- I am in the Ministry
- Don’t Bother me with Scripture, I am clergy
- Clericalism, sin Against the Holy Spirit!
- The Bondage of Religion
- Blessing of man, or Blessing of God?
- Programs for the laity
- Should a Christian Strive to be a Heretic?
- Is the Father Seeking Workers or Worshippers?
- Free at last, to be unto Jesus
The Scriptural truths which God has given to His Church offer eternal life. The gifts, which He has given to His Church as recorded in Ephesians 4:11, are thru men who bring forth these truths in His word. Scriptural truths have a three fold purpose:
- Perfecting of the saints;
- equipping the saints for the work of the ministry;
- edifying the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12 JND).
Many men in the Church function in this work faithfully and sacrificially, laying down their lives to teach these truths. However, there is also corruption in the professing churches which proceeds from false teachings and practices. These false teachings undermine the work of the Spirit, making the grace of God into a religion of humanism. This gives Satan free reign to bring in his deception. This spiritual decline tears down the purity of Christ through the teaching of heresies, resulting in the sheep of Christ being mislead. The grace of God which is freely available to all people without cost, is grossly misrepresented through this corruption. Many of these heresies are popular today among church people; some are more blatant and some are more hidden, yet well accepted. Some of these heresies will be examined in this booklet.
1. I am in the Ministry
In the minds of church people today, there exists the thought that some people are called to be clergymen and some people are called to be laity. This thought has been taught and promoted in almost all churches. The support for this thinking comes through concepts from the Law of Moses. As Moses was God’s appointed spokesman to Israel, most church people see their clergyman as God’s appointed spokesman to the laity in their church.
The clergyman, believing and following the same thoughts and doctrine as the laity, often see themselves as God’s authority to the laity. This law oriented premise builds a religious church hierarchy upon a foundation which is, ‘the notion of a clergyman.’ This premise is reinforced by the laity, following the Law of Moses with the clergy in full faith. This ‘notion of a clergyman’ robs God’s revelation of Scripture as being the ground of truth. The position of clergyman or church hierarchy falsely becomes the place where truth is found.
Jesus taught His disciples a different pathway to know God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). The truth (Jesus) is conveyed to us in two ways; Scriptures where the truths of God are revealed to man (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4), and the Holy Spirit, who leads the Christian and gives understanding to Scripture (Ephesians 1:17-21).
The laity, looking in faith to a human for the knowledge and truth of God, elevates a man or in some cases a woman, to a level that belongs only to God. The clergy assume this elevated position as seen by their actions and by the titles they take upon themselves; such as: reverend, pastor, ordained in our church clergyman, priest, prophet, father, apostle, archbishop, superintendent, etc. In some cases, the clergy wear robes so as to be set apart from the laity. In many churches, the clergy are only subject to the hierarchy at headquarters through incorporation by-laws of the church, which are filed with the state government. This ‘notion of clergymen’ is seen by them as superseding all truth in Scripture or the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Many clergymen defend their position with these words, ‘I have been called to the ministry’ or if some are questioned with Scripture, their position is defended with these words, ‘you are not educated as a clergyman so you just don’t understand’ or ‘those Scriptures are no longer relevant today’ or in some cases they say, ‘don’t touch God’s anointed.’ It is not uncommon to hear a clergyman call an assembly of God’s people, ‘my church’ or ‘my flock’ or ‘my congregation.’
The laity fully accepts this Law of Moses originated position of a clergyman as from God. It is commonly thought that questioning this position places a person in a rebellious, misinformed, or resisting authority state of mind and heart. If an un-ordained man whom God has gifted and is being led by the Holy Spirit attempts to teach, prophesy, shepherd the sheep, preach, or use what God has given him, he may well be thought of as inferior by the clergy. If one of the laity assumes an equal status with the clergy, he will be marked out as a heretic or one undermining the authority of clergy. If Scripture teaches a truth not taught or practiced in a church, the clergy will be the final authority, not the clear teaching of Scripture.
The ‘notion of a clergyman’ is promoted in almost every circle of professing churches today. With its firm entrenchment, the liberty of the Spirit is cast aside and unknown.
