On many occasions when I am invited to preach, and at some of my regular Bible study groups, I ask the assembled this question; how many people here believe Jesus? Then I ask them for a show of hands. Invariably everyone raises their hand.
I am finishing a book entitled, “What If Jesus was telling the truth?”. I was speaking to another author about the book and he told me that the title is stupid. He said that every Christian believes Jesus. “Really, I asked?” “Of course they do”, he replied. “Do you believe Jesus”? I asked. “Yes of course I do he responded”. ” Are you sure that you believe everything that Jesus said” I asked. “Well, I don’t know everything that Jesus said”, he qualified. “Well, that is certainly the truth. John wrote that if all that Jesus said and did had been reported, there would not be enough books in all the libraries in the world to contain them”, I replied. ” Would you believe everything that Jesus said if you knew all that he said”? I asked. “Of course I would”, he replied. Then I began to share some of the simplest of Jesus’ teachings with the man, when I asked him if he believed them, he wanted to argue about whether Jesus said or meant them.
As it turned out the gentleman not only did not believe the teachings of Jesus, He resented them and thought that they were not possible.
Do you think that most Christians are more advanced in their belief of the teachings of Jesus? Personally, I don’t think most Christians know very much about what Jesus taught, because they have not been taught them or they have been taught them incorrectly. I am not blaming student or teacher. We are all products of what we have been taught.
Let us consider one of the most elementary teachings of Jesus. From the 1st Gospel of John the disciple. John 14:12…”Verily, Verily…(truthfully, truthfully) I, (as in the great I AM, I the Son of God, I the creator of all things in heaven and in earth, I the one who was and is and is to come, I the first born among the brethren, I the brightness of the glory of God and the exact image of his person, that I ) say to you,(us) He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; ( Pause and consider what our Lord and Savior the same who taught us our John 3:16 scripture is saying. We say that we believe Jesus, He is saying that if we do, we shall do the same works that he did. That would include raising the dead, healing all nature of diseases among the people, commanding all of God’s creation to obey him, casting out demons and more things than can be contained in all the books and libraries in the world.)
“and greater works than these shall he do; ( Woah, Hoss…What would be greater works than those we just considered? That would be leading others to salvation and baptizing them in the Holy Ghost.) “Ã·because I go to my Father”. ( Because Jesus paid the full price to reconcile us to God, We are now made righteous by faith in him and have become a royal priesthood and joint heirs with Jesus and we not only are empowered to do the same works that he did, but even greater works.) How are we doing on the believing Jesus part?
This scripture is one of the reasons that to pray for God to expand our borders or give us favor, or to bless us, is error. He has empowered us to do and be greater in this earth than He was. LetÃŒs continue with this teaching. “And whatsoever ( the nature of the word whatsoever eliminates any man developed qualifications such as “yes but it must be in God’s will” a thought totally inconsistent with the Gospel of Jesus. Whatsoever is the ultimate total inclusion? The word whatsoever is the opposite of yes but.) you shall ask in my name, that will I do , ( please note here that there are no performance based qualifiers such as…if you did not do or say something bad, or …unless you are in sin, or if you are a disciple, or if you are in right standing with God, or if…your motives are pure, or if it is good for you, or if it be his will.) that the Father may be glorified through the Son”. ” If you ask anything ( please note the lack of qualifiers like…If you pass the test, or after you go through the process, or if it is in God’s time, or unless it is for something you desire, money etc.) I will do it.”
Jesus also taught us saying….” Have faith in God, For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have WHATSOEVER, he saith.” Therefore, I say unto you what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
Jesus also taught us saying…” And these signs shall follow them that believe, In my name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Jesus taught me these scriptures. Jesus taught much that is contrary to what we have always heard; which led me to the great question of this thesis. If Jesus was not insane or a liar, and he truly thought out and meant what he said, why have we never been taught this and why are we not walking in the power that he gave us? Why has the body of Jesus not accepted his teachings? Why are we dis-empowered? The answer is the subject of this teaching…”The Great Deception”. At this point it is urgent for me to state as clearly as possible and pray that you will understand that this teaching is not a slap at the Church or any Pastor, denomination or fellowship. Please understand that we are all products of what we have been taught and the traditions that have been passed to us. I am merely being led of The Spirit to share with His Flock what he has revealed to me through the Word, So that we can begin to walk in the power that Jesus freely paid the high price to give us.
It is important to understand that at the time Jesus came to earth there were two groups of people in the earth, the Jews and the Gentiles. Everyone on earth falls into one of these categories.
The Jews had rejected God and placed themselves under the Law. The Gentiles were never under the law and have never been. They were lost and without God or hope in this world. Thank God that, ” For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life”. (John 3:16)
How did the law ( the ten commandments and it’s 600 associated ordinances and a performance based relationship with God, come to be? and to whom does it apply?) The answers are clearly stated in the scriptures.
