Is God Appeased by Religious Practices?
“If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?" John 7:23 There they were, the religious leaders criticizing Jesus because he healed a person on the Sabbath. Jesus is pointing out the foolishness of the religious leaders in that they might circumcise a child on the Sabbath, but take offense if Jesus heals a man on that day. When I left the church I grew up in, I left it after reading the Bible for the first time and seeing that the message of the church contradicted what was written in the Word of God. I was stunned. It was a total shock to me. I knew I had a very difficult choice to make because I knew it would incur the wrath of my family. I wondered if maybe I could just stay there to keep the peace. But the more I read, the more I realized that the church was in gross error. It substitutes ritual in place of the Word of God, and many of the rituals I would come to realize were worthless, and in some cases even sinful. After awhile I knew I had to leave, no matter what. And yes, it did incur the wrath of my family. It was very painful. Ritual is something that makes up most religions. Religions set up rites, rituals, expectations and demands that have absolutely no grounds in the Word of God, and the Lord says these things are a stench in his nostrils. (Isaiah 65:2-5). "But in vain they do worship me, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN." Matthew 15:9 Those who have gained understanding from the Word of God will realize that rites and rituals are the work of Satan himself. Satan will do all he can to prevent people from reading God's Word. Why? Because a person who abides in the Word of God is a threat to the Satanic kingdom, so Satan creates false doctrines and blinding deceptions. He sets them up with candles and statues and rosaries and medals and feast days and pilgrimages and rites and rituals, making people believe that by abiding in these "religious" practices, they find favor with God - when the very opposite is true. “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, Worthlessness and unprofitable things.” Jeremiah 16:19 "God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and TRUTH.” John 4:24 What is truth? You won't find it in religion. Truth is the Word of God. On the night before he died, Jesus prayed: "They (my followers) are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by your TRUTH. YOUR WORD IS TRUTH." John 17:16-17 Friends, let go of all "religious" things that you practice. They make you feel “religious,” but they keep you away from knowing the truth. Turn and surrender your HEART to the Lord, for this is what he desires. Turn to the Word of God (the Bible) and read it, to find truth. If your life is ruled by religious practices, pray with me: Father God, I grew up practicing the things my forefathers taught us to practice, and I admit that I would feel very guilty if I stopped doing those things because that's the way I grew up. This message is distressing to me, because it's shining a light on something you call idolatry - religious practices that have been created to give a person the FEELING that he/she is practicing these things with your approval. Your Word says that is NOT the way. I surrender my heart to you and ask you to show me if there are any "religious" things that I do which are useless, and show me in my heart what you would have me do about it. I choose your Word, Father, for your Word is truth. Help me to embrace it, and to let go of anything that has become a substitute for it, for substitutions for the truth are not only worthless, but are gross error and sinful. I will wait on you to show me, and I ask for grace and strength to follow your lead in what to do about it. In Jesus' Name. Amen.