The CONFESSION of Nathaniel, Peter, Martha (Lazarus’ sister), and John (author of the gospel John) is hidden in plain sight among the New Testament scriptures.
It’s simple. Here it is.
“Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.”
This revelation and verbal admission was the prerequisite for entering the Messianic Kingdom. Yet, many Christians are completely unaware of it’s meaning or existence. How could such an important doctrine be lost to the 21st century church?
It’s important to review what these first Christians believed so let’s read some scriptures.
Peter – Matthew 16:16 KJV And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the
Son of the living God.
– John 1:49 KJV Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the
Son of God; thou art
King [Christ] of Israel.
Peter – John 6:69 KJV And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
Martha – John 11:27 KJV She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that
thou art the
Son of God, which should come into the world.
John – John 20:31 KJV But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the
Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Notice that these statements are confessions, that is, verbal expressions of belief. Further, that the majority of them come from the gospel book of John. Why the book of John? Because the gospel of John was written to remind the Church of this very important prerequisite doctrine (John 20:31).
If John could preach behind our pulpits today, he would say “the belief that Jesus was and is the ‘King of Israel’, the ‘Son of God’, is the foundational Rock of the Kingdom of heaven.”
Sidebar: The 3 epistles of John summarize the key ideas of the ‘Rock confession’ telling us of it’s extreme importance. Obviously, the principle revelation is that the “Son of God” is a real human being and this is what that term means. However, it is also clear that the “Son of God” is the fullest revelation of ‘the One God, the Father’, incarnate in that human being [See the topic, “Blood and Water”]. Thus, terms like “Father and the Son” arise within the language of the Apostle who has no better way of describing the incarnation. The confession of the ‘Rock revelation’ is stressed repeatedly by John and made the scriptural proof for identifying the opposing antichrist spirit.
1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1 John :3 And every spirit that confesseth not
that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
2 John 1:7 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.
The Enemy’s Battle Plan
Now consider this, if someone was going to try to defeat the Messiah King and thwart His Kingdom, wouldn’t a subtle battle plan be required against this prerequisite doctrine? Yes. And that is exactly what the enemy of our soul has done. He has divided the army of the Lord with a deadly strategy of self-destruction.
During World War II, ‘Operation Fortitude’ was conceived by the Allied Commanders to put a false concept into Adolf Hitler’s mind. This deception is considered by military historians as one of the greatest operations ever designed. What it did is convince Hitler that Normandy was a feint and that the real D-Day landing of the British-American forces would be to the north of France, at Pas De Calais, above the Dover Straits.
Hitler was so convinced by this ruse that he refused to send his Panzer tanks south to Normandy from their positions in the North even though commanders brought him real time reports of the D-Day mass landing.
How did the Allies accomplish this? Of the 50 German agents in England prior to Normandy in 1943, the MI-5 had caught 49 and many of them were turned into double agents under the ‘double cross program’. This program carefully fed Germany an inaccurate picture of the Allies plans during the pre-invasion period. Thus, ‘Operation Fortitude’ was the single biggest battle deception of the Allies during WW2 and it caused the German army to immobilize itself without firing a shot!
When it comes to the Christian faith, we are no less susceptible to being fed a deception. Hear me out! Don’t let religious tradition wax your ears. This writing is not another attempt at religious or political ecumenism. Let’s defeat the enemy’s battle plan against the Lord’s Kingdom.
2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
3 Devices of the Enemy
Pictured below are what I consider to be the three principle devices of deception our opponent has used to keep “X” as the unknown in God’s equation to build His Church on, the Rock.
These three devices are designed to keep the Church weak and impotent.
The Church’s mission statement is to transform the ‘kingdoms of this world’ into the ‘Kingdom of Christ’, but we seem to love Jihad more than we love each other.
John 13:35 KJV By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Satan has divided the army of the Lord into warring factions under a multitude of prideful apologists. What can begin the restoration of this army into the force God intended it to be? How about the bedrock revelation ‘that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God’?
Now someone might say,
“Well I believe that so what’s the big deal?”
My reply is
“Then why is the Kingdom of Christ so fractured?”
