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Discerning False Prophets

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 how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet[a] acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. 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.

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.

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Footnotes

  1. 4:2 Greek If a spirit; similarly in 4:3.

Test the Spirits

Beloved, (A)do not believe every spirit, but (B)test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for (C)many (D)false prophets (E)have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: (F)every spirit that confesses that (G)Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit (H)that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and (I)now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for (J)he who is in you is greater than (K)he who is in the world.

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