1 John 4:1-6
Is This Of God?
June 28, 2015
First Baptist Church
What’s the number one thing?
1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of
June Memory Verse:
6 being confident of this, that He Who began a good work in you will carry it on
to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.
Remember to Pray For
The COMMITTEE ON COMMITTEES
Kendall Smith - Chairman
Beth Aldridge, David Gibbs,
Sherye Green, Mike Lowe,
Chris Maddux, Jim Merritt, Jr.,
Elizabeth Rich, Eddy Waller
We have three challenges that the Education Department has placed before us
1.) Memorize the monthly memory verses and know each month we are hiding
God’s Word in our heart.
January verse: Romans 10:9
February verse: Ephesians 2:8-9
March verse: Romans 3:23
April verse: I Peter 1:3
May verse: 2 Corinthians 9:7
2.) Share your faith with one person each month and build a relationship with
them, so they will become a believer in 2015 as God uses you to plant seeds
with that person.
3). Ask two Sunday School class members to share how they have seen God at
work during the week.
John MacArthur, Jr.
(Born June 19, 1939)
Radio program: Grace to You
1 John 4:1-6
Is This Of God?
June 28, 2015
1 John 4:1-6 NKJV
1 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. 2 By this you
know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in
the flesh is of God, 3 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.
4 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. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they
speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows
God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of
truth and the spirit of error.
1 John 4:1-6 NKJV
1 Timothy 4:1-2 sheds light on today’s 1 John 4:1-6 passage:
1 Timothy 4:1-2 NKJV
1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith,
giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in
hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
Falling away from the faith why?
• They will have come to hear the faith, perhaps to understand the faith,
obviously not to believe it but being exposed to the truth they fall away
from it like those in Hebrews 6.
Hebrews 6:4-6 NKJV
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the
heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted
the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to
renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the
Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
1 Timothy 4:1b
1b giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
• That's the problem, you've got demon spirits whose goal is deception,
concocting lies to assault the truth of God.
Now the means by which they use to propagate these lies is in verse 2,
1 Timothy 4:2
2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
They go on merrily propagating their lies without so much as a twinge of
conscience because their conscience is like scar tissue having been burned,
having been cauterized, it feels absolutely nothing, they feel no conviction, they
feel no remorse.
Behind all false doctrine are seducing spirits.
John MacArthur was having a conversation with a prominent person one day
and John said, "What you're telling me is not human."
The man replied, “I know that.”
"There are only two possibilities...John said...it's either from the Spirit of God (Holy
Spirit) or it's from demonic spirits (unholy spirit). God has already declared
Himself in His Word so the only thing left is demonic spirits."
You cannot consider any attack on Scripture, any assault that causes people to
doubt or distort or deny the truth of God to be benign, or even to be human, for
These passages (1 Timothy 4:1-2 and 1 John 4:1-6) emphatically link false
doctrine with demonism as its source...doctrines of demons devised by deceitful
or seducing spirits and propagated by hypocritical liars who are
They have literally been cauterized by the powers of hell and by the constant
repetition of their lives so that they feel nothing.
James 3:15 says the same thing.
James 3:15 NKJV
15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly (the world), sensual
(the flesh), demonic (the devil).
(There are only two kinds of wisdom.)
James 3:17-18 NKJV
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing
to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
That's the wisdom of God from above.
And it has all those virtues and it produces righteous fruit.
This is the wisdom from above that comes down from God.
The other wisdom is earthly, it is natural but it is also demonic.
Any lofty view lifted up against the knowledge of God has a spiritual source.
These people are merely the tools which the seducing spirits use to propagate
the lies against the truth of God.
• You can blame the hypocritical liars who proclaim that, but behind the
human is the demonic.
The teacher is only a mouthpiece for seductive spirits and they have a powerful
influence on the world.
If Satan and his imps can get a person to believe a lie, they can control their life.
Obviously, of the billions that are alive in the world today, the vast majority of
them are under the full sway of the lies of seducing spirits, true Christians are a
very small minority.
This is a very successful strategy and Satan basically is the god of this age, the
prince of this world and he rules over men in this world because they have
bought into his lies.
• They take many forms but all of them counter to the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 10:20 NKJV
20 The things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to
God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.
People who sacrifice to idols - while they are not sacrificing to the god they think
they're sacrificing to - they are actually sacrificing to demons.
There is no form of religion, there is no information in the world that speaks to the
issues of time and eternity and salvation that is benign.
It is either the power of the truth of God, or the power of satanic lies.
