King James Version (KJV)
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because
many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is
come in the flesh is of God:
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
We are given this warning in 1 John to be ever watchful for false prophets.
Undoubtedly, they are among us - especially today, it seems. We do not want to be misled or fall into false doctrine. There are many that claim to be Christian, but their words or actions may show otherwise. Matthew 7: 21-23 and Luke 6:46 caution that there are those that would claim to know God, but are not true followers. Where false teaching abounds, clearly we must be alert to the threat of the evil this could bring.
Certainly cults are prevalent in today’s world and we know there always have been those that would purposely attempt to lead Christians astray. Movies and television are rampant today with depictions of various Bible stories. All things Jesus seems to be the hot topic right now. The movie industry knows what sells. We can be sure that comes from a desire deep within hearts to know the truth. That doesn’t mean truth will accurately be portrayed. Scripture also tells us that it is the Spirit of God which brings truth. If He isn’t in it, truth will be distorted.
The Bible gives us clear understanding on how we can try the spirits. “Every spirit that confesseth Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” This verse is not simply telling us that Jesus - the man - came in the flesh. Of course He did. History records that and of course Scripture tells us even the devil believes. But this verse more importantly speaks to the fact that He was truly God manifest in the flesh. These verses tell us that from what one believes about that important truth, we can know if they are in fact, of God.
Further, if a message is from God, it will not deviate from the teachings of the Bible. We have the best source of all to understand what is true within the pages of the Holy Bible. We are encouraged to study the whole counsel of the Word of God. There is much wisdom in that. To rightly divide the word of truth as we are told in 2 Timothy 2:15 - to study to show ourselves approved. The answers are all there within the pages of that precious book.
Finally, and most poignant of all, Jesus asks: “Who do you
say I am?” These are the words of Jesus to his disciples, but they are important words that are still relevant today. Your answer to that question will determine your place in eternity.
1 John 2:18-27