Within these last days of the church on earth, we are told to expect false prophets preaching false doctrines and we are likewise instructed to be wise as a serpent.
The reason for the latter instruction being that the serpent is more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord has made (Gen 3:1).
You see, many Christians believe the works of the enemy to be overt (obvious) when in reality his methods are very cunning and deceptive, so much so that he might seduce the elect of God (Mar 13:22).
What I see within the body of Christ today is the manifestation of doctrines that appear to be light, but are in reality darkness. Likewise I see many brothers and sisters in Christ being led into that darkness by men and women who have themselves been misled.
What I would like to bring to light today are the false doctrines being put forward by a remnant of those who have bought into the Red Letter, the Jesus People, and The Way International movements, to name a few.
It is my hope & prayer that this writing blesses you!
The first thing that I want to state here is that those who are putting forth this doctrine are not, in and of themselves, evil, albeit what they are professing is.
Now what these groups, and their followers, all agree upon is that as Christian disciples our duty, in a manner of speaking, is to conform to the ways of our Lord Christ and to live our lives in accordance with His teachings.
What Christian would argue with that ideology?
The problem however lays within the idea that because we are to become Christ-like, we need to exclude, or to give lesser weight to, those parts of scriptures that are not the words of Jesus Christ Himself.
Now is it true that Jesus was (and is) the greatest teacher who ever walked the earth?
Is it not also true that the words of Jesus are the greatest words ever spoken?
Why then would anyone object to the ideologies behind these cult movements?
Simply stated, because the proponents of these movements, in a very subtle way, tend to exclude all other scriptures by proclaiming the superiority of Jesus words and acts above all others.
Now on the surface this indeed seems right and just. The problem however is that these people cherry pick the words of Jesus. In other words they adhere to those words of Jesus that they agree with and exclude the rest.
For example, here are the words of one such believer, who is a self professed minister of the gospel with a moderately sized following:
"THE GOSPELS were written to raise us above ALL others. Lets be wise and not foolish- Paul said -follow his example - JESUS SAID follow HIS EXAMPLE- who do we follow? (Paul's example is Jesus's example)
JESUS SAID- HE SPOKE DIRECTLY FOR GOD- whatever GOD SAID TO SAY and DO - Jesus did just that - now lets be mature - Paul was a troubled man from day#1- just read his own words and those who disagreed with him along the way - (christians) just like we have troubled -men of God- in pulpits and evangelizing today- JESUS SAID- paul would suffer much for HIS SAKE - we are called to be like JESUS and HIS WORDS come from GOD.
They're way beyond -inspired. I think its time we look up the word- inspired by- and directly from - amen" (8/15/16)
What is wrong with this doctrine?
It presupposes that the writings of Paul are not of God based on Jesus's claim that He spoke only that which the Father commanded Him to speak, and that subsequently only the words which He Himself spoke are from God.
What did Jesus have to say about Paul, and the ministry that He Himself appointed him to?
It is important to note here that these people acknowledge only the words of Jesus, the red letters, written only within the gospels.
(Act 22:12) And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
(Act 22:13) Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
(Act 22:14) And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
(Act 22:15) For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
Now we all know that after He left the earth to return to the Father, Jesus instructed Ananias to go to Paul and to tell him that He has been chosen by Jesus to bear His name before the Gentiles and the kings and children of Israel (Acts 9:15).
So here we have Jesus Himself commissioning Paul with the ministry of the gospel, yet we have people among us who use darkness to lead us away from the truth by telling us that Paul has less authority than Jesus when Jesus is the one who gave him the authority to preach and teach the gospel to begin with.
Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. (Acts 22:10)
It is crystal clear that Paul was appointed, anointed, and being led by Jesus Himself. In fact it was Jesus Himself who prepared Paul for ministry by personally teaching him for some 3-31/2 years in the desert.
You see the truth is that these people do not understand scriptures, nor do they understand or really believe, that our Lord lives and speaks to us today!
Note this quote from the same person who's remarks are noted above:
"IMAGINE JESUS WAS ALIVE TODAY and holding a seminar with Peter, James, John and Paul, However you can only get 'one ticket', to HEAR just 'one' of them. WHO WOULD YOU LISTEN TOO?"
Well, I don't know about you, but I do not have to "imagine" Jesus being alive today because I KNOW that He is alive today, and speaking, and working through His true church, the Body of Christ.
You see brothers and sisters this doctrine is delivered with the utter-most subtlety. Very few, if any, of these will come out directly and proclaim that the words of Jesus's apostles do not carry the same weight as words that came from Jesus's mouth. They will not come out and plainly state that they believe those parts of the gospels and epistles where Christ Himself is not speaking is less authoritative than the red letter, albeit some do profess this belief openly.
Scriptural Apostolic Authority
There are numerous verses within scriptures which prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the disciples/apostles of Jesus Christ, were given the same authority by Him as He received from the Father.
