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. 2 This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.
4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 5 Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God, and 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. – 1 John 4:1-6
Having spent time in Utah, we experienced first hand the claim of those who claimed to speak for God. The testimony of 1846 Joseph Smith’s vision was of an angel telling him that all religions of his day were corrupt and a new faith was in order. While we were there the LDS leaders began saying that they were simply another Christian church. One or the other is not true. This is only one of many false prophets in the world today.
I wish it were not so…for so many reasons. I would like not to have to test the spirits; I want to believe those who come in Jesus’ name are truly serving the cause of Christ. So how do I tell the difference? How am I to test the spirit? Does the spiritual person lead me to a crucified and resurrected Savior? That’s the key.
There are so many other religious offerings: “feel good” religion, “be spiritual” religion, “co-exist” religion, “Mother Nature” religion, “if it feels good” religion to name a few. Some unashamedly offer financial gin for faithfulness to God. Others promise healing. Still others point to achieving a higher consciousness. Still others provide a supposed key to the End Times.
Unless these religions and proponents focus us back on Jesus, calling us to repent and believe in him, they are of greater harm than what they may seem. Anyone who leads us to Jesus has the Spirit of truth. Those who lead us away from Jesus, must be rejected for what they are: Antichrists.