2. Don’t bother me with Scripture, I am clergy
Jesus, throughout his ministry, made clear that Scripture alone is truth. Scripture is above man’s thoughts, ideas, doctrines, church practices, church hierarchy, charisma of men, and all man’s ordination. Religious authority that man has developed apart from God’s word is not from God. Jesus prayed this to His Father, “That they may be one, as You Father are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us…” (John 17:21). This oneness is based on the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3). The unity of the Spirit is a work of the Holy Spirit through baptizing the believer into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). There is no hierarchical authority baptized into the body of Christ, only spiritual gifts have place in this oneness in the Spirit (Ephesians 4:11).
Many clergymen have the idea that they have the power in a church to disannul or make of no value, certain Scriptures that their church does not receive or practice. This is done with words such as; ‘unless Scripture says it 3 times it is not important,’ or ‘that was culture for the time Scripture was written,’ or ‘those Scriptures might work with small groups but it is not something for believers to follow today.’ Clergymen teach unisex and diversity, thereby undermining Scripture; this is seen in this way: ‘if your husband wants you to follow the apostles’ instructions of the woman’s place, it is called legalism,’ or ‘the headship of man as taught in Scripture over his wife and children is dead, no longer valid in this day and age,’ or ‘our authority as clergymen determine the value of each Scripture.’ These are a few of the ‘notions of a clergyman.’
We learn something different in the words of the Lord Jesus, “He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God” (John 8:47). Second Timothy 3:16 teaches us that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. It certainly is not to be judged and put away by man.
The Apostle Paul stayed with the assembly at Ephesus for 3 years, teaching and warning them day and night (Acts 20:31). Paul’s warnings and teaching were to keep them from falling prey to savage wolves, men speaking perverse things to draw disciples away unto themselves (through religious persuasions and sectarianism). How did Paul do this? He taught them the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
Jesus, in resisting Satan’s temptations, quoted this Scripture, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4). Jesus, in all His life on the earth, never deviated from living by every word His Father spoke (John 8:28.29). The life of Jesus is the pattern and example for a Christian who lives by faith.
3. Clericalism, sin against the Holy Spirit!
The Lord instructed King Saul to punish Amalek for the evil they did to Israel (1 Samuel 15:2). God told Saul to attack Amalek, “and utterly destroy all they have, and do not spare them. But kill man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (1 Samuel 15:3). Saul then attacked Amelek, and destroyed the people, “but Saul and the people spared King Agag, the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatling, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed” (1 Samuel 15:9).
When Samuel arrived he asked Saul; “What is the bleating of sheep and lowing of the oxen I hear.” Saul said, “The people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God” (1 Samuel 15:15). Samuel then told Saul of the evil that he had done in not obeying the voice of the Lord. Saul excused himself with two reasons. First, he did not obey for a spiritual purpose; the animals were going to be sacrificed to the Lord your God. Second, “I feared the people” (1 Samuel 15:21, 24).
Saul blasphemed, in rejecting the word of the Lord; he assumed his position as king allowed him this liberty. Therefore Saul and the people followed their own hearts, rather than the word of God to worship God. Saul thought his own ideas were high ideals and were as valid as the word of the Lord. Samuel told Saul what the word of the Lord was concerning Saul’s ideas and actions. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king” (1 Samuel 15:23). Saul then confesses that he has sinned, because he feared the people (1 Samuel 15:24). Today in churches, clergymen regularly change, put away, teach as culture, and make small the word of God by exercising their authority as hierarchy or clergy. THE PRESUMPTION OF CLERGY IS TO THINK THEIR MAN GIVEN AUTHORITY GIVES THEM POWER TO MAKE DIVINE SCRIPTURE SECONDARYTO THEIR AUTHORITY, THEREBY USURPING THE AUTHORITY OF HOLY SCRIPTURE.
This ‘notion of clergymen’ is not from faith in every word of God (Matthew 4:4). Like Saul, clergymen or any church hierarchy, blaspheme the voice of God and sin against the work of the Spirit of God in not receiving and teaching every word of God. If any think these are strong words consider this truth; Scripture is the revelation of the mind of God. Men in clerical positions, putting away the word of God, are most certainly acting contrary to the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the Pharisees, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your own tradition” (Mark 7:9).
The confusion and dissimulation which goes on in churches today is because the word of God is not honored or taught for its intent or meaning. Leaders in churches (clergy) are responsible for the whole counsel of God being taught. Not teaching the whole word of God is the sin of omission, and the sin of not following the apostles’ doctrine. The responsibility is great, and truth is not always received by the people. Nevertheless, the word of God compromised is not the word of God. “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 14:34-35).
