Jesus is Lord: Defining the Declaration
By Apostle Eric vonAnderseck
Now that the transition season is in full swing, God is revisiting the meaning of the declaration “Jesus is Lord”. For many years God has been revealing to believers that there are missing pieces to their faith.
You might have felt it deep inside as a yearning for God that seems unfulfilled or still out of reach; you might also have sensed something vital missing upon saying “Jesus is Lord” and feeling disconnected to the true meaning of that declaration.
God is now awakening the church to the realization that while the songs that are sung about Jesus’ lordship are heartfelt and pulls upon emotional heart strings, the substance of His kingdom is missing.
As God works to restore you to the covenant of Jesus Christ in this season of transition, God is also working to reveal the counterfeit system that lay hidden for far too long. How can a believer know the true meaning of the Lordship of Jesus when under the influence of the counterfeit? It becomes a moot point.
That term really helps us. “A moot point can be either an issue open for debate, or a matter of no practical value or importance because it's hypothetical.” (dictionary.com)
As we progress through this vital study, we’re going to see both of these definitions revealed in the current Christian culture and its understanding of what it means to declare that Jesus is Lord.
When a person says “Jesus is Lord” yet hasn’t transitioned to the covenant, the Lordship of Jesus Christ is open for debate as the flesh takes up the declaration to argue for itself. We’ll also see that under the guise of substitutionism the declaration of the Lordship of Jesus has no practical value. We’ll look at a few examples of how that takes place.
Remember, no one purposefully puts themselves under the spell of the enemy, so this season of transition is also a season of correction for your liberty, to equip you with spiritual eyes to discern how the devil has worked to put faith to sleep while awakening your carnal senses. It’s often quoted, and it’s true, that unlearning is more difficult than learning. You’re at the crossroads of transition right now and that’s a good place to be.
THE COUNTERFEIT: The counterfeit system will always speak from the perspective of “your life” in a vain attempt to make faith applicable and relevant to you. This is tempting! The devil knows the natural man has an invested interest in himself and works from that natural appetite. That’s why it seems so right—but it isn’t God.
The devil does not want you working from the foundation of truth or from the covenant God provided for you through the blood of Jesus, so he works faith from your perspective—the flesh, hoping you will accept the witness that is found in the voice of your own aspiration to thus keep you bound to a confidence that is outside of Christ.
You might hear it said that “calling Jesus Lord means recognizing Him as the utmost authority in our lives.” We’ll now look at why that is the counterfeit. A counterfeit is called a counterfeit because it looks so close to the real thing it fools undiscerning people. The devil’s spiritual counterfeiting is no different. He fools by creating similarities to the truth.
Suddenly it becomes very important to receive instruction from God’s sanctified apostles rather than continue on the current path, searching and seeking for truth. When on that path the devil kept the counterfeit Jesus alive and well. As truth was always out of reach one could justify making “mistakes” and coming back later to say that you got it wrong for so long—but now are confident you got it right (while admitting you are still seeking and searching).
Alright. So, in our counterfeit declaration, “calling Jesus Lord means recognizing Him as the utmost authority in our lives”, underline the word “authority” and the word “lives”. Can you see the false connection that is being encouraged by Satan? God’s authority is seen to revolve around our lives. This connection acts as an anchor. You are being led to anchor your faith to the flesh—your life.
On the outside, this box looks pretty. It looks good to the untrained eye. How can you possibly go wrong by turning every decision over to Jesus? One does not see that the focus is placed on our lives, whether or not a decision is good or bad, whether or not a direction is good or bad, whether or not a habit is good or bad. (where the flesh is left as the authority to argue its case over and over again, haggling with scripture to try to get it right).
One does not see that the focus is on our worth, whether or not God sees us as worthy. When you’ve ceremoniously taken Jesus’ place (substitutionism), but didn’t take His knowledge, didn’t take His tool, didn’t take on His priesthood, the flesh again is seen to haggle with scripture in a vain attempt to place the worth of Jesus upon self (bringing God down to the level of the flesh).
THE TRUTH: While the counterfeit focus is on YOUR life, God’s focus will always be on Jesus. It might feel like you are honoring God by dedicating your time and talents to God and that by doing this you’re focusing your talents on Jesus. But that detour (navigating around the covenant) does not make your life God’s focus.
God authorized AND sanctified Jesus Christ as the contact point for your faith to reflect Him and express Him. God said so: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Then the apostles followed the same pattern by instructing, “But without faith it is impossible to please him.” (Hebrews 11:6a)
Is faith about my life, my signature, my gifts—are these the things that please God? Or is faith about Jesus Christ—Jesus being the only and true measure for pleasing God?
To acknowledge Jesus as Lord is to bow the head to Him by accepting the knowledge, stewardship, tools, and priesthood He has authorized and sanctified for faith to bear His image and thus reflect and express Him.
