Authority in Religion
When God found that the children of Israel were becoming disobedient to Him, He spoke to them through Moses and warned them that He would bring forth a man like Moses to speak to them. Whoever disobeyed His word would perish (Deuteronomy 18:15-19).
This promise to the children of Israel was fulfilled by the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-26). He was born to redeem the world. But He was rejected by the children of Israel among whom He was born and grew up.
One day during His earthly ministry our Lord took three of His disciples and went up into a high mountain
and he was transfigured before them; and his garments became glistering, exceeding white, so as no fuller on earth can whiten them. And there appeared unto them Elijah with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answereth and saith to Jesus, Rabbi, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. For he knew not what to answer; for they became sore afraid. And there came a cloud overshadowing them: and there came a voice out of the cloud, This is my beloved Son: hear ye him. (Mark 9:2-7).
What was the meaning of all this? Moses stood for the Law. People should no longer follow the Law of Moses as a system of worshiping God. Sabbath-keeping, tithing, animal sacrifices, and instrumental music are no longer required. Elijah stood for the prophets who spoke about the coming on earth of a Saviour from the seed of David. Now that the Saviour has come, men should not go back to the Law and the prophets, but obey the words of Jesus Christ!
Whatever Christ said was not of His own, but words from God the Father.
And if any man hear my sayings, and keep them not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I spake not from myself; but the Father that sent me, he hath given me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life eternal: the things therefore which I speak, even as the Father hath said unto me, so I speak. (John 12:47-50).
Many people do not obey the words of Christ. Even many religious people have turned away from the words of Christ and substituted their own thoughts. They do not think that Christ was right when he said:
I will build my church (Matthew 16:18).
My indicates ownership. It is completely wrong for a man or a group of people to form their own denomination and worship the Lord there. Jesus said:
Every plant which my heavenly Father planted not, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both shall fall into a pit. (Matthew 15:13-14).
The founders of human denominations are blind leaders. Those who worship therein are blind followers. This is why Jesus warned:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23).
At the Judgment, Jesus will deny certain ones, not because they did not worship Him, but because they did not do it according to His will. God promised to build a house (Isaiah 2:2-3). This house is what Christ called
My church. Jesus bought this church with His blood:
Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood. (Acts 20:28). No one has a right to form any other church or call it by any name of his own choosing.
Let us respect God’s authority! We must not add to the things which God has commanded! We must not subtract from any of the things God has commanded (Revelation 22:18-19). If we do not respect God’s authority in the Bible, we cannot be saved (2 John 9-11).
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