4. The Bondage of Religion
“…they are not valiant for the truth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:3).
The liberties taken with the truth in Christ by clergy or hierarchy are too numerous to mention. However, we will look at a few being used today.
- Clergy charging the laity money, to give them the knowledge and favor of God. This is done by charging for spiritual services such as, restoration classes (so called), promises of healing (send us your money, we will send you a prayer cloth we have prayed over and you will be healed of your aliment), or the sending of holy water right from the Jordan River. Spiritual leaders give the laity promises of increased wealth for sending them money. If you send us money, you can be a partner with us in the work of God (believer or non-believer makes no difference).
- Other clergy use the giving of money as a means to elevate the laity into a higher position than just common laity. That higher position is promised to parishioners according to how much they give. For example, parishioners of an international religious movement going on a recent pilgrimage to a holy place (Azusa Street) are promised to be lifted up into a special position. For $1,000.00, a parishioner is put into the lowest level, the grace level. For $2500.00, a parishioner is put into the next level, the hope level. For $5,000.00, a parishioner can get into the next level up, the faith level. All they need to do to achieve the highest position is to give $10,000.00 or more to headquarters and they will be officially labeled as being in the love level. A parishioner who pays to get into one of the higher levels of classification also gets a ribbon-bronze medallion, an engraved personalized certificate, and other such whip-o-wills.
- One denomination is reported to give colored ribbons to the laity to wear in the congregation to show how much they give. Each color is associated with an amount.
- Many churches proclaim they believe in the grace gospel but when it comes to money, they say the laity is under the Law of Moses for tithing (Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:8-10). Many law Scriptures, religious foot shuffling and indirect doctrines are used to show the laity they are under the law of tithing.
- Money given by the laity to charismatic leaders and clergy has many times gone to build huge personal mansions and other such edifices of the evangelist, healer, spiritual leader or ordained clergyman.
- Personal wealth has been amassed by clergy from the giving of the laity. The laity assumes that the money they are giving is going for the work of God. In some cases a confidential prophecy of God (so represented by the clergyman) is revealed through private monthly papers to the laity who gives the spiritual leader money.
- In 1504, Friar Johann Tetzel started raising money for the Roman Catholic Church by going through Europe telling church people what happens when you give to God. “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs.” The Roman Catholic Church gave him authority to sell those indulgences and approved of his efforts. So it is today with charismatic and Pentecostal leaders and clergy, promising personal wealth to the laity. This promise of wealth to the laity is based on how much the parishioner will give to the church, clergyman, charismatic leader or TV spiritual leader. The doctrine used many times is ‘you can’t out give God.’
Scripture teaches us in many places the error of these schemes. “…for there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). All of these ideas come from Satan or the heart of man’s religious nature. All of these methods have been done before and are rebuked in Scripture, principally taking money and giving a promise of God’s favor in return. For example, the Prophet Micah addressed this devious scheme in his day, “Her heads judge for a bribe, her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord, and say, is not the lord among us?” (Micah 3:11).
The Apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, has recorded these words of true faith to the Church, “For we do not, as the many, make a trade of the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, we speak in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17 JND). When Jesus came into the temple and found those who used the temple as commerce, for making money, “He had made a whip of cords; He drove them all out of the temple…” (John 2:15). “Then He taught, saying to them, is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves” (Mark 11:7).
Some clergy and churches (notably the Roman Catholic denomination) receive money from the laity, and in return forgive sin through indulgences. In protestant churches, the money received from unbelievers, gives the unbeliever a false spiritual security that the giving of their money to the clergy or church may put them in God’s good graces. Jesus found the Pharisees using their religious position to gain money and nullify the word of God, making it of no effect (Mark 7:10-13).
For people who desire the truth in Christ, God has spoken His mind through His word, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the water; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1). God has given the heavenly manna to man, to freely eat (John 6:51), and the water of life to man to freely drink (John 7:37.38), without money and without cost.
5. Blessing of men or blessing of God?
A most important question for a Christian is, whose kingdom am I building? When church people are involved in church activities, most assume that they are doing God’s work. This assumption by the laity and by the clergy is used, in many cases, to build a sect, an independent church, a cult or some other religious body.
