Key verse:
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. – 1 John 4:6 NKJV


We are all spirits; spirits enclosed in the shells of our bodies.  Our Creator, the Lord our God, breathed into man’s nostrils and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).  What kind of spirit (soul) are you?  What kind of spirit (soul) is dwelling in that shell of yours?  After what I witness occur over the last 24 to 36 hours, I feel I must ask that question today.

Kinds of spirit

For those that don’t quite understand what I am asking or saying: you are not that body what you see when you look in the mirror – that’s just your covering, your shell.  Who you really are is on the inside, in your soul.  Look beyond your eyes and look into your soul.  There is a saying which says “the eyes are the windows to the soul”.  When you really look into someone’s eyes, it is believed that you can get a glimpse into their soul.

Looking at this first letter (epistle) of John today and we see that John says there is a spirit of truth and a spirit of error inside of people.  Which would you say dwells inside of you: the spirit of truth or the spirit of error?

If you answer and say that the spirit of truth dwells inside of you, then you’re saying that the spirit of God dwells inside of you – that is the Holy Spirit.  If you say that God does not dwell inside of you, then you’re saying that the spirit of the world is in you.  Again, I must ask the question today, which dwells in you?  Let’s take a look at the characteristics of both of these spirits, if you do not mind.

The spirit of God:  John, the beloved disciple, recognized the spirit of God was in those that confessed Jesus Christ is come in the flesh and is of God (v.2).  John doesn’t stop there, but goes even further in saying that those who are filled with the spirit of God should also be filled with love because God is love (v.8).  This love is a love that is for all – it is all encompassing.

The Apostle Paul wrote one of the most beautiful passages there is in the bible on love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).  Paul said that love is not puffed up; it does not behave rudely nor does it think evil.  Love suffers long and is kind, he said.  Paul continued in saying that love bears all things, endures all things, and it rejoices in truth.  This love is God; it is that love, which we who confess Jesus Christ was flesh and is of God, should have in us – emphasis on should.

However, there is another type of spirit – the spirit of the world.  The characteristics of this spirit are very deceiving, and there is a reason why which I will get into in a few moments.  The spirit of the world masks itself in love but it is a spirit full of both pride and fear.  John describes this spirit as the spirit of Antichrist; he said some was looking for it to come but it was already in the world during his time (v.3).

The spirit of Antichrist stands opposite against the spirit of God (Jesus Christ).  The spirit of Antichrist is a very deceitful spirit because the author of such a spirit is that great deceiver himself – Satan.  This spirit parades itself around in love, speaking eloquently at times, but all along it is a spirit of hate and suffering; it behaves rudely and with evil intent.  Most importantly: this spirit is also full of ignorance because it ignores the truth.

Which spirit dwells in you: the spirit of truth (God) or the spirit of error (the world)?

A Great Evil

I have noticed a great evil in this world, and also right here in America.  It is high time we start calling a spade a spade and speak the truth about what’s going on around us.  The terrible truth is that there are many people who parade themselves as being of God, but they have absolutely no knowledge of God.  Over the last 24 hours I watched the news, like the rest of you, and saw all of what was occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While the president may sit back and simply say that what occurred was said, I will say that it was completely despicable and evil – call it what it is.  There is an evil spirit in the hearts of people in this nation; we are quick to say that about other countries in the world, but act like that evil spirit isn’t here in this nation.  Why not?

ICYMI: Watch or read this Sunday school lesson – Called to Serve

Jesus said (John 14:30), “the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in me.”  The ruler of this world in which Jesus spoke of is Satan; he is the anti of Jesus Christ.  Satan, that great deceiver is in this world today and if you do not believe it, just take a look around you.  What we have seen going on around us are not people acting with a spirit of God in them.

Running down people in a car, when they are clearing standing in front of you, is not Christ-like.  Going inside of a church and killing parishioners is not Christ-like!  Bombing a mosque is not Christ-like.  Spewing hatred, vitriol, and bigotry is not Christ-like.  Treating people rudely and having evil intentions towards them is not Christ-like!  You are not of Christ if that spirit resides in that shell of yours!