The obvious answer is,
“Many really don’t believe and confess this revelation, as instructed by the gospel of John, because Christian thinking has been tainted by the three devices of deception?”
I encourage you to prayerfully read on.
Deception #1 – Change the Dictionary
This particular strategy is easiest to refute by believers but if our counter-attack is not bathed in prayer, we can find ourselves even further away from where the Spirit is trying to lead us. So let’s get at it.
First, we must use human language, terms, and definitions that agree and are rooted in the original Jewish Old Testament concepts, not Latin and Greek philosophical culture (Greeks call this paideia). Paul tells us that ‘if the root be holy, so are the branches’ (Romans 11:13-16). Jeremiah warns us to “Learn not the way of the heathen”
Therefore, Greek Philosophy is the wrong dictionary to use for interpreting scripture.
Second, history reveals that Justin Martyr is clearly the ‘grievous wolf of Ephesus’ (Acts 20:29) that entered into the mother Church of Asia Minor in 140 AD.
Justin was a ‘stoic‘ and ‘platonic’ philosopher who continued wearing his ‘philosopher’s robe’ well after joining the Ephesus Church. Justin is credited with introducing the stoic concept of the ‘seminal word’ after reading John 1:1-14. His error was to ignore the Spirit and rely upon Greek philosophy for his definition of the word LOGOS.
When Justin encountered ‘Logos made flesh’ in John 1:14, he erroneously drew out his paideia sword and said, “Socrates and Heraclitus were Christians”. Myriad legions of Asia Minor Christians followed his lead as the Jewish flavor of the Church succumbed to the infiltration of Greek paideia.
Sidebar: It is important that you consider that Greek Philosophy is syncretic
(mixture of belief systems) and it changed the Jewish dictionary of “Hear O’ Israel, the Lord our God is one” into a metaphysical logos theology.
In Justin’s philosophical theory, the LOGOS was a separate being, not completely and fully the God of the Old Testament, only a ‘part of God’. Thus he considered Jesus to be a subordinate entity of Deity, like an Angel. This false idea of course tears apart the Jewish idea of the indivisible LORD revealed on Mount Sinai to Moses. Thus, the way was paved for other philosophical concepts to enter the Spirit of Truth dictionary.
Is it any surprise that the historical ecumenical councils resulted in the persecution of dissenting minority views because of the sophisticated language regarding the incarnation Justin introduced? The Rock had been successfully fractured and had lost the mass required to strike the feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s metal man, ‘the kingdoms of this world’. Christology was divided and continues to be divided by Christology theories (Trinitarianism, Filoque, Nestorism, Unitarianism, Modalism, Sabellianism, etc).
Deception #2 – Plant the Wrong Hermeneutic
Hermeneutics is simply a method or process of interpretation to derive meaning from a written text. Exegesis and hermeneutics are synonyms and are often used interchangeably.
Scripture makes one statement about hermeneutics that everyone should memorize.
2 Peter 1:18-20 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
In the scripture above, the Apostle above mentions that he and two other disciples saw the vision of Jesus transfigured on Mount Tabor. This vision was accompanied by a voice, confirming that Jesus was ‘the Son of God’. This experience of the voice of God is near identical to the one during Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:16-17, John 1:34). However, as incredible a witness as the heavenly voice experience was for the three disciples, Peter explains that an even more reliable witness (sure word) can be found in the Old Testament scriptures written by the Hebrew Prophets. Thus, we are shown the correct hermeneutic, the Biblical way of truth:
1. Old Testament Scriptures of the Prophets [Historical Old Testament Hebrew Dictionary required]
2. Confirming voice of the Spirit.
The second device the enemy uses to deceive us is to get us to rely solely upon the written word word or solely upon the spoken word. Peter’s hermeneutic tells us that both are required to prevent ‘private interpretation’. Let’s consider the proper use of the written word.
1. Historical Literal Meaning – Hebrew language and definitions founded on historical use of the language should be used without being tainted by Greek paideia (Beware Philo the Jewish philosopher and the Philosophical schools of Alexandria, Egypt which dominated early Christianity). It’s tempting to take the Greek NT and borrow a Greek Philosophical Hermeneutic invented by Socrates, Pythagoras, and Aristotle.
