John’s First Epistle
1 Jno. 4:1-6
Don’t Believe Everything!
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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 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. 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. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 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. – 1 Jno. 4:1-6
This couldn’t be clearer. Don’t believe everything you hear or read. This applies to every subject: Politics, Science, History, Health Care, Diet … everything. Most importantly and here in 1 John 4, don’t believe everything you hear or read about religion, morality, relationship with God.
“Many false prophets have gone out into the world.” So the urgent need is to “test the spirits,” that is – verify what you hear or read before believing it.
This verification step is accomplished by opening your Bible. If it isn’t in the Bible, don’t believe it. If, for instance, someone does not confess the truth about Jesus Christ, you know that isn’t true. Because the Bible affirms the truth about the person and work of Jesus Christ. “By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”