(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 3)
In his quest to deceive, the devil has always used and continues to use a strategy of imitation. There is imitation faith, imitation churches, imitation religious books and for those Christian women looking for a spouse, imitation men who appear to be the real deal but are counterfeits and therefore lack spiritual substance.
Not to be outdone in his evil agenda and to make the most of his limited time here on earth, the devil has gone even further and crafted an imitation Jesus, that is not the Jesus portrayed in the Bible.
This imitation Jesus is false just like all the other imitations around today and is therefore no Jesus at all. He bears similarity in name only to the Jesus presented in the Bible and is formulated by the devil, in the imagination of those who refuse to submit to the Lordship of the true Jesus of the Bible.
That there is a false Jesus being paraded around in some Churches as the real thing, ought not to surprise us. Matthew 24:24 warns: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
From as early as the Bible days, Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4:
- “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Today, a false Christ (false Jesus) has arisen and more will continue to arise and the question is therefore are you serving the true Jesus or a false imitation?
Here are some of the ways that they differ:
1. THE FALSE JESUS IS ON THE SAME LEVEL WITH HIS FOLLOWERS, not high and lifted up and not to be respected, reverenced and feared, like the Jesus of the Bible.
There are people that are worshiping a false Jesus, who they claim to be so friendly and close in relationship with that they have demoted him by placing him on the same level with them.
They don’t serve him as seated at the right hand of the throne of God in heaven. Accordingly, they speak to him as they like, in whatever tone they see fit, they address him disrespectfully at times, expect him to accept any kind of old behaviour from them, put him last on their schedule of activities, think of him as an afterthought and they are assured that he is okay with this. They have absolutely no reverential fear for him.
Yet, the Lord of the Bible is a God to be reverenced, respected and one which we are to perpetually stand in awe of. After the resurrection of the Jesus in the Bible, when Thomas was finally convinced that he that had been dead was risen and that he was God and highly lifted up, all he could say in reverence was, “My Lord and my God.”
Philippians 2:9-11 states of Jesus’ high and powerful state after he rose from the dead:
- “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Ephesians 1:19-23 also states of God the Father and how he promoted God the Son:
- “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
In Revelation 1:18, the glorified Jesus who appeared to John in a vision, stated, “…I have the keys of hell and of death.” No wonder Paul encouraged those who had professed to have believed on Christ in Philippians 2:12, to “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Hebrews 12:28 states of how God should be treated (which of course includes Jesus who is God the Son). It reads: “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”
Psalm 89:7 states: “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.”
We must therefore be grateful for the friendship that Jesus (God the Son) has offered to us but we must never forget who he is and how he is to be treated and regarded. He is to be held in high esteem always.
The true Jesus of the Bible extends his hand of friendship to us when we accept him as Saviour, yes but we are not on the same level with him and never will be. He is God the Son. We are sinners saved by grace and mere mortals, created from the dust of the earth.
In 1 Timothy 6:1,5, he is described as “…the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords.”
In fact, Hebrews 2:10 refers to Jesus as the “…captain…” of our salvation, not our sail mate.
Yet, many people who call themselves Christians, have no respect whatsoever for the Jesus they claim to know and serve. This is reflected in many of the songs they sing quite disrespectfully and label ‘Christian songs’ and in the disrespectful demands they make of him.
Jesus can work miracles yes but when coming to God the Father through him with our petition, we must do so humbly and respectfully.
I once heard a popular Preacher on a radio station, saying that when a Christian asks God for something, he HAS to grant it. His words were disrespectful and so was his tone. He left listeners with the impression that God existed to serve us and not the other way around.
He had clearly forgotten, in my view, who God was and that he is sovereign. He does not have to do anything. He owes us nothing. He already did more for us than we ever deserved, in sending Jesus his Son to die for our sins, so that we could be reconciled to him.
Those who serve the true Jesus know that they operate under grace, not entitlement. No matter how much faith we may have on an issue, if it is not God’s will to grant it, we know that he will not. For, contrary to the false Christ that some people serve, the true Christ cannot be manipulated, bribed or forced to do anything that is not in accordance with his perfect will. As God, He reserves the right to say yes or no.
2. THE FALSE JESUS ONLY EXISTS TO POUR OUT EARTHLY BLESSINGS AND GOOD THINGS LIKE A GENIE, IRRESPECTIVE OF HOW THOSE THAT FOLLOW HIM LIVE. This is not like the Jesus of the Bible, that told his children that they should be content in whatever state they are in and that they should expect to suffer tribulation in this world.
The false Jesus that many serve (according to their own imagination), fools them into thinking that they will never suffer in this life or that they are not supposed to or if they do, it will only be for a while and afterward, he will definitely give them a lovely promotion, where all of their problems will fade away and a torrent of earthly blessings will be poured out on them, while here on earth.
