Friday, July 12, 2013

Another Jesus: an example of defective Christology

The truth is that there is “this same Jesus” (Acts 1:11) and there is “another Jesus”. (2 Cor 11:4).

I've explained before that there are a great many people who claim Jesus who are not saved. This is because they claim another Jesus, not this same Jesus as revealed in the bible.

We read the bible and we read its theology, its history, its poetry...and then we go on with our day, never making a practical application from what we just read as to our church's theology, our personal history, our poetic hymnody and music. But we must make practical application. Jesus is too important and false doctrine and false teachers who bring these teachings are too destructive.

So what is meant by 'another Jesus' as stated in 2 Corinthians 11? Satan is very seductive. John MacArthur explains 'another Jesus' in his sermon on the Corinthians verse, titled "Christian Loyalty, Part 2"
"They identified somehow with Jesus, the name Jesus, but it was a different Jesus. ... They had somehow invented another Jesus. You have to listen so carefully because Satan is so seductive. They talk about Jesus. They love Jesus. Jesus is the Savior. But it's not the true Jesus."
HOW is it not the true Jesus? Look how hard it is sometimes to unearth the seeming follower's different Jesus -- MacArthur continued:
"I said to the Mormon man that I met with, I said, "I want you to tell me who Jesus is."You love Jesus." "They said yes.
"You believe Jesus is your Savior." Yes.
"You believe Jesus died on the cross." Yes.
"You believe He died a substitute for your sins on the cross?" Yes.
"You believe that salvation comes by faith in the death of Jesus on the cross?" Yes.
"You believe that's gracious of God to give you that?" Yes.
"You believe Jesus bore your sin in His own body on the cross?" Yes.
I said, "That's...that's true, that's all accurate."
"You sing praises to Jesus, you long to serve Him, you love Him?" They said yes.
I said, "Who is Jesus?"
"They said Jesus is the created spirit child of God."
I said, "That's another Jesus, that's not the Jesus that we preach."
Let's go to the scene in Matthew 16:13-18a. It is very important in considering one's Christology. It all boils down to the question: "Who is Christ?"

"Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church..."

Jesus did not congratulate the ones who said, 'You are John the Baptist', saying, 'Yup! Pretty close! Come on up and stand with me on the Rock.' He didn't affirm the ones who said He was Elijah, inviting them to come on in. He didn't bless the ones who said 'You are Jeremiah or a prophet.' He said that the one who said He is 'the Christ, the Son of the living God' is blessed. Note, "THE Christ. The one and only. Belief is a bull's eye and a bull's eye only. If you're off on who Christ is, you're off on everything.

Finally, He told Peter that Peter understood this fact because the Spirit had revealed it to him.

If you know who Christ is, THE Christ, you have the Spirit, because only the Spirit reveals these things. If you claim another Christ, you do not have the Spirit.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:4 that
"For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough."

--Note Paul said 'if someone comes...' but remember that Teachers, Pastors, and Disciples AKA Believers are sent. (Matthew 28:19). Believers are sent in Christ's authority but the false professors come in their own authority.
--Note Paul said 'proclaims another Jesus'- indicating it was already happening in 60 AD, an no less from the people that Paul, a first generation witness to the risen Christ, had personally taught!
--Note Paul said they will proclaim this other Jesus 'by another spirit', not the Holy Spirit.

Christianity has standards for including believers into it. Non-believers and in some cases even non-members of a particular church may NOT partake of The Lord's Supper at Communion. (1 Corinthians 11:27-29; 1 Corinthians 10:16). Only believers may be baptized. (Romans 6:3-4). Christianity has commands and is exclusive, separate, and distinctive. Jesus said that His sword of truth is so precise it will divide son from father, mother from daughter. (Matthew 10:34-36). We should not accept anyone and everyone as a brother in the faith simply on the basis their surface proclamation of Jesus. Paul was chiding the Corinthians over that. 'You accept a different gospel readily enough'.

When Paul arrived at Jerusalem and said "I'm a member of the body of believers in Jesus Christ" the local body didn't accept him at first. They were afraid of him, even though Paul had been preaching Christ for three years by the time he got to Jerusalem. (Acts 9:26). After all, Saul/Paul had been the chief persecutor and torturer of believers. They had a right to be afraid. But isn't a false believer who brings a different Jesus just as destructive? Yet we overlook their kind of killing belief, and accept them without a second glance. For many undiscerning people, they utter the holy name of Jesus as simply a magic password. Too many believers have thrown out the "listen carefully" warning. This evidences their lack of discernment.

How is your Christology? Who is Christ? That is the question. Is Jesus God? Was He born of a virgin? Was He both fully man and fully God? Was He sinless? Is He the Word, revealing Himself in the bible? Did He die on the cross as the substitute for our sins, and was resurrected on the Third Day? Is He judge? Is he holy? And so on. Who IS Christ?

The church has watered down theology today because they have accepted many in their midst who have an outwardly pious and sincere belief in another Jesus.

Because of this watering down, the essential doctrines of our faith are under attack. Many people think you can disbelieve in one or more of them and still be in the faith. Not so. There are essential beliefs, and they are absolute. Where Jesus said a belief was essential, it is essential. For some of these, He even included a penalty for NOT believing.

