Are you following the ways of men and religion or are you following the ways of the Lord? So many in churches these days claim the title “Christian.” Thinking that the beliefs and traditions they follow are correct, and they confidently teach others the same things. Why, because that is what they were taught. But the question is, “is what they follow from God or Religion?”
After all the doctrines, teachings, philosophies, ideals, and traditions that they hold to and rely upon were taught to them by their respected peers. They learned them in a house of higher learning, by a teacher, or another admired religious person. They agreed with the teachings of a pastor or teacher that was taught in an esteemed biblical institution by men. Many doctrines and concepts have only been taught in the church for 100-200 years.
Most of the time there is no doubt in their minds that they have almost everything correct, or at least the most important aspects of Christianity. Their professors of doctrine, theology, and eschatology could not have been mistaken, could they?
Yet, why is it that much of the church looks just like the world? Why is Christianity split up into tens of thousands of known denominations? Is this how Jesus intended the Church to be? Absolutely not, this is Satan’s doing. Did you know that according to a well-known research company there are over 40,000 different divisions of Christian denominations worldwide?
What is even more surprising, is that many of these denominations hold firmly to different diverse doctrines and beliefs about what the Bible teaches. When there is only one truth.
To put it into simple terms, they declare, “I am right and you are wrong.” They have chosen the “right way” according to their own understanding. Everyone else needs to listen to us and do it our way. Humanly speaking, Christianity is therefore vastly splintered.
But followers of Jesus Christ are not divided. They are unified by the Spirit of the Lord. They know what is right because they depend on the teachings of the Holy Spirit rather than men. On the contrary, men without the Spirit listen to other men. These vast religious entities go even to the point that many deny the very essence of the faith, such as Creation, the roles of male and female, the Flood, God’s Sovereignty, His prophets, Jesus’ virgin birth, His death, His resurrection, the Holy Spirit, and many more fundamental truths of God’s Word.
Is this offensive to you? Then search your heart and look in the mirror because offense comes from your own heart.
Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”
For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2 Peter 3:3-7
Sadly, this is true. Many who occupy church buildings, deny God Himself by closing their ears and their eyes to His instruction through the Holy Spirit. They would rather listen to biblically educated men and women who have been educated by other biblically educated men and women, who have a piece of paper that says so.
Whatever happened to listening to the Lord? Seeking the guidance, instruction, and wisdom of the Holy Spirit? But instead, they desire to be teachers of the Law, teachers of doctrine, and theologians. They seek a pat on the back from men instead of seeking to hear God’s wisdom. To be approved and appointed by Him.
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings?
These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. Colossians 2:20-23
They have puffed themselves up in their own minds with biblical comprehension. In many cases, men are placed on the pedestal of leadership because he has more book knowledge than the next person. Because a man approved of him. They then praise man instead of the Lord. They glorify the biblically wise instead of the called and anointed of God.
They have no spiritual wisdom or understanding of God. Sometimes they justify this by saying there is no new inspiration from the Lord. In many cases, when they speak it is just regurgitated words from the Bible or from other teachers. In essence, they do not know what they are even talking about. It is actually plagiarism and they are leading many astray knowingly or unknowingly.
Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. 1 Timothy 1:6-7
No wonder there are so many divisions and denominations. Because every man believes that in his own mind, his own understanding, and in his own opinion that he is absolutely correct. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong. This is actually an act of religious pride and arrogance. The sins that took down the devil himself.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2
Listen, if there are so many divisions in Christianity, then most of them must be wrong. You are not to look up to your leaders and instructors with holy faith in what they teach. If it is not taught by the Holy Spirit it is not trustworthy.
Be like the Bereans, whom it was said of them that they were “of more noble character.” They were commended by Paul, searched the scriptures daily, and sought to be taught by the Holy Spirit. If there’s any doubt about what a man has taught, God will show you what is true and what is false. If you seek His Holy Spirit to instruct you.
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11
But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as He has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. 1 John 2:27
The true believer in Jesus Christ does not follow man. He or she does not look up to anyone else and say I follow this person or that person believing every word they say. But they test the word and they follow God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit with complete devotion and trust. Seeking to be taught by Him.
It does not matter if you are Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Protestant, Reformed, Arminian, Calvinist, or Lutheran just to name a very few. These are just man-made divisions and titles that mean nothing in the end. Those who are true, who have the Spirit of God within them are simply servants of the Lord, followers of Jesus Christ, and soldiers in the army of God. Anything else is idolatry.
All that other stuff is fluff and worthless. Names, titles, man-made doctrines, traditions, and rituals. It is of absolutely no use, vanity, and at worse idolatry. Oracles and instructions given by men added to the Words of God are sinful and put people on very dangerous ground before the Lord.
And Jesus said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” Mark 7:6-8
Leave the religions, traditions, and rituals taught and practiced by man and follow the Lord only. Seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit in everything you do and say. Men will fail time and time again. Do you really want to trust completely the faltering ideas of man? The Lord will never fail, never falters, and will never lead you astray.
Even the Apostle Paul went away into Arabia for 3 years to be instructed only by the Holy Spirit. Why? Because God had a special mission for Him and he could not learn what was true from the teachers of the Law. He had to learn from the teacher of the Truth.
Why would you think that teachers in these last days would be any different? The teachings of this day and age are even more diverse than ever before? Do you really think you could pick the right teacher or denomination that holds to everything that is correct by your own judgment? When we all make mistakes every day. You can not take that chance. Your very eternity and the eternity of others may be at stake.
The bottom line of all of this is that you must follow and obey the ways, precepts, and the word of the Lord God Almighty. You must be taught by the Holy Spirit. Any other belief, any other teaching, and any other instruction that contradicts Him are actually coming from the devil.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
On this day, you must determine in your heart and mind to follow the Lord only. To let Him teach you even if at first you do not understand or your spiritual discernment is small. He will give you the wisdom and insight that you may understand over time. If you seek Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength as He has instructed.
Determine to seek good and not evil, to walk in the Spirit of the Lord and not in your flesh. To walk away from the religion you follow if necessary. Yes, it is very hard, I know, I have been there. But God’s understanding is much better and higher than man’s and He will give you the boldness to do what is right. To follow the Lord with confidence and truth.
“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord,
choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15