Jesus Christ Is Come In Our Flesh

What did John mean, in 1 John 4:2, 3; when he said, ‘Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God?’

Apostle John wrote,

“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 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.” — 1 John 4:2-3 (KJV)

John continues,

2 John 7 (KJV) “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

In these passages John gives us one of the identifying marks that helps us to distinguish between the spirit of God and the spirit of antichrist. He tells us that the spirit that ‘confesseth that Jesus Christ is come is the flesh is of God’, whereas ‘the spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God’ and is the spirit of antichrist.

To understand what John is saying we need to first understand the nature of Christ when he came to this earth as a Man. Scripture tells us that,

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, HE ALSO LIKEWISE TOOK PART OF THE SAME; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of OUR INFIRMITIES; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. For verily he [Christ] took NOT on him THE NATURE OF ANGELS; but he took on him THE SEED OF ABRAHAM. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:14-18

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” — Hebrews 4:15

Heb 10:5 “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, BUT A BODY HAST THOU PREPARED ME:”

Jesus was born with a “special body”, a body not unlike any other, which God prepared; He was God and yet He was 100% human with flesh and blood.

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” — Isaiah 53:4 KJV

“That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES, and bare our sicknesses.” — Matthew 8:17

Interesting to note here that Matthew 8 uses the expression “infirmities” as it refers to ‘borne our griefs’ in Isaiah 53 and the Inspiration affirms this:

“He was subject to the INFIRMITIES AND WEAKNESSES BY WHICH MAN IS ENCOMPASSED, ‘that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.’ [Mt 8:17] He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and was in all points tempted like as we are. And yet He “knew no sin.”{5BC 1131.3}

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the LIKENESS OF SINFUL FLESH, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” — Rom 8:3

“But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, BORN OF A WOMAN, BORN UNDER THE LAW,” — Gal 4:4

“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the FORM OF A SERVANT, AND WAS MADE IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN:” — Phil 2:7

Note: “born under the law” — Christ voluntarily subjected himself to the same natural laws as well as put Himself under the jurisdiction of the moral law while bearing the fallen/sinful nature, not unlike all other human beings born into the world. He made Himself become liable to be tempted and thereby leaving Himself the possibility to fall.

“It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man’s nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity WHEN THE RACE HAD BEEN WEAKENED BY FOUR THOUSAND YEARS OF SIN. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.” (DA 48,49)

 “For four thousand years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth; and Christ took upon Him the INFIRMITIES OF DEGENERATE HUMANITY. Only thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of his degradation.” {DA p. 117}

“JESUS TOOK UPON HIMSELF MAN’S NATURE, THAT HE MIGHT LEAVE A PATTERN FOR HUMANITY, complete, perfect. He proposes to make us like Himself, true in every purpose, feeling, and thought—true in heart, soul, and life. This is Christianity. Our fallen nature must be purified, ennobled, consecrated by obedience to the truth. Christian faith will never harmonize with worldly principles; Christian integrity is opposed to all deception and pretense. The man who cherishes the most of Christ’s love in the soul, who reflects the Saviour’s image most perfectly, is in the sight of God the truest, most noble, most honorable man upon the earth.” {5T 235.3}

“As God He could not be tempted: but as a man He could be tempted, and that strongly, and could yield to the temptations… HIS HUMAN NATURE WAS CREATED; it did not even possess the angelic powers. It was human, IDENTICAL WITH OUR OWN.” {6MR 111.1}

“It was NOT A MAKE BELIEVE HUMANITY that Christ took upon Himself. He took human nature, and lived human nature. Christ’s life represents a perfect manhood just that which you may be. He was in human nature. He took our infirmities. HE WAS NOT ONLY MADE FLESH, BUT HE WAS MADE IN THE LIKENESS OF SINGUL FLESH.” Letter No. 106, 1896.

