Bible Question:

Does 1 John 4:1-2 teach false teachers deny Jesus was God and man?

Bible Answer:

A major sign of a false teacher is that they deny Jesus was both God and man. Acts 20:29-30 warns us that false teachers will “speak perverse things.” 2 Peter 2:1 says that they “introduce destructive heresies.” 2 John 9 adds that false teachers are deceivers and antichrists. That is, they are against Christ. 1 John 4:1-2 is another test of false teachers. The purpose of this brief study is to explain the message of 1 John 4:1-2.

Jesus - The God-Man

How to Identify False Teachers

1 John 4:1 wants Christians to not believe everyone who teaches the Bible. Then we are given a testament of false teachers.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 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 4:1-2 (NASB)

The test is simple. If someone says that Jesus, who is God, did not take on human flesh, then that person is a false teacher, because Jesus was both fully God and fully man. He was God clothed with human flesh. Jesus did not cease to exist as God and become a man. When Jesus took on human flesh, He was still God. He was both.

Integrity of the Test

The test is meaningless if someone insists that a man became a man. It is a meaningless test because humans are born as humans every day in the maternity wards of hospitals around the world. The test that 1 John 4:1-2 is referring to is does the individual say that Jesus Christ, who was and is God, took on human flesh? Do they believe that Jesus was both God and man? Other passages that teach Jesus is both God and man are Philippians 2:6-8; Hebrews 2:9-18 and 2 John 7.

For 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 7 (NASB)

Jesus repeatedly stated that He was God during His ministry on earth. Please listen or read “The Bible Teaches Jesus Is God – In The Gospels” in the series titled, “Jesus Is God.” Also, read “Truth About Jesus Christ.”


The Chalcedonian Creed (October 22, 451) of the Christian faith captures the wonderful truth that Jesus was both God and man.

Suggested Links:

Jesus Is God
Bible Teaches Jesus Is God – Old Testament
Bible Teaches Jesus Is God – In The Gospels
Bible Teaches Jesus Is God – Outside of The Gospels
Truth About Jesus Christ
What is the Chalcedonian Creed of A.D. 451?