Dear friends, do not believe every spirit.
1 John 4:1a
It is quite true that a mark of maturity is unbelief as well as belief. It is as important that you do not believe certain things as it is that you do believe others. John indicates that this is a widespread problem. Many false prophets, he says, have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1. In Matthew’s gospel, the Lord Jesus warned of this: Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves (Matthew 7:15).
It is true we live in a spiritual world, but that something is supernatural does not always mean it is divine. In John’s day, there were teachers going about performing certain signs, perhaps giving predictions of things to come or manifesting tongues, miracles, and other such things. It is of this that John writes and says, Do not believe these spirits—until you have tested them. Don’t be gullible, don’t believe just anyone who comes along. It is important to note that there is here a very clear recognition of what the Bible teaches all the way through—that behind the false prophet or false teacher is an evil spirit. There is a true Spirit, the Holy Spirit of truth, the Spirit of God, and just as He speaks through people, so evil spirits also speak through people. When you hear men and women talking about religious things or values, do not gullibly swallow everything they say, especially if they appear to be attractively setting forth something new and spectacular.
But if we are going to follow the words of Jesus Christ, we must accept what He says is the explanation of the power behind evil in the world. He makes clear that it comes from a host of evil spirits. Part of the blindness of our generation, resulting in chaos and anarchy, is a direct result of people in their pride saying, I reject the whole concept of evil spirits and demons. It is intellectually unacceptable to me. Denying the existence of evil, is deception in another level. If we are going to be Christians, we must look at the world as Christ sees it.
I Declare: Lord, today I declare my allegiance to the truth. Teach me not to be gullible, swallowing every line that comes along. But help me to test every spirit by the Word and Spirit of God.
Ignite Thought: That something is supernatural and spectacular, does not mean it is divine.