Prelude: Another Gospel
Paul's gospel is not figurative; it is absolutely literal. We put on the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself in Person, here and now as our very and only life.
Prelude: Another Gospel
God will judge the secrets of men’s hearts by my gospel. Paul
Paul gave us a knowledge of Christ and His salvation beyond what the other apostles had received from the Lord. John, having been immersed in Paul’s gospel for many years, wrote his own rendition of the gospel alongside of Paul’s.
But Paul warned the Christian church that another gospel containing another Jesus was already pressing against the truth of Christ. For the next three hundred years another gospel and another Jesus warred against Paul’s gospel and Paul’s Jesus in the hearts and minds of Christians until AD 325, when another Jesus won at the point of the sword.
In AD 325 another gospel containing another Jesus took full possession of what is called Christianity. Another gospel and another Jesus rule Christianity today.
We face an almost insurmountable difficulty. Both Paul’s Jesus and another Jesus share the same name, both promote a gospel using similar words, and both use Bible verses to promote their claims.
Yet here is our anchor. There is no such thing as another Jesus. The other thing is imagination only. The real Jesus is Savior and Salvation. He carries all regardless of the confusion in their minds.
Yet, in spite of that Rock in which we live, most of our brethren, when they use the word, “Jesus,” and when they speak of the glorious goodness of the gospel, are not speaking of the Jesus or the gospel we know. Another Jesus and another gospel rules in their hearts and minds, and they cannot see it.
Yet God always turns the ways of darkness upside down. Those of us who are discovering the incredible joy of the real Jesus of Paul’s gospel are accused by our brethren of pushing another Jesus of the “last days.” They forget that another Jesus was already around in Paul’s day gaining all victory over Paul’s Jesus within 300 years.
Both Jesus and another Jesus go by the same name. Both Jesus and another Jesus use the same Bible. Both Jesus and another Jesus refer back to the same Man who walked the earth.
Almost all Christians I know reject Paul’s gospel without consideration. Almost all Christians I know believe in another gospel.
Another gospel has a name: the Nicene Creed.
Thus another Jesus is the Nicene Christ, the Christ of the Nicolaitans!
Read the Nicene Creed. If every line does not break your heart, then you are quite comfortable with another Jesus and another gospel, you know only another salvation.
Paul’s Jesus lives in our hearts. We do not know of Him in any other way.
Here are the primary verses of Paul’s gospel, laid out in an order of understanding. I use the New King James Version.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Romans 8:28-30
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you... Galatians 4:19
That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. – For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:5 & 10
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Colossians 1:27-28
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:9
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus... Ephesians 2:4-6
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Romans 6:3-7
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. – that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:7 & 11
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ – without considering the flesh or its desires. Romans 14:14 (A more accurate translation.)
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” – But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:53-54 & 57
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation... For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 & 21
Now the body is... for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? — But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. — Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:13-19
For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. Ephesians 5:30
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. – But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:8 & 11-12
Jesus did not preach Paul’s gospel for the simple reason that He could not. Paul’s gospel can be received only by those who are first born again and second, have a living relationship with the Holy Spirit. Such conditions did not exist until after the Day of Pentecost. Thus those who reject Paul’s gospel and Paul’s Jesus do so partly by using words Jesus Himself spoke to a people who could not hear Him. Those words are true words, but they are not the gospel and they cannot save anyone apart from Paul’s gospel. Those who use them separate from Paul’s Jesus cannot hear them either.
The other apostles understood Jesus as Savior, having done something incredible for us. Paul gave us an entirely different view of Jesus, Jesus as first Savior, yes, but that same Jesus, now, as Salvation. Every argument in defence of another gospel, though it premises itself on Jesus as Savior, savagely leaves out all thought of Jesus as Salvation. But the real Jesus, though Savior of all, cannot be Savior of anyone except He first becomes ALL of each individual person’s Salvation.
Paul’s Jesus lives in Person in fullness inside of us – by faith. Faith does not make it happen; faith sees what God knows. Faith honors God as a truth-teller.
