1 John 4:5-6
They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
How do we judge between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error? The Bible tells us to try the spirits to determine if they are of God or not. Is the words I am allowing to influence me from the spirit of truth or do they come from the spirit of error? We must be careful as the spirit of error can very subtlety be attached to and be behind words that come from even those who claim to be speaking in love and sincerity.
Luke 6:44, “For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.” We know what kind of a tree we are looking at by what kind of fruit it bears.
For us to know that what we are hearing and being influenced by is the spirit of truth, it must confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. Number two it must know Jesus Christ and finally it must influence us to love one another.
We can acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh and yet still refuse to accept Him. The spirit of truth not only acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh but it also knows Jesus Christ and has a deep and personal relationship with Him.
Then the next thing the spirit of truth will do is influence you to love one another. Love is giving and flows out from us. The spirit of error is taking in nature and is always looking to draw something inward for itself.
Many people and even groups confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh and even know Him on some level and yet they allow a spirit of error to become attached to that knowledge and decide that if you don’t see it their way or belong to their group then you have something less than they do. What they are espousing is not producing love for one another. Rather it produces attacks against whoever does not agree with them. A spirit of elitism comes from a spirit of error.
Let us try the spirits and embrace the spirit of truth that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, knows Jesus Christ and produces love one for another.