THE TWO JESUS'S
Which One Do You Serve?
It is not commonly known that two Jesus' were tried before the Roman Procurator, Pontius Pilate. One had the surname Bar-Abbas (son of Abbas) and the other Bar-Joseph (son of Joseph). The Moffat translation of the Bible records:
Two Jesus's -- one a political revolutionary (called, at that time, 'zealots') and the other an itinerant preacher who taught of an invisible Kingdom within the heart. The one was a killer, the other a saviour. Both had the same name -- Jesus (or Yahshua/Yeshua in Hebrew) -- two Jesus's preaching two different Gospels -- one a gospel of war and hate, and the other a gospel of peace and love.
"At festival time the governor was in the habit of releasing any one prisoner whom the crown chose. At that time they had a notorious prisoner called Jesus Bar-Abbas; so, when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, "Who do you want released? Jesus Bar-Abbas or Jesus the so-called Christ?""(Matt.27:15-17, Moff.).
Jesus Bar-Abbas was eventually released and lived to carry on his crusade against Rome: His freedom did not last for long, however: tradition records that he subsequently perished in one of his guerilla actions.
Jesus Bar-Joseph, on the other hand, voluntarily surrendered His freedom and with it bought the freedom of all men and women enslaved in sin who are willing to receive it. He triumphed over death and is alive in heaven preparing for His glorious return.
The False Jesus's of the Churches
Today there are many religions preaching 'Jesus', but which one are they in truth preaching about: The political revolutionary Jesus Bar-Abbas who tries to change the world by human means or the spiritual revolutionary Jesus Bar-Joseph who has already changed the world on the spiritual plane and who invites those who will trust in Him to become a part of His invisible army of spiritual warriors?
I am troubled when I see in Christendom the two Jesus' mixed up or even mixed together. There are many gospels being taught in the churches which resemble Jesus Bar-Abbas' program than Jesus Bar-Joseph's. Jesus Bar-Abbas wanted a political state freed of foreign occupiers and a puppet King (Jesus Bar-Joseph) to rule it. But God has other plans. There is no room for Bar-Abbas's in the Kingdom of the Father because this Kingdom is not built up by force of any kind. Neither are there any casualties. Those who come to it are saved. The only casualties are those who stay away from it.
The Psychiatric Victims of the False Jesus
I look around and I see numerous casualties in the churches -- I see people entering churches with problems and leaving them with even greater ones. The psychiatric institutions are filling up with the victims of some of the charismatic groups (like the inappropriately named 'New Life' Movement), Jehovah's Witnesses, and many others. I see churches which are little more than boxes like the ones in museums containing fossils and other relics. I see churches with bizzare theologies that warp the mind and lead their deluded members into believing that they are virtual gods upon a 30 second profession of faith. I see churches which teach their members to prattle gibberish and claim this as evidence of salvation, condemning all other who do not do the same. I see, in short, DEATH -- I see the spiritual sword of Jesus Bar-Abbas, the cavalry of "victory-or-death" fanatics besieging the walls of Jersualem like the Crusaders of old all over again, slaughtering the "infidels". I see churches who claim that their members who have been saved by a god who recognises no free agency who decides beforehand who will be saved and who will be damned. I see churches who say that babies who are not baptised will burn for ever in a fiery hell. I see the blood-stained sword of Jesus Bar-Abbas.
Uncomfortable a thought though it may be the reality is that there are two Jesus's in the orthodox churches, not to mention the Jesus's in the New Age groups, the emasculated Jesus's of the liberal Christians, and the Jesus's who are little more than the idealised ego-projections of unrepentant man.
What is Happening in Christendom Today??
What, then, of the fantastic conversions that are taking place in Asia, Africa and elsewhere? Millions are being saved. Yes, they are being saved. They are discovering the Lord of Freedom and then the missionaries of Jesus Bar-Abbas are coming along with their doctrinal straight-jackets and making them worse prisoners than they were before. Jesus Bar-Joseph becomes a Jesus Bar-Abbas!
Friend, there is only one Jesus who saves. Confessing "Jesus" is not enough -- the question must always be: which one?
This page was created on 7 April 1998
Last updated on 7 April 1998
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