Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
John the Apostle warned the early church, that there were false teachers out there in their midst. There were people who, would mislead the teachings that they had already received. We have so much out there today, that people who call themselves Christians, try to sell us, that which does not come out of the Bible. In fact they will put a twist on what is actually in the Bible and use our own ignorance of scripture against us. They will try to tell us that God, the Almighty One is at our beck and call. That He is just a great djinn in the sky that grants our every wish, or if we just claim it, He will give it. God is not at our beck and call!
God told Job “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding.” (Job 38:4) Again God told Moses, I AM who I AM in the book of Exodus. No sir God is not someone who is just conjured up to give us a new car or a new house. God is not at our beckoning.
“I am the Lord: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8)
This is the same thing the serpent did to Eve in the Garden of Eden when he tempted her. He twisted her understanding of what God said verses what He meant. This is nothing new, it was even evident in the times in which the Apostles were still living. The first epistle of John is believed to have been written between 85 and 100 A.D. This tells you how long these cults have been around. Many have just changed their names, but they message or twisting of the truth is the same message as it was thousands of years ago. These false doctrines were, and are still causing problems in the church today. Many professing Christians are be led astray by these false doctrines.
John tells us to be discerning. We should scrutinize and examine every claim that is laid to the spirit. We as followers of Christ are allowed and expected to use discretion on what someone tells us is scripture. There are organizations that call themselves Christian, and even publish bibles and go door to door giving away their bibles and additional materials that in the heart of their religion, deny the deity of Christ. There are other religions and schools of thought that say that Jesus, did exist and, and that He was a very good man, and that he was even a prophet, but they deny that He is the Son of God. They deny the need for His sacrifice.
(2) Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4: 2-3)
Christ is a Greek translation for Messiah, the anointed one of God. Confessing Jesus does not just mean that you acknowledge that He was a good man or just a prophet. Jesus is the Son of God, thus says the Lord, “This is My beloved Son: hear Him.” (Luke 9:35) Anyone who comes in the Spirit of God confesses that Jesus is the Son of God. If they do not, then do not listen to their doctrine. They are from the antichrist and the Spirit of God is not with them.
Jesus said, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”(Matthew 24:11) So as the scriptures says. Don’t be worried, we have been warned that these things would happen. Instead we should test every spirit. How do we test every spirit? Well we already mentioned it earlier when we mentioned the fall of Eve. We have to study the scriptures. Be in a constant attitude of prayer, and encourage one another in sound doctrine.
Get yourself into a good church that teaches from the Bible. A good Bible teaching church will use the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments as its source of exposition. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
We are to be diligent with the Word of God and always reprove everything against the Word of God. Know what the Lord says about things that are in your life, your community, and your relationships.
“Continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them; (15) And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17)