Do YOU or your favorite Bible teachers (or does your congregation) REPRESENT or MISREPRESENT Messiah Jesus?
From NKJV; emphasis added:
Messiah Jesus: Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples ,saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees … love the best seats at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.
Apostle Paul: For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’
(In ‘verse-ified’ – or ‘worse-ified!’ – Bibles, those two quotes are numbered as ‘Matthew 23:1-8’ and ‘1 Corinthians 3:11’ respectively.)
Special Note: Chapter and verses in Holy Scripture (although well-intentioned; and yes, handy for locating a sentence or two) are man-made; furthermore, they can be seriously counterproductive; they have turned a library of God-breathed books into an orchard of cherry trees. These days, many disciples cherry pick ‘verses’ that allegedly ‘prove’ their beliefs/pre(and mis)conceptions; leaving cherries that prove them wrong on the chapter-branches! Check out the NIV’s new READER-friendly, CONTEXT-friendly, UN-ASUNDERED edition of Holy Scripture (!!!): no chapter ‘n’ verses; a single column of text; the Bible books placed in better order. Kindle version of Matthew-Revelation Here; Hardback version of Genesis-Revelation Here
I am only an unregenerate Gentile, but I do know a thing or two about what is going on in ‘Evangelical’ circles; I also know a spade of distorted (2 Timothy 4:3-4 fulfilling) teaching is a spade of distorted (2 Timothy 4:3-4 fulfilling) teaching.
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The purpose of this blog is to try and get disciples to put self-interest to one side, in order that they then objectively assess if they (or their favorite Bible teachers) REPRESENT or MISREPRESENT Messiah Jesus.
Let me make two statements right up front: 1) I believe the leader/leaders of a typical congregation in the West MISREPRESENT Messiah Jesus. 2) I believe the degree of misrepresentation is so serious,that if (one Sunday morning) Messiah Jesus were to unexpectedly come and stand in a typical congregation’s “pulpit,” His UNCHANGING no-nonsense teaching would be highly unwelcome ; and furthermore, I believe He would not receive a hearty invitation to come and teach a second time! (Would your local congregation be an all-too-rare exception, or would it serve to be another that confirmed my view? You sure about that?!)
Let me summarize the awful situation in many congregations today, by way of an analogy:
The owner of a business calls in his manager, and tells the manager to give a four part message to the staff; parts called P, C, E and W. If the manager then goes to the staff and gives them P, C and E (but not the W), and also leads the staff to believe they’ve been given the complete message, has the manager REPRESENTED or MISREPRESENTED the owner of the business?
Likewise, the blocks of teaching given by the King of kings and Lord of lords to His disciples (as recorded in Holy Scripture), together constitute a nourishing recipe with four PRIMARY ingredients (a recipe that serves to equip and maturize disciples; and also that locks the stable door before a disciple has bolted): promises; commands; eschatology (End Times); and WARNINGS. In other words, P, C, E and W! Before returning to His Father,He told those first disciples to pass on the WHOLE MESSAGE/RECIPE (Matthew 28:20); and likewise (and in contrast to the 2 Timothy 4:3-4 TICKLERS), Paul urged Timothy to entrust the whole message/recipe to faithful men who will in turn spread the whole message on to others (2 Timothy 2:2). Messiah’s requirement of NINE-YARD representation is nothing new (see Jeremiah 26:2); also note Acts 5:20.
That being so, what is to be said of Bible teachers who do not deliver P, C, E and W? Do such men REPRESENT or MISREPRESENT Messiah Jesus ?
On truly honoring Matthew 23:8; and Faithfully ECHOING (not subjectively ECLIPSING, PASTORizing) Messiah’s Teaching:
Many ‘Evangelical’ teachers – including ‘TULIP-advocates’/’PRE-Trib-advocates’/(and even) ‘Wesleyans’ – are NOT preaching another Gospel; but they ARE feeding disciples with another RECIPE. And furthermore, they are doing it while operating in a leadership model that is NOT “according to the pattern” (Hebrews 8:5 ; see my list of books on man-centered (“close; but no cigar”) “pastorhood” leadership HERE).
