Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
This warning is so important to us today. As we approach the end times we are beginning to enter the time of the great apostasy. The falling away from the faith spoken of by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Thessalonian church. A time when spiritual warfare will increase dramatically and a time when many false teachers, false prophets, new ideas and new religions will rise in many shapes and forms. This also includes false spiritual encounters brought about by principalities in heavenly places, who are opposed to God and in league with Satan. These false doctrines will invade the church, our media, our lives and our thoughts with false teaching brought about by Satan, those demons who followed him in rebellion, and the fallen world we live in. All of which will deny the divinity and exclusivity of Christ and the inerrancy of scripture. They deny the need for salvation through Christ alone, because they want us separated from God forever. You have to remember Satan and his demons know the end of the story, they know where they will spend eternity. They understand that the battle as already been fought. So defeated, they understand they cannot stand against God.
Their only goal now, is to bring as many of us along with them to Hell as they can. And they will try to do so by turning as many as possible away from Jesus and God’s word, the Bible. Moreover, they will use any means possible to do so! However, one of the most effective is by using our pride against us. This means, they will always deny the divinity of Jesus, deny grace and salvation by faith alone. And they will always add works to salvation because it appeals to human pride. It’s part of our human nature, when we think we can contribute to our own salvation and make ourselves appear more self-righteous. This appeals to our sin nature and without Christ, we will gravitate in that direction. However, dear believer, we are to stand strong in Christ who strengthens us, through the Holy Spirit who indwells and guides us, and God’s word, which comforts us. We do so knowing every doctrine, every person or spirit who does not claim Jesus as Lord, is of Satan. Those who do not acknowledge Jesus as fully God and fully man, and that salvation is found in Him alone through faith alone is not of God, but is from Satan. This is what the Bible calls the spirit of the anti-Christ, sent by Satan to steal the hearts of people away from God. Therefore, we are to remember to test the spirits because anything other than faith in Jesus alone for salvation is a false religion.