RELIGION= SELF AND TRUTH = GOD

RELIGION…BUT NOT AS WE’VE KNOWN IT

 Hello all, 

I had never really looked into the meaning of the word “religion” before, but when describing to my friends the difference between religion and Truth I would say; religion is a dead pinned down butterfly and Truth is a living, and freely flying, butterfly.  When I read this article and saw how the author defined and described the word, I felt good that I had come so close to its official meaning, of being tied or pinned down. 

“The etymology of the word “religion” is quite revealing. It stems from two words: re (again) and ligare (meaning to bind or tie, a bond or obligation). Religion puts people into bondage and blindness again and again. “ 

When we really think about it, Jesus never intended for his followers to form a “religion”, in fact He was very anti-religious. I always cringe a bit when people call me religious, as to me, being a follower of Christ is very far removed from such a word.  I am sure most of you understand what I mean.  The Pharisees and Scribes of Christ’s day were very religious and He called them “blind guides” “white washed tombs” and “vipers”!  Perhaps religion is what He meant about having “form” but no “power”…I think so. 

Religion becomes the traditions of man and not the power of God. 

The following article is a very good one on this subject, and the author describes it well when she says:“It is part of the curse because it separates us from God. It is something which has been part of mankind ever since Adam and Eve decided to trust themselves and their own judgments rather than trusting God and we are daily faced with this same choice: trust God or Self.” 

Here is the whole article….enjoy! 

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Religion… but not as we’ve known it

By Lynette Woods 

“The time is coming when people will not tolerate sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching for something pleasing and gratifying, they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, and will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.” 2 Tim. 4:3,4. 

If there is anything that epitomizes “myths and man-made fictions” then religion would have to be it! These verses describe exactly what we see in the world today, whether people call it “religion” or not. Religion is a word very closely associated with the church and is thought of in a positive light by many Christians. Those outside of the church typically think of someone religious as being legalistic, traditional, crusading for Christianity etc. However, what I’m wanting to focus on is a One World Religion which I believe to be at the root and foundation of every single human being, regardless of age and regardless of what belief system they have and regardless of whether they go to church or not. This One World Religion is behind every religion that is on this earth (whether “Christian” or not). This religion has only one god and this god is worshiped and served like no other. The name of this religion’s god is: Self. 

Being religious extends far beyond Pharisees, beyond Muslims, beyond Christians, to the very core of who we are: Self with a capital S. Jesus said some awful things to the religious, so if this is true, then we may find Him saying some harsh things and upsetting a few of our temple’s tables in order to reveal the god that is behind it all, releasing us from our self-made religion and revealing the freedom which can only be found in Him. 

The etymology of the word “religion” is quite revealing. It stems from two words: re (again) and ligare (meaning to bind or tie, a bond or obligation). Religion puts people into bondage and blindness again and again. It is part of the curse because it separates us from God. It is something which has been part of mankind ever since Adam and Eve decided to trust themselves and their own judgments rather than trusting God and we are daily faced with this same choice: trust God or Self. 

Even people who believe they are not religious may be part of this religion because the basis of all religions and religiosity is Self; whether it is Self doing works or doing nothing and simply “being”. Many leave their religion or church not because they heard God ask them to, but because that is what Self wanted to do; and the same can also be true for those who go back to it all. Self justifies anything and everything. This religion is quite simply a case of Self listening to Self. Self doing for Self. Self defence. Self righteousness. Self preservation. Self realization. Self help. Self enlightenment. Self justification. Self discovery. Self expression. Self governing. Self discerning and judging. Self disguised as “spiritual”. Self-ish to the core. This religion is based on us and what we think, do, and say whereas true spirituality is based upon all that Christ has done and is doing; upon all that He has said and is saying! 

This religion of Self is not particular about whether you go to a church or not, whether you are devout outwardly or not; so long as Self is served. Its creed is: do whatever you believe to be right. This religion is all about what Self likes, what feels right to Self, what Self dictates and then “crusading” towards that end. And when the message which Christ proclaims through the Bible about denying Self, dying daily and losing your life is given, it is often rejected because the god which Self has created would not ever say such things! You get a reaction because the god of Self is governing rather than the God of Jesus Christ. 

