The Oldest Religion In The History Of The World Is Holiness
"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" (James 1:27). To keep oneself unspotted from the world is to be set apart from it; in other words, to be holy. Because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:15-16).
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). Unlike religion, holiness is not anything man can create, because it is the very being of God who is eternal, without a beginning. It is the process of sanctification given to us from above by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
We can see that the true religion of God is holiness through faith: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
What religion did Adam and Eve follow? Were they not both holy before the fall? Did not Jesus become the last Adam? So then, what religion did Jesus follow? Is He not holy? Did He not say that He is the way, the truth, and the life?
Jesus says, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23). Jesus did not say to follow any religion, denomination, tradition or doctrine of man; but to follow Him. So let all spiritual teaching we receive come from the Holy Spirit, whether through man or directly, so it is always Jesus being the teacher. As He says: "But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren" (Matthew 23:8).
The Holy Spirit is greater than any religion or denomination. If your church is not teaching you about the Holy Spirit and overcoming sin, that is, to live holy, then you need to find a new church. The Spirit of God teaches us all things, and if we are not taught to have it, then not having it, how can we discern the doctrines of man, whether they are from God? How can we live holy in the eyes of God?
Only the Holy Spirit can change a person, not a religion or denomination. Do not depend on a religion or denomination, only the Holy Spirit! For we must be born from above by the baptism of the Spirit who will dwell in us, leading us, giving us the power to become holy so we may enter the Kingdom of Heaven: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14). "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son" (Revelation 21:7).
Religion cannot save us, only Jesus Christ. On judgment day, God is not going to find favor on those who are Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, and the like; but rather judge us all by His word: "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Jesus warns the church of the Laodiceans: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth" (Revelation 3:15-16).
Do not think that this warning is for this church only, but it was given to this church because of their works, to be an example to all believers who resemble this church. For it would not make sense for Jesus to apply this standard to this church only. As the Apostle Peter states: "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (Acts 10:34-35).
There are many false doctrines on the Bible in many different denominations leading people astray, causing them to live lukewarm. Why would this be? For Jesus says this: "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you" (John 14:26).
Could it be because these men of false doctrines are teaching from their flesh and not of the Spirit, or from a wicked spirit of deception? "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1). Jesus says, "they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch" (Matthew 15:14).
We must beware of any false doctrine, as the Apostle Paul says: "You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump..." (Galatians 5:7-10). All it takes is a little twisting of the word to lead us off the narrow path onto the broad path that leads to destruction. It may still feel like we're on the narrow path, but we may only be near it, walking along side it: "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:14).
Paul makes it clear that we as believers must be of one mind: "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10).
"I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed..." (Galatians 1:6-10).
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:23-24).
What can man create for God? It is obedience that God seeks, through a personal loving relationship: "Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist," Says the Lord. "But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word" (Isaiah 66:1-2).
God is the truth, who brought the eternal truth down to us; as the word became flesh in the man Christ Jesus saying: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). Man created religion to try to elevate himself up to God through his own rules and rituals.
The truth cannot be created, but only revealed and defined. Can religion reveal the truth? Can religion define the truth? No. The truth reveals religion.
Since man can create religion, but not the truth, nor reveal it, and define it, are not all the world religions and denominations man-made? Cannot only God reveal and define the truth?
Is it not the Holy Spirit that teaches us all things, defining the truth? "..and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:3). So only God, being the Holy Spirit, can define the truth; because without Him we cannot say that Jesus is Lord, who is the truth.
Jesus is more than a religion; He is about having a personal Father and son relationship with God.