1 John 4:1
Dear friends, 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.
I like it when he refers to friends, it connects us to the writer. He is not with us, but because we are believers, we are just that, friends. He is letting us know that message following these words is very important, something that he wants us to take very serious. We must remember that just because somebody is calling themselves a Christian, or better yet a preacher, does not mean we are suppose to take them at their word. When we "test" them, we are to check behind what they say. Is the scripture accurate? I have heard Chris say many times, look up the scriptures, make sure what I am telling you is the truth! It is sad today that we cannot take people at their word, that we have to dig a little deeper sometimes, but there is a reason for this, and it is right here in the scriptures. Always ask God to help you know the truth, He will help you and He will let you know.