Not that I turn to dictionaries for definition of biblical things as the bible should be understood through itself line upon line and precept upon precept; but a dictionary definition of religion is “the belief and worship of a super human controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. A particular system of faith and worship. A pursuit of interest followed with great devotion i.e. football.
The biblical definition is Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. So apart from the easily understood part, pure religion is to keep oneself unspotted from the world. To mix with the world or become spotted by it is to defile it. That is the purpose of the deceiver and his apparent angels of light. To make believers spotted and defiled, unacceptable by God. Yahweh God, in His directives gave many ways how one can become defiled and separated from Him.
Exo 31:14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Lev 11:43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. Lev 11:44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Lev 11:45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
Dan 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: Mat 15:20 These are which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Psa 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
So in short, not walking in the way of the law of God is to be defiled. The result of which is Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
So to put James “pure religion” into the context in which he wrote it let us read from a few verses before.
Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Jas 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
I think we should all see, in context, James is saying the same as Psa 119.1, walk in the way of God’s law which includes showing love to ones neighbour by acts of charity. Similar to what Paul says in 1 Cor 13.
The word “relationship” does not appear once in the KJV of the bible, the translation of which can be traced to the original Hebrew or Greek word from where the translation came.
“Religion” appears five times in Act 26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: Gal 1:14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. Jas 1:26-27 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
From the five times used it can be seen the religion spoken of is that of the Jews; either one or another of their sects. So as usual, some teachers of the bible today have switched from something of the bible to something of their own formation, relationship.
The reason I have chosen this topic is that there has been a movement to teach believers that religion with God is bad and one should change to a relationship with Him. A term and teaching not found in the bible. The reason being, another route to move people away from adhering to the commandments of God as He prescribed and move unto a life of self pleasing. Bringing God down to a common level more convenient to our personal needs and emotions. They also seem to forget that those of the bible who had what may be called a relationship with God, also had a respectful fear of Him. Jacob, Moses and Gideon though they did not actually see God’s face, they saw an angel of the Lord face to face or His glory in Moses’ case. None of them, nor any biblical prophet or servant of God had the type of relationship today's believers are told to claim or covet.
The fear of God is mentioned over a hundred times and too many to count: but here are a few examples of its use.
Psa 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Pro 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Pro 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. Pro 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. Psa 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
In several places is also the directive to learn to fear God. Some examples are.
Deu 4:10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.
Deu 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
Deu 31:12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:
Deu 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
Deu 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
The teachings and unchanging principles of God in the Old Testament is what those of the New followed. So the fear of God is also mentioned.
Act 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. 1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Luk 18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: Act 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, Act 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. Act 13:16 Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. Act 13:26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. 2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
The fear of God moves us to obey His commandments as did Noah. Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. So in moving one’s mind away from the fear of God onto one of relationship, it also moves and lessens the strength of the incentive to obey and keep His commandments. The things that keep one undefiled, close to and acceptable to God.
Not only is relationship a teaching; but also God’s love, goodness and grace for the same purpose of moving one away from fear and obedience. Under grace it is taught God understands and forgives not that we have to do. Extracts of scriptures are used to limit them to “saved by grace” when others, put grace in context as Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. What form of doctrine except that of the law and prophets which showed salvation through Yahshua the Messiah.
Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire. 1Pe 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Even the fear of the last days judgement and punishment is concealed. Everyone dying goes to heaven immediately even ones’ pets.
I said God’s teachings and ways are from beginning to everlasting and so we also see the concept of fearing God in the last book of the bible and the reward to those who acted on that fear Rev 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Rev 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgement is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Rev 19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
As for our love for God, this is the main one of His commandments found in the Old Testament and referred to in the New by Yahshua. Deu 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deu 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgements, and his commandments, always. Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. These words of Yahshua in the New Testament was actually a quote from the Old in Deu 6:5.
To love, is to be faithful. Deu 7:8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Deu 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;. Likewise when we love God we should also be obedient, faithful, not forget His ways as His response was conditional. Deu 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deu 11:14 That (or then) I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
Another subtle decrease in God’s status is to view Him as warm friendly daddy rather than Father. Yahshua told us to call God Father. A father is one who father’s or gives birth to a child. A child can only have one Father though they can have non birth giving dads or daddies who raise them. With a dad, there is no life giving, blood, breath of life nor genealogy connection. They raise you as they see fit. Neither do you have an automatic right to inherit their blessings. Last year a court awarded the inheritance of a mother to her natural daughter who she had not seen for 45 or so years over the person who cared for the mother and who was named in the mother’s will. The excuse used is that a daddy is more loving than a father. That anyone can be a father but not everyone can be a daddy. Actually it is the reverse. Anyone can raise; but only one gave you birth, physically and spiritually. God our Father gives us birth via His breath of life; but the deceiving devil can be our daddy raising us in false beliefs.
