|Sons to Glory book by Paul Jablonowski||
Part 2 - Acting Like Mature Sons - Apostles
Acting Like Mature Sons
The Passion Movie
There are two truths that the Lord showed me using Mel Gibson's "Passion" movie. The first truth is that the Cross (representing death to selfishness) is what Jesus lived DAILY and not just at the end of His life. The second truth is that the religious deception in our days is rampant. The first part about The Cross is what I wrote on March 12, 2004 in this chapter immediately after watching the movie. The second part about The Deception was written here on August 19, 2005 after I learned about the occult influences that inspired this movie.
This Passion movie glories in the violence and murder of Jesus on the cross and this was actually Satan's pleasure. However, the TRUE Cross of Obedience to Christ will give His people the kingdoms of this world that Jesus won back for us when He fully obeyed His father and gave up His life for us. The TRUE "Cross of Christ" is not some psychotic "death wish," but rather a life of obedience: a type of obedience even unto death. Presently, at the "end of the age" it is every person's individual choice to either take up their cross and follow Jesus, or to serve the god of this world who will gladly give you fame and fortune if you will bow down to serve him.
Satan is the god of this age (2 Cor 4:4),
and he is able to give money and power and honor to those who will follow
him. Many of the people in high-level places of influence in media,
entertainment, government and organized religion have bowed to worship
demons whether they realize it or not. Due to the inherent selfishness
of the human heart we are easily deceived, and without Christ and death
to selfishness, we are doomed to be used by the enemy. When Satan tempted
Jesus, he "took Him up on a high mountain, and showed Him all
the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All
these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me."
So Satan DID indeed have this world's kingdoms to offer Jesus, but Jesus
wouldn't bite because he knew that His Father had prepared to give Him
these same kingdoms of the world, only it would be through the Cross
of obedience and not the easy way of bowing to Satan. We must follow
in Christ's footsteps the same way. He is our ONLY hope, and only those
with Jesus' character and self-sacrificing attitude will bring the kingdom
of heaven to this earth. "Thy kingdom come, and Thy will be
done on earth as it is in heaven!" (Matthew 6:10)
March 12, 2004 - I was very inspired and touched by the recent film "The Passion of the Christ." I have been praying for and anticipating this movie for over a year, and I was not disappointed. Although it is a true work of art, you are not thinking about the good cinema quality as much as you are transfixed on the man Jesus Christ and the forgiveness and love of his character. What a man! What an awesome God! While other religions often require you to sacrifice to gain their god's approval, only Christianity offers a God who sacrifices His only son so that we can know Him and be saved.
I am sure everyone gets something different out of this movie, but what struck me personally was the message of Jesus the Chief Apostle, because our generation will see the office of apostle restored to the corporate "Body of Christ." In the early church everyone knew who and where the apostles were, but this is not the case today. Often times, our many denominations and institutions hinder the operation of true apostolic anointing in the region-wide Body of believers. Nevertheless, this seems to be changing with prayer, and this movie could help the cause of uniting the city-wide local body of believers under true apostolic authority.
An example of this type of unity happened here in my town of Huntsville on the day that the movie opened. A group of thirteen local pastors were in the middle of a four day, three night prayer summit retreat in order to pray for the city and get to know each other better. They all went to see this movie together and as a group were very moved by what they saw. I was told that they all left the movie theater without saying a word to each other during the entire ride back to the retreat lodging (quite a miracle for preachers!). Although these pastors were all from different denominations and backgrounds, they found common ground with this movie, and it helped their focus for the remainder of the retreat.
Here is a movie produced by one of the greatest stars
in Hollywood that may do more to promote the sacrificial character of
Jesus than hundreds of church institutions combined. I believe this
type of breakthrough will start happening in other fields of service
like business, science, education, government, etc. The Church was never
meant to be an institution, but rather a living example of Jesus on
the earth during every day life -- The kingdom
of God is much bigger than the church! Life is really about
relationships: first with our creator God and then with one another.
Deep and lasting "father/son" type relationships will become
the backbone of this apostolic revolution.
