But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
There will be those who come to you with enticing words of man’s wisdom and say they are of Jesus Christ. Yet, when you look at what they have to say, you realize that they are preaching a different Jesus than the Jesus in the Bible. Now, I am not saying that the common portrait of the meek and mild Jesus is correct. It is not. Jesus often offended people with his words, even sometimes the apostles themselves, and he went through the Temple beating the moneychangers. These are not our typical idea of what Jesus is about, but they are perfectly in line with a man defending truth.
However, there are those who would preach a Jesus of force, a Jesus of cold obligation, a Jesus of rigid discipline, or a Jesus of legalism. How do they come away with such a picture of the Jesus who is full of love and compassion for those seeking? How do they see rigidity in a Christ who gave Himself as a sacrifice, out of love for humanity? How do they arrive at complexities, theologies, minutiae, perverse doctrine when Jesus offered us a simple path to follow? Love is the fulfillment of the Law of Christ. Love God, love your neighbor, love the things that Jesus commanded us to do.
The truth is, in order to preach ANOTHER JESUS, they have to believe ANOTHER DOCTRINE. They put together something so foreign, it doesn’t even look like the New Testament Church. Sometimes, they step out of the Book entirely, and use philosophies and vain deceits, man’s wisdom, rationalism, stoicism. Some seem to have more in common with Leonidas’ Sparta that with the Christian body. I’ve even seen structures of thought that are steeped in human sexuality that are not even remotely close and do not even mention Christ claim to be Christian.
Where do these doctrines come from? How do they compare them with what is written? How do they justify spouting things that are foreign to Christianity, wrapping it in a Christian mantle (think a wolf in sheep’s clothes)? Their minds are obviously not led by the Holy Spirit which breathes life into scripture, which breathes power and love into the body, which breathes hope into the hearts of its followers. So, we can say that they are being led by ANOTHER SPIRIT.
The conclusion of the whole matter is this: people who preach a Jesus different from the Bible have formulated their own traditions, their own doctrine, and they do so because they are not being led by the Spirit of Christ, but by another spirit. The Apostle Paul tells us to try the spirits, whether they are of God, and we do this by comparing what they say and what they do with what is said and done in the Bible. That’s why it is so important that we hide the word of God in our hearts and continually seeks its wisdom, and pray that God will give us spiritual discernment that we should not be deceived.