We had been studying the Bible together as a group for nearly two hours.
During our daily Bible study during our weeklong group camping trip, we were taking turns reading a passage and then pausing to have a group discussion or point out things that struck us from the passage. It was a contemplative group, each of us soaking up the word and blessing of being together to study it. As our time came to a close, I began to explain that we were going to pray for a sister who was with us that day and in need of prayerful support. A woman’s deep voice spoke up, directly to our sister in a tone that felt entirely out of place, questioning her response to the current affliction she was suffering.
The accusing tone of the question startled me. Our sister answered just as boldly, but the accuser then stood and began a rant that more closely resembled a street corner doomsday preacher than a member of this group of brethren who had come together for fellowship and study of the Word.
In truth, she was not one of us. Having discovered our week long Bible study earlier in the week, they’d been invited by one of our members and had joined in our study each day, having been rightfully welcomed by one and all.
But on this day things took a turn and we all watched in silence as she paced back and forth, speaking in a booming voice for the nearly 100 people to hear. She spoke Scripture but the tone was off and the ranting felt entirely out of place. I lowered my head and began asking the Father, “Is this you? If this is you I don’t want to interfere, but if it is not, please let me know.”
I closed my eyes and carefully listened to each word she spoke, testing it to scripture the moment it was breathed out. In the beginning it all held true to the Word. She recited Scripture to us, enough to make everyone present question whether or not this was Spirit led. This went on for several minutes, my head still bowed as I cataloged each phrase and made sure it lined up. And then she did it, took a verse out of context and twisted it to mean the opposite of what the Father said. There was my answer. This is not from the Father, but the adversary, and this poor woman likely didn’t realize it herself. I immediately looked up as two brothers from each side of the group abruptly stood and interrupted her, causing her to sit down in defeat as they began to lead the rest of the group into the previously interrupted prayer for our sister.
Later that day some would tell me that they felt her rant was Holy Spirit led. With complete confidence, through study of the Word, I can say that it was not.
The adversary knows scripture. This was just one of many reminders that if we are to recognize Him, and make sure we are representing the Father in our own speech, we must know it, too.