What love! What amazing condescension! The King of glory proposed to humble Himself to fallen humanity! He would place His feet in Adam’s steps. HE WOULD TAKE MAN’S FALLEN NATURE, and engage to cope with the strong foe who triumphed over Adam. He would overcome Satan, and in thus doing He would open the way for the redemption from the disgrace of Adam’s failure and fall, of all those who would believe on Him. {Con 18.1}


“When Jesus took human nature, and became in fashion as a man, HE POSSESSED ALL THE HUMAN ORGANISM. His necessities were the necessities of a man. He had bodily wants to be supplied, bodily weariness to be relieved. By prayer to the Father He was braced for duty and for trial.” (Letter 32, 1899) (EGW)

“Christ took humanity with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man with the possibility of yielding to temptation, and he relied upon divine power to keep him.” (GCB February 25, 1895, Art. A, par. 6) (EGW)

“Christ’s perfect humanity is the same that we may have through connection with Christ. As God, Christ could not be tempted any more than He was not tempted from His allegiance in heaven. But as Christ humbled Himself to the nature of man, He could be tempted. He had not taken on Him even the nature of the angels, but HUMANITY, PERFECTLY IDENTICAL WITH OUR OWN NATURE, EXCEPT WITHOUT THE TAINT OF SIN. A HUMAN BODY, A HUMAN MIND, WITH ALL THE PECULIAR PROPERTIES, HE WAS BONE, BRAIN, AND MUSCLE. A man of our flesh, He was compassed with the weakness of humanity. The circumstances of His life were of that character that He was exposed to all the inconveniences that belong to men, not in wealth, not in ease, but in poverty and want and humiliation. He breathed the very air man must breathe. He trod our earth as man. He had reason, conscience, memory, will, and affections of the human soul which was united with His divine nature.”—Manuscript Releases 16:181, 182. {TA 157.1}

“Was the human nature of the Son of Mary changed into the divine nature of the Son of God? No; THE TWO NATURES WERE MYSTERIOUSLY BLENDED IN ONE PERSON-the man Christ Jesus.” —Letter 280, 1904 in Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1113.2

“Looking upon Him in His humiliation, as He walked a man among men, they had not understood the mystery of His incarnation, the DUAL CHARACTER OF HIS NATURE.” {DA 507.1}

“…The two expressions human and divine were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, AND YET THEY HAD A DISTINCT INDIVIDUALITY…  {ST May 10, 1899, par. 11}

“His finite nature was pure and spotless, divine nature that led Him to say to Philip, ‘He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father’ also, was not humanized; neither was humanity deified by the blending or union of the two natures; EACH RETAINED ITS ESSENTIAL CHARACTER AND PROPERTIES.” {Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, p. 182 par.1}

“Christ could not have come to this earth with the glory that He had in the heavenly courts. Sinful human beings could not have borne the sight. He veiled His divinity with the garb of humanity, but HE DID NOT PART WITH HIS DIVINITY.” {Review and Herald, June 15, 1905}

“WE NEED NOT PLACE THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST BY ITSELF AS SOMETHING FOR WHICH HE WAS PARTICULARLY ADAPTED, BECAUSE OF HIS DIVINE NATURE; for he stood before God as man’s representative, and was tempted as man’s substitute and surety.” – ST April 10, 1893, par. 3

“In our conclusions, we make many mistakes because of our erroneous views of the human nature of our Lord. When we give to His human nature A POWER THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR MAN TO HAVE in his conflicts with Satan, we destroy the completeness of His humanity.” – 7BC 929.5

Having look at these inspired testimonies thus far, we can conclude that Christ came to this earth, with the same flesh as us humans and that He took upon Himself the infirmities of a degenerate humanity which had been weakened by four thousand years of sin and yet He lived a victorious life free from sin in his humanity. He did this to demonstrate that we (having the same nature) can indeed overcome in our sinful/fallen flesh as Christ overcame; He did not accomplish this by having some super human nature. Recognition of these evidence should lead us to confess that Jesus Christ did indeed come in the flesh.

