What a joyous week this is as all of Christendom rejoices in the sacrificial death and resurrection of the Son of God, the Messiah, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
But did you know that there is “another Jesus” that the Scriptures warns us about? In fact, the Bible teaches that many of those who think they are Christians will be following the wrong Jesus this Easter Sunday – a very serious error because the “other Jesus” cannot save them from their sins.
The “other Jesus” is a cultural concoction of form, ceremony, idolatry, sin and deception. He is whitewashed on the outside, but inside, he is filled with dead men’s bones (Matthew 23:27-28).
In 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, the Holy Spirit warned that people would be teaching "another Jesus" (“Jesus” means “Savior”).
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 preach, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel……
The Nature of Deceivers
In 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, the Holy Spirit warns of men posing as "angels of light" who come to deceive…….
Such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, 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 masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
Such hirelings fill the pulpits of an astonishing number of churches, preaching immorality, selfishness, unbelief, greed and even worse. They are tares (weeds that look like wheat) among genuine wheat (Matthew 13:24-30).
Not only do many follow a different Jesus, still others mislead many by proclaiming that they are the Christ - meaning “the anointed one”. In the “Olivet Discourse”, Jesus warned of “false Christs” who would deceive many…..
Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Christ”, and will deceive many…..many will turn away from the faith.… many false prophets will appear and deceive many people…….(Matthew 24:4-5, 10-11)
And in 1 Timothy 4:1, it says…..
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
The Indispensable Element of True Doctrine
People today like to criticize the need for true or sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:8-11; 2 Timothy 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1). Many don’t even study it, even though Jesus’ last command to His disciples was to teach the people to obey all that He commanded (Matthew 28:18-20).
In 1 Timothy 6:3, it says…..
If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing.
In 2 Timothy 4:3-4, we read…..
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
And in 2 Peter 2:1-3…….
There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed, these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
Humm – “stories that they’ve made up” – sounds like much of what you see on the History and other channels. They invent ridiculously inaccurate and blasphemous versions of Jesus and His story - fiction that is usually aired around Easter so as to sow doubt into the minds of viewers about Jesus’ divinity, His atoning death on the Cross and the need to bow the knee to Him as Lord & Savior.
So – which Jesus will you be following this Holy week? It is vitally important that the Jesus you worship is the one true Jesus and not one of the concoctions of men and fallen angels.
Worship the Real Jesus
In John 4:23-24, Jesus said.....
True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is Spirit, and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.
If you were to walk up to my friend Karl and call him David, no matter how much you wanted him to be David, it simply wouldn't be true. There is only one of my friends named Karl and he is defined by his own existence, being, history, DNA and personality. He cannot be made David by calling him David. Neither can Jesus. If someone has redefined Him, then it is not really Him that they speak of or worship.
The Scriptures reveal a Jesus who is the Creator of the universe (Colossians 1:15-16; Hebrews 1:10; Revelation 4:11; 10:6); who is God (Colossians 2:9; John 8:57-59; Exodus 3:14-15; John 10:33; John 1:1,14; Hebrews 1:3,8); and the one and only Savior (Acts 4:12). He is the one who hung on that Cross 2,000 years ago and who rose from the dead to prove that He is God.
He was endowed with a brilliant understanding of the Scriptures from a very early age, calling the Temple in Jerusalem His Father's house (Luke 2:46-49). He told the religious leaders of His day…..
If you do not believe that I am the One I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.
In other words, knowing Him correctly, following Him faithfully and worshipping Him truly are critical to being saved. To worship and follow another person is not the same and will not save you, even though you call him Jesus.
The real Jesus reaffirmed the entire Old Testament (Matthew 5:17-20) even to the tiniest of letters and punctuation points. Yet, He did not condemn those who struggled with sin, provided they believed in Him, repented of their sins and followed Him. In fact, He came to die for them so they could be with Him in heaven.
Being God and the only Savior given to men by God (Acts 4:12; John 14:6), and being sinless (John 8:48; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 7:26; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:22; 1 John 3:5), His death on the Cross was the only means by which we could be saved. He paid the penalty for the sins of anyone who would follow Him.
Overturning the Tables
There are all kinds of cults, religions, liberal denominations and special interest groups who have created another Jesus and who bow down to him (or her, in some cases). The real Jesus warned that if we do not believe that He is the one He claimed to be (God, Savior, Creator, upholder of righteousness, etc.) then our worship is not for Him but rather for a powerless facsimile that can save no one.
Salvation and heaven are at stake in this matter of biblically sound doctrine, with its call to surrender to the true Savior of the world. You can read about His “way of escape” in what is affectionately called, “The Romans Road” (Romans 3:10-18, 23-24; 5:1,8; 6:23; 8:1; 10:9,13). Then respond to His invitation during this Holy Week to enjoy eternal life with Jesus Christ in heaven.
David Kyle Foster (M-Div, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; D-Min, Trinity School for Ministry) is the author of Transformed Into His Image and Love Hunger and is the founder/director of Pure Passion Media (www.PurePassion.us).
Read more of his take on sexual sin and brokenness in his newest book, The Sexual Healing Reference Edition.