A church person who has thought doctrinal truth is not that important is in the devil’s territory. Because, “The Church of the living God (is) the pillar and ground of truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). If a church person does not build his own life on Christ (truth), then it is certain that his life will be built on religion instead.
For example, one international church gives rewards for evangelism. It has been reported in some cases that workers are given ‘paste on stars’ for each person reported saved. Joshua 7:1 records that Achan, after obeying the word of God took a physical reward to himself. The reward that he took belonged to the Lord, for His treasury (Joshua 6:19). Achan brought death upon Israel for taking the fruit of the Lord’s victory to himself. God said Israel had sinned because of Achan’s actions (Joshua 7:11). Upon Achan’s sin being discovered, Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to Him…” (Joshua 7:19). Achan confessed his sin, his penalty was death (Joshua 7:25).
So it is with all who believe God to faith, they are the Lord’s alone; the taking of credit or rewards by men for a work of God is the place of death. God has made it clear, “I will not give My glory to another” (Isaiah 48:11). All persons who believe God, are His jewels, for His treasury alone (Malachi 3:16.17). Jesus said to His disciples concerning their service in His field (this world), with His possessions (all that come to faith); “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded say, we are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10).
In other cases, men who have evangelized people into a confession of believing God have kept a record and numbered their converts. King David also was moved by Satan to number the people in Israel (1 Chronicles 21:11). The result of David numbering the people was a plague sent by God, with 70,000 men in Israel falling (1 Chronicles 21:14).
Other church and hierarchical leaders have implied to the laity that money is needed for evangelism, and the amount of money you give determines how many souls will be saved. Therefore, salvation of souls is controlled by how much money the laity gives. Many religious leaders promise the laity material wealth for giving. In essence the giver gets the reward of material wealth for the salvation of souls.
Second Kings 5 is the record of Naaman, a pagan, who was commander of all the armies of Syria in the days of Elisha the prophet. Scripture tells us Naaman was a mighty man but he had leprosy. His maid who was from Israel told him there was a man in Israel who could heal him. The king of Syria gave Naaman much wealth to take for the man who would heal him. After meeting with Elisha, Naaman was totally healed. Naaman then wanted to give the wealth he brought with him to Elisha. Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing” (2 Kings 5:16). After Naaman left for Syria, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, pursued after Naaman; upon reaching Naaman, Gehazi asked for some of the wealth that Elisha had refused. Naaman gave Gehazi the wealth he asked for. When Gehazi returned to Elisha, Elisha asked Gehazi, “Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever. And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow” (2 Kings 5:26-27).
Going after material wealth by capitalizing on the word and work of God, is the place of death. To vainly imagine that the kingdom of God is material gain is great deception. The apostle gives this warning to Timothy and to the Church about some, “…Who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself” (1 Timothy 6:5).
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world…” (John 18:36). Religious leaders who think and teach that material wealth is the reward of faith, are not following the word of God or the humble One who came into this world to be a servant. The kingdom of Christ is not a material kingdom. A person who does not discern between the kingdom of Christ, and the kingdom of men will most certainly help build the kingdom of men.
6. Programs for the Laity
A church person is led to believe there are many ways to reach God, if he listens to the many programs brought into the churches by the clergy. Many of these programs which try to reach God are based on psychology. They include using a physical medium as a bridge to communicate with God (chanting a mantra, metals of saints worn about the neck or praying to icons), being assured God is not angry with sin – He’s OK, and I am OK (man), and programming man’s Adamic nature to be religious (this is done through violating truths taught in Scripture, so the Adamic nature in man won’t feel uncomfortable), etc.
Popularity of the book the “Purpose Driven Life” has brought thousands of clergymen to seminars to learn the contents of the program in this book. They then take the programs back to their churches, where in most cases they force this new age “feel good gospel” on the laity. Much Scripture is used in this book but like the cults, who also use much Scripture, man’s condition and need of redemption is void or watered down.
Just as cults disavow the sufficiency of the blood of Christ for salvation, so also the psychology of the religion of this book. There is no recognizable pursuit of God’s gift in His Son. Like Cain who attempted to approach God through his own works, the gospel in this book pursues approaching a relationship with God on the basis of man’s goodness, his need to find himself, his need to accept himself, his need to know himself and his own purpose.