Such people use the Old Testament Bible verse in Jeremiah 29:11, to convince themselves that Jesus has wonderful plans for their materialistic and earthly comfort. They don’t consider that this statement was never made to them under the New Covenant that God has with his Church but to the Israelites, who at the time were taken captive by their enemies due to their disobedience to God. They don’t consider that, even if the principle that God has our best interest at heart was to be derived from that verse so as to be applicable to the Church today, God’s promises are always dependent on his children obeying his Word and his instructions because he is not mocked. They also don’t consider, that sometimes, God’s plans for his children, while good are not for our earthly comfort. Sometimes his plans for our good require us to go through pain and loss and heartache and trouble and trial and suffering and even death, so that we can bear precious fruit for his Kingdom, grow spiritually and be prepared for our ‘expected end’ which is heaven.
The false Jesus speaks not a word about suffering in this life. Yet, the Lord of the Bible has stated that those who will follow him are called to suffer. We must go through tribulation but he has assured us that we should not fear because following in his footsteps, he has overcome the world (John 16:33). He has also assured us that he will never leave us nor forsake us, even when the days get dark and we feel overwhelmed (Hebrews 13:5).
The Jesus of the Bible does not give any guarantee that any suffering we go through on earth will get better while on earth nor is he obligated to make this happen. Some of the suffering that Christians endured in the Bible days, then between the 1500s to 1600s and even today was right up until the end, when they died as martyrs or through sickness, in doing what was right and pleased the Lord! Some suffered hunger, some were stoned to death, some were exiled and some were even burned at the stake for serving the Jesus of the Bible.
This is why the Jesus of the Bible who is the true and only Jesus, said that “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me”. He also said that “…whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” and that those who wished to follow him, needed to consider the cost. (Luke 9:23; 14:27-30). He did not say this to be cute. As God the Son, he knew that those who desired to follow him would have a high price to pay. For, his followers would be living in a world that hated the true Jesus.
A Jesus without the cross is not the Jesus of the Bible. In Christianity, you will suffer, you will be ridiculed, ostracized, demoted at times and you will have to make sacrifices and give up things you dearly love. Your life will never be the same and you may never have things go the way you would like it or had planned. That is because you are not steering the ship. When you ask the true Jesus of the Bible to come into your heart and life, you are no longer in control of your life. He will navigate it as he sees fit, even if that means undoing the plans you made for your life and establishing his.
In summary, the false and fictitious Jesus that people have created in their minds, exists to serve them and to grant their every request for riches, materialistic gain and otherwise. However, the Jesus of the Bible guarantees that no matter what we go through, he is there with us, he will strengthen and keep us and bless us with every spiritual (not natural) blessing.
3. THE FALSE JESUS IS A LAISSEZ-FAIRE (LAID BACK) TYPE OF LEADER, THAT DOES NOT CARE HOW HIS FOLLOWERS LIVE, REQUIRES NO ACCOUNTABILITY AND DOES NOT CHASTEN but the Jesus of the Bible is Lord and therefore he rules accordingly.
I have often wondered how a person could say that he or she genuinely believed in Jesus but yet live life as if he or she was in complete control of it and do things habitually, unrepentantly and happily, that the Bible clearly denounces as sin. I have often concluded that it is because they do not genuinely believe, as, contrary to what they say with their lips, their actions portray a heart of unbelief.
While this is true in most cases, it has dawned on me that there is another reason. Some of these people are speaking the truth in that they genuinely believe, just not in the Jesus of the scriptures. That is, they believe in the Jesus of their own imagination, the one that some false versions of the Bible have promoted in order to justify their sin or make it more palatable and the one who has no problem with them living life how they desire to live it. This Jesus just embraces them with love and acceptance and salvation, no matter how they live. This Jesus that they believe in, has no problem with them committing fornication or adultery or loving filthy, immoral songs that come over the airwaves or dressing immodestly or attending, participating in or supporting revelrous, carnal, immoral parties and events. He has no problem in them drinking themselves into a drunken stupour or running after money and riches and materialism and ‘the better life’, as if their lives depended on it. After this Jesus of their imagination wants them to just be happy and approves of their every action, once they don’t do something that is really bad like murder or theft and once they give money to the poor.
This false Jesus that some people have created, allows them to live carefree and without any rules. As a matter of fact, he allows them to make their own rules and never makes any demands on them as to how to live or what is right or wrong. He never punishes them when they do wrong because remember, he has given them no rules to live by. He understands why they do the things they do and does not hold them to account for anything, especially if they say they have a good reason, like why they committed fornication or adultery or any other action that the Jesus of the Bible labels as ‘sin’.
Yet, the Jesus of the Bible who is Lord over all, has given commands and when we do not obey them, he chastens us because he loves us, as a Father would a child. In fact, the Bible states that if he allowed us to just live as we pleased without correction, then that would mean that we were bastards (meaning unbelievers outside of his legitimate family unit) and not born of the family of God (Hebrews 12:7-9).
