Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.1 John 4:3
“Beloved, believe not every spirit,” exclaimed the Apostle John. There are spirits in the world today that are contrary to the word of God. These spirits bring a false witness into the body of Christ. As Christians we are not to be so gullible and believe every spirit we meet. In fact, the Apostle John mentions Christians as little children. John knew that as little children it is easy to go astray. Children need help, guidance, and instruction to help them grow and the Apostle John is warning Christians to be aware of lying and deceitful spirits. Christians are to try [test or prove] the spirits to see whether they are of God. Not all spirits are of God. I remember Smith Wigglesworth talking about voices that some Christians hear in their head thinking it is from God, but this is not always true. Not all voices or spirits are from God.
We must test the spirit to see if it is from God. The Apostle John gives us instruction on how to test the spirit by asking if Jesus Christ came in the flesh [see verse 2 of 1 John 4]. If they do not believe that Jesus Christ came in the flesh or took on human form, they are not of God, but rather they are of the spirit of the antichrist. The spirit of the antichrist is a spirit that is against Christ deity as the Son of God that came in human form, died on the cross and arose. Christ death and resurrection defeated the power of death who is the devil [see Hebrews 2:14]. It is rarely preached about in the pulpit today, but it is a warning to all Christians to not to believe every spirit you hear. All speech needs to be tested and prove to see if it aligns with the word of God. This is because of the many false prophets and teachers that would arise in the latter days in the world.
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.Mark 13:22
To think that even the elect [a person who holds a specific public office] such as a pastor, deacon, or elder can be seduced by a false prophet is very serious especially for the Pentecostal denominations where signs and wonders can become commonplace. These spirits come in and change doctrine that is contrary to the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. All Christians should heed the warnings that the apostle John is giving, and He is not the only one in the Bible that gives Christians this warning. Hearing any kind of voices and not testing to see if they are of God can lead to spiritual death. It is what defiles a man that we should remember what Jesus said in Matthew 15:16-20, and he said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies.” We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; therefore, we should know a little about the darkness we have all come out of. Those vain words spoken to deceive us back into darkness.
No, we must not heed those vain words because as Christians our sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, and we have overcome the wicked one [see 1 John 2:12-14]. Those who are in Christ have overcome those who are in darkness including false teachers. The Apostle John encourages the children of God by saying, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” [see 1 John 4:4]. It is through the blood of Christ and his resurrection that overcame the spirit of darkness. The Apostle Paul calls the darkness the mystery of iniquity in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. Paul also exclaims to let no man deceive you by any means [see 2 Thessalonians 2:3]. There will be a falling away or [apostasy] that will take place before the man of sin will be revealed. Some well-known pastors have already given the warning of denominations falling away from the rudimental teaching of the gospel of Christ.
There will be a time when many will not endure sound doctrine but will enlist teachers who will teach what they want to hear. Some would pervert the Gospel of Christ for their own pleasure of seeking monetary gain. I have personally witness removal of pastors who had a personal agenda instead of being a true servant of Christ. Let us heed the warnings in the word of God and pray that we do not fall short of the glory of God but prove all things and hold fast to that which is good [see 1 Thessalonians 5:21]. The Apostle Paul goes on to say in 1 Thessalonians 5:22-23, to abstain from all appearance of evil and he prayed that our whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Stay on the road of the Gospel of Christ in love and know that you do not stand alone, for greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. Know that the true spirit of God will always point to Christ who came in human form, died on the Cross, and arose from the dead, and now sits on the right hand of God. It is Jesus, the son of God, who came in the flesh to save humanity. Praise God who gave us His son as a sacrifice to save all humanity.