There are many definitions in today’s society for the word religion. The definition which I use when asked is; religion (thrēskeia) is a ceremonial observance. It is the celebration of customs and traditions and it is man’s attempt to hold on to the old ways.
Our Lord did not come to establish a new religion He came to shed light on what the Father had already given us. That is why the Pharisees sought to kill Him. He rebuked their ways and their doctrine. He was a threat to their authority and to their religious system which was used to control the people.
Religion is the tool most used by the enemy to mislead God’s children and keep them in the bondage which our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus came to free us from. Religion is a systematic approach to God that is full of the doctrines of men and darkness.
Our Lord warns us:
(Mat 24:4) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
(Mat 24:5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
(Joh 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
(Joh 14:7) If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
If Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and he calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him (Mat 16:24) why then do we submit to the doctrines of men?
(Luk 5:39) No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.
Which Jesus are we serving? Which Jesus do we submit our selves to? The one created by the doctrines of men or the biblical Jesus as recorded in holy scriptures?
Mankind has, over the course of history, been creating a Jesus who conforms to their own beliefs and understanding rather than accepting the biblical Christ. It is for this very reason that we have a fragmented body of believers who subscribe to the doctrines of particular denominations. Jesus did not say that He was the ways, the truths and the lives. He said he was THE way, THE truth and THE LIFE.
According to the World English Dictionary, a denomination is a group having a distinctive interpretation of a religious faith and usually its own organization. I submit to you that the bible is not open to individual interpretations. There is only God, one Jesus and one truth!
According to our Lord:
(Mar 3:24) And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
(Mar 3:25) And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Many profess that there is nothing wrong with denominationalism within the body of Christ. They say that the differences between them are a small thing and what is important is that we all agree on the basic tenets of the faith.
The word of God tells us different!
The apostle Paul wrote:
(1Co 12:24) For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
(1Co 12:25) That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
There should be no schism in the body! The Greek word use here is schisma (schism) and means split or gap. There should be no splits or gaps in the body!
(Eph 4:13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
(Eph 4:14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
(Eph 4:15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
(Eph 4:16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
There is to be unity within the body, not division. The body is supposed to be fitly joined together and compacted not decompressed and expanded.
(1Co 12:13) For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
(1Co 6:17) But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
(Eph 4:4) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
(Eph 4:5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
(Eph 4:6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
(Php 1:27) Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
It is the spirit of religion which divides the body of Christ. It is the doctrines of men which causes division within the body. It is our own willingness to conform to these doctrines which keeps the body in bondage. And it is this division which is the root cause of the end time falling away!
You see brothers and sisters we can believe what we want to believe. That belief however does not change the word of truth. No where in our holy scriptures does it say that division within the body is acceptable. The simple truth is that division is not the will of the Father nor is it the will of the Son.
(Rom 15:5) Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
(Rom 15:6) That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Php 2:19) But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
(Php 2:20) For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
(Php 2:21) For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
The truth is so plain, so obvious, so simple that the body was and is intended to be one. Yes there are many individual parts within the body. Those parts however are people not whole congregations with their own individual doctrines. The bibles teach us of the offices within the body which God would have some hold. It teaches us that we all have a part to play within the whole. The church however is, as a whole, supposed to be united and of one mind.
The reason I have spent so much time on denominationalism brothers and sisters is because I firmly believe with everything that is within me that acceptance of this division is one of the greatest victories of the enemy over the church.
We know that the bible tells us that in the end times there will be a falling away (2Thes 2:3). We also know from scriptures that in the last days God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: (Acts 2:17). We also know that in the last days there shall be a form of godliness denying the power thereof (2 Tim 3:5).
I believe that in these same last days that God is calling out the true remnant of the body onto Himself. And I am also sad to say brothers and sisters that there will not be many!
(Mat 7:13) Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
(Mat 7:14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
How many paths do you believe lead to the straight gate? The way is indeed narrow but it is not difficult to find. Jesus is the way!
Moses is not the way, Paul is not the way, Ellen White is not the way, Martin Luther is not the way and Joseph Smith is not the way. There is only one way to the Father. There is only one truth, one way to know the truth and one shepard of the flock. Our Lord Jesus Christ!
If you believe that your works in any way make you acceptable to God you have been caught in the snare of the enemy. If you believe that if you sin God loves you less you have been caught in the snare of the enemy. If you believe that following ritualistic customs and traditions is pleasing to God you have been caught in the snare of the enemy. If you believe that the power of God exercised though the body of Christ has ceased you have been caught in the snare of the enemy.
There is only one true church and its members live within the kingdom of God! We are not Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, or Pentecostals nor do we refer to ourselves as any of those. We do not follow the doctrines of men. We believe in the one truth revealed by God Himself through the same Holy Spirit who lived within our Lord Jesus Christ. We call ourselves the children of God. We are of one mind and one spirit. We do not follow strangers. We follow only the voice of our Shepard and we know His voice because we are His sheep (John 10:27).
Excerpt from The Lord’s Prayer:
(Joh 17:20) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
(Joh 17:21) That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
(Joh 17:22) And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
(Joh 17:23) I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
May God keep us from the spirit of religion and bless us with His word of truth always. May we always be one body in Him and through Him as He is one with the Father.
Incoming search terms:
- Accepting the Biblical Christ Institute
- definition of the spirit of religion
- jesus came to free us from relgion
- religion is a bondage unto its self