But the question is, can we overcome as Christ overcame by just knowing that Christ lived a victorious life in human flesh? No. The key to living this victorious life is not just a mere mental assent but that we allow Christ to dwell in us in the present and thereby producing in us the same.

Let’s take a closer look at the aforementioned verses:

“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 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.” — 1 John 4:2-3 (KJV)

What is significant here about the confession is that it has something to do with Christ being in the flesh in the present tense. In other words, in addition to recognizing Jesus having lived on earth in our human flesh, two thousand years ago, John is also alluding to the reality as to how Christ is to manifest Himself in our flesh in the present moment.

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” — Colossians 1:27

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” — Galatians 2:20

Jesus says,

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and SHALL BE IN YOU. I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS; I WILL COME TO YOU.” John 14:17, 18

Jesus continued in the next chapter,

“I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in me, and I IN HIM , the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.” — John 15:5

You see, it is Christ in us that will produce the fruit of righteousness – ‘Christ in you the hope of glory.’ Moreover, it is the indwelling of Christ by His Spirit that will ultimately distinguish those who will confess whether or not Christ is come in the flesh is of God.

The spirit of a person is manifested by the words spoken by the person:

“To whom hast thou uttered words? and whose spirit came from thee?” — Job 26:4

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” — John 3:34

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: THE WORDS THAT I SPEAK UNTO YOU, THEY ARE SPIRIT, AND THEY ARE LIFE.” — John 6:63

Thus, when we utter words or confess, we are revealing which spirit we have. We either have the spirit of the world (spirit of antichrist), or the spirit of God, which is the Holy Spirit (that confesseth that Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh is of God). In the same manner, when God’s Word is spoken, His words are “spirit, and they are life” to those who believe and accept it.

Difference between before and after Christ’s ascension:

“During the patriarchal age the influence of the Holy Spirit had often been revealed in a marked manner, BUT NEVER IN ITS FULLNESS. Now, in obedience to the word of the Saviour, the disciples offered their supplications for this gift, and in heaven Christ added His intercession. HE CLAIMED THE GIFT OF THE SPIRIT, that He might POUR IT upon His people.” — (E.G. White, AA, p.37)

“In times past holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In ancient times the prophets searched what the Spirit of God which was in them signified. THE SPIRIT WAS NOT THEN GIVEN IN POWER BECAUSE JESUS WAS NOT YET GLORIFIED. Dating from the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was to be poured forth on sons and daughters, on servants and handmaidens. In every hill country, every lowland, every valley, humble workmen for the Lord are to be raised up. The divine, sacred influence of the Holy Spirit working in our world is to be as signs and wonders, because God’s people are a peculiar people, an holy nation, shining amid moral darkness as living stones in the Lord’s building. The weakest and feeblest, if they exercise faith in God, and improve their entrusted powers, will be elevated, refined and perfected in character under the Holy Spirit’s working. Humble and contrite, they submit to the moulding and fashioning of the Spirit, and they will know what His eternal fulness means.” {RH February 7, 1957, par. 2}

“During His humiliation upon this earth, the SPIRIT HAD NOT DESCENDED WITH ALL ITS EFFICACY; and Christ declared that if He went not away, it would not come, but that if He went away, He would send it. It was a representation of Himself, and after He was glorified it was manifest.” {ST, May 17, 1899 par. 3}

We can see therefore that after Christ’s ascension, there was a way prepared whereby the Spirit was to be poured out “in its fullness” and “with all its efficacy” unlike the ancient times.