Galatians 3:19 ” Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. ( It came because of transgressions which we will now list, till the seed Jesus should come to whom the promise was made, the Hebrews. It was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator, Moses.) Clearly, the law came to the Hebrews and it was intended to be in effect for a specific time period, until the seed should come. And, it was created and given to those to whom the promise was given, the Hebrews.
What transgressions brought the law?
Exodus 14:11and12…” And they said unto Moses, because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.”
Exodus 16:2 and3…”And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
Exodus 17:3 “And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?”
The murmuring infuriated God and his wrath waxed hot against what God described as the “stiff necked Jews” as he heard them murmuring against him in their tents. But the ultimate act of unbelief and rebellion was this…
Exodus 20:19 ” And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us and we will hear; bu let not God speak with us, lest we die.”
Deuteronomy 5:24 and 25….” And ye said, behold, the Lord our God hath shown us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire; we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and that He liveth. Now therefore why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh that heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
Deuteronomy 9:7 and 8…” Remember and forget not, how thou provoked the Lord thy God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the lord. Also in Horeb ye provoked the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry with you to have destroyed you.”
So, God’s chosen people rejected his messenger first, the God himself in favor of his messenger. Since the people had rejected God they had to have some system to protect themselves from each other. Thus the Law. God was so angry with the Jews at this time that he told Moses that he wanted to kill them. Moses reminded God that he could not kill them because he had made a covenant with Abraham that his seed would be mighty in the earth. God told Moses that he would kill the Jews and make Moses a nation unto himself. Moses interceded for his people telling God that if he killed the children of Israel, that he pagans would say that God had not kept his promise to his people and that he had betrayed them by killing them in the desert. God had to protect the lineage of Jesus the promised one and he did so by sparing the Jews but by giving them the Mosaic Law and its ordinances which he knew were impossible to keep.
So, now that the people had chosen the Law over God, he gave them the Law. He instructed them to build an ark in which to keep the stone tablets on which the Law had been written by the hand of God. He then instructed them to hang a veil…Exodus 26:33…” And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil, the ark of the testimony; and the VEIL SHALL DIVIDE UNTO YOU BETWEEN THE HOLY PLACE AND THE MOST HOLY.” ( The law would be placed in the ark and the veil around it would separate God’s people from God, by their choice.) Remember this scripture about the veil. It will be dealt with by Jesus.
What then of the Gentiles (us)? We were lost and without hope in the world.
Switching from the King James Version to the Amplified a more pure translation from the original Greek and Hebrew…Ephesians chapter 2 beginning in the 12th verse.. “Remember that at that time you were.. separated (living apart) from Christ (excluded from all part in Him); utterly estranged and outlawed from the rights of Israel as a nation, and strangers with no share in the sacred compacts of the (Messianic) promise with no knowledge of or right in God’s agreements, His covenants. And you had no hope (no promise); you were in the world without God.”
Jesus emphasized the fact that we are not and were never under the law in his teaching to the woman at Jacobs well…John 4:19 ” The woman (a gentile) saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our Fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. ( the Woman is reporting that Gentiles were prohibited from worshiping God. Jesus is about to confirm that she is correct according to the Law that he is about to change forever for the Gentiles). Jesus saith unto her, ÃWoman, believe me, the hour cometh and now is when ye (us the Gentiles) shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye ( us the Gentiles) know not what; we know what we worship; for salvation is of the JewsÃ“. ( Jesus is stating clearly and emphatically that the Gentiles were not included under the Law, He states without qualification that there was no plan or hope of salvation for the Gentiles at that time, but that because he would reconcile all men to God, they would soon be able to know and worship the same God.) But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”.
Another powerful and clear teaching from Jesus our Lord proclaiming that the Gentiles (us) were never under the law and its ordinances and were in fact without hope in the world.
From the Amplified Bible…Matthew 15:22-28…And behold, a woman who was a Canaanite (a Gentile) from that district came out and, with a (loud troublesomely urgent) cry, begged, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is miserably and distressingly and cruelly possessed by a demon! But He did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and implored Him, saying; Send her away, for she is crying out after us. He answered; I was sent ONLY TO THE LOST SHEEP OF ISRAEL. (Jesus is clearly and emphatically stating that he was not sent to the Gentiles that they were lost.) But she came and , kneeling, worshipped Him and kept praying, Lord, help me! And he answered, It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs. She said, yes, Lord, yet even the little pups eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered her, O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you wish. And her daughter was cured from that moment.”
Jesus declared that even though the gentiles were lost, faith in him, would be there salvation.
I pray that you now understand that at this time the Jews had placed themselves under the Law and that the Gentiles were not and never have been under a performance based relationship with God.
