1 John 4:1 Test the Spirits in Dreams Visions or Abductions

1 John 4

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.(1 Jn. 4:1 NKJ)

More than forty years ago, having publicly confessed Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Mt. 10:32) I knew I was saved (Rom. 10:9-13), born again (John 3:3-4; 20:31).

One night while wondering what to do next, I was suddenly out of my body and went to what I thought was third heaven.

Everywhere brilliant light, furnishings all gold and crystal jeweled, beautiful. Telepathically I heard a glorious angel saying, “prophet to the nations I have made you.”

Then a book I could not read appeared, written in symbols strange characters.

“Drink from this cup so your eyes will be opened.” But the gold goblet was filled with dark liquid, the blackest black.

I recoiled in fear, I sensed it was evil.

The angel became stern, foreboding. A feeling I was blaspheming became so strong I could barely think.

But it was then the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance the scripture, God’s command we “test the spirits”.

For a moment I was frozen in inaction. The feeling I was about to blaspheme the Spirit was overwhelming my ability to think, I almost didn’t dare ask:

“Can you confess Jesus Christ is your LORD? (1 Cor. 12:3). Do you confess Jesus Christ came in the flesh?” (1 Jn 4:3)

Suddenly the angel became hideous, its disguise dropped (2 Cor. 11:14) and I sensed demonic hate and evil directed at me.

Then something yanked me out as if by the collar of my jacket. I awoke in my room, whether from sleep I do not know. I couldn’t sleep at all after that.[1]

There are Three Tests, use them all.

1) Spirits cannot confess Jesus Christ came in the flesh:

2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God.
And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1 Jn. 4:2-3) NKJ

When asked if they confess “Jesus Christ came in the flesh” their disguise will vanish and their demonic identity will be revealed.

2) Demon spirits cannot say Jesus is (their) LORD.

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:3) NKJ

Regardless whether the evil spirit is speaking through a medium (prophet, necromancer, etc) or directly in a vision or dream, when asked to confess Jesus is their LORD, its disguise will vanish and its evil identity will be revealed.

3) The Holy Spirit of God cannot say Jesus is accursed

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:3) NKJ

God the Holy Spirit cannot speak of the LORD JESUS in anything but loving, admiring, honoring terms. Anything negative about the Person or character of Christ or His Work or Sacrifice, its not the “Spirit of God” who is speaking.

These three objective tests work when faithfully done (John 17:17).

The early church were not spiritualists. They are testing “the many false prophets who have gone out into the world” claiming to speak by the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:1). They don’t hold seances and try to communicate with spirits.

Infinite God the Holy Spirit is not like finite spirits in any way, in nature or the way they speak through a prophet (Isa. 46:5). The test reveals only if it is the “spirit of truth” or the “spirit of error” that is speaking (1 John 4:6). Identity, not nature or method.

If the “prophet” lies about speaking by a spirit, the tests will not work. Humans can lie and say anything they want. Indeed, a con artist knowing this verse might add it to his act knowing it would make his lies convincing.

Spirits can appear in voices, dreams, visions, which Satan has modernized as “alien abductions”.

Everyone on earth has been victimized by evil spirits to some degree (1 John 5:19). Telepathic suggestion (Mark 4:15. 2 Cor. 4:3-4. Jam. 1:13) and dreams tempt to evil. You can test those who appear in your dreams precisely as John suggested. Ask anyone who approaches in a dream to confess “Jesus came in the flesh.” If you think about doing this, its likely you will when asleep. Friends, loved ones, recently departed, Bible personalities, beautiful women” whoever appears, ask them if Jesus came in the flesh. If it is “the spirit of error” in disguise, that disguise will vanish and you their evil will appear. Sometimes they attack the tester after being discovered. See End Note [2] if that happens to you.

Let him who has ears, let them hear:

I almost failed to Obey God. The feeling I dared not test was powerful, I almost heeded it rather than the command of God in Holy Scripture. Therefore, it was a test of me also (1 Jn. 4:6) whether I truly was of God (Dt. 8:2; Ps. 17:3; 66:10; Job 23:10-12).

Don’t fail the test.

After the demon’s identity was revealed, it felt like God snatched me out of there and I woke up still in my room, the “virtual reality being downloaded telepathically” was stopped.

Its not optional, we are commanded to test.

 

Failure to test is not loving the truth, and then one falls under the “energy of Satan” (2 Thess. 2:9) the “energy creating the delusion” (2 Thess. 2:11) that supernatural experiences can modify, change or overrule the Holy Scripture, God’s Word of Truth.

Paul reminds the Corinthians they were once led astray by this “energy of error”, when they experienced the effects of evil spirits that led them into idolatry:

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. (ὡς ἂν ἤγεσθε ἀπαγόμενοι) (1 Cor. 12:1-2) NKJ

In saying that they had been “led astray to dumb idols,” Paul implies that the Corinthians had experienced the effects of evil spirits in their former pagan worship.-Mare, W. H. (1976). 1 Corinthians. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans through Galatians (Vol. 10, p. 261). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

The effects of evil spirits dulled their ability to discern truth so completely they even believed voiceless idols could speak (cp. Ps. 135:16-18):

QUESTION—What is the function of the clause ὠς ἂν ἤγεσθε ‘however you were led’ appended to ἀπαγόμενοι ‘being led away’?

It functions to emphasize the notion that the act of following was rather senseless and almost unconscious [ICC]. It carries the idea that they are being controlled by something that they could neither understand nor resist [Ho]. The idea of being helplessly led by others at any time is expressed [Lns].”-Trail, R. (2008). An Exegetical Summary of 1 Corinthians 10–16 (2nd ed., pp. 117–118). Dallas, TX: SIL International.

