In the course of my sharing the gospel with family members and past friends, many chose to ignore the gospel call entirely but a few took the time to reply, laying out their objections to Jesus Christ as the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). One particular exchange ended with my writing a long reply to the following very brief email in which my friend — who considered himself to be a Christian yet didn’t “agree with the suggestion that Christianity is the only path to God” — made one last attempt to draw me from the truth into New Age esotericism:
Please allow me to recommend … a book that takes me to the heart of Christianity: Christ in You by Anonymous [Spirit Messenger].
Needless to say, I didn’t read the book. However, in order to respond, I found a PDF online, downloaded it, and quickly scanned the table of contents and the first chapter. What follows is my lengthy reply.
There’s so much I could say in response to this book but I’ll go with two main points: Christianity is not esoteric and Christ in You teaches another Jesus.
In short, this is a dangerous book since it purports to be Christian, citing scripture after scripture after scripture to “back up” its claims, claims that are contrary to God’s word, claims that came through a channeled spirit which is most certainly not of God.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Christianity Is Not Esoteric
Unlike other religions or philosophies, Christianity* is not esoteric. The Bible is the literal word of God and needs no secret keys or interpretation to unlock its truths. When it says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31), God is telling us exactly what to do. It is meaningless calling oneself a Christian if one does not believe something as simple as this. Likewise, when the Bible tells us there is a heaven and a hell and that “wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” (Matthew 7:13), it means exactly that, that many will end up in hell. On the flip side, the Bible tells us that “ strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14) which, again, means exactly what it says.
There is only one way, one path, one Lord and Saviour: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). Further:
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Ephesians 4:4-6)
The everlasting gospel is that we fear God and worship him that made heaven and earth.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:6-7)
Fear. As the first word of the everlasting gospel, it’s an important word. King Solomon began his conclusion of the matter with the word fear (Ecclesiastes 12:13), and Jesus also told us this about fear:
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
Now that’s a good Bible study, the phrase “fear of the LORD”. There are 30 verses containing this phrase; here are 20 verses that show why fear of the Lord is both good and desirable:
Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. (2 Chronicles 19:7)
And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. (2 Chronicles 19:9)
And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28)
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (Psalms 19:9)
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. (Psalms 34:11)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalms 111:10)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)
For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: (Proverbs 1:29)
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:5)
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. (Proverbs 8:13)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)
The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. (Proverbs 10:27)
In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. (Proverbs 14:26)
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (Proverbs 14:27)
Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. (Proverbs 15:16)
The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. (Proverbs 15:33)
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. (Proverbs 16:6)
The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil. (Proverbs 19:23)
By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. (Proverbs 22:4)
Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. (Proverbs 23:17)
The following three instances are referring to the fear that unbelievers will have when God begins to pour out his wrath upon this wicked world (there are many more verses pointing to this that don’t contain the exact phrase of this study):
Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. (Isaiah 2:10)
And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. (Isaiah 2:19)
To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. (Isaiah 2:21)
The next two verses, written 700 years or so before Christ (roughly the same time as the above three verses) refer to the Messiah:
And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; (Isaiah 11:2)
And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: (Isaiah 11:3)
Lastly, the below New Testament verse agrees with the above Old Testament verses, showing that believers walk in the fear of the Lord.
Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. (Acts 9:31)
Here’s the thing, God does not change:
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Numbers 23:19)
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)
I am Alpha and Omega [Jesus speaking], the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8)
The Bible is clear about God, about heaven and hell, about the importance of fearing the Lord, and about the fact that Jesus is the only way to God. The idea that we’re all able to attain “Christ consciousness” is born out of a New Age or Gnostic (both Luciferian) rebellion. That is, a refusal to believe and heed God’s word. The following were the words of the prophet Samuel when king Saul rebelled against the word of the Lord:
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23)
Again, the Bible is clear: fear the Lord and worship him that made the heaven and the earth. And who made the heaven and the earth?