In other words, they do NOT faithfully use the same teaching-recipe of Jesus and the Scripture writers: they overemphasize some things (i.e. some ingredients), and underemphasize others. Many teachers have adopted a distorted theological framework/wineskin (e.g. the ‘TULIP’); a framework built from SOME – but NOT ALL – of the Holy Scripture Jigsaw pieces (so to speak); a framework built UPON various false man-made ideas. The teachers subjectively feed their flocks with a recipe that fits their pariticular framework/wineskin. Instead of the Pure Milk of God’s Word, Bible teachers present the PASTOR-ized Milk of their particular wineskin (e.g. TULIP teachers have – in effect – skimmed off all the warnings given by Messiah Jesus to His disciples). Such teachers do NOT represent Messiah Jesus; they MISREPRESENT Him.
How many congregations today faithfully pass on Messiah’s PCEW-Recipe? Does yours?
Sadly, in TULIP circles (and surprisingly, even in ‘Wesleyan’ circles too), the standard teaching of today MAJORS on the promises, and MINORS on the rest. The recipe fed to many disciples in the West today (in contrast to the PCEW-Recipe), leaves disciples ill-equipped and in perpetual infancy; the fear of the Lord is not properly in place,and the stable door (that leads back to the very swamp from which a disciple has been redeemed), is left wide open. (Note: Yes, many ‘pastors’ of course begin their monologues by reading through a passage that CONTAINS a serious warning of Messiah Jesus – for example John 15. But, when they then begin to deliver their personal monologue, the WARNING within the passage – in this case John 15:6 – is either NOT mentioned at all, or NOT properly acknowledged as being a warning for saved ‘branches’ in Him (It is not a warning given to ‘visible churchgoers’ as TULIP-advocates – in Mark 7:9 fashion – try to claim. ‘Invisible/Visible Church’ is an unscriptural concept that is used to deflect and explain away the warnings found in Holy Writ; a concept that tries to shoehorn Holy Writ into the TULIP Wineskin. Sadly, even John Wesley latched onto the unscriptural concept/phrase.) Do such ‘pastors’ REPRESENT or MISREPRESENT Messiah Jesus?
In a nutshell, the standard teaching heard by Evangelicals today, is a recipe for disaster; untold millions are seriously MALNOURISHED. Due to the distorted teaching they’ve heard, untold numbers have had their hands strengthened to CONTINUE in sin (nothing new here; see Jeremiah 23). Thus, in contrast to Colossians 1:28, many Evangelicals are being primed not for the new Jerusalem, but for the lake of fire. Or is God mocked?
A Bible teacher is helpful to his hearers to the extent that he faithfully echoes Messiah Jesus; the moment a Bible teacher subjectively changes the plain meaning of His words (or any words of Holy Scripture), is the moment he begins to MISREPRESENT the Messiah he calls ‘Lord’; and if such a man distorts the meaning of anything Messiah said, or persistently leaves unsaid any part of Messiah’s message,that man has become a spreader of TOXIN, not TRUTH.
Take ‘The PCEW-Recipe Test’ yourself (so to speak). Let me put a few rhetorical questions to you, in order for you to consider if your teaching (or the teaching of your Bible teachers) truly represents (and echoes) Messiah Jesus; or, to see if it actually misrepresents (and eclipses/changes/censors/dilutes) the in-house teaching message of Messiah Jesus (i.e. the intended FULL MESSAGE/PCEW-Recipe to be passed on to all His DISCIPLES):
1) Consider Luke 9:60 for instance: are you letting the dead bury their own dead,and preaching the Kingdom of God? Or are you doing the opposite? (Are you burying rank outsiders and letting their family think their dead relative is OK with God,and even in heaven; and NOT preaching the Kingdom as a primary theme in your teaching monologues?) In other words, do you REPRESENT or MISREPRESENT Messiah Jesus ?
2) Do you faithfully echo Messiah’s views on remarriage after divorce? (Matthew 5:31-32; Matthew 19:8-9; Mark 10:10-12; Luke 16:18). Do you REPRESENT or MISREPRESENT Messiah Jesus?
