This is Dreamwalker1960. As a reminder you can read the transcripts of all my podcasts at dreamwalker1960.com. You can use most podcast platforms if you wish to listen. All you need do is do a search for Dreamwalker1960.
Why call a study of the Bible “Jesus the heretic?”
This goes back to a discussion I had in a group that states it is dedicated to following Jesus Christ and calls itself “Christian.”
Well, I was actually having two discussions at one time on different threads. On the one hand I had someone accusing me of having too much faith in God and Jesus. While on the other hand I had one saying I had no faith at all.
It is the latter of these two which leads us to the title of this podcast.
I know where I am with Christ. I know my calling. I know I must strive to get the True Gospel out there, and cause people to think where they are in their faith walk. For as I say time and again. Do not take the word of others, or me. Study the Bible for yourself to get the True Gospel. And when I say “study.” I do not mean just read the Bible. I mean get into the core of the meaning of the words within the Bible by seeking after their original meaning when they were written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
That can only be done with the use of a concordance at the least. I also use the multiple volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. However, there is also one for the Old Testament.
This is the way to truly study the Bible.
Now back on topic.
In one of the afore mentioned discussions the person was insistent that it is through faith alone that salvation is kept and that is all that is required.
There comes a time when a line is crossed in these situations. Consequently, the Lord just says to me. “Allow My Word to speak.” So, I just stick to the Scriptures, and add as little as possible if at all when I reply.
This is how I did this with this person that was so insistent that it is by faith alone. I will let you know which verses I was led to post and let them speak for themselves.
The first was:
James 2:14-26 – What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? 21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. 25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. 26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.
This is all I posted, and this set this person off to debating me.
I did some replies trying to break down these verses to simplify the issue. The person was still relentless.
So, I was led to go to the greatest example. The words of Jesus Christ Himself.
John 15:1-10 – “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
A simple directive by Christ. Keep Him within us by obeying and following the commandments. Now for the benefit of those that have not listened or read my past lessons. The “commandments” is not limited to the Ten Commandments. It is all the commands given to us in the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus that were not made invalid by Jesus dying upon the cross. Which is 90% of the commandments are still in effect to this day. Like for example not to get tattoos.
Matthew 5:17-20 – “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
This statement made in verse twenty is specifically aimed at those that insist in faith alone by the way. Another important point in these verses:
“But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
“Anyone who obeys.” This is an action.
An action is defined as this from Dictionary.com: An act that one consciously wills and that may be characterized by physical or mental activity.
This is deeds, works, fruit.
This is a more elaborate response than the one I had given to the person that was resolute in their stance that it is by faith alone.
Therefore, I was led back to James again, but not all the verses, but the core element verses:
James 2:17-20 – So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?
I did not add to this reply. I let the Word of God speak. This was the reply I got:
“That is heresy!”
I was dumbfounded.
I said I use the words of Jesus Christ and of James. You just called our Savior a heretic. And I suggested the person ponder that in silence and not to make any more replies.
They did reply. I never responded.
What is a heretic?
Answer per Cambridge Dictionary: Someone who has beliefs that are against the principles of a particular religion.
Yet I quoted from the Bible. Word for word, which makes them the principles of a particular religion. And yet this is called “heresy?”
This sounds familiar.
In Matthew 23:1-36 Jesus had his great confrontation with the Pharisees and Sadducees. He showed them how they had taken the teachings of the laws given to the tribe of Israel in the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus. How they had added these visual rituals and procedures that went beyond the sacrifices and the laws of the afore mentioned books of the Bible. He stated that no one should call another human a “rabbi,” a “teacher,” or “Father.” Yet at this time millions do just that.
What was the core of Christ’s issue with these men? They were not living their lives with works called for within the Bible, but things which would make them look great and better than those they were called to help to find the Lord God. Their behavior actually caused Israel to turn against the Son of God when He finally appeared and came to fulfill the laws and the prophets. Because their faith alone was not the faith God calls upon us to have in Him through His Son Jesus Christ. All that was required is that they do the sacrifices called for. Not to govern and command, but their lack of faith in God led to works of hypocrisy. Which ultimately led to the destruction of the second Temple.
Which happened thirty-seven years later in 70 A.D.
In the very next chapter of the book of Matthew begins the Olivet Discourse. Jesus Christ gives a list, which if you wish to hear or read see podcasts #25-30, of the things to look for of His soon return. In verse 34 of that chapter, He says this:
Matthew 24:34 – I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place.
So, understand this. When those that profess, they are “Christian,” and call our Savior Himself a heretic. Know that we are in the end times.