Monday, August 04, 2008

Tuesday's with Jesus #159

#159 "Jesus...Period"
August 5, 2008
"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."
(1 Corinthians 3:11)
Today's "Tuesday's" is prompted by my very heavy heart. Usually it can be safe to assume that if something just doesn't sit right in our spirit, it isn't right. Right? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... Over the past year I have encountered a host of different issues that just have not sat right in my spirit. They looked like ducks. I guess because I'm a Bible teacher, folks come to me to "check out" different things that are being presented to them. Lately, I have become painfully, I mean painfully, aware that the Church of Jesus Christ is in grave danger. Not the institution...but the church...the body of Christ...believers like you and I. Today I write from this perspective. I write because I care for each and every one of you. Deeply. I am not writing as a representative of any church, organization, or people group. I am writing as a believer in Christ, using my God-given ministry as my platform. Don't write to me and say that I am targeting any one group or person. The opinions expressed in this "Tuesday's" are not necessarily the opinions of....(fill in the blank). If you find something in today's reading that fits...wear it. If not, heed the warning and move on. But in the words of Bill O'Reilly..."Caution...You are about to enter the no-spin zone."
Paul's words in Galatians, Chapter 1 echo through the ages with the same warning that they carried over 2000 years ago. "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" Is anyone preaching a gospel to you that has its foundation in anything or anyone other than the shed blood of Jesus Christ? Are you being promised anything that will come as a result of something other than what Christ will do for you?  Don't answer that with an "of course not" too may be deceived. I speak that truth in love. Let it be said that I have been deceived over the years and would not be hypocrite enough to condemn you. But I would be remiss if I didn't warn you.
New Age teaching, false philosophies, and methods are spreading through the church like gangrene (2 Timothy 2: 17). The truth of God is being exchanged for a lie (Romans 1: 25). And these teachings are so effective because they are so subtle and deceptive. They incorporate the name of Christ into the teachings so as to make the Christian comfortable with the philosophy. But when the same method is employed with non-Christians, (which they are, BTW), the name of Christ can be replaced with any spirit or god that a person professes. One size seems to fit all, whatever your belief system.
False teachings are so easy to fall for because they don't seem to inherently have anything wrong with them. Weaving Christ and appropriate Bible verses into a philosophy only serves to promote the deception. Promises of healing, restoration and deliverance from whatever ails you make the teaching and methods very attractive. And sadly the most vulnerable are those who are hurting very, very deeply. When we're hurting, we grope and grasp for just about anything that promises relief and the proponents of these New Age methods know this.
Simply asked: Is Christ not enough? Is His love and forgiveness and power lacking in anything? Do we need Christ, plus anything? The new philosophies would seem to say that He is not enough. The new philosophies would seem to say that what is set forth in His Word is lacking and that we need to add a certain method, outline, form of prayer, or exercise to make what He says really work in our own lives. Remember ... His name is used, so it can't be that bad right? So Dead Wrong!!! 
Satan is a murderer, a liar and the father of lies. (John 8: 43-44) He masquerades as an angel of light. And his servants (sometimes unknowing) masquerade as servants of righteousness. (2 Corinthians 11: 14-15) He prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) In Kelly Minter's bible study "No Other Gods", she quotes Michael Wells of Abiding Life Ministries who says, "Satan will tell us what's true, but he never tells us the truth." False philosophies and methods are so deceptive because they all contain an element of truth. We tend to latch onto that truth and believe that it crosses out the lie, if we're even discerning enough to catch the lie.
The only way to discern the lie is to know the truth. Jesus said His Word is truth. (John 17: 17) To quote Kelly again, "When we stray from God's original words to us, it becomes amazingly easy to get caught up in deception and counterfeit options." If we are not proficient in the Word, we can't distinguish the truth from the lie of New Age and counterfeit philosophies. Counterfeits have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. The Bible says, "from such turn away". (2Timothy 3: 5 KJV) Words like "The Course", visualization, self-actualization, pantheism, monasticism and meditation (unless you are chewing on God's word), and guided imagery have no place in the Christian's life. Those words, methods and philosophies are not found in the pages of my Bible. How about yours? Our mind must be renewed by the Word of God alone. (Romans 12:2) God said that He has exalted His name and His Word above all else. (Psalm 138: 2) 
Do not let anyone or anything control your mind except Christ, through His Holy Spirit and His Word. "...evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3: 13) Don't be too hard on those who try to bring you these deceptive philosophies and methods. They are just as deceived! And, "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6: 12) This is serious business, nothing to play with, and is out and out spiritual warfare. Put on the full armor of God and take your stand with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. (Ephesians 6: 13-14)  "But as for you, continue in what you have learned (and if I might add...if you haven't learned it...learn it now) and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3: 14-17) Only Christ can set you free. And if anyone tries to tell you any different, they are trying to deceive you. 
Hollow man-made philosophies will fail you. But when the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. (John 8 36) It's Jesus plus nothing. No-thing. It may sound good. It may sound like truth. It may promise you healing and restoration and deliverance from your pain, but even a hair's breath away from Christ and His Word, is still away from Christ and His Word and is false teaching and deception. I'll tell you what the Lord impressed on me..."Run far and run fast!" Bring your thinking in line with the Word of God. Lay out your Bible and compare it to the philosophy promising you the world. If the two don't line up, if it's not in the Word, see the danger and run from it. (Proverbs 27: 12) "Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10: 5) All I can do is keep giving you the Word. "Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith." (1 Timothy 6: 20-21) 
It is impossible for God to lie. (Hebrews 6: 18) There is no other Savior but Christ. Christ Alone. "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him." (Acts 10: 38) Whatever power you're under today, Christ is enough. He is El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty. He is El Elyon, the Most High God. He is Adonai, the Lord and Master. He is Jehovah Nissi, your Banner. He is Jehovah Raah, your Shepherd. He is Jehovah Rapha, your Healer. He is Jehovah Shammah. He is there right where you are. He is Jehovah Tsidkenu, your righteousness. He is Jehovah Mekoddishkem, the Lord who sanctifies you. He is El Olam, the everlasting God. He is Jehovah Jireh, your provider. He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord is peace. He is God all by Himself. You need no other. Jesus plus nothing. Christ alone. No methods. No formulas. No philosophies. No New Age psycho-babble. Jesus...Period!
The spin stops at Genesis 1:1 and ends at Revelation 22: 21. That is the true "no spin zone". Commit yourself to the study of God's Word. Know the truth so that you can discern the lie. Do not allow yourself to be deceived my friend. I care about you too much not to warn you. I re-commit myself to preaching nothing but the true Word of God from the pages of His love letter to me, my Bible. I re-commit myself to stand for Christ and His Word alone. I re-commit myself to serving you as the Lord leads and anoints in the power of His Holy Spirit. The only true Spirit of God. May He never be quenched or grieved by my falling into deception. If you found something here that fits, then wear it. If not, heed the warning and thanks for listening. I truly did try to speak the truth in love. This is a pretty heady subject and I will open up a post on the LTW blog if you have any comments. (See the link below) 
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