3) In Messiah’s REVELATION to John for His BONSERVANTS, Messiah spoke of not one, but TWO resurrections, one either side of His thousand year reign (Revaltion 20). Do you faithfully echo and teach this? Or have you disregarded Revelation 1:3 and relegated Messiah’s End Time Revelation as a ‘side-issue’? Do you REPRESENT or MISREPRESENT Messiah Jesus?
4) Under the inspiration of the HOLY Spirit (the THIRD Person of the Trinity; an Equal to, and also a totally PURE/RELIABLE/FAITHFUL Representative of Messiah), Paul told the Corinthians to ongoingly and zealously cover the nine gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:31 ; 14:1,12,39); as defined in 1 Corinithians 12:8-10. Do you fathfully echo and urge disciples to zealously covet those spiritual gifts? Or have you told disciples those gifts have ceased? Or have you given the gifts a naturalized makeover/interpretation? Do you share Paul’s regard for the gift of prophecy and tongues? Do you forbid tongues ? (Or are you inwardly – or even openly – suspicious of tongues ) Do you despise prophecy? In truth,does your gathering bear any real resemblance to 1 Corinithaians 14:2640; where many participate in a variety of ways? Or is your service formal and largely dominated by one person? Do you REPRESENT or MISREPRESENT Messiah Jesus?
5) ABOVE ALL (that is,given the TULIP has become the head to many congregations,with Holy Scripture the tail), Messiah Jesus gave warnings about finishing up in Gehenna TO and ABOUT His disciples (not to those ‘not really saved’ as TULIP-advocates – in Mark 7:9 fashion – try to claim); He even gave them to His very evangelists before sending them out. Indeed, in Matthew there are five blocks of IN-HOUSE teaching by Jesus,and in all FIVE,J esus gives Gehenna warnings TO and ABOUT His disciples (See Matthew 5:21-30; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:47-50; Matthew 18:21-35; Matthew 24:42-51; and Matthew 25:14-30). And remember, Messiah Jesus – in Matthew 28 – told his first disciples to pass on (and faithfully echo) THE WHOLE PCEW MESSAGE/RECIPE (to every single disciple they make); not just the SWEET/TENDER parts of His teaching, but the SOUR/TOUGH parts too! Do you faithfully echo those warnings of Messiah Jesus; or do you lead disciples to think they could never finish up in Gehenna? When was the last time you warned an evangelist not to fear men, but to fear God who could throw them into Gehenna? Have you skimmed off Jesus’s warnings? Do you actually feed disciples on PASTORized Milk? Do you REPRESENT or MISREPRESENT Messiah Jesus?
How well-taught are your flock?
If men and women of your flock were asked to speak about the narrow Way for a few minutes, would they build their discussion on the phrase ‘The Kingdom of God,’ and on the new, better, Second Covenant (a Covenant made with physical Israel; a Covenant established in the blood of God’s very Son; and a Covenant which Gentile branches partake of, on being grafted in among the NATURAL branches of the Olive Tree) or would they (thereby reflecting what you’ve been teaching – and not teaching – them?) never even mention ‘The Kingdom of God’ once, and even give the impression that the narrow Way was not a Second Covenant with physical Israel, but a Gentile-ized new faith completely uprooted from its Jewish roots,relabeled ‘Christianity,’ (and into which Jewish branches may partake of after being grafted in among Gentile ‘Christians’ !!!). Have your flock been fed ‘EvanJELLYcal Theology’? Have you de-boned Holy Scripture? (That it to say, have you removed the Covenants; which are the very bonework/framework of Holy Writ?)
The Bottom Line (!):
A ‘pastor’/’pupit minister’/ reverend’/ ‘vicar’/’bishop’/’priest’ (call him what you will) could jump up and down until he is blue in the face (in fervent denial he may’ve been seriously misrepresenting Messiah Jesus), but the ACID TEST of the matter is whether his congregation could handle a teaching session from Messiah Jesus Himself.
