Radio- Who Is Jesus?
Moderator - Well, Dr. Ford, we have now entered into the Christmas Season. People are on shopping sprees buying for their children and loved ones. It is hard to believe that this celebration is supposed to be about the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Response - Yes, brother C.W.. This season seems to be more about rotund little men in red suits, and greed, than about the Man who said birds have nests and the foxes have holes, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head. The baby Jesus you hear about in the Christmas Season is popular because He is manageable, but the Lord Jesus Christ who says that He is the only way men can get to God the Father is not so popular.
Moderator - A lot of things are said about whom the Lord Jesus Christ is. I even heard the claim made that He was the brother of Lucifer.
Response - Yes, I believe that is a teaching that is present in the Mormon cult and some others as well. Those cults have a real problem with such teaching because the Bible says that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. That means He has no brothers. The Bible also teaches that He has always lived. We call that pre-existant from all eternity past. I heard it explained like this: "Before there was time, there never was a time when the Lord Jesus Christ did not exist." These cults that hold the belief that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers have to come up with fanciful stories to explain the problems they have when they promote the idea. You see, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the One who created. They have a real problem with the Bible when they promote the idea Jesus is a created being.
Moderator - Well today let's talk a bit about who Jesus Christ really is. A lot of famous people use the Name of Jesus. I heard a politician say the other day his faith is real important to him, and that he prays every day.
Response - Yes, I know who you are talking about. He is a candidate for President. But I was familiar with him back when he was a professional soldier, and I think that he, like many of the people who have the public eye are not talking about the true Jesus of the Bible. He is talking about the popular Jesus so many have used to their own advantage in the commercial world. The modern Jesus is popular with politicians. Our own President has said that Allah is the same as the god he worships, so he is not talking about the God of the Bible. The rock and roll singers have embraced a Jesus, but then they live awful lifestyles that are condemned in the Bible, so their Jesus cannot be the Jesus of the Bible. You see sports figures saying they are followers of Jesus. One popular boxer even said Jesus healed him, then it came out that he was habitually unfaithful to his marriage vows so people like that cannot be following the Jesus of the Bible.
The popular Jesus is very useful to the commercial world. We have Jesus buttons, T-shirts, bumper stickers, lapel pins, and a bunch of other neat little gadgets that make cash registers ring, and not just at Christmas time. Somehow I think the One who drove the money changers from the Temple is not impressed with all that. (Matt 21:12; Jn. 2:14-16)
The modern Jesus can be easily worked into any system or program no matter how Scripturally unsound it might be. People use him as a magical formula to give credence and respectability to anything and everything. Twenty years ago there was even a woman who claimed she was stripping for Jesus, can you believe that?
Moderator - That is certainly a far fetched idea when you consider the Jesus I read of in the Bible.
Response - Yes, today's modern Jesus thrives in a spirit of religious romanticism and sentimentality. Many people have blended a weird world of fantasy and make believe into their idea of Jesus. That is why they will believe in and follow some charlatan like Benny Hinn, a man who gets many of his ideas about Jesus right out of Hindu theology. A great many people have their sense of who Jesus is so distorted that they cannot differentiate between the reality of God's Word and the myths and stories they have been exposed to or dreamed up themselves.
Now don't get me wrong about this. I am not saying that people who listen to false teachers like Benny Hinn or Kenneth Copeland or a host of others are not Christians, but I am saying that they do not have a zeal for truth, and are in compromise with apostasy.
Moderator- Maybe you better explain what apostasy means.
Response- Let me do better than that Let me define what I mean when I use two words: apostates and heretics. An apostate is one who forsakes his religion for another, and a heretic is a person who holds opinions contrary to the accepted teaching of the faith. So an apostate is one who knew the truth and left it, and a heretic is a person who claims to be a Christian but does not hold to sound doctrine. When it comes to some false teachers it is hard to say whether they are apostates or heretics because you do not know for sure whether they ever had an acquaintance with the truth or not.
Moderator - I see. So you are saying when someone turns away from the true Jesus to a false Jesus, they are an apostate, and a person who believes in a false Jesus, and they never did know the true Jesus is a heretic?
Response- That's right. That's it in a nutshell. I am inclined to quote Spurgeon on the matter of taking a stand against false teachers and teaching. Let me tell you what he said way back in 1887. He said:
"A chasm is opening between men who believe their Bibles and the men who are prepared for an advance upon Scripture. The house is being robbed, its very walls are being digged down, but the good people who are in bed are too fond of the warmth, and too much afraid of getting broken heads, to go downstairs and meet the burglars ... Inspiration and speculation cannot abide in peace. Compromise there can be none. We cannot hold the inspiration of the Word, and yet reject it; we cannot hold the doctrine of the fall and yet talk of the evolution of spiritual life from human nature; we cannot recognize the punishment of the impenitent and yet indulge the 'larger hope.' One way or the other we must go. Decision is the virtue of the hour."
