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  5. The Simplicity of Jesus

"Embracing the Simplicity
of Jesus"

  • "But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" (2Cor. 11:3).

The Winds of Doctrine

We live in a day when every wind of doctrine is blowing through the church and around the world. There is much confusion as denominational doctrinal walls, and sectarian self-promoting teachings infiltrate all through known Christianity. 

New age doctrines are creeping in, seeking the souls of men to turn them to another god. Cults are increasingly trying to find legitimacy in established Christian faiths, all of this to turn people away from Jesus. Everyone seems to have their opinion, tenaciously promoting their version of what they believe the "truth" is, hoping for our agreement. 

They passionately believe they are right when it seems their righteous passion is rooted in self and not in the Lord. Many revel in high-minded revelations and have itching ears and tongues to proclaim their personal revelations, attempting to convince us they are surely of God. 

There are churches on almost every street corner in most American cities, all saying something different in the name of God. How do we deal with all this "Babylonian" confusion as we journey with the Lord in these dangerous and tumultuous days ahead? Is there safety?

I believe there is. It is found in a heart attitude and mindset that is sober, humble, and cleaves to a simple devotion to Jesus Christ and His Word. 

In the Apostle Paul's day, a problem developed in the Corinthian church. It was getting caught up with pride over its own spirituality, and he feared this to be a danger that would lead them astray from a simple personal relationship with Jesus. 

  • "But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" (2Cor.11:3).

Babylon, "A City of Confusion"

Many people speaking many different things about the same Bible leave the believer, who may not be very proficient with the Word, bewildered and confused. It leaves the unbeliever cynical, giving him reasons and excuses to continue in his unbelief. 

When Christianity is all about Christians self righteously exalting their own belief and condemning and breaking fellowship with those who don't see it their way, the unbeliever mocks and scorns such an "answer" to his life dilemmas.

God calls this confused, self-centered, and self-confident expounding of His Word "Babylon," that is, a city of confusion. 

With thousands of denominational and non-denominational churches around the globe, the Christians and the world are often left bewildered and confused. 

They have no idea which Christian church teaches Truth. This religious confusion is partly a result of men still walking in the imagination of their hearts. It is also a result of men truly void of personally knowing Jesus by the Spirit and His words spoken in the Gospels. 

Consequently, they create "another Jesus" in their imagination that is to their liking. When we create another Jesus to our own liking instead of submitting to the Jesus known through His Biblical Words, we make an idol that will have no power to save in these last days.

This religious confusion is also a result of men interpreting the Bible with a carnal mind instead of a spiritual one. Only by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit can we come to a saving knowledge of all the Truth that Jesus is. 

Jesus said His words are Spirit, and the flesh profits nothing. All Bible words are Spirit. And it is only with a spiritual mind that we can obtain God's spiritual interpretation. A spiritual interpretation will include both literal words and metaphoric words. 

Wisdom is needed to know when these words are to be interpreted literally and when they are to be interpreted metaphorically. The Lord will show us how to properly interpret scripture if we seek Him like gold and become humble and obedient to His commandments. 

Although many are coming out of this Babylonian city of confusion and truly are starting to make Jesus Lord of their lives, there are still too many imprisoned by its walls. God wants us to be free, for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. He wants to be worshiped in Spirit and in Truth.

He wants us to have a relationship and fellowship with Him. God wants us to know Him, personally and intimately. There is still a greater knowing and intimacy that the church should have with Jesus, a knowledge of Him in a way that the church doesn't presently have. 

As the church corporately finds this intimacy with Jesus, and starts to know Him by His words in the Gospels, and starts to hear from heaven, and begins to KNOW HIM BY THE SPIRIT truly, and walk-in His commands; then those in the church will start to see eye to eye about doctrines and beliefs, This will produce a joyous unity amongst the Body of Christ throughout the world. 