If the ‘pastor’/’pupit minister’/reverend’/’vicar’/’bishop’/’priest’ has TRULY been representing Messiah Jesus (i.e. faithfully passing on and ECHOING the very same PCEW-RECIPE that Jesus fed to the first disciples), the congregation would have no problem at all if Jesus stood in the ‘pulpit’ one Sunday, and repeated the very same solemn warnings that He gave to the very first disciples 2000 years ago (indeed, nothing Jesus would say could faze a well-nourished/taught congregation); for Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever). But, if that man has actually been SUBJECTIVELY feeding the congregation the PASTORized MILK of his (particular) Wineskin (e.g. ‘Calvinism’), rather than the PURE Milk of His Word, the seriously MISTAUGHT/MISFED congregation would find the words of Messiah Jesus rather unpalatable (to put it mildly)! And a second invitation to speak would unlikely be forthcoming to the very One they call ‘Lord.’
So (if you are a ‘pastor’/’pupit minister’/reverend’/’vicar’/’bishop’/’priest’), where does that leave you? Would your congregation have no problem as Jesus looked them in the eyes and solemnly warned them about the real possibility of being thrown into Gehenna? Or would they be rather shocked and offended?
What can be done in the absence of competent REPRESENTATIVES?
Well, thanks to the printing press and now ebook technology, you can bypass MISREPRESENTATIVES of Messiah Jesus, and read His very words for yourself (PLUS the words of the ‘Holy Scripture FACULT
Y; i.e. Moses, Joshua, right through to Jude and John). Do endeavor to become experts in all Messiah said, perhaps begin (in Matthew) by mastering His five blocks of teaching; plus (in John) the Upper Room discussion and prayer He gave, before then going to Golgotha.
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David Pawson (who,fallible though he indeed be – along with the rest of us – is one of the finest Bible teachers God has ever given; his teaching recipe is the most apostolic and Messiah-honoring I have yet to find) gave a monologue in 2003, at a Bible College graduation ceremony; find it here: ‘The True God and the True Gospel.’
It lasts 80 mins; it is one of the most important monologues he has ever given. Do watch it online, or download it on MP3 (and listen to it while walking the dog; doing household chores; or driving carefully; or whatever). Before clicking the screen to watch it, if you scroll below the screen,you can read a summary of the monologue: it is basically a call to scriptural (instead of sentimental) evangelism. Do get as many disciples as you can to watch it in your locality; and courtesy of the internet, exhort many many disciples around the globe to watch it too. Anyway, first put that monologue on the scales; feel the WEIGHT of the message; then tell disciples day in day out to do likewise: in a word, ‘BODY-Vangelize’! (Note 2 Kings 7; especially verse 9.)
Listen to one of the most important talks on disciplehood ever given by David, find it here: ‘Four Marks of the True Church’ (i.e. suffering; unity; perseverance; partnership); a talk about the NORMALITY of PERSECUTION; the Lord’s call to UNITY; the need for PERSEVERANCE; and, the need for INTERDEPENDENCE with brothers and sisters in Messiah. It can be heard free online in audio form; and/or freely downloaded on MP3.
SECUNDA Scriptura; a case of Mark 7:9 DEJA VU.
Disciples from rocky and shallow ground (R); disciples among thorns (T); and even disciples in good soil (G), are in many cases DENOM(INATION)-possessed and in dogged denial of their true position: they claim SOLA SCRIPTURA; but their history and behavior tells another story – SECUNDA SCRIPTURA. (If a spade is still a spade, many RTG-disciples have no legitimate claim on even ‘Prima Scriptura’ – let alone ‘Sola.’) Different groups sweep various inconvenient Scriptures (‘problem passages’!) under the rug; in order to hold onto their particular blend of truth and error. Trent Theology is not alone: TULIP Theology, PRE-Trib Theology (and yes indeed, even Arminian/Wesleyan Theology) are all Second Covenant Wineskins (SCWs) which have (in effect) become the HEAD; Holy Scripture has become the TAIL.
In other words, Mark 7:9 still rules the roost Home truth be told, many RTG-disciples do NOT give first place and headship to the words of Messiah Jesus (and the Scripture-writers); and (sincere though they be) they do NOT (as a RULE) declare a reasonably balanced account of the Good News.