We need to proclaim the Biblical Jesus, not the baby who is eternally in the crib, or the effete Jesus Hollywood would like to give us. We need to talk about the true Jesus because people can follow the many false Jesus straight to hell.
Moderator - I have heard that sometimes people get pretty angry when you start talking like this. Why is that?
Response- Well one reason is, I make people uncomfortable because I speak directly. There have been times when people have accused me of speaking over their heads, but what makes people angry is not what I say they don't understand, it is what I say that they do understand. I have given some thought to how the prophets of God spoke. They often got murdered for their trouble, but they did not compromise on the truth. The sermons of the Apostles were direct and to the point, and only John died a natural death. Then you can study the sermons of the great preachers of the past. They did not compromise on the truth either and they spawned some revivals that swept across nations and continents. Many of them were burned at stakes or beheaded. So if people get angry because I tell them the truth, I find at the end of the day I am in good company. Both in Psalms 22 and Isaiah 53 it was prophesied that the Lord Jesus Christ would be controversial, and He said that the servant is not greater than the Master. This is further proof that the commercial Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible. The commercial Jesus can be brought out once a year to make men money and then safely tucked back in a closet till next year. The Jesus of the Bible says, "choose you this day who you will serve."
Moderator - I remember Jesus called King Herod a fox. (Luke 13:32) And He called the Pharisees a generation of vipers. (Matthew 23:33)
Response - Yes, and His ministry so angered people in His own hometown Nazareth that they sought to kill Him. (Luke 4:18-30) It was religious hypocrites who sought to stone Him and did eventually kill Him. (John 8:59; 10:31; Mark 12: 1-12) Christ said of Himself that He came to bring division and to "send a sword." It was not that this was the purpose of His mission. His purpose was to bring salvation to man in fulfillment of prophecy. But when the Gospel is preached and the truth proclaimed to a sinful pseudo-religious world the first reaction is one of strife and conflict with an opposition that does not love the truth.
Moderator - A lot of people say that all roads lead to God. It does not matter what you believe as long as you believe something.
Response - Yes, but Jesus said that broad is the way that leads to destruction and narrow is the way which leads to life. (Matthew 7:13-14) In the very next breath He said to beware of false prophets. (Matthew 7:15) That pretty well answers those people who want to contradict what the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ says about belief. The people who say all roads lead to God are false prophets whether they realize they are or not. He said of Himself that no man gets to the Father except he comes by Him. (John 14:6)
Moderator - We were talking about who Jesus is. You gave us some information about that, even as you spoke against those who uphold a false Jesus. Don't you think we should be more tolerant of people who are in error?
Response - No I don't. Take a look at the people who uphold a false Jesus some time and see what they are about. Take Islam for example. They have a false Jesus in their theology. They believe He was a prophet, but they deny that He was the Son of God. They also deny that He died on the cross for our sins. If you go to Islamic countries you will find the majority of people in those countries live in very poor circumstances. And that is the least of their problems. The terrible way they live is a direct result of their false religion that controls every aspect of their lives.
Take the Jehovah Witnesses as another example. They teach a false Jesus and they put their converts into bondage and control every part of their lives. They teach for truth the doctrines of men and destroy lives and families generation after generation. That is some more of what believing in a false Jesus will get you. You live in misery in this world, then die and go to hell in the next.
Another reason I cannot be tolerant of people who uphold a false Jesus is that they will never be content to let me believe in the Jesus of the Bible. They do not want me to be telling other people about the Lord Jesus Christ who says ye must be born again, either. Not only that, if I do not stand up for the Jesus of the Bible then I am committing a grievous sin. Jesus said, If ye deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father which is in Heaven. Since I quoted Spurgeon in the first segment let me quote him again. Let me tell you what he said in 1888:
"We admire a man who was firm in the faith, say four hundred years ago ... but such a man today is a nuisance, and must be put down. Call him a narrow-minded bigot, or give him a worse name if you can think of one. Yet imagine that in those ages past, Luther, Zwingle,
Calvin, and their compeers had said, 'The world is out of order; but if we try to set it right we shall only make a great row, and get ourselves into disgrace. Let us go to our chambers, put on our night-caps, and sleep over the bad times, and perhaps when we wake up things will have grown better.' Such conduct on their part would have entailed upon us a heritage of error. Age after age would have gone down into the infernal deeps, and the pestiferous bogs of error would have swallowed all. These men loved the truth and the name of Jesus too well to see them trampled on. ... "It is today as it was in the Reformers' days. Decision is needed. Here is the day for the man, where is the man for the day? We who have had the gospel passed to us by martyr hands dare not trifle with it, nor sit by and hear it denied by traitors, who pretend to love it, but inwardly abhor every line of it. ... Look you, sirs, there are ages yet to come. If the Lord does not speedily appear, there will come another generation, and another, and all these generations will be tainted and injured if we are not faithful to God and to His truth today. We have come to a turning-point in the road. If we turn to the right, mayhap our children and our children's children will go that way; but if we turn to the left, generations yet unborn will curse our names for having been unfaithful to God and to His Word."
