True vs. False (II)
TRUE AND FALSE CHRIST
(from a transcript of a sermon preached on 11/19/00 at Sovereign Redeemer Assembly)
Let's read Mark 13:21-23:
Mark 13: (21) And then if anyone says to you, Behold, here [is] the Christ! Or, Behold, there! You shall not believe. (22) For false christs and false prophets will be raised, and they will give [miraculous] signs and wonders in order to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (23) But you be careful. Behold, I have foretold you all things.
Today, I'm going to be speaking on the true Jesus Christ versus false christs. Jesus said that in the last days, there will be people who will say, "Look, here's Christ!" And Jesus said that you shall not believe these people. And in 2 Corinthians 11, the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul talks about another Jesus. Let's read 2 Corinthians 10:17 through 11:4:
2 Corinthians 10: (17) "But the [one] glorying, let him glory in" [the] "Lord." (18) For not the [one] commending himself is the one approved, but [the one] whom the Lord commends. (11:1) I would that you endured me a little [in] foolishness, but, indeed, endure me. (2) For I am jealous [over] you with a jealousy of God. For I have promised you to one Man, to present [you] a pure virgin to Christ. (3) But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve in his craftiness, so your thoughts should be corrupted from the purity which [is due] to Christ. (4) For if, indeed, the [one] coming proclaims another Jesus, whom we have not proclaimed, or [if] you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you never accepted, you might well endure [these].
The word "these" in verse 4 is in brackets, meaning that it was not in the original Greek. In light of the context, the word in brackets should be "me." Notice in verse 1, Paul talks of the Corinthians bearing with him. Now let me read verses 4 through 6 with the word "me" in brackets, to show you how this is the only way it makes sense:
2 Corinthians 11: (4) For if, indeed, the [one] coming proclaims another Jesus, whom we have not proclaimed, or [if] you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you never accepted, you might well endure [me]. (5) For I judge [myself] to have come behind the highest apostles [in] nothing. (6) But even if [I am] unskilled in speech, yet not in knowledge. But in every way [I] have been clearly revealed to you in all things.
See how it all flows? Paul is obviously not telling the Corinthians to bear with the one who proclaims another Jesus, because in Galatians 2:5, Paul says that he did not yield to the false brothers for even an hour.
Okay, back to the subject. Paul talks about ANOTHER Jesus, whom he had NOT proclaimed. Modern-day religionists would say, "Now wait a minute, Paul. These preachers are preaching in the name of Jesus. They say that Jesus is king and that they give Jesus the preeminence. They sing, 'Nothing but the blood of Jesus.' And they sing, 'Jesus, O how sweet the name.' They pray in the name of Jesus. What other Jesus could they be talking about? If they say they believe in Jesus, we should give them the benefit of the doubt." But notice what Paul says. This is a Jesus whom he and the apostles HAD NOT PREACHED. This other Jesus had the same NAME as the true Jesus, but it was actually a DIFFERENT Jesus. In fact, this other Jesus is TOTALLY OPPOSED to the true Jesus. Get this into your minds! Paul isn't talking about those who say that Krishna is the true Christ. He isn't talking about those who say that the Christ hasn't come yet. He's talking about those who NAME THE NAME OF JESUS! They preach JESUS! They say, "I believe in JESUS"! Yet the Holy Spirit says that they are preaching ANOTHER Jesus, whom the apostles had NOT proclaimed. Now, what is Paul saying is the way to discern this other Jesus from the true Jesus? It is from the DOCTRINE that the apostles preached! If anyone else comes along and preaches JESUS, then it is to be tested by the DOCTRINE that the apostles preached about the true Jesus. And if this Jesus doesn't conform to the apostles' DOCTRINE of who the TRUE Jesus is and what this TRUE Jesus accomplished, then it is ANOTHER Jesus, a FALSE Jesus.
Now what did Paul and the other apostles preach about the true Jesus? We have it all throughout Acts and the epistles. I'd have to read all 22 books to give you everything they preached about the true Jesus, but let's look at a sampling of the things they preached about the true Jesus from Acts and the epistles.
Acts 8: (32) And the content of the Scripture which he was reading was this: "He was led as a sheep to slaughter, and as a lamb voiceless before the [one] shearing it, so He does not open His mouth. (33) In His humiliation His judgment was taken away. And who will recount His generation? For His life is taken away from the earth." (34) And answering the eunuch said to Philip, I ask you, about whom does the prophet say this? About himself, or about some other one? (35) And opening his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, Philip announced the gospel to him, Jesus.
