1 John 4:1-6 “Testing the Spirits”
Though Christians commonly think we need to move beyond having doctrinal differences, John informs us that this is an impossible task. We are in the last hour (2:18), so we need to constantly test those that come to us, claiming to teach God's word. Though Satan is mortally wounded, he is still a great danger; the spirit of Antichrist is found in deceitful spirits, who are empowering false prophets. Our calling is to test a teacher's message concerning Christ (4:2-3) - do they articulate the true gospel? Second, we are called to examine whether a teacher is committed to the Apostles' teaching - are they listening to the Apostles' message, which is recorded in Scripture, or are they trying to supplement or even detract from it?