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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 John 4:3

 

 

and 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.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Every spirit - Every teacher, that confesseth not Jesus, is not of God - has not been inspired by God. The words εν σαρκι εληλυθοτα, is come in the flesh, are wanting in AB, several others, both the Syriac, the Polyglot Arabic, Ethiopic, Coptic, Armenian, and Vulgate; in Origen, Cyril, Theodoret, Irenaeus, and others. Griesbach has left them out of the text.

Spirit of antichrist - All the opponents of Christ's incarnation, and consequently of his passion, death, and resurrection, and the benefits to be derived from them.

Ye have heard that it should come - See 2 Thessalonians 2:7.

Even now already is it in the world - Is working powerfully both among the Jews and Gentiles.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-john-4.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And every spirit that confesseth not … - That is, this doctrine is essential to the Christian system; and he who does not hold it cannot be regarded either as a Christian, or recognised as a Christian teacher. If he was not a man, then all that occurred in his life, in Gethsemane, and on the cross, was in “appearance” only, and was assumed only to delude the senses. There were no real sufferings; there was no shedding of blood; there was no death on the cross; and, of course, there was no atonement. A mere show, an appearance assumed, a vision, could not make atonement for sin; and a denial, therefore, of the doctrine that the Son of God had come in the flesh, was in fact a denial of the doctrine of expiation for sin. The Latin Vulgate here reads “qui solvit Jesum,” “who dissolves or divides Jesus;” and Socrates (H. E. vii. 32) says that in the old copies of the New Testament it is written ὅ λίει τὸν Ἱησοῦν ho liei ton Hiēsoun“who dissolves or divides Jesus;” that is, who “separates” his true nature or person, or who supposes that there were “two” Christs, one in appearance, and one in reality. This reading was early found in some manuscripts, and is referred to by many of the Fathers, (see Wetstein,) but it has no real authority, and was evidently introduced, perhaps at first from a marginal note, to oppose the prevailing errors of the times. The common reading, “who confesseth not,” is found in all the Greek manuscripts, in the Syriac versions, in the Arabic; and, as Lucke says, the other reading is manifestly of Latin origin. The common reading in the text is that which is sustained by authority, and is entirely in accordance with the manner of John.

And this is that spirit of antichrist - This is one of the things which characterize antichrist. John here refers not to an individual who should be known as antichrist, but to a class of persons. This does not, however, forbid the idea that there might be some one individual, or a succession of persons in the church, to whom the name might be applied by way of eminence. See the notes at 1 John 2:18. Compare the notes at 2 Thessalonians 2:3 ff.

Whereof ye have heard that it should come - See the notes at 1 John 2:18.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-john-4.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

and every spirit that confesseth not Jesus is not of God: and this is the spirit of the antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it cometh; and it is in the world already.

That confesseth not Jesus ... The person of the Son of God is the center of all true religion. No matter how attractive a system may be, no matter how skillfully it may be advocated by personable and attractive personnel, no matter how imposing are the names of "authorities" associated with it, no matter how popular it may become - any and every religion or philosophy that is not anchored in both the eternal deity of Jesus Christ and in his historical humanity is false, having its origin in Satan, not in God.

The New Catholic Bible translated this verse: "Every spirit that severs Jesus is not of God, but of Antichrist," admitting in the footnote, however, that this is not the best rendition of the Greek.[14] It is included here, however, as valid comment on the implications of the passage. The heresy of the age was that of making a "severance" between Jesus as a man, and the Christ. The church historian Socrates affirmed that this was the original reading of the letter,[15] but this is rejected by current scholarship.

The spirit of the antichrist ... There is no need whatever to capitalize Antichrist. As Macknight said, "From this, as well as from 1 John 2:18, it appears that Antichrist is not any particular person, nor any particular succession of persons in the church."[16] It is thus clearly a mistake to identify this with Paul's "man of sin" in 2 Thessalonians 2, as so many have done. Both, however, share in the fact of originating in the devil, not in Christ, and also in this, that the spirit of both was already working in the world at the time the apostles wrote.

[14] New Catholic Bible (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1949), New Testament, p. 317.

[15] David Smith, op. cit., p. 189.

