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The only caveat being that it has to be the same Jesus the apostles taught us about. And not just any Jesus. Like those found in cults. And even in what is believed by many to be historical Christianity.

And how do we know we have believed in the same Jesus that walked the earth as a man almost 2,000 years ago? Because His description matches with what the apostles taught. The one described by the prophets and is found in the gospels.

The Jews who were alive when Jesus walked the earth had a problem with Him because they perceived Him to be a threat to their position and an end to their way of life. So they looked for ways to make Him a law breaker and a blasphemer.

While still others from the other nations because of teaching that convinced some of them that the true Jesus could not have come in the same flesh all men have. Beginning with Deut.13 I will show you how these both “missed the mark” God sent so that we could have eternal life.

The passage I will read from comes from Deuteronomy13:1-5. It says,

1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

4 Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.”

In this passage we find that even though a man performed miracles and correctly understood and interpreted dreams and visions, if his teaching leads you away from the true God to believe in and follow after false gods, the believer is not to listen to that man.

In fact, the Old Testament believer was not only told not to listen to such a man. But, that he was also to put this man to death. So that the evil would be put away from their midst.

This is why generally speaking the Jews rejected Jesus when He came to them 2,000 years ago. Even though He performed many miracles. While still looking for a messiah. And is also why those who have believed the doctrines of Augustine have rejected the Jesus of the apostles and prophets. Yet believing that they have found the true messiah.

For the Jew’s part, they believe(d) that Jesus was pointing them to a different god when He told them things like “before Abraham was I am”. And “if you do not believe that I am you will die in your sins”.

Because when He said these things they knew He was telling them He is God. And even though He had done miracles and spoken things that could have only come from God. They remembered this passage in Deuteronomy and misapplied it to Jesus for the reasons I cited above.

Because while they believed that their Messiah would be from God. They did not believe He would be God. So they had to reject Jesus’ teaching when He told them plainly that He is God.

Believing instead that He was a blasphemer worthy of death based upon this passage in Deuteronomy. As well as others that they would twist using idolatrous legalities in their law to show Him to be a law breaker.

And for those in this dispensation whose beliefs derive from Augustine’s doctrines, by falling for his gnostic interpretation of spirit good/flesh evil, they have joined themselves to someone they call Jesus. That in some very significant ways does not resemble the Jesus of the Bible.

The most significant being their belief that He could not and did not come in the same flesh all men have. According to their interpretation of the Jesus they serve He could not have. Because if He did they say He would have been a sinner by His fleshly nature as their belief in Augustine’s doctrines has led them to believe all men are.

The reason this is so significant is that 3 of the letters that John wrote, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, are specifically written to address this issue. Stating plainly in 1John4:3 that any spirit that denies that Jesus came in the flesh is “the spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

As we read and understand this passage we must be careful not to do what those who follow Augustine’s doctrines have done. We must not interpret this to mean flesh in a specific sense as that only Adam had. But, in a very generic sense understand it to mean the same flesh all men have.

Because when we read Heb.2 where Paul is describing for us exactly who Jesus as a man was. We see him saying that “as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

Here we see that only by coming in the same flesh all men have was Jesus able to die a man’s death. And that only by this could He conquer our death to deliver us from the power it held over us. That is, the “fear of death” that causes men “all their lifetime” to be “subject to bondage.”

So what does this tell us about those who have believed in a Jesus who could not have come in the same flesh all men have? It tells us the same thing it does about any who have believed in someone they may call Jesus, but is in truth a different Jesus than the one we find written about in the Bible.

That even if they call their savior Jesus, it does not mean that they are talking about the Jesus of the Bible. And that like the Jews who rejected Jesus in search of another. These who have called their savior by the name Jesus are no better off than those they would recognize as cults like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Because like those that Roman Catholics and her daughters the evangelicals and Protestants will gladly call cults, people in them who also call their savior by the name Jesus, they have denied the doctrine of Christ.

We see this in John’s second letter in vs7-9 where John continues to address the gnostic heresy that denies that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have.

He writes to them here saying, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

John called this belief that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have the doctrine of Christ. Saying also that these deceivers “hath not God”. But, that those who do believe that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have “hath both the Father and the Son.”

The seriousness of this doctrine and its acceptance if one wants to be saved can not be overstated. And is not just some hobby horse doctrine that those who have believed Augustine say is of no real consequence for us.

Because John says clearly that those who deny that Jesus came in the same flesh all men have are of the spirit of antichrist. And that they hath not God.

But, wait just a minute here, you say. Are you saying that all the great teachers and preachers that proclaim the death and resurrection and saving power of Jesus are not even saved?

My answer to them is that I would not want to be in their shoes when they stand before God in judgment. But, that if they are saved it is in spite of what they believe. And not because of what they believe. If that is even possible.

Because like the Jews who rejected Jesus when He came because they thought Him to be a law breaker and a blasphemer. Wrongly using the scriptures like Deut.13:1-5 as one of their proof texts. So too have so many who have believed Augustine’s doctrines that deny the doctrine of Christ. Saying that while Jesus did come in a body of flesh, it could not have been the same flesh all men have. Because if His flesh was the same then He would also have been a sinner by nature.

From this we can plainly see that we must not only reject Augustine’s teaching regarding why and what he thought about Jesus’ flesh. We must also reject his teaching that culminates from his Gnosticism that says that the nature of man’s flesh makes him a sinner by nature.

And his doctrine of original sin. Because to believe these is to reject the doctrine of Christ. To believe these is to believe the same deceivers that John said are “deceivers and antichrist” that were confusing the people John was teaching in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John.

We must understand from scripture that the reason we need Jesus is because as He said in John3:4-6, Ye must be born again. Because, “What is born of the flesh is flesh. And what is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Paul adding to this in 1Cor.15:50 saying, “flesh and blood can not inherit the kingdom of God.”

He did not say this because the flesh is evil as Augustine taught. But, because the flesh is natural and was equipped by God from the beginning to relate in a personal way only to what has been made.

So no matter what. Even if a man prophesied things that come to pass. And does miracles. If he teaches that Jesus did not come in the same flesh all men have he is a liar. A false prophet doing what appear to be miracles by a power other than God.

This is what God told Israel in the book of the law. And is what John tells us in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. In 3rd John saying, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

Do you walk in truth? Or have you been deceived by the “deceivers and an antichrist” John wrote of in his letters? To believe in a Jesus that could not come in the same flesh all men have.

Have you seen now how truly important John’s message is? In my mind it’s importance can not be overstated. Because in these letters he was dealing with the issue of Gnosticism that continues to plague us to this day. Just as John said it would in 1John4:1-3.

If you have recognized the problem and now want to do something about it there is time for you to repent now and trust in the Jesus John taught about. Simply confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus. And believe in your heart He has raised from the dead. Knowing that He was able to do so only because He came in the same flesh all men have.

If you will do this then you will have eternal life. If you will do this then a spirit will be created in you by God that will join you to Him for all eternity. Making you His child and heir to His kingdom. If you will do this then you will be made immortal at the resurrection by receiving a new body. If you will do this… then I will see you there or in the air!

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