The gift of God is found in the gospel of Christ, which is received by a man acknowledging he is a lost sinner for eternity. Receiving Christ by faith, makes him into a new creation. He will be born anew of God, by new birth, and baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. This is how a sinner becomes a saint and a priest of God and is indwelt by the Spirit of God. The work of God at Calvary redeems all men who have faith to believe in the shed blood of Christ, who believe Jesus rose from the dead, who believe Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of the throne of God, and who have the hope of the coming of Jesus for His saints. These central doctrines are all non-existent or side lined in the “Purpose Driven Life,” to the point that their power is gone and they are unable to transform a professing believer into the image of Christ.
But one cannot miss that the concentration on self is the central theme of this gospel, with the clergy being the orchestra leader that appeals to the Adamic soul. For example, Rick Warren teaches in his book, page 21, “life is really about living for God, not myself.” Sounds right, however, the truth in Scripture teaches that a Christian is on a different ground entirely, it is, “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). In truth, only a person who is dying to himself will live unto God. This will only take place when the Adamic nature is put to death through the cross. Living for God is expecting something from man, as found in the Law of Moses. Christ, working in the Christian is the Holy Spirit living the Christ life in him and through him. The first is a DO religion, it attempts to get on God’s good graces by something man does, as the Law of Moses demands, such as tithing. The second is the Spirit of God who has made a lost sinner a saint, and then performs the work of God in him. All religions in the world can be narrowed down to two, they are called DO and DONE. Every person doing something for God is part of the DO religion. Every Christian following the truth in Christ is part of the DONE; he is in eternal fellowship with God, apart from anything he does (John 19:31; 1 Corinthians 1:9). The DO is the Adamic nature in man becoming religious and doing religious works to serve God. The DONE is an eternally dead sinner whom God has raised from the dead, who is now walking in new life through the Holy Spirit.
Programs appeal to man’s religious nature, his nature does not know God because it looks for Him in the physical and psychological rather than who He is, a Spirit (John 4:24). Romanism has used the physical for centuries to hold the laity in ignorance of God and His word. This has been accomplished through the use of icon’s, cathedrals, priestly garb, relics, salvation by works, candles, wearing of metals of saints, the burning of Christians at the stake who disagree with their works religion, religious hierarchy, and many other such things. New age protestant churches are doing much the same. The prayer mantra and yoga is used by some churches to reach out to God; it is an example of using eastern mysticism (Hinduism) to reach God. Some use speaking in tongues or spirit manifestations as a physical sign of a work of God. Others relate to water baptism as a sign of salvation while others use church membership in a sectarian or independent body as a sign of being in the favor of God.
Restoration programs in some evangelical churches use psychology and the Law of Moses instead of using faith in the saving power of Christ, to deal with a person caught in sin or suffering the effects of sin. For example, God said to Israel (not Gentiles), that He would “visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me…” (Exodus 20:5). This Scripture is used by the clergy in restoration classes to program the laity into thinking that their sins are not their fault, but that they are the victims of generational spirits. It is God bringing the sins of their fathers, mothers, grandparents, great grandparents, and great, great grandparents upon the children. Their sin and its result are not the individual’s fault; they are suffering the effects of past generations and their sins.
The children of Israel also used this doctrine to excuse themselves of their sin and the result of their sin. God quotes their words, and then says to them, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. As I live, says the Lord God, you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel…The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:2-4). God made it clear to Israel through the prophet Ezekiel that this doctrine would no longer have any validity (Ezekiel 18:1-4). “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself” (Ezekiel 19:20). Yet, many of the laity follow the clergy’s doctrine of generational spirits to deflect their guilt to a previous generation and hide their own sin. Bringing in the Law of Moses and applying it to believers is leaven, and, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). Furthermore, this curse in the Law of Moses, given to Israel (Exodus 20:5), was never given to Gentiles nor was it meant to be applied to Gentiles (Acts 15:10; Galatians 5:10). Scripture teaches us that those who desire to make a show in the flesh, attempt to compel others to come under the Law of Moses in one way or another (Galatians 6:12).