The Great Deception

The spirit of this world is not ignorant of our susceptibility to being governed by Self and makes the most of it by making what is false sound like truth; but the truth is it can be just our interpretation of what seems right to us. “But you must understand this at the outset, that no prophecy of scripture arose from an individual’s interpretation of the truth. No prophecy came because a man wanted it to: men of God spoke because they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. But even in those days there were false prophets, just as there will be false teachers among you today. They will be men who will subtly introduce dangerous heresies… With their high-sounding nonsense they use the sensual pull of the lower passions to attract those who were just on the point of cutting loose from their companions in misconduct. They promise them liberty. Liberty! – when they themselves are bound hand and foot to utter depravity. For a man is the slave of whatever masters him.” (2 Pet. 1:20-2:1,18,19). 

Many these days are bound by religion even when they have left the visible traditions of their religion. Their religion has not left them because they are still enslaved and governed by Self; they are finding “freedom” in SELF rather than in Christ. This is an absolute tragedy. It is also diabolically devious… to be tricked into leaving one form of bondage for another in the guise of “freedom” and thinking you are free and yet to still be imprisoned, is tragic.  

How could we be so deceived? Because religion is a spirit, it is spiritual. Behind all of religion are spiritual forces which are determined to deceive “if possible even the elect”. How do they attempt to do this? Through Self: what we see, hear, think, desire and even genuinely believe. When God opens our spiritual eyes to see what is real and true and what is merely an illusion of reality and truth, it is quite shocking. We wonder how we could have been duped and been so blind! Knowledge is a very powerful commodity; it can either release or bind. When we think we know something, we will stubbornly cling to that knowledge and not seek to find out more because we think we already know. But it is only when we realize we know nothing that we begin to know Everything (Christ) and receive Him as our Wisdom which sets us free from our very little world and religion of Self… We begin to discover the ever expanding Universe which is Christ in God. 

Only what is received and revealed through Him can transform us. Religion will simply conform and deceive us. We need to be born into our Father’s family and not just call Him “Father” or “Papa” because others do. We need a Revelation of Christ and not a religion about Christ. Saul of Tarsus was not released from religion by Stephen’s amazing and Holy Spirit inspired speech; all it needed was for him to personally see, experience and hear Christ for himself; a Revelation of Christ. This principle still applies to each of us today. 

We each need to see and know Christ for Who He really is rather than how we would like Him to be. My love for Him is not truly for Him if I don’t want to see Him or accept Him as He is. Both historically and today, He often reveals something of Himself and people reject Him… just because He is different to what Self/Religion expected! Listen to what He says: “Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let Me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow Me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, My way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life, will lose it; and whoever gives up his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it.” (Mark 8:34-36). 

True Freedom 

Only freedom from Self will bring true freedom from religion, obligation and bondage. This is why the message of freedom given in the Bible is Life which comes through death! The only way to be free of Self is to die to Self. Doing whatever Self wants is not freedom, but bondage; because you are bound to do what YOU want – Self is your master. Some pride themselves on what they can do within religion; others pride themselves on what they can do outside of religion. BOTH can still be religious because whether legalistic or liberal, by the book or having none, BOTH extremes may be dictated by Self and by the temperament or type of person they are naturally. BOTH extremes can be based on Self’s preferences and what Self naturally likes; it is a religion where the god of Self is worshiped, deified and obeyed without question!  

“God’s will must not be made subject to my own temperament. When we know a man’s make-up it is often all too easy to guess what ”guidance” he will get, because his natural proclivities intrude so subtly upon the leading of God. Too much so-called guidance among us is little more than personal bias. A timid brother is “guided” to take a back seat. A forward brother is “guided” to take a front seat. Each claims to be led of the Lord. Is he? Or is his temperament ruling him? The pure will of God demands of me that what I am temperamentally shall be set aside. I should be so Spirit-filled that the man beside me cannot foresee, on grounds of my temperament alone, how God will lead me. Oh let me beware of slanting the will of God in the direction of my own natural leanings! Even the Lord Jesus, whose own will was surely faultless, nevertheless set it aside in favour of the Father’s who sent Him. If He should do that, how much more must I!” (Watchman Nee, A Table in the Wilderness). 