[16] James Macknight, Macknight on the Epistles, 1John (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, reprint, 1969), p. 88.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-john-4.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And every spirit that confesseth not,.... The proper deity and sonship of Christ, his true and real humanity, and his Messiahship; or any of his offices, doctrines, and ordinances; or his satisfaction and righteousness; or that peace, pardon, justification, life, and salvation, are by him; all which are meant by what follows,

that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh: this clause is left out in the Ethiopic version, and that without hurting the sense, since it is easily supplied from the preceding verse; and the Alexandrian copy, and the Vulgate Latin version, only read "Jesus": and the latter reads the whole thus, "and every spirit that dissolves Jesus"; that separates the two natures, human and divine, in him, and makes two persons of them; or denies either of them, either that he is truly God, or really man, or denies him to be Jesus, the Saviour; who, as much as in him lies, destroys his person, office, and work, and makes void his obedience, sufferings, and death:

is not of God; neither he nor his doctrine are of God; his doctrine cannot come from God, being contrary to the word of God; and he himself is neither born of God, nor on his side.

And this is that spirit of antichrist: who is against Christ, or opposes himself to him; as he who denies his sonship, his deity, his humanity, his offices, and his grace, manifestly does; every doctrine that is calculated against these truths is the spirit and doctrine of antichrist:

whereof you have heard that it should come, and even now already is it the world; in the false teachers, the forerunners of antichrist; See Gill on 1 John 2:18.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-john-4.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh — Irenaeus [3.8], Lucifer, Origen, on Matthew 25:14, and Vulgate read, “Every spirit which destroys (sets aside, or does away with) Jesus (Christ).” Cyprian and Polycarp support English Version text. The oldest extant manuscripts, which are, however, centuries after Polycarp, read, “Every spirit that confesseth not (that is, refuses to confess) Jesus” (in His person, and all His offices and divinity), omitting “is come in the flesh.”

ye have heard — from your Christian teachers.

already is it in the world — in the person of the false prophets (1 John 4:1).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-john-4.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Confesseth not (μη ομολογειmē homologei). Indefinite relative clause with the subjective negative μηmē rather than the usual objective negative ουou (1 John 4:6). It is seen also in 2 Peter 1:9; Titus 1:11, a survival of the literary construction (Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 171). The Vulgate (along with Irenaeus, Tertullian, Augustine) reads solvit (λυειluei) instead of μη ομολογειmē homologei which means “separates Jesus,” apparently an allusion to the Cerinthian heresy (distinction between Jesus and Christ) as the clause before refers to the Docetic heresy. Many MSS. have here also εν σαρκι εληλυτοταen sarki elēluthota repeated from preceding clause, but not A B Vg Cop. and not genuine.

The spirit of the antichrist (το του αντιχριστουto tou antichristou). ΠνευμαPneuma (spirit) not expressed, but clearly implied by the neuter singular article to. It is a repetition of the point about antichrists made in 1 John 2:18-25.

Whereof (οho). Accusative of person (grammatical neuter referring to πνευμαpneuma) with ακουωakouō along with accusative of the thing (οτι ερχεταιhoti erchetai as in 1 John 2:18, futuristic present middle indicative). Here the perfect active indicative (ακηκοατεakēkoate), while in 1 John 2:18 the aorist (ηκουσατεēkousate).

And now already (και νυν ηδηkai nun ēdē). As in 1 John 2:18 also (many have come). “The prophecy had found fulfilment before the Church had looked for it” (Westcott). It is often so. For ηδηēdē see John 4:35; John 9:27.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-john-4.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Is come in the flesh

Omit. Render, confesseth not Jesus. So Rev. An ancient reading is λύει τὸν Ἱησοῦν annullethor destroyeth Jesus.” The simple Jesus emphasizes the humanity of our Lord considered in itself. See Romans 3:26; Romans 10:9; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Ephesians 4:21; Hebrews 2:9.

This ( τοῦτο )

Not this spirit, but this non-confession, summed up in all its manifestations.

