1 John 4 King James Version (KJV)
4 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We love him, because he first loved us.
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
1 John 4 International Children’s Bible (ICB)
Warning Against False Teachers
4 My dear friends, many false prophets are in the world now. So do not believe every spirit. But test the spirits to see if they are from God. 2 This is how you can know God’s Spirit: One spirit says, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ who came to earth and became a man.” That Spirit is from God. 3 Another spirit refuses to say this about Jesus. That spirit is not from God but is the spirit of the Enemy of Christ. You have heard that the Enemy of Christ is coming. And now he is already in the world.
4 My dear children, you belong to God. So you have defeated them because God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world. 5 And they belong to the world. What they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 But we are from God, and those who know God listen to us. But those who are not from God do not listen to us. That is how we know the Spirit that is true and the spirit that is false.
Love Comes from God
7 Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. The person who loves has become God’s child and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his only Son into the world to give us life through him. 10 True love is God’s love for us, not our love for God. God sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins.
11 That is how much God loved us, dear friends! So we also must love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us. If we love each other, God’s love has reached its goal. It is made perfect in us.
13 We know that we live in God and God lives in us. We know this because God gave us his Spirit. 14 We have seen that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. That is what we teach. 15 If someone says, “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God,” then God lives in him. And he lives in God. 16 And so we know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him. 17 If God’s love is made perfect in us, then we can be without fear on the day God judges us. We will be without fear, because in this world we are like him. 18 Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear. So love is not made perfect in the person who has fear.
19 We love because God first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. He can see his brother, but he hates him. So he cannot love God, whom he has never seen. 21 And God gave us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.