How Does One “Try the Spirits”?
Selected from our Questions and Answers program

A: We’re told very definitely, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Just because a thing is religious and references the Bible doesn’t mean it is a work of God. A great many gullible people have been taken in by cults. I disagree with the psychologist that says all of us are vulnerable; all are not vulnerable! No child of God is vulnerable to this sort of thing. Even when Antichrist appears, the Lord Jesus Christ says that he will be a miracle worker and if it were possible to deceive the elect, he’d be able to deceive them. But it’s not possible. You can fool them for a while, but they’ll catch on. The interesting thing that characterizes these folk is ignorance of the Word of God. They’ve been exposed to the Word, yet they seem to have no spiritual understanding of the Bible at all. They do not study it. I do not believe a person who is grounded in the Word can be lured by charlatans that appear from time to time and lead off a great many people. And they’re generally people that have been going to church. But they never seem to get anywhere as far as the Bible is concerned. Sometimes that’s the fault of the church — they do not teach the Word of God to their people. And when they don’t, then they’re open prey for the first leader that comes along and promises them something for nothing and uses a little magic. They go after him. My friend, if you are built up in the Word of God solidly, you’re not going to be able to do that. That’s the way to try the spirits — by the Word of God.