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Pointers along the way #462

The high priest of our confession?
- Jacob Ninan

Some people believe that our words have some power (misquoting Pr.18:21) and they confess positive things they want to happen. Some people have gone on to say that Jesus as our High Priest receives what we confess, presents it to the Father and the Father makes it happen, misunderstanding another passage (He.3:1) where some translations depict Jesus as the 'high priest of our confession'. But the simple meaning is 'the high priest whom we confess, profess or acknowledge'. This is an example where people try to read meanings into the Bible (which are really not there) to substantiate their teachings. This is called 'eisegesis' or drawing in one's own ideas into a text, in contrast to exegesis which is to bring out the real meaning from the text.

This heresy about making things happen by confessing with our lips has pervaded so much of the world that even big leaders take it without question. Some other heresies such as the 'health and wealth gospel', Jesus as an in-style, rich leader who promoted the 'good life', the 'gospel' of Christians dominating and ruling the earth, etc., seem to have this as a common belief. So we see people commanding healing, speaking peace into broken relationships, declaring freedom, and predicting rosy futures. The sad fact is that even when people don't see these things happening as a result of such confessions, they don't question the teaching.

Some people may take offence at my use of the word heresy for such teachings. But I call them heresy because these teachings create an unrealistic and improper position for man as someone who has power and authority in himself. This is completely contrary to the fact all power and authority rest with God, the Creator (Ps.62:11). Even when we are adopted into His family as His children, we don't become divine but still remain human. But now God is able to work through us earthen vessels using His power and authority (2Co.4:7). When God gives us authority to exercise His power, power still belongs to God and He (and not we) is the one who executes His work through us as His instruments.

A humble, godly man will pray and ask God to do mighty things for him and through him. He will not presume to take that authority on himself. He will always seek for God's will to be done (Mt.6:10), and not imagine that God may be commanded to do what he wants! This last one is another heresy that says God wants us to 'command' Him (Is.45:11). When we see this phrase in some translations (KJV,NKJV) don't we need to see 'red' and examine things more? "And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands" (NASB). "will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?" (ESV). "How dare you tell me what to do with the work of my own hands!" (NET).

The other problem is that these teachings lead people away from the true way of life, of becoming entirely dependent on God (Jn.5:30), taking up our cross, denying ourselves and doing God's will (Lk.9:23).


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