18.1 The Contention of Christ
18.1 The Contention of Christ
© 2016 Christ Revealed Bible Institute
The Contention of Christ
Nowhere in the Bible does God directly call Jesus “God.” The phrases “God the Son” and “God the Holy Spirit,” along with “the Trinity,” are un-Biblical.
Yes, I know well the convoluted argument by which Christians “prove” from a couple of verses that Jesus is “God.” But here is what I also know. When I speak only what God speaks regarding Himself, His Son, and His Spirit, I see things from a different view entirely than the “image” of Jesus that Christians arrive at by their bending of verses to say what Augustine said the Bible ought to say. I would contend that to speak what God does not speak regarding our Savior is to not know God.
Speak What God Speaks
There is one God, the Father, and one Mediator between God and man, the Man, Christ Jesus. – For this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. – The second Man is a life-giving Spirit.
When I speak only what God speaks regarding the Father and the Son, I arrive at the seeing of Jesus as an utterly Human Man, utterly in the Father, eternal and infinite, without beginning or end, all here now. I see this Jesus as entirely Human inside of God and we inside of Him. And I see this Jesus with all the qualities of God Revealed inside of us and the Father inside of Him.
Let me define exactly what I mean by the term “deification,” as in “deifying Jesus.” Deification is turning Jesus into a specific image in the human imagination. This image is of a tiny, limited, and far away thing, looking very much like Apollo, the god of the sun, just maybe a little bit bigger.
Almost all who insist that Jesus is “God,” do not view Jesus as all here now and personal in them. “No, He is far away right now,” they cry. “And right now He is incapable of bringing full salvation to anyone on this earth. And right now He is incapable of revealing Himself as Savior to anyone after they have died.” In short – their Jesus is a wimp.
Not Jesus As He IS
Let me take my knowledge of Jesus as it comes from the Word entering into my faith by the Holy Spirit, by speaking only what God speaks, a bit further in this contrast.
I have directed you to the Annie Schissler visions, and will continue to do so. Yet in these visions, Annie sees “Jesus” over and over. That is, Jesus appears to Annie in a form that fits her present understanding, in the form of a heavenly being. That is NOT Jesus as He IS!
And today, along with a huge chunk of our brethren seeking God, the Schisslers are pursuing a ministry of bringing this “heavenly” form of Jesus into the knowledge of many.
Heaven Is Deadly
Heaven is deadly. It is just as deadly now as it was for Adam. Jesus, the Man, is a life-giving Spirit, yes. But that means all here now and personal in us. A form found in appearance in the heavens cannot be Jesus as He IS – though Jesus meets people at their own level of understanding. We dare never to separate Spirit from Word.
Annie, having seen this appearance of Jesus in the heavens, is she now, in herself, exactly like this appearance that she sees? No, she is not, and she would be the first to affirm that fact. That means she is NOT seeing Jesus AS HE IS.
Only IN our Hearts
More than that, does Annie (and all who seek heavenly experiences) see this Jesus inside herself, filling her own heart? And does she discover herself utterly inside of this Jesus, looking out at all things directly through His eyes?
Please don’t misunderstand me; I would never disparage Annie’s experience. Jesus meets everyone at the level at which they walk and in the way they, personally, can know Him. But this being IN Jesus and Jesus IN us comes only by Word entering into our faith by the Holy Spirit; it cannot come by a “heavenly” revelation. We know Jesus as He is only by a personal engagement of our own hearts.
Those who see Jesus as He IS are just like Him. They discover what is already true.
There are three sessions coming up that are growing larger and larger to me: What Is a Fathering God, What Is a Sustaining Word, and What Is a Comforting Spirit? With great excitement, I am looking forward to writing those sessions, and am slipping in now, here and there, thoughts regarding those topics. BUT – alas, these present sessions are on what Christ is not, and thus, to attempt to understand this image of Jesus most of our brethren hold in their minds, we must investigate Constantine a bit further.
A Most Important Question
A most important question Jesus asks each one of us personally is “Who do you say that I am?” Peter’s answer was the only right answer at the time he spoke: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). But Peter was not born again when he said that, and Jesus was not living inside of Him. Thus this answer can go quite easily in two opposing directions for those who speak it now.
You and I will say, “You are the Christ alive and real inside of me as the very image of God, living now in full union with me, the only life that I am.”
An Image Called “Christ”
But when most of our brethren say, “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” they do not refer to any Person inside themselves whom they know and with whom they walk in all things. In complete contrast, an image is formed in their minds, an image of something out there that they call “the Christ.”
Any words of description regarding a Jesus not inside of all that is us, especially our hearts, a Jesus not inside of Whom we ARE, literally and substantially – cannot be words describing Jesus, but rather something else. If the Jesus of whom you speak is not the Jesus alive in your heart, then it cannot be Jesus at all. It is an image of something else, an image you have created.
The Other “Jesus”
As I wrote the lesson on Constantine, I saw clearly this other image that most of our brethren call “Jesus.” – And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer (Revelation 6:2).
This line sure sounds like Constantine the Great, particularly as we see his role in establishing the image of Christ that has ruled inside of Christianity. This is very interesting. – Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one (Ephesians 6:16).
“Fiery darts,” arrows shot by a bow, are a more accurate symbol of the actions and use of Constantine’s “cross” in splitting apart the souls of Christians into two. Constantine’s “cross” is no cross at all.
