1 John 4:1 NIV “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.”
John the Beloved, the very last Apostle of Jesus and the only one to die a natural death, implored Christians to test every spirit, test every teaching and proof every prophet. He gave a yardstick: “acknowledgement that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh“.
The thing is, as at the time of this writing, there were controversies regarding the incarnation and the deity of Christ. John has to step in, being an elder and a respected figure in the church at the time to address it.
Today, the controversies are growing and almost endless. There are more heresies and false teachings. This is because there have now arisen many false prophets and teachers as the Bible said they would, so we’re not surprised. Well, our response to this is “discernment”. Now, more that ever, we need to answer the call to discernment to ensure that we hear and believe truth, in conformity to the Word of God. Read the Bible for yourself, that’s logically the first and safest response.
So don’t worry, there were false teachings in the early church. There will be many more before our Lord comes. But by discernment, we can discern the truth!
Grace and Peace,