Jesus is the Chief "Apostle" which simply means a "sent one," and so His life and death is the example for all apostles. In the New Testament, Paul was also a great example of the gift of an apostle and he wrote, "I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2). That is what I saw in this movie - Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Jesus died to "self" every day of His life and not just at the cross. Likewise, the apostle Paul wrote, "I die daily" (1Cor. 15:31). This same heart attitude is resident and readily apparent in all true apostles. When discerning true apostles, this type of humble character is more important than gifting or miracle working, and even Jesus refused to perform a sign when religious people required it from Him.
It was truly Jesus' Passion to endure the cross with the longer term vision of a harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God. Likewise, all future true apostles of the Lamb will have this same gentle, humble attitude of laying down their lives for the sake of others. This was the message of the Cross and the obvious focus of this movie. I pray that this movie will wake up a slumbering generation to take up their crosses and follow Jesus.
August, 19, 2005 - It has been a year and a half since I first saw this Passion movie and I have learned some rather disturbing things about those who made this movie, as well as observed some bad fruit. When you are faced with truth, you can either accept it or reject it, but the truth will not be changed because truth is embodied in a person and that person is Jesus Christ. Those who seek truth will find Jesus, and those who honestly look to Jesus will find the truth. What I have learned since my first viewing of the movie is that many of the leading stars in this movie are blatant unrepentant pornography stars of the hard-core type. It is also apparent that the underlying spirit behind creating this movie has its roots in the occult.
Rather than go into detail on this matter and give much attention to the works of darkness, it is probably more helpful to the reader to explain how something like this happens in the spiritual realm, and how easily the human heart can be deceived. Satan's most effective tactic is to come as "an angel of light" to deceive (2 Cor. 11:14), so there are many who claim the name of Jesus that do not do what He says. They preach another Jesus other than the true Christ. While I still rejoice that Christ is being preached in "The Passion of the Christ" movie, I also feel that a warning is in order about following after a false god that is made in the likeness of man. Modern day "idol worship" can include an unhealthy focus on many good things including people we admire like actors or even ministers of the gospel.
Unfortunately the Catholic theology, which is what this Passion movie is based on, worships many idols and demons besides the real Jesus of the Bible. A mixture of the true and the false is the most deceptive because on the outside it can appear righteous yet lull people asleep as to their true spiritual condition. I was born and raised among Catholics in my family, and my mother grew up going to a Catholic school. Therefore, I realize that many individual people who attend a Catholic church may indeed be children of God, because becoming a child of God is a matter of faith and confession in Messiah Jesus and not a matter of what organization with which you are affiliated. However, I am saying that the hierarchical system of the Catholic church is based upon the wisdom of man and not the order of God, which will always open up spiritual doors for people in the occult to bring demonic influence and deceive. The Catholic church was founded upon the pagan worship of Mithra the sun God and is most certainly a major part of what the book of Revelation calls "Mystery Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth" (Rev. 17:5). A study of the pagan occult roots of the Catholic church is outside of the scope of this book, but an excellent resource for this topic is a book by Robert Fischer called "The Children of God."7
While on the surface this movie uplifts and honors Jesus, there is a subtle deception that Satan may be using in this movie to draw people into the occult and idol worship. Even a casual glance into the history of the actors and producers of this movie will show a multitude of violent and hard-core pornographic material as well as mystic pagan witchcraft. 1 John 3:10 clearly tells us: "whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God." While I am glad that this movie exalts the man Christ Jesus, I do not endorse the character of those who played a part in creating it. For more information on the depths of this religious deception problem please read Part 2 in Robert Fischer's book "The Children of God." 7
On the surface it may not seem important regarding the character and integrity of those who preach or teach the gospel. It may be easy to think that as long as peoples words line up with the Scriptures, then things are alright. However, in the spirit realm we impart to others what and who we are. The words we speak are just vehicles that carry who we are in the spirit. This is why Jesus said, "it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63)
Others can speak the exact same words that Jesus spoke in order to try and mimic His life, but it will not contain the real heart and life of Jesus unless His character is truly in them. In Acts 19:11-20, the seven sons of Sceva used the same words as the apostle Paul to try and drive out demons, but the demons "overpowered them and prevailed against them so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded," because they did not have Paul's godly character. Discerning the heart and character of Jesus in other people is a major act of mature sons.