2. Contextual Meaning – The context of the concept is just as important as the concept itself in determining meaning. To enjoy a sandwich you should never pull the meat and bread apart and consume them separately; they need each other.
3. Scriptural Definition, ‘Allusion’ – Many definitions of concepts are provided within the scriptures themselves. Scripture interprets scripture is a principle that can be relied upon as long as context is not violated.
4. Logical Deductive Reasoning – Scripture calls deductive reasoning (Isaiah 28:10-13) “precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line.” God gave us deductive reasoning in order for us to find most truth, but unfortunately, not all truth. If human wisdom (limited logic) is our only reasoning tool, then our ‘table is full of vomit’ (Isaiah 28:8). We need the Spirit of Truth to lead us into ‘all truth’.
A human hermeneutic of logic and reasoning is adequate for many interpretations of scriptural texts. However, not all scripture can be interpreted with just the logic hermeneutic of human reasoning alone. Why? Because ‘written words’ do not communicate the emotion and nonverbal meaning the author intended when he originally spoke or wrote them.
This ‘meaning of intent’ is missing from all writings, not just the Bible. This inherent problem with all written texts is called DECONSTRUCTION. That’s why two men may read the same text and come away with two very different private interpretations. No wonder there are over 40,000 Christian denominations.
Here is what Jesus says about the problem.
John 5:37-39 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
It is clear that Jesus is telling us that ‘scripture alone’ is not the only witness we need to defeat DECONSTRUCTION, private interpretation. We need the witness of the Father’s voice, the Spirit of Truth, to give us conceptual verification (a seal).
What will the voice of truth seal? That Jesus is not just ‘The Christ’, but also that He is the ‘Son of God’.
1 John 5:5-6, 9-10 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. … 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
Now we know why the ‘Spirit of Truth’ is necessary for all Biblical interpretation. It is the hermeneutic that defeats the enemy’s 2nd device.
Interpretations of a ‘sure word of scripture’ must become a ‘verified word of scripture’ to know the nonverbal intent of the author. This is the correct hermeneutic (John 4:23).
Deconstruction says “you cannot know the meaning of the Bible because the author is dead and cannot be asked, what did you mean?” Our answer is, “the author of the scriptures is alive if you will ask and hear His voice.”
To summarize, the Biblical hermeneutic of interpretation must be ‘Scripture and Spirit’, not ‘sola scriptura’ as the mantra of the reformation declared. Also, the sure written word of the prophets must be based on historical literal meaning, contextual meaning, Biblical allusions and definitions, plus logical deductive reasoning. This is how we inoculate ourselves from the deception #2.
Deception #3 – Blind Faith in Men
Because of many people’s illiteracy and unwillingness to “study” the Word of God, they will blindly place inordinate trust in men speaking behind a pulpit or from a television screen. Paul had this to say regarding this kind of ‘blind trust’.
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
It is true that God’s people should render honor to whom honor is due (Romans 13:7). However, when any man, whether a fisherman or a seminarian, does not walk and teach the path of Christ and His Apostles, then those that follow them blindly (without Bible knowledge) will be led to destruction. Ignorance is not a basis for a plea bargain in God’s court.
Many Christians do not ‘try the spirits’
(1 John 4:1 empiricism) to see if they be of God and thus, are susceptible to following false prophets and false Christ’s blindly. If one does not study the scriptures to compare what is said to what is written, how can ‘the Word’ be rightly divided’? Personal Bible Study and Prayer is how we can ‘show ourselves approved’ (2 Timothy 2:15).
