Christ did not leave his disciples as orphans. In fact the gift of the Holy Spirit did for the disciples all that the Incarnate Word had been doing for them and more. Believers have their main security in the Holy Spirit and many fail to log in to this “Vault” which I must say is pretty useless apart from the words (actual words) of the first witnesses. So you can imagine that when my friend recommended that I view the work of one “apostle Gino Jennings” my brain shifted into red alert mode.
Foundational and Missionary Apostleship
Apostles come in two types. Those who were eyewitness from the start of our Lord’s ministry and saw the Risen Lord comprise the first type. The second is any person sent out (especially by a local authority) on a mission (pastoral or evangelistic etc.).
Any apostle in the subsequent years had better be literate and, like any spiritual leader, be apt to teach, and better not be reaching for “I said so” authority. So I said to my friend, “I will take a look and” since he thinks that formal theological training is unimportant I will predict that this apostle is a fraud.
I viewed 3 videos of Gino Jennings. Here’s what I found.
When asked who he is, he never named the Saviour of the world but he said “God” repeatedly.
When speaking about the possibility of pleasing God, he never mentioned faith.
He misquoted Rev. 5:3, 4 insisting that “no man” means that no human agency was involved. However the text has no-one, oudeis ουδεις (oodayce) = no entity, nothing.
Gino mishandled 2 Cor. 5 19, treating hoti ότι as ekeinos, εκείνος
Paul is not differentiating one God from another, he is making the point that “God was in Christ…”
This or that are demonstrative pronouns.
Compare John 3:33
He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that (hoti) God is true.
2 Corinthians 5:19
To wit, that (hoti) God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
that god = conjunction + noun
It is not demonstrative pronoun + noun
Gino’s elaborate explanation of Christ’s identity is essentially an incarnation denial. I did not hear him acknowledge that the babe of Bethlehem and the fetus in Mary’s womb was God. He was saying the opposite.
Let me add that the use of titles lends itself to assumptions that qualifications are in place. Pastor, elder, bishop, priest (father), (rabbi from the Jewish faith) etc. are common forms of address and those of us who are in Christian leadership need to be vigilant against idolatry.
Anyone can use these titles and the proof of the pudding is in the specific application of the person to the fundamental functions assigned to that title. Learning is paramount because our safety depends on the ability to interpret the Gospel. General familiarity with the Scriptures is good but the Christian leader who fails to bring Scriptural exploration to the Crucified Christ shows that he or she is still in kindergarten and not worthy of the title.
Different gifts are in place for education not controversy and many ideas that believers have to wrestle with are not Crucified Christ-centred and many not Christian at all.
Let me leave you with two selections from the apostle Peter which will demonstrate that we all are at risk when we do not follow the fundamental message about Christ.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1:16