BEWARE OF DIFFERENT JESUS’ AND SPIRITS
Before we begin our study let us come before our God and pray,
Dear Heavenly Father,
We come before You in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Holy Father please bless our time of study of Your Word. Please grant us the spiritual wisdom and understanding to better understand what You are telling us. And Father, please help us to yield to the Holy Spirit so that He will live His life through us.
In our previous study we read about some of the different gospels that were and are creeping into the church. In addition, we also saw that those who taught or preached a gospel other than the one given by Jesus Christ were to be eternally condemned. To refresh our memories let us read from the theme of this study,
“ 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!”
Since it is imperative for our eternal well being that we remain steadfast in our faith in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, we also discovered that the Scripture exhorted us to stay away from and avoid all false prophets and teachers.
“ I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.”
However, the Bible does not stop here. There is more, much, much more. To see this let us now read from a similar warning that was given to the body of Christ that was in Corinth.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4
“ 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 one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”
Notice that in the above Scriptures we are warned about being led astray to follow:
- Different Jesus’
- Different Spirits
- Different Gospels
Since in our last study we covered the issue with respect to different gospels, in this study we will focus on different Jesus’ and spirits.
And so let us begin with our study of
Before we look at other Jesus’, let us first see,
THE REAL JESUS, THE JESUS CHRIST OF THE BIBLE
First we find that,
- JESUS CHRIST WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN TO BECOME A MAN
To see this let us read about the birth of Jesus Christ as recorded in,
“ In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,  to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”  “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Let us notice the following verses,
31 … His name is to be Jesus.
32 … He will also be called the Son of the Most High.
33 … His Kingdom will have no end.
34 …Mary indicates that she was a virgin.
35 …Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that is He is our Lord and God (see Chapter 5, Volume I). In other words,
- JESUS CHRIST IS GOD WHO TOOK ON HUMAN FLESH
To see this let us read about His birth as recorded in,
“ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”
And now let us read from,
“ The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Consequently we find that the Jesus of the Bible is ,
- THE ONE AND ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD
We discover this by reading why Jesus came into the world. As we read this passage let us remember that the key words are “one” and “only.”
“” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Lastly, we find that after He was crucified, died and was buried, He did not stay in the tomb. The Jesus Christ of the Bible physically rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven and is now sitting at the right hand of God the Father. He is there interceding for us and waiting for the time of His second coming to earth. In other words,
- JESUS CHRIST IS ALIVE AND LORD OVER ALL THINGS
To see this let us read how the Apostle John described Jesus and what He said to him when John was given visions of the last days prior to Jesus’ return to earth.
“ I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,  which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”  I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,  and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.  In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
The Scriptures also teach us that it is only,
- THE JESUS CHRIST OF THE BIBLE WHO SAVES US FROM OUR SINS
To see this let us read an excerpt of what the Holy Spirit said through the Apostle Peter while bearing witness of Jesus Christ in front of the ruling priesthood of the Jewish faith.
“ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.””
Consequently, those who are not true born again believers in Jesus Christ remain in their sins. Hence, they are still under God’s wrath and under the penalty for their disobedience to God’s Laws.
Unfortunately, not everyone nor every religious organization recognize, accept or even teach the truths about the Jesus Christ of the Bible. In fact we find there are many different Jesus’ that are preached and/or worshipped. So that we are not deceived and led astray to a Jesus who can not save us from our sins, let us look at some examples of,
SOME DIFFERENT JESUS’
To do this let us look at some examples of some organizations that call themselves Christian and do not preach or teach about the Jesus Christ of the Bible.
- JEHOVAH WITNESS – This organization claims that Jesus Christ is really Michael the Archangel.
- CHRISTIAN SCIENCE – This organization teaches that Jesus is a man however, Christ is an ideal.
- LATTER DAY SAINTS – The teaching from this organization is that Jesus is the first of many spirit children of Elohim.
- HEALTH AND WEALTH MINISTRIES – To these teachers Jesus is like a Santa Claus (my personnel opinion) who, on demand, provides His people with health and financial prosperity.
We also find organizations who do not claim to be Christian but do teach about a different Jesus. For example,
- JUDAISM – This religious organization believes that Jesus is a dead prophet.
- EASTERN MYSTICISM (TM, BUDDHISM, KRISHNA, ETC.) – These organizations believe and teach that Jesus is a dead teacher or master.
As we did with our study of different gospels, let us now find out what the Bible has to say about those who come and preach a different Jesus. To do this let us read from,
2 John 7-11
“ Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.  Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.  Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.  Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.”
Let us notice the following verses,
7 … Those who teach or preach about a Jesus other than the one Who is revealed to us in the Bible is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8 … We must be diligent so that we are not deceived and led astray.
