1 John 4:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

New Living Translation
This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God.

English Standard Version
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

New American Standard Bible
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;

King James Bible
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.

International Standard Version
This is how you can recognize God's Spirit: Every spirit who acknowledges that Jesus the Messiah has become human—and remains so—is from God.

NET Bible
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh is from God,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The Spirit of God is known by this: every spirit who confesses that Yeshua The Messiah has come in the flesh is from God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is how you can recognize God's Spirit: Every person who declares that Jesus Christ has come as a human has the Spirit that is from God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
In this know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ, is come in flesh is of God:

King James 2000 Bible
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

American King James Version
Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

American Standard Version
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

Douay-Rheims Bible
By this is the spirit of God known. Every spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God:

Darby Bible Translation
Hereby ye know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses Jesus Christ come in flesh is of God;

English Revised Version
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

Webster's Bible Translation
By this ye know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ hath come in the flesh, is from God:

Weymouth New Testament
The test by which you may recognize the Spirit of God is that every spirit which acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come as man is from God,

World English Bible
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,

Young's Literal Translation
in this know ye the Spirit of God; every spirit that doth confess Jesus Christ in the flesh having come, of God it is,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:1-6 Christians who are well acquainted with the Scriptures, may, in humble dependence on Divine teaching, discern those who set forth doctrines according to the apostles, and those who contradict them. The sum of revealed religion is in the doctrine concerning Christ, his person and office. The false teachers spake of the world according to its maxims and tastes, so as not to offend carnal men. The world approved them, they made rapid progress, and had many followers such as themselves; the world will love its own, and its own will love it. The true doctrine as to the Saviour's person, as leading men from the world to God, is a mark of the spirit of truth in opposition to the spirit of error. The more pure and holy any doctrine is, the more likely to be of God; nor can we by any other rules try the spirits whether they are of God or not. And what wonder is it, that people of a worldly spirit should cleave to those who are like themselves, and suit their schemes and discourses to their corrupt taste?

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - This verso contains the main subject of the section. To confess the Incarnation is to prove that one draws one's inspiration from God through his Spirit. Know ye; or, recognize ye γινώσκετε, may be either imperative, in harmony with "believe" and "prove" (verse 1), or indicative, in harmony with "we know" (1 John 3:16, [19,] 24).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God,.... This is a rule by which believers may know whether a man professing to have the Spirit of God, and to be called and sent by him, and whether the, doctrine he preaches, is of him or not:

every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh,

is of God; or of the Spirit of God; that is, every doctrine which carries this truth in it; or every man that owns, and professes, and publishes this doctrine concerning Christ, is on the side of God and truth; and which contains several articles in it, respecting the person and office of Christ; as that he existed before he came in the flesh, not in the human nature, or as man, or as an angel, but as the Son of God, as a divine person, being truly and properly God; so that this confession takes in his divine sonship, and proper deity, and also his true and real humanity; that the Messiah was incarnate, against the Jews, and was God and man in one person; and that he was really man, and not in appearance only, against the heretics of those times: and it also includes his offices, as that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ, the Messiah, which the Jews denied, and that he was the anointed prophet, priest, and King; and so is a confession or acknowledgment of all the doctrines of the Gospel, which came by him, as a prophet; and of his satisfaction, sacrifice, and intercession, as a priest; and of all his ordinances and commands as a King; and that he is the only Saviour and Redeemer of men. Now, whoever owns and declares this system of truth, "is of God"; not that everyone that assents unto this, or preaches it, is born of God; a man may believe, and confess all this, as the devils themselves do, and yet be destitute of the grace of God; but the spirit, or doctrine, which contains these things in it, is certainly of God, or comes from him; or whoever brings these truths with him, and preaches them, he is, so far as he does so, on the side of God and truth, and to be regarded.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. Hereby—"Herein."

know … the Spirit of God—whether he be, or not, in those teachers professing to be moved by Him.

Every spirit—that is, Every teacher claiming inspiration by the Holy Spirit.

confesseth—The truth is taken for granted as established. Man is required to confess it, that is, in his teaching to profess it openly.

Jesus Christ is come in the flesh—a twofold truth confessed, that Jesus is the Christ, and that He is come (the Greek perfect tense implies not a mere past historical fact, as the aorist would, but also the present continuance of the fact and its blessed effects) in the flesh ("clothed with flesh": not with a mere seeming humanity, as the Docetæ afterwards taught: He therefore was, previously, something far above flesh). His flesh implies His death for us, for only by assuming flesh could He die (for as God He could not), Heb 2:9, 10, 14, 16; and His death implies His LOVE for us (Joh 15:13). To deny the reality of His flesh is to deny His love, and so cast away the root which produces all true love on the believer's part (1Jo 4:9-11, 19). Rome, by the doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, denies Christ's proper humanity.

1 John 4:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Testing the Spirits
1Beloved, 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. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.…
Cross References
John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

1 Corinthians 12:3
Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

1 John 1:2
The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

1 John 2:23
No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

1 John 4:15
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.

1 John 5:1
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

2 John 1:7
I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Treasury of Scripture

Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

Every.

1 John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every …

John 16:13-15 However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you …

1 Corinthians 12:3 Why I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit …

come.

1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in …

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory…

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was …

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