You DO have the natural gifts of your signature talents that reflect you. Those things are the light of your soul—they define who you are naturally. We would not expect God to authorize or sanctify these things for faith to reflect Jesus Christ, would we?
Faith is an act of obedience to separate your light from God’s true light, to recognize that His light is superior. At this point, there’s another detour tactic the devil uses to say that you are bringing your signature gifts into submission to God (and thus sanctify them so that you can use them for God).
To acknowledge Jesus as Lord is to agree that His light is superior to our own and that God has called us to reflect Him perfectly and not our signatures. God will not sanctify the lesser light so that you can serve Him with it. That would mean setting aside the light of Christ.
God instructed the prophet Haggai to bring to the children of Israel this same distinction, saying, “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying… If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.” (Haggai 2:2,12)
In other words, you can’t put Jesus on the things of the flesh to sanctify the things of the flesh.
It would be impossible for you to reflect Jesus Christ perfectly if you didn’t have a frame of reference. This is why the covenant of Jesus Christ is Christianity 101. All the essentials for you to know God and serve Him and for your faith to perfectly reflect Jesus Christ is wrapped up in the terms of the new covenant.
AFTER you believe and AFTER you are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13) you have to start building faith from the foundation of truth which are the 12 essential elements of the gospel. This foundation knowledge reflects Jesus Christ perfectly and is your starting point. Each element perfectly fits your faith to Jesus Christ, letting you become a part of Him and He a part of you.
We’re going to look at a few of the binary elements to see how this takes place. You’ll see how God designated Himself as the giver and you as the receiver to show you that your faith, when following the pattern that He set first in Jesus Christ reflects Him perfectly in this divine exchange.
-- God so loved you that He gave you a gift of Himself for you to reciprocate.
-- God so loved you that He restricted your faith to the terms of the covenant.
God made an oath to Himself that He would reciprocate and give life to your soul on the grounds of Jesus Christ, thus freeing you from the penalty of sin. God has agreed with Himself to take ownership of your soul based on you receiving the token of Himself.
Do you see what God authorized and sanctified? He did not authorize and sanctify our life. He authorized and sanctified Jesus Christ.
Christian Life Begins Upon Receiving God’s Token
Christian life begins with the baptism of the Holy Spirit evidenced by tongues. God baptized you in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues to give you the token of Himself. God is reciprocating to your faith, acknowledging that He has received your faith which was drawn from your heart by His grace. Grace + Faith = Righteousness + Seal.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the first token you receive from God after you believed that Jesus is the Son of God; after you repented and made confession of faith in Him. Christian life begins with this divine token. That’s why the apostles referred to the baptism of the Holy Spirit as the “seal”. God sealed your faith with the token of Himself.
Ephesians 1:13, “In whom ye also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also AFTER that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” Do you see how you are given a token that reflects God Himself and with this token you reciprocate and function (you pray in tongues).
Truth is also a token of Himself. The Holy Spirit enters into the knowledge of the covenant to sanctify it with His presence. This is why Jesus said that the Father seeks those who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth (with the token and knowledge that reflects and expresses Himself). Do you see again, in this token of truth (knowledge that reflects Jesus perfectly), how you are given a token that reflects God Himself and this token you reciprocate and function (you offer spiritual sacrifices to prophesy of Christ). That’s your priesthood.
God has to place Himself upon the throne of your heart to sanctify your vessel. But that does not mean that He is sanctifying your signature as a tool for you to serve Him. God is not sanctifying your moral code as the standard to weigh your choices of good and evil. God is not sanctifying the drive of the God-Code for you to find perfection in the flesh.
Do you see the subtle twist of the devil? He got away with it for far too long, saying that Christ in you means that God is helping you to live your life for Jesus (meaning to live out your signature, moral code, and God-Code as if these, being now sanctified by God are trusty tools. This means that you can express yourself and when you do that really well, the devil says you are telling the world how good Jesus is).
Do you see why God designed the Christian life to begin with the new covenant stewardship to teach you the knowledge of Christ to set His record within your heart to be the pattern for faith. God sanctified Jesus Christ for your salvation.
Christians today, because they are brought into the faith without the things of Christ that God sanctified, learn to resist the need to learn the 12 essential elements of the gospel and how they reflect Jesus.
GRACE (1st element): Once in covenant, God gives you a gift of revelation to see Christ and perceive Him from the foundation of truth. God illuminates, enlightens, and awakens the soul daily with many gifts of grace. Grace is designed to be received, that upon entrance of grace your will would be strengthened for faith as God brings you into harmony (equity) with Himself, uniting the two natures of man (the part of you that thinks and the part of you that feels), so making peace.