Moderator - Spurgeon's words certainly strike home. Saying them today seems right for the situation we find ourselves in.
Response - Yes, the situation has not changed except that those who work evil seem to be getting bolder. If you start looking at the problems going on in churches today, you find the start of them begins with a disbelief in the Jesus of the Bible. The problems in the Episcopal Church with their ordination of a homosexual bishop; the splits in the Southern Baptist Convention, and now they are bringing out their own Bible, which is just awful; the problems in the United Methodist church, all stem from a disbelief in a literal Bible and the Jesus the true Bible tells us about.
Moderator - Right now, as you set and talk to people over the radio, if you had only one thing you could impress people with about Jesus Christ, what would you say that is?
Response - I would want to impress people with the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is God. I have seen people who could acknowledge that He was the Son of God, but could not make the stretch to understand that He is God. He is as much God as God the Father is God and God the Holy Spirit is God. Jesus said of Himself that before Moses, I Am. That meant He was the God who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush. The Jews understood this. That is why they tried to stone Him. Jesus Christ is God and since He is God He should be treated with the greatest respect, awe, and yes worship.
Moderator - It is hard for people to understand the whole concept of the Trinity. They get confused when you start talking about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Response - Yes, I understand that. But I think it is a bigger problem because Satan works hard to confuse the issue. He has a vested interest in trying to get people confused about who the real Jesus is and then keeping them confused. That is why the world has so many false Christ's today. Jesus said three things about Himself that are important. He said He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.(John 14:6)
He did not say He knew those things or that He possessed those things. He said that He was those things. Satan does not want you to know the way, or the truth, and he does not want you to have the life that can be yours in Christ Jesus. There is a war going on and Satan is working hard to deceive people. The fact that the world is full of false ideas about who Jesus is, is proof of how successful he is being at this time.
Moderator - But we know how this story is going to end.
Response - Yes we do. Just when the world thinks it has won. Just when Satan thinks he has gotten things all his own way, the Lord Jesus Christ has a big surprise in store for him, and for all those who follow him. One of the things the Lord Jesus Christ is, is the Lord of Hosts. That is to say He is the Commander in Chief of the angelic army of God. You think it is something when the President goes to visit the troops in Iraq. The Lord Jesus will lead His forces into battle against Satan, and then have them watch while He beats Satan all by Himself.
Moderator - The end of the story is exciting, but we have to contend for the faith right now in the world we find ourselves in. Tell me how many kinds of false Jesus are there?
Response - That is a question I do not know the answer to. But I can tell you about a few.
1. The Wafer Jesus who is worshipped in the Roman Catholic mass.
2. The Mormon Jesus who was a polygamist.
3. The Modernist Jesus who was not born of a virgin.
4. The Unitarian Jesus who was not God.
5. The Universalist Jesus who will not send anyone to Hell.
6. The Prosperity Jesus who was wealthy.
7. The Laughing Jesus who "slays" people with his spirit and causes them to laugh uncontrollably and to stagger like drunk men.
8. The Self-esteem Jesus who never called man a sinner and who came merely to build up his self-image.
9. The Revolutionary Jesus who was the founder of Liberation Theology.
10. The Christian rock Jesus who was the first "punker going against them all."
11. The Christmas Jesus who was born into the world so every body could give presents to each other.
These are just a few of the false christs in the world today.
We were talking a while ago about being tolerant of people who follow these false christs. I think we should be intolerant of those who refuse to identify false teachers and who refuse to expose false christs and false gospels.
Moderator - And why should we be intolerant of them?
Response - The Lord Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters." (John 6:24)
It is impossible to love the true Jesus without hating the false Jesus. Those who claim that God has called them to preach only a positive message and not to enter into controversy are greatly deceived. The ecumenical movements of our day claim that it is enough that a person "loves Jesus" and "believes the gospel." There is a serious problem with this philosophy. It ignores the fact that there are many false christs and false gospels. Almost 2,000 years ago the Apostle Paul wrote about this problem. He said:
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, 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" (2 Cor. 11:3,4).
Moderator - Thank you Dr. Ford. I want to leave our listeners today with two passages of Scripture that are important to what we have been talking about:
"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. WHOSOEVER TRANSGRESSETH, AND ABIDETH NOT IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, HATH NOT GOD. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son" (2 John 7-9).
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