We do not war against human flesh, but against the power of heavenly deceit. Our weapons are not weapons of human action, but they are mighty (Ephesians 6:12 & 2 Corinthians 10:4 - modified).
Constantine was the one who ordered the gathering of the church bishops and theologians at Nicaea in the Roman province of Bithynia in AD 325. His intentions were clear – forced unity for the sake of power.
What Would Jesus Do?
What if the same Jesus who walked this earth prior to His resurrection had been commanded by Constantine to show up at this “council?” You know as well as I that He would have turned His back on Constantine and walked away without saying a word. Thus we can conclude with full confidence that every bishop and teacher of the church who hurried to Nicaea at the call of Constantine were running in the opposite direction of Jesus.
You do not play games with the psychopaths who rule this world and come out of those games with “truth.” And Constantine presided over every hour through which these men debated about the definition of “Jesus.”
Constantine’s purpose, the malevolent intention of his soul-less-ness, was to take this one definition and use it, almost immediately, to slaughter Christians (the Donatists of North Africa) who did not readily submit to his cruelty.
Now, let’s think this one through. Our brethren, being split-souls in their own definition of themselves, maintain also a very split-apart definition of Jesus. They do see Him as the loving Shepherd, carrying each hurting lamb, laying down His life, even for His enemies. And they see Him as an autocratic dictator who uses violent force to extract from billions of humans and angels something they do not believe: “Okay, I admit it, you are Lord” before throwing them back into punishment.
A Man of “Divine Vision”
The Jesus they picture “coming back” is a solitary figure who will use the power of angelic violence to force an external rule of God upon the humans left living on this earth.
Constantine was a man of “divine vision,” who saw himself as the sun god, carrying victory over other people and a long “reign” of forcing others to do what he wanted by violence. Constantine pictured himself with a halo around his head. Constantine saw himself ruling the whole world by the words of prophecy. Constantine saw his “calling” to be the arm of violence to force all people into one very large cult that would be called “Christianity,” that is, as described by Augustine’s City of God.
No Need to Control
Constantine was in full agreement with the bishops of his Christianity, that “religious disputes and controversies” were not good for anyone.
When I post things on Facebook, there are some who post their bit in the comment section, using my platform to speak their own versions of “Christ.” Sadly, they do not speak of the Jesus in their hearts or the Jesus in whom alone they are found, but rather they speak of something separate from themselves, a far-away Jesus. And God speaks to me, “Son, you have no need to ‘control’ anything. Allow people to be what they are without needing to put your hand out to ‘fix’ them, just like Jesus does.”
Not Jesus at All
There is only one reason I can walk as Jesus walked, because I know that Jesus is like me as I am, very much likes the me that I am, has become me, and is all that I am. This is the only way that I can draw those who oppose into the love of God poured out in my heart. Any “Jesus” outside of you cannot be Jesus at all.
Constantine saw his place in this earth, his duty, to “ensure that God was properly worshipped” everywhere that his ability to inflict pain on others extended. This “duty” was, of course, entirely self-serving. Anyone who inflicts pain of any kind to get his or her way over others is entirely of the evil one.
Saying “Christ” and Seeing Constantine
Christians do hold an image in their minds of a Jesus walking this earth in weakness, but the image of this “Christ, the Son of the living God” that they conjure in their minds as He is now is the image of a separated form using the infliction of pain to get his way over others. They say, “Christ,” but they see Constantine.
I now understand exactly why I left the fellowship of communities called the move to which I had devoted my life with all the commitment of my heart. I knew it then, but it has taken 20 years to articulate it. I knew it, but I could not explain it. Now I can.
Prove You Are an Elder
In Lesson 16.1 Descent into Darkness, I placed these words into the mouth of the accuser. If you are some great ministry of Christ, then demonstrate your authority over these stupid, squabbling, flesh-ridden sheep. As I read back over what I had written, it dawned on me that this is exactly what I was being asked to do in order to be an elder at the Blueberry Christian community. In order to show us that you are an elder in Christ, then demonstrate your authority over the fleshy members of this community – all who are not elders. Yes, different words may have been used, but this was the exact implication.
The Same Old Thing
I made a good-hearted attempt to do so and went home afterwards utterly ashamed of myself. Over several months, the disturbing realization that I could never pretend to be what these kind, godly, anointed, and full-of-their-own-group-think brethren insisted my being. Then, over the next few years, as I walked among the elders, I saw clearly that the move had created the exact same culture of “close-to-God” ministry ruling over “far-from-God” sheep as was created in the original descent into darkness of the church.
I left that fellowship because I realized that the definitions of “Christ” they held, and the Jesus I wanted to know were too incompatibly different.
Who Do You Say that I Am?
Sadly, I find their same definitions of “Christ” everywhere else through all of Nicene Christianity.
DANIEL – Who do you say that I am??????
Jesus, You are my closest and dearest Friend; You are the only life I am; You are my very heart. And as my own heart, Jesus, as my own spirit, one with Your Spirit, and as my own body, flesh of Your flesh, You bear all for all; You believe all for all; You hope all for all; You endure all for all. Jesus, I live only and utterly inside of all that is You. I never see You except inside of me, and I never see me except inside of You.
I never have to pretend ever again.