1 John 4:1
New International Version
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

New Living Translation
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.

English Standard Version
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Berean Study Bible
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Berean Literal Bible
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.

King James Bible
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

New King James Version
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.

New American Standard Bible
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

NASB 1995
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

NASB 1977
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Amplified Bible
Beloved, do not believe every spirit [speaking through a self-proclaimed prophet]; instead test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets and teachers have gone out into the world.

Christian Standard Bible
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

American Standard Version
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Beloved, do not believe all spirits, but be distinguishing between the spirits whether they are from God, because many false Prophets have gone out into the world.

Contemporary English Version
Dear friends, don't believe everyone who claims to have the Spirit of God. Test them all to find out if they really do come from God. Many false prophets have already gone out into the world,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

English Revised Version
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Good News Translation
My dear friends, do not believe all who claim to have the Spirit, but test them to find out if the spirit they have comes from God. For many false prophets have gone out everywhere.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Dear friends, don't believe all people who say that they have the Spirit. Instead, test them. See whether the spirit they have is from God, because there are many false prophets in the world.

International Standard Version
Dear friends, stop believing every spirit. Instead, test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Literal Standard Version
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but prove the spirits, if they are of God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.

NET Bible
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

New Heart English Bible
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.

Weymouth New Testament
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but put the spirits to the test to see whether they are from God; for many false teachers have gone out into the world.

World English Bible
Beloved, don't believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Young's Literal Translation
Beloved, every spirit believe not, but prove the spirits, if of God they are, because many false prophets have gone forth to the world;

Additional Translations ...
Context
Testing the Spirits
1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you will know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,…

Cross References
1 Kings 13:18
Then the prophet replied, "I too am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'Bring him back with you to your house, so that he may eat bread and drink water.'" The old prophet was lying to him,

Jeremiah 14:14
"The prophets are prophesying lies in My name," replied the LORD. "I did not send them or appoint them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, a worthless divination, the futility and delusion of their own minds.

Jeremiah 23:16
This is what the LORD of Hosts says: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are filling you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.

Jeremiah 29:8
For this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: "Do not be deceived by the prophets and diviners among you, and do not listen to the dreams you elicit from them.

Matthew 7:15
Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

1 Corinthians 12:10
to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in various tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

1 Thessalonians 5:20
Do not treat prophecies with contempt,


Treasury of Scripture

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

believe not.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, …

Proverbs 14:15
The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

Jeremiah 5:31
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

try.

Luke 12:57
Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?

Acts 17:11
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Romans 16:19
For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

many.

1 John 2:18
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

Matthew 24:5,23-26
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many…

Mark 13:21
And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:









IV.

(6) NOT ALL SPIRITS ARE THE RESULT OF THE SONSHIP: NECESSITY OF EXAMINING THEM (1John 4:1-6).

(a)The difference among spirits (1John 4:1).

(b)The measure (1John 4:2-3).

(c)The encouragement (1John 4:4). . . .

Verse 1-1 John 5:12. - (2) The source of son-ship. Possession of the Spirit. Verses 1-6. - Confession of the Incarnation is the assurance that the Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of truth, is working in us, and not the spirit of error. The passage seems clearly to teach that there are two rival influences contending for power over the spirits of men. We must test men's spirits to see whether they are organs of the Spirit of truth or of the spirit of error. Verse 1. - Beloved (as in 1 John 2:28 and 1 John 3:18, the apostle again breaks out with a personal appeal into an earnest exhortation suggested by the statement just made), prove the spirits δοκιμάζετε τὰ πνεύματα. "The spirits" are principles and tendencies in religion: these need to be tested, for earnestness and fervour are no guarantee of truth. And to test these principles is the duty of the individual Christian as well as of the Church in its official capacity. Just as every Athenian was subjected to an examination δοκιμασία as to his origin and character before he could hold office, so the spirit of every religious teacher must be examined before his teaching can be accepted. This is no useless precaution; because, as Christ has come forth ἐξελήλυθε from God (John 16:28; comp. John 8:42; John 13:3; John 16:27), ninny false prophets have come forth ἐζεληύθασι from the spirit of error. But perhaps "have gone forth into the world" means no more than " have displayed themselves" in publicum prodierunt. There is probably no reference to the false teachers having "gone forth from us" (1 John 2:19). Besides Cerinthus and other Gnostics, there were the Nicolaitanes, astrologers, professors of magic, and dealers in charms, some of which seem to have had their origin in Ephesus, for they were known as "Ephesian letters." Apollonius of Tyana was eagerly welcomed at Ephesus, and it is not impossible that his visit took place during St. John's lifetime.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Greek
Beloved,
Ἀγαπητοί (Agapētoi)
Adjective - Vocative Masculine Plural
Strong's 27: From agapao; beloved.

do not believe
πιστεύετε (pisteuete)
Verb - Present Imperative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's 4100: From pistis; to have faith, i.e. Credit; by implication, to entrust.

every
παντὶ (panti)
Adjective - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's 3956: All, the whole, every kind of. Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.

spirit,
πνεύματι (pneumati)
Noun - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.

but
ἀλλὰ (alla)
Conjunction
Strong's 235: But, except, however. Neuter plural of allos; properly, other things, i.e. contrariwise.

test
δοκιμάζετε (dokimazete)
Verb - Present Imperative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's 1381: From dokimos; to test; by implication, to approve.

the
τὰ (ta)
Article - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

spirits
πνεύματα (pneumata)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.

[to see] whether
εἰ (ei)
Conjunction
Strong's 1487: If. A primary particle of conditionality; if, whether, that, etc.

they are
ἐστιν (estin)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

from
ἐκ (ek)
Preposition
Strong's 1537: From out, out from among, from, suggesting from the interior outwards. A primary preposition denoting origin, from, out.

God.
Θεοῦ (Theou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

For
ὅτι (hoti)
Conjunction
Strong's 3754: Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.

many
πολλοὶ (polloi)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's 4183: Much, many; often.

false prophets
ψευδοπροφῆται (pseudoprophētai)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's 5578: From pseudes and prophetes; a spurious prophet, i.e. Pretended foreteller or religious impostor.

have gone out
ἐξεληλύθασιν (exelēlythasin)
Verb - Perfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's 1831: To go out, come out. From ek and erchomai; to issue.

into
εἰς (eis)
Preposition
Strong's 1519: A primary preposition; to or into, of place, time, or purpose; also in adverbial phrases.

the
τὸν (ton)
Article - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

world.
κόσμον (kosmon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's 2889: Probably from the base of komizo; orderly arrangement, i.e. Decoration; by implication, the world (morally).


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