Try The Spirits
What spirits are of God, and what are not.

1 ST. JOHN 2

18 Little children, it is the last hour: and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us but they were not of us.

Ver. 18. It is the last hour. That is, it is the last age of the world. - Many Antichrists. that is, many heretics, enemies of Christ and his church and forerunners of the great Antichrist. Ver. 19. They were not of us. That is, they were not solid, steadfast, genuine Christians: otherwise they would have remained in the Church.

1 ST. JOHN 4

Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit: but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 By this is the spirit of God known. Every spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

Chap. 4, Ver. 1. Try the spirits. By examining whether their teaching be aggreeable to the rule of the Catholic faith and the doctrine of the church. For as he says (ver. 6), He that knoweth God heareth us (the pastors of the church). By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Ver. 2. Every spirit which confesseth. Not that the confession of this point of faith alone is, at all times, and in all cases, sufficient: but that with relation to that time, and for that part of the Christian doctrine which was then particularly to be confessed, taught and maintained against the heretics of those days, this was the most proper token by which the true teachers might be distinguished from the false.

©1997-2001,
Catholic Truth Publications/TAN Books and Publishers, Inc.

Last edited August 30, 2001