I have noticed a great evil in this country today; it absolutely disgusts me to see what is going on and people try to dress it up in the spirit of truth (God).  Men saying they are of Christ, and then go to church every Sunday, yet they are not serving the Lord.  Through their actions we see that they serve only themselves and then turn around and serve money.  The spirit of God is not about self and what’s best for business, but is all about what’s best for others and how you can serve them!

I have searched high and low to see if I can find a scripture in which Jesus says we must serve only ourselves and our desires – I can’t find it!  Point me in the direction to find the scripture that tells me I should serve only to my desires.  Show me where Jesus says there is a master race.  If you tell me that this is in scripture, I will call you a liar and tell you that you are not of God.  Jesus is all encompassing and came to save the world (John 3:16)!  The spirit of God, being Christ-link, is being open to all nations – it is in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19)!

What are you?

What type of spirit are you?  Are you of God or are you filled with something else?  John says it is possible to tell what type of spirit another person may be.  He says (v.1), “try the spirits whether they are of God.”  Try: means to test.  So, in other words, test the spirits to see whether they are of God – the spirit that dwells in you, if you have confessed faith in Christ.

Jesus says (Matthew 7:20), you will know them by their fruits.  In other words, we can measure the spirit of others according to the spirit which dwells inside of us – in a way we can also test ourselves.  If God dwells inside of you, you will quickly recognize that spirit dwelling inside of another.  “He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us.  By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

I believe this scripture also works with the sense of seeing as well because Jesus tells us we can recognize others by their fruit – this implies the use of other senses to be able to recognize.  We can all see, hear, and tell when something is not of Christ.  We can taste and see when something is not of Christ.  You can smell that spirit of anti (error) and that smell is starting to grow stronger and stronger nowadays.

What are we supposed to do with those of that spirit?  How are we to handle this?  This is a question that even I myself had to ask.  The apostle Paul says (1 Timothy 6:4) you will recognize those of a certain spirit because they are proud, yet they know nothing.  He says they are obsessed with disputes which create both envy and strife.  Those men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, Paul says to “withdraw yourself” (1 Timothy 6:5). 

If you find yourself feeling grouped with those of such a spirit, withdraw yourself – leave it!  Those that have the spirit of God in them: understand that you are of God and have overcome such spirits already!  Do not live in fear, but continue to stride in being better!  If you fear that spirit dwells in you, but you want no part of that spirit: turn away from it and let it go!  Turn to Jesus Christ; turn to that spirit of God.

I wish it were as simple as saying, “remove hate from your heart”.  Understand, this is a spiritual battle that we face each and every second of our life.  The spirit of anger, hate, depression, it is a tough spirit to try and fight but you do not have to go it alone.  First and foremost, there is Jesus Christ – our Lord and Savior.  Secondly, the Lord has filled this world many others that have gifts of being able to help – seek such guidance and wisdom!

If you don’t know what kind of spirit you are (what dwells inside of you): I again ask that you open yourself to the Lord.  I want you to know and understand this: God is not the author of evil.  Man has a free will to do whatever he chooses to do, believe in whatever he wants to believe in – God permits us free will.  Be prudent in this journey because there are many spirits that have gone out into this world.  You have the ability of knowing what’s right and knowing what is wrong; what sounds like it is of good doctrine and questionable doctrine.

God is not the author of confusion (divisions).  The Lord is the author of peace!  We, by our Creator, actually have a nature of peace.  We crave and we want peace, but the deceiver that has polluted this world his polluted man with the wisdom that peace can be brought on through hatred and through terror.  Does that really sound like that is how we are going to get peace?  Really, if destroy one people, then we will have peace – no other group will rise up out of fear?  We should all live peaceably with one another.  What kind of spirit dwells in you?  The spirit of the world (Antichrist) does not bring about peace; it only leads to destruction.  For us to grow, to be better, we must turn to the Lord.

Bible References:
Today’s Text – 1 John 4:1-8

Genesis 2:7 – God breathed into man’s nostrils

Matthew 7:20 – Recognizing others by their fruits

John 14:30 – Satan has no part in Jesus

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – Paul teaches about love

1 Corinthians 14:33 – God is not the author of confusion

1 Timothy 6:4 – Withdrawing yourself from the ungodly


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