Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The First Wrong Jesus

Parsing of Genesis 4:1
Gen 4:1
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.”
This passage sits in the Inspired Text early on and seemingly almost as far from the drama of Israel's rejection of Messiah as is nearly possible. So that we may be tempted not to be looking for Him there. Yet at the time when Eve was exclaiming this about her son Cain, God's first promise of Messiah had just been given. It was recent; she had just believed the first lie, helped to create the first religion, tasted the first fear, heard the first condemnation, seen the first death and heard the first promise to man. Gen 3:1-22 While we may read Genesis today with some thoughts of it being disconnected distant history, Eve was living it.

Gen 3:14-15
So the Lord God said to the serpent: 
“Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her SeedHe shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

The curse that the LORD God Almighty put on Satan included a promise of Messiah coming from the seed of the woman.  I'm not sure if the powerful fear of the moment of Gen 3:14-15 is often, or even ever discussed at pulpits. I've never heard it preached on, and have never heard anyone bring up the topic. Can you imagine, yourself, being witness to God Almighty berating and cursing Satan right in front of you? This crafty serpent who would make himself out to be like God, being berated like a disobedient school child. This one who you had just believed could help you become like God yourself. Can you imagine hearing the unwavering curses coming out of the mouth of God? Terrifying, and as sure as any promise He has ever given since!

As discussed in The Gospel(s) Adam Believed, these two really heard the promise of Gen 3:15.  So when Eve conceived a child, and had a man child whom she called Cain, she made the exclamation of Gen 4:1.

Hebrew is a very interesting, and flexible language as far as I can tell. It is able to convey much more information than English can but it also has some variability when it comes to interpretation. We need to be careful how we translate languages, and how we interpret the resulting text. Eve's statement is generally translated "I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord" or "from the Lord" or something like that. However it is seemingly perfectly valid to translate it this way:
"I have acquired a man; the LORD." 
This translation aids in the presentation of this article, but even the more popular translation makes the point. If you look at the parsing of Gen 4:1 in the image above you will find that either translation is apparently valid. She either thought Cain was the Lord, or she thought that he had come from God as He had just promised.

Yet if we continue reading Gen 4:1-15 we find out that Cain was not at all like the Messiah. He was a murder. This demonstrates that he is nothing like Messiah. 1Jn 3:10-12

So what's my point? 

Eve had believed God. She was trusting Him to do what He said He would do. Even still though, instead of looking for the Messiah that God proclaimed, would provide and would identify she choose one of her own. On the surface she had the right motives, even the right quality of faith. She merely had the wrong object. She had the wrong Jesus.

Today as we evangelize the World we must be careful that our preaching, and our Gospel, only allows for ONE Jesus, the true Jesus of the Scriptures. This is why we must always, and only, preach the Gospel that Scripture declares. Not a Gospel that seems to line up with God's abilities, desires, intents and whatnot as we understand them. Because Eve did that. She believed God, and thought she saw Him fulfilling His promise but she was wrong.

The Gospel that the Scriptures declare, 1Cor 15:1-11, leaves room for only ONE Jesus EVER in all History. It is the answer to the only problem that God is dealing with Sinners about. Jn 16:5-11 It leaves room for only one response: assurance. Rom 4:1-25; Gen 15:6

There is one Jesus who saves. Don't preach another. 2Co 11:4 Don't leave room for the people you have influence over to believe in another. 1Cor 1:20-25 If your gospel could possibly lead someone to believe in another Jesus, your gospel is not THE Gospel.


Anonymous said...

Interesting discussion. Cain can be used two ways for this salvation issue, to show two errors that come up in discussions of salvation:

1) You covered the first one in this article, that Eve wrongly actually had thought the Messiah had come, and that Cain was the Messiah. She had the wrong object of faith, as you pointed out.

2) Cain later in his life, rejects the picture of substitutionary blood atonement (which Abel did rightly bring), and instead Cain presents his own works (the vegetables, but could have been anything) as his sacrifice. Thus he rejected faith in the Lord or in any object outside of himself, and put "faith" in his works, for salvation. Of the two errors, this second one is more common among within what is called "Christendom".

I just had a lengthy discussion about these things with a catholic woman the other day, who insisted that she and I have the same Jesus, but just a different view of what message He is conveying.

My Jesus: Salvation by faith in Jesus apart from works, 66 books in the Bible, pretty simple

Her Jesus: Salvation by sacramental works, purgatory, pope/vatican, priests/confession, 73 books in the Bible (therefore not even the same Bible), and so on.

Both of us agree that Jesus is God and Christ. But to what degree do we have the same Jesus, or different "jesuses"? I ask that to see your opinion on the answer to this question. We most certainly have different "gospels". Do we have different "jesuses"?

Maybe you already answered this in your article, but perhaps you might be willing to elaborate concerning this particular discussion I had with this woman.

Kevl said...

Hi Anonymous, ;)

Thanks for the interesting thoughts.

While I cannot actually speak for, or examine the doctrine of, a woman I have not met I can think of a couple of Roman Catholic teachings which seem to indicate they preach not only another gospel, but also another Jesus.

We know that Jesus of the Scriptures is Himself, the only intercessor between man & God. 1Tim 2:5 And that Christ was sacrificed for the sin of the world, once for all. Heb 7:27; Heb 9:12; Heb 10:10 Yet the Roman Catholic religion teaches that Mary is a "Co-Intercessor" and a "Co-Redemptrix." So the Jesus they believe in is not sufficient as they also believe we need Mary for us to get to God.

The Jesus of the Scriptures is good because God alone is good. Mark 10:18 Yet the Roman Catholics teach that Mary was sinless. So obviously the Jesus they believe in has a different kind of goodness than the Jesus of the Scriptures.