We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
1 John 4:6 NIV
In John’s day, much as it is in our world today, there were many false teachers leading people away from the truth. Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish those proclaiming the truth from those preaching falsehood. But John gives us two tests in 1 John 4:1-6 to help us know how to recognize the Spirit of truth and distinguish it from false teachers.
The first test is found in verses 1-3 of this chapter. The false teacher will deny that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. There is much you might read into this. But at the very least, the false prophet denies that Jesus is from God, that he was human, and that he was the Christ, God’s messiah who came to bring salvation to a lost world. Anyone who preaches salvation in any other name than Jesus is a false prophet.