1 John 4:1 ¶Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the
spirits whether they are of God:
because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
My highlghted verses:1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 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.
That is usually because they take it out of the context of the subject which is being discussed which is "trying the spirits".
1 John 4:2
It is so simple.
 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
That spirit has then been tried and found to be of God, i.e. it is scriptural.
So that is a really good step in the right direction.
But DO NOT forget to test everything else that spirit says the same way.
If you believe everything else someone says, just because he or she passes the first basic test, without "searching the scriptures daily" to see whether those other things they teach are so, then you are a fool indeed and you have not kept His commandments!
What if a spirit doesn't confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh?
He FAILS the test!
He will eventually make the grade by the time of judgment or he will be burned by the Consuming Fire: Hebrews 12:29 "For our God is a consuming fire."
Notice the second half of this verse that says "ye", those identified as the "little children" of God in the next verse (4), have heard that antichrist is coming and you know that the "spirit of antichrist", the "spirit of iniquity" as Paul calls it in 2 Thes., is already at work. So you better be doing some major testing of the spirits in these last days. 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.
One of those spirits which has "deceived MANY" is called the any-moment rapture theory and millions of Christians, our brothers and sisters, accept it untried and untested!
Because their "Christian" church teaches it.
First of all, church history will document that it originated as a "dream" by Margaret MacDonald in the year 1830 in Glasgow, Scotland, and eventually came to this country and is now taught by the MANY false prophets.
The theory claims that Jesus Christ will return at any moment and "take up" His church in the "Rapture", leaving the rest behind to face an evil and wicked person called the antichrist.
Let's put that spirit to the test.
2 Thes. 2:1
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
There is something that must first take place.
 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Put his words and his writings to the FIRE first!
That Day, the day of Christ's return, SHALL NOT COME, before there is a great apostasy and that man of sin, the son of perdition, antichrist, who is Satan himself, is revealed, i.e. appears on earth in person claiming to be Jesus Christ (next verse).
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
It is Michael, the archangel, who has Satan restrained (Rev. 12:7-9).
However, just as John said in vs. 4:3, the spirit of antichrist, the "mystery of iniquity", is already at work in the world, even though Satan is not yet here in person.
2 Thes. 2:7
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
Rev. 13:13 "And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men."
People will absolutely love this guy!
It is also written in Daniel that he will enter in peaceably and prosperously and our people love that prosperity, i.e. a great economy, don't they?
Even a liar, a cheat, and a thief can be our leader when the economy is good!
"It's the economy stupid!"
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
They loved seeing miracles and side shows!
They loved seeing some "spirit" knock people down on stage!
They loved the promises that Jesus was coming for them at any moment and they would be spared great tribulation!
They loved that "spirit" that moved among the crowd and caused everyone to raise their hands and wave their arms and shout "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!"
"Let's give a big hand to the Lord!", saith the false prophet!
But you see, the problem is they "received not the love of the truth" (vs. 10), which is the love of His Word, that they might do some testing of the spirits to see whether they be of God.
It is written, and we just read it in 2 Thes. 2:3, that there will be a great falling away, a great apostasy before Christ returns!
Christians the world over will immediately believe that this supernatural archangel, Satan, the antichrist (which means "instead of Christ") is in fact Jesus Christ.
Because he will say he is!
And he will back that up, i.e. document it, with "miracle" signs and wonders.
But he will not be Jesus Christ, he will be a look alike, an imposter, for we just documented that the Wicked one is revealed first, i.e. he comes first at the sound of the 6th Trump.
They listened to the traditions of men and cared not to know the truth. John 17:17 "...Thy word is truth."
Consequently, they will be deceived and believe the BIG LIE that Satan, the abomination who will be sitting in the temple claiming to be God, is Jesus Christ!
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Those little children who are of God are not even of this world for they are sanctified, i.e. set apart from the world, by His truth, which is the Word of God. Here are words of Jesus Christ concerning His disciples as He prayed to the Father:1 John 4:4
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Those who do not have the truth but are Biblically illiterate, listen to other spirits. Therefore they are not of God but are of the world. God's elect do not hear them, i.e. pay heed to them, but the world sure listens to them.John 17:16
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Do you remember what John said the "things of the world" were back in chapter 2, verse 16? 1 John 2:16 "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."1 John 4:5
They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
The world hears them that speak of the world. False prophets do this because they don't teach His Word line by line and chapter by chapter. They usually talk about life experiences and give their opinions and feelings about matters. Let's refresh our memories as to what the "things of the world" are that the spirit of antichrist uses to seduce and lull people to sleep and consider some examples!
