Are evil spirits from God?


Mark 1:23-24

Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the Holy One of God!"

1 John 4:2

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.


The word translated "acknowledge" in 1 John 4:2 is homologeo, which is also found in Matthew 10:32: "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven." This implies that "acknowledge" is used to mean more than simply stating that Jesus Christ is God, but also aligning oneself with Christ by affirming that one believes in Christ and will follow him. The evil spirit in Mark 1 is only stating a fact, not aligning itself with Christ. (See also Jas 2:19.)

John explains elsewhere in his letter that those who are against Christ may falsely claim that they know and follow God (2:4, 2:9, 4:20) but where they truly stand is revealed by their actions (3:10). Thus verbal confession and belief are made complete by one's actions (3:18, 5:1-2).


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