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,
    Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

    "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

    "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

    "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

    "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
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