The “energy of error” “led them” wherever the evil spirits wanted them to go. The precise experience they mistook for “God’s leading” wasn’t revealed, likely because its different for different people. A survey of the occult reveals a variety of “fleshly experiences” ranging from heat or coldness or electrical shock to euphoria, a feeling of well-being or of a spiritual presence. It can mimic a person’s own “inner voice” and convince them the lie is true (Mt. 13:19. 2 Cor. 11:3-4).

9 Whose, presence, [shall be] according to an inworking of Satan, with all manner of mighty work and signs and wonders of falsehood,
10 And with all manner of deceit of unrighteousness, in them who are destroying themselves, because, the love of the truth, they did not welcome, that they might be saved;–
11 And, for this cause, God sendeth them an inworking of error, to the end they should believe in the falsehood,–
12 In order that should be judged who would not believe in the truth, but were well-pleased with the unrighteousness. (2 Thess. 2:9-12 ROT)

“Signs and wonders of falsehood” meaning “signs and wonders that serve the lie” (2 Th. 2:9 NIV). Its a deluding influence that subverts critical discernment.

Telepathically streaming words and images (Mat. 4:3. Luke 8:12. 2 Cor. 4:4. 1 Thess. 3:5. 1 Tim. 4:1. 1 John 4:1-3) incites bodily lusts and desires (James 1:13-15):

Satan still deceives as he did Eve, taking her eyes off the command of God to something he suggested:

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Gen. 3:6 KJV)

END NOTES
[1]Yes, this really happened, once. Never again out of the body. But another vision happened while following the (very bad) advice of my Foursquare pastor. I was “trying to prompt the gift of tongues.” Satan appeared circling me like a lion. He appeared to have a cylindrical shape, about 18 inches tall one foot in diameter, rounded on top. On bottom was energy folding in on itself as he moved. Colored off white with swirling dark streaks of energy. I could feel the Holy Spirit pushing him away as he circled. It was a vision, likely not his actual appearance. For forty years now, nothing like these visions happened again.

Sola Scriptura. The only reliable revelation is found in the Word of God. All scripture was inspired so it fulfill that purpose (2Tim. 3:16-17), not feelings dreams or voices. I urge everyone learn sound principles of interpretation, as scripture is the ultimate authority (Acts 5:29. Isaiah 8:19-20. Jeremiah 23:28). Also, always consult Bible Believing teachers God has gifted to the church (1 Cor. 12:28) because it is written “in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14).

This is how we overcome the wiles of the devil:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph. 6:10-17 NKJ)

Demonic suggestion is subtle, can be disguised as one’s own “inner voice” as is the case with those “who hear” and then the Devil comes and “takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” (Lk. 8:12). Satanic telepathic temptation can masquerade as “light” (2 Cor. 11:14) and some believed it was God’s leading (James 1:13). It is impossible darkness come from God (James 1:16-17). Such temptation can inflame our bodies to desire what is evil (James 1:13-15) and the entire world is being led into sin just that way (Eph. 2:2-3. 1 John 5:19). Some believing God was leading them by such means, perish from the delusion (Isaiah 8:19-22).

Early in my Christian walk I learned Satanic threats are a bluff, “greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). There is no divination against God’s People Israel (Num. 23:23). Satan cannot harm us, only lack of faith in God gives him any opportunity to deceive. A juju man learned that lesson when his curse upon me returned to plague him. He fled in fear the next time I saw him, but not fear of me. Fear of Christ in me.

Another time, angry homosexuals living in the same building as I sought to harm me as I soundly slept. Evidently it wasn’t my time to die. They wandered like blind men unable to see the open window to my room on that floor. I slept soundly through the night. The next morning more civil gay neighbors told me they never saw anything like it. They were amazed. As I never put God to the test (Lk. 4:12), I relocated.

There is nothing new under the sun. Satan’s deception always involves misdirection, distracting attention from the Word of God, to something he suggests just as he did to Eve (Gen. 3:1-6). For more on the “mystery of lawlessness” click here.

Although I have no first-hand experience on abductions, a google search reveals these can be stopped by calling on the name of Jesus. If it happened to me I would rely on one of the tests discussed in this blog. I’d ask them to confess “Jesus came in the flesh” (1 John 4:3) or that “Jesus is their LORD” (1 Corinthians 12:3). I am certain that would end any close encounter, visionary or real.

[2]These tests work whether the Tester believes in Jesus or not. Satan and demons may react violently when discovered.

If you are born of God, remember “greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world” (1Jn. 4:4), “and that wicked one toucheth him not”. (1 Jn. 5:18 KJV) See End Note 1 above.

If you aren’t a believer, demons can destroy you (1Cor. 5:5. Heb. 2:14. Rev. 9:4). They do not want their activity revealed (Eph. 2:2-3. 1Jn. 5:19). Repent and be converted (Ac. 3:19) before its too late.

There is no divination spell that protects from evil spirits. That is a delusion they create for their own purposes.

A non-Christian friend asked me how to stop the nightmares that plagued him, after he did the test. He was unwilling to go to Christ for salvation. I warned him there is no other name under heaven that saves (Acts 4:12. Rom. 10:9-13; 14:11. Phil. 2:10). Don’t recall what became of him after that last discussion.

This “test” is NOT a tool for evangelism, Christ our LORD does NOT want their testimony:

33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice,
34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are– the Holy One of God!”
35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. (Lk. 4:33-35) NKJ