Satan has used feminism to fully invade the churches. Clergy in some evangelical churches and restoration programs, in attempting to go with the spiritual flow of the world, have taught that God is both masculine and feminine. The laity are taught that the name of God, Yahwah, is half masculine and half feminine (Yah = masculine, Wah = feminine) or father, mother God. This doctrine is primarily found in evangelical and Pentecostal churches and the occult. The evil one has done much damage to the kingdom of God with this doctrine, as its origin comes from the new age religion of the occult. Unger’s Bible Dictionary correctly translates Yahweh as, “He who is,” or the self existent One.
Barking like dogs, roaring like lions, clucking like chickens, screaming, falling, howling, chicken-walking, holy laughter, twitching, drunken activities, forgetting where they live, being stuck to the floor, and many other such things are said to be normal activities at the Brownsville Revival Church of Pensacola, Florida. Many of these same activities are also going on at the Toronto Airport Church. Both are nationally known. Many people from all over the country come to these events to observe or partake. These events have been promoted by the clergy, with one leader calling this phenomenon as being from the “Holy Ghost bartender.” Clergymen who pursue these events, take them back to their own churches to promote to the laity.
This phenomena is not new. It has been happening for centuries in Hinduism, where it is called by many names such as, Kundalini, Shakti Pat or Divine Touch. The same manifestations are experienced by people following in the ancient Hindu spiritual quest as are experienced in the Brownsville Church, or the Airport Toronto Church. It is said that Swami Baba Muktananda could transfer these experiences to other people by just a touch. He called it “guru’s grace.” Rajneesh encouraged his laity to become “drunk on the divine.” Or “dance your way to God, just be joyful…” and “God is not serious.” The laity’s spiritual experiences between Toronto, Brownsville and the Hindu’s have exactly the same manifestations. For further information on this phenomena go to http://www.inplainsite.org/org/html/kundalini.html. A comparison can be seen there.
It is granted that most of the heresies in the last 100 years have come out of Pentecostalism and the charismatic following, but certainly not all. Man has an evil nature, and religion does not change that fact. It only becomes more potent with the adding of religion. As John Nelson Darby said more than 120 years ago, “The devil is never as dangerous as when he has a Bible in his hand.”
What is the purpose of all of this religion? Isn’t it to reach God? When the religion business thrives, the gospel suffers. This story will bring to light the religion of man and Satan and the kingdom of God.
A city was ruled by a benevolent king. In townships all around the city there was famine and poverty. Many heard of this king and his generosity in that he would take care of all who came into the city. The city had very high walls, un.climbable by any person. Outside the walls were multitudes of people with different stands selling paraphernalia, trinkets, badges and also pots for when the end of the rainbow was found.
There were high platforms upon which men who were speaking could look upon great numbers of people. These men proclaimed with great assurance that they had their own special way to climb the wall of the city. Some had great crowds pressing in to hear and buy what they were selling. Other speakers, who did not have large crowds watching them, tried to imitate those who did. Some of these people on the platforms were selling grappling hooks with a rope attached; some were selling line-man climbing boots; while some were selling drills and expansive bolts to put in the wall. Others sold one way tickets for a march that lasted 7 times around the wall. People went with much emotional zeal (the people had been told the wall would fall); while others sold secret formulas to dissolve the wall. Some sold a type of spiritual music that completely hid the wall from peoples eyes, so the buyer could not see it. Some sold strategies that made the buyer look good and feel he had gotten over the wall. Some were told if they bought tickets to a special restoring technique, they could easily climb or even jump over the wall. Some sold unique glasses that could see the hand writing on the wall. A person with these glasses on read, “This wall does not exist.” Assurance tickets were sold to many, they were told they were already in the city and they did not need to go any further. Others sold a type of cotton candy, which when eaten gave an inner-light which allowed the person to astral (like a shooting star) project himself over the wall, just by speaking it into existence.
There was a tremendous amount of time, effort and money (one trillion dollars in 20 years) spent on the selling of these products. The buyers did not seem to be too particular in buying into this hope. Even though no one had ever succeeded in getting over the wall, no one ever seemed to get discouraged in trying to get over the wall or tire of listening to a new way to go about it.
