Should You Run From Jesus Always?

Jesus Always - September 30th

There Are Always Exceptions
Part I - God's Glory & Capitalization

In book "Should You RUN From Jesus Always?" we examine several Jesus Always devotionals and find every one we look at contains unbiblical teaching. In a three part series here we examine the September 30th devotional in-depth and find that it has a number of problems and unbiblical teaching throughout.

I am not searching out "problem" devotions in an effort to make Jesus Always look bad. These are essentially randomly selected devotions, including one Sarah Young picked. In the book we look at September 5th, a devotion Sarah Young identified as being one of her favorites.

This abundance of unbiblical teaching should be of concern and result in every Christian rejecting Jesus Always as NOT being a Christian devotional. This is a book all Christians should avoid.

In the book “Should You RUN From Jesus Always” several Jesus Always devotions are compared with scripture revealing that what “Jesus” says is not Biblical. The “Jesus” who is speaking in the Jesus Always devotional clearly does not understand scripture.

Several statements are made in the “Should I Run From Jesus Always” book that are generalizations. And there always will be some special cases that are exceptions. The September 30th Jesus Always devotion provides a good example for examining problems with Jesus Always as well as several exceptions. Let's start at the beginning of this devotion. Here is the first paragraph:

THE RICHEST TREASURE I offer you is the Light of the gospel of My Glory. This is what makes the gospel such amazingly good news. It opens the way to My Glory! – Sarah Young, Jesus Always, September 30th, 2016, page 285

What is this paragraph teaching? I don't know. It strings together some good sounding words, but there is not much that is Biblical here. Yes, the gospel is amazingly good news. That's a true statement. But how does it open the way to “My Glory?” What does “opens the way to My Glory” mean? I don't know. But I also know that it leaves to door open to whatever YOU want it mean.

"Opens The Way To My Glory"

Let's see if we can figure this out. What is the relationship between the gospel and God's glory? What is this “way” that is being opened? Why does it need to be opened?

God is glorified through the gospel. More than anything else, the gospel glorifies God. Why?

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. - Romans 5:10

Because God took people who hated him... those who were His enemies... those who had turned their back on Him and totally rejected Him... and God showered His grace and mercy on them. For their benefit, He paid the ultimate penalty, taking the full wrath of God on Himself, the penalty these wretched sinners had justly earned. He died the second death so they could live. That's why God is glorified through the gospel. He gave us a priceless gift we did not deserve.

The gospel brings God more glory than anything else. Does the gospel open the way for God to be glorified? No! That makes it sound as though, through the gospel God may or may not be glorified. The door is open, but maybe no one walks through the door. No! That's not glorifying God to the max.

The gospel directly glorifies God. We're dead in our sins. Be can do nothing. We can't even walk through an open door. God saves us. He choses who He will save and He does 100% of the saving. Everything is done by God, and it is all part of the gospel, and as a result God is glorified.

Unusual Capitalization

In the book "Should You RUN From Jesus Always?" I point out that words we would not normally expect to be capitalized, such as Joy, Peace and Love are capuitalized. This is a sign of New Age theology and that you are reading something that is not Biblical. Let's look at this in a little more detail:

The September 30th devotion starts with a quote from scripture: “the Light of the gospel of My Glory.” That's from 2 Corinthians 4:4 where Paul writes: whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. - 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NASB)

First, notice that “Light” is capitalized in the devotion, as well as “Glory.” Why is that? Because in New Age theology god is in everything and everything is in god. So god is in glory, and glory is in god. That means glory should be capitalized. This is not what scripture teaches, which is that God has glory. And God is glorified. But, "glory" is not God.

Note: Capitalization of words referring to God, such as He and Him, is a human decision. It is done to help the reader know when a pronoun is referring to God and to show reverence for God. Not all Bible translations capitalize pronouns that refer to God. (see: Some New Age authors follow this convention and capitalize words such as Glory, Joy, Peace, and Presence because in New Age theology these words are direct references to God. In Christian theology, with some exceptions, these words are not a direct reference to God. So we see a sharp contrast between New Age theology and Christian theology. For example, the word Glory is not capitalized anywhere in scripture, except in one case in which Majestic Glory is used as a name for God. "Glory" is capitalized throughout Jesus Always, revealing its New Age theology.

Looking at 2 Corinthians 4:4 you see that “light” is not capitalized. We could leave it at that, and point out the error of capitalizing "Light" in this quotation from scripture. But, let's dig deeper and look at an exception. There are instances when the word “light” is capitalized in scripture. For instance:

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. – 1 John 1:5 (NASB)

I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life. – John 8:12 (NASB)

So why is the word “light” capitalized in scripture here? And why is it wrong to capitalize it in 2 Corinthians 4:4. To answer this questionwe'll need to understanding howt the word “light” is used in the New Testament.

“New Testament references to light are often figurative.” - Tyndale Bible Dictionary, 2001, page 818

The Tyndale Bible Dictionary definition of “light” goes on to say that scripture “emphasizes that Christ brought a revelation from God, but He was more than a revealer. He himself was that revelation.” (page 819) This helps us make sense of 1 Peter 2:9 which refers to Jesus, but “light” is not capitalized.

so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; - 1 Peter 2:9

In this verse Peter is talking about believers having been called out of darkness... meaning to be called out of moral darkness... called out of a sinful condition. What are we being called into? We are being called into His kingdom.

“When believers receive Christ's light, He illuminates their minds so they can discern truth, and He changes their souls so they are able to apply it. They receive both the intellectual light of God's truth and the righteous desires to obey it, neither of which they had before conversion.” – John MacArthur, New Testament Commentary 1 Peter, 2004, page 131

As you see, the word “light” in 1 Peter 2:9 does not refer to revelation, but to intellectual illumination. Thus, the translators of the NASB chose not to capitalize it.

But, when “light” refers to revelation, as it does in John 8:12, it is pronoun that directly refers to God. Since Jesus is the revelation personified, the word "Light" (referring to this revelation), following the conventions of the NASB, should be capitalized.

If we think of “light” as referring to revelation, meaning new information that results in a better understanding of what scripture had previously revealed, then all of this makes sense. Jesus is that revelation (Light), and He also walks within the knowledge of that revelation – meaning all of His words and actions are in accordance with the revelation, and are actually a part of the revelation.

This also fits with Paul talking about “mystery” in Ephesians – “by revelation there was made known to me the mystery” (Ephesians 3:3).

So scripture is saying Jesus is the Light... He is the Revelation. He is the Revelation that gives life. “Light” is capitalized because it is a pronoun referring to the Son of God. In New Age theology, “Light” is capitalized for a different reason. "Light" is a noun naming something that is god. God is light and light is god. New Age and Christian understandings of this are very different, and the New Age theology and capitalization practices are definately not Biblical.

The bottom line? When you see words capitalized, that normally are not capitalized, be wary. Be on the alert. What you are reading, with just a very few exceptions, is probably based on New Age (non-Christian) thinking.

Go to: Part 2 - September 30th Jesus Always Devotion

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All quotes from Jesus Always are copyright 2016 by Sarah Young
Hebrews 7:25 -- 2 Corinthians 2:14 -- John 8:29 -- Matthew 28:19-20 -- Isaiah 57:16 -- Psalm 103:9