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In 1 John 4:1, what is the relationship between the "false prophets" and "the breath/spirit"? It seems that the translations disagree:

New International Version Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

New Living Translation Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

Is he suggesting:

  • there are evil spirits/breaths that speak through controlling fake prophets (antichrists)?
  • there are fake prophets who claim to speak by the breath/spirit of God but are phonies and their utterance (PNEUMA) or their "spirit" is not to be believed?
  • something else?
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Burton L. Mack says, in Who Wrote the New Testament, page 215, he believes that a split took place in the Johannine community shortly after the turn of the second century. One faction thought it best to merge with other Christian groups of a more centrist leaning, and included the 'Presbyter', author of the Johannine epistles. The other party developed in the direction of a Christian gnosticism. Being gnostic, these people believed the highest order of humans were the gnostic 'pneumatics' (from Greek πνεῦμα, "spirit").

First John is to a large extent a harsh polemic against members of the other faction, who "went out from us" (1 John 2:19). We only see one point of view, that of the 'Presbyter', who regarded his former colleagues as "false apostles". Thus, when the Presbyter says not to believe every spirit, he is saying not to listen to the gnostic pneumatics, who were, of course, false apostles.

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Peace.

The translations disagree because of a lack of understanding on the translators part about what is really being said.

The false prophets are preaching “another Jesus” in another spirit/breath. They claim that they preach in Christ but it is another spirit that they are preaching with.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 KJV (3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (4) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Their “Jesus” that they preach is not the true Christ but is the “antichrist”. Their Jesus is the instead-of-Christ (antichrist). This is the spirit/breath of the antichrist that they are preaching.

1 John 4:1-6 KJV (1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

This is the test: every spirit/breath that confesses (acknowledging in their preaching) that Jesus Christ is coming NOW in the flesh is of God. The life of Jesus IS COMING now in our mortal flesh to give us His eternal life in this earth.

(2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

The false prophets do not confess…acknowledge …this in any of their preaching in their spirit/breath that they use to preach their “another Jesus”. They are not looking for the life of the true Jesus to be made manifest in their mortal flesh in this earth as they perish away to the grave and take their listeners with them.

(3) 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.

For yet a little while, He that IS COMING shall come and will not tarry. Jesus Christ IS COMING in our mortal flesh to give us His eternal life in this earth. We shall not perish but have His everlasting life now. After we have done the will of God, we shall receive the promise….the promise of eternal life in this earth.

Hebrews 10:36-37 KJV (36) For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (37) For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

We keep the “daily sacrifice” of the Lord in our mortal bodies….ALWAYS bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus so that the life (the eternal life) of Jesus might be made manifest in our body….in our mortal flesh. This is not about “dying and going to Heaven”. This is about the eternal life of Jesus being made manifest in our mortal bodies in this earth. He IS COMING and will be manifested in our outer mortal flesh in due season. This is where we have faith in this.

2 Corinthians 4:10-11 KJV (10) Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (11) For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

This is the promise that He has promised us: ETERNAL LIFE.

This life is the life of Jesus to be experienced in the here-and-now and not in the “afterlife”. But the false prophets want to seduce us away from that. They are preventing the eternal life of Jesus from being made manifest in this earth in those that they are deceiving. They are preaching in order to take away the keeping of His "daily" sacrifice out of our lives so that His life is never made manifest. there is a "war" going on now. Satan makes war with those who keep God's commandments and have the testimony of Jesus Christ....the real Jesus.

1 John 2:25-26 KJV (25) And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (26) These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

The false prophets are not preaching that Jesus IS COMING now in the flesh…our mortal flesh.

They preach instead that “Jesus”…their Jesus….is coming some day in the future. He “shall come” someday according to them.

John states that this is evidence of the last time as they are all preaching that their “Jesus” who is in the instead-of-Christ (antichrist) “shall come”…or is coming some day in the future. We have all heard it in every church gathering that Jesus shall come someday in the future. And yet “he” never arrives.