Jesus is going to return and show Himself as Who He really is. His robes will be stained with blood, He will speak a word and millions will be slain at Armageddon, He will judge the living and the dead. JUDGE them, calling them account for their lives- the distinguishing benchmark being whether they believed in this same Jesus, or not. If they did not, they will be sent to hell for all of their conscious tormenting eternity.

Be distinguished from the world NOW, believe on the Christ of the bible. Study Him carefully, diligently, from His word (not visions and dreams and impressions and purpose-driven, motivational books.) Because belief in Him (this same Jesus) is the standard by which your eternity will be divided- heaven or hell, narrow road or broad, there is no other subject to which a person ought to devote himself with more fire or zeal or attention. If you claim Jesus, make sure you claim THE Jesus, and not another.

"and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people." (Matthew 24:11)

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Further Reading:

Essential Christian Doctrines

When Someone Claims to be a Christian but...is Not a Christian

The London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689)

6 comments:

  1. Great post! Christology is so important to understand in this world of "many" Jesus's.

    "If you know who Christ is, THE Christ, you have the Spirit, because only the Spirit reveals these things. If you claim another Christ, you do not have the Spirit."

    That is beautifully stated.

    For more on Christology, check out S. Lewis Johnson's sermons: http://www.sljinstitute.net/sermons/christology/christ/christ_master.html

    Just click on the "Christology" tab to read more on Christology.

    By the way, John MacArthur has listened to the preaching of Dr. S. Lewis Johnson more than any other preacher.



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    1. Thank you very much for stopping by and reading the piece and your kind words. Thank you VERY much for letting me know about S. Lewis Johnson. I bookmarked his online audio library. :)

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  2. I go to the church where Dr. Johnson preached in Dallas, and was at his funeral in 2004. I remember sitting across the aisle from him one Sunday around 2002. He wasn't preaching anymore by that time.

    The donotbesurprised.com website sometimes mentions some of Dr. Johnson's sermons.

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    Replies
    1. I appreciate it because I am always looking for good (& trusted) expositors, particularly ones who preached the Old Testament, very rare. I was looking around today because I had a hankering for a good expository sermon from Jeremiah. Thanks again!

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  3. This article is so true! While sitting in my women's Sunday school class this morning, I notice how the older women make excuses for the healing power that Jesus stripes paid for us. Their joy is lacking and they tend to water down the power of the Holy Spirit by rationalizing and compromising. When I state to them how Jesus saved me from suicide and depression - healed me from high blood pressure, cervical cancer, and many more testimonies, they quickly say, "Well, that's you.". I then think to myself, we do not serve the same Jesus!

    Many don't believe in the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit and many are not walking in the Spirit of TRUTH. As they wear their fancy jewelry and brag on their bargains from Dillards, I realize that they are still yet carnal and are walking in the lust of the flesh. Yes, they serve a different Jesus, because they have not denied themselves.

    Monique

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  4. I have been reading your excellent posts, this one, and "Why Discernment Is Important......."
    I have never seen such a lack of discernment and a who cares attitude in all my life. Where should I start? Many Evangelical Christians and organizations have been duped by those who teach another Jesus. I have seen cult links on many Christian sites. I have informed the ministry of the unorthodoxy of these groups, they deleted the link. Many get confused with www.biblestudy.org with www.bible.org www.biblestudy.org is an anti-Trinitarian site, many off-shoots of Herbert W Armstrong. www.bible.org is an excellent Evangelical site. Here is one example of being duped, and not knowing what you believe and why. You have a Christian school administrator who acknowledges the Trinity, but waves it off with a casual "Oh, we have no problem with that...heck, most of us don't understand that doctrine anyway" So you have the CEO of Spirit And Truth Fellowship International, an off-shoot of the Way International who deny the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, the reality of Hell, enrolling his children in a Trinitarian school. Link here:
    www.stfonline.org/2013/06/26/a-biblical-unitarian-navigating-through-a-trinitarian-world This organization and many other Way International off-shoots have confused many. They sound good, they state "Jesus Is Lord", "Jesus Is Coming Back", but it's not until one looks into their teachings that the real story is told. Link here: www.cortright.org/behome.htm The attacks on the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Trinity is now coming from inside the church. Now you have 8 time Dove award winner, author of many well known Gospel songs, like "He's Still Working On Me" Joel Hemphill of the Hemphill's making no bones about his attacks on these two cardinal teachings of the Christian faith. His books are filled with cutting remarks about these two teachings. I now see his books and CD'S on many anti-Deity of Christ sites. Here: www.21stcr.org How one can perform in Christian churches and have your music played on Christian radio is a real shame. Hemphill associates with the anti-Deity of Christ Atlanta Bible College who also has confused Evangelical Christians. Yes, there is another Jesus being taught everywhere, not just on Christian radio/TV. If it's not the Jesus of the Inspired Scriptures, the early Christian faith,and the Christian faith today, it's ANOTHER JESUS! The following article is an excellent place to start, if you are not sure of a ministry or Bible teacher.
    www.fredsbibletalk.com/fb018.htm

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