1 John 4: False Prophets And The Discerning Of Spirits

1 John 4 starts with a stark warning about False Prophets. In my lifetime I’ve seen quite a few of these, and even interacted with a couple of them. Often we think of the Anti-Christ from the book of Revelation when we think of these people.

However, there are a lot of them out there, and that’s why it’s good to have a discerning heart. 1 John 4 shows us how to develop one.

For example, years ago I was working my job as a produce manager, and I was approached by this man. He seemed nice enough, there was no creepiness about him, at first anyway.

We talked about the Bible, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, at first everything seemed on the up and up.

After a little while, it became apparent that he had a twisted view of the scriptures. He denied the death and resurrection of Jesus and stated he wasn’t the Son of God. He also had some weird views of the Trinity.

He started to ask me if I wanted to pray with him for salvation and that salvation wasn’t through Jesus. Which I thought was strange. Jesus stated that he was the way. And he was already breaking the rules that John states below.

He wouldn’t let it go either, at first I was really nice, but he kept insisting. I thought about humoring him for a second. But then got worried about what might attach itself to me. Evil spirits are no joke, and you don’t let them into your life.

Eventually, I had to go the rude route, and I told him to leave, I wasn’t interested in his fake messiah. I’m a follower of Jesus and that’s what I will do.

False prophets prey on weaker/newer Christians because they don’t have the knowledge base and trust level more mature Christians have.

However, that doesn’t mean you’ll reach a point where you’re not vulnerable. I was seriously doubting if Jesus was the way or not. In fact, the moment you think you are above it is the exact moment an attack will come. Let’s dig into 1 John 4.

1 John 4: Discerning False Prophets From The Real Ones

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 

But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.

1 John 4:1-6
1 John 4

1 John 4: How False Prophets Prey On The Weak

As I stated in my story above, false prophets prey on the weak. Some of them know what they’re doing, and others are just idiots. Either way, we need to be on guard and test every teaching we come across.

The way I do this is by reading the bible and hearing God’s voice. Unfortunately at the time above, I wasn’t reading my Bible regularly. I think that’s where my doubts and fears came from. I didn’t have the strength to fight back that I normally would have.

I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, but I don’t believe it’s the 4th part of the Trinity. It’s a love letter that God wrote to humanity describing himself and his character.

When I hear teaching that doesn’t sit with me right. I quiet myself and try to hear the voice of God. After I listen for a while I’ll pull out my bible and ask myself a few questions.

4 Questions that align with 1 John 4:

  • Does this matter?
  • What Is The Basic Point Of This?
  • Does this go with or against the bible?
  • Can I see this scripturally?

I stop after #1 a lot of times. In the Christian world, there are a lot of arguments about pointless things. For example, I don’t care if you’re pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib. It doesn’t affect my salvation and I don’t wanna waste time discussing things that we won’t find an answer to.

Give your life to Jesus, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and become a disciple of him. That is what’s important. When you give your life to him you’re saved, if you’ve been filled you have the Power of God in you. And when you become a disciple you’ll learn to love your neighbors.

Everything else is just pointless banter. There’s an old legend about the City of Byzantium (Also known as Constantinople & Today it’s known as Istanbul). It was said when the Muslim armies had surrounded the capital and defeat was imminent.

The priests of the city were in a heated argument about a fly that had fallen into some holy water. They were arguing if it sanctified the fly. Or did the fly corrupt the water?

Their lives were in mortal danger, and the lives of the people around them. They could’ve taken up arms, encouraged the people, or prayed. Instead, they stayed inwardly focused and focused on pointless arguments.

Sometimes I worry this is the way the Christian church is today, however, it doesn’t matter what really matters is us individually making the choice to follow Jesus.

In light of this, I need to constantly remind myself and remember this, because I’m speaking to myself here.

Repentance

1 John 4: Loving One Another

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

1 John 4: 7-12

1 John 4: Why Should We Love One Another?

Just like in 1 John 3, John makes sure he mentions that we should love one another. I find it funny that John mentions this more than almost anything else in this book.

At the same time, it’s not surprising, he calls himself the disciple whom Jesus loved. 1 John 4 is one of many chapters that focus on God’s love, and we need it.

Peter and John seemed to be part of Jesus’ inner circle, and I love that about them. Jesus was always understanding and explaining things more times than can be written down.

I think 1 John 4 is a great example of why we should love each other.

1 John 4 The Spirit Is Proof:

13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

18 Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.

20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.

1 John 4: 13-21
1 John 4

1 John 4 The Holy Spirit Is Proof Because He Shows Us How To Love

1 John 4 Shows The Spirit of God is proof, and when we connect to God, it’s through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the Spirit of God will lead us into all truth and teach us the things Jesus wasn’t able to tell us.

When people are close to the Holy Spirit you’ll see their fruit and know whether he’s with them or not. I’ve met many people in the past who seem to be nice on the outside but something in their eyes didn’t feel right.

I don’t spend a lot of time with those people because every time my suspicions have been proven true. God might warn you differently than I do. That’s ok, listen to his promptings and you’ll do ok.

1 John 4:20-21 is very telling about believers, we need to be quick-witted, and slow to anger.

Just remember if you’re seeking the presence of God, reading the bible, and actually hearing his voice. It’ll be a lot easier for you to fight off the attacks of false prophets and heretics.

I hope you enjoyed my latest post on 1 John 4.

Don’t Forget To Check Out My Other Posts As Well Have a great day.

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