9 … Those who do not continue in the teaching of the Jesus Christ do not have God. However, those who do have both the Father and Jesus Christ.
10-11… Do not welcome, that is accept the teaching or beliefs of those who teach or preach a different Jesus. Notice, if we do welcome or accept them and their beliefs we are really sharing in their work. This does not mean that we are not to pray for or share with them about our Lord Jesus Christ and His saving work on the cross. We must always remember that Jesus came to save all of us.
Let us now proceed in our study to explore in a bit more depth the issue of,
For us to discern a spirit other than the Holy Spirit, we must first recognize and believe that,
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE THIRD PERSON OF THE GODHEAD, THAT IS THE TRINITY
As we study the New Testament we find that Jesus Christ never referred to the Holy Spirit as an it or impersonal force. Jesus always referred to the Holy Spirit as a person. For example, let us read what Jesus said to His disciples to prepare them for the arrival of the Holy Spirit,
“ But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
In addition to being a person we also find that the Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit is also God Himself. To see this let us read what the Apostle Peter said to Ananias when Ananias lied about an offering he (Ananias) made to the church. We find this conversation recorded for us in,
“ Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property.  With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.  Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?  Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.””
Let us notice the following verses,
3 … Peter accuses Ananias of lying to the Holy Spirit. Notice Peter does not treat the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force but as a person, that is someone who can be lied to.
4 … Peter identified the Holy Spirit as God.
Consequently, any person or organization that does not believe or teach this doctrine is not from God. Some examples of organizations who do not teach that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead are,
- JEHOVAH WITNESS – This organization teaches that the Holy Spirit is the invisible force of Almighty God which moves his servants to do his will.
- CHRISTIAN SCIENCE – This religious system teaches that the Holy Spirit is Divine Science; the development of eternal life.
- LATTER DAY SAINTS – This religious organization teaches that He is the influence of deity, the light of Christ, or of truth.
In addition to being the third Person of the Godhead we find that,
THE HOLY SPIRIT ALWAYS BEARS WITNESS TO JESUS CHRIST
To see this let us read another passage of what Jesus said to prepare them for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. This time we will read from,
“” When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.”
With this background let us read a word of exhortation that is written in,
1 John 4:1-3
“ Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,  but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.”
Let us notice the following verses,
1 … We are encouraged to test the spirits. In other words, just because someone or some organization say they are from God we are to test the spirit to be sure they are from God.
2 … As we saw above the Holy Spirit will always bear witness to the Jesus Christ of the Bible.
3 … Any spirit that does not bear witness of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible is from the evil one.
The above observations or doctrines are what could be called objective facts or truths, that is easily recognized. However, since we are dealing in spiritual matters we must also learn to discern or hear the spirit. To do this let us begin by recognizing that,
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS “HOLY”
To see this let us read what the fruits of the Holy Spirit are. We find them listed for us in,
“ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
In contrast to these fruits we find that the spirit of the world or our sinful nature is far from holy. To see this let us read from,
“ As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”
Question: What are these cravings, desires or acts of our sinful nature that want to follow the spirit of the world’s system?
To find out let us read from,
“ The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Now with the above in mind let us read what Jesus has to say about those who teach or preach and yet continue to live their life in accordance with the spirit of the world. His warning of these false prophets is recorded for us in,
“” Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”
Let us notice the following verses,
15 … On the outside the false prophets or teachers appear to be righteous and holy. However, on the inside they are still full of the spirit of the world.
16-20 … It is by the fruits of one’s life we can determine whether or not they are from God. In other words, if the fruits of the Holy Spirit are present and growing in a person’s life then they are filled with the Holy Spirit and are from God. On the other hand if the fruits of their life are still the fruits from their sinful nature, then we should not accept them as a teacher or preacher sent from God.
21 … If we profess that Jesus Christ is our Lord and do not do what He says then is He really our Lord?
22-23 … It is not the spiritual gifts or wonders that we may perform in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ that makes us a disciple of Him. No, our discipleship is based upon whether or not we are yielded to the Holy Spirit and His fruits are being manifest and growing in our daily walk.
Not only does Jesus say that He never knew these false prophets or teachers, that is did not send them, but the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us to stay away from them,
2 Timothy 3:1-5
“ But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
What is the point this study? How can it be summarized? Well, first of all,
To see this let us read from where the Apostle Peter reminds us of our exalted position. We find it in,
1 Peter 2:9-10
“ But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
Consequently, we are encouraged to,
STAND FIRM IN THE FAITH
To see this let us close this study by reading from,
1 Peter 5:6-11
“ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
Shall We Pray?
The Truth is out there follow it completely