1, 2, and 3 John
Lesson Five

 

1 John Chapter 4

 

Test the Spirits

 

1Jn 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.

 

How does one “try the spirits” to know if something is of God?  The answer is simple, does it line up with God's reveled Word.  God has already told us everything we need to know and he warned us not to add or take away from it (Proverbs 30:5,6, Deu. 4:2, 12:32, and Revelation 22:18,19).  Furthermore, He has told us that if ANYONE, even an angel from heaven preach anything other then what the disciples taught, let them be cursed Galatians1:8,9).   So, when someone comes and tries to tell you something, test that spirit to see if it is really of God.  Does it line up with His reveled word?  Does it add something to His Word, or change His Word?  If so, it is not of God.  Many people today follow religions that claim to have “another gospel”, or who claim to have gotten their teachings from another “angel”, or even in the case of the Catholic church, believe that THEY are the voice of God, and what they say is as authoritative as God. These false prophets ARE NOT of God, and are cursed. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Science, Catholicism, and many others all fall into this category.  They are all false religions, they are all false prophets, and they are all accursed of God. But many others out there preaching today are also false prophets.  Test what they say with Scripture.

 

1Jn 4:2  Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 
1Jn 4:3  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.

 

These verses say far more then most people realize.  I think it's safe to say that most people believe there was a man who walked the earth 2000 years ago named Jesus.  That in and of itself can not be disputed.  However, these verses are saying far more then that.  The word “confesseth” means to “covenant” together. This means “a binding agreement”.  So first off, this person not only believes that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, but they literally join together (similar to marriage) and become one with Him.  Secondly, the name also means a lot.... Jesus Christ.  This name means “Jesus the anointed Messiah”.  This name means that Jesus is the promised Messiah from God, and that He died on the cross for our sins.  But it means more then that.  In Malachi 3:1, Jehovah God tells us that the coming Messiah would be He Himself.  So, this verse tells us that every person who believes that Jesus Christ is the Promised Messiah, and that He died for our sins, and that He is God Himself, and this person accepts this, and joins together with God in this assurance... that person is of God. Anyone who teaches anything other then that is NOT of God.

 

1Jn 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.

Satan is in the world, Satan and the flesh.  But God is greater then all.

1Jn 4:5  They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 
1Jn 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.

 

The word “they” in verse 5 is refering to the false prophets, and those who do not believe that Jesus Christ is the God Himself, the promised Messiah. These false prophets, these that are cursed of God, are of the world and the world hears them and follows them. What is this verse saying?  Lets make it plain and simple.  Mormans are false prophets. They are of the world, and those that follow them are of the world...Not of God.  The same can be said of Jehovah Witnesses, Catholics and every other man made religion that does not follow Scripture. And as the verse 6 ends, this is how we know the spirt of truth and the spirit of error.


God Is Love

 

1Jn 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. 
1Jn 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 
1Jn 4:9  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 
1Jn 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 
1Jn 4:11  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

 

We have already looked at this once before but I will mention it again.  Scripture says that “God is love”.  If God lives in us, then the spirit of love should be what moves us.  God's love should come forth from us.  If that love is not there, God is not there.

 

1Jn 4:12  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 
1Jn 4:13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 
1Jn 4:14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 
1Jn 4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

 

The truth is, if God lives in a person, then that spirit will lead them in the same direction God leads all His Children, as far as biblical truth is concerned.  God is not going to tell one person one thing, and then tell someone else something else.  The very reason who have so many different biblical teachings is because so many people who are of the world are teachings what THEY want to be true, not what God's Word says.  

1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 
1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 
1Jn 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 
1Jn 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us. 
1Jn 4:20  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 
1Jn 4:21  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

 

John then closes this section out with a statement that he had made earlier.  If you say you love God, but don't love your brother, you are a liar.   Now, it should be said that loving your brother is not the same as loving a sin that they may be in.  We should love the person as God loved them and gave His life for them.  BUT, we are not to love the sin.  We are to hate the sin, and stand against the sin. There is a difference.

Answer the questions below.  If you miss a question, go back and study that portion of the class and then retake the test.  Once you have received a 100% you may proceed to the next class.  You DO NOT have to submit this test for grading.  Only the final test will be submitted.