Then God is portrayed as a friend, or husband because a friend is a buddy with whom one can hang out, socialise and talk to like a pal or soul mate. As such, He would not harm you only do you good. In any situation if you know or believe someone or an authority cannot put their hands on you or take away your liberty you are more likely to do what you want rather than be subjected to the authority’s instructions. Children and parents because of social services laws. Criminals because prisons are full or there is not budget to investigate or prosecute some crimes are burglaries.
So what is the biblical difference between a god and friend or one with whom you have a relationship? We cannot see the face of God and live. We cannot step on the same ground with Him as we can with a friend. Removing the fear of God was the first difference satan used on Eve. She would not die.. Heb 11:7 tells us Noah moved with fear prepared the Ark based on faith in God’s word. In Gen 20:11 Abraham thought the people of the land would sin by killing him and taking his wife because “surely the fear of God is NOT in this place”. When you elevate God to His proper status you act accordingly, even to denying the commands of kings who can take your life. This is what the midwives did in Ex 1:17 and what Peter said in Acts 5:29. When God told Moses he would make him like a god to his brother Aaron. The brothers had a relationship. They were from the same womb etc, yet God put a big difference between them by elevating Moses’ status. When Pharaoh and his magicians did not regard Moses’ God as high as their own they discussed, reasoned and even ordered him. Thinking Moses’ God was no higher than the magicians as they could do the same miracles as Moses. Until they realised His true status. Pharaoh’s complacent attitude and lack of fear showed in his disrespect when he said in Ex 5:2 “who is Yahweh that I should obey his voice”. By the end of the plagues, when the fear of God was in him, his demeanour and wording changed in Ex 12:32 asking Moses to bless him also!
In the wilderness when Miriam and Korah used their relationship to Moses to think they were his equal, God showed them the difference. The people’s reduced fear of God led them to disobey Him and lose faith in His word. As a result died in the wilderness. When the fear goes, disobedience creeps in.
Since it is taught God would not harm you, there is no danger in disobedience. He may at worst get angry and not talk to you for a while, as some buddies do; but it would not be drastic. And if it gets too bad and the relationship ends, one can simply find another friend, or daddy, as they do in the world. i.e. another god, comforter or belief. We cannot choose to have a relationship with God. He does the choosing and in the bible it was a handful of prophets out of the whole nation, with whom He chose to have what one may call a relationship. No where do we read king David had a relationship with God, only that he was a man after God’s heart. When God interacted in what can be called a relationship, He did it in a human form as an angel of God as with Abraham in Genesis 18 or the New Testament where Yahshua called his 12 apostles friends. The two times the word “friend” is translated in regard to Abraham and God in Isaiah 41:8 and 2Chron 20:7 it is different word to the common one also translated as “friend” into English.
Moses in Deut, Peter, Steven and Paul in Acts gave long speeches on what was required of believers and neither mentioned relationship. See for example Deu 10:12. So why so much talk and belief on “relationship”? It is a matter of moving from authority to equality with a word change. For example, If I told Mike to stand on this bench; but called it a chair and then what I said is relayed to another person who was not here, what would they picture in their mind Mike was standing on, a long bench or an eighteen inch seat chair. Whereas a few people can stand on the bench at the same time only one can stand on a chair. The person’s mental concept has been changed by a word change. Law and obey conjures up authority in one’s mind. Something one has to do under a law. With obey, one person instructs and the other obeys. An inferior and superior position. Relationship brings in dialogue, moves to equality, reasoning etc as if we can have a discussion with God. The intelligence to put a case to him to make Him think. As he said to Job’s friends where were they when he laid the foundations of the world.
Relationship becomes the number one and law keeping the number two and allusion rather than clearly stated requirement. But who remembers who came second in a race or the number two thing? Hardly anybody. The bible makes law keeping the number one and focus. “Putting evil away” as it is termed in KJV. What do I need to be saved, what do I need to have eternal life and Yahshua answered keep the commandments. Instead teachers teach if you have a relationship you should then keep the law or because of your relationship you keep the law. The bible states it the other way round. If relationship is alluded to it is as a consequence of law keeping i.e. 1Jn 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. I don’t listen to population t.v. or internet preachers; but I am told of some of the things they say. I was told Creflo Dollar had a sermon in which he said it’s purpose was to convince listeners law keeping was not necessary. I saw T.D. Jakes teaching the same. And we know they are not the only two.
