The Holy Spirit identified by other confessing spirits. Who are these spirits?

“By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭

This is contrasted with the anti-Christ spirit and it’s spirits that do not confess Jesus Christ in the subsequent verses

Who are the spirits that confess Jesus Christ?

It seems obvious enough that their counter are demonic unclean spirits.

Does this verse shed light or confuse the situation?

“And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.”” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭


“Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭1:14‬ ‭

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    That’s an interesting verse @NigelJ except I can’t see how in 1 John the spirits being spoken of are human spirits because prophecy does not come from men “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” ‭‭II Peter‬ ‭1:21 I suppose a false prophecy might come from the flesh but that’s not a spirit. So these spirits are definitely not human. Dec 12, 2019 at 12:20
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    For if the Christian is born again his spirit cannot sin, if he is not born again but calls himself a Christian his spirit is dead, it can’t be tested and if it’s of the flesh then no spirit is involved at all. Dec 12, 2019 at 14:06
  • Do you have a scripture for 'if the Christian is born again, his spirit cannot sin' ?
    – Nigel J
    Dec 12, 2019 at 20:27
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    “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” ‭‭I John‬ ‭3:9‬ ‭ Dec 12, 2019 at 22:10

2 Answers 2


To get the impact/context of what the Apostle John is talking about we need to start with verse 1.Evidently false teachers who were harassing the churches with doctrines characteristic of the Gnostic heresy.

So when John says to "test the spirits" he is referring to people claiming to get their message from a supernatural source. Christians need to realize that not every spirit represents God. As far as I'm concerned there are too many "gullible" Christians out there. They need to test/try any prophet who claims to speak as the a mouthpiece for the Spirit of God.

We cannot be foolish enough to assume that all claimants truly have their in God because a large number of false prophets and antichrists were already in circulation according to 1 John 2:18. We should not deny that we can receive guidance from the Holy Spirit, just read John 16:13.

So how do we "test/try" the spirits? By knowing your Bible/the Word of God. This is what the Apostle Paul stated at Acts 17:11. "Now these were more nobleminded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the with great eagerness, EXAMINING THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, (WHY?) TO SEE WHETHER THESE THINGS WERE SO."

As a side note, many people fail to read the next verse 12, "Many of them therefore believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men." This is what happens when you study hard the word of God. You will get results, and remember our calling is other people.

Now, regarding 1 John 3:9? Christians are "NOT" sinless, we commit sins. The idea is that Christians will not make a "habit" of sinning. Like I said, Christians who are born again believers still commit sin. Why else would the Apostle John say the following at 1 John 1:8, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Or verse 10, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."

Moreover, 1 John 2:1,2, "My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Verse 2, "and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." Let me close with this statement. "If you don't hate sin then there is something wrong with your Christianity."

  • When John says test the spirits he is saying test the spirits that are in the prophets. Otherwise he would have said test the prophets. The test he proposes is to see if the spirit claims Jesus Christ came in the flesh. He doesn’t say ask/test the prophet. So your response hangs on a false assumption/interpretation in my view. And further it says EVERY spirit it doesn’t say the spirit from God. This implies a multitude/plurality of spirits that are from God. My question is about these multitude of spirits from God and not a multitude of false prophets. Dec 24, 2019 at 2:08
  • Look, this is not hard to understand. The first words of John is NOT to believe every spirit. We are admonished to examine all spiritual claims. Why? Not all prophets or teachers/preachers is loyal to the truth even if they claim they have the truth. Matthew 7:15, "Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly ravenous wolves." At verse 23 Jesus says, "I never knew you." Some taught that Jesus was not fully human and this is the spirit of the antichrist/plural, i.e. false teachings. This is the point I was making when I quoted 1 John 2:18 in my initial post.
    – Mr. Bond
    Dec 24, 2019 at 14:50
  • Settle down Mr Bond. You’re still not exegeting the text itself. John said every spirit. Address why he chose that expression. The prophet is the mouth piece, the spirit is inside the prophet and is doing the speaking. Jesus said to Peter you know not by what spirit you are being led. And addressed satan directly not Peter. Moments earlier the Holy Spirit spoke through peter. Jesus didn’t examine Peter He examined the spirit. Peter was neither a false prophet or a true prophet but a mouth piece. Dec 24, 2019 at 15:36
  • First of all I don't need to settle down. Your not talking to a little kid here, your in the big leagues now. When the Apostle John uses the word "spirit" he is referring to any and all persons that are promoting false teachings. Why, what is his point? Because "many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist." 2 John 1:7. The "spirit" within the person is the "heart" of the person speaking. "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man" Mt. 15:18
    – Mr. Bond
    Dec 24, 2019 at 18:00
  • Cut the attitude “look, this is not hard to understand” your words. Also you’ve just equated the heart (soul) with the spirit. That I don’t agree with. In the “big league” (whatever that means) words have meaning and transitioning without explaining why heart and spirit are the same thing (when they are not) isn’t how “big league” works. John knew how to say heart or soul but said spirit, every spirit. Your answer is “because he meant heart”. You might be right. So far your explanation is inadequate. Dec 24, 2019 at 18:27

To clarify, the Spirits of God is the menorah present in the throne room . These Flames are full full entities unto themselves complete.... They are The Spirit of Knowledge on the opposite end is the Spirit of Understanding. Next inside is the Spirit of Wisdom and opposite the Spirit of Counsel... Next inside the Spirit of Might and opposite is the Spirit of Fear of the Lord . Leaving the center flame being the Spirit of the Lord himself.... These spirits are to instruct us and shape is into a true heir of a KINGDOM... They give aid to us and are at our disposal right along with the Holy Spirit as well as the Fruits of the Spirit also being full entities unto themselves... They hold reign over which they are named... All the Spirits are just the different facets of Christ himself... All the way down to US.... Being just as Spirit as the rest in How we are created ... So to walk with these Spirits should be familiar and with great ease....May this Bless All.... Shalom...

  • Please elaborate on the term entities? Thank you Dec 28, 2019 at 6:35
  • Welcome! (from a fairly new user of the site). I don't know if the answer you have given is intended to be symbolic, or if you are actually referring to a throne room. In either event, I'm not seeing a connection between what you have written and the verse, taken within the context of I John.
    – Papa Pat
    Dec 29, 2019 at 10:40

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