Yes, how much more must I? Being led by the Spirit of God does not mean we are led by our natural preferences and whatever we like as some seem to believe. Religion and Self distort God, even to the point of creating a god in our own image; a god we are happy and content with, a god we can understand and identify with, a god we can worship and love. But there is nothing loving about a god who does not convict or correct you and just allows you to believe a lie and do whatever you want (see Heb. 12:5-11). That is not the God of Jesus Christ Who Himself said: “Those whom I dearly and tenderly love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten them” (Rev. 3:19). 

In the same way as we confuse socializing with fellowship, licentiousness with freedom and condemnation with conviction, so too we can confuse being religious with being spiritually mature. There is a vast gap between each of these ‘dynamic duos,’ for one is earthly and the other is heavenly.  

God did not create religion, man did. At the tower of Babel man had a spiritual-sounding goal and were even united in their efforts “to reach the heavens”. But God’s verdict on all their hard work was: “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.” (Gen 11:6-8). Why did He do that? We today might think it a good thing to be as one people, all working together in unity on one thing, but God does not. Why? Because pride and Self were at the root of it and not God Himself. We still see His same judgment on religion in the world today: wherever people are like-minded and ‘speak the same language’ and work together building something here on earth, you eventually find division after division among them as they are scattered abroad. 

Leaving the Confusion of Religion 

Religion is certainly a confusion of many voices, it is a mixture of what is true and false that God must divide in order to reveal what is of Him and what is not. The very essence of Babylon and religion is mixture and confusion; in fact the name “Babylon” (which is the same Hebrew word for Babel) means: confusion by mixing. From the Garden of Eden to the end of this world, the mixing of truth with error remains a very successful means of deceiving and seducing us. In the book of Revelation in reference to Babylon is written, “by your magic spells and poisonous charm all nations were led astray, seduced and deluded. And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints…” (Rev. 18:23,24) and the cry to us all is: “Come out from her, My people, so that you may not share in her sins, neither participate in her plagues…” There are some things which God must divide and separate and which we must reject and turn away from.  

People need religion to feel good about Self and what they’re doing; but God scatters, confuses and divides in the hope that individuals will repent of their religion and turn to Him instead. His original desire was simply relationship with each and every human. In an attempt to have some form of that relationship, He set aside some as priests and prophets who would mediate between Himself and His people until His Son came to earth to completely undo the damage which had been done and to establish a personal, individual relationship with each of His children. God’s focus is always Christ, and all the meticulous details and laws of the Torah were a way of pointing to the Perfection of Christ while also highlighting the imperfections and inadequacy of man.  

Religion is basically a set of beliefs, personal beliefs… also known as mindsets and paradigms! Instead of having our beliefs formed by Self or other people, no matter how spiritual others may seem, we simply must learn to listen to only our Father and know His voice. We cannot trust ourselves but have to yield up our minds and what we think is right in order to learn Christ! “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:17-24). 

We are new creations in Christ and as our minds are renewed we learn daily through experience to distinguish and discern between what is the new Life in us, and what is the old nature: Self. What is from God often makes no sense to Self, instead it may completely contradict what we naturally think. Not one of us is willingly deceived or duped by Religion. We will instead be sincerely deceived; we will sincerely believe that we are right! But sincerity does not mean something is true. We cannot discern right from wrong or truth from deception ourselves; at all! Discernment must come from outside of Self… it comes only from knowing the living Word of God; not a head knowledge of Him, but a genuine, experiential, intimate, heart knowledge of Christ as He really is which results in distinguishing between His voice and the many voices, including our own voice. 

Religion robs God of what is rightly His: people’s hearts! Religion is a substitute for Christ. The religious heart is absorbed and blinded by what it sees and worships – and it is the same end result whether you’re worshiping Mary, the Church, Allah or unconsciously worshiping your Self! Religion results in blindness, bondage and death – again and again; re-ligion = being bound again. We desperately need to know through personal experience the liberation and freedom which only Christ brings and the true meaning of the word “release”: to free and loosen (relax) and to have a lease again – to be given over to Another with a new lease of Life! May this be the experience and living testimony of each one of us. 

“The Spirit of the Lord… has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” Luke 4:18,19. 

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 Rather ironic that “religious people” appear so selfless when actually religion is all about “self”.  Perhaps part of what happens when mankind calls good evil and evil good. 

The Lord calls His to come out of religion and into Truth…all those who have ears to hear.  

JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!! 

Patti C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

  

 

 

 

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Author: kinz2all

Hello all! What a long strange trip it has been! I am amazed that through 40 years of Bible studies, Bible College, and attending a multitude of churches, of varying denominations, I have come full circle back to the day when I was “born again”. On that day (Sept 24th 1978) I found the Truth when Jesus found me. I knew in an instant that I could live in eternity by living in the moment with Christ. God is love and loves everyone and wants everyone to be set free in Christ. That the spiritual world trumps the material world and by focusing on Christ one can live spiritually every moment, and death to self brings abundant new life. This was massively life changing! I went from being broken to being whole! I could not contain the love and joy within me. I was a different person and all my relationships changed. And shortly after that earthshaking day, I did sell everything I owned and went on the road proclaiming the JOY of the Good News!! Yet, after three years, I settled down and starting going to church, realizing I had not truly studied the Word of God. I had attended church as a child and as a teen I sang in the choir and taught vacation Bible school, so I knew the major highlights of the Gospel, and pretty much believed what preachers were preaching about God’s Word. Still, I did not find the fire of the Spirit in many of the churches I attended. To me, all the different denominations were creating division not unity in the body of Christ, by chopping up the Word to suit the traditions of men. In 1997 I decided to start reading and studying the Bible for myself. I read books about the “rapture” and the Left Behind series of books and started to see how churches were so divided on these issues and nothing they were teaching really rang true in my heart. I attended Bible College in 2004 and got my Masters in Theology and really got into understanding the End Times as taught by the pre-trib and pre-wrath rapture groups and authors. I was completely sold on this interpretation of the Bible, so much so, that I started writing about it on a pre-trib web site called Five Doves. I got really into waiting for the rapture and trying to figure out the timing and all that, and wrote many many articles about how and when this would happen. It was exciting, I felt that I was learning so much. The more I studied on my own the more I started to see that I did not see in His Word the same things that others were seeing and started to write about what I was finding. As soon as I did this, and started to stray away from the herd of pre-tribbers, I was thrown off the web site. As soon as that happened, the Lord started giving me new revelations and I started asking questions and rely on Him to show me in His Word the answers I was looking for. The major turning point was when I started writing for another web site (Rapture Prophecy Bible Forum) and found out who Israel truly is. That is the foundation for all Bible study…once one knows whom Israel is, one can never go back to dispensational beliefs. That opened the flood gates of revelations from the Lord. He made sure that I would have the time to truly focus on what the Holy Spirit was showing me. I fell down some stairs and broke both of my feet and was not able to do anything but study the Bible. And Study I did!! I was consumed with it, day and night and felt on fire for the Truth. Things that I had believed in for so long just fell away, and everyday I was finding out more and more. Although I started to see that there is no end time rapture, I still believed in a future Second Coming and that we were in the Last Days and how the world was becoming a dark place full of evil. I wrote much about this…even on this blog. Yet, at the same time finding out about the Kingdom of God and how it has already come, and how the Jewish feasts have all been fulfilled in Christ. We are not waiting for the last three to be fulfilled as so many preach and teach. The plan of Salvation was FINISHED AT THE CROSS, and all that was left to be fulfilled was the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost…the 7th and last feast not the 4th…and Christ’s Second Coming in Judgment and the resurrection of the saints. That brings me up to recent time, and my most recent revelations from the Lord and I am shocked at what I have found out! I never even conceived that the Bible was a finished work and that there was no longer anything left to be fulfilled. Yet, that is what I have found out and it is AMAZING how I feel totally set free!! The Truth truly does set one free from the searching and the divisions of the traditions of man!! It all makes so much sense and every verse has taken on a new and heartfelt meaning!! It is GOOD NEWS!! Jesus is our King we can live in His Kingdom RIGHT NOW!! He did ALL He said he would do, when He said He would do it, all we need to do is KNOW HIM. The only event left to happen will happen to each of His children when they pass from this world and into eternity. I was so overwhelmed by my discoveries that I did not know how to approach beginning to write about it. Also, it labels me (and I hate labels in reference to divisions in Christ) I find that I have become a full Preterist. I would never ever have thought this is where my studies would lead, but cannot deny it is where the Lord has brought me. I am now ready to start proving it and that is what I will be doing from here on out. Perhaps the most wonderful aspect of all this is that it has brought me full circle. When I was born again and shown the power of Jesus and relying on Him, I knew it was finished in Him…He was the answer to all. Love is the strongest power in the universe and God is love. Nothing else really mattered. It was not until I got caught up in the “traditions of men” that the path got crooked and the way confusing. Yet, it is so wonderful to find out that His Word tells us the Truth, and that Jesus is the Way, the TRUTH, and the life. That being said, I will be posting studies that helped me understand, and hope that anyone out there that is reading this may find what they may be looking for, as they take this journey OF FINDING OUT FOR YOURSELF. God bless all, and may you be in His love and Light today and always!! JESUS IS ALL AND EVERYTHING!!! Patti C.