You can't ever make an easy truce with error because it is not static, it is not
inert and it is energized by the forces of hell.
Paul says an idol has no reality, people may think this is the goddess, Diana, or
they may think they're worshiping some other god, but that god does not exist.
• Demons, however, do exist who have concocted this worship as an
assault on the truth of God to capture men's souls in a fortress that
becomes their prison and ultimately their tomb.
Anything other than the truth, any ideology, any philosophy, any theory, any
viewpoint, any religion other than the truth is demonic.
This is not just New Testament teaching.
(See Leviticus 17:6-7)
Leviticus 17:6-7 NKJV
6 And the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the Lord at the door of the
tabernacle of meeting, and burn the fat for a sweet aroma to the Lord. 7 They
shall no more offer their (goat) sacrifices to demons, after whom they have
played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their
Creating a goat god didn't make that goat a god, all it did was give opportunity
for demons to be worshiped.
They're indicted by the Lord here for being engaged in the worship of a goat
god which was essentially worshiping, playing the harlot with demons.
Deuteronomy 32:15-18 The Message (MSG)
15-18 Jeshurun put on weight and bucked;
you got fat, became obese, a tub of lard.
He abandoned the God Who made him,
he mocked the Rock of his salvation.
They made Him jealous with their foreign newfangled gods,
and with obscenities they vexed Him no end.
They sacrificed to no-god demons,
gods they knew nothing about,
The latest in gods, fresh from the market,
gods your ancestors would never call “gods.”
You walked out on the Rock Who gave you your life,
forgot the birth-God Who brought you into the world.
Deuteronomy 32:15-18 The Message (MSG)
They sacrificed to demons who were not God.
Psalm 106:37 essentially says much the same thing.
Psalm 106:34-39 NKJV
34 They did not destroy the peoples,
Concerning whom the Lord had commanded them,
35 But they mingled with the Gentiles
And learned their works;
36 They served their idols,
Which became a snare to them.
37 They even sacrificed their sons
And their daughters to demons,
38 And shed innocent blood,
The blood of their sons and daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus they were defiled by their own works,
And played the harlot by their own deeds.
So, any form of religion other than the truth is a demonic operation.
• Any world religion, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, you name it, any religion of
any animistic tribe anywhere, any form of pseudo-Christianity...Jehovah's
Witnesses, Mormons, Christian Science, you name it…That's a demonic
system because it's either from the Spirit of God, or demons - there's no
Revelation 16:12-16 NKJV
Sixth Bowl: Euphrates Dried Up
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its
water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be
prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of
the dragon (Satan), out of the mouth of the beast (the Antichrist), and out of the
mouth of the false prophet (cohort of the Antichrist). 14 For they are spirits of
demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the
whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his
garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew,
Revelation 16:12-16 NKJV
This is vivid imagery - frogs are viewed as slimy subterranean creatures,
symbolic of demons.
• Out of the mouth of these three come these slimy subterranean frog spirits-
it's just a way to speak of them with disdain.
Verse 14 says they are spirits of demons.
Performing signs they go out to the kings of the whole world to gather them
together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.
It's going to be in the end of the age that demons come out, seduce the world to
come and make war against God and that war, of course, as you know,
according to verse 16 will be in a place in the Hebrew called Har-Magedon,
Armageddon, the final conflict, the great end holocaust where Jesus comes
back and wins the great victory.
The great battle of Armageddon will be a battle that is generated by demon
powers literally coming out of the mouth, as it were, of Satan, the Antichrist and
the false prophet.
They are frog-like, unclean spirits, deceiving demons who delude and seduce
the world into taking an insane act, an insane suicide march to Israel to attempt
to stop Christ from setting up His Kingdom.
Revelation 19 says Christ comes down, destroys them all.
• But the folly and the idiocy of Armageddon will be a result of the
seduction of demon spirits.
In the meantime, Satan & his demons use many different approaches.
Sometimes atheism, sometimes agnosticism, sometimes polytheism, cults, idols,
perversions of Christianity, whatever the form.
• These are the deceptions of the devil and he will adjust and suit those
deceptions to the environment of anybody.
• If you grow up in a country familiar with Christianity, he'll expose you to
perverted forms of Christianity.
• If you grow up in another country not exposed to Christianity, he will
seduce you by whatever religion dominates that place.
These are what Scripture calls destructive (damnable) heresies, heresies that
2 Peter 2:1-2 NKJV
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be
false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even
denying the Lord Who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 And many will follow their destructive ways (sensuality), because of whom
(false prophets -demons) the way of truth will be blasphemed (maligned).