Now do not think I am against relationship nor that it does not play a part in our belief. My point is that it is not mentioned in the bible as a criteria nor requirement. Obedience and fear of God is. Nowhere do we read about God or Moses telling the people to have a relationship with God. The nearest we get is the first commandment as explained above, to love God with all being.
We have His example as He loves His people with all His being as a true Father. Despite the disobedience of Adam and Eve, He clothed them on separation. Israel He has written on the palms of His hands. He kept track of them wherever they went into captivity, sending deliverers and finally Himself or son to die as a redemption price. Remember who a God and a father loves they correct. So if the relationship being promoted and understood is that of total commitment, obedience and fear of God, I am in agreement. If it is a subtle watering down to deceive the mind I am against. If it is the former, why change the wording, which changes the emphasise. As a saying goes, if it’s not broken do not alter it.
I cannot recall God using relationship to save anyone in the bible. It did not Arron, nor get Moses into the Promised Land. Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Joseph, Daniel and Nehemiah had relationships with their kings, yet if and when they went against the law, it did not save them from prison of the lion’s den. Last time we studied why some people could not enter the gates of Revelation 22:14 and what causes their name to be blot out of the book of life. Yahshua said in Luke 13:3 and 5 unless one repents they would perish. In neither case was relationship mentioned.
Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. Psa 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. Psa 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. Psa 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Psa 19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Pro 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
A friend left home or was asked to leave by his mother when he was about 16 for a disagreement on how much of his Saturday job money he should give her. Yet she still went looking to enquire of his welfare at his college. Parents look for children from whom they were separated for years and many children seek their natural parent when become independent despite being raised by daddies. Such is the connection. We do not hear this about foster daddies.
The deceiver and his agents start with changing the purity of God’s word with a translation or replacement of a word or concept i.e. love of God rather than fear of Him. The little change may go unnoticed, unchallenged or seem harmless. Then another little change from love to relationship. It may be passed and explained as being the same i.e. one cannot love someone with whom they do not have a relationship. The transition has moved further away from fear as one can have fear of another with whom they do not have a relationship i.e. an authority. Relationship being seen as one of love rather than one of connection. With a relationship comes communication, discussion reasoning and persuasion. One is now more on a level of equality not superiority as in master and servant, God and human, creator and created even if the difference remains somewhere on the humans tongue or in the back of the mind. Isa 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
Lastly comes, God told me I can do this or that. He understands and accepts. Communication does not come from the written Word of God; but a personal communication to their head or heart. And if it difference from the Word or principle of the bible, their experience takes precedent. In many cases we have heard even to the decapitating of a baby’s head by its mother or murders under the direction of God.
A commenter from a social media group said “our personal experiences are not a reliable source of establishing truth as our minds are susceptible to trickery. Years ago 1,000 people in Portugal claim to have seen the sun come crashing down to earth. I am going to guess that everyone in this group are intelligent enough to realise that there are some major issues with such an eye witness account, right? Thus what we experience is not a trustworthy source to decide that something is true. We should not rely on experience. If someone says they saw fairies we think they are mad or seeing things”.
People start looking for justification signs for the thought in their head or heart as a message from a friend or advert seen. Ambiguous signs are interpreted as 12 horoscopes predictions for a whole nation or world. They now have a one to one with their “daddy”. Two clear sources of direction and teaching are now in play. Personal experiences and desires and the literal words in the bible. However, scripture says we cannot have two masters Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
We cannot serve self desire and God. World’s values and standards AND God’s. There will be a conflict. The only way to achieve both is to degrade God’s Word into what we want. Deu 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Even pastor’s and leaders of million viewer audiences have done this degrading. I read of preacher Joel saying God absolutely approves of homosexuals. Which is in direct contradiction to Lev 20:13. Gospel of inclusion not division. So much so that some translations have changed the wording. We are now told God does not hate the sinner only the sin. As if they are separable. That grace covers all of us. There is a reason why we sin and God understands so we do not have to repent and turn from the repeating the act. It is not us doing it; but sin in us etc etc. Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
I do not know of any instance where God destroyed the sin without destroying the sinner. I know He blotted out a repenting sinner’s sin from the books of Rev 20:12; but in places like Numbers 15:35 he instructed killing the sinner. I will not take up time explaining David’s sin and forgiveness is 2Sam 12:13; but read in context of Deu 24:16.
The watering down or rephrasing of God’s word is done in the pretence of drawing people to God. Getting them to have a personal relationship with Him. Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Almost every preacher claims to hear from God. They use their hearing and personal relationship with God as a badge of persuasion. God told me this, God told me that. I am special. If the message needs one’s personal connection with God and exalted standing with Him to persuade people, it means the Word of God is insufficient. 1Co 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. 1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: It is not meant to be our gospel. A sharing of our connection with God; but of Yahshua’s.