And Paul’s gospel, by which all men are judged, places you and me entirely, in all that we are, our sin, our flesh, our self, entirely into that Lamb, that Person, that Salvation, in all that He is. Entirely into His Gethsemane, entirely into His death, entirely into His burial, entirely into His Resurrection, and then Paul’s gospel places that same Jesus entirely into us. Only Jesus is never alone, all the fullness of God in Person comes into us with Him along with the Holy Spirit who already fills our hearts to overflowing with the Love of God.
Paul’s gospel is not figurative; it is absolutely literal. We put on the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself in Person, here and now as our very and only life.
Our flesh is God’s flesh; our flesh is filled with God!
There is no part of Jesus that is not found in us; there is no part of us not found in Jesus, including our sin and our shame. There is no part of us not filled with Jesus Himself in Person; there is no part of Jesus in which we are not found.
This is Paul’s gospel; this is Paul’s Jesus. Paul’s gospel culminates in the defeat of death and our becoming in all fullness just like Jesus.
Whence, then, came another Jesus and another gospel?
Another Jesus and another gospel came entirely out from Adam’s rebellion. Adam loves repenting of sin; it makes him feel a god, a judge. “This is sin; that’s not sin. I KNOW the difference. I have my fate entirely in control.” Adam hates repenting of self; he never considers such a thing.
There is one way alone a man or a woman could ever repent of self. They must have an entirely other Self to call their very own, another Self who instantly and completely replaces their own self, swallowing them up inside Him Self.
His name is Jesus. If Jesus is not our self, we have not turned away from Adam.
Did you notice the center-point of Paul’s gospel, the hinge? We are weak. Jesus is perfected in us only as we are weak.
Adam hates weak. Notice all arguers for another gospel. Human achievement of God’s requirements is the center-point of their gospel. They will not abandon themselves entirely into another Person.
They will not allow Jesus to be their flesh.
But if Jesus in us is not Salvation, then what did salvation become?
This is very difficult to understand. As the early church was driven into persecution and death after the passing of the Apostles, out of that darkness, bit by bit, another Jesus was invented, another gospel, another salvation.
Another salvation is not found in the New Testament; it is not found in the words of Jesus or of Paul or of John. It is not found in the words of Peter or James. Another salvation is 100% an invention of human fear and unbelief divorced entirely from Paul’s Jesus and Paul’s gospel.
It is hard to comprehend another salvation, but here it is; let me spell it out as much as I am able to make some sort of sense out of it.
You see, the Christians of the second century, without the apostles, driven in fear of persecution, some of them began to imagine the incredible idea that Jesus was not in them, that He was not their life. They determined by the evidence of their eyes and by their human judgment, that Jesus, in fact, was not here, that they were not His body. At the same time the heavens, the spirit realms in which they lived faded away in their imagination. They became convinced that they did not live in heaven as well as earth. They forgot how to walk in the Spirit.
Yet they still had scraps of the apostle’s letters floating around. In them they read about salvation and the heavenlies and Jesus. But when they looked around them, they saw nothing except precious fellow believers dying and then gone!
In their fear and confusion, in their darkness and unbelief, some began to whisper about this word, “salvation.” If I am a Christian and “saved,” but Jesus is absent and “heaven” is far away, what then? How is it that I am “saved?”
If Jesus is not here. If Jesus is not now. If Jesus is not personal in me, then what is “saved?”
Always there were bold preachers, ravenous wolves as Paul said, going around, heading up churches, becoming bishops, who declared with all certainty, “Jesus is gone; He is absent. Jesus is not here. Jesus is not now. Jesus is not you. But in His absence, He has placed ME in your lives to take His place. Do what I say and you will be doing what Jesus wants. Jesus will speak to you through me.”
Paul said that people weren’t going to die. Paul said that our bodies would be swallowed up by life. Paul said that victory over death belonged to us. Paul was wrong – see, he himself had his head chopped off. But Paul wrote the words of God! Well, obviously, Paul was talking about something else. We are reading his words wrong.
So, if Jesus is absent, if heaven is far away, if Paul’s claim of victory over death was obviously not for us now, then what is this salvation?
