1 John 5:7

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

This verse has long been misrepresented to make it say the exact opposite of what it is saying. What is this verse really saying, and what is it not saying? Please consider it with me as we analyze it point by point. I believe we will see some glorious light in this passage.

What are they bearing record to?

Consider the context.

1 John 5:5-11 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, [even] Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Answer: They bear record that Jesus is the Son of God

Let's consider the “three that bear record”

Who bears record and how?

1. Father

How did the Father bear record?

2Pet 1:16-18 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

Luke 9:35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

Luke 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Answer: The Father bore record that Jesus was his son in an audible voice, twice.

2. “The Word”

Who or what is the word that bears record that Jesus is the Son of God?

Jesus tells us about two that bore record of Christ being the Son of God. Himself and His Father.

John 8:14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. … :17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. :18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

But Jesus tells us that His witness is not something others will necessarily receive as true. He says:

John 5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

Jesus tells us about another witness:

John 5:32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.

Notice that Jesus discounts his own witness of himself, as well as John's witness too, as that of a man. So The “word” in 1Jn 5:7 that bears witness that Jesus is the Son of God, is not Jesus himself. So what is it? The author of 1 John, in his Gospel narrative, mentions the three witnesses and how they witness. John 5:37 tells us about the Father bearing witness which we have already mentioned. And the following verses tell us about another witness.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Jesus discounts his own testimony, so “the Word” in 1Jn 5:7 that bears record that Jesus is the Son of God, is not speaking symbolically of Christ. It is speaking literally. It means the Scriptures.

3. “The Holy Ghost”

The third valid witness John records that Jesus tells us of, is the “works

John 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

Jesus tells us these good works are from His Father.

John 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. :32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? :33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. :36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? :37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. :38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Jesus testifies that the works give evidence that the Father is in Him. Obviously this is not saying that the Father is in him physically, but in or by His Spirit. This is why it is not a contradiction when in another place, Jesus says that he was doing the works by the “spirit of God”.

Matt 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.... :31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.... :33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

This is not a contradiction. It is not attributing the works to another being other than the Father. We say something is done by the spirit of God when God does something at a distance, through an agency or agent, rather than bodily or physically.

The testimony of the spirit is the works, fruit or signs seen in the life.

Heb 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Notice in the two statements following, they are speaking of the same event, and one place says the command was given by the Holy spirit, and the other says the command was given by an angel.

TM 71.01 "But let us follow the history of the men whom the Jewish priests and rulers thought so dangerous, because they were bringing in new and strange teaching on almost every theological subject. The command given by the Holy Spirit, "Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life," was obeyed by the apostles; "they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught…."

RH 02-26-95.07 "…But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, "Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life." The command of the angel was opposed to the command of the authorities, and which should they obey? "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."

How can we understand these apparently contradictory statements? Easy! The command was from God, and an angel was the messenger carrying the communication. The holy spirit is the presence of God's power, life, communications, or mind, etc. while His physical presence is at a distance.

The angels of God are ever moving up and down from earth to Heaven, and from Heaven to earth. All the miracles of Christ performed for the afflicted and suffering were, by the power of God, through the ministration of angels. Christ condescended to take humanity, and thus he unites his interests with the fallen sons and daughters of Adam here below, while his divinity grasps the throne of God. And thus Christ opens the communication of man with God, and God with man. All the blessings from God to man are through the ministration of holy angels. {2SP 67.2}

So the passage in Matt 12:28 telling us that Christ cast out devils by the spirit of God, was simply God, not a separate divine being, performing the work through angels.


There is nothing in 1 John 5:7 which proves any aspect of the trinity, any more than verse 8 (spirit, water and blood bear record) proves a trinity. It does not say there are three persons or that the three persons are one being.

We conclude, that the three witnesses John tells us about that “bear record in heaven” are, three ways that one being, the Father, bore record that Jesus was the Son of God. 1. His own voice, 2. His written word, 3. the miracles He worked in and through Christ. The entities are not “one”, but the record or witness is one. It is in agreement. All three records prove the same thing, that Jesus is the literal begotten Son of God.