2 Cor 11:13, 14 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
Teaching Another Christ
Are there church denominations today that have the name of Jesus in them but are not teaching the same Jesus of the Bible? The answer is a loud YES. And in our world one of satans biggest tools of error is mixing truth with error which also keeps mankind from recognizing and calling doctrinal error the heresy it is.
The master deceiver is good at what he does. He, satan, lied to Adam and Eve and has been lying to mankind ever since. He even tried to trick Jesus by using some scripture mixed with lies but Jesus countered him with; ‘it is written’. Jesus used scripture truth to expose satan’s lies. We must use the same scripture which fortunately never changes.
We live in a country where if you are seen as intolerant to any person or in this case religious denomination you are in the vast minority and seen as very dangerous. That thought process does not surprise me when I remind myself that the world we live in and many of its churches or denominations are not from our God but are from the god of this world, satan (II Cor 4:3, 4).
What ‘born again’ Christians must keep in mind is that the god of this world today can be partially victorious by keeping us from being the salt and light (Mat 5) that God intends us to be. Also we must remember that our God’s truths never change (Mal 3:6). Jesus proclaimed in scripture that He is the only way to restoring a broken relationship with God that sin breaks. That in our worlds view is seen as very narrow and dangerous to world unity. The truth is that most people will reject God’s truths (Mat 7:13,14). It is through Him alone that we can restore that relationship (John 14:6). That is a very narrow way but wonderful way (Rom 10:9, 10) and that truth never changes through the ages. If God’s truths change then they would not be absolute truth but temporary and intended only for the age or culture they were proclaimed in. Fortunately for us God’s word does not change through the ages as some teach. Some religions even teach that new truths are revealed down through the ages and only certain men are able to discern and record them. The bottom line is that if any view or doctrine differs from scripture it is not of God and demonic.
Those who teach ‘Another Jesus’ teach that world unity allows for many beliefs and Saviors. That also is not of God and demonic. Anyone who stands for God’s truths and not those of this world are typically persecuted both mentally and physically. We typically do not like any form of persecution which aids satan and his battle strategy to neutralize our relation with Jesus and His purpose for our lives. If our desire is to never have any spiritual opposition in our lives then that aids satan and his work to deceive manking by teaching ‘Another Jesus’ or one who’s death, burial and resurrection is not sufficient for our salvation.
One of his biggest lies and one of the hardest ones to confront is when he adds the name of Jesus to a religion along with works to be ‘born again’. When we hear a church denomination mentioning Jesus we automatically assume they are of God and that is dangerous.
The first church shortly after its being formed had that issue so it does not amaze me that we would have the same issue today. In the Book to the church at Galatia (Galatians) God the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul marveled at the fact that some were turning away from the doctrine of Grace and adding works along with accepting Jesus as being needed for salvation. Some teachers said that if the Gentiles were to be added to the church which consisted of primarily ‘born again’ Jews at that time they needed to be circumcised along with believing on the Lord Jesus to be saved. It was a ‘Jesus plus works’ doctrine to be ‘born again’. It was, ‘Another Jesus’.
Today we have some church denominations with one of them being one of the biggest our world has that teaches Jesus plus works. The works include church membership, baptism within that church, weekly attendance requirements, prayer to saints and persons along with those to God. They teach that in addition to Jesus other works are needed to be ‘born again’. That is different from but very similar to the early churches first major issue on being ‘born again’.
There are also church denominations who have the name of Jesus in them but teach that he was a great man and a prophet but was and is not God. They also need to read the scriptures in total and not just a few verses. Jesus proclaimed that he and the Father are one. Also in the Book of Revelation we see Jesus being worshipped while John bowed down to worship an Angel and the Angel told him not to do that and that we should only worship God. Jesus allows and accepts that worship in scripture which is just one of the many places proclaiming Jesus is God.
- I John 10:28-30 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.””
- Rev 20:8, 9 “I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!””
- Mat 28:8, 9 “So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.””
The early church had its first church council in Acts 15 to confront the issue of attaching any work to Jesus for salvation. In the Book to the Galatian church and us Paul confronted Peter for the same issue. Peter had been swayed by other Jews but to his credit when he heard the truth of the Gospel of Grace he turned away from the error. The bottom line is that God’s doctrine of what we must do to be saved has not changed based on the age we are in, the culture around us or the race or family we were born in.
Those who teach such heresy are teaching ‘Another Jesus’. Think about the church denominations around us today. Because a church denomination has the name of Jesus in its teachings does not mean it is teaching God’s truths. That is where the rubber meets the road as the saying goes. As the Bible says, ‘by their fruits you shall know them’. And I think that speaks to church denominations as well as individuals.
So how are we to tell those denominations who are in error? The best way I know is to ask any church you are reviewing what their doctrine of salvation is. And do they believe that Jesus is one part of God. A simple question like, ‘what do you teach on where you go when you die and what is needed to get there’, provides the answer. Listen to their answer very carefully. Do they add anything to Jesus sacrifice as needed to enter heaven? If they do, then regardless of the fact that they have some teachings about Jesus in their church they are still False Teachers as the Holy Spirit tells us in 2 Cor 11:13, 14 to the church at Corinth and us. “I say it once again, because a church denomination has the name of Jesus in it does not mean they are teaching what Jesus taught.”
Check out the following passages of scripture. And note how strongly God the Holy Spirit confronts doctrinal error or heresy.
Only One Gospel
Gal 16-10 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ
Paul, by God the Holy Spirits power;
Gal 2:11-16, 21 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
How God feels about those teaching error
Titus 1:12-16 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not, giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
II Cor 11:1-4,12-15 I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
In summary, not all church denominations with the name of Jesus in them are teaching the Jesus of the Bible. The acid test is whether or not they add anything to Jesus sacrifice as being needed to be ‘born again’. Judge wisely based on God’s word.
John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”