(1) The Lust of the flesh: There are many spirits that get you all "pumped up" in the flesh. Some even work you to a frenzy and cause you to babble unintelligible syllables and then they call that confusion "speaking in tongues", a gift of the Holy Spirit. Really? John says don't believe ANY spirit until you have assayed it with the Word of God. Acts chapter 2 is a great place to start testing that spirit to see whether it is of the Spirit of God. Of course you will find there that the "tongue" spoken on Pentecost was clearly heard and understood by EVERY foreigner who was present, no matter what nationality he was or what language he spoke.
Uh oh! Looks like we have a "spirit buster" here! When you speak about the wonderful works of God and people from different foreign nations who speak different foreign languages all hear what you say in their own native dialects, then that is evidence of the tongue spoken on Pentecost Day. Turkey gobbling just doesn't pass the test. NEXT!Acts 2:5
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
 ... Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
Oh well, if your flesh still needs a "spiritual thrill" there are other spirits that get you laughing like crazy or just get you dancin' and hollerin' and a whoopin' it up in the aisles. Wheweee! Go spirits, go!
(2) Lust of the eyes: There are many spirits that promise you financial blessings and rewards just for sending your money, your seeds of faith, to them of course. Hey, the bigger the "faith seeds" the bigger the payoff, they say! (Actually if you have a mere touch of wisdom you can test some of the spirits with just a little common sense and burn them right then and there, or send them on their merry way!)
(3) The Pride of Life: Well aren't you special? You know, there are many spirits that say if a person isn't part of their group they aren't going to make it! Better try those spirits and see where their group is listed in the scriptures! Then there are the spirits that promise to fly you away just because you call yourself a Christian and have allowed some unlearned "man of the cloth" to twist the last few verses of 1st Thessalonians chapter 4!
I think we've made the point. I sure hope so. It is so sad to see our people misled by so many "spirits of error"! God's children believe only that which is written, that which is of God, that which has been tried and tested and confirmed by the Word of God. Those who truly know God will hear us when we say "check it out" for yourself in God's Word. Those who don't listen to us and do not go "search the scriptures daily" to see whether those things they hear are of God... well... John says they are not of God. For even though many do so in ignorance, nevertheless, they do follow the spirit of error!
You now know how to discern between the "spirit of truth" and the "spirit of error". So how do our people get to know God? It is really simple. After they have received salvation they must "abide in His Word" and draw close to Him. Then He will draw close to them. You can test what was just said in James 4:8, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."1 John 4:6
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
It seems so fitting to conclude this study with the words from the Introductory of E.W. Bullinger's great scholarly work titled "How to Enjoy the Bible", Kregel Publishers, pg. 6.
"When we come to ask ourselves, and say, "Where did I learn this?" "How did I get this?" "Who taught me this?" it is astonishing to find how much we have imbibed from man, and from tradition; and not directly and for ourselves, from the Word of God.
All that we have learned from our youth up must be tested and proved by the Word of God. Where we find it is true we must learn it all over again, from God. And where it will not stand the test of His Word we must be not only content, but thankful to give it up; and receive Divine revelation in the place of man's imagination."
"Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (1 Jn. 4:6)
7 ¶Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Do you remember from the last chapter how it is that we are to love one another?1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
If you love your brothers in "deed" and in "truth" (His Word is truth which defines His love) then you have the love of God dwelling in you. And you should already understand from the foundation that has been laid so far in this epistle that John is not talking about the "love" many Christians think of which is just be "sweet as pie" and "nicey nice" to everyone. We have already discussed that sometimes true love requires correction and discipline and telling the TRUTH even when it isn't popular. Have you ever read how Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple with the cracking of a whip accompanied by righteous indignation? It was an act of love for they received the discipline they deserved.1 John 3:18
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
If you do not have love for your fellow man including those who do not believe as you do, then you do not really KNOW the love of God! Stop and think for a moment. How did God show His love towards us?1 John 4:8
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits;
to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.
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