Cometh

See on 1 John 2:18.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-john-4.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Ye have heard — From our Lord and us, that it cometh.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-john-4.html. 1765.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

3 b.] This has been already virtually explained on ch. 1 John 2:18. And this is the (spirit) (so nearly all the Commentators supply the ellipsis, and rightly. Episcopius, Valla, Zeger, the R.-Cath. Mayer, and Huther, render it, this is “proprium antichristi.” But this would not surely be τὸ τοῦ ἀντιχρίστου, but τοῦ ἀντιχρίστου only. None of the passages cited by Huther touch the point, Matthew 21:21, τὸ τῆς συκῆς, “this of the fig-tree;” 1 Corinthians 10:24, τὸ τοῦ ἑτέρου, “that which belongs to his brother;” 2 Peter 2:22, τὸ τῆς παροιμίας, “that of the proverb;” James 4:14, τὸ τῆς σὔριον, “the event of to-morrow.” In every one of these the genitive belongs to the subject: but Huther would attach it to the predicate, “hoc est proprium antichristi,” in which case I cannot see how the article could be there. Besides, the ὃ ἀκηκόατε ὅτι ἔρχεται would be awkwardly said as applied merely to an abstract fact, the τὸ μὴ ὁμολογεῖν τὸν ἰησοῦν, to which it must be referred if τοῦτο is subject, and the genitive imports proprium antichristi) of antichrist (of) which ye have heard (the reference is not to ch. 1 John 2:18 ( ἠκούσατε), but to the course of their Christian instruction in which this had been taught them) that it cometh (the present used as so often of that which is a thing fixed and determined, without any reference to time: “that it should come” of the E. V. is in sense very good, but does not quite suit the perf. ἀκηκόατε, which seems grammatically in English to require “that it shall come;” “that it must come” would perhaps be better), and now it is (not, now is: this ἐστίν is not dependent on the preceding ὅτι, but introduces a fresh assertion) in the world already (viz., in the person of these ψευδοπροφῆται, who are its organs).


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-john-4.html. 1863-1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3.And this is that spirit of Antichrist The Apostle added this, to render more detestable the impostures which lead us away from Christ. We have already said that the doctrine respecting the kingdom of Antichrist was well known; so that the faithful had been warned as to the future scattering of the Church, in order that they might exercise vigilance. Justly then did they dread the name as something base and ominous. The Apostle says now, that all those who depreciated Christ were members of that kingdom.

And he says that the spirit of antichrist would come, and that it was already in the world, but in a different sense. He means that it was already in the world, because it carried on in secret its iniquity. As, however, the truth of God had not as yet been subverted by false and spurious dogmas, as superstition had not as yet prevailed in corrupting the worship of God, as the world had not as yet perfidiously departed from Christ, as tyranny, opposed to the kingdom of Christ, had not as yet openly exalted itself, he therefore says, that it would come.


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Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-john-4.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

world kosmos = world-system. 1 John 5:4; 1 John 5:5; 1 John 5:19; John 7:7. (See Scofield "Revelation 13:8").


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Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 1 John 4:3". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/1-john-4.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

Ver. 3. Is not of God] And yet he is not called an Atheist, or an Antitheist, but Antichrist, that is, an opposite to Christ; as if his opposing should not be so much to Christ’s nature or person, as to his unction and function.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-john-4.html. 1865-1868.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

1 John 4:3. In the reading: μὴ ὁμολογεῖ τὸν ἰησοῦν, the article (which is not, with Lücke, to be deleted) must not be overlooked, for it indicates Jesus as the historical person who is Christ. The false teachers did not confess Jesus when they ascribed the work of healing, not to Jesus, but to the Aeon Christ. The particle μή indicates the contradiction of the true confession, whilst οὐ would only express the simple negation. At the words: καὶ τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ τοῦ ἀντιχρίστου, almost all commentators (even Brückner and Braune) supply with τό the word πνεῦμα; but Valla (with whom Zegerus agrees) interprets: et hic est antichristi spiritus, vel potius: et hoc est antichristi i.e. proprium antichristi; if this latter interpretation be correct, then τοῦτο refers to μὴ ὁμολογεῖν, and τὸ τοῦ ἀντιχρίστου is “the antichristian nature.” As it is not easy to see why John should have left out πνεῦμα, this interpretation is to be preferred to the usual one (so also Myrberg; Ewald similarly interprets: “the work of Antichrist;” the same form of expression in Matthew 21:21; 1 Corinthians 10:24; 2 Peter 2:22; James 4:14).(258)

ἀκηκόατε ὅτι ἔρχεται] compare chap. 1 John 2:18. Stephanus, groundlessly, would read “ ὅν” instead of ; the relative does not refer to ἀντιχρίστου, but to τὸ τ. ἀντιχρ.

