HEREBY YE KNOW
1 John 4:1 ¶ Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1 John 4:4 ¶ Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
In these six verses there are two things we are told that we should know. The first is whether to believe every preacher we sit under to be sent of God, or is a false prophet. And the second is to be able to recognize the Spirit of God in this regard. And if we learn how to perceive the second, we shall have no problem with the accomplishment of the first.
Let us first look at that key word, confesseth. It is made up of two Greek words. One is translated as with one accord in Acts 2:1. The other Greek word that it takes to make up our word is translated Word, three times in John 1:1. Therefore when we place our two Greek words together we see that confession is to be in one accord with the Person of the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. For there is no true confession unless one agrees with God against himself!
When we read the description of the sinner in Romans 3:9-18, we must agree that this description is not just about sinners in general, but it is the accurate account of our own condition! And we must be in one accord with that word of God concerning ourselves. And honestly stating that this is truly our own spiritual condition is alone, a true and proper confession!
And that which we are to agree with God about in these first three verses is concerning his Incarnate Son! Before time began, the Son was daily the Father’s delight! See Proverbs 8:30. And at both his baptism and upon the transfiguration the Father spoke forth and made it perfectly clear in his audible confession just how he regarded his Son. Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Matthew 17:4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
And Peter, being interrupted from his warm and fuzzy feelings of a religious nature, got the message, loud and clear! And upon his receiving and being in accord with this word from God, we have our present scriptures. 2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
Now let’s be sure and notice just what we are being told in the identifying of either the spirit of Christ, or the spirit of antichrist, in verses two and three of our above listed text. In verse two we are clearly told that those who agree in one accord with God concerning his Son are of God. – without exception!
But in verse three we are instructed that – also without exception – those preachers who have no confession of Christ; as it were a “non-confession” concerning the glories of the Son of God, are always antichrist. They may dazzle us with their fancy words, having a great ability of oratory, but if there is no exalting Christ from a spirit of unconditional love for him, they are antichrist.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned (moulded) words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Jude 16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Listen at the most learned and gifted Apostle Paul speak of these matters in his own spiritual understanding of seeking Christ, and not religious information. 1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
In fact, he counted all his previous religious learning but so much manure! And, unlike preachers of today, he refused to involve himself in manure preaching! Philippians 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Dear Reader, Satan also has his ministers who do not mind preaching religious manure! 2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
We also know that confession is an essential matter between the believer and Christ. (No religious person has the right to be confessed to. The Scriptures only state that we are to confess our ‘faults’ one to another, not our sins! That is, those things that we are weak on in our personal character.) Forgiveness and cleansing from sin is dependent upon confession! And a failure in confession to God means that one is antichrist, which no truth abiding within them!
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
For we are not brought unto salvation except by an honest and full confession to God! Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
And our earthly confession of the Lord Jesus Christ establishes whether he confesses us in eternity before the Father! Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Listen to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ concerning his establishing every one of his sheep (that is, his believers) to, without fail, always hear and following his word. John 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
He has sovereignly formed in them, each and every one, two effectual things! – hearing ears and following feet! John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: Revelation 14:4 …These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. These are always they who follow on to know the LORD: (Hosea 6:3).
There is an unconditional, never-failing spirit, sovereignly established within each and every one of them to confess and follow the Lord Jesus, even “through many dangers, toils and snares,” and on into the eternal presence of his glory! Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
And what was it that the Pharisees feared and resented so strongly from the Spirit-filled believers? – It was this word of their testimony! It was their confession of the glory of Christ! And this was such a strong, satanic hatred, that there was even the ‘gathering together’ against this of the Jews with those they called, ‘Gentile dogs’! There was also the joining together of Herod with Pilate, in this hatred of the confession of Jesus Christ as Lord of all!
Acts 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Acts 5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
We have shown the confession of God the Father, those of some of the Apostles, and of the early church. And we see that this is accomplished in them all by the Holy Spirit. And we have tried to show that those who just have a religious agenda, without a motivating love of Christ, do not have that Holy Spirit, but the spirit of Satan, and are antichrist’s. Now let us consider the setting forth of the confession of the Word himself – the Lord Jesus Christ.
In order to bring his disciples from Israel’s long standing worship of God under the law, helping them to come now to believe and confess that he was that God, standing there in a human body, he taught in John 14:1, Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. And in John 10:30 he states, I and my Father are one.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
And he proved he was very God in doing the works that no other man had ever done! John 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Jesus of Nazareth is very God and very man! Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: All praise and glory to the Lamb! Pastor Gene Breed
March 30, 2017