This is when John 3:16 came in… FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD ( All men both Jews and Gentiles) THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM WOULD NEVER PERISH BUT WOULD HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.
Now God set all men free from the works of the law and the bondage of self!
John 1:15..John (John the Baptist) bare witness of him, and cried saying, This was he of whom I spake (prophesied) He that cometh after me is preferred before me; for he was before me. And of his fullness have we all received GRACE FOR GRACE. For the law came from Moses, but GRACE AND TRUTH came by Jesus Christ.
So Jesus fulfilled the Law so that the Jews who were under it would be made free. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become sons of God”. (John 1:12)
Then Jesus reconciled all men Jews and Gentiles to himself by his punishment, death on the cross, burial, dissension and resurrection. ” If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL men unto me”. (John 12:32)
Here is where the separated Gentiles were joined to Jesus and reconciled to God. “Surely he bore our griefs and carried our sorrows (picture Jesus being judged, punished beaten and then carrying the cross) Yet, we considered him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4and5
Remember the veil representing the law that God commanded to be hung to separate the Hebrews who had placed themselves under the law from God, in Exodus 26:33?
“Jesus when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. AND BEHOLD THE VEIL OF THE TEMPLE WAS RENT IN TWAIN ( Torn in half ) FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM.” ( Matthew 27:50 and 51) At the instant Jesus died, The veil representing the law that separated the Jews from God was torn in half and nothing was between them and God.
The Law had been fulfilled.
So, at the moment Jesus died, the Jews were made free from the law, all of it’s ordinances and a performance based relationship with God; because he was the only human who ever fulfilled the Law. Now the Jews could be completely justified to God by Faith in Jesus. The Gentiles who were never responsible for the Law and its ordinances and whom had no relationship with God, were also justified unto righteousness by faith in Jesus. Now no humans were separated from God by their performance of law or ordinances or their degree of obedience. Now the mediator between God and Man is Jesus and his righteousness.
At the moment of Jesus’ death, the old covenant was fulfilled. The new covenant began in Acts chapter 2 verse 4 when the promise of the Holy Spirit fell on the Apostles. Now God’s new relationship with all mankind is Grace through faith not performance.
This is where the great deception began. The devil could not stand by and see all mankind made free from the bondage of self. So he deceived Jesus’ own disciples. They had been given power and authority by the Holy Spirit as Jesus had promised to become his witnesses to Judea and to the ends of the earth. Satan had to work fast so he convinced the disciples to add the works of the law and ordinances and a works or obedience or performance quotient to the plan of salvation. He thoroughly deceived the disciples and off they went teaching faith mixed with performance.
The deception of the original disciples and how they went among the early church falsely teaching performance or law mixed with faith is clearly reported by Luke in the 15th chapter of the book of Acts and by Paul in the 2nd chapter of the letter to the Church at Galatia. Here is a direct quotation from Galatians 2:14 ” But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel, I said unto Peter (representing the original disciples), before them all, If thou being a Jew, liveth after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” Paul asked the greatest question ever asked outside of Jesus. ” Peter if you are a Jew and you can’t keep the Law and live under a performance based relationship with God, how can you put it on the Gentiles who were never under the law to begin with?”
God needed an Apostle who would preach the truth. He appointed the most vile of all sinners Saul of Tarsus who became Paul…The Teacher To The Gentiles (Us) we the Gentiles have two appointed Teachers…Jesus and Paul. What was so important that God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit had to reveal to us through Paul that they had to use him instead of the disciples?
“Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be THE MINISTER OF JESUS CHRIST TO THE GENTILES; ministering the Gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles (us) might be acceptable, being justified by the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:15and16)
Here are a few of the urgent teachings from the Apostle Paul as revealed to him by the Holy Spirit and sent to us. “It is by Grace (God’s willingness, ability and power to do those things for us that we, can not or will not do for ourselves). That you have been saved through Faith(Living in this present moment with joyful expectation of the things that you can not see) that you have been saved. And that (faith) is not of yourselves it is a gift from God not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8and9)
“Therefore being justified (being found not guilty) by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom we have access into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1)
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law, shall no flesh be justified. For I through the law am dead to law, that I might live in God. I am crucified with Jesus; NEVERTHELESS I LIVE; YET NOT I, BUT CHRIST LIVETH IN ME; AND THE LIFE I NOW LIVE IN THE FLESH, I LIVE BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, WHO LOVED ME AND GAVE HIS LIFE FOR ME. I DO NOT FRUSTRATE THE GRACE OF GOD; FOR IF RIGHTEOUSNESS COME BY THE LAW, THEN JESUS IS DEAD IN VAIN”. (Galatians 2:15 and 16 and 19-21)
Many of us believe that we understand this teaching and that we are not operating under the law. Here it is urgent to understand that Paul is talking about any type of performance based standard of trying to please God by our behavior. Many of us have even been taught that while we were saved unto salvation by Grace, that to be blessed we must be “good”. Good can mean anything from trying to keep the 10 commandments that we were never under to begin with, or not having lustful or evil thoughts, or any stretch of the imagination of that spectrum.
