Preaching Another Jesus

When certain “super-apostles” began undermining his authority, the Apostle Paul warned the Assembly in Corinth not to heed anyone who was “proclaiming another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or a different spirit, or a different gospel.” Instead, Paul pointed to the same Jesus that he first proclaimed in the city, the “Crucified Messiah.” He was the measuring rod against which all other messianic claimants and beliefs must be compared.

Roaring Lion - Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash
[Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash]

Likewise, in his 
Letter to the Galatians, Paul expressed exasperation over how easily the Assembly had accepted a gospel that deviated from his preaching, one that was not “good news” in any sense of the word:

  • (Galatians 1:6-8) – “I marvel that you are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel, which is not another gospel; only there are some that trouble you and pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we or an angel from heaven preach to you any gospel other than that which we preached to you, let him be anathema.

It is the same today as many popular preachers, “prophets” and “apostles” proclaim “another Jesus,” a messianic pretender who differs fundamentally from the one found on the pages of the New Testament, one who is a predatory feline rather than the Lamb of God.

Exactly what kind of Messiah did Paul and the other apostles preach? He was quite explicit in his first letter to the Corinthians – A Crucified Messiah. Was not the “power and wisdom of God” found in the proclamation of “Christ crucified” - (1 Corinthians 1:18-24)?

God achieved ultimate victory over sin, death, the “powers and principalities,” and Satan in the self-sacrificial death of His Son on a Roman cross. Because of his submission to an unjust death at the hands of the World-Empire, God resurrected and enthroned him to reign over all things, thereby validating his sacrifice.

Unlike Adam, Jesus did NOT attempt to “seize the likeness” of God. Instead, he “poured himself out” and became “obedient unto death,” even death on the Cross; therefore--:

  • God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” – (Philippians 2:9-11).

Jesus is, PRESENT TENSE, “before all things and the head of the body, the church.” All things were created for the Crucified One, “whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.” He earned preeminence not by any action he has taken since his death, but instead, on the Cross  (Colossians 2:13-15).

From beginning to end, the death and resurrection of Jesus form the center of Paul’s Gospel. Unfortunately, many preachers today are proclaiming a very “different gospel” and a rather alien Jesus, a counterfeit message of triumphalism and not the Cross, preferring, as they do, the “roaring Lion of the Tribe of Judah over the “Slain Lamb” of the Apostolic Tradition.

LAMB NOT LION


Invariably, a verse from the Book of Revelation is cited to validate this new “gospel.” However, in doing so, its proponents ignore the literary context of the Revelation. One brief phrase is ripped violently out of context:

  • “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has conquered to open the book and to open its seven seals” - (Revelation 5:5).

Thus, the argument goes, the conquering “lion” overthrew his enemies with an earsplitting roar and a blast of his silly shofar horn, demonstrating his right to take sovereignty over the Earth. It seems, even in the Church “might makes right.”

Today, Jesus has become the sword-wielding warrior prince who lops off heads and takes no prisoners, not just when he arrives “on the clouds of Heaven,” but here and now as his followers seize control of the so-called “Seven Mountains of Culture.”

John certainly did hear a voice allude to the messianic prophecy in Genesis, but the same voice transformed the image of the “lion” into the “Sacrificial Lamb.” John HEARD “lion of Judah,” but when he looked, he SAW the freshly slain “Lamb.” What he saw interpreted what he heard.

Jesus IS the messianic “lion of Judah,” but he fulfills that role as the “Slain Lamb” of Calvary. He conquered his “enemies” in a way that is contrary to human wisdom and expectations, not by slaying them, but by allowing them to slay him. He is not a despotic tyrant who nukes his wayward children, but the messianic son” who shepherds the nations” - (Genesis 49:9-10, Numbers 24:9, Revelation 12:5).

It is the “Lamb” who is declared “worthy,” NOT the “lion.” The passage in Chapter 5 is the first and last time he is called the “lion.” Thereafter, “lamb” is his primary designation. It is the “Lamb” who ascended the Throne.

So, what does his example mean for anyone who would “follow the Lamb wherever he goes”? Later, John saw an innumerable multitude exiting the “Great Tribulation,” men redeemed by the “Lamb.” They overcame the “Dragon” by the “blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony; and because they love not their life unto death.” It is by faithfulness through “tribulation” and persecution that “he who has an ear overcomes” – (Revelation 7:9-17, 12:11).

Even after his return “on the clouds,” Jesus was still identified as the “Lamb” in Revelation. In “New Jerusalem,” John saw no temple, for “the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb were its temple.” God’s glory illuminated the city, and the “Lamb was its lamp.” Only those whose names were written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” entered the city. The roar of the triumphant “lion” was not heard anywhere within its walls - (Revelation 21:22-27).

Shepherd - Photo by Biegun Wschodni on Unsplash
[Photo by Biegun Wschodni on Unsplash]

From the start, the 
Book of Revelation anchors its visions in the death and resurrection of Jesus. He is the “Faithful Witness and the Firstborn of the Dead,” and he is the “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth” only because of his obedient death.

The worldly triumphalism being promoted by many preachers is “another gospel.” Too many believers are being taught to follow a radically “different messiah,” one incompatible with the Crucified Christ described in the Bible.

The message of “Christ crucified” was scandalous foolishness in Paul’s time, and so it remains today. Nevertheless, this crucified one is “God’s power and wisdom,” and there is no true knowledge of Him or spirituality apart from his Cross.



RELATED POSTS:
  • Seated in the Sanctuary - (Jesus will not arrive to gather his elect until two events occur: The Apostasy and the revelation of the Man of Lawlessness in the Assembly)
  • Stand Fast! - (After explaining the coming Apostasy and the Man of Lawlessness, Paul instructed believers on how to avoid the coming deception and thereby find themselves standing blameless before Jesus)
  • The Apostasy - (Paul warned the Thessalonians of a future apostasy and linked it to the unveiling of the Man of Lawlessness, the Son of Destruction)

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