RITUALISM BLESSING OR CURSE? 

Ritualism - Blessing or Curse? - Part One

Greetings. I intend to address the subject of religious ritualism and show that such patterns, that are believed by many to be spiritually effective in gaining favor with God, are actually derived from the Old Testament priesthood, pagan religions, and witchcraft; and therefore represent a retrogressive spirituality that can prevent, replace or nullify a true and living relationship with God that Jesus Christ made possible and effectual by His sacrifice. The definition that I will use for 'ritualism', as applies to those professing Christianity is as follows.

THE BELIEF THAT GOD MUST HONOR CEREMONIES, PRAYERS,
OR RELIGIOUS WORKS PERFORMED IRRESPECTIVE OF MAN
BEING IN A PROPER NEW TESTAMENT RELATIONSHIP TO HIM.

Since man's opinions on this subject are varied, complex, confusing, and actually carry no authority at all; God Himself being the only one who can establish these matters, I will show from His Word that all God's blessings are conditional on man first having been placed into a proper relationship with Him.


Hebrews 8:8-12

8
. . . Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

9
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

10
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11
And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

12
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.


The only basis of course for that relationship is faith in the New Covenant (New Testament) which declares that God the Father, accepts as His own adopted children those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Having first received Jesus Christ to be thereby born of God they are then admonished to continue in Him by remaining faithful (obedient) to the Word of God. Surely God does not save from sin and bring the lost into such a blessed relationship to Himself in order for them to go and again serve sin. Having been redeemed from evil they are now under the New Covenant meaning that they are to follow Jesus Christ and by Him remain in a position to receive blessings from God.

Because God only places value on true worship, that must be in spirit and in truth, an outward show of piety doesn't necessarily carry any weight with Him and especially so if they are estranged from Him in the first place and walking after evil. As such any ritual used to try and gain acceptance with God apart from the actual repentance first required by Him to acknowledge them in the first place becomes just a vain and empty show. For many that is all the religion they want, because they actually have no intention of repenting or living for God, but nevertheless like the religious formalism, it being considered a somewhat convenient rag with which to polish their pride, and impress their neighbors.

Ritualism being simply an outward work of man can replace altogether that inward call upon one's conscience to repent, believe and enter into a living relationship with God, and as long as such is presumed to be able to make 'one right with God' would actually block any real repentance and acceptance of the Gospel. As such 'ritualism' would be the perfect satanic trap because it could act as a salve for one's guilt while serving as a stumbling-block to prevent by that very substitution any life giving relationship with God.

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.

That being the case we can only conclude that any such ritual must be authored and designed by spirits attempting to prevent man from entering into a true relationship with God. The centrality of elaborate, awe inspiring ceremonies, dazzling temples, mysteries, oaths, initiations, doctrinally binding principles, and systems of control found within most pagan religions is ample evidence that Satan places great store in captivating man by such methods. However he would be placed at a great disadvantage in areas where knowledge of God's Word is being proclaimed and as such he would be forced to create counterfeit forms of 'Christianity' that would if necessary provide a great deal of truth, but at the same time prevent individuals from actually coming under the New Covenant and being filled with God's Spirit.

Because the program to prevent a relationship with God is authored by devils, but cannot actually impart any spiritual life, these devils must rely on psychological tricks, sensual stimulation, have a complex reward and punishment scheme to simulate high moral standards, use fear to enforce compliance, and rely on constant repetition to keep the programming effective. Music would also come in handy as an attractive programming tool due to such being able to effectively produce euphoric states.

God however could only look upon that scene with disgust because the people; (Howbeit most of them, but NOT necessarily ALL of them, being actually unaware of the true significance of what they are participating in,) would be in fact dancing to the devil's tune according to a carefully choreographed deception. The devil would most certainly be 'having big fun' because he could, depending on the situation, have them professing the highest moral standards one day, but then butchering one another the next. Hey! There's another heretic! Quick don't let him get away! Revile God's priest, will you! Glory to God! And, pass the matches!

Good grief! It would be funny if it weren't so terribly pathetic.

As an added bonus the devil can then point to that insanity and hold that monstrosity up to the world as representing real 'Christianity'. I can't imagine a better way to turn people against the Gospel of Jesus Christ, (Many of them having never heard it at all.) can you?


Ritualism - Witchcraft in the Church - Part two

Greetings, In part one it was revealed that 'ritual' is a powerful tool used of the devil to help maintain spiritually dead forms of religion. It serves his purposes in providing a substitute for true spirituality; a distraction that can hold people in bondage by preventing, nullifying, or hindering any true relationship with God.

True spirituality can only come by way of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, that God puts in His servants as evidence that they are redeemed and under the New Covenant that declares 'holy' all who trust in the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse them from sin. Any ritual used by man to produce 'holiness' is thereby proven to be a 'fake' that contradicts that truth and brings man into 'bondage' to some counterfeit system that claims to 'magically' produce, 'holiness'. (That particular brand of 'holiness' of course being entirely an 'ILLUSION' that binds people in a 'DELUSION'.)

To understand the true nature of witchcraft and what it actually represents we first need a practical definition of what it is and how it works. To do that we have to look past the surface features of such traffic with demons; and lose the standard hype and definitions offered up by the world that is itself under the influence of Satan and can hardly be expected to understand the tricks used by him to control them. Let's look at the New Testament and see what is revealed there about witchcraft and how God has ripped the cloak off that particular deception. Adjust your sunglasses and hang on to your chair you are about to enter the 'Eye Opener Zone'.

In Acts we find three revealing examples of what witchcraft is all about. Here are the relevant verses.


Acts 8:9-11

9
But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and BEWITCHED the people of Samaria, GIVING OUT THAT HIMSELF WAS SOME GREAT ONE:

10
To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, THIS MAN IS THE GREAT POWER OF GOD.

11
And to him they had regard, BECAUSE that of long time he had BEWITCHED them with SORCERIES.



Note the essential points. The word 'bewitched' here means to 'deceive' and 'sorceries' were the trickery he used to do that. Note also WHAT HE TRICKED THEM INTO BELIEVING, namely that;

"THIS MAN IS THE GREAT POWER OF GOD"

Moving right along:


Acts 13:6-8

6
And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain SORCERER, a FALSE PROPHET, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

7
Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

8
But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) WITHSTOOD THEM, SEEKING TO TURN AWAY the deputy FROM THE FAITH.



Note here that this 'false prophet' was contending with Barnabas and Saul and trying to block, subvert or overthrow the faith of the deputy.

The third example of witchcraft is as follows:


Acts 19:18-19

18
And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.

19
Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.



Note that the word 'curious' used here actually means 'working in a round about manner' or trying to gain something by some form of circumvention. This has to do with being domineering and meddling in other people's lives. These people were studying ways to get power, knowledge, and wealth using various demon inspired methods.

When we put this all together we find that witchcraft (bewitch-craft) is actually the art of deceiving people in order to dominate them, gain their respect, control them, and use them.

SO WITCHCRAFT IS ACTUALLY THE UTILIZATION OF DECEPTION, AS TAUGHT BY DEMONS, IN ORDER TO DOMINATE OTHERS.

So we see that witchcraft as normally defined only reveals a small part of the picture which focuses mainly on the more flamboyant small time operators. Understand that sorcery is the illusion used to do the actual 'deceiving' to thereby gain that influence over others the same as Simon the sorcerer did to convince the people that he was 'Divine'.

How much power could a sorcerer gain over the world by using rituals to deceive people into thinking they were thereby being made, 'holy'? What will happen to these people when they die? Could that system exist where people have accepted the truth that ONLY God can make them 'holy'? Wouldn't such a system actually be totally anti-Christ and hostile to the Gospel and those who preach it? Can you give any examples where this type of deception has been used effectively to steal and to kill and to destroy?

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.


Ritualism - The Day of Reckoning - Part three

Greetings. In parts one and two we learned that 'ritual' not only provided a means to captivate people and hold them in bondage to 'dead' forms of religion, but that using such to deceive and maintain dominance over others is actually called 'sorcery'; Sorcery being the 'trickery' used to actually deceive (bewitch) people. The Lord has also given more clues revealing the hidden aspects of such 'dead religion' in the following verses.


Luke 11:44

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which APPEAR NOT, and the men that walk over them ARE NOT AWARE OF THEM.

Matthew 23:13-15

13
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

14
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

15
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, YE MAKE HIM TWOFOLD MORE THE CