Tag Archive for Grace

Why so many conflicting religions (part 2)

2. Denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

The other main reason for the dissensions in the body of Christ is that of denying the only God and our Lord Jesus Christ. But how is this feasible when they are all mentioning the name of Jesus Christ? Well Jesus Christ forewarned His disciples saying, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” He also said, “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:4-5, 11-12).

The main reason why the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ is denied, it is because the majority of those who profess to believe in him fail to ascribe to Him the honor and glory due to Him as God. Jesus Christ on many occasions confirmed His unison with the Father, but unfortunately many people do not honor Jesus Christ as they honor the Father, they are disregarding His Sovereignty and majesty.

On several occasions Jesus Christ alluded to the fact that He and His Father are one. In revealing the Father to the disciples Jesus said to them, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?” (John 14:7-10).

Jesus said again, “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:22-23).

The crux of the matter is Jesus Christ and the Father are one. You see one, you see the other. You honor one, you honor the other. You reject one, you reject the other. And according to the apostle Paul, “For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).

It is Jesus Christ who created all things, it is He who said, “Let there be light and there was light.” It is he who, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men”.

And He is the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14).

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:15-18).

Unfortunately, this is where He is denied, we fail to ascribe to Him the honor, the majesty, the sovereignty and glory that is due to Him as the Lord. People make it appear as though just mentioning the name of Jesus and singing praises to Him is all that is required of them. But the truth of the matter is there are protocols, regulations and a prescribed manner by which one can have fellowship with Jesus Christ and consequently with the Father also, since when one is honored the other is also honored.

The apostle John gave us an insight on how this protocol goes, he wrote, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned we make Him a liar and His word is not in us” (1John 1:5-10).

An important thing to note is that the same protocol that is required to have fellowship with the Father and the Son is the same that is required to have fellowship with one another, as verified again by the apostle John who wrote: “That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1John 1:3).

Now since Christian fellowship is with the Father and the Son, one should not approach it haphazardly, or without due reverence, for this is what the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified” (Leviticus 10:3).

So these are two typical examples of why there are so many conflicting ideologies in the Christian religion, but to have a deeper understanding and a better insight of why are there so many conflicting religions one has to begin from the very inception of man’s existence.

The Correlation between Jews and Gentiles

It is no secret that in the past Jews and Gentiles were at variance with each other, there existed enmity between them; Jews were not even permitted to associate and eat together with Gentiles, and so we have been reminded saying; “Wherefore remember, that once ye, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Un-circumcision by that which is called Circumcision, in the flesh, made by hands; that ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 1:11-12).
According to the words of Jesus Christ Jews and Gentiles were two separate sheep folds, for thus he said; “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and they shall become one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16).

Today however, since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ there no longer exist two sheep folds, because the two has become one flock with one shepherd. And so it is written; “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both [Jews and Gentiles] to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.’
“And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off [Gentiles] and to those who were near [Jews]. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.’

“Now, therefore, you [Gentiles] are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:13-22).

Since Jews and Gentiles are now one in Christ, and through Jesus Christ they both have access to the Father, why is there still a difference between the way the Jews worship God, and the way Gentiles worship God? Especially when it is stated so plainly saying; “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you [Jews and Gentiles] to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’

“Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: “For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, And sing to Your name. And again he says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”

One should never forget that it is with the Jews that God has committed his oracles, for it is written; “What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged” (Romans 3:1-4).
Gentiles are not to live, worship and glorify God in isolation, or contrary to the way Gentiles Jews worship God, because Jesus said; “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do” (Matthew 23: 2-3).

In addition to this, Gentiles should always remember that they being a wild olive tree were grafted in, and therefore have become partakers of the root and fatness of the olive tree. For it is written: “If the first-fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches [Jews] were broken off, and you [Gentiles], being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them [not in isolation] became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.’
“You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either” (Romans 11: 16-21).

Gentiles should not be haughty and feel that they can worship and glorify God in isolation, or contrary to the way the Lord stipulated to the Jews, there ought to be nothing such as Jewish Sabbath and Christian Sabbath, Jewish Festivals, and Christian festivals which incidentally falls on different days, and for different occasions, because God is one, and he is not a God of confusion, for it is written; “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Yes! The law is not made void through faith. Those of the circumcision are justified by faith because their actions were based on something they had no prior knowledge of, like Abraham they had no circumstantial evidence. Whereas with the Gentiles, their justification is through faith in Jesus Christ, because their faith is as a result of what is established, they have circumstantial evidence, and are acting as a result of what is already in place. They have a source of faith from which to draw from.

The admonition to the Gentiles therefore is: “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!”
And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15: 10-13).
Therefore The Lord’s admonition to the children of Israel which says; “I am the LORD your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’ applies also to us Gentiles, for the Lord further says; “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).

And again thus says the Lord; “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28).

The only difference which exist between now and the time the Lord gave this command to Moses and his prophets is that previously the Lord said; “You shall” signifying that it was a command, but now it is, “If you love keep my commandments:” Signifying that it is no longer by command, but out of faith and love: And therefore we are duly instructed saying; “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way” (Romans 14:4-13).

The question is; how long are we going to continue to deceive and be deceived, thereby causing confusion and division in the body of Christ? One’s option to ascribe to the Lord, or not to ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name does not give them the right to hold in contempt the days which God have set aside as being Holy to him and to his people, and substitute other days and pagan festivals in their places, such an action is tantamount to profaning the holy things of God.

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