Philip said that the true Jesus is described in Isaiah 53. And Isaiah 53 says that Jesus was wounded for our transgressions. It says that Jesus was a guilt offering. It says that Jesus bore the sin of many and made intercession for transgressors. It says that with the wounds of Jesus, we are healed. It says that many are justified. Now how much DOCTRINE is in these passages? Philip preached the gospel from these passages. He preached about imputation. He preached about substitution. He preached about satisfaction. He preached about the work of Jesus that demands the salvation of all whom Jesus represented. The false Jesus is one whose wounds made healing POSSIBLE for everyone, if they would just do their part. The false Jesus died for everyone but could not keep everyone for whom he died out of hell. The false Jesus did not make full satisfaction for the sin of all whom he represented.
Romans 5: (15) But the free gift [is] not also like the deviation. For if by the deviation of the one the many died, much more the grace of God, and the gift in grace, which [is] of the one Man, Jesus Christ, did abound to the many. (16) And the gift [is] not as by one having sinned; for indeed the judgment [was] of one to condemnation, but the free gift [is] of many deviations to justification. (17) For if by the deviation of the one death reigned through the one, much more those who are receiving the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall rule in life by the One, Jesus Christ. (18) So then, as through one deviation [it was] toward all men to condemnation, so also through one righteous act toward all men to justification of life. (19) For as through the one man's disobedience the many were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the many shall be constituted righteous. (20) But Law came in besides, that the deviation might abound. But where sin abounded, grace much more abounded, (21) that as sin ruled in death, so also grace might rule through righteousness to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul said that Jesus accomplished righteousness to justification of life. He said that through the obedience of Jesus, the many shall be constituted, or counted, righteous. Paul preached imputed righteousness. He preached that grace rules through righteousness to everlasting life through Jesus. He preached that this imputed righteousness means everlasting life to all to whom it is imputed. The false Jesus did not actually accomplish righteousness for anyone. The false Jesus waits to see if the sinner will allow him to fulfill that accomplishment. The false Jesus says that grace rules through man's righteousness and that everlasting life is not guaranteed for all whom Christ represented.
1 Corinthians 1:30-31:
1 Corinthians 1: (30) But of Him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, both righteousness and sanctification and redemption, (31) so that even as it has been written, "He that glories, let him glory in" [the] "Lord."
Paul preached that Jesus was made to us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. He preached that it is JESUS who is all these things to us, so that we have no room to boast. We did not make ourselves wise; JESUS made us wise. We did not make ourselves righteous; JESUS made us righteous. We did not sanctify ourselves; JESUS sanctified us. We did not redeem ourselves; JESUS redeemed us. The false Jesus cooperates with sinners so the sinners can make themselves wise, make themselves righteous, sanctify themselves, and redeem themselves.
2 Corinthians 5:21:
2 Corinthians 5: (21) For He made the [One] who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become [the] righteousness of God in Him.
Paul preached that Jesus was made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Jesus. Paul preached that our sin was imputed to Christ, and Christ's righteousness is imputed to us. He didn't preach about possibilities. He preached about what Jesus ACCOMPLISHED. The false Jesus died for everyone's sin in order to make it possible for everyone to make themselves righteous.
Galatians 6: (14) But may it never be for me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (15) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision [has] any strength nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. (16) And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace and mercy [be] on them and on the Israel of God. (17) For the rest, let no one give troubles to me, for I bear in my body the brands of the Lord Jesus.
Paul preached that we are crucified to the world through the cross of Jesus and that in Jesus we are a new creation. He preached that the works of the flesh do not justify, but Christ's work alone justifies. And he also preached that only those who walk by this doctrine are in the peace of Christ. The false Jesus did part of the job but needs sinners to do the other part in order for justification to be complete.
Ephesians 5: (22) Wives, subject yourselves to [your] own husbands, as to the Lord, (23) because a husband is head of the wife, as also Christ [is] Head of the assembly, and He is [the] Savior of the body. (24) But even as the assembly is subject to Christ, so also the wives to their own husbands in everything. (25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly and gave Himself up on its behalf, (26) that He might sanctify it, cleansing [it] by the washing of the water in [the] Word,
Paul preached that Jesus is the head of the church. He preached that Jesus loved the CHURCH and gave Himself up for the CHURCH and sanctified and cleansed the CHURCH, and that Jesus makes the CHURCH holy and without blemish. Paul preached PARTICULAR love, PARTICULAR redemption, and PARTICULAR sanctification. The false Jesus is an adulterer. The false Jesus has two wives - both the church and the great whore. The false Jesus loves everyone without exception; he is a promiscuous whoremonger. The false Jesus gave himself up for everyone in the whole world but does nothing to actually accomplish redemption for everyone in the whole world. The false Jesus helps the church to make itself holy and without blemish.