One thought on “RELIGION= SELF AND TRUTH = GOD”

  1. Hi Patti C….

    What a wonderful breath of FRESH AIR it was to read this article!!!!!

    Religion has cursed what is today known as “Christianity”. Christianity never started out as a religion, which has rules and regulations that are set up by “MAN” and not God. The original believers were known as “followers of the Way”. True, the “way” was not capitalized, but it meant following the Way, Who is our Lord Jesus Christ.

    John 14:6….”Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father , but by me.'”

    Yet “MAN” argues this scripture by setting up a pulpit in a building he calls a “church”, forms that church’s doctrines, rules, and regulations…..and then he lies to people by saying they must TITHE to him to support his “church”.

    Anyone and everyone are invited to sit in the “pews” and all face him the Pastor) as the “head” of the church. This is called, in Revelation 2:6, “the doctrine of the Nicolaitans”:

    “But this thou has, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also HATE.”

    Those words are the words of Jesus Christ giving one compliment to the church at Ephesus.

    The only “Head” any of us should have is our Lord Jesus Christ. And in today’s religions, the Pastor becomes the “head” in place of our Lord.

    We are also told to NOT fellowship with unbelievers, yet today’s “chuches” are filled with those who “go to church” because of needing, or wanting, to look good in the community in which they live, and probably not because they follow Jesus Christ. Therefore, believers are mingling in fellowship every week with unbelievers as well as believers. Have they ever wondered if the unbelievers were on the “church board” and making the rules they are obliged to follow? Many are given positions on church boards due to rewards for monitary contributions which have been made…and not due to their “Christian” beliefs and lifestyles.

    II Corinthians 6:14…”Be ye NOT unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what followship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

    As a result, today’s church buildings are filled with very few followers of “the way”, as Jesus originally set up. And the Pulpits, unfortunately, have many narcissists who are feeding wrong information to the people…..and then they threaten ex-communication if their own person rules and doctrines are not followed.

    As a result, we have many doctrines, many Pastors, and many “followers of men” arguing with each other….each saying that their way is the ONLY way. And there is very little of the LOVE that was the original intention….for the “body of Christ” to be ONE in Jesus Christ.

    I apologize if I have offended anyone. And for those whom I have angered, please think about what has happened. If you are a Pentecostal, do you show love to a Methodist? Or do you argue about the “gifts of the Spirit”? I only use that as an example. There are probably some wonderful followers of “the Way” in each of those religious bodies….and in all the thousands of “churches” today.

    Christianity has become a religious Babylon…full of confusion and hatred.

    That’s why we are told in Revelation 18:4….”Come out of her, my people”…..and in vs.5….”For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

    That’s enough food for thought about what we are all really doing instead of what we SHOULD be doing…..loving one another as Jesus Christ loved us!

    Hopefully, this wonderful posting by Patti about love will open some eyes. And my contribution in showing how it really is will open discussion and invite ideas that will cause us all to become more the way that Jesus intended….one body, showing love for each other….and teaching each other

    All should be done in JOY and delight….

    In love for our Lord….and His “body”…..

    Arlene

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