Well, Paul also said that when we die, we are “with the Lord.” And people who are not Christians (wicked pagans) obviously cannot be “with the Lord” after they die. So, since Jesus is absent and heaven is far away, then SALVATION must mean that we go to heaven after we die! And that must mean that people who are not “saved” go somewhere else far away after they die.
By this reasoning, by the rejection of Jesus here, Jesus now, Jesus our very and only life Personal in us, Salvation turned into something God never says, something simply not found in the Bible.
Salvation became something far away, going to some geographical “place” only after the death of the physical body. And this going to some place is based entirely on some sort of continual transaction engaged in with a far-away Jesus, a Jesus back then, a Jesus up there, a Jesus some-day!
Salvation became nothing more than grubbing along inside of Adam’s same mess and hoping that maybe someday what God says might become real. Someday and far away.
You can see how strange and senseless this other gospel is, yet so many of our brethren, who do know the real Jesus a little bit, who are carried utterly by Him, hold tightly to this other gospel, imagining it is the “truth” of God.
Knowing God is NOT an intellectual exercise. Every idea we have in our minds about God cannot ever be God Himself. Ideas about God do more to separate dear Christians from God than anything else. Yet that separation is imagination only, same as all the ideas. Jesus utterly carries them.
Reading this book is no mental exercise. Truth is not known by one plus two plus three. Truth is a Person, Jesus, and He, though gentle, is absolutely wild. To know Him as He is, we must be ready to leap with Him upon the mountain-tops. Truth is known by lateral leaps in unexpected directions. Truth never sets up camp, though He is always faithful and true. To know Truth, we must be willing to ride with Him into unending adventure.
Yet this Truth, Jesus, inside of the God who fills us full, is always meek and lowly of heart, gentle and tender and kind.
We love Him. — We love Him.
Here is a difficulty you must face, dear reader. A contradiction to which you must give an answer out of the bottom-line of your own heart.
The core of the Covenant we have entered into with God are these words:
We shall be like Him (Jesus), for we shall see Him as He is. 1 John 3:2
Are you just like Jesus right now, dear reader, in all ways? Chances are, you will say, “No, definitely not!” But consider your contradiction. If you are not just like Jesus right now, then it is quite clear that you do not see Him as He is. And if you do not see Him as He is, how do you even know who or what He is? How do you know that you are not, right now, just like Him?
If you do not see Him as He is, then the Jesus you know must be another Jesus. But rest assured; there is only one Jesus. And He carries you all the way home.
My first chapter starts out strong, and I will not change that. To slide a bit more gently into it, however, consider these words I wrote shortly before that letter.
Abide in Me and I in you. John 15:3
There is no other commandment in the Bible. As we keep this commandment Christ Himself fulfills the entire Bible in our lives. Those who fail to keep this commandment, though they “keep” all others, live only separated from Christ in their minds and can never please or know God.
Inside of “Abide in Me and I in you” we find everything of God. Outside of that place, everything is all wrong, including every word in the Bible.
When I was in college, one of our teachers gave us a “quiz.” It was a page of little things to do, such as “write the date on the top left corner of your paper,” or “circle the word ‘because.’” The test was timed; we all attacked it earnestly. The directions said, “Read all the questions before you begin.” Well, I followed the directions. The last item on the quiz said. “Do not do anything except #1, ‘Write your name.’” I happily obeyed #1 and sat back laughing at all the other students but one who were busy, busy, busy, doing all that the test said to do.
The rest did all the questions correctly and failed the whole purpose of the quiz.
Paul says that Jesus lives in our hearts by faith. John says that we are in Him by faith. We know that means today; now is the day of salvation. 1 Corinthians 6:2 – Today if you will hear His voice… Hebrews 3:15
Today we abide in Him and He in us.
In that day you shall know that I am in the Father and you in Me and I in you. John 14:20
Today is that day. Today we know, today we see that everything that we are right now in this world is IN the Lord Jesus and the Lord Jesus Christ fills every particle that we are. Absolute and today.
God has an incredible purpose inside all the darkness of this world.
That purpose is the Revelation of Jesus Christ.