The Bible teaches us about Jesus with various metaphors. These metaphors describe multiple aspects of His nature and character. He is the Light of the World…..the Bread of Life…..the True Vine…..the Good Shepherd…..the Son of Man…..the Son of God….. the Lord of the Sabbath…..the One and only Christ…..the Great Physician…..the Door of the Sheep….. the Word made Flesh…..the Waters of Life…..the Bridegroom…..the Root and Offspring of David…..the Bright Morning Star…..the Dayspring from on High…..the Way…..the Truth…..the Life…..the Everlasting Father…..the Prince of Peace….. 

There is so much more to knowing all that Jesus is than we realize:

In Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He is both God and man. The purpose of scripture is to draw us deeper into knowing Him, loving Him, and serving Him. The words of Jesus in the Gospels are too often ignored from the pulpit today, and that's because most preachers really don't understand them. 

Such preachers need to be on their face in this hour that the truths of the Gospels become known to them personally for the purpose of properly leading God's people. I don't believe the church has fully entered into the reality of experiencing Him in all aspects of His nature that these scriptural metaphors describe. 

Clarity, Purity, Power, and Authority

We should not be seeking higher revelations in this hour, but we should seek Him to discover all the love, truth, righteousness, holiness, and joy found hidden in His name, which is Jesus. 

So many today are speaking out from their individual heart. However, the need is for a people to start speaking out of the heart of the Lord. 

This writer, like most, yet speaks out from his individual heart with a regrettable amount of self-righteousness. 

So I write in fear and trembling being cautious and careful on how I write. I may be in error interpreting some scriptures, but I try to stay true to the letter and Spirit of the Word of God.

All in Christian ministry need to be cautious as to how their ministries influence other lives. God holds us accountable for our ministries. While we are dwelling in the in-part realm of flesh and Spirit, the mixture will come forth from our lives and ministries. 

But as we discover all that Jesus is, and start to walk in the fullness of the Spirit, and obtain an overflow of His righteousness from our innermost being, we will be able to speak His Word with clarity, purity, power, and authority, thus blessing the multitudes with a word they can live on. 

There is a responsibility when we minister the Word. To the degree Jesus Christ is revealed from our words is the degree our word will be acceptable to the Lord. 

  • "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment" (Jam.3:1).

As we seek the Lord to know Him and get a breakthrough into the realm of the heavenlies, our thoughts having been delivered from the carnal mind realm to the spiritual mind realm, we apprehend Mt. Zion, the realm where His manifest glory dwells. 

At that place where His manifest glory dwells, a pure and clear Word can be heard from the Lord. Men will preach this Word to the edification of the Body. God needs empty vessels with no personal agendas to speak His Word, vessels void of self-righteousness and unrighteousness. 

He needs people who will make the Word of God they read from their Bibles, flesh in their lives, walking it out and doing it in their personal lives. We are to speak out of the heart and righteousness of Jesus Christ if we are truly ministering the Word of God.

Untainted Interpretation of Scripture

It is time for the Lord to roar out of Zion, speaking His Word through many men and women to nations with power and authority. 

  • "And he said, 'The Lord roars from Zion, and from Jerusalem he utters His voice….'" (Amos.1:2).

Zion, here, metaphorically speaks of His enthroned presence abiding in the souls of His people, and Jerusalem speaks of the church, the city of God. God is preparing a company who will understand and speak a singular word through many different voices. 

The time is at hand when those on Mt. Zion will see eye to eye. The corporate Body of Christ will hear the same Word and understand all that the Lord is saying and doing with the same mind. The joy of this occurrence will turn the church world upside-down. 

  • "Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, they shout joyfully together; for they will see eye to eye when the Lord restores Zion. Break forth, shout joyfully together, your waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared His holy arm in the sight of the nations; that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God" (Isa.52:8-10). 

Sounds like a time we should look forward to when the interpretation of scripture will be pure and clear, untainted with human righteousness and distortion. The Spirit of the Lord will be upon the least to the greatest as we all endeavor to know Him and the true interpretation of His Word. 

A corporate voice will come forth that will end the confusion that has confused the saints for centuries. The influences of Babylon will be broken off the Body of Christ, and she will be free to heal and grow. The purposes of the Lord for the last days will become clear to all who love and seek Truth. 

And this truth will not be a particular doctrine, revelation, or scriptural emphasis. This Truth is a person, and His name is Jesus.

If we don't discover the Truth, the full and total revelation and knowledge of who JESUS CHRIST IS BY THE SPIRIT, our doctrine, revelation, and scriptural emphasis, which is important, will fail to find its Biblical purpose in our lives. 

I believe we are entering a time when knowing Him will be our only source of strength, stability, comfort, and protection. 

Just as knowing Him by getting saved through faith in His name is an experience, and knowing Him further through the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience, knowing Him in His fullness is an experience; It comes by grace through diligent seeking. 

To know Jesus is to have the revelation of the Father given us and realizing the heartbeat of Jesus, which has always been unto His Father, and our Father is also beating unto us. It is to know the breadth, length, height, and depth of the love of Christ that surpasses all understanding. 

It is walking in the divine life and divine light. It is the secret place of intimacy with Him, as we start to know Him and are known by Him fully. It is a place where His voice is clear and distinct, and we commune and converse with Him as a brother and sister do to a Brother. 

Our lofty revelation of Biblical truths is no substitute for knowing the Truth in which we live, move, and have our being. We stay in Truth and live free from error not only because we know the scriptures but also because we know the power of God. 

When Jesus was confronted about an issue in scripture, he gave us two elements necessary to interpret scripture properly. He answered His adversaries, telling them why they were in error. 

  • "Ye do err, (1) not knowing the scriptures, (2) nor the power of God" (Matt.22:29). 

We can know the scriptures freely through our own effort by Bible reading and study. But knowledge of the power of God only comes by grace as He chooses to reveal it to us, thus keeping us humble and dependant on Him for true interpretations. 

You can understand all the scripture and still not know the Truth. You can know all of the power of God and still not know Truth. But if the two come together in a heart that is fertile ground, that precious life will truly know Jesus, the Truth. 

He will know Him as the Truth that sets him free. He will know Him by the letter and the Spirit of the Word of God; this is what is needed in the church today. The voice of scriptural disputers is silenced as those with an argument are at the mercy of those with an experience.

The Fullness of Christ

Experiencing the fullness of Christ takes us beyond human argument and becomes a daily abiding in His resurrection Life. We will be among those who have the testimony that surely we have been with Jesus. 

Conceptions of the mind must give way to that which has become the perceptions of our heart. We embrace Him with our entire being and fall in love with Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We will love Him because He first loved us and has revealed that love to us from within our innermost being. 

The revelation of Jesus comes as we walk in obedience to His commandments. Simple ongoing adherence to the truth of His commandments given in Biblical scripture will qualify us to know all the Truth that He is. 

  • "He who has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him" (Jn.14:21).

He will disclose Himself unto us…. What compassion! That the Son of God should desire to share the secrets of His heart with us is so awesome. He invites us to a special relationship and fellowship of intimacy and union with Himself. 

It is the most precious gift that God can give. What a treasure for the person who discovers this unique fellowship with Jesus. As we abide and walk obediently to His Word, we will live in Truth even when delusion is spreading throughout the world. 

  • "If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free" (Jn.8:31- 32). 

Jesus is coming back again. His glory will precede Him and be revealed through His saints as a testimony of His Lordship to a dying world. We, as Christians in this hour, must repent and return to our first love. 

We need to simplify our lives to a simple commitment to Jesus Christ and His Word. Knowing Him, loving Him, and obediently serving Him is the devotion he requires of us. 

It is all about love, a love that embraces the revealed righteousness of God as written in the Word of God in our Bibles. Let us look unto Jesus, the Truth. For if we are missing HIM, we are missing it all. 

Brian McGrath

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