John corrects this kind of preaching by stating that there are NOW many “antichrists” as there are many different "Jesuses” being preached by many false prophets who have gone out into the world. We know it is the last time by their preaching of this in another “spirit”…the spirit of the antichrist…as Satan makes war with the saints.

According to false prophets Jesus shall come some day in the future but the truth is that there are already many different "Jesuses" being preaching now in their breath/spirit of error.

1 John 2:18-19 KJV (18) Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

The people (the false prophets) of the prince that they are preaching “SHALL COME” (and not IS COMING now)are here to destroy and prevent the life of Jesus Christ from ever appearing. They are here to remove the keeping of the "daily" sacrifice of our Lord out of our mortal bodies so that we perish from this earth. His eternal life is not being made manifest in this earth.

The Messiah (Christ) is being cut off from the land of the living by their preaching of “another Jesus” that “shall come” someday in the future as Satan’s ministers are used as instruments to make war against the Truth. The Truth is being cast to the ground and they practice and prosper at it.

Daniel 9:26 KJV (26) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

They…the false prophets…are denying the true Jesus who is the Christ in favor of their “Jesus” the antichrist that they are preaching who "shall come" some day in the future.

They are getting rewarded with earthly things for their preaching. They are preventing the eternal life of Jesus from ever appearing in this earth as His daily sacrifice is getting removed out of the lives of those they are deceiving. .

1 John 2:22-23 KJV (22) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (23) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

Where is His eternal life being made manifest in this earth in this time of warfare as Satan and his ministers make war on those who would follow Him?

Who shall declare His generation? He is being cut off out of the land of the living. His life is not being made manifest. He makes His grave with the wicked and the rich in His DEATHS (in Hebrew the word is plural).

The false prophets are doing violence and deceit is found in their mouths even though the true Jesus who is the Christ did none of these things as many go down the broad way to the destruction of the mortal flesh without the eternal life of Jesus being made manifest in this earth.

Isaiah 53:8-9 KJV (8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. (9) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Multitudes are being led down the broad way to the destruction of their mortal flesh from this earth by the many false prophets who are preaching "another Jesus" who is the "antichrist" and not the true Jesus who is the Christ.

Matthew 7:12-15 KJV (12) Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (13) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

They are not acknowledging in their preaching that Jesus the true Christ IS COMING now in the flesh....our mortal flesh. Again, according to them their "Jesus" shall come someday in the future and in the meantime their listeners perish from off this earth without the eternal life of Jesus being made manifest in their mortal flesh.

2 John 1:7-11 KJV (7) For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (8) Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

They do not have the teaching (doctrine) of the true Christ in their breath that speaks erroneous words and we should not have anything to do with them as they will seduce us away from the Way that leads us to His life being made manifest in this earth and put us on the broad way to the destruction of the mortal flesh...perishing.

(9) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (10) If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (11) For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

This is the job of the false prophets who are preaching many false Christs in this time: to deliver you up to be afflicted and kill you with their false preaching of another Jesus the antichrist.

All nations hate us for His name's sake because they are preaching a false Christ supposedly in His name...supposedly in His authority. If they were preaching the true Jesus who is the Christ, the nations would not speak evil of us.

Matthew 24:9-10 KJV (9) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. (10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

The whole world perishes because of the false prophets (the second beast) who are preaching another Jesus (the first beast).

A "mouth" was given to him (the first beast...the false Jesus the antichrist) as the whole world opens their mouth to blaspheme His holy Name and the gospel by what they hear and see the false prophets preaching and doing.

The power of death is in the mouth of those who blaspheme God and His holy Name through the false prophets' erroneous words and covetous practices that they see going on inside the churches of the false prophets. God's house is supposed to be a house of prayer for all nations but all they see are the "den of thieves" and blaspheme His holy Name because of it.

Revelation 13:4-7 KJV (4) And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? (5) And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. (6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (7) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

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