Putting into the test
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. 1 John 4:1-3 NLT
John is persistent in reminding the believers to be aware of false teachers and their false teachings. He reminds them that the propagation of false teachings will be pervasive in anticipation of the coming of the Antichrist. He emphasizes that the spirit of the devil will deceive many and so believers should rely to the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This is the only way that they would be able to determine if what is being taught is from God and His Word and not from the spirit of the world. Thus, the admonition: “You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God” (1 John 4:1). They are to verify the teachings in the light of the Word of God for the devil will pretend to be from God. “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). The goal of the false teachers is to deceive as many as they can. “For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones” (Matthew 24:24). John gives the believers a way on how to test if the teaching is from God or not. The Christian recognizes the Spirit of God in anyone who openly confesses that Jesus Christ is both human and divine, and that Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, “came in a real body.” Here we have the established principle for testing whether a particular teaching comes from the Holy Spirit. “I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). Anyone who separates the human nature from the divine nature of Jesus Christ speaks without God’s authority. And anyone who denies either Jesus’ human nature or divine nature is not from God. “If someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God” (1 John 4:3). Today we have numerous false teachers who deny that Jesus Christ is human and divine. So, be warned and put every teaching into the test and see if it comes from God or not.