Jeremiah 51:6-7 (NKJV)
Flee from the midst of Babylon, And every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, For this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He shall recompense her.
Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, That made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged.
Babylon represents the mother of false religion in Scripture, so it is necessary to clarify the term “religion”.
James, who was the half-brother of Jesus Christ and leader of the church in Jerusalem (after Christ arose), wrote:
James 1:26-27 (NKJV)
26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
The word “religion” is qualified in this Scripture (v27). It is “pure and undefiled”, not tainted by foul language. This is the Scripture that the LORD gave to me when I began my ministry, singing in nursing homes to the widows and elderly, and later when I did a camp for the Children of Chernobyl.
Let us seek to have this pure and undefiled religion! This is the Scriptural standard.
A current dictionary describes “religion” as “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.”
Cicero, the Roman philosopher, describes religion as “the worship of the gods.”
If one believes in another god, other than the One True God (YHWH), one could have “temple prostitutes” or human sacrifices to satan! And that is the case in some extreme forms of religion. (Yet babies are sacrificed on the altar of expediency! Is that not a ploy of the enemy?)
Some say (because it is argued) that the etymology of the word religion is “ligare” meaning “to bind” or to “connect”. So “religion” may mean to “re-bind” or “re-connect” BUT who are you re-connecting to? The true God, familiar demons, or satan?
Someone on Facebook wrote me – and I would give you the exact words but she deleted my “friendship” from Facebook – that the God that she follows is a God who doesn’t care what their “orientation” is! God does care! He doesn’t want people to die in sin! The God of all the universe set up rules and one of them is NO homosexual deviations. How does such a person have the Spirit of God if they continue to follow these perversions? And though she is politically correct, the Facebook person, sadly, is NOT following the same God as the God of Abraham. She is following an anti-christ spirit!
FAITH vs. RELIGION
Another definition of “religion” is “a particular system of faith and worship.” Whom one worships makes all the difference, as discussed. However, let us look into the “faith” part now.
If one is a Christian, one should have faith in Jesus to save. But many “Christians” don’t have this kind of faith. They have faith in their religion! But believing faith in Jesus Christ will get you to heaven.
Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
“Not of works” is crucial. “Works” implies religion.
All the seven churches in the Book of Revelation had “works”. See Seven Churches. But it is through faith we are saved!
If you want a discussion on faith and works, go to the commentaries at the bottom of this.
Ol’ Time Religion
This song speaks about the Christian religion, and to an outsider maybe it can be a little confusing because it is not religion that saves, but faith in Jesus Christ that saves.
“Give me that ol’ time religion,
It’s good enough for me.” – Hymn
The stanzas go:
“It was good for our mothers” (but maybe not for all our mothers!)
“Makes me love everybody…” (and this is how it should be!)
“It has saved our fathers…” (I suppose they meant if they had faith in Jesus Christ, but it is not clear to those who are not Christians!)
“It will do when I am dying…”
“It will take us all to heaven…”
But can religion get you to heaven? The Christian “religion”, the do’s and don’ts of the Christian religion, can’t get you to heaven. BUT the Christian religion that implies believing in the LORD Jesus Christ does get you to heaven!
Another verse says: “It was good for the Hebrew children….”
The Jewish religion couldn’t and can’t get you to heaven. You must have faith in the Messiah. Abraham believed God that He would send the Messiah! He had believing faith! (And before Christ’s resurrection, the Jewish believers were waiting in sheol.)
The Islamic religion can’t get you to heaven. They have to follow too many rules, many of them man-made! And they don’t believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior. Islam is a syncretic religion, combining parts of Old Testament law with the moon goddess and other folk religions.
The “Christian” religion is often syncretic, too, being combined with paganism. In the sense of the do’s and don’ts, the Christian religion cannot get you to into heaven! That is why so many “Christians” wonder where they will be when they die! Calling oneself “Christian”, doesn’t make you a true Christian. “You must be born again!” John 3:7
The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ, through believing faith!
Without believing faith, even a “pastor” can’t get to heaven, where the throne of God is!
Without believing faith, charitable work will not get you into heaven.
Without believing faith, all the good works of someone such as Mother Teresa, can’t get one to heaven!
Without believing faith, a pope can’t get into heaven!
Romans 3:23-25 (NKJV)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation [a sin offering] by His blood, through faith …
We need to come to God by faith in Christ’s shed blood, the only “sin offering” that is worthy!
After we have believing faith, we receive the Holy Spirit of God.
Romans 8:9 (NKJV)
9 … if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
So, to this song, “Old-time religion”, I added this verse:
“I’m gonna walk in the Spirit!”
Are you walking in the Spirit?
Romans 8:16 (NKJV)
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Do you know this in your heart, in your spirit? Do you have the Holy Spirit of God living in you?
Or maybe you have a “religious” spirit?
NOTE: While reading these chapters, please note that there are true Christians amongst the laity of Catholics and any other denominations that I mention. It is the hierarchy of that church that I find at fault, not teaching the whole Word of God and bringing in paganism.
Before the coming of the LORD, Babylon will fall. Would I not be at fault if I didn’t give a warning?
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:” Ezekiel 3:17 (NKJV)
As it says in the Book of Revelation, “Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4 NKJV)
Next part: The Popes in Line