John warns the believers of Christ to “…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) During John’s time there were many false prophets and he warned that there would be many more in the future, even into our own times. We need to pray always and ask God what we should believe or not believe.
John explains that if we are following God and His commandments we will know whether a messenger is of God or of the devil. Those who follow the things of the world, will hear and respond to a message that is geared towards the desires of the world. The things of God may be hard for lovers of the world to understand or accept;
“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.” (1 John 4:4-6)
John encourages us to love our neighbors as Jesus commanded, for if we love one another we will feel the Love of God and His Son Jesus Christ; “…let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:7-9)
Those who say they love God, but not their fellow man are hypocrites; “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” (1 John 4:20-21)