1Dear friends, don’t trust every spirit. On the contrary, test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2Here is how you recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges that Yeshua the Messiah came as a human being is from God, 3and every spirit which does not acknowledge Yeshua is not from God — in fact, this is the spirit of the Anti-Messiah. You have heard that he is coming. Well, he’s here now, in the world already!
4You, children, are from God and have overcome the false prophets, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5They are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world’s viewpoint; and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God doesn’t listen to us. This is how we distinguish the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error.
7Beloved friends, let us love one another; because love is from God; and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God. 8Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love. 9Here is how God showed his love among us: God sent his only Son into the world, so that through him we might have life. 10Here is what love is: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the kapparah for our sins.
11Beloved friends, if this is how God loved us, we likewise ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God remains united with us, and our love for him has been brought to its goal in us. 13Here is how we know that we remain united with him and he with us: he has given to us from his own Spirit. 14Moreover, we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as Deliverer of the world. 15If someone acknowledges that Yeshua is the Son of God, God remains united with him, and he with God. 16Also we have come to know and trust the love that God has for us. God is love; and those who remain in this love remain united with God, and God remains united with them.
17Here is how love has been brought to maturity with us: as the Messiah is, so are we in the world. This gives us confidence for the Day of Judgment. 18There is no fear in love. On the contrary, love that has achieved its goal gets rid of fear, because fear has to do with punishment; the person who keeps fearing has not been brought to maturity in regard to love.
19We ourselves love now because he loved us first. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For if a person does not love his brother, whom he has seen, then he cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21Yes, this is the command we have from him: whoever loves God must love his brother too.