For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:18)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-14)
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. (1 Timothy 3:16)
For by him [Jesus] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:16-17)
* “Christianity” is not confined to the New Testament as Jesus can be seen throughout the Bible with his earthly life being the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies. Further, the Bible is one cohesive book with the New Testament being a continuation of the Old Testament, not a separate set of writings that were intended to lead to a new religion. In other words, there is one true faith that is based upon faith in God’s promises, which include the promise of a redeeming Messiah as the ultimate focus of one’s faith. Judaism is not the religion of the Old Testament but, rather, the religion that grew out of the oral traditions and ideas of man which were written down in the many volumes of the Babylonian Talmud, which blasphemously states that God himself studies the Talmud and that Jesus Christ was a sorcerer whose mother was a whore and whose father was a Roman soldier. If that’s not blasphemous enough, the Talmud also states that Jesus is burning in hell in hot excrement.
Another Gospel, Another Jesus
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:1-8)
The “Christ” in Christ in You is not the Christ of the Bible, the prophesied Messiah (here, here, and here) but the Gnostic Christ, the one that represents that which we are told we can achieve through our own efforts as our consciousness “evolves”. This is the original lie of Satan:
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:1-5)
We have all done as Eve and transgressed God’s law. Being a just God, there is a price to pay for our transgression. That price is being cast into the lake of fire:
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
As you can see, lying is sufficient grounds to be cast into the lake of fire. Who hasn’t lied? Who doesn’t continue to lie?
Think of it this way: every country has laws that come with a penalty if transgressed. You break one of these laws and go before the judge who hands you a sentence of death. “Forgive me,” you say, “I know I’ve broken the law and I’m sorry. Please have mercy on me.” The judge is a just judge and cannot make value judgments, all he can do is pass judgment based on the fact that you’ve transgressed this particular law. He’s simply doing his job passing sentence in line with the law of the land.
After he’s done his job and sentenced you according to the law, the judge steps down from his bench and into your place. He’s a man full of compassion and sees that you are deeply sorry for what you’ve done and he is willing to die in your place so that you can continue to live.
Jesus is our Judge.
But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. (Psalms 9:7-8)
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2 Timothy 4:1)
Our Judge came down from heaven to walk the earth as a man, before going as a sheep to the slaughter to pay the legal sin debt of all of mankind. We can choose to accept this free gift and honour Jesus as our Lord and Saviour or refuse and insist we pay for our own sin, in which case his judgment will stand.
Thus, our Judge is also our Saviour.
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12)
Which brings us back to Jesus being God manifest in the flesh:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Which brings us back to fearing God and worshipping him that made the heaven and the earth:
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (Isaiah 45:23)
For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Romans 14:11)
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
I could go on, but it’s very straightforward. There is, as Paul said, a simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).
Jesus is our Creator. He is our King, our Lawgiver, our Judge and our Saviour.
The first four apply to us all, the latter only to those who believe Jesus is the Christ and who put all of their trust in him and none in themselves.
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (Psalms 118:8)
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:21-24)
Bonus Point: The Bible Is True and Jesus Is the Truth
The fundamental question here is what matters most? Do you believe in absolute truth? Is finding that truth paramount? Even if the truth you find is the last thing you thought would be the truth? If that truth nullifies everything you ever thought to be true? And if standing on that truth requires you to relinquish all preconceived, learned and imbibed notions of what truth looks like? If that truth separates you from friends and family who consider your newfound understanding foolishness? Narrow-minded? Ignorant even?
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Timothy 2:3-6)
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11-16)
Truly, despite all I’ve shared above, along with all I’ve shared previously, there’s nothing I can say that will convince you that the Bible is literally true. Should you care to find out there is sufficient evidence, not only in the pages of the Bible itself but also in the world. Sean recently wrote about the above 2 Thessalonians passage, concluding that for anyone to come to the knowledge of the truth they have to first seek after and love the truth. Not what we convince ourselves is true because it makes us feel good, but that which is true even when it shines a light on our wretchedness in the eyes of God.
Thus, apologetics aside, you need to ask yourself this: do you believe the Bible is the literal word of God? If so, purge Christ in You from your mind and bookshelf and read the King James Bible as a true record of history, both that which has been and that which is yet to come.
If the answer is no, there is no more I can say.
That said, I’ll leave you with two more verses:
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)
And saying, [Jesus speaking] The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:15)