In Luke 6:46, the Jesus of the Bible, the true Jesus, asked: “…why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” The true Jesus asked this question because the true Jesus is entited to and expects complete submission and obedience. Whatever he says to do and however he has instructed that we are to live, he expects obedience.
The Lord of the Bible demands that we live life according to the manner that he has instructed and he metes out painful consequences to those who belong to him, when they go astray, so as to bring them back into the fold. He is on a mission to separate us from sin which he hates and which he knows will destroy us. Yet, the false Jesus that people have created, has no problem with sin and does not try to stop us or pull us out of it, when we are hell-bent on embracing it.
Of the chastening hand of the Lord Jesus of the Bible, on those who are his children, Hebrews 12: 5-11 states:
- “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
There is no space therefore, for a Christian to live as he pleases, when it comes to the real Jesus of the Bible. He has to toe the line or else Jesus will deal with him. He can’t get away with sin because Jesus will deal with him. This is because the real Jesus is concerned, not with material gain and pleasing you but in your spiritual development, your spiritual fruit from his investment in your life and preparing you for heaven.
You HAVE to become more Christ-like in your preparation for heaven and he has invested in you, expecting you to bring forth fruit for his Kingdom. This is how the real Jesus views your life, which HE owns and he will step in at any time and remove from you anything and anyone that is thwarting this purpose. He loves you dearly and because of this, he will perform spiritual surgery on your heart. Even if he has to do it without anesthetic (as he has done with me on occasion), he will, if he deems this best.
(Written on 29th May, 2018 and expanded on 03rd November, 2018)
It has recently dawned on me, that there are also those serving a false Jesus, it seems, who only cares about them following dead routine, not obedience. This false Jesus that they serve is satisfied, once they say they believe on him with their lips (even if their hearts are far from him) and once they regularly attend the Church services, read the Bible (not necessarily obey it), pray routine prayers (not necessarily with faith or fervently and effectively), do what they are expected to do at Church (but nothing more), maintain a pious image of being good Christians in the eyes of men and stay away from the major sins denounced in the Bible, like fornication and adultery.
Such people when observed, do not make it their lifestyle to look for opportunities to witness to others in any non-formal, individual, every day life setting with the gospel, do not engage in any form of spiritual warfare (because they see nothing coming against them to fight), fool people into thinking that they are what they are not but when studied based on TRUTH, do not set a good example to those around and in the home as to what Christianity should look like, do not actively seek to actually obey the scriptures being read so religiously, do not aim to have the mind of Christ and therefore, make bad decisions and give poor advice that favours the devil’s agenda, whenever approached with a problem.
The long and short of it is that you realize that there is a serious defect somewhere in what they claim to have believed as the Jesus of the scriptures is NOT satisfied with routine. The Jesus of the scriptures is Lord and expects obedience in all matters. The Jesus of the scriptures is not about managing people’s impressions and making a show of Christianity or just going along with a routine list of practices but expects and is worthy of whole-hearted, genuine, sincere surrender.
I’ve written more about such people who think, by their actions, that Christianity and getting to heaven and pleasing God is just about following dead routine but nothing more in Article 175 entitled ‘CHRISTIANITY IS NOT ABOUT DEAD ROUTINE – TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW HIM.’
(27th March, 2021)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article useful, informative, edifying or interesting, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 88 – ‘Ten (10) Red Flags That That Speaker Or Teacher Is A Wolf Disguised In Sheep’s Clothing Or Operating Under The Devil’s Deception’
- Note 108 – ‘Pain – God’s Tool For Our Spiritual Development’
- Note 116 – ‘Are You Really Saved? Here Are Some Indicators’
- Note 144 – ‘Before You Say ‘I Do’
- Note 165 – ‘The Real Meaning of ‘Ministry’
- Note 167 – ‘Do You Have Imitation Faith Or Enduring Faith?’
- Note 168 – ‘The Problem With Much Of Today’s So-Called ‘Worship’ Music’
- Note 189 – ‘Arm Yourself: Suffering Is Part of The Christian’s Story’
- Note 249 – ‘Twelve (12) Indicators Of A Healthy Church’
Under the ‘BIBLE-BELIEVING Daughters Of God’ Page:
- Note 17 – ‘In A Relationship With God Or Just Religious?’
- Note 18 – ‘Riches, Abundance, Breakthrough And Promotion – Lies From The Pit Of Hell’
- Note 22 – ‘Are You Spiritually Sober Or Intoxicated?’
- Note 27 – ‘You Cannot Command Your Morning Or Day’
- Note 28 – ‘Our Words Have Power – A Lie From The Pit Of Hell’
- Note 175 – ‘Christianity Is Not About Dead Routine – Take Up Your Cross And Follow Him’