Pristine Grace

Have You Tried the Spirits?
I John 4:1-3
by Henry Mahan

"Beloved, believe not every spirit (preacher), but try the spirits (preachers) whether they be of God...every preacher WHO CONFESSES THAT JESUS CHRIST IS COME IN THE FLESH IS OF GOD" – I John 4:1-3.

     Let all preachers and religious teachers be tried by the Word of God first (Acts 17:11; Isa. 8:19-20). This will expose most of them, for they do not preach the Word of truth at all. Their messages are full of free will, human righteousness, life by law and works, the advocacy of Mary and saints, God's weakness and inability, sabbath keeping, rituals and holy days, infant salvation, and all manner of tradition and open error. But John lays down a special mark by which we can easily distinguish between true and false prophets. Christ Jesus is the object of true faith and the whole foundation of acceptance with God. Therefore, He is also the stone at which all heretics stumble; and His person and work will be the place where error will be most evident.

  1. When the apostle says that Jesus Christ "IS COME," we conclude that He was, before He came, with the Father, co-equal, co-eternal. He is very God of very God (Isa. 9:6).
  2. By saying that He came "IN THE FLESH," he means that Christ, by putting on flesh, became a real man, of the same nature with us, that He might become our BROTHER, except that He was free from every sin and corruption (Heb, 2:14-18; John 1:14).
  3. By saying that He came, the cause of His coming must be declared; for the Father did not send Him here for nothing (Matt. 1:21; Luke 19:10; Isa. 53:10-12; Rom. 3:25-26; Gal. 4:4-5). As some heretics depart from the faith denying the divine nature of Christ, and others depart from the faith denying the human nature of Christ, so others depart from the faith denying the EFFECTUAL, SUFFICIENT, AND SUBSTITUTIONARY WORK OF CHRIST, leaving the final redemption of men's souls up to their own free will, works, or cooperative efforts (Heb. 10:11-18).