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This is a good and very important question, for Satan uses unsaved men to masquerade as teachers of the Word of God and we need to have discernment as to their true state before God in order to expose them and their false teachings. We read in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” The Lord Jesus Himself addressed this issue in the parable of the wheat and tares in Matthew 13:24-25, 36-39, “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way…Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and His disciples came unto Him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil…” 

Thankfully the Lord has provided us with a clear test that we can use to determine if one is “of God” or “not of God.” This test is given to us in 1 John 4:1-3, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth  not that Jesus Christ is come in the world is not of God: and this is the spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” If we are approached by someone professing to be a Christian and a teacher of the Word of God, we can ask them, “What do you think of Christ?  Who is He?” Their answer to these vital questions will reveal whether or not they are “of God.” If they fail to confess that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” they are “not of God,” but of the spirit of antichrist.

We need to be clear as to all that is involved in the words “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” It certainly involves the truth that Jesus Christ was a true man, with a body, soul, and spirit. This is confirmed in Hebrews 2:9, 14, “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death…Forasmuch than as the children are partakers of flesh and blood; He also Himself took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”  

Many deny the Lord’s true humanity and that alone would tell us that they are not of God. But there is another blessed truth intimated in the words “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” Notice it says, “IS COME in the flesh.” If He had simply been born into the human race like anyone else, the Spirit of God would not have employed the words “is come.” These precious words indicate that He had already existed and that in time HE CAME into the world and was then born of a woman!  Who was this One Who came into the world? Let Scripture give us that answer.  John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  John 1:14 goes on to say, “And the Word was made [became] flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Jesus Christ is none other than the eternal Word and the eternal Son of God! Many are willing to confess that Jesus Christ was a wonderful teacher, a prophet, and even a miracle worker, but they fall short of confessing, as Peter did in Matthew 16:16, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  To fall short of this grand confession is to deny that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”  It is indeed the spirit of antichrist.  The Apostle John wrote in no uncertain terms in 1 John 2:22-23, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father, but he that acknowledgeth [confesseth] the Son hath the Father also.”

Surely the truth of the Incarnation of the Son of God is beyond our finite understanding and thus we would echo the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 3:16, “…great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…”  But faith allows us to believe it and to confess it before men, along with other precious truths related to Christ, such as His sinless humanity and His atoning work at Calvary.

Let us be bold in defending the truth of the Person and Work of Christ and if anyone comes to our door with a Bible, professing to be “of God,” let us faithfully and in love for their souls, test them with the simple and all-important questions, “What do you think of Christ? Who is He?” If we discover they deny that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, let us act on the Apostle John’s words of instruction to us in 2 John 9-11, “Whosoever trangresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”  (124.2)  (DO)