The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error
Often I have said, “I am not afraid of the truth.” I desire to know the truth and to have the truth. We live in a world of truth and error. The most dangerous error is the error that is closest to the truth.
The Bible says in 1 John 4:1-6, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world…Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:…And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world…Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world…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.”
John writes, “Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” We are dealing with a war of spirits. It is a war between the prince of this world, the spirit of error, and the Lord God Almighty, the Spirit of truth.
John sounds out a warning under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. We come now to this warning, “Beloved, believe not every spirit…” In other words, when someone is speaking in the name of God, we should not blindly believe that everything he says is truth.
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” God declares that we are to try the spirits. Many false prophets are gone out into the world, and these false prophets are the spokespersons for Satan. Behind every one of them stands the devil.
1 John 4:2-3 says,
“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:…And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
God tells us again of the spirit of antichrist. When John penned this epistle in the first century, the spirit of antichrist was already present in the world. Remember, antichrist means any thing or anyone that is instead of Christ or against Christ. It refers to any doctrine that is instead of or against Christ, or anyone embodying that doctrine.
We have been invaded by Satan. He and his forces now seek control of this world. Satan is identified in the Bible as the “prince of this world,” and the Christ-rejecting world bows to his word and his philosophy. He has brought to our world the “spirit of error.”
Remember, Adam and Eve had not been in the Garden of Eden long before the devil made his appearance. He invaded the garden. He had already rebelled against God. The Bible reveals to us in the Revelation of Jesus Christ that as many as one third of the angels followed Satan in his rebellion (Revelation 12:4).
I do not know how many of these spirit beings exist, but we know from the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry that at one point a demon said his name was “Legion.” This means as many as six thousand could have been assigned to one man in an instant. All of them who are in our world are working to promote the “spirit of error.”
The devil came to channel his message to Adam and Eve. Eve, being deceived by the subtlety of the devil, yielded to the temptation. Her husband also yielded to the “spirit of error,” the lie of the devil. They rebelled against God, refusing to have His authority over their lives.
The invasion by the “spirit of error” entered into the world and entered into the bloodstream of our first parents, and they became sinners by nature. Now we are inheritors of their sinful nature. Because of this, we are bent toward following this “spirit of error.”
When God makes His indictment against His people in Hosea 4:1, He says in verse one, “Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.”
God says, “No truth is in the land.” We find ourselves in the same situation today. We have rejected God’s fixed point of reference. We have traded the Word of God, the truth, for our opinions. We had not traded God’s Word for something; we have traded God’s Word for ourselves. We have taken the place of God’s Word. What we say, believe, and feel is right became the standard instead of the Word of God, which is absolute truth.
The unbelieving world has no problem with you telling them that Jesus Christ has changed your life; but they will not allow you to say that He is the only way of salvation. We have been invaded by this “spirit of error.”
Is it really fair for us to say that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation? Is this really fair to everyone else? The Lord Jesus Christ declared, “I am the way” (John 14:6).
This “spirit of error” has invaded our world. We must be aware that it has become a part of the fabric of our society. There is no truth in the land!
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truths shall make your free” John 8:32