Proclaiming Another Jesus

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

Likewise, in his Letter to the Galatians, Paul expressed exasperation over how easily many believers had accepted a counterfeit gospel that deviated from his original preaching and was not “good news” at all.

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

  • (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 popular preachers, “prophets” and “apostles” proclaim “another Jesus,” a messianic pretender who differs fundamentally from the one found in the New Testament, one who is a predatory feline rather than the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world.

Exactly what kind of Messiah did Paul 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 victory over sin, death, the “powers and principalities,” and Satan in the self-sacrificial death of His Son on the Roman cross. Because of his submission to an unjust death, God resurrected and enthroned him as Sovereign over all things, thereby validating his self-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 Assembly.” All things were created for this Crucified One, “whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.” He earned preeminence not by any action he has taken since his death, but on the Cross  (Colossians 2:13-15).

From beginning to end, the Death and Resurrection of Jesus are the center of the Gospel preached by Paul and the other true Apostles. Unfortunately, many preachers today proclaim a very “different gospel” and a thoroughly alien Jesus, a counterfeit message of triumphalism rather than the Cross. They prefer the “Roaring Lion 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, its proponents ignore the literary context of the passage and the whole Book of 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).

However, in popular Christianity Jesus has become the sword-wielding warrior prince who lops off heads and takes no prisoners, and 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 of 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 was 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 while issuing an ear-splitting roar, 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” to take and open the Sealed Scroll, NOT the “lion.” The passage in Chapter 5 of Revelation is the first and last time Jesus is called the “lion.” Thereafter, “Lamb” is his primary designation in the Book. It is the “Lamb” who ascends the Throne, opens the Scroll, “overcomes” his enemies, and “shepherds” the redeemed men of every tribe and nation to the City of New Jerusalem.

John saw an “innumerable multitude” exiting the “Great Tribulation” and standing before the Throne. This group consisted of men redeemed by the death of Jesus, and they, in turn, overcame the “Dragon” by the “blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony; and because they love not their lives unto death.” It was by faithfulness through “tribulation” and persecution that “they conquered,” and that is what it means to “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” – (Revelation 7:9-17, 12:11, 14:1-4).

Even after “New Jerusalem” descended to the Earth, Jesus was still identified as the “Lamb.” In the Holy City, there was no temple since “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, and the bloodthirsty roar of the triumphant “lion” was not heard within its walls - (Revelation 21:22-27).

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

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 became the “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth” because of his obedient and sacrificial death.

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

The message of “Christ crucified” was scandalous and folly to the men of Paul’s time. It remains so to this day. Nevertheless, this Crucified Jesus is “God’s power and wisdom,” and there is no true knowledge of God or spirituality apart from the Cross of Christ.



RELATED POSTS:
  • Stand Fast! - (Two events must occur before the Day of the Lord - the apostasy and the revelation of the man of lawlessness)
  • The Shepherd King - (Jesus is the Messianic figure from the Second Psalm appointed by God to shepherd the nations)
  • Howling Imposters - (Jesus warned repeatedly about the many deceivers and false prophets who would come and deceive many disciples)

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