Paul our teacher speaks directly to the notion that while we were saved by grace our life in the flesh is to be one of “obedience” or works or performance, in Colossians chapter 2:6 “As you received Christ Jesus your Lord, so walk ye in him.” (We received Him by grace through faith).
Paul was our teacher sent from God with the message that the New Covenant with God is based on the complete work of Jesus and not on our performance. From Romans through Hebrews, Paul intellectually and spiritually proclaims that the new covenant, established by Jesus through his blood, (Luke 22:20) is Grace through Faith. That our relationship with God is no longer about us but entirely about him.
However, Paul gives us dire warning in his letter to the Church of Galatia of the consequences of placing ourselves in a works or obedience or performance based relationship with God.
Here are the two dire warnings from Paul to us. ” So those who be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law ARE UNDER A CURSE, for it is written. Cursed ( the curses of being under and failing to keep 100% of the law may be found in Deuteronomy 8:15) is every one that continueth not in ALL things that are written in the book of the law to do them. But no man is justified by the law in the sight of God it is evident for, THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH. AND THE LAW IS NOT OF FAITH; BUT, THE MAN THAT DOETH THEM SHALL LIVE IN THEM.” ( In simpler speech, if you live by the law, you perish by the law.) Galatians 3:9-11
Finally, Paul answers through the revelation of the Holy Spirit why we are not walking in Jesus’ prophecy of John 14:12…”Behold, I Paul (asserting his position as the appointed of God the Father, Jesus our Lord and The Holy Spirit teacher to us the Gentiles) say unto you that if you be circumcised ( submit yourself again to a works based relationship with God) Jesus shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to the whole law. CHRIST IS BECOME OF NO EFFECT TO YOU, WHOSOEVER OF YOU ARE JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW, YE ARE FALLEN FROM GRACE. ” ( Galatians 5:2-4)
There is the answer to the original question…Why are we the body of Jesus disempowered? Because we have been deceived through out time by the evil one. Paul calls it being “bewitched” in the 3rd chapter of Galatians into believing that we must improve on the work of Jesus by our behavior. Thereby, accomplishing his goal of devaluing the blood of Jesus.
We have all been taught at one time or another by well meaning but unlearned teachers that we must do something to please God. Here are a few examples: “go through the test” “complete the process” “be in God’s will” ” be this or be that” etc.” Yes there is grace…BUT”
Of this concept, Paul writes that a little leven, leveneth the whole bunch.
How do we begin to walk in Grace through faith and reject the works based relationship that the evil one has conned us into? We make a decision to Believe that Jesus’ righteousness and faith in him accesses the Grace in which we now stand. Where do we get faith? The faith of the Son of God was given to you in full measure at the very second that you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. How do we use the faith that we have been given? We make a decision to live one moment at a time with joyful expectation of the things that we can not see.
Is there any such thing as a blocked blessing? Yes…unbelief and works will make Jesus of no effect in your life.
Is it really that simple and easy? It has to be so that all people can understand and operate in it.
What about sin mister Grace teacher? Are you saying that God blesses a mess? I am not saying that, Jesus did. He hath already given us all things that pertain to life and Godliness, he will not take what he has already given because his gifts and callings are without repentance. However, sin is a direct reflection of a lack of using faith and the level of unbelief in our lives. The more we believe the less we sin. The more we choose to walk in the free gift of faith that we have been given, the more we are changed into the likeness of Jesus. Unbelief does stop us from receiving.
What are the keys to the new covenant? Belief…making a decision to accept as true. Faith living one moment at a time with joyful expectation of the things we can not see. (Hebrews 11:1) and Grace (accesssed by chosing to live in faith) God’s willingness ability and power to do those things for us that we can not or will not do for ourselves.”
This teaching is life changing doctrine from Jesus and our appointed teacher Paul. Maybe you are having a challenge accepting it because it is not what you have been taught. Do not be upset with your teachers or with the author. Do not blame those who have taught you what they have been taught. Do not judge or condemn your teachers or parents because they did not know these things. Instead, if you have questions, use the Bible as the ultimate authority and remember the teaching of our Lord and Savior. “If you continue in my word, then indeed you are my disciple, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall MAKE YOU FREE”.
I pray that this teaching blesses you and that you will study and receive it. If you have been blessed by it, then pass it on to another who will be blessed.
With love to you all, your brother in Jesus, Pastor Allen