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Phinney | "Christian" vs. Indwelt Christian

Posted Saturday, July 8, 2017 Ezekiel News Network Send Comment to EZN

​Christian: Christianos is a name given by worldly observers regarding those individuals or groups who were individually or collectively following Jesus throughout the first generation after the resurrection.  This was not the title born-again indwelt followers of Christ Jesus used amongst themselves.  The term used by the born--again was “disciples” (mathetes) of Christ Jesus.  The term  

“Christian” was first adopted at Antioch and initially was not necessarily considered a compliment.  It does not occur in the New Testament as a name commonly used by the disciples themselves. 

“And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

“Agrippa replied to Paul, ‘In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian’ " (Acts 26:28).

In Acts 11:26, the verb used for “called” is not onomasthesan (profess to be a disciple); but rather, the word here is chrematisai (to have a business affair or dealings).  This means – Christ Jesus’ disciples were noted by observers to have had “dealings” with Jesus.  This same term was used by the Magi (magicians) from the East who were divinely informed not to return to tell Herod where the baby Jesus was located.  Magi were not being classified as born-again indwelt followers of Christ, but rather “having dealings with Jesus through divine oracles.”  Thus, a more literal definition of the term “Christian” in Acts 11:26 is: followers of the one who called himself the Messiah, Christ.  This term was never strictly used to define true indwelt believers; but rather, those who have been overpowered by a divine direction and then choosing to follow such a teacher. 

It is important not to confuse Christianos with Christos (anointed, to anoint), a term used in the Hebrew applied to everyone anointed with the Holy oil (Spirit) by the high priest.  In the New Covenant, that high priest is Christ Jesus.  In fact, in the New Covenant (NT) it communicates a title that the Bride of Christ (indwelt believers) is the body in which Jesus Christ is the head (Groom).  To be a Christos, one must be selected as a Bridal member, have the Holy Spirit poured upon and indwelt in him, and be justified/sanctified through the work of the Cross through co-crucifixion.

Most biblically accurate term: Mathetes Christos.  Mathetes in the Old Testament meant student or learner, where the learner cannot be higher than the instructor (Luke 6:40).  In the New Covenant (NT) it means to become one with instruction, by being a follower of one’s teacher.  To have Christos come into play, we now have the following meaning:

Mathetes Christo: Becoming one with the instruction of Jesus Christ, by way of being anointed by the Teacher with the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer, which comes by way of Salvation in Jesus Christ.        

The history of the word “Christian” was quickly adopted by the world as a term to label those who followed Christ Jesus – being indwelt by the Holy Spirit (born-again) or not.  The term is used in the postmodern times of today in the same fashion, except the “Christ” in Christ-ian is not necessarily Jesus Christ; this means it does not necessarily separate the indwelt (Holy Spirit indwelt) believers/disciples from those who intellectually follow Jesus Christ, or a Christ, by their works.  Thus, the term “Christian” no longer means Bridal/Body member of Jesus Christ, nor did it ever accurately communicate the definition of true indwelt followers of Jesus.  This is why I make it a habit to use the term indwelt Christian, which accurately communicates Christ Jesus’ followers who have the Holy Spirit indwelling them. 

Warning:  I am of the belief that in the last days, the enemy (Satan) will use the term “Christian” to lead the world unto him through a global religion that possibly will be called “Christian.”  If Christian means “Christ” follower, and since Satan will introduce himself as Christ, it would be easy for him to make the apocalyptic swap of the real Christ (Jesus) for himself (Anti-Christ).

Scripture  taken from the New American Standard Bible, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Phinney | New Book | The Father

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