1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
“Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.” (Matt. 24:11)
“False Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matt. 24:24)
“The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” (1 Tim. 4:1)
“The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Tim. 4:3-4)
Main Point: A true follower of Jesus will avoid false teachers and will proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ as the risen Lord.
The Exam Questions:
Are you believing false teachers? (4:1) Yes No
Can you discern a false teacher? (4:2) Yes No
Do you confess the true Jesus? (4:3) Yes No
Is the Spirit of God in you? (4:4) Yes No
Who agrees with your beliefs? (4:5-6) Yes No
Application: Preparing for the exam – two steps
1.) Grip your Bible
2.) Get a grip on doctrine