The $64,000 Question
Lord, as I come to Your Word, I pray with Samuel, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Sam. 3:9).
Read 1 John 4:1-6
 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,  but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.  You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.  We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat test of truth is given by John here?
John wants his readers to know how to discern whether a preacher is speaking from the spirit of God (1). There is a simple test: do they believe that Jesus both came from God and was truly human (2)? Anyone who believes otherwise is not speaking from God (3). False prophets preached that Jesus was spirit and not truly human. They gave the impression they spoke as if they were from God. Jesus himself warned that these false prophets would come “dressed up like sheep” (Matt. 7:15, J.B. Phillips), appearing to come from God. There are still false teachers around today, and they can be difficult to recognize. They may be popular and have a big following (5). The test is still the same: do they believe that Jesus was from God, that he was 100 per cent divine, but was born in the usual way and was therefore 100 per cent human? If they do not believe this, they will just ignore the true believers (6). Some cults that look Christian at first glance may avoid giving a straight answer, but true Christians of whatever denomination will be able to respond with a resounding “yes” to this question (4).
Thank God for the Christian education you’ve received and pray for those who teach Christian beliefs to children.
Lord Jesus, I thank You that I know exactly who You are and how to avoid being deceived about You.
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