καὶ νῦν ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἐστὶν ἥδη] i.e. in the false prophets; comp. 1 John 4:1. John does not say here that Antichrist, but only that the antichristian nature (or the spirit of Antichrist) is already in the world; ἤδη is doubtless added, not merely to intensify the νῦν, but to point to the future time of the appearing of Antichrist, which is already being prepared for. According to Ebrard, the last sentence depends on ; this, however, is not likely, as is the accusative; it is rather connected, as an independent sentence, with the preceding one.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-john-4.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 John 4:3. τὸ) that is, πνεῦμα, the spirit.— καὶ νῦν, and now) ch. 1 John 2:18, note.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-john-4.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

But on the contrary, concerning them who against so plain evidence denied him to be so come, the case was plain; as with the Jews, John 8:24, and with the present heretics, who denying the true manner, could not but deny the true end of his coming; and who also lived so impure lives as imported the most open opposition and hostility thereto, and so discovered must evidently that antichristian spirit, which it was foreknown would show itself in the world.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-john-4.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Is that spirit of antichrist; it is one of the forms in which the spirit of antichrist is manifested. Religious teachers who do not confess that Christ took upon him human nature, and became the propitiation for the sins of men, are not of God. 1 John 2:2.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-john-4.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

3. δ μὴ ὁμολογεῖ τὸν Ἰ. The words inserted in [760] and some other authorities are an obvious interpolation by some early transcriber who wished to make the two sides of the antithesis exactly equal. But, as we have repeatedly seen (1 John 1:5-8; 1 John 1:10, 1 John 2:10; 1 John 2:22-23, &c.), this is rarely the case in S. John’s oppositions.

There is yet another very ancient and very interesting difference of reading here: every spirit which severeth Jesus, or unmaketh Jesus, or destroyeth Jesus, or, as the margin of R.V., which annulleth Jesus (ὁ λύει, qui solvit), the verb which in 1 John 3:8 is used for ‘to destroy.’ This reading appears to have been known to Tertullian (A.D. 210), who quotes S. John, qui jam antichristos dicit processisse in mundum praecursores antichristi spiritus, negantes Christum in carne venisse, et solventes Jesum, scilicet in Deo creatore (Adv. Marcion. v. xvi.), and to Irenaeus (A.D. 180), who quotes the whole passage, and in this place has omnis spiritus qui solvit Jesum (Haer. III. xvi. 8). But it can scarcely be genuine, for it is not found in a single Greek MS., nor in any version except the Vulgate. And we have no certain knowledge that any Greek Father had this reading. ‘Qui solvit’ in the Latin translators of Irenaeus and of Origen may be interpretation rather than literal translation. Socrates the historian (A.D. 440) charges the Nestorians with tampering with the text and ignoring the reading ὃ λύει τὸν Ἰ.; just as Tertullian accuses the Valentinians of falsifying the text of John 1:13, and S. Ambrose the Arians of inserting οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός into Mark 13:32 and of mutilating John 1:6. In all these cases the supposed heretical reading is the right one. In this very verse Nestorius was blamed for a reading which his opponent Cyril has also. See Appendix G.

The passage in S. Polycarp’s Epistle already alluded to (see on 1 John 2:18) is against the reading advocated by Socrates: ‘For every one who coniesseth not that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is an Antichrist; and whosoever confesseth not the witness of the Cross is of the devil’ (Phil. VII.). The expressions ‘confess’, ‘come in the flesh’, ‘Antichrist’, ‘is of the devil’, place S. Polycarp’s knowledge of his master’s First Epistle beyond all reasonable doubt. This is very early testimony (A.D. 112–118) to the existence of the First Epistle.

The variations as regards reading are testimony to the same effect. Such things take time to arise and spread. If a corrupt reading is known to Tertullian in Africa, and (apparently) adopted by Irenaeus in Gaul, before the end of the second century, then the original document written in Asia Minor cannot be much later than the end of the first century, at which time S. John was still living.