There is the strategy.
Satan brings damning heresies and he attacks the way of the truth.
This is the battle and this is why Paul says the church has to be the pillar and
ground of the truth.
Demonic deception leaves no Christian doctrine unattacked.
• If you want to espouse the authority of Scripture, hypocritical liars
representing seducing spirits and doctrines of demons will come and
attack the authority of Scripture, attack its inerrancy, attack its inspiration,
or attack its true interpretation.
• If you affirm the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, along will come some seducing
spirits through their human instruments and attack the virgin birth.
• If you espouse the sinless life of Jesus Christ, some will come and attack
There are simple systems of delusion, there are complex systems of delusion.
There are some that are anti-Christian like Islam, and there are some that are
pro-Christian who call themselves Christians and yet they produce a seducing,
destructive, damning message.
We're not just talking about Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism and the
other world religions, but spiritism in any form, all those things attack the truth.
One of the things that is a responsibility of a believer is to be a soldier in the
• The battle for truth is the most important battle because if we lose the truth,
then what other message do we have?
The true church is made up of people who believe the true Gospel - the truth of
John is going to give us some criteria by which we can discern the spirit of truth
from the spirit of error.
We begin with a command to test, and then we look at the need to test, and
finally we look at how to test.
The command to test, verse 1, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit."
That's a command.
Don't be gullible.
In 1 John 3:24 he is talking about the Holy Spirit and he's saying that we know by
this that He abides in us by the Spirit Whom He's given us.
Don't believe every spirit is the Holy Spirit.
• People say today, "Oh, I'm listening for the Spirit of God to speak to me,"
very dangerous stuff. If you want to hear the Spirit of God speak, open the
Bible, that's where He spoke.
1 John 4:1 literally could be translated, “Stop believing every spirit. This can't go
on. You can't just buy into all of it.”
• Actually the form of the Greek verb here indicates the forbidding of an
action already going on.
• Stop it!
Don't believe everything you hear on Christian radio & Christian television.
Don't believe everything you read that purports to be from God.
• Be like the noble Bereans (Acts 17:10-12) and search the Scripture daily to
see if it's so.
You know, false teachers don't like that, they don't want to be scrutinized by you
searching the Bible.
They don't want you to treat them with skepticism.
False teachers do not want to be scrutinized, they don't want to be tested, they
don't want to be held to account.
We're commanded...do not believe every spirit, stop that now!
The word test here is dokimazo, a wonderful New Testament word.
• Really a word taken out of metallurgy where metal was assayed as to its
value, silver and gold, or metal was tested as to its strength, put through
fire for such evaluation.
Put everything through the fire...put everything to the test, you've got to be
• You've got to make sure that everything stands the accurate test.
• Test it...present tense...go on testing the spirits whether they're from God.
And what that basically means is not chasing a demon and trying to figure out
where he is.
• What that means is to test what you're hearing to determine whether it
comes from the Spirit of God (know the truth) or other spirits.
The word dokimazo was also used in a metaphoric sense for testing people
before they were assigned to very prominent tasks or put in positions of rulership
and responsible leadership.
And there's only one way to test everything - it's tested against the Bible, which is
• This has nothing to do with talking to the demon, it has to do with
measuring whatever is being purported to being the truth from God
against what we know God has said.
Why do we have to do this?
Here we come to the need.
First talk about the command, and then the need.
Here's the reason.
"Test the spirits to see whether they're from God because...
Here's the need.
...many false prophets have gone out into the world."
It is a big problem. Satan does not want to be the opposition to the Christian
church, he wants to be confused with the Christian church.
He doesn't want to come out as anti-Christian, he wants to come out as pro-
Christ, unlike in some parts of the world where Satan is very anti-Christian in the
propagation and exaltation, for example, of Islam, in many Muslim countries
Christians are imprisoned and even killed as an activity of Satan.
• But in America, Satan has found his way into the church.
• He's taken over the Christian media in many places and this is not a small
A false prophet is a mouthpiece for seducing spirits, a purveyor of doctrines of
demons and it's the origin that concerns us.
• That's why we have to be so discerning.
We are called to discernment.
John MacArthur wrote a book with the subtitle: "When the church loses the will to
• And we're there in this day - people don't want to discern today because
they don't want to say anybody's wrong.
• It makes people feel bad.
This is the residual effect of the psychological movement in the church.
This is a big, big problem and we must be discerning.
In Matthew chapter 7, in the Sermon on the Mount, listen to what Jesus said,
verse 15, "Beware of the false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing."
Sheep's clothing is wool, they come dressed in a wool garment, that was the
garment of a prophet.