The devil may not have us believe he is god; but he can make you believe you are friends with God. 2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. That in our mind we have some equality with Him; being made in His image, therefore we if not the devil become our own god fulfilling our own desire and direction. In fact at a bible study a few months ago we saw a video of the movement by the biggest t.v and internet preachers teaching we are little gods. We must realise that there is a planned and orchestrated teaching by these pastors to move believer unto believing non biblical theology of men.
I do not think this following scripture was written by Paul for the example I will use it; but it is equally applicable for one who sees themselves as an exalted person or constantly hearing from God. Some more than the prophets in the Bible.
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, (i.e. not with fear) neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man (logic and reasoning of self or pastors), and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. The creature being themselves and wisdom of men rather than directives of God. I do not normally insert my comments into the scripture; but wanted you to understand my use of the verse since it was not written for the specific purpose I used it.
Too many preachers are using Christian platform to affirm false teachings and standards of the world.
Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Yahshua the Messiah.
1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Php 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Php 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things).
I do not think those above scriptures need any elaboration. The congregation who make up the church are not there to get well as a hospital comparison sometimes used. It is supposed to be a gathering of repented people coming to learn and worship God. Those already made whole through change of their former worldly lifestyle or dependant on themselves for salvation. This does not mean they are perfect and sin no more. We come together to keep each other on the straight road to our creator Father. Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
Now I may not have talked about relationship with God as much as some think I should have from the title. The fact remains, the bible is silent on that matter. No teaching of old or New Testament says we are to have a relationship with God. Relationships can be good, bad or various levels in between so if would need qualification. Husbands, wives, parent and child have relationships yet protective orders are taken out against the other or testified against to put in prison. We are taught how to live and please God through law keeping and the fear of God being the deterrent, motivation and our guide to a Godly lifestyle and His salvation. Not every communication or interaction is on the level of biblical “relationship” we would like to elevate them. The relationship we know of is God calling certain prophets to relay a message of obedience and repentance to the people. In return for their obedience and other’s to His laws, He blessed them as Cornelius in Acts 10. Yes some like David and Elijah prayed to God and asked for His guidance and He answered, so that could be called a relationship; but remember Pro 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. Want a relationship with your heavenly Father, then act like His child in the example He gave in His commandments Exo 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Mal 1:6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
Like a Father, He wants nothing but the best for you, that none should but have everlasting life with Him. Yet, if we chose to distant ourselves, it is our fault. A short rephrasing of Mat 7:21-23 could be Lord, Lord, I had a relationship with you. To which Yahshua replies, no you did not. I never knew you, not even at your baptism. You chose to continue disobeying my commandments, statutes and Laws. Following denomination, doing iniquity. Depart!
People who do not want to follow the strict wording of the bible put a spin on the scriptures that do not fit their lifestyle or plans. 2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2Co 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Some of you who regularly read or listen to your bible from Genesis to Revelation and check the original Hebrew or Greek wording may have noticed words relating to God are different to relating to man even if in the English translation they are given the same word. Some of you may have noticed things of God cannot be used by man. i.e. the holy oil of Ex 30:32, 38. It was offering common or strange fire to God that got Aaron’s son’s killed. If having a “relationship” with God enables you to serve and obey Him to the full; fine. Disobedient people cannot use their obedience as a way into God’s kingdom so they fabricate a relationship entrance. I know many people who claim to have a relationship with God, infact most do. Yet none or most do not fear Him sufficiently to change their none commandment keeping ways compared to those who do fear Him and change! The same “relationship” ones who violate God’s seventh day law by working on it. Buying, selling or trading on it contrary to the directive found in Nehemiah or doing their own thing and pleasure contrary to Isaiah.
Let us try to get to God’s level by raising our standards. That is the transformation we are called undergo. Not bringing God’s down to ours or the world’s. Let us follow the true religion of the bible. Love God which is shown by the keeping of His commandments. One of which is to love our neighbour which is shown by our care and charity to those of God’s people in need. I pray we all inherit the promise of our Father Yahweh God.
Remember I started with, in the Old Testament it seems people were not deceived; but chose to follow and sacrifice to other gods and devils? In the New Testament from which today’s denominations get their theology, there is deception and a variety of beliefs, why? Because now people interpret scripture according to the lust of their heart. To me unless the bible (not one of these self purpose translations) clearly states relationship is needed or everyone gets a certain gift etc we should not read into a verse. Obedience is written. Relationship is not!