Preaching Another Jesus

When certain “super-apostles” began to undermine his teachings and authority, the Apostle Paul warned the church not to heed anyone who came along “proclaiming another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or a different spirit, or a different gospel.” Instead, Paul pointed to the same Jesus that he first proclaimed, the “crucified Messiah,” as the measuring rod against which all other messianic claimants must be compared.

Likewise, in his Letter to the Galatians, Paul expressed his exasperation at how easily the church had accepted a gospel that deviated from his preaching:

  • (Galatians 1:6-8) – “I marvel that you are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel, which is not another gospel; only there are some that trouble you and pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we or an angel from heaven preach to you any gospel other than that which we preached to you, let him be anathema.

Showman - Photo by Kyle Smith on Unsplash
[Photo by Kyle Smith on Unsplash]

And thus, it is today. Many popular preachers, “prophets” and “apostles” are proclaiming another Jesus and a different gospel, a messianic figure that differs fundamentally from the one proclaimed and taught in the apostolic tradition preserved in the New Testament.


And exactly what kind of Messiah did Paul and the other apostles proclaim? He was quite explicit in his first letter to the Corinthians – He preached a crucified Messiah, the “power and wisdom of God” - (1 Corinthians 1:18-24).

Integral to his theology was the claim that God has achieved ultimate victory over sin, death, the “powers and principalities,” and Satan in the self-sacrificial death of Jesus on a Roman cross. Because of his submission to an unjust death, God resurrected and exalted him to reign over all things, and thus validating his sacrifice.

Unlike Adam, Jesus did NOT attempt to “seize the likeness” of God; instead, he “poured himself out” and became “obedient unto death,” even death on the cross. Consequently, “God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on 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).

Indeed, Jesus is, present tense, “before all things and the head of the body, the church.” All things were created for him “whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.”

But he achieved preeminence since he is the “Firstborn of the Dead” - because of his death and resurrection. It was ON THE CROSS that he achieved victory over all hostile “powers and principalities,” and not by any action he has taken since – (Colossians 2:13-15).

From beginning to end, the death and resurrection of Jesus is the center of Paul’s Gospel. Unfortunately, today, many preachers are proclaiming a “different gospel” and “another Jesus,” a counterfeit “gospel” of triumphalism rather than the message of the Cross, preferring, as they do, the “roaring Lion of the Tribe of Judah over the “slain Lamb” of the apostolic tradition.


A verse from the Book of Revelation is cited to validate this new “gospel.” But in doing so, its proponents ignore the literary context and the theology of the Book. One brief phrase is read out of context - Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has conquered to open the book and to open its seven seals” - (Revelation 5:5).

Thus, the argument goes, the conquering “lion” overthrew his enemies and thereby demonstrated his right to take sovereignty over the Earth. And apparently, from now on, Jesus is taking no prisoners. He has become the sword-wielding warrior determined to punish all his opponents. And these preachers do not just mean when the “Son of Man arrives in glory,” but here and now as they seize control over the so-called “seven mountains of society,” the latter an idea and term found nowhere in Scripture.

In his vision, the Apostle John certainly did hear a voice alluding to the messianic prophecy in Genesis. But the same voice transformed the image of the “lion” into that of a “sacrificial Lamb.” John HEARDlion of Judah,” but when he looked, he SAW a freshly slain “Lamb.” What he saw interpreted what he first heard.

Jesus IS the messianic “lion of Judah,” but he fulfills that role as the “slain Lamb” of Calvary. He conquered his “enemies” in ways contrary to human wisdom and expectations, not by slaying them, but by allowing them to slay him - (Genesis 49:9-10, Numbers 24:9, Revelation 5:5-6).

This understanding was confirmed when a myriad of voices from around the heavenly Throne declared the Lamb “worthy” to take the scroll precisely because he purchased men from every nation by his shed blood – (Revelation 5:9-12).

It was the “Lamb” who was declared “worthy,” NOT the “lion.” The passage in Chapter 5 is the first and last time Jesus is called the “lion” in Revelation. From this point forward, “lamb” is his primary designation. And it is the “Lamb” who ascended the Throne to take the Sealed Scroll and began to break open its seals.

So, what does his example mean for anyone who would “follow the Lamb wherever he goes”? Later, John saw an innumerable multitude exiting the “Great Tribulation,” men redeemed by the “slain Lamb.”

In Revelation, the “saints” overcome the “Dragon,” the “Beast from the Sea,” and the “False Prophet” by the “blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony; and because they love not their life unto death.” It is by faithfulness in and through “tribulation” that “he who has an ear overcomes” – (Revelation 7:9-17, 12:11).

Even after his final victory, Jesus is still identified as the “Lamb,” NOT as the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” In “New Jerusalem,” John saw no temple, for “the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb are its temple.” No longer will there be light from the sun or the moon. God’s glory will illuminate the city, and the “Lamb will be its lamp.” Only those whose names are written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” enter the city. The roar of the triumphant “lion” is not heard within its walls - (Revelation 21:22-27).

From the start, Revelation anchors its visions in the death and resurrection of Jesus. He is the “faithful witness and the firstborn of the dead,” references to his death and resurrection, and the “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth” (present tense), all because of his obedient death. This is the Messiah who “loosed us from our sins by his own blood” – (Revelation 1:4-6, 1:18).

As their all-powerful king, Jesus encourages, corrects, and praises his churches. He calls his followers to “overcome,” not by wielding political power against their neighbors, but by emulating his faithfulness. Saints reign alongside him on his Father’s Throne, “just as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Believers “overcome” in the same manner as the “Lamb” did - (Revelation 3:21).

Overcoming believers reign as “priests,” not warriors. The call to overcome is a summons to persevere through tribulations while bearing faithful witness. To suffer for the kingdom is what it means to follow the “Lamb wherever he goes.” This is how believers “overcome” the “Dragon” and his minions - (Revelation 1:4-9, 5:9-10).

The worldly triumphalism that is being promoted by many preachers today is “another gospel,” they are following and proclaiming a radically “different messiah,” one incompatible with the crucified Christ described in the New Testament.

Paul declared that the message of “Christ crucified” was scandalous to Jews and folly to Greeks, and so it remains today. Nevertheless, the crucified messiah is “God’s power and wisdom,” and there is no true knowledge of Him or genuine spirituality apart from the Cross.

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