Grace is manifested in these powers upon the soul. Repentance comes into sharper focus. Your repentance is being molded by grace rather than the moral code. True repentance is to yield to God under the influence of His grace, to consent to Jesus Christ, to accept His testimony and purpose to transition you into His kingdom where you will partake of Him.
You can see clearly the operation of the Spirit in grace and why God calls it a gift. It does not come from your signature, is not common to man. You cannot generate it apart from God’s covenant. The tools of the covenant are called gifts as well as these are the pipeline to God’s grace.You will need God's grace every day to grow in Christ.
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)
FAITH (2nd element): Faith is our obedience to God to receive His grace (mixed with truth) for our spiritual labor to reflect and express Jesus Christ to thus enter into His rest.
Grace being offered by God must be received by us. While the grace of God is shed upon all mankind, only those who believe (acknowledge, mold with, and submit to) are saved (brought into His house).
Faith is important. It is important to yield to the grace of God. When you are first coming into covenant with God, this is grace for salvation. But after you are sealed grace must continue – this is grace for growth.
In this way the Holy Spirit perfectly fits your faith to Jesus Christ, letting you become a part of Him (strengthening the will and creating equity for rest) and He a part of you (the fruit of Christ is born in your soul).
God designated Himself as the giver (grace) and you as the receiver (faith) to show you that this divine exchange is the rhythm of His Spirit. Notice how God is not asking you to reciprocate your signature gifts and talents.
To acknowledge that Jesus is Lord is to acknowledge that the pattern He gave us in Himself is the divine pattern we are to follow for the divine exchange as we just saw demonstrated by the first 2 elements of the gospel.
This divine pattern removes the soul from the culture of the flesh, the changes of time, and is a rest for us. Jesus’ lordship is seen in our agreement to labor with His knowledge and tokens to enter into His rest.
When under the deadly influence of substitutionism, this divine exchange does not take place. A false summary trade makes you speak of your “position” in Christ which is not connected to how God works Christ in you through each of the elements standing in their assigned position by God.
God designed the 12 elements of the gospel to show you His plan for this divine exchange (relationship) to take place. As you learn about each of these essential elements, each element becomes a building block, a foundation stone. You need this knowledge to know how to function in Him so that the declaration “Jesus is Lord” does not come a moot point.
Jesus is Lord: I am Accepting God’s Blueprint of Life
Now that God has restored the foundation of truth, you can understand these essential 12 elements of the gospel as Jesus’ DNA. This is your blueprint of life in Him. These are God’s building blocks for faith to resemble Jesus Christ and not yourself. Can you now understand why apostles are called the master builders of the faith? They are the instructors, teaching you how to build according to God’s blueprint.
Most believers have been schooled in the wilderness to be fearful of “knowledge” and head straight for a “relationship with Jesus” apart from His covenant (apart from receiving instruction to learn how to fit the elements to Christ). Believers are led to quote Romans 10:9 as rote, to state what the scriptures say apart from the due process of the covenant. You know the rest of the story.
Faith is thought out hypothetically (I see what the scripture says), but in that faith has no practical function with the things God sanctified in Jesus, it is ignorantly joined to the flesh to express who you are apart from Christ.
Prior to covenant, when still part of the false religious system, you were given language to talk about yourself in a spiritual way (but still void of Christ). You were told who you are in Christ (special, redeemed, bought with a price) and what God wants you to be (victorious, a winner, an abundant giver, a loving spouse, an honest worker) and how to walk this out by the natural man (worked out by reasoning scripture upon the scale of your own moral code). This was not functioning in Him—Jesus was not Lord.
So, we can be thankful that God is re-schooling the church in the essential elements of the gospel, rehubbing Christ to Christianity by re-introducing the covenant knowledge, language, terms, tools, and priesthood. Jesus is Lord of the framework of truth God authorized and sanctified for you to use to know Him and serve Him perfectly.
Jesus is the Standard
God’s plan is that He would accept your faith on the grounds of Jesus Christ. Your faith would perfectly reflect and express Jesus Christ when He is used as the standard measure. This is God’s expectation. When your faith meets God’s expectation perfectly, He declares you righteous—your faith is exemplary—a perfect reflection of the One who gave it.
Because there is no other name under heaven by which we may be saved, there is no other standard that makes us worthy before God. Each element of the gospel is God’s standard measure to Jesus Christ. As each element is applied to Jesus, faith is equipped to reflect Him.
To declare that Jesus is your Lord means to acknowledge that He is the only measure for faith. Faith reaches its highest point of expression in Him. When we use the standard measure of Jesus as a mirror for our faith we’re saying that God accepts the worthiness of Jesus and accepts our faith on these grounds.
God has made Jesus Christ to be the very center, focus, core, and crown of our faith. The word “exemplary” helps us to understand this. “When something is the best it can be or reaches the highest point, it is exemplary and thus worth imitating” (the stated definition for the word exemplary @vocabulary.com).