Note the μή after the relative; ‘every spirit who is of such a kind as not to confess’. Comp. ᾦ μὴ πάρεστι ταῦτα, τυφλός ἐστιν (2 Peter 2:9). The μή in Colossians 2:18 is of very doubtful authority. Winer, 603.

ἐκ τ. Θεοῦ οὐκ ἔστιν. S. John gives two tests: one for trying human conduct, the other for trying spiritual claims. ‘Everyone that doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother’ (1 John 3:10). And ‘Every spirit which confesseth not Jesus is not of God’.

τὸ τοῦ ἀντιχρίστου. The (spirit) of antichrist. Nothing better than ‘spirit’ can well be inserted in English, and some insertion is necessary. But we need not suppose that πνεῦμα is to be understood. Τὸ τοῦ ἀντ. is a comprehensive term covering all the principles and powers, all the essential characteristics of Antichrist: what Aristotle would call τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι (Eth. Nic. II. vi. 17), and we might call ‘the antichristian nature’. The nearest parallel is τὸ τῆς ἀληθοῦς παροιμίας (2 Peter 2:22), ‘the very thing which the true proverb says’: Matthew 21:21; 1 Corinthians 10:24; James 4:14 are parallel only as regards the grammatical construction.

ὅτι ἔρχεται. As R.V., that it cometh. Wiclif, Purvey, and the Rhemish have ‘he cometh’. Most English Versions before 1611 have ‘he’ for ‘it’; as also has Luther. This is due to the Vulgate, which has antichristus for illud antichristi. ‘It’ is certainly right. Not Antichrist, but the antichristian nature, is affirmed to be now in the world already. The spirit of antagonism to Christ has passed from “the invisible world of spiritual wickedness” to the visible world of human action. The addition of ‘already’ hints that something more may be expected to follow. Comp. τὸ γὰρ μυστήριον ἤδη ἐνεργεῖται τῆς ἀνομίας (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Here ἤδη comes last for emphasis, as in λευκαί εἰσιν πρὸς θερισμὸν ἥδη (John 4:35); where, however, some editors put a stop at θερισμόν and join ἤδη to the next verse. The ἔρχεται points once more to the parallel and opposition between the Christ and the Antichrist: each may be spoken of as ὁ ἐρχόμενος (1 John 2:18).


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Bibliography
"Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-john-4.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3. Every spirit that confesseth not—The Vulgate has this remarkable reading of this verse: “Every spirit which separates Jesus is not of God.” This alludes to the heresy of Cerinthus, the contemporary of John, who taught that Jesus was merely the son of human parents, but that the Christ was an aeon, or superhuman being? who descended upon Jesus at his baptism; thus separating the person of Jesus. It would seem that the ancient Greek Church historian, Socrates, recognised this reading in ancient manuscripts, as well as Tertullian, Irenaeus, and Origen. But all the Greek MSS., and all the Versions except the Vulgate, have the present reading.

That spirit of antichrist—The special doctrine of emphatically the antichrist, based on the affirmation that all evil is identical with matter.

Should come—Was prophesied as to come immediately before the second advent.

