Worshiping in vain
By Trevor Davis
God is good. He tells the truth. He speaks letting people know the truth from the error. He calls people to turn from error unto the truth. Jesus Him self is the Instructor. He comes to give instruction. He does not condemn; but reveals the strait and narrow way that leads to life. Few will walk that path. The other way is the wide gate on broad way. Most go that way. It is what people do when every man does what they will.
Religion is rebellious. As we read the Word of God we see this in the history of Israel and Judah. They were so rebellious that Isaiah said they would have been as Sodom and Gomorrah if God had not kept a small remnant for Himself. Isaiah 1.
Religion goes through the motions. Religion breeds contempt. It is a system. It is a cosmos or world. The same is true for the Church World. It is religious. It is steeped in contradiction to the dictates of Jesus. But, generally, the Church World continues like the Duracell rabbit bouncing off the walls and obstacles that abound in its system oblivious. It seems to never tire; just like the Duracell rabbit.
The Kingdom of God reigns supreme. Those who follow Jesus are of the Kingdom . The Kingdom of God is in their heart emanating out the fruit of God. The Church World can not display the power of God because of the great violations of the Word of God and many defilements that grieve and quench the Spirit. Thus they are talkers not walkers. They are speakers but not displayers. But Paul told us the Kingdom of God is not in word only but in open demonstration of power and demonstration of the Spirit. God approves of Jesus with miracles, gifts of the Holy Spirit, anointing Him with the Holy Spirit. Jesus went about doing good and teaching and displaying the power of God by the finger of God.
Religion can not do this. It does not walk in the steps of Jesus. You can know a tree by its fruit, Jesus said. Powerless religion versus the Kingdom of God in power. Which do you participate?
People continue in the path of traditions that violate the Word of God as Jesus said. Mark 7. Their worship is in vain. It is make believe. There is no point to it from God's perspective. Speaking of God, teaching scripture, with much knowledge of heady heads yet without the life of Christ is pointless. The Pharisees and scribes could quote Moses but they would not do the teaching with one finger. They loved to look spiritual. They loved to be exalted over people. None of this is of the Kingdom of God.
In Mark 9 and 10, Jesus dealt with this inward wickedness of men's hearts that desired superiority over other men. Religious men. They loved exalted titles. They loved to be thought of as super-leader, super-teacher, thus being called “rabbi”. But Jesus commanded against this for those who would follow Him as disciples. Matthew 23:6-12. He informed His disciples that being called such a title was of vain self-pride that exalted that person over the other people. It shall not be so among you, Jesus said. There is but one Master even Christ. Now you see just how devious this title exalting really is. In so doing, being called a title among the religious people, sets one up as a master that replaces or supersedes THE Master Jesus. Now that is classic definition 'antichrist'.
The entire religious system of the Jews was demolished. Matthew 24:2.
The physical temple, the Law of Moses, the priesthood, the synagogues with their rulers, the hypocrisy, the religiosity, all of this was disdained by God and Jesus Christ specifically.
The Kingdom was taken from them and said to be given to those who will believe, submit and walk in it bearing fruit. Matthew 21:42-45.
The temple itself was controlled demolished by God using an army of Romans in AD 70.
Moses was replaced by Jesus Christ as the new Law-giver.
The Law of Moses was replaced by the law of Christ and the Spirit.
The Pharisees and scribes and all of the characters in the religion of the Jews were given a chance to receive the Truth. Jesus came to instruct. By advised O people. But they resisted, hindered and opposed Jesus just as they did all the prophets that they murdered, and stoned all those sent to help them, and now, even Jesus the very Son of the Living God. They continued to do so to Jesus' ambassadors and disciples afterwards. They continue to do so to this day. They are the builders that reject the Cornerstone. They are the men who build rebellious religion in the spirit of Babylon. They make a name for themselves; and exalt the work of their hands into the heavens.
But the Lord calls His people OUT. They are the ekklesia. The called-out assembly. They are not temporal builders. They are a spiritual house made without hands and inhabited by the Spirit of God. Ep 2; Col 2; 1Pe 2; Isaiah 66.
I speak today of the Make Believe religious system that speaks of God, does things in His name, but they are following their own spirit and imagination and not the voice of God. They are evident by the fact they are at odds with His Word. It is like building with out a city permit. Or building contrary to a cities code. Most realize a person can not do that. But, the droves of churches and their members follow suit making churches that are founded upon the same foundation of rebellious religion as Israel and Judah. It is no wonder there is no power or glory in their midst. God is offended and grieved. He is outright quenched. He withdraws as He did with Shiloh.
Jesus declares that when a person holds to traditions of men they make void the Word of God. He also said their worship is in vain. Useless, pointless, and without results. That is why this message is called Make Believe.
And when the Lord brings correction and exhortation people stick their fingers in their ears and pull away their shoulders from hearing the truth. Just like they did with the true messenger of the Lord Jeremiah. The same is so today and throughout Church history.
When Jesus came to His own and His own received Him not; it was a specific spiritual climate. The temple, the customs and traditions, the hypocrisy, the merchandising of the things of God, the ruining of people's lives all of this went on. There were very few in the system that gave place to hear and receive Jesus. They missed the time of their visitation. They stood against Jesus as Jannes and Jambres stood against Moses.
The synagogues were places where people gathered to do their religious thing. The churches today are identical. The very word “church” is not a translation of the original text it has been held to translate. Church is the word kyriakos and kurikon which means 'lord's house'. People say the “church” is the 'Lord's House'. But they are greatly in error!
God the Father in Isaiah 66 makes this clear. The heaven is My throne. The earth is My footstool. Where is the House you will make for Me? All these things My hands have made.
Get the point?
But for this man will I look...one that is broken, contrite and trembles at My Word.
That “man” is Jesus Christ. That is the only man that God accepts. You better be in Him, Jesus Christ, the Head of all creation. He is not out of earth as Adam. He is out of heaven, from above. You must be born again from above to see the Kingdom of God. Now you see why so many churchgoers are not seeing anything of the Kingdom of God. Selah.
Jesus is the House of God. Destroy this temple, Jesus said, and in three days I will raise it up; this He spake of His body. Jesus received the commandment from the Father to lay down His life, being crucified, and rising after 3 days. Those who repent, have faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, are those who also are crucified with Him and raised by the Spirit of God. They put off the old man who is corrupt with his deeds and put on the new man that is created by God. These are those who are led of the Spirit of God known as the sons of God. The sons of God led by the Spirit are of the Kingdom of God. God is in their midst. They are not rebels of religion. They are not despising the voice of the Lord but earnestly heed His command and follow His steps.
These are the ekklesia. The assembly of the Lord. They are not of the Church World. The churches are the synagogues. The pastors of today are the rulers of the synagogues who love to be titled and paid for their performances.
God is making a divide. Those of Him; from those not of Him. The wheat versus the tares. The assembly verses the “churches”.
Men strive, sweat and serve the works of their own hands. They worship it. They serve it. But God has called us out of this system. It is of the world. God is calling. He is bringing instruction. Receive instruction from the Lord. Inquire of the Lord and be taught of Him.
All of this that labors but on a faulty foundation of error is Make Believe. It is vain worship. It is based on traditions of religious men. It is strange fire; for they offer things to God that He commanded not. It is the epitome of Cain who labored out of the earth and offered it to God. God had no respect for Cain nor his offering.
But God loves Jesus, who is His faithful servant, His Son, and the Father has commanded all to repent and hear Him!