Prior to God’s restoration of the covenant, it was normal for believers to be taught how to use their signature talents or moral code to imitate Jesus’ actions and so try to get their behavior in line with His. This became a problem in that it felt very much like “works” – which it was! You had to work with your flesh to get this imitation going.
Recently a minister tried to teach this changed behavior in his book as a natural outflow of a new position. He used his wife as an example explaining that after his wife was joined to him in marriage she thought from her new position as his wife and behaved accordingly. Meaning that she no longer sought after a mate, did not flirt with other men, did not continue dating.
Now I’m going to show you why this analogy, although easy for the natural man to lock into, the spiritual man gets locked out. The new position for a person who has come to Christ is that he is given the covenant knowledge, terms, and tools for his contact with Christ. Faith is worked out with each of the elements of the gospel in a priesthood that is joined to the throne of God.
There’s a functionality to this new position in Christ. For example, God didn’t just give you His place. He did not give you a position of sanctification, He gave you the tools of the covenant for your faith to be active. With these spiritual tools, God separates you from the world unto Himself. He placed the name of Jesus on them. He sprinkled the blood of Jesus on them. Therefore the Holy Spirit confirms Jesus Christ in them.
When God baptized you with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues, that is the first point of sanctification. God is now in you, has now taken ownership of your soul, and claims you as His own. As stated earlier, He sanctified your vessel with the token of Himself. Do you see how He separated you from the world to Himself?
Authority has to do with God’s seal of approval. That’s why He baptized us in the Holy Spirit to start the Christian life. But the Holy Spirit works with truth. He has to have an avenue to enter into. He empowers truth because He’s confirming Christ.
This is the pattern we follow. We follow the same pattern as the Spirit because God authorized it for our faith (not for self) to reflect Jesus (faith operates for this purpose).
Having received this instruction (you know what the tools are and how to use them), you respond in kind—this is called holiness. You use the same tools God sanctified for your contact with Him to separate yourself from the world to Him. Do you see how sanctification and holiness work as binary elements and how this speaks of your new behavior in Christ?
SANCTIFICATION (5th element): God sprinkled the blood of Jesus upon His spiritual tools. God gives you these tools as your arsenal, that you might by them war a good warfare. Each time you use Jesus’ tools you are touching Him by touching those things of Him. God intended for you to have daily contact with Him to experience the divine nature.
HOLINESS (6th element): You respond in kind. God initiated contact through the tools to separate you from the world unto Himself and you follow the same pattern; you separate yourself from the world unto God by using His tools. In that the name of Christ is upon them, God works Christ within your heart.
While the world sets themselves apart by their signature, you set yourself apart by Christ. The very highest praise to God is to remove the crown that speaks of the honor of the flesh to put on the crown of Christ.
Because Jesus is the standard by which God measures your faith to His perfection, you have to put on Christ before you can express Him. To put on Christ means to first be schooled in the 12 essential elements of the gospel. Christ then is the foundation of your faith and the foundation of your thinking.
Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
To confess Jesus as Lord means to consent to the plan of God, that the consumption of His grace is for the purpose of the increase of the soul to return to the Father with the value of Christ.
God established His value upon Jesus Christ by giving us the 12 essential elements of the Gospel. You are to honor me by placing this value of Christ upon your faith. By establishing this standard, faith is measured according to Christ Jesus and not the measure of man.
God established Jesus Christ as the true value of the soul. As taste, sight, and hearing creates thought, so also the grace of God continually gives us eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to perceive the value God placed upon Jesus Christ for our benefit. This teaches us the fear of the Lord, that if God withdrew His grace from us we would no longer be able to see Him; if He were to withdraw His grace we would no longer be in contact with Him – we would go spiritually adrift.
To acknowledge Jesus as Lord means to restrict faith to the covenant where sin is put into remission. All outside the covenant bears the shame of Satan’s face, knowledge, and kingdom.
To acknowledge that Jesus is Lord means that we take on the bonds of His covenant for our peace, to progress in the virtues of His kingdom and by His powers. This is why the labor we put towards our faith is not vain, but is profitable.
[Eric vonAnderseck serves the Body of Christ as a confirmed Apostle in the government of God. He is the founder of Second 8th Week Ministries & founder of the Network of Apostles Today. He is the IDCCST® Christian Education Curriculum author and author of over 100 ground breaking books and articles, spearingheading the return of the apostolic calling and anointing to the church.
Apostle Eric ministers extensively nationally and internationally. He is the pioneer of the new apostolic age and recognized as the leading authority in the fields of church growth, foundation building, spiritual gifts and spiritual warfare, and the leading voice in the transition of the church into the new apostolic season and reformation.]
image credit: Thomas Guignard @Flickr (edited)
Last Revised: 2016-06-19