False prophets are dressed like prophets "but inwardly they are ravenous
Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount says you've got to beware of them.
They're everywhere, subtle, clever, deceptive, the enemies of the truth,
So John says, "Look, you have to be able to test this."
The command to test, the reason to test because false teachers are many and
they are everywhere.
And then John gives us three tests.
This is how you can determine.
• Number one, the confession of the divine Lord, do they confess Jesus?
• Number two, possession of the divine life, do they manifest what Jesus
said in Matthew 7, the fruit of righteousness?
• And thirdly, profession of the divine law.
Do they manifest the evidence of divine life and are they committed to the
Do they have the right relationship to the divine Lord?
It really boils down to three things:
1) Do they believe in the incarnation?
2) Do they give evidence of regeneration? and
3) Do they submit to divine revelation?
This is so very important and churches everywhere are filled with people who are
virtually unable to engage in this spiritual battle.
They might as well be put on the shelf, taken with the injured and the wounded
into some hospital for all the good they are in the war - in the fight.
The premium is on the people who know the truth and who are discerning, and
that puts the premium on us and churches like us which seem to be more rare
maybe than in the past.
That means that you stand in a very important place within the Kingdom of God
today, you who know the truth, you become the soldiers on the front line for the
What a glorious privilege this is.
It's very simple to understand the battle that's going on in the world because it's
a battle between truth and lies.
The more truth you know, the more important you are to the battle because the
more you bring to bear, the bigger your gun.
Don't expect to be firing your weapon off and not have a negative reaction from
people who are either in doubt, distortion, or denial of the truth.
John knows how important it is for his people and for ours to hold on to the truth,
to guard the treasure.
Jude said, "Contend, or fight, for the once-for-all-delivered-to-the saints faith,
the truth." (Jude 1:3)
Paul said to Timothy, "Guard the treasure." (See 2 Timothy 1)
2 Timothy 1:6-7, 13-14 NKJV
6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the
laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power
and of love and of a sound mind.
13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith
and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to
you, keep by the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us.
2 Timothy 1:6-7, 13-14 NKJV
So the first test that we learn from John in regard to how we can test the spirits is
the Christology test.
Those who are true confess the divine Lord, the full truth about Christ.
Then the second one -they confess the divine life - possession of the divine life.
The first thing you look for is their doctrine of incarnation.
The second thing you look for is regeneration.
In the incarnation God becomes a partaker of human nature.
In regeneration, man becomes a partaker of the divine nature.
1 John 4:4 NKJV
4 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.
2 Peter 1:3-4 NKJV
3 His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,
through the knowledge of Him Who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which
have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through
these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption
that is in the world through lust.
False teachers recognize their own language.
• Lost souls have an affinity for error and they have affinities for demons,
seducing spirits, hypocritical lies - because they have no apparatus for
But on the other hand, verse 6a says, "We are of God. He who knows God hears
us; he who is not of God does not hear us." (1 John 4:6a NKJV)
That's the final thing.
The evidence of their view of Christ, the evidence of manifest fruit of
regeneration and the evidence of submission to Biblical truth, that's what you're
looking for in discerning a true teacher.
When we use these tests, obviously the more we know about Christ the more we
have seen the fruit of righteousness and the more of the Word of God we know,
the better able we are to exercise these tests.
1 John 4:6 NKJV
6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not
hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Then verse 6 closes, "By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error."
(1 John 4:6b NKJV)
Here's a benediction we close with.
Jude 1:2-7 NKJV
2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common
salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly
for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have
crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation,
ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only
Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having
saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did
not believe. 6 And the angels (demons) who did not keep their proper domain,
but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness
for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities
around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to
sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example,
suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Jude 1:2-7 NKJV
The Plan of Hope & Salvation
John 3:16 NKJV
16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John 14:6 NKJV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through Me.”
Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23a NKJV
23a For the wages of sin is death,
Death in this life (the first death) is 100%.
Even Jesus, the only one who doesn’t deserve death, died in this life to
pay the penalty for our sins.
The death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death explained in
Revelation 21:8 NKJV
8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral,
sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with
fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Romans 5:8 NKJV
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.
Romans 6:23b NKJV
23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Revelation 21:7 NKJV
7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be
Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to accept Jesus as our Savior.
Romans 10:9-10 NKJV
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that
God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one
believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto
Romans 10:13 NKJV
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
If you have questions or would like to know more, Please, contact First Baptist
Church Jackson at 601-949-1900 or http://firstbaptistjackson.org/contact/