One day a man named pilgrim came up to this city; he had started on a journey to this city sometime ago. He had started on a road that was narrow and straight, and while he had lost his way a few times, he kept going. When he got to the city and saw all the commotion, he was curious as to what it meant. Upon finding out what was for sale, he shrugged his shoulders and walked on, for he had seen much of this already on his pilgrimage to the city of the great king. Upon coming to the gate of the city he found it wide open as it had been forever. Pilgrim spoke of the open gate to those who were trying to buy their way in, over, through and under the wall. Some argued with him rather abruptly saying it is not open, you must be wrong. Others wondered how all these salespeople could be selling something that he said was free and open, but no one would listen to him. As Pilgrim walked into the city he heard a voice saying, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Then Pilgrim saw a plaque on the gate that read, “Its gates shall not be shut at all by day.” Right along side of it was another plaque, it read, “Blessed are those who do His commandments (word), that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” Pilgrim could still hear all the noise outside as he passed through the city gate.
7. Should a Christian strive to be a heretic?
Most people are social beings by nature. Church people are apt to follow the voice of their church, even when their church does not receive or have willingness to receive all Scripture as truth. It is a strange phenomenon that when evil is working in a church, church people will excuse, find the good in it, see no evil, go along, swim downstream with the school or in general go with the spiritual flow peaceably (2 Corinthians 11:3-4). When a Christian who is not in the clergy, but is attempting to walk after the Spirit of Christ speaks up according to the truth in Scripture, he is thought to be a trouble maker or heretic. If the clergyman, hierarchy, or even the laity are made uncomfortable by the word of God, then the person who brought forth the message of faith in the word of God will be marked as one undermining the authority of the church, clergy or hierarchy authority.
Elijah, a prophet, proclaimed the word of God concerning the evil in Israel. Ahab, the king, was also threatened by the words of Elijah, for when he saw Elijah coming he said, “Is that you O troubler of Israel” (1 Kings 18:17). Elijah then said to Ahab, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have…” (verse 18). Diotrephes, was another person who acted without the authority of the apostles’ doctrine or the Spirit of Christ. His sin was taking a place of hierarchical position over the Lord’s brethren (Matthew 23:8). When he was rebuked for taking this position by the Apostle John, he did not receive the message. Instead he prated (spoke empty words) against John and the brethren with malicious words (3 John 9-10).
Evil has always attacked the church but has found no ground for its seed to take root and grow where the truth of Christ is received and followed.
Truths of Scripture that change lives are taught by a great many clergymen to be a precarious course to take. Therefore, clergymen relegate many truths the apostles taught to the culture of that time. The clergyman, not Scripture is the final authority, for all Scripture does not work today. Jesus also was not received by the religious hierarchy, even though He was a perfect manifestation of the Word of God (John 1:1; 14:9-11). For it was prophesied of Him, “Who has believed our report?… He is despised and rejected by men…” (Isaiah 53:1, 3).
A Christian has been called by God to follow Jesus in His dependence on His Father’s every word (Matthew 4:4), as well as the following: keeping the word of God (John 8:29), believing the voice of God rather than being a man pleaser (Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:22), rebuking those religious leaders who do not keep His Father’s word (Mark 7:7-9), and to be occupied in following His word until He comes (Luke 19:13; 1 Peter 4:10-11). The Christian is also to study Scripture diligently to know the mind of the Lord (2 Timothy 2:15), and rebuke those who sin openly, (professors of God without His word, 1 Timothy 5:20). In general, a Christian is called to walk as Jesus walked in this world, in the love of God according to the Chief Shepherd’s voice and word, “because as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
8. Is The Father seeking workers or worshippers?
Jesus told the woman at Jacob’s well that the Father is seeking worshippers to worship Him (John 4:23). Jesus never told His disciples or anyone else that His Father was seeking workers. However, Jesus did say to His own disciples and all who would be His disciples that they should carry out the instructions He gave. People who do something for their church, good works, evangelism, giving of money, and many other such things may feel they are working for God or doing God’s will. However, Jesus told us something different, He said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29).
The Adamic nature in a person can be very religious and self satisfied in his religion, in participating in many activities and religious acts. These activities can be, and are used to avoid believing on Jesus and becoming His disciple and a worshipper. It could even be said, ‘to avoid learning to be a disciple, do something religious or something for God.’ God does not call men to be workers, but to be disciples of Jesus.
To become a disciple of Jesus, a person must live by the words of Jesus. As the Apostle John tells us, to be a disciple of Jesus is to love God according to His word (1 John 5:1-3). No one can love God’s word without becoming a worshipper. Rejoicing in God is to rejoice in His word (Psalms 119:162). David said, I love your commands (word) above gold (Psalms 119:127).
