Are we being told to test spirits, or prophets , in 1 John 4?

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    Are we being told to test spirits, or prophets , in 1 John 4?

    1 John 4 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. :::

    Are we testing the spirits, or the prophets? It sure seems a lot easier to test a prophet than a spirit. Is the spirit we are supposed to test speaking through the prophet? A lot of people sure seemed to be possessed by demons in the bible. Jesus and the disciples cast them out in many passages. Do demons still possess people to falsely prophecy? Is that the spirits we are testing? I thought when people prophesy falsely, are they just playing a con game? Do we not have to worry about this stuff anymore since we are in a different dispensation? I need a tutor. Yes I think one sentence in the bible just made me as 10 questions. People keep telling me it is easy to read and understand. I must be a special case. Can somebody tutor me?

    #2
    Hi Bluebetta, 1 John 4:1 is a warning about false teachers, and an admonishment (in this case) to stop believing what they have to say (as some had apparently already begun to do when St. John wrote this letter). Our concern is with recognizing them for what/who they are, and why what they are teaching is false, not with the demonic "spirits" themselves (who are behind their false teaching).

    As a Christian who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, you do not need to worry about demon possession, but that is not necessarily true of false teachers who do not have the HS (however, both Christians and non-Christians alike can be oppressed and/or influenced by demons today, which is why we need to grow in the knowledge and understanding of God's word everyday of our lives .. see Ephesians 6:10-17).

    Yours and His,
    David
    Matthew 5
    16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

    Matthew 7
    12 However you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    1 Corinthians 13
    1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

    1 Peter 3
    15 Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.
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