Which Jesus Do You Follow?
The Song “My Jesus” is the inspiration for this article. I highly recommend this video, but please be prepared. Many scenes are very graphic (from the Passion). I recommend finding a quiet place to view this, one where you won’t have to fight off the tears. Here is the link:
The song asks which Jesus do you follow, Which Jesus do you serve. Today’s Churches have a very distorted view of Jesus. Jesus was not a friend of the rich and he hated the established priesthood for their hypocrisy. I think he feels the same way about today’s Christian Priesthood. Let’s take a quick look at a warning in the short book of Jude.
CEV Jude 1;4 Some godless people have sneaked in among us and are saying, “God treats us much better than we deserve, and so it is all right to be immoral.” They even deny that we must obey Jesus Christ as our only Master and Lord. But long ago the Scriptures warned that these godless people were doomed.
Now let’s compare that warning with this observation from Andrew Storm’s “Nine Lies”.
“Lie #9; We preach a ‘humanistic’ Jesus today. -A Jesus who exists mainly for our own “happiness”. A Santa Claus who wants to rain down continual blessings upon us. A God of grace and mercy without judgment, righteousness or truth. Our gross misrepresentation of who Jesus really is, is one of the most serious offenses of the modern church. Today’s church seems to worship a “plastic” Jesus – one that she has made in her own image. What an offense to God!”
Christ came to replace the old Levitical Priesthood. Under the old covenant, the Priest would offer sacrifices for the sins of the people. Christ came to replace that broken system. Since Christ provides the ultimate sacrifice. He is the one & only priest for each one of us. We can imagine Christ’s dissatisfaction with our inability to recognize and correct this error, this grievous sin. Just take a look at Matt 23 and you will see the ineptitude of these Human Levitical Priests. They are even asked ‘How will you escape the judgment of Hell’?
Seven times they hear:
What sorrow awaits you.
They are called:
Blind Guides (twice)
Son of Vipers
Lets look at the passage on The stricter judgment for teachers
NLT James 3;1 Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. …
13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. …
16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
– The harsher judgment is for those who don’t live an honorable life [who are not an example to follow], not doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom but those harboring jealousy and selfish ambition.
Perhaps the reason that “not many should become teachers in the church” is that not many can recognize their bad eyes. This passage talks about good eyes and bad eyes. It describes a serious condition, thinking your eye is good, when it is not.
Good Eyes and Bad Eyes
Matt 16;19-25 19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. 22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! 24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. 25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
– First we are told not to build our treasure on Earth. Then we see the distinction between a good eye and a bad one. A good eye fills your whole body with light. A bad eye fills, your whole body with darkness. If we think we have a good eye, but are filled w/ darkness, how deep that darkness is!
Possessions And Dark Corners
Luke 11;34 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness. 35 Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. 36 If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”
– What are dark corners? The fist passage above can help us out here. Our eyes should be on the things of heaven not the worries of this life, certainly not money or even food and clothing. Since a good eye has a heavenly perspective and a bad eye has a worldly perspective, I think the dark corners are the places where our heavenly perspective fades away and the worldly perspective to takes over. This passage is telling us that we can limit our heavenly perspective. We can have a correct Godly perspective in certain areas, but not in others. Our goal now becomes identifying and pushing away those dark corners. Our trust, our faith in God grows naturally as we implement the gathering commands of 1 Cor 14, but few are able to find authentic believer gatherings today.
Let me try to bring this all together. The reason that the Bible warns that not many should become teachers is the difficulty for those in that position to see correctly. Few can continue doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. Instead most fall into harboring jealousy and selfish ambition. Most people who attempt to become teachers eagerly choose the unbiblical worldly church model, expecting pay for their efforts, glorying in their degrees and high ranking positions, harboring jealousy and selfish ambition. Few choose the humble encouraging brother in Christ servant leader role, the role of the true biblical priest, the role Paul exampled. This passage spells it out pretty well. Lets go over one more urgent warning that today’s priesthood blindly ignores.
1 Cor 3;10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
– The consequence for the lesser sin, building w/ wood hay & straw [building with wisdom of men, money, ego & pride] is severe – barely escaping the fires of Hell. That leaves little doubt that building on the wrong foundation, building on the foundation of the old levitical priesthood; the authoritarian priesthood of men, can cost you your salvation. Cleary these folks are not building on the foundation that Paul established, the tentmaker, servant-slave, priesthood of Christ. This passage spells it our for us. Pleasing sacrifices can only be offered thru the mediation of Christ, thru seeking and sharing and following Christ. When the Body of Christ relies on degrees, experience, accomplishments, and training of men she is not Pleasing Christ!
Living Stones for God’s House
NLT 1 Peter 2; 4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. 5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6 As the Scriptures say, “I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem, chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” 8 And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. 9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” 11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
-You who are coming to Christ are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple, his holy priesthood. When Christ is our leader, we please God. Those who do not obey God’s word, those who follow human teachers stumble. We (who follow Christ) are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. So keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. The following passage shows us how.
NLT Gal 6;14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. 16 May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.
Today’s worldly churches pretend to honor God, but really honor the traditions of men. I ask you to seek the Lord in this. Test my words against the truth of the Bible, and let him transform you by changing the way that you think. Ask him to guide you to the truth. Perhaps listening to the song again will help you to hear his voice.
May We Release The Ties That Anchor Us In This World, Glorying Only In The Cross, Seeking And Following Jesus! In Jesus mighty name I pray, Amen.