Already is it—See note on 1 John 2:18.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-john-4.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 John 4:3. The Test negatively expressed. Omit χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἐληλυθότα. τὸν ἰησοῦν, “the aforementioned Jesus,” “jesus as thus described”. μή makes the statement hypothetical: “every spirit, if such there be, which doth not confess”. The variant λύει τὸν ἰησοῦν, solvit Jesum (Vulg., Aug.), “dissolveth” or “severeth Jesus,” i.e., separates the divinity and the humanity, aptly defines the Cerinthian heresy. It was much appealed to in later days against Nestorius. The ecclesiastical historian Socrates (see crit. note) says it was the primitive reading, and was altered by “those who wished to separate the deity from the man of the Incarnation”. St. Augustine, defining heresy as schism due to lack of brotherly love, comments: “Ille venit colligere, tu venis solvere. Distringere vis membra Christi. Quomodo non negas Christum in carne venisse, qui disrumpis Ecclesiam Dei, quam ille congregavit? “On the Antichrist see note on 1 John 2:18. ἀκηκόατε ὅτι ἔρχεται, “which ye have heard that it is coming”—the regular Greek idiom. Cf. Luke 4:34 : οἶδά σε τίς εἶ.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-john-4.html. 1897-1910.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 John 4:3. Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh — That doth not acknowledge him to be the true Messiah, as above observed, and that he came in that particular manner, though he might have come otherwise; is not of Gods — “To determine whether the Socinian interpretation of the clause, hath come in the flesh, expresses the apostle’s meaning, let that interpretation be substituted for the expression of which it is the interpretation, and the passages under consideration will run thus: 1 John 4:2, Every spirit, every teacher, calling himself inspired, who confesseth Jesus Christ hath come a mere man, is from God; 1 John 4:3, And every spirit who doth not confess Jesus Christ hath come a mere man, is not from God. Wherefore, as St. John is here giving marks by which true and false teachers were to be distinguished, if the Socinian sense of the phrase, hath come in the flesh, be just, he hath made it the mark of a true teacher, that he confesseth Jesus Christ as a mere man; and the mark of a false teacher, that he doth not confess Jesus Christ as a mere man, but affirmeth that he is more than a mere man; consequently, by so doing, St. John has condemned himself as a false teacher; because, having declared (1 John 4:15; 1 John 5:5) that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he hath confessed that he is more than a mere man.” And also in his gospel, having told us, (John 1:14,) that the Word (who he had said, 1 John 4:1, was with God and was God) was made flesh and dwelt among us, and they beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, “he hath certainly confessed that Jesus Christ is more than a mere man: for whose glory did the apostles behold, if it was not the glory of the Word made flesh, the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth? Wherefore, John having confessed that Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God, he cannot be supposed to have branded those teachers as deceivers, who did not confess Jesus Christ to be a mere man, but affirmed him to be more than a man; because, by so doing, he would have condemned himself as a false teacher.” And this is that spirit of antichrist which ye have heard, &c. — “From this, as well as from John 2:18, it appears that antichrist is not any particular person, nor any particular succession of persons in the church, but a general name for all false teachers in every age, who disseminate doctrines contrary to those taught by the apostles; especially if these doctrines have a tendency to derogate from Christ’s character and actions as the Saviour of the world.” — Macknight.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-john-4.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Et hic est antichristus, Greek: kai touto (pneuma) to tou antichristou. By the Greek hic cannot agree with the man, and so the construction in Latin must be, hic est ille spiritus antichristi.

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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-john-4.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

spirit. App-101.

that Jesus . . . flesh. The texts read "Jesus".

that = the.

antichrists = the Antichrist. See 1 John 2:18.

should come = cometh.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-john-4.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

Confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. So 'Aleph ('), Cyprian, Polycarp, Irenaeus (3: 8). Lucifer, Irenaeus, Origen, on Mark , and Vulgate, read, 'Every spirit which destroys (sets aside, or does away with) Jesus Christ.' A B read only, 'Every spirit that confesseth not (i:e., refuses to confess) Jesus' (in His person, His offices, and divinity).

Ye have heard - from your Christian teachers.

Already is it in the world - in the person of false prophets (1 John 4:1).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-john-4.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
and this
2:18,22; 2 Thessalonians 2:7,8; 2 John 1:7

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-john-4.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

But anyone who denies this. "Anyone who says Jesus was human but not divine, or that says He was divine but not human, does not speak by means of God's Spirit!" Enemy of Christ. MacKnight takes this as meaning The Devil, who is the ultimate source of all opposition to Christ. It was the Devil who motivated the false teachers to teach the things they taught. You heard that It would come. Paul spoke about this (2 Thessalonians 2:3). The Mysterious Wickedness was already at work when Paul wrote. John identifies the spirit from the Enemy of Christ as in the world already as he writes. Compare note on Revelation 13:11.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-john-4.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

This verse merely sets forth the opposite of the preceding one, and completes the rule by which the brethren may try the spirits, thus avoiding the misfortune of being misled by the antichrists and other false teachers.


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Bibliography
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 1 John 4:3". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/1-john-4.html. 1952.

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