Being a worshipper is the eternal purpose of God, for which a believer has been saved. Revelation shows us the future activities of the saints in their eternal dwelling. All heavenly entities are worshippers as these Scriptures in the Revelation show us in chapters 4; 5; 7:9-17; 11:15; 15:1-8; 19:4-7, 10; 22:8-9. Not once do we find mention of talents of men, workers, church hierarchy, clergy, or any other works of men. However, saints who follow in the work of faith to the truth in Christ are recorded (Revelation 14:13; 22:3, 14). What we do find in this heavenly scene, are those who have been faithful to the word of God even unto their death (Revelation 6:9; 12:10-11; 14:1-5; 16:5-7; 17:5; 18:20, 24; 20:4).
The actions of saints in faithfulness to the truth in Christ while they were on the earth, and their present total occupation as being worshippers in their heavenly abode, is shown to us in the Revelation. For a believer, this knowledge of the future in the heavenly dwelling place is meant to direct him or her in their present daily walk on the earth.
Scripture shows us, that present day religious positions and titles found in most churches are not of God, but of man (Matthew 23:8; Luke 22:24-27). The works of man which are not from the Spirit of God, will not enter into the heavenly sphere (1 Corinthians 3:11-13). A Christian has been joined unto Christ for eternity (1 Corinthians 1:9; Ephesians 4:30), not unto a religious position, denomination, sect, or independent body (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:1.5).
When Jesus said the Father is seeking worshippers, they are sought as worshippers now and for eternity; this is the Christians calling.
The works that a Christian is called to, are the works of the Spirit, which God prepared before hand that every Christian should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). These are not the Christian’s own works or talents. They are the works of the Holy Spirit which the Christian accomplishes through his faith to the truth. Following the truth in Christ is mandatory for the Spirit to have freedom to lead and work in the Christian.
For a Christian, freedom to be a worshipper is freedom from the flesh and from following after the religious errors of man and Satan.
9. Free to be unto Jesus
Dr Salk found a cure for polio by inoculating people with dead polio cells. These dead cells going into the human body energize the immune system by producing antibodies against all polio germs alive or dead. Through this process a person becomes immune to polio. In the spiritual sense it is the same. A dead religious system, as pointed out in this booklet, followed and promoted by clergymen and hierarchy and taught to the laity, keeps the believer in bondage and keeps him from receiving the whole counsel of God. These errors keep the seed of truth in Christ from entering in and taking root in the heart of a believer (Matthew 13:19-23). This inoculation of error, planted in the heart against the truth revealed in Scripture, keeps the laity in the bondage of a law based religion.
Jesus has told us what God’s answer is. Be rid of and free of man and Satan’s religious ideas and ways. Jesus said if a person abides in His word he would become His disciple and would know the truth (in the heart) and the truth would set him free (John 8:31-32). A person who has been inoculated with religious error must receive the whole counsel of God as revealed in Scripture to be set free. For the Word of God is the Son of God, and the Son of God, is the Word of God (John 1:1, 14); in Him alone is life.
The person who in faith follows a heresy (false teaching) or a religious organization which is in error, will not find the freedom Jesus promised to those who would be His disciples. This freedom is only found through hearing, believing, receiving, and abiding in the truth in Christ (John 8:31-32).
The freedom Jesus promised has nothing to do with any church or any religious body of people. The freedom Jesus promised is to the one who will follow Him according to His word. For the person who does this, Jesus said, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Being made free is a work of God in a disciple through receiving truth; it is freedom from carnal, spiritual, demonic, and religious sin.
This freedom wherein the Son makes a person free is through deliverance to follow Jesus according to truth in the simplicity of his leading. Scripture must be the test and ground of truth, not experiences, spiritual manifestations, charisma of clergy, or the leading of spirits. Only by coming under the power of the truth in faith as revealed in Scripture is a person assured of his position as walking in the truth. Every Christian is told to test the spirits, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-14). The Apostle John gives the test of whether someone is following truth or error, “We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6). This purpose of God has not changed and is the test for everyone as to who or what they are following, whether they are a church person without Christ, or a saint redeemed by the blood of Christ. Following the truth in Christ as taught by Jesus and the apostles is the Y in the road as to whether a person is following the kingdoms of men and Satan or the everlasting kingdom of Christ.