Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 John 4:1 ESV
This is very wise advice from John. We all need to test what we hear and read to see if it is from God. The truth of the matter is, just because someone says a teaching is from God or His word does not mean it is. There are false teachers out there.
John writes this letter in the first century, the church is less than 100 years old and yet he says many false prophets had gone out into the world. If there were false teachers in the first century it stands to reason that there are false teachers in the twenty-first century.
The responsibility falls on us as followers of Christ to test what we are taught. If it is not in line with the teachings of Christ and his apostles teachings then it can't possibly be the truth. If it isn't the truth, it is false and is to be treated as a lie.
There is a reason the Berean's were praised for their study of the scriptures as we see in Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. They didn't take Paul's preaching at face value they made sure that his teachings were in line with the scriptures.
So today, let's be like the Berean's and test what we learn about God's word. Whenever we read something or hear something concerning the bible, we will not take it at face value but test it against God's word. Let's examine the scriptures daily. When we do that, we will be able to identify false teaching when it is presented to us.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman