Daily Devotional Saturday 25th July 2020

by William Moody

1 John 4:1–6

Test the Spirits

4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.


True prophets will believe and teach the truth about Jesus (v2-3). They will teach that He is the eternal Son of God, ‘the same in substance, equal in power and glory’ with the Father and the Holy Spirit. True prophets will teach that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah who has come to save His people from their sin. True prophets teach that Jesus has come in the flesh, which means truly taking on human nature, a human body, mind and soul.

It is not surprising as the focus of the Holy Spirit’s work is to draw people to glorify Christ (John 16 v13-14). It is also the desire of evil spirits to draw people away from Christ by obscuring and twisting the truth about who He is and what He has done.

False teaching is overcome by He who lives within the believer (v4); the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit with unlimited power, goodness, knowledge and wisdom is the one who gives us the victory. Jesus in John 16 v33 says, “I have overcome the world”. The Holy Spirit applies to our souls the victory which Jesus has secured for His people.

True and false teaching divides between those who belong to the world and those who belong to the world (v5-6). Do you love the truth about Christ?

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.