Sidebar: In 13th century Europe, a young man entered into the newly formed Oxford University. In those days, Oxford was barely a barn in a cow pasture and it was roughly organized. This brilliant student was greatly influenced by one of his instructors as most young people are influenced by a mentor. His teacher (Robert Grosseteste) opened the young man’s mind to the regimen of empiricism (proving truth through trial). From that classroom, young Roger Bacon began a series of experiments in optics, mathematics, astronomy and other areas of science to determine the nature (truth) of things. Roger Bacon’s empiricism is today called the “Scientific Method”. In his studies, Bacon identified four reasons why people fall into error and cannot discover truth:
1. Submission to faulty or unworthy authority
2. Influence of custom, culture, and traditions
3. Popular prejudice (stereotyping…bias toward the ingroup, demonization of the outgroup)
4. Concealment of ignorance with an ostentatious display of knowledge (unteachable pride).
In his adult life, Bacon had a powerful literary supporter, Cardinal Guy le Gros de Foulques. Folques was a former lawyer/soldier/family man and politically connected secretary to French King Louis IX (Guy Folques eventually became Pope [Clement IV] with Louis IX’s help, but just for 3 1/2 years until his death in 1268 AD. He encouraged Roger Bacon to write Opus Maius). Around 1264 AD Bacon entered a Franciscan monk society at Oxford. Upon his mentor’s death, he was forbidden to publish any longer. Many considered his ideas dangerous because they had the ability to upset the ‘established order’ of the Catholic Church with regards to education. As Bacon demonstrated and wrote, empiricism is the process of verification through trial. [Note: Bacon invented what was to become known as “eyeglasses” and published the formula for making “gunpowder”].
Thus we see that blind trust in men, dependent upon ‘how it is said’ versus ‘what is said’, leads to destruction. This is deception #3.
Believing and Confessing the Son of God identity
(Welcome to the X universe)
In attempting to define ‘Who Jesus is’ (Christology), many have erred because they have imagined that the Divine Revelation of the ‘Son of God’ can be described with human language. This is not possible and if attempted, will result in Christological division within the body of Christ. Scripture tells us plainly that the ‘manifestation of Deity in flesh’ is a great mystery (Greek: mustērion), a protected secret. Consider what these scriptures are saying.
1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
John 16:25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Let’s examine these scriptures above with a human hermeneutic of logic.
1. The appearance of God in flesh is a secret beyond human reasoning and human language. This secret cannot be described or modeled in human language because nothing like it is conceivable in our physical realm. This secret is the “X” factor, God (the Word) made Christ, His mysterious incarnation. Only Jesus can reveal the “X” factor but be warned; even after it is revealed by the Spirit of Truth, human words are still not capable of describing it and will only result in divisive, confusing and inadequate theories of the mind (philosophy).
The words of Jesus in the book of John (chapters 13-17) with regard to ‘the showing of the Father’ are ‘dark sentences’. These proverbs cannot be humanly understood without Divine Revelation. Even with Divine Revelation, human language does not have the capacity to demystify the revelation of the “Everlasting Father” appearing as a human (Isaiah 9:6). Recall the disciple Philip’s plea to Jesus, “… Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us (John 14:8).
2. Whatever is procreated (engendered) by flesh is flesh. That which is procreated (sired) by Spirit is Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit overshadowed the human virgin and she conceived (Matthew 1:18), an unwritten scripture results that says “that which is born of ‘Spirit and flesh’ is unexplainable”. This is a mystery, an ‘X’, an intersection or fusion of Deity with humanity. If we try to explain it, we will confuse each other and divide the Kingdom of Christ.
Obviously, Jesus the ‘Son of God’ is a mysterious endosymbiotic hybrid (a scientific way to say God-man). It is accompanied by the thought that there is no other dictionary of human words to describe Jesus other than “He is the Xristos, the Son of God”. This is the ‘plain showing and revealing’ of the Father, the Spiritual hermeneutic (the mysterious incarnation) Jesus promised to whomsoever He will.
As Christians, we can know the incarnation of the Father in the Son if Jesus will reveal (shew) the Father to us (to suffice us). Let our words be few on this mysterious matter because our incapable descriptions of the ‘appearance of deity in flesh’ will cause us to draw on non-Biblical paideia and a corrupt hermeneutic of philosophy. Thus, knowing versus describing are two different things and in the case of the incarnation, are mutually exclusive.