Ellen White on “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”

“We are certainly living amidst the perils of the last days. We need now that grace which God shall give to the ones striving lawfully for every victory possible. If we rescue souls that have been helping Dr. Kellogg to stand where he now stands, we will need the power of a living Christ to go with us in our work. One must say with John, “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 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.” What definite light God has given us in this chapter. It becomes every soul to be sure that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. O let us constantly walk humbly with God. We need now that living faith which takes God at His word. We are not to allow any discouraging features of opposition to depress our souls. It would not be for the glory of God for us to become discouraged. We are living amidst the closing scenes of this earth’s history, and we must now like Jacob cling to Jesus with all our power, exclaiming, “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me, even me.” Hold fast to the promises of God.” – EGW

Note: Interesting to note that she ends the statement with Jacob’s words… it recalls the “ladder” dream signifying how Jesus connects us to heaven, “Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

“Where are you standing, brethren and sisters? Do you take hold of the death of Christ by faith and make it your salvation? Then we have made a new beginning and all our past life is as though it had not been. It is God’s life we are to live. God wants us to keep walking right along with Him. When we receive Him we are made free and sin no more. Why do we sin? We do not understand God’s sufficiency. He will reveal Himself in our hearts. We have had in our Sabbath school lessons that WHEN WE CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS COME IN THE FLESH, WE ARE TO CONFESS THAT HE HAS COME IN OUR FLESH. We have laid aside our own sins and we are living to the glory of God.” – EGW {Ms15-1894.23}

“At the Saviour’s baptism, Satan was among the witnesses. He saw the Father’s glory overshadowing His Son. He heard the voice of Jehovah testifying to the divinity of Jesus. Ever since Adam’s sin, the human race had been cut off from direct communion with God; the intercourse between heaven and earth had been through Christ; BUT NOW THAT JESUS HAD COME “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), THE FATHER HIMSELF SPOKE. HE HAD BEFORE COMMUNICATED WITH HUMANITY –>THROUGH<– CHRIST; NOW HE COMMUNICATED WITH HUMANITY –>IN<– CHRIST. Satan had hoped that God’s abhorrence of evil would bring an eternal separation between heaven and earth. But now it was manifest that the connection between God and man had been restored.” {DA 116.2}


I believe “Christ within” gives us that access to the Father. We can say that, not unlike how Father spoke directly to Jesus during baptism, the word of God (Father) can reach us or experienced directly IN our flesh. As he spoke from the throne and sent his Spirit directly to His son, so IN Christ, everything of God is accessible to us (DA 21.2). Christ breathed His spirit to his disciples (John 20:22), He breathed to the dry bones (Ezekiel 37:3-10), and breathed in the nostril of Adam (Gen. 2:7). He can now give us His Spirit directly without using other channels. God is not limited as human beings are.

E. J. Waggoner on “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”

E. J. Waggoner
The Present Truth | May 18, 1893; Excerpt from: “A Present Salvation.”

“So it is that “every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God” (1 John 4:2, 3). Note again the present tense. It is not enough to confess that Jesus Christ did come in the flesh; that will bring no salvation to anybody. We must confess, from positive knowledge that Jesus is just now come in the flesh, and then we are of God. Christ came in the flesh eighteen hundred years ago, just for the purpose of demonstrating the possibility. THAT WHICH HE DID ONCE, HE IS ABLE TO DO IT AGAIN. HE WHO DENIES THE POSSIBILITY OF HIS COMING IN THE FLESH OF MEN NOW, THEREBY DENIES THE POSSIBILITY OF HIS HAVING EVER COME IN THE FLESH.

“So our part is with humbleness of mind to confess that we are sinners; that in us is no good thing. If we do not, then the truth is not in us; but if we do, then Christ, who came into the world for the express purpose of saving sinners, WILL COME AND TAKE UP HIS ABODE WITHIN US, AND THEN THE TRUTH WILL INDEED BE IN US. Then there will be perfection manifested in the midst of imperfection. There will be completeness in the midst of weakness. We “are complete in Him” (Col. 2:10). He has created all things BY THE WORD OF HIS POWER, and therefore can take men who are but nothing, and can make them “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph. 1:6). “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things, to whom be the glory forever. Amen” (Rom. 11:36).

Milton C. Wilcox on “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”

Milton C. Wilcox
Questions and Answers Vol. 1, pg. 23, 24; Pacific Press 1911

19. Jesus Christ Is Come in the Flesh, 1 John 4: 2

Please give me your opinion on “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” i John. 4:2.

