MESSIANISM AND THE POWER BEHIND FALSE TEACHING
February 20, 2014
For the second time in two months, I have received a question from an outside reader about Messianism. I pass that conversation on to you as it can help solidify some things for others.
But I want to context it with these remarks:
False teaching is spiritually empowered. We must always remember that when encountering false teachings of this nature, especially concerning our salvation, we are not just dealing with the natural human power of faulty interpretation. Rather, there is a spirit and power behind such interpretations that first births the concepts and then breathes its “life” into them. This “life” is what captures the mind, making it very difficult to extricate oneself from the teaching, no matter how objectively it is refuted.
In this vein, the teachings of Messianism are not just misinterpretations based in faulty superficial reading and inquiry into the scriptures. They are false teachings empowered by a mind-captivating spirit from hell—which is why they keep arising to trouble the body of Christ worldwide in its sense of sufficiency in Christ alone for salvation and holiness.
The Lord takes the teaching ministry very seriously and is jealous in its defense. For Him the issue is not “right” thinking so much as it is “pure” thinking. We can be wrong in many understandings and the Lord allows great grace for that. But when we become dedicated purveyors of teachings and whole systems of thought that seek to undermine the simple plain basics of faith in Christ and the broad scriptural portrayal of man’s destiny relative to salvation, we cross the line from being misunderstanding, misinformed believers to negative spiritually empowered false teachers.
Perhaps I should be more plain about this pertaining to Messianism. Though Messianism has varying degrees, to the degree it attempts to speak to salvation for Jews or anyone in terms of keeping or restoring Mosaic law, it is a false religion. Anything that seeks to add to the simplicity of the faith in Christ for salvation apart from all works is a false religion. The fact that a system of thought includes the basics of salvation does not exonerate it. Christ plus anything for salvation is a false religion. It doesn’t matter if it is Messianism, Roman Catholicism, or United Pentecostalism. Works of any kind are always the fruit of salvation, never the producer of it.
Beyond this, anything that seeks to add to the work of the cross within us to prove or establish our holiness is also a false religion, though not to the extent of the above. It is cultic Christianity. This again includes Messianism. It also includes Fundamentalism, old line Holiness teaching and a host of other aberrant movements that define holiness by the keeping of any law or set of rules, scriptural or otherwise. Holiness is about loving surrender and obedience in response to the loving commands of the Holy Spirit. Nothing more. It is not about obedience and conformity to any formulation of codes or principles or to the personages of men.
The things I have just written are so very basic. But as prophetic people, sometimes we get so lost in our search for “deeper meanings” behind the Word that we fail to recognize the power of false spirits behind words themselves and behind those who purvey them. So the next thing you know is we are buying into falsely empowered teachings and sucking up to pastoral and prophetic gurus simply because of their novelty of spirit. This is a naiveté that plagues the passionist prophetic church. And Messianism has made great inroads into the passionist prophetic church because of this naiveté.
As John says, so I encourage you “not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits, whether they are of God.” John rightly uses the word “spirit” instead of “doctrine.” He didn’t say, “test the doctrine.” He said, “test the spirits.” All doctrine is empowered by a spirit. It is our job to always know what kind of spirit we are dealing with behind any doctrine before we begin yielding our assent to it. This knowing is the truth that “no man can teach you” underlying every other truth (I Jn. 2:27). Only the Holy Spirit can finally verify for you the spiritual reality behind every other doctrine.
May these thoughts prove helpful for anyone in need of a refresher of what authenticates and distinguishes true teaching from false teaching—especially anyone struggling with the convincing power of false spirits behind apparently “sound” yet troubling scripture-based teachings seeking permission to dictate your standing before God in terms of them. I speak release to your heart and mind right now in Jesus’ Name!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 11:23 AM
I've enjoyed reading Problems with Messianic Judaism. For years, I've been struggling with their teachings. I have many friends who have joined a messianic "synagogue"; and one friend has become a teacher there. I've been invited to his teachings; but my husband is totally against messianic Judaism; and our small group reads a lot of A.W. Tozer, T. Austin Sparks, Watchman Nee and the like so, I struggle constantly with questions I ask myself and The Lord.
I've read most of your teaching about this and have skimmed the rest looking for the answer to this one question I have at the moment. It's the verses in exodus 12:14 &17 &24 and others where they say to keep these feasts as an everlasting ordinance and forever. I realize this was written for the Jews only; but I believe as you, that there is now no distinction. I'm just having a problem with the words forever and everlasting. Thank you for any biblical help.
Thank you for writing, Cynthia.
Do not be put off by the terms "forever" and "everlasting" as initially attached in reference to the Old Covenant ordinances. Your difficulty is in naturally applying those terms to the original "form" of those feasts and ordinances as first presented in the world under time.
When God says something is to last forever, He does not tie the meaning of "forever" to an original "form" under time and mortality by which it first appears. He can't, because all forms of this world under time and mortality pass away (I John 2:17).
God is always speaking from an eternal perspective, not a natural temporal mortal one. So when He speaks of perpetual ordinances described by the term "forever," even though He is speaking into the context of time, He is looking at something outside time yet to be revealed. Again, nothing under the domain of time and mortality lasts forever.
This is explained by the book of Hebrews. Hebrews tells us that everything given under the Old Covenant was a type and shadow of an eternal reality to come. This applies to feasts and ordinances. The "forever" nature to which God is speaking in the Old Covenant about feasts and ordinances is to the eternal yet-to-be-revealed reality foreshadowed by those things.
God's voice frequently speaks through the dimension of time to eternity this way. He may be superimposing His Voice over one thing in time, but He is speaking with a view to something way outside that in eternity. There is interplay between eternal and shadow realities throughout the Old Testament in this regard. This is what regenerative prophecy is all about.
This truth is witnessed most clearly in Christ Himself and the promise of "forever kingship" to David's lineage. God promised David that he would never fail to have a man on the throne in Jerusalem. It is a “forever” promise. In our acceptance of Christ as the Messiah, we understand that this promise to David is not realized in time, but in eternity, wherein the Glorified Eternal Son of God becomes the one and ultimate fulfillment of that promise. The promise did not mean that there would forever and ever be generations of men being born and dying who would occupy the throne of David. God was speaking to an eternal viewpoint.
What applies to this forever promise to David applies to the forever feasts and ordinances initiated under temporal Old Covenant shadow appearance. I speak to this issue more specifically in the sections the Messianic Concept of Feast Restoration and on The Meaning of Ezekiel’s Temple and the Restoration Sacrifices
Hope these few thoughts will provide the answers you need to deal with these “forever” concepts expressed under the veil of temporal mortal Old Covenant context. Messianics are devoted to perpetuating mortality. Jesus is devoted to transiting from mortal contexts to immortal realities. Everything comes back to whether or not He is the Eternal fulfillment of whatever was promised in the Old Covenant context.
If we accept Him as the eternal fulfillment of the promise to David, we must accept that every lesser Old Covenant promise and ordinance also has a final eternal context for its realization. The Messianics want to have it both ways, and that is not possible.
First Love Ministry
From: Jim S.
you, this is very helpful for me. I don't think my
friends will be open to reading; but praying helps.
Subject: RE: Question
Yes, they probably won’t. That is because you are dealing with a spirit behind a teaching. It is the false spirit behind a teaching that lures and captures the mind which has to be broken before people can appreciate the objective truth about it. That is what to pray for.
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