The result, the Christian Kingdom will be quickly divided and rendered impotent. The only Biblical thing we can say about the incarnation is that ‘Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God’.So, is it Truth to say that Jesus is God? Further, is it Truth to say that Jesus is a man? Yes to both questions, but to build the Church on ‘Rock truth’, we must confess that Jesus is the ‘Son of God’.
How is this properly done? We need only see the first examples God gave us in scripture; the Ethiopian Eunuch and the Macedonian Jailer
(Acts 8:26-39, Acts 16:28-33). In each testimony, both men built their house on the “Rock of confession/revelation” that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, prior to calling on His name in water baptism.
Calling or invoking the name of Jesus in water baptism is the ‘Son of God identity of the Rock’ and this invocation of the ‘Father and Son’ (1 John 2:22-23) fulfills the confession requirement upon which the Church is built. This invocation (calling on the name in water baptism) is based on a revelation of Jesus’ name (Word of Power), not an impossible description (mystery) of His incarnation. It is also an admission that the commandment of Jesus to ‘be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost’ (Matthew 28:19) is in fact to invoke/confess the ‘name of Jesus’ in the water. Thus, water baptism dips us in the blood soaked vesture of Christ. Calling on the name of JESUS in water baptism confesses our belief that He is ‘Christ, Son of God’ and by believing (being baptized) we obtain ‘life through His name‘ (John 20:31). [Read more about this in the topics “The Name.” and “Blood in the Water”]
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Sidebar: How do we know that the name of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost is JESUS? Compare Acts2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 10:48, Acts 19:5, Galatians 1:27, Romans 6:3-5 to Matthew 28:19. This is ‘the Word’s’ way of revealing the Father in the Son (Son of God). Further The definition of the Rock-name is found in Deuteronomy 32:2-4, 15. Obviously, a NAME is an identifier that encapsulates the definition of it’s attributes. The ‘name of JESUS’ encapsulates and declares the Full Revelation of God the Father (‘the Word’). This is further proven by Revelation 19:13 where the name of Jesus is called “the Word of God”.
For we must all first believe in our heart, and then confess with our mouth, that Jesus is Lord (the Son of God). Then we shall be saved if we invoke, call on the only name under heaven that is given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
If we will repent, confess and call on the name of the ‘Son of God’ in the nearest body of water we can find, we can then receive the Spirit of Christ by faith. This too is a mysterious ‘X’ of the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9).
This confession completes the ‘Son of God’ identity and uses powerful keys that permit us entrance into the Kingdom of Christ, the “X” universe (John 3:5).
Sidebar: As stated in the topic, ‘Human King Christ!’, I plainly showed that the word ‘Christ’ or ‘Messiah’ is the Jewish concept of a special human, ‘a Divinely anointed King’. The Bible recognizes other rulers ordained by God as Christ’s, however only one unique person is to be ‘Chief Christ’. Jesus expanded this definition of Christ to include the concept of the ‘Son of God’ which surprised the scribes and Pharisees. They were stuck in rabbinical tradition as they only saw the Messiah of Israel as the ‘son of David’ (Matthew 22:42).
The symbol for Christ the King has always been the letter ‘X’. Why? X is the Greek letter symbol for the consonant ‘CHI’ which is the first letter in the Greek word “XRISTOS” (Christos). Thus, many have abbreviated the holiday Chistmas with the an “X”, XMAS.
As stated, it’s one thing to understand that Jesus is the one and only special King (Christ) of Israel. It’s quite another to believe that Jesus is the ‘Son of God’. If you repent, turn from sin, and believe these two things, then Jesus gives you permission to enter His Kingdom by calling upon His name (John 3:3-5, Acts 22:16, 2:38) .This is the way you believe and confess Jesus as your Lord and savior. Notice that the ‘Son of God identity’ was also admitted by others prior to Jesus’ death: devils (Luke 4:41), the High Priest (Matthew 26:62-64).
To close the case for the ‘Son of God Identity’, read the following 4 scriptures and pray. Let’s be determined not to allow any device of satan to stop the Spirit of Christ from speaking into our lives.
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
1 Corinthians 6:11 … but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified
in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.