Many RTG-disciples (in both ‘pulpit’ and ‘pew’) ALMOST believe that ‘All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching…’ (2 Timothy 3:16; NASB); I say ALMOST, because if you take a typical disciple to a part of Scripture that does not fit their pre(and mis)conceptions or their Laodicean/Sardisian lifestyle, they go to untold lengths to explain away the plain and true meaning (e.g. Matthew 7:31-23; Mark 10:10-12; Mark 16:17-18; Mark 13:14-27; 1 John 2:2; John 15:6; Romans 11:21-22; Hebrews 6:4-8; Revelation 3:4-5,22:19; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 11:14; Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Peter 3:1-6; 1 Timothy 2:12,3:2).
Nobody is infallible, and I believe God has distributed skillsets among men and women in such a way as to make sure they are truly INTERDEPENDENT. Therefore, different people bring different areas of expertise to the narrow Way table: With Michael Brown, firstly it is his expertise on the physical descendents of Jacob (physical Israel); secondly, the Gentile-ization of the narrow Way (many RTG-disciples think of the narrow Way as a distinct faith they call ‘Christianity;’ actually, it is the new, better SECOND Covenant with physical Israel; which Gentiles are grafted into by faith in Israel’s Messiah); and thirdly, on authentic (but non-legalistic) lifestyle purity. With David Pawson, firstly it is his expertise on trinitarian, industrial-strength evangelism; secondly, on gender roles; and thirdly, on marriage. With Roger Forster, it is his expertise on scriptural election and predestination. With Kim Tan, it is his expertise on Body history; he also has the fabulously helpful attribute of speaking the three most widely spoken languages – English,Mandarin and Spanish. With the late Leonard Verduin, it was his expertise on 16th century Body history, in which he removes the TULIP-tinted spectacles many wear today, and shows the ‘Magisterial Reformation’ as it really was. With Paul Hattaway, it is his expertise on the Chinese contingent of the Body.
With John F Ashton’s “In Six Days” team, it is their collective, complementary, scientific expertise; and their strong denounciation of Abiogenesis/Progressive Mutation (i.e., ‘Evolution’ from ‘Goo-to-You’ over ‘billions of years.’). With Alexander Strauch and Teryl Hebert, it is their collective understanding of the falsity and detrimental nature of the standard leadership model that is so prevalent among RTG-disciples today.
Finding quality Bible teachers is no easy task (‘SECUNDA Scriptura’ lurks within us all; to some degree or another !); SECUNDA-SCRIPTURA-facilitated WINESKinCARCERATION is rife! The BODY needs men who humbly stand outside all SCWs; men who (yes, fallible though even they indeed be) call the BODY to a more accurate understanding of the narrow Way. Michael L Brown and David Pawson are two of the finest Bible teachers on the planet; it would be a marvellous thing if Mike ‘n’ David would get thoroughly ‘Ecclesiastes-4:9-ified;’ what a Kingdom pairing that would be!
Some EXTREMELY INCONVENIENT BOOKS :
(That is to say, inconvenient for any disciple who is unwilling to let go of mischerished errors.)
The Pastor Has No Clothes – could’ve done with this one a few hundred years ago; better late than never!
Our Hands Are Stained With Blood – Romans 9-11 is the TRUTH; ‘Replacement Theology’ is a Body-TOXIN.
The Reformers and their Stepchildren – a distance of 500 years has facilitated a TULIP-tinted view of the ‘Magisterial Reformation;’ read this book and get the lenses removed once and for all!
The Road to Hell – basically a book on the missing W of Messiah’s PCEW-Recipe; do get it.
When Jesus Returns – Messiah’s Revelation for His bondservants is the TRUTH; PRE-Trib Rapture is a cozy Body-TOXIN. (Indeed; a novel TOXIN that’s less than 200 years old!)
The Normal Christian Birth – apostolic evangelism and modern evangelism are rather different ; get this book ; tremendously important content.
Jesus Baptises in one Holy Spirit – the nine gifts named in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 are of the HOLY Spirit; Cessationism is a Body-TOXIN that is either of man or of enemies in the heavenly places.
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