1 Jn. 4:1-6
It is striking to note that the Apostle who was chosen to transmit the Apocalypse to the Church, in preparation for the last days of the Church militant, should be the one to write to the Christians of his day: "Believe not every spirit" ( 1 Jn. 4:1-6; top ), and earnestly warn his "children" that the "spirit of anti-Christ," and the "spirit of error" (deception) was already actively at work among them. Their attitude was to be "believe not" - i.e., to doubt every supernatural "teaching" and "teacher," until proved to be of God. They were to prove the "teachings," lest they came from a "spirit of error," and be part of the deceiver's campaign as "anti-Christ," i.e., against Christ.
If this attitude of neutrality and doubt toward supernatural teachings was needed in the days of the Apostle John - some fifty-seven years after Pentecost - how much more is it needed in the "later times" foretold by the Lord, and by the apostle Paul. Times which were to be characterised by a clamour of voices of "prophets," that is - in the language of the twentieth century - "speakers" and "teachers" using the sacred Name of the Lord; and when "teachings" received supernaturally from the spiritual realm, would abound. "Teachings" accompanied with such wonderful proofs of their "divine" origin, as to perplex even the most faithful of the Lord's people, and even, for a time, to deceive some of them.
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