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The Word of Truth (10 of 14)
1 John 4:1-6
John here focuses on the belief in God's truth. He emphasizes the need to teach sound doctrinal and the greater need to obey that doctrine. Scripture always presents stern warnings against false doctrine. Satan, since the Garden of Eden has attempted to distort and deny God's word. He is the ultimate force behind all-false teachers and false doctrine.
Jesus warned in Matt 24:10-11 ''At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.''
Jude 1:3 wrote about following sound teaching when he wrote, ''Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.''
John here warns that other spirits other than the Holy Spirit exists in the world. This would hint at the presence of demonic spirits, who produce false prophets and false teachers who propagate their false doctrine. Christians are to have a healthy skepticism regarding any teaching, unlike some people whom are open minded to anyone claiming a new teaching regarding the faith. Christians are to be like the Bereans of Acts 17 who were students of the Word, and examined the scriptures to determine true or error. Acts 17:11 says, ''Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.'' These men of God did not just accept everything that Paul said; they made sure that what Paul said was in line with the scripture.
The word ''test'' here is a metallurgist's term used for assaying metals to determine their purity and value. Christians must test any teaching with a view to approving or disapproving the new teaching, by comparing it to Scripture.
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