In 1 John 4, we read from John some warnings concerning spirits. He says in 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, 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.” John tells us that not every spirit is from God. He goes on to say in verse 6, “We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
These verses clearly teach us that there is the Spirit from God, and then there are spirits in the form of false prophets. These false prophets are from the world. The teachings of the apostles were and continue to be the standard for the church. John 13:20 says, “‘Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.’ The one whom Jesus sends is His apostle. God sends Christ and Christ sends the apostles. Therefore, If you accept the apostles you accept Christ, and if you accept Christ then you accept God. We wouldn’t even know of Christ if it were not for the apostles. They were to distinguish these spirits by seeing if those speaking were speaking things that were of the apostles and God, or of the world (1 John 4:5). 1 John 2:25 says that these people were teaching things that were contrary to John’s teachings.
So what does all of this mean? Who is the Spirit of Deception? We can piece together through 1 John, that the Spirit of Deception is that which teaches against John. By doing so, the spirit of deception has gone against the Spirit of Truth.
The Spirit of Deception can be described as someone/something that does not teach that which is in accordance to the apostles or God, it is that which does not obey the commands of Christ, and it is that which tries to mislead Christians. The Spirit of Truth is contradicted by the Spirit of Deception. We see in the early church that one of the gifts of the Spirit was discerning spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10).
The Holy Spirit (Helper) was given to the apostles to help them remember what Jesus had taught them, to preach about Christ, to tell the world of its sin, to preach righteousness and judgment, and to bring glory to Christ (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7- 8,13-14). Demonic spirits spoke through false prophets to confuse and convert God’s people (1 Timothy 4:1ff). This spirit of deception was the reason for John’s writing. He says he is wrote, “concerning those who are deceiving you,” (2:26). He also said, “Children, let no one deceive you,” (3:7). The Christians John wrote to needed to learn how to distinguish these Spirits.
Sadly, we are still in the same circumstances today. People are still advocates of the devil. We find false teaching everywhere and it is up to us to test and discern between what is from God and what is from the world. May we always be vigilant and wary of the teachings that comes from the mouth of Satan!