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 the way to find out if they have the Spirit of God: If a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ became a human being, that person has the Spirit of God.
If a prophet does not acknowledge Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist. You have heard that he is going to come into the world, and he is already here.
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won your fight with these false prophets, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
These people belong to this world, so they speak from the world's viewpoint, and the world listens to them.
But we belong to God; that is why those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
But anyone who does not love does not know God -- for God is love.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.
This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)