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. —I John 4:1-3

John, as he is led to write by God’s Holy Spirit, tells us how to identify false prophets. The first is a denial of who Jesus is. Another way to identify them is that they say, “I know Him,” but they do not keep His Word. John says these people are liars (I John 2:3-4). A third way to identify this spirit of anti-Christ is that they “went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us” (I John 2:19). These false prophets once were among the fellowship of believers. They were tares among the wheat and Paul says of them that “Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:30).

False prophets: 1- Deny Jesus who is communicated to us from His Word. 2- Deny His Word by false interpretation and coming up with their own ideas. 3- They leave the body of believers that have the truth and become islands unto themselves or start a cult. 4- Seek to draw believers away and make disciples after themselves. Jim Jones is a prime example along with any of the cults today— Mormons, Jehovah witness…

False prophets come in among believers as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:5). Paul says, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock” (Acts 20:29). These false prophets come teaching “a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached” and proclaim “a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted” (II Corinthians 11:4). Paul warns about this “turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! (Galatians 1:6-9). These “are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (II Corinthians 11:13-15). Beware of those who wear “religious garb” and speak “Christianize” but secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves” (II Peter 2:1). Satan loves to work as the Trojan horse and establish a foothold of destruction. Beware!

Dear Father, may Your children, including myself, be aware of those false prophets and teachers who bring destructive heresies among us. May we be faithful to what You say and faithful in the spiritual warfare as You would have us. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus. So be it!

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