|1 John 4:1-3 |
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.1 [The false prophets are those who did not have the patience to stay in the cross; and being tempted to preach before being perfected by the Spirit, they fell away from the true believers to go out into the world, teaching a different gospel and a different Jesus. John is warning the true Christian believers to beware of those who come dressed in sheep's clothing, claiming to be Christians, just as Jesus warned us about false prophets that would come, and so did Jude, and Paul, and Peter also warn us. They appear to be Christians, but deny the cross, deny the possibility of perfection, deny the possibility of union with Christ and the Father, promise liberty to those just beginning repentance, and promote lawlessness covered by what they call "grace."]
2 By this know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses (acknowledges, owns, admits) Jesus as the Christ (anointing) who has come in the flesh is from God; [To confess Jesus Christ who has come in the flesh, is to confess like Paul: It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Gal 2:20; Jesus ruled Paul's thoughts, words, and deeds — even supplying the thoughts with the mind of Christ. Christendom presumes Jesus to be their Lord, but their continuing in sin denies him as their Lord and Master. From the Word of the Lord within: "You are the child of whom you obey. Remember, every person who sins denies Him as Lord and Master."]
3 And every spirit that does not confess Jesus Christ is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, which you have heard would come, and even now it is already in the world.2 [John told us in 1 John 2:18-19 that many antichrists had already come, who had gone out from among them; who tried to seduce the true Christians with their false gospel and false Jesus. So they could not confess Jesus to rule their thoughts, words, and deeds because they preached that being totally unnecessary according to their false gospel. From the Word of the Lord within: "they did not have patience." They did not have the patience to follow the hard, narrow way of the cross that the Apostles preached; being tempted and ambitious to teach before being perfected and authorized, they fell away to instead preach Christian liberty from the law without the necessity of first crucifying their sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial. Their doctrines quickly became pervasive and dominated Christendom, and so Christendom became the whore of Babylon by adulterating with the kings of the earth, (the Roman Emperors), who declared their doctrines to be the only ones allowed; and then Christendom, aided by the crushing boot of the Roman Empire, persecuted and killed the true saints. John later saw and prophesied how the whole world would worship Satan, following the false prophets' beastly religion with horns like a lamb. And so all of Christendom became the whore of Babylon, rejecting the cross as foolishness and ignoring the Bible's many specific exclusions, the requirements, and the qualifying conditions of salvation. See Penington's writing on Babylon to understand more how the spirit of antichrist rules Christendom.]
2 Every spirit that confesses (acknowledges, owns, admits) Jesus as the Christ (anointing) who has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess (acknowledge, own, admit) Jesus (the anointing) is not of God. This is net of the early Greek translations; see the NetBible footnotes. Some early Greek texts read Jesus, some read Jesus Christ, some early ones read the Christ. The King James said: every spirit that does not confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God.
In Matthew 23:8-10, Jesus says, for you have one teacher, the Christ. Notice Jesus did not say, "I am your teacher." He said, "the Christ;" Christ means the anointing or with God's spirit. So Jesus is telling them that the anointing, or the spirit of God, is their one teacher. Now look at what John says: But the anointing that you have received from him abides in you, and you do not need any man to teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you all things and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it has taught you, abide in him. 1 John 2:27. Notice he speaks of the anointing as "abide in him;" he speaks of the spirit as a person, whom Jesus has identified as "the Christ." John spoke this verse, (27), because there were those who were trying to seduce the brothers with false teachings.
So the meaning of every spirit that does not confess Jesus as the Christ (the anointing) is not of God, means every sprit that does not confess (acknowledge, own, admit) the anointing, (which is the Christ), is not of God. To confess Jesus Christ who has come in the flesh, is to confess like Paul: It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Gal 2:20; Jesus ruled Paul's thoughts, words, and deeds — even supplying the thoughts with the mind of Christ.
I have actually heard a so-called preacher state that if a spirit being appeared to him, all he had to do was ask it if Jesus came in the flesh, which is extremely naive on two points: 1) this verse is speaking of men — not demons, and 2) to think a demon would answer truthfully is ridiculous; demons lie. The preachers who teach the Bible without ever having been authorized, trained to perfection, sent, and speaking only the words they hear from God immediately before opening their mouths; they are like foolish children with no understanding, naive, easily accepting fables as truth; they have no knowledge, Jer 4:22.
In regard to testing men: no half-intelligent false prophet would say that Jesus Christ never walked the earth as a fleshly man; no one would need to be cautioned about such an obvious fraud. That is not the meaning of this test. What this verse means is this: Anyone who denies that Jesus Christ (the anointing) comes (has come) in that person's flesh, to be their controlling Lord of words and deeds, is antiChrist. Anyone who does not have the anointing controlling them is controlled by a different spirit than Christ. They will even deny there is a controlling anointing to be had. Christ means with God's spirit, or anointing: the anointing that you have received from him abides in you, and you do not need any man to teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you all things, and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it has taught you, abide in him. 1 John 2:27. And you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 1 John 2:20. John says: These things I have written to you concerning those who seduce you. 1 John 2:26. So, the anointing will protect them from the false prophets, who deny, (will not confess or acknowledge), the anointing.
The key word to understand is confess. John's word confess means to own up to, or to admit that Jesus Christ's anointing Spirit is [has] come in the [their] flesh. As proof of this assertion, look at the footnote to verse 4:15 in the next sentence.