Pharisees Converted but with Residual Religious Tendencies.

Act 6:7  And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Act 11:2  And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
Act 11:3  Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.

Act 11:7  And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
Act 11:8  But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.
Act 11:9  But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

Act 15:1  And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

Act 15:5  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

Act 21:20  And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
Act 21:21  And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
Act 21:22  What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
Act 21:23  Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
Act 21:24  Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
Act 21:25  As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

Gal 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:10  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Gal 1:11  But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Gal 1:12  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Gal 1:13  For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
Gal 1:14  And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
Gal 1:15  But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,
Gal 1:16  To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

Gal 2:3  But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
Gal 2:4  And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
Gal 2:5  To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Gal 2:11  But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
Gal 2:12  For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
Gal 2:13  And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
Gal 2:14  But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
Gal 2:15  We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Gal 2:16  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Gal 2:17  But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
Gal 2:18  For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
Gal 2:19  For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Gal 2:21  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Gal 3:1  O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Gal 3:2  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:3  Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Gal 3:4  Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
Gal 3:5  He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Gal 3:6  Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Gal 3:7  Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Gal 3:12  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Gal 3:13  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Gal 3:14  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Gal 4:8  Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

Gal 4:22  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24  Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Gal 4:27  For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Gal 4:28  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Gal 4:29  But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Gal 4:30  Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Gal 5:2  Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Gal 5:3  For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Gal 5:4  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Gal 5:5  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Gal 5:6  For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Gal 5:7  Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Gal 5:8  This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
Gal 5:9  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

Gal 6:12  As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
Gal 6:13  For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Act 20:29  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Joh 10:1  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:2  But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3  To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
Joh 10:4  And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Joh 10:6  This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
Joh 10:7  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
Joh 10:8  All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
Joh 10:9  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Joh 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Joh 10:11  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Joh 10:12  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Joh 10:13  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
Joh 10:14  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Well, if you managed to read all the above verses of scripture, hopefully you have already seen the clear warning, prophetic and in contemporary accounts, of Satanís device to distract and divert the followers of the Christ by means of religion. Satan has always opposed the purposes of God indirectly rather than directly. He doesnít stand a chance if he were to oppose directly.
In the Garden of Eden Satan turned the attention of Eve to the tree of knowledge of good and evil, lest she and Adam eat of the tree of life. He diverted and tempted Adam indirectly via his wife.
A religion that includes reference to the Christ can be a diversion and distraction from eating directly of the Christ.
From the beginning, in those first days of the birth of the Assembly of the Christ, religion was Satanís favoured weapon to cripple, hinder and oppose the good news of salvation in the Lord Jesus.
Having found willing recruits among those more devoted to the faith of their Fathers than to submission to Jesus, the Christ, Satan could use these human agents to do his dirty work. Like Adam with Eve, we are more likely to pay attention to our dear brothers who have fallen for his lies than to listen to strangers.
Does it matter if we become entangled in Christianity, the world religion?
I became involved with it straight away after being born from above. It appeared to me that the only option was to go along to a ďchurchĒ and learn from the folks there.
I didnít know that the new covenant that God has made with us is based on us each hearing direct from Him and all, from the smallest to the biggest having direct knowledge of Him.
Having put myself in the place of learning from the folks I was with, I learnt what they had to teach.
Meanwhile I had been called to follow Jesus, to take His yoke upon me, and learn from Him.
It took fifteen years before I was set free from the bondage of looking to men for teaching instead of trusting upon Jesus to teach me through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
What wonderful grace that our Father should patiently and lovingly call those whom He has redeemed with the blood of His Son back to square one, to look only to Jesus, His beloved Son, and listen to Him.
While we are feeding on Jesus, a daily option we are so privileged to have, religious stuff has no appeal. It just canít compete with the joy of intimacy with Jesus, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
On a day without going to Jesus, not taking His yoke upon me, not abiding in Him, then it wonít be long till Satan has some religious stuff waving under my nose.
It may be suggestions about things I should be doing, or not doing.
But whatever it is, it will be carnal, of this earth, passing away, rather than in the heavenly realms, where the Christ is seated, in majesty and glory.
The brainwashing many of us have endured whilst caught up in the religion of contemporary Christianity goes deep into our psyche and it may take a deliberate, conscious repenting to put it in its rightful place; as another gospel that hinders us from dying to our self and to this present world in order to live in Jesus, the vine.
I mean repenting in the scriptural sense, of exchanging our mind for the mind of the Christ, the rule of the Holy Spirit for our self rule.
Paul seemed confident that pointing out the danger and folly of allowing contemporary religion to move folks away from abiding in Jesus would give the hearers the opportunity to take stock, and  drop the religion.
I write this in the same hope, acknowledging that without the revelation that the Spirit gives we will continue in darkness.
But God has better things for those who trust exclusively in Jesus.

 

Colin Thompson. Gateshead. England. (Nobody important.)

Comments welcome by email to colin@followingjesuschrist.co.uk

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