@KMac, thanks so much for responding further. I agree to and appreciate your thoughts!
In response to this,
“However, I suppose I am curious as to why this particular vision would bring up questions about whether or not he is a bona fide Gospel preacher? Is it the sort of sensational nature of the vision?”
So I make myself clear, my conclusion base on some of the discussed methods is that Ps Mantofa is a good representative of God. He has too much to lose if he is a deceiver.
He suggests that he reads the Bible, so he would know that deception using Gods name will result in severe punishment.
For now some further thoughts that come are:
The questioner could be trying to take the Bible as literal as possible. (There’s nothing wrong with this approach for some portions of the Bible.)
It is written in Mark 13:21-23 (AMP),
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed)!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it; for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and they will provide signs and wonders in order to deceive, if [such a thing were] possible, even the elect [those God has chosen for Himself]. But be on your guard; I have told you everything in advance.”
That said, this taking of the Word of God literally, might not work for some parts of the Bible.
It might not work for some parts of the books of Genesis and Revelation (as far as I know).
Some of these passages are oral accounts and should not be taken as literal accounts.
(Further thoughts below under Point No. 1)
Maybe in this case, the questioner is thinking that
“If it’s not written in the Bible, it might not be true.”
“If it might not be true, I can’t accept everything else.”
If the true/ false teacher test is only based on using one verse, (Luke 6:45), it would be a limited approach.
I would suggest that it is used with the other tools that the Bible suggests. (Some of them mentioned above.)
In this case, just using Luke 6:45, is an approach with the right intentions but incomplete tool to verify and test a prophet.
For me, here’s another thought in light of dealing with situations like visions of hell or Heaven or the future.
It could be that we could ask God for discernment too rather than rely on someone else’s’ faith. It is better to ask God directly, the source.
Also, I would suggest that it comes down to being disciplined to read the Bible daily and rely on the Holy Spirit. It has to be both.
Without the Holy Spirit, the questioner could be in a Pharisee-like state. Despite seeing Jesus, some of them could not even recognise him as a Messiah! Even going to the extend of suggesting that he was the prince of demons!
It is written in MATTHEW 9:33-34 AMP
“And when the demon was driven out [by Jesus], the mute man spoke; and the crowds wondered in amazement, saying, “Never before has anything like this [miracle] been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by [the power of] the ruler of demons.””
So I would like to suggest that we need to ask God directly and partner with the Holy Spirit.
If discernment is what you need, I can suggest that you do what these people have done.
Solomon asked God for wisdom with what I think started as the right intentions and God gave it to him. (1 Kings 3:12)
There’s also Nehemiahs’ faith to pray before he asked for permission to return to Israel. (Nehemiah 2:4)
A more contemporary example, is Jesus would always pray and spend time with God. (One example, Matthew 26:39)
This could apply for possibly all the issues we might have rather than fully relying on our fellow humans, imperfect beings being perfected if permitted.
If an answer is required, either the Bible or the Holy Spirit will give us an answer. (At the end of the day, nothing from God will contradict with the Bible.)
That said, I respect the need to be sure and to avoid false prophets. So I will not disrespect these people who at times might be asking out of genuine intentions.
At the same time, I would prefer to spend the time to save the lost.
Most of the time, they would have simpler questions and/ or needs.
It really doesn’t require us to be a bible scholar before we are ‘qualified’ to share the salvation message of Christ. That would disqualify many of our Bible heroes.
Further thoughts from before.
Point 1. This is not my own conclusion. It was suggested to me as I was video recording a conference in Kuching where some Singapore RZIM representatives came June last year, 2018.
I agree to this thought as it is one of the ways to explain some parts of Genesis. Also I’ve learnt about some of the different ways you can interpret the Bible from Bible Study Fellowships’ (BSFs’) studies on Genesis and Revelation.
For example, this could be true in the case of God revealing parts of Revelation to John, one of Jesus’ first 12 disciples.
Regardless of which stance you take about the different visions (as some of it is open to interpretation), I respect it as there is no solid evidence for us to verify it. For me, we could discuss about it until Jesus returns again.
I don’t think it is an essential piece of information to know for sure which is. (For example, currently we don’t see literally beasts so we could conclude that we are not approaching the end times. Use Daniels interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzars’ dream of the statue as a guide.)
The more important fact is to know that Jesus is the Son of God and he resurrected. So all that he said and will say is true. He will be with us until the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)
It is clarity on this matter and some other questions I’ll be asking God with what I think I want to do with some of the infinite time in Heaven (if it is important then.)
For me, what it comes down is that we need to save as many as possible from Hell and reveal to them that Hell is no fun party (a deception in current society). It is a torture chamber for those who deny a Good and Holy God.
I am of the opinion that the second death, the lake of burning sulphur, is a place that no one deserves. Not even the worst of humanity.
It is a self made choice that too many are choosing blindly even after many opportunities to come back to God. (Revelation 20:7)
I would like to end this writing with this thought.
Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
-C. S. Lewis-