1 John 4:3-4 (NIV): 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
Reflection on Scripture
The test of truth is continued here in the negative form. If a person claims to reveal truth, yet refuses to acknowledge the apostolic doctrine of Jesus Christ, he is a deceiver. The present tense of “confesses” speaks of a habitual practice, and the meaning of the word implies a personal conviction openly expressed. The definite article before “Jesus” refers back to the fuller statement of faith given in verse 2; the false spirits are those which deny that Jesus is the divine Christ who became man. If such speakers were not inspired by the Holy Spirit, their message had to come from a different spirit. This spirit is identified as the “spirit of antichrist (2:18).
The italicized word “spirit” (meaning, it was supplied by the KJV translators) is the most logical way to translate the Greek construction. The very spirit which will empower the future “man of sin” was already at work in these false teachers. The genuine believers who received this letter stood in strong contrast to those who were deceived by the spirit of antichrist. They had God as the source of their spiritual life. These “little children” had been born into God’s family. Besides, they had overcome “them,” namely the false prophets. The perfect tense of “overcome” shows that they had resisted the pull of the false doctrine in the past and were still standing firm. But they still needed to be on guard to maintain their purity. The reason they could overcome the power of evil was because the One who lived in them was greater than the one in the world. This statement again continues the contrast between the Holy Spirit and the “spirit of antichrist.”
Let me encourage you by reminding you of the power available to believers. The devil is an active force in the world today, but let me remind you that though he may be mighty, our God is ALL MIGHTY and though the devil may be powerful, our Father God is ALL POWERFUL.
My Dear Father, I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit living in me enables me to overcome the devil’s temptations. I don’t have to live in fear of failing, because I have Your written Word to teach me and show me the way to victory. With Your promises to me and with the Holy Spirit living in me, I possess the determination walk all over the devil because he is under my feet. The promise of my being “More than a conqueror” (Romans 8:37) takes the fear of falling out of me because You will lift me up! HALLELUJAH! Amen.
About the Author
For over 32 years Rev. William Ilnisky has been Senior Pastor of Lighthouse Christian Center International, a multi-ethnic church in West Palm Beach Florida. Prior to serving in this capacity Rev. Ilnisky served as Pastor, Evangelist and Associate Pastor, in the United States and as Missionary to Montego Bay, Jamaica for 10 years and Beruit, Lebanon for 7 years. In 1996 he had the opportunity of ministering throughout Uzbekistan where he led a team for a prayer walk. He has also served as Visiting Professor at Silk Road Bible College, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan from 1997 to 1999. Currently, he is engaged in ministering to a remnant of the one and a half million AIDS victims of Zambia, most of them orphans, through a variety of ministry and aid relief efforts