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.

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.

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.

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.

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,

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

New American Standard 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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

King James 2000 Bible
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

American King James Version
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are 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.

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.

Darby Bible Translation
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, if they are 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try 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;
Study Bible
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," the LORD replied. "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,

1 Thessalonians 5:21
but test all things. Hold fast to what is good.

2 Thessalonians 2:2
not to be easily disconcerted or alarmed by any spirit or message or letter presuming to be from us and alleging that the day of the Lord has already come.

2 Peter 2:1
Now there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies that even deny the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves.

1 John 2:7
Beloved, I am not writing you a new commandment, but an old one, which you have had from the beginning. This commandment is the message you have heard.

1 John 2:18
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. This is how we know that it is the last hour.

2 John 1:7
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, refusing to confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.

3 John 1:11
Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.

Revelation 2:2
I know your deeds, your labor, and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate those who are evil, and you have tested and exposed as liars those who falsely claim to be apostles.

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:







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

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

every
παντὶ (panti)
Adjective - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 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 Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.

but
ἀλλὰ (alla)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 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 Greek 1381: From dokimos; to test; by implication, to approve.

the
τὰ (ta)
Article - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 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 Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.

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

they are
ἐστιν (estin)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 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 Greek 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 Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

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

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

false prophets
ψευδοπροφῆται (pseudoprophētai)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 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 Greek 1831: To go out, come out. From ek and erchomai; to issue.

into
εἰς (eis)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 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 Greek 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 Greek 2889: Probably from the base of komizo; orderly arrangement, i.e. Decoration; by implication, the world (morally).
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).

(d)The condemnation (1John 4:5).

(e)Inference and conclusion (1John 4:6).

The mention of faith in 1John 3:23 had reminded St. John of the danger of intellectual, as well as of moral error. The mention of God's Spirit at the conclusion of the last paragraph gave him a form in which to clothe the discussion of truth and falsehood in its human manifestations. By "spirits" he means those tendencies towards good and evil (here especially with regard to thought and opinion) which may be considered as coming from the supreme power of God, on the one hand, and from the inferior power of the devil, on the other. Into the question what these influences are, whether, like the Holy Spirit, they are personal or not, he does not enter. Where one quality, or opinion, shows itself in different individuals, he identifies it and calls it a spirit. Religious fervour might take a form quite antagonistic to the real will and law of God. For Christians there was but one standard by which to measure all claims on their religious allegiance: confession that the man Christ Jesus was the Word. All that demurred to that plain fact, and the loyalty implied by it, belonged to the spirit of antichrist. His hearers, however, if he understood them rightly, need not fear. By virtue of their adherence to the truth, God was in them. In Him they had conquered the spirits of the world, and had but to claim their victory. The false teachers might be known, and must be condemned by the savour of the world that was in their method and their message, and by their popularity with what was opposed to God. The Apostles and those who taught with them could confidently before God put forward the grand claim that theirs was the spirit that came from Him, because they had held undeviatingly to the truth as manifested in Jesus.

(6 a.) (1) Beloved.--Whenever St. John uses this word, he has a strong and earnest exhortation in hand. (Comp. 1John 3:2-21; 1John 4:7.)

Try the spirits.--Comp. 1Corinthians 10:15; 1Corinthians 11:13; 1Corinthians 12:10; Ephesians 5:10; 1Thessalonians 5:21. It is most important to notice that this examination of truth and error is inculcated on all alike, not merely on an ordained and materially separate class.

Prophets, in the New Testament, preach rather than predict. (Comp. 1Corinthians 14:1-4; 1Corinthians 14:24; Ephesians 4:11.)

Are gone out into the world, either "from us," or else "have appeared in order to give their message." (Comp. John 6:14; John 16:28; John 18:37.)

(6 b.) Comp. 1Corinthians 12:3. The real humanity of the Saviour is the truth here specially emphasised.

(2) Jesus Christ is taken to imply all His history. (Comp. 1John 3:23, and 1John 4:6.)

