1 Having spoken somewhat touching the trying of spirits: 4 For some speak after the world, 5 and some after God. 7 He returneth to charity, 11, 19 and by the example of God he exhorteth to brotherly love.

Dearly [a]beloved, believe not every [b]spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: for many false Prophets are gone out into the world.

[c]Hereby shall ye know the Spirit of God, [d]Every spirit which confesseth that [e]Jesus Christ is come in the [f]flesh is of God.

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  1. 1 John 4:1 Taking occasion by the name of the Spirit, lest love and charity should be separated from the worship of God, which chiefly dependeth of his true knowledge, he returneth to that which he spake in the second Chapter touching the taking heed of Antichrists. And he will have us here to take heed of two things, the one is, that seeing there be many false prophets, we do not lightly give credit to every man: the other is, that because many men teach false things, we should not therefore believe any. We must then observe a mean, that we may be able to discern the Spirit of God, which are altogether to be followed from impure spirits which are to be eschewed.
  2. 1 John 4:1 This is spoken by the figure Metonymy, and it is as if he had said, Believe not everyone that saith that he hath a gift of the holy Ghost to do the office of a Prophet.
  3. 1 John 4:2 He giveth a certain and perpetual rule to know the doctrine of Antichrist by, to wit, if either the divine or human nature of Christ, or the true uniting of them together be denied: or if the least jot that may be, be derogate from his office who is our only King, Prophet, and everlasting high Priest.
  4. 1 John 4:2 He speaketh simply of the doctrine, and not of the person.
  5. 1 John 4:2 The true Messiah.
  6. 1 John 4:2 Is true man.

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