The thought of that text is not that sometime Christ lived here upon this earth ; that He walked here as a man ; that He was invested in human flesh, and tabernacled among us sometime. There are those who believe that, many of them, who are not children of God. THE REAL THOUGHT IS THAT CHRIST IS COME BY FAITH IN OUR FLESH NOW. THAT IS, IF YOU ARE A TRUE BELIEVER IN CHRIST, YOU BELIEVE THAT CHRIST LIVES IN YOU BY FAITH. As expressed by the apostle Paul, “I am crucified with Christ : nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me : and :the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved Me, and gave Himself for me.” Gal. 2 : 20. That faith in Christ takes hold upon Him as a complete Saviour. It does away with all the mediatorial work of priest or saint, and brings the soul into living connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. Some claim that Christ is in them; has always been in them; that He dwells in every one, and that faith is but the recognition of that thing; but this is not the teaching of God’s Word. He who is not a Christian is said to be “separate from Christ” and “without God.” Eph. 2 : 12. They are “alienated from the life of God.” Eph. 4: 18. Faith makes the connecting link between the soul and its Saviour, and brings the life and power of Christ into the heart and life of the believer. If our querist will study the subject in this light, she will see that only truly converted Christians are those who believe that Christ is come in the flesh, in His own way, responsive to faith. This also is shown in the context, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” i John 4:4.

Mystery of Godliness

The apostle Paul says,

“Great is the mystery of godliness;” then he explains the term by saying, “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” I Tim. 3: i6.

“God was manifest in the flesh” was the mystery that was never revealed until Christ came as a babe in the manger at Bethany. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the result of mankind receiving it.

“Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. BUT BY THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. GOD DWELLS IN HUMANITY, and through saving grace the HEART OF MAN BECOMES AGAIN HIS TEMPLE.” — DA 161.1

But John says,

The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John I: 14.

Therefore Christ’s life on earth was simply the Word of God dressed up in humanity. In other words, Christ’s life was very embodiment of the Word of God lived out in humanity (John I : I, 2). Thus, the great mystery is really the Word of God manifesting in the flesh! This mystery was manifested by our Lord Jesus Christ but the same mystery can be manifested when we receive the Word of God into the heart and have it be lived out in the life of a believer.

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, fully to preach the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but is now made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you the hope of glory.” Col. I : 25-27

The key that unlocks the mystery of salvation, is to accept the words of God as if spoken to us personally; when we walk out by faith on the promises of God, we are walking with God, His abiding presence is with us.

IT IS THROUGH THE WORD THAT CHRIST ABIDES IN HIS FOLLOWERS. This is the same vital union that is represented by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The words of Christ are spirit and life. Receiving them, you receive the life of the Vine. You live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. The life of Christ in you produces the same fruits as in Him. Living in Christ, adhering to Christ, supported by Christ, drawing nourishment from Christ, you bear fruit after the similitude of Christ.” {DA 677.1}

“The union of the divine and the human, manifest in Christ, exists also in the Bible. The truths revealed are all `given by inspiration of God’ ; yet they are expressed in the words of men, and are adapted to human needs. Thus it may be said of the Book of God, as it was of Christ, that ‘the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’ And this fact, so far from being an argument against the Bible, should strengthen faith in it as the word of God.”—Testimony for the Church, Vol. V, p. 747.

How does this relate to the doctrine of Trinity?

The trinity doctrine, even with all the inspired testimonies that speaks of Christ dwelling in us notwithstanding will deny that it is not really Christ but that it is the work of another entirely different individual. They believe that incarnate Jesus, because he is bound by humanity has forever forfeited His omnipresence and consequently is stuck in heaven until the second coming and that His mediatorial work here on earth is now left to another entirely different Individual called the “God the Holy Spirit,” Who is Christ’s “successor” and His “representative” here on earth, etc. Thus they deny that Christ IS come in our flesh. According to 2John 7, “who confess NOT that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

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