At Christ's Table

Do Not Believe Every Spirit (2012)

By William Furioso

In his first epistle, the apostle John is speaking of "spirits" here (4:1) in the same way the apostle Paul refers to the "spirits of prophets" in his first epistle to the Corinthians (14:32). The Greek word in both cases is pneuma, which is rich in meaning. In this context, it refers to the "breathings" (literally) or the "speakings" of prophets and teachers operating under either the influence of the Holy Spirit or the deception of evil spirits. John is addressing the heresy of Gnosticism in the first century Church. Variations of this heresy still exist in the Church today.


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