Come is used of Christ in St. John's language for His mission and manifestation. (Comp. John 5:43; John 6:14; John 7:28-29; John 8:42; John 16:28; John 18:37.)

(3) Every spirit that confesseth not.--There is a curious old reading mentioned by Socrates, the historian, viz., "every spirit that destroyeth" (or, dissolveth) "Jesus Christ." It is, however, evidently a gloss, written against the Gnostics, which crept into the text. It is clear that this verse presupposes an evangelistic presentation of Christ before refusal to confess His historical person could be made. (Comp. 1John 2:18.)

(6 c.) This consolation is in the same manner as that in 1John 2:12, and is introduced by the same endearing phrase. He is sure they have held to the truth, and have the Sonship. (Comp. 1John 3:1-2; 1John 3:13-14.) God is in them, and therefore the victory is already theirs. Although they may still have to struggle, they have only to claim Christ's strength, and they have won. In making their choice between light and darkness, love and hate, good and evil, God and the devil, they became of the victorious party.

(4) Them--i.e., the antichrists, the false prophets, the spirits that are not of God. (Comp. 1John 2:13-14.)

He that is in the world--i.e., "the prince of this world," the devil.

(6 d.) As usual, a contrast. The reason of their success is at once their distinguishing mark and their condemnation. (Comp. John 8:37; John 8:43; John 8:47; John 18:37.)

(5) Hearing them.--This implies listening with attention and pleasure.

(6 e.) (6) We are of God.--The first side of the antithesis repeated, after St. John's manner, with a difference, we being substituted for ye, and meaning "the Apostles and those who taught with them." St. John feels the grave duty, in condemnation of Cerinthus and other opponents, to assert the genuine truth and divine authority of the apostolic gospel. There could be no spiritual pride in this; it was a conscientious obligation. God spoke in them, and their loyalty for bade alike disclaimer and accommodation. (Comp. John 18:37.) When heretics said, "Christ ought to have said this or that," the Apostles had only to reply, "But He did not say it."

Hereby know we.--The criterion here is much the same as in 1John 4:2-3, but regarded from a different point of view: attention to false innovators, or faithful adherence to the Jesus Christ of history.

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. 4:1-6 Christians who are well acquainted with the Scriptures, may, in humble dependence on Divine teaching, discern those who set forth doctrines according to the apostles, and those who contradict them. The sum of revealed religion is in the doctrine concerning Christ, his person and office. The false teachers spake of the world according to its maxims and tastes, so as not to offend carnal men. The world approved them, they made rapid progress, and had many followers such as themselves; the world will love its own, and its own will love it. The true doctrine as to the Saviour's person, as leading men from the world to God, is a mark of the spirit of truth in opposition to the spirit of error. The more pure and holy any doctrine is, the more likely to be of God; nor can we by any other rules try the spirits whether they are of God or not. And what wonder is it, that people of a worldly spirit should cleave to those who are like themselves, and suit their schemes and discourses to their corrupt taste?
Jump to Previous
Believe Beloved Dear Forth Friends Great Loved Ones Prophets Prove Spirit Spirits Teachers Test Try Whether World
Jump to Next
Believe Beloved Dear Forth Friends Great Loved Ones Prophets Prove Spirit Spirits Teachers Test Try Whether World
Links
1 John 4:1 NIV
1 John 4:1 NLT
1 John 4:1 ESV
1 John 4:1 NASB
1 John 4:1 KJV

1 John 4:1 Bible Apps
1 John 4:1 Biblia Paralela
1 John 4:1 Chinese Bible
1 John 4:1 French Bible
1 John 4:1 German Bible

Alphabetical: are because believe Beloved but Dear do every friends from God gone have into many not out prophets see spirit spirits test the they to whether world

NT Letters: 1 John 4:1 Beloved don't believe every spirit but test (1J iJ 1Jn i jn 1 jo) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
1 John 3:24
Top of Page
Top of Page