While verse 4 is popularly believed to be a the Devil, it is actually referring to the antichrist, who was expected, came and hit the start button on the final hour:

KJV 1Jn 4:3 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. 1Jn 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.

So is John suggesting that the antichrist was a particular homo-sapien male who appeared and his identity was known? Or any who oppose the apostolic teachings about Christ?


1 Answer 1


John draws a direct contrast between the Son of God and the devil earlier in 1 John 3:8 and references that there are children of God or children of the devil in 1 John 3:10. Thus when John speaks of "he who is in you" is greater than "he who is in the world", it is another direct contrast. Hence "he who is in the world" would be the opposite of "he who is in you" thus suggesting the "he" is the devil rather than the anti-Christ. Also, the spirit of anti-Christ in 1 John 4:3 is referred to as an "it" whereas the pronoun "he" is used to describe the opposite of he who is in you. The different pronouns suggest "he who is in the world" is not the spirit of anti-Christ, described as an it.

In conclusion, "he who is in the world" does not appear to be a particular male whom appeared and whose identity was known when John wrote this epistle.


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