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Rainbow Divider

Chapter 3

The Curse of Religion

In the strictest sense the keys of the kingdom have never been removed from the church. Through unbelief and vain tradition the church has been stripped of the knowledge and faith to use the keys. You can’t use something you don’t know you have. In fact, the condition of the church in this area in many cases is worse than a simple lack of knowledge. Actually many have been taught not to believe in such things for today.

Those that believe or profess to believe in the supernatural for today are looked upon as heretics or ignorant religious fanatics. And to be frank with you some of them are just that.

You can usually distinguish the ignorant and the fanatics from those who have a genuine revelation of the Holy Spirit. Much of their ministry will be a charade of fleshly manifestation and over-emphasis of their supposed faith and power. Like Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9-11), they actually bewitch their spiritually ignorant followers by their pretended great power.

Another group I certainly do not agree with or approve of is the supposed healing evangelists that go from town to town pitching their tents, holding their healing or miracle revivals and then moving on. Many of these ministries are not ignorant but brilliant and very adept at relieving people of their money and then moving on leaving them holding the bag.

Those who do not believe the supernatural is for the church are another example of how religious tradition has made void the word of God. Matt. 15:6. When the church ceased to manifest the glory and power of God they began to justify their impotence by saying these things passed away after the establishment of the early church.

In process of time this excuse became a traditional concept accepted and believed by many. It is the same type of reasoning and belief that has also done away with the ministry of apostles for today.

If the church ever needed foundational ministries capable of using the keys of the kingdom it is in this hour. We need to rediscover the foundational truths the early church was built upon and start over again. Psa. 11:3, Eph. 2:20. Thank God! I believe this work of restoration is taking place. Joel 2:23-25. Although there is no hope for religious Babylon as a whole there is a remnant that will hear the voice of the Lord and come to him without the camp. Heb. 13:13, Rev. 18:4.

RELIGIOUS FORM

Since most churches and religious movements are captives of some type of religious form there will never be a release of God’s power through them in the use of the keys of the kingdom. II Tim. 3:5 speaks of this condition in the last days by saying, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

Religious form denies or limits God’s power to the confines of its beliefs and traditions. This includes the condition of the church which is often devoid of God’s power and under the control of demons. Rev. 18:2. Religious form is a clever substitute given to fill the void left by a lack of spiritual reality and power.

A form is something that is designed to contain or hold something in place. It is a means of limiting something to a certain quantity, size or shape. Most religious form which is designed by Satan serves the same purpose in limiting or denying the expression of God’s power.

Religious form is a clever and cursed device of Satan to keep the modern church from spiritual reality that would bring men into union with Christ. By virtue of its example and teaching it not only keeps men from Christ but also ministers blinding prejudice against God’s truth and power that would set them free. It actually serves to seal them in their sins.

Religious form not only denies the power thereof by its obvious spiritual impotence but it makes no place for the manifestation of the Spiritual because of unbelief. Much of the word of God cannot be taught in a positive and relevant way because supernatural manifestations such as healing, signs and wonders are not supposed to take place today. Since faith cometh by hearing you cannot obtain faith where there is no ministry of faith present.

Some religious forms have a beautiful and impressive facade or external appearance. Jesus would liken them to “... whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and all uncleanness.” Matt. 23:27.

At the other end of the spectrum of religious form we have the noisy, demonstrative type that shouts glory, hallelujah, speaks in tongues, and boasts of the power that surges up and down their backbone.

Regardless of what the form may be, you almost know step-by-step the order of the services when you walk in the door of such churches. In the quiet, dignified type they give you a printed program outlining the service from beginning to end. In the demonstrative, noisy type you can expect much hand clapping, singing with loud musical instruments which often drowns out the lyrics of their song. They will have one time when everybody is exhorted to come to the altar for prayer. The preaching is punctuated by “hallelujah” and “glory to God,” speaking in tongues and exclamations of “I feel the power.” All this may be attended with dancing, jerking and other physical demonstrations. The charismatics have toned all this down. They concentrate on bringing in Catholic priests, Presbyterian ministers and ex-gangsters who tell you how they received the baptism. Then we have the good-God type that are always dishing out blessings when you give generously to their great crusades.

Whether the form is noisy and demonstrative or quiet and dignified its captives must be set free if they are to move in the Spirit and use the keys of the kingdom.

Form affects all of us to some degree including great religious systems, local churches and individual human beings. Like the world system in general religion that has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof is anti-God and anti-Christ.

We can’t see beyond the confines of the form that imprisons us. Indeed we resent and will resist any effort to change the status quo.

Before we can use the keys of the kingdom this form that holds us captive must be shattered. Before we can see anything better or different we must be delivered from the curse of religion form. As long as people are satisfied as they are there will be no change. If they are convinced and happy as a Baptist, Methodist, Catholic or Pentecostal, they will remain captive to their own particular brand of religious form.

Until the church is able to use the keys of the kingdom in loosing and binding on earth it stands in need of vital transformation. This can only be accomplished by the renewing of our minds as Paul says in Rom. 12:1-2.

Our minds can never be renewed apart from truth relevant to our need. This truth must come through ministries that have such truth. II Tim. 2:6 is just as applicable today as it was when written to young Timothy by the apostle Paul. “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.”

We cannot minister something we do not have. The church cannot be established on today’s traditional concept of religion. We must have the revelation of Christ for his church today. It is what he is saying today, Heb. 3:7, and not what the Methodists, the Baptists or the Pentecostals are saying.

Truth given by the Spirit is always relevant to man’s need. As the Lord said to the seven churches, “He that hath an ear to hear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Rev. 2:29.

What he is saying today is the exceeding great and precious promises that will enable us to partake of the divine nature. II Peter 1:4. Today’s revelation is relevant, it is fresh, it is vital, it is powerful and life-giving. It is actually Christ the head speaking through the ministry to his body the church according to the need. This alone will restore the church and once again enable it to use the keys of the kingdom.

The professing church without Christ as head and destitute of the revelation of Christ can never use the keys of the kingdom. Like Hagar with no legitimate status as the wife of Abraham, neither the apostate church nor its children (converts) have any part or lot in the kingdom of God. Jerusalem from above, the church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven are the true heirs. Gal. 4:22-31, Heb. 12:22-24.

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