(Joh 17:18) As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
(Joh 17:19) And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
(Joh 17:20) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also (us) which shall believe on me through THEIR word;
(Joh 17:21) That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
In John 17 Jesus is recorded as saying that these men were given the words that the Father had given the Son and that they have "received" (taken hold of) these words and "keep" (guard - to protect from suffering injury or loss by keeping their eyes upon) them, and that He has bestowed upon them the same glory (honor - dignity) that He shared with the Father before the world was, so that they might be "one" with the Father and the Son.
NOW Jesus said that He had given them (His disciples soon to become His apostles) the words of the Father given to Him by the Father, and that they took hold of them and protected them from suffering injury or loss. He also said that He has sent them into the world (as reiterated in the great commission) just as He had been sent into the world, and did so giving them the same glory shared by the Father and the Son.
SO, if Jesus was alive today, and holding a seminar with Red Letter Christians, Jesus People, and those who subscribe to their doctrines, and you could only get one ticket to listen to one of them, WHO WOULD YOU LISTEN TO?
Jesus clearly proclaims that He prays not only for His apostles, but for those who come to believe on them through THEIR word, personally giving them the authority to speak as if it was Jesus in the flesh speaking, because it is Jesus speaking!
The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
In John 16 Jesus is telling His disciples/apostles, that He must return to the Father so that the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth. the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit, could come into the world.
He also proclaims:
(Joh 16:12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
(Joh 16:13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
(Joh 16:14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Now JESUS SAID that He was going to send the Holy Spirit onto His disciples/apostles to guide them unto all truth and that He (the Holy Spirit) would not speak of Himself rather that which He hears (from Jesus Himself, The Living Word of God. Our Lord further states that the Holy Spirit will "receive of mine" (Jesus's words) "and show it to you".
Show them what?
That which they could not bear "NOW" while Jesus was on earth!
Let me ask you these questions:
When Peter stood up and began to speak at Pentecost, who was actually speaking, Peter or Jesus through the Holy Spirit through Peter?
When the prophets of old were delivering the messages appointed onto them to speak, who was speaking, the prophets themselves or the Word of God, Jesus Christ?
When our Father God desires to impart a word unto His people today, through an appointed, anointed, prophet, who is speaking, the one appointed or our Lord Jesus?
If we do what these people say, and heed and do only the red letter words of Jesus, which by His own admonition do not include the "many things He had to say that the apostles could not bear", then how do we get that information?
From the epistles, from His appointed and anointed apostolic ministers of the new covenant (the apostles), from the Apostle Paul who was personally chosen and taught by Jesus Himself, and from the Holy Spirit Himself!
Christ Jesus, the only begotten Son of Almighty God the Father, the Living and Eternal Word of God, spoke through men before He became manifest in the flesh, spoke as a man while He was in the flesh, and spoke to and through men (and women), through the Holy Spirit, after He was glorified by the Father, and seated at His right hand.
To say that the recorded words of Jesus Christ, that only the words which came from His mouth while He was in the flesh, carry any weight, or hold any authority, is a damnable heresy because Jesus personally appointed and anointed His apostles and their disciples, to continue His work after He returned to the Father.
Brothers and Sisters, our Lord Jesus is alive and well today, and He is still speaking and teaching, and guiding His church, the body of Christ today through the anointing of the Holy Spirit placed on those whom He has chosen to be the preachers, teachers, and prophets of today.
God has not ceased from speaking to His children, or from leading them down the path of His will today.
Yes Jesus was, and is, the greatest teacher who ever lived.
Yes Jesus words were, and are, the greatest words ever spoken.
Yes it is the image and likeness of Jesus that we are to conform to.
But throughout biblical history, some 6,000 plus years, Jesus has spoken through appointed men (and women), prophets of God, and He continues to do so today, and to believe that only the words of some 3 1/2 years are authoritative is both foolish and immature.
The way to understanding God is to seek His whole counsel!
No Moses was not perfect, yes David was flawed, as was Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the apostles of Christ, and as we are flawed.
Does that mean that we are to disregard their writings?
Did God not know what He was doing when He appointed these men?
Did Jesus not know what He was doing when He placed the spreading of the gospel into the hands of mere men?
Did Jesus not know what He was doing when He made us "able ministers" of that self same gospel today?
These people are those who exhibit a form of Godliness and deny the power thereof (2Tim 3:5). These are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. These are they from whom we should run away because they are of corrupt minds, and are reprobate concerning the faith, and their folly shall be manifest unto all men in God's perfect timing.
Until that time however, seek the whole counsel of God, learn of and follow ALL of the instructions of our Lord Jesus (which include apostolic teachings), and begin to exercise your spiritual senses, especially the gift of discernment, so that you will know the truth that will set you free!
Defending the Apostles