WHAT IS "ANOTHER JESUS"?
"Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already." (1 John 4:1-3)
John is reflecting the words of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse, just a few days before His crucifixion. There He left a final warning, valid for all disciples in all ages, about "false Christs and false prophets" who would lead many astray. (Matt 24:24)
Paul also refers to the same thing, using the term - "Another Jesus". (2 Cor 11:4)
The false apostles of this "different Jesus" continue to clamour for our attention, appearing in the form of "angels of light", and seeking to lead us astray from the truth,
It is a matter of life and death that we should know how to identify and reject them.
There are many men in this world whose name is "Jesus". It is common in South America, for instance. Variations such as "Joshua", are also common.
They have many different fathers. They have many different shapes and colors. They have many different personalities. They believe many different (and often totally incompatible) philosophies. They practice many different ways of life, with many different moral standards.
Most important of all, none of them is the Son of God ! It is not the name alone, which identifies the real Jesus ..... is it?
The identity of the real Jesus can be confirmed by three main things :-
1. WHO IS HIS FATHER?
The "different Jesus" of the Trinitarian creeds does not really have a father! (Think about it.)
Of course, that will be challenged by those who follow him. However, it takes only a very little logical thought to decide that although the word is used, it does not mean the same as it does for all other men!
It is a simple fact that this different Jesus has no beginning. He was not brought into existence by the choice of his father. Instead, He is said to have existed co-eternally with his father.
He is said to have entered this world as a divine being, with a divine mind and nature, clad in a human body.
That is not what the word "son" means when applied to a man!
The truth is that when it is used about Jesus in that way, it denies the real meaning of what it is to be a Son.
The Jesus of the Trinitarian creeds is not, and never can be, a real Son of God.
This different Jesus defies all logic! But his "apostles" hide behind words like "divine mystery", "received by faith", etc., to conceal the faulty logic. And all who reject the logic are declared to be "heretics", for ever beyond the pale of salvation.
2. WHO IS HE?
The "different Jesus" of the Trinitarian, creeds is not and never can be a real man .
This also will be challenged. However it is not hard to see that here too, words are used about Jesus, which do not have the same meaning as they do for other men!
For this Jesus, His "conception" and "virgin birth" are merely a means by which a pre-existent god is given the appearance of a man, whilst maintaining all the eternal powers and attributes of a god!
No matter how you dress it up, or attempt to conceal it behind such words, this Jesus is not, and never can be, a real man .
No other man has ever existed eternally before he was born. No other man was ever born with an infinite mind in a human body.
The real Jesus is completely man, just like other men.
He did not come to earth from some pre-existent state. He had a beginning. He began His existence at His birth, as all other men do.
He was born with nothing that is not common to all other men. He began with nothing, as we all do.
He is truly a Man, in every sense of the word.
THAT is of supreme importance! Our own "new birth" experience of the REAL obedient manhood for which we were created, depends on our FAITH that a REAL man has shown us not only that it is possible, but also how to achieve it.
3. WHAT DOES HE SAY?
Those two things above, seldom stand alone. It is not only the theology which makes this "other Jesus" different. That is far too simplistic.
Almost universally, the major difference about this pre-existent Jesus, is that he says DIFFERENT THINGS to those taught by the REAL CHRIST described in the four Gospels.
His words are different . And because they are different, they are destructive of real faith .
The character of the God he reveals is different.
The Gospel he preaches is different. (For more about this see Bible Digest no 69 - "What Is A Different Gospel?)
The "obedience" he requires of his disciples is based on different standards.
If you doubt that, just compare the Sermon on the Mount with what is said by that "other Christ" of the Mainstream Churches!
Here are just a few examples of the differences between what is said by the Real Christ and the counterfeit Christ.
The Real Christ says "Blessed are the peacemakers", and "Turn the other Cheek", and "Resist not evil", and "Love your enemies".
The different Christ approves of war makers, who prove their hatred for their enemies by the terrible things they do to them.
This different Christ approves of both divorce and remarriage, in circumstances which the real Jesus has plainly labelled as adultery .
Responsibility For Sin
The most destructive of all the different things said by the different Jesus, is that the nature of man is inherently corrupt by physical descent from Adam; and that men are powerless to obey because of some fault inherent in the nature with which we are born into the world.
It is essential to the concept of morality and justice that mankind is held accountable for his own free will choices to obey or disobey.
Beware of anything which allows people to reduce their own responsibility for sin.
That includes the Catholic doctrine of "Original Sin", (or one of its Protestant variations) or "The Devil made me do it" (or the Pentecostal variation "I was demon possessed"!).
It includes also, any "Cheap Grace" Gospel which divorces Grace and Faith from Works in order to diminish our personal responsibility to exercise that fruit of the Spirit called "self control".
The bottom line is what is said about obedience to God.
The Real Christ says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness".
But the different Christ says "That is Legalism! All you need is Grace."
No man has truly repented from sin until he has identified his sins by name, been convicted of his need for change, and entered into a covenant with God to forsake his sin and live for righteousness.
And no man can hunger and thirst after righteousness if he does not know what it is!
The Real Gospel of the Real Christ has much to say about the standard of righteousness for which we must hunger and thirst, in order to be filled.
That is the goal of the "Blessing of Abraham", which is central to the mission and Gospel of Jesus.
"God, having raised up his
servant, sent him ...... to bless you in turning every one of you from
your wickedness." (Acts 3:26)