John is called the apostle of love. His writing is tied to loving God. We should love him because he’s trustworthy. John warns us of spiritual activity going on in society.
1 John 4 King James Version (KJV) 1Beloved, 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.
We need to discern what is behind actions of lack of them in society today. We live in a natural universe created by the true and living spiritual God. We also live in the midst of a spiritual world that is far more expansive than the natural. As humans we feel dominant, but man is a small part of creation. If we squeezed everyone together into a tower it wouldn’t be all that wide or high in comparison to what else there is. There are beings in the spiritual world, many more than humans. People without God are in a state of senselessness. There seems to be a lack of common sense. There is a denial of the spiritual world.
As Christians we know God exists. We know his Son Jesus exists and came to this world. He was crucified on the cross. History attests to this but society falls short by not agreeing he was the Son of God and rose from the dead. That’s how the devil would have it. Evil spirits dominate this world. We’re confined but they are not. The overwhelming influence of darkness has influenced every level of society. Before we accepted Jesus as Savior we were under the influence of this power. We may have thought we were living as we wanted but the influence was great and we did and said things we would not have done without that influence. The Spirit of God spoke to us alerting us to the wrong. He is the source of good. Of all the blessing of salvation, one of the most helpful is the discernment we have through the Spirit of the Lord. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to see the influence of Satan. His influence is strong and keeps many away from God. We know how strong he is against us even now.
When we read the history of our nation we can see the influence of evil and the tendency to do wrong on the parts of many. It’s through the working of Satan and his evil spirits. He succeeded in keeping many away from God. When they went into eternal punishment the spirits of evil went on to the next generation. Forty to fifty years ago we saw full churches with many being saved. Weigh it out. The devil was working just as hard then as he is now. People sinned just as much. The difference is that now sin is out in the open. Sinners used to have shame about how they lived.
Verse 1 tells us not to be gullible. We are not to believe every spirit. Don’t listen to the many voices the devil uses to lure us from God. A sheep is lured from the flock and devoured by wolves. Don’t be that sheep. Don’t be so broad minded that you take in and trust everything. Lots of people say they are Christians. They go to church, but their lives don’t pan out what they say. The devil will work through the religious world to get to us and discourage us. The only way to break that is through Jesus Christ. Be careful not to let your light go dim. Stay close to Jesus and stick with the ways we know are of God. Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God. Never let what you hear or read supersede the Word of God. You can’t trust much outside the Word.
The devil knows Jesus will return soon. The international chaos is great, but we also see internal conflict in most nations. The fullness of the cup of God’s wrath is nearly full. Know this. The devil will just get worse. We have to stay close to Jesus, each other, the Bible, and God’s house. Be ready to give answer for the hope in you. The devil is ready to pounce, so be ready to answer. He can pull us down before we realize it. We must trust and know the Spirit of God and his Word.
I’m glad to know that when I come to church I know what kind of church I’m coming to. We may see an influx of people to the churches who stay true to God before Jesus returns. Churches and people who stay pure will be noted by others. If we confess Jesus, let’s do it by being genuine. The Holy Spirit is our best protection and the best detection of evil. We’re on the devil’s black list. We used to be on his buddy list but after salvation we were put on God’s list.
Even at the close of the first century John said the spirit of antichrist was in the world. We know we are of God because we allow Jesus to be our Lord. Verse 4 says greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. It makes me want to cleave to him. We have a God we can trust. We need a revival of trust in God. If we ever needed to do that, we need it now. Pray and ask God to strengthen your trust in him.