The question I am about to ask will cause some people to speculate as to whether the depth of my religious heretical-ism and apostasy, permits me to call myself a believer of Jesus Christ.
Here is the question...Is religion in the truest sense of the meaning of the word...anti-Christ...meaning against Christ?
By that I mean...is what religion is about, what religion believes, what religion stands for, and what religion teaches and preaches...antithetical to the teaching and life living of Jesus Christ and the Church He said He would build?
If it is, it presents a profound and disturbing problem for what the religionists stand for in their religiosity!
The anti-Christ spirit is the master of disguise and has deceived many in the Community of the Redeemed, yet they are unaware they are deceived and are singing his songs of deception as if they are from God Himself.
We are living in a day where we are seeing an increase in Satan’s efforts to trap people in deception...and I am not referring to the overt sin that the sin condemners are preaching against that is rampant in the land. I am referring to anti-Christ being among us as an angle of light working among us as he tries to solidify his stranglehold of deception on all of God’s creation especially those who claim to be believers.
Most believers are looking forward to an event in the future, where the anti-Christ will sit himself down on a throne in a new temple to be built in Jerusalem, while at the same time they are oblivious to the truth that it has already happened in our midst and the majority of the people of God are totally ignorant to the fact and are following him as if he is Christ. This is impart due to teaching by religious denominational dispensationalists.
Paul the apostle warned the Church what to expect of anti-Christ in 2 Thess. 2:4...”who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits in the temple of God, showing Himself that He is God.” That anti-Christ is alive and well in religion today.
The Bible leaves no doubt as to “who” the temple of God is! 1 Corinthians 3:16...Do you not know the “YOU” are the “TEMPLE” of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? God is to be sitting on the throne of people's lives.
Could it be that the belief in a future flesh and blood anti-Christ to appear at some future event, has blinded people to the fact of a present infusion of the anti-Christ spirit...could it be that the anti-Christ has already sitting on the throne of God in the hearts of many of God’s people?
Didn't John already believe that the ant-Christ is already setting up house by stating “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.”
A relationship with God cannot be established through religion. I believe religion is the biggest hindrance to walking in a genuine relationship with God. Religion is man trying to be in favor with God by doing the do's that he thinks will please God. “If one can do enough, say enough, pray enough, give enough, sacrifice enough perhaps God will show me favor”. Every religion is based upon this “works theology”. Neither ceremony, liturgy, creeds, sacraments nor money have ever brought one soul into a reconciled relationship to God. Abstaining from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, visiting brothels is a healthy thing to do but cannot of itself restore a broken relationship with God. Giving up a favorite food or drink, reciting ‘program prayers’ or any self effort, does nothing to convince or satisfy God.
Do you think the following scriptures support the notion that God is religion orientated?
Isaiah 1:13-14 states, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies…it is iniquity…Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.”
David prays to God in Psalm 40:6, “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire;…Burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.”
Amos 5:21 says, “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell (the odors of their sacrifices) in your solemn assemblies.”
Micah 6:6-8 includes; “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10.
You see, the Israelis of the Old Testament had forgotten the relationship with God and became dependent upon the religious system of works and sacrifice and offerings expecting spiritual redemption or to appease God. But in these passages isn't God saying, “I’m not interested in your religious doings, I want your heart.”
Isn't that what is expressed in Isaiah 29:13, “For as much as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me…”(Jesus quoted this passage in Matt. 15:8-9 adding “…in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
For those of you who believe that religion and its denominations were created by God, should question that belief. God created man and man created religion and its denominations...I wonder...were they inspired by the anti-Christ spirit.