Philippians 2: (5) For think this within you, which [mind was] also in Christ Jesus, (6) who subsisting in the form of God, thought [it] not robbery to be equal with God, (7) but emptied Himself, taking [the] form of a slave, having become in [the] likeness of men (8) and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, having become obedient until death, even [the] death of a cross. (9) Because of this also God highly exalted Him and gave Him a name above every name, (10) that at the name of Jesus "every knee should bow," of heavenly ones, and earthly ones, and ones under [the] earth,
Paul preached that Jesus came to earth as a man and was obedient unto the death of the cross. He preached that Jesus is exalted as King. The false Jesus, by his obedience unto death, actually accomplished nothing. The false Jesus is waiting to be king in a future millennium in which he will accept the sacrifices of the Jews.
Colossians 2: (9) For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; (10) and having been filled, you are in Him, who is the Head of all rule and authority, (11) in whom also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made by hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, (12) being buried with Him in baptism, in whom also you were raised through the faith of the working of God, raising Him from among the dead. (13) And you, being dead in the deviations and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all the deviations, (14) blotting out the handwriting in the ordinances against us, which was contrary to us, even [He] has taken it out of the midst, nailing it to the cross;
Paul preached that the fulness of the godhead dwells in Jesus. He preached that Jesus was raised from the dead. He preached that the cross of Jesus blotted out the ordinances that were against us. The false Jesus either blotted out nothing or blotted out the ordinances that are against those who are now suffering the torments of hell. The false Jesus gives up the fulness of the godhead to the false holy spirit, who then runs the show.
1 Thessalonians 1:10:
1 Thessalonians 1: (10) and to await His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from [the] dead, Jesus, the [One] delivering us from the coming wrath.
Paul preached that Jesus was raised from the dead and that He delivers us from the wrath to come. The false Jesus does not deliver all for whom he died from the wrath to come.
2 Thessalonians 1:6-10:
2 Thessalonians 1: (6) since [it is] a just thing with God to pay back tribulation to the ones troubling you, (7) and to [give] you, those being afflicted, relief with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from Heaven with angels of His power, (8) in flaming fire giving full vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, (9) who will pay the penalty: everlasting destruction from the face of the Lord, "and from the glory of His strength," (10) when He comes to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all those who believe in that Day, because our testimony to you was believed.
Paul preached that Jesus will come back one day in vengeance against those who do not believe the gospel, and the manifestation of this vengeance is everlasting destruction. He preached that his second coming will also be to be glorified in His saints. The false Jesus comes in vengeance against some of those for whom He died. The false Jesus comes in vengeance against those for whom he was supposed to appease God's wrath. The false Jesus changes his husbandly love into the hatred of divorce.
1 Timothy 2:5:
1 Timothy 2: (5) For God [is] one, also [there is] one Mediator of God and of men, [the] Man Christ Jesus,
Paul preached that Jesus is the one mediator between God and men. The false Jesus needs an additional mediator or mediators between him and men, such as Mary or the saints. The false Jesus did not actually accomplish peace between God and man; he merely made it possible for sinners to make peace with God, and some for whom this Jesus mediated will remain at enmity with God until their dying breath and into hell.
2 Timothy 1:9-10:
2 Timothy 1: (9) the [One] having saved us and having called [us] with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to [His] own purpose and grace given to us in Christ Jesus before eternal times, (10) but now revealed through the appearance of our Savior, Jesus Christ, indeed making death of no effect, bringing life and incorruptibility to light through the gospel,
Paul preached that the plan for Jesus to save His people was before eternal times. He preached that Jesus made death of no effect. The false Jesus decided to save some people after the first plan for everlasting life in the Garden of Eden failed. The false Jesus is still pleading with people that he has done all he can do, and now it is up to the sinner to do something. The false Jesus did not make death of no effect, because there will still be some for whom he died who will experience the second death.
Titus 2: (13) looking for the blessed hope and appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (14) who gave Himself on our behalf, "that He might redeem us from all lawlessness and purify a special people for Himself," zealous of good works.
Paul preached that Jesus is God. He preached that Jesus is the Savior. He preached that Jesus will appear at the end of the age. He preached that Jesus gave Himself up for us that He might redeem us and purify a particular people for his own possession. The false Jesus accomplished a potential redemption. The false Jesus did not redeem or purify a particular people who were chosen from before the foundation of the world; instead, he tried to redeem and purify everyone but failed. The false Jesus wants to have everyone for his possession but is eternally disappointed.
Philemon (3) Grace to you and peace from God our Father and [the] Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul preached that grace and peace come from Jesus. The false Jesus is full of common grace. The false Jesus shows grace toward everyone at the expense of his father's law and justice being satisfied. The false Jesus tried to make peace between God and every man, but some men still remain in rebellion against God and thwart his wishes.
