world, in the name of truth it has denied, the temple it has defiled, the God it has blasphemed, the souls it has destroyed; in the name of the millions it has deluded, the millions it has slaughtered, the millions it has damned, with holy confessors, with noble reformers, with innumerable martyrs, with the saints of the ages, I denounce it as the masterpiece of Satan, as the body and essence of antichrist.”
(Romanism and the Reformation by H. Grattan Guinness, DD: Focus Christian Ministries, Lewes, Sussex, UK)
As Bishop J.C. Ryle once said:
|“Unity without truth is useless. When Rome has repealed the decrees of Trent and her additions to the creed, and when she has formally renounced image worship, Mary worship and transubstantiation, then and not until then, will it be time to talk of reunion with her. Till then I call on all Christians to resist to the death this idea of reunion with Rome.”|
7. The Scriptural Litmus Test
To be sure the stunning array of Church groups, now numbering several thousands, makes some form of unity seem desirable. But who does one unite or worship with? Which congregation or group should the sincere believer visit each Sabbath day? With so many false prophets and semi-pagan groups about, where can the true believer safely worship God? The Bible gives us a sure formula for detecting the difference between Truth and Error. I refer to this formula as the ‘Scriptural Litmus Test.’ The ‘Scriptural Litmus Test’ never fails. It will tell you in a flash whether a prophet is true or false and whether God is with a group or not. The ‘Scriptural Litmus Test’ is found in this passage:
|19: And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
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.
In other words, apostate groups and false prophets can be identified by their aversion to Yahweh’s law and paganism is easily recognised in their services: image and idol worship, rosaries, repetitive prayers and counterfeit Sabbath days! These are all borrowed from the heathen religions of the world. Apostates use Biblical truths to dress up pagan practices. They are like prostitutes who dress up and pose as faithful, married women.
2 Peter 2:
|17: These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
18: For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
If you want to speedily recognise and rid yourself of deception and falsehood, then you must use the ‘Scriptural Litmus Test.’ If you want to ‘prove all things and hold fast to that which is good’ then you have no other option but to heed this verse:
To the law and to the testimony:
if they speak not according to this word,
it is because there is no light in them.
You must find the answers to these questions:
- What do these false prophets teach concerning the law of Jehovah?
- What do they make of the Ten Commandments
- And especially the 4th commandment concerning the True Sabbath Day?
- Do they say it has been changed and replaced by Sunday?
- Do they claim that the law of God is obsolete?
- Do they mutter and chant like the pagans do? Do they say the same prayer dozens of times in a ceaseless, monotonous mumble?
These are questions you need to address before you risk loosing eternal life at the hands of religious charlatans. So be on your guard and do not dismiss this testimony as just another irrelevant article. Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) plainly taught that every religious teaching which did not come from his Father will be rooted up.
Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
This means that the doctrines and practices in the Christian church which are not in line with Holy Writ are all scheduled for uprooting – by God! It is a terrifying prospect if ever there was one; and every minister should take note. Burning the Scriptures or murdering the preachers who point out these facts will never demolish truth. That will only result in advertising the truth. History tells us that persecution never eradicates the facts; it only helps publish them. And now you know the facts. You know how to identify truth and error. You know about the Scriptural Litmus Test. Do not be slow to apply it.
May the LORD God of Israel grant you wisdom to recognise and act upon the truth at this web site.
Author: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland