Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Lamb Of God Who Takes Away The Sin Of Who?

Once more as I listened to another audio teaching on James Flanders website I realized that as I've read the Bible for most of my life I haven't been paying attention. How is it that things that are right in front of my eyes can be missed? Is it because my religious tradition was blinding me? Was it because God was keeping my eyes closed for some reason? How is it that even when I would quote the passage in the following teaching transcript that I would do all I could in my mind to explain why it couldn't possibly mean what it says. Yet, in doing that I was completely discrediting Christ and absolutely missing the point John the Baptist was making. Actually, more than simply missing the point John was making, I was actually (without realizing it) calling John a False prophet. How was I doing that? Read the transcript of Flanders teaching below to find out.

John The Baptist: Greatest Prophet Or False Prophet?

Transcript of Audio Recording Click Here To Listen

In Matthew chapter 11 Jesus was talking to a crowd of people about John the Baptist.

Let me read the passage to you. It’s Matthew chapter 11 verses 7 through 11.

7 As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he of whom it is written:

‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.’

11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist;

So… as Jesus talks about John the Baptist, He tells us that John was a prophet, but not just any old prophet. He was a prophet other prophets had prophesied about and Jesus says that out of all the prophets John was the greatest.

Think about that. Jesus calls John the greatest. THE GREATEST PROPHET.

Now, it seems to make sense that if a person is going to be called a prophet then the messages that they proclaim would have to be absolutely true. And so if Christ calls John the GREATEST of all the prophets, oh my goodness without a doubt we would have to say that the messages that John proclaimed, the words of prophecy he spoke would have to be spot on… or else he would not have been the greatest, and I’m not sure we could call him a prophet at all.

If what John proclaimed was not true… and Jesus not only called him a prophet… but the greatest… What would that say about Jesus.

Please think it through… If John wasn’t spot on in His proclamations to the people, you would have to say he wasn’t a prophet, much less the greatest of them.

And if Jesus had called him the greatest among the prophets, but yet John was wrong in his prophesying, then well… that would mean that Jesus was wrong.

If Jesus was wrong in his proclamations about John… Oh my goodness…

Listen. I am convinced that Jesus was absolutely correct in calling John a prophet… and the greatest.

And I am convinced that since John was the greatest of the prophets, then the messages that he spoke, the proclamations he made had to be spot on.

So, what was his big message?

Let me read it to you. This is from John chapter 1 verse 29.

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

You’ve probably heard those words many times. Maybe you’ve read them many times.

This is the message from the one Christ calls the greatest… a prophet among prophets…

“Behold! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Do you believe that proclamation is true?

That Christ is THE LAMB OF GOD, WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF…. Who was that?

The what? The world!

The word which has been translated as world in our English translations is the word Kosmos.

Have you ever heard that word before? Kosmos?

Here’s the way it is used in the King James Bible according to Strong’s… here’s how it is defined.

The world, the universe, the circle of the earth, the earth, the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family, the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ, world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly, the whole circle of earthly goods, any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort, the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews.

Wow. That is a pretty all encompassing word.

The universe, the world, the human family, the whole mass of humanity, including those that are presently hostile to the cause of Christ.

What was John’s message? “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, the Kosmos.”

He takes away the sin of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Can that mean what it sounds like it means? Is this true? Or was John a false prophet and Jesus just a guy who had no clue what he was talking about when He called John a prophet and said he was the greatest?

Wait a minute. This goes so against the grain of institutionalized religion and tradition, orthodox theology, that there’s gotta be something wrong with the translation. John couldn’t have really meant that Christ would take away the sin of all humanity including those who are hostile to him.

Maybe the original word translated as “takes away” actually mean something other than “takes away.”

After all, there are a few words that have been poorly translated, like the words that were translated as hell in the King James… and the word Aion which is wrongly translated as forever.

Hold on my friend. There is nothing wrong with the translation here.

The term “takes away” is translated from the word Airo. (I ROE)

Let me read you the rather lengthy list of definitions from Strong’s.

1) to raise up, elevate, lift up a) to raise from the ground, take up: stones b) to raise upwards, elevate, c) to draw up: a fish 2) to take upon one's self and carry what has been raised up, to bear 3) to bear away what has been raised, carry off a) to move from its place b) to take off or away what is attached to anything c) to remove d) to carry off, carry away with one e) to appropriate what is taken f) to take away from another what is his or what is committed to him, to take by force g) to take and apply to any use h) to take from among the living, either by a natural death, or by violence i) cause to cease

Oh my goodness… That’s a pretty powerful word!

So, what do you think about the message of John? Is it true? Or was he a false prophet? If he was a false prophet what would that make Jesus?

Here’s the message of John… The Prophecy about Christ!

Behold the LAMB of GOD, who completely lifts up, removes, carries away, takes upon himself, removes from the living, by death, and causes to cease… the SIN of the Kosmos… the universe, the world, the inhabitants of earth, including those who are hostile to him.

Wow… Was that a true prophecy? Or was it false?

I have heard way too many people explain it away and make it much less than what John says. Are they correct in making John a false prophet? Or was Jesus correct in saying John is the greatest among prophets?

There’s a bunch of Scripture I could share at this point, but I just want to leave you with this particular one in mind… along with what we looked at yesterday.

Remember what that passage was?

The angel on the night of Christ’s birth proclaiming to the shepherds, the announcement of all announcements: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Good news! Christ the LORD is born. He is a Savior!! I bring you good tidings of great joy for ALL PEOPLE!

And now we see John saying, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

My friend. This is truly good news. Way better than most people have ever imagined. And sadly, it’s a message that is explained away and watered down… and flat out denied.

My name is James Flanders, and each day, the greatness of the work of Christ, the Lamb of God, blows my mind more and more. How about you?

Thank you for spending time with me today.

Be blessed my friend. Be blessed.

So what do you think after reading that? If John spoke the truth, what are the implications? If Jesus didn't take away the sin of the world, then whose sins did He take away? If having sins taken away rest on the effort of any man or woman, then who is actually doing the saving? Is it Christ or is it the man of the woman?

On another note, what kind of teacher is James Flanders? Is he a heretic because he doesn't parrot what the religious majority teaches? Is he a false teacher? I've had friends tell me so as I've talked to them about these teachings. However, most of them have never actually taken the time to listen or read the things he has to say.

At this point, even if he is way wrong, one thing is for sure. The things he has to say have really pushed me to study the Scripture with more zeal and fervency and that's a good thing. I pray that God will continue to lead me toward the truth.

Lot's of his teachings are being uploaded to YouTube. You can find them at the link below.

Some other websites are starting to post his articles as well.

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