Hebrews 7: (25) And from this He is able to save to the [end] completely the [ones] drawing near to God through Him, forever living to intercede on their behalf. (26) For such a High Priest was fitting for us: holy, harmless, undefiled, and separated from sinners, and having become higher than the heavens; (27) who has no need, as do the high priests, to offer sacrifices day by day, first for His own sins, then for those of the people. For He did this once for all, offering up Himself. (28) For the Law makes men high priests who have infirmity, but the word of the oath-taking after the Law [appoints the] Son to the age, having been perfected.
The author, who is Paul, I believe, preached that Jesus is able to save to perfection and ever lives to intercede for believers. He preached that Jesus was a High Priest who was perfectly sinless. He preached that Jesus did His work once for good, offering up Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of His people. The false Jesus is not able to save to perfection all whom He intended to save. The false Jesus does not always intercede for believers; instead, he lets some of them lose their salvation. The false Jesus did not do a finished work; instead, there's still more work for the sinner to do to accomplish his salvation.
James 2: (1) My brothers, do not with partiality have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the [Lord] of glory.
James preached that Jesus is the Lord of glory. He preached that Jesus is glorified and gets all the glory. The false Jesus is given glory for making it possible for everyone to come to him. He is not glorified in heaven because of accomplished work; instead, he is glorified in heaven by a false god who appreciates the fact that this Jesus showed his love to everyone and did the best he could to bring everyone to heaven.
1 Peter 1:18-21:
1 Peter 1: (18) knowing that not with corruptible things, silver or gold, were you redeemed from your worthless way of life handed down from [your] fathers, (19) but with precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot, (20) indeed having been foreknown before [the] foundation of [the] world, but revealed in [the] last times because of you, (21) the ones believing in God through Him, He raising Him from [the] dead, and giving glory to Him so that your faith and hope may be in God.
Peter preached that the precious blood of Jesus redeems. He preached that Jesus was sinless. He preached that Jesus, the lamb of God, was in God's plan from before the foundation of the world. He preached that God the father raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him glory as Redeemer. The blood of the false Jesus is not precious. It was poured out for sinners in hell. The false Jesus was not raised from the dead because God's law and justice was satisfied. The false Jesus is not given all the glory as redeemer.
2 Peter 1:16-17:
2 Peter 1: (16) For not following fables which had been cleverly devised, but having become eyewitnesses of the majesty of Jesus Christ, we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord. (17) For receiving honor and glory from God [the] Father such a voice being borne to Him from the magnificent glory, "This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have been delighted,"
Peter preached that Jesus is the one in whom God the Father delights and to whom the Father gives honor and glory. He preached that God was well-pleased with His Son because His Son accomplished everything that was needed in order for God to be both just and justifier. The false Jesus is only delighted in and given honor and glory by the false god, because the false god accepts an incomplete redemption and a partial satisfaction. The false god is well-pleased that this false Jesus loved everyone so much that he came to save everyone, and he overlooks the fact that the false Jesus failed in his mission.
1 John 3:16:
1 John 3: (16) By this we have known the love [of God], because that [One] laid down His life for us; and on behalf of the brothers we ought to lay down [our] lives.
John preached that Jesus manifested His love toward us by laying down his life for us. The false Jesus shows his false love by doing everything he could to save everyone without exception. The false Jesus shows his false love by telling sinners, "I love all of you and have laid down my life for all of you, so now why won't you come to me? I'm ready and willing to save you, you just need to do your part."
2 John 9:
2 John (9) Everyone transgressing and not abiding in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. The [one] abiding in the doctrine of Christ, this one has the Father and the Son.
John preached that the doctrine of Jesus is the key to judging saved and lost. Following the true Jesus means believing in His person and His work. The false Jesus is a spewer of false doctrine. The false Jesus died for everyone without exception. The false Jesus did not establish a righteousness that demands the salvation of all whom he represented. Those who believe in the false Jesus do not have God.
Jude (21) keep yourselves in the love of God, eagerly awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to everlasting life.
Jude preached that the mercy of Jesus leads to everlasting life. The false Jesus is full of common mercy. This mercy of the false Jesus does not guarantee everlasting life. It is shown at the expense of God's law and justice.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:4 that a false Jesus is proclaimed when this Jesus is contrary to the Jesus that the apostles preached. Do you believe in the Jesus that the apostles preached? Do you believe that God saves His people conditioned solely on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of the true Jesus? Do you believe that the work of Jesus actually accomplishes salvation - that it ensures and demands the salvation of ALL for whom Jesus lived and died? As Jesus asked the Pharisees in Matthew 22:42 -- What do you think of Jesus Christ? It's a life-and-death matter. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus. To know the true Jesus is everlasting life. To believe and trust in and worship any other Jesus is everlasting death. May you know the true Jesus, the one who saves His people from their sins. Amen.