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.
—1 John 4:1
There is truth in the saying “All that glitters is not gold.” First John 4:1 warns us not to believe every spirit. Just as Satan can masquerade as an angel of light, so a person living for Satan can say the right words but live the wrong way.
Some false prophets speak very glibly and eloquently but oppose the very truth of God. Rejecting the fact that Jesus has come in the flesh, these prophets often refer to Him as a wonderful leader or a great teacher. In fact, most world religions recognize Christ as a great person.
The Holy Spirit will give you discernment and wisdom to spot indicators that are contrary to the Spirit of Jesus. Daniel said, “Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who turn many to righteousness will shine like stars forever” (Daniel 12:3). We must depend on the Holy Spirit, the One of whom John said, “The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world”
(1 John 4:4).
Follow the Holy Spirit and godly pastoral authority. Be wise and discerning. Satan can’t hide forever, and the Lord knows how to keep you out of the enemy’s deceptive web.