1 John 4:1-6

The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error

1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh[a] is from God.
3 But every spirit who does not confess Jesus[b] is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist; you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now.
4 You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
5 They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them.
6 We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.

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1 John 4:1-6 In-Context

1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.
3 But every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist; you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now.
4 You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
5 They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them.
6 We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or confesses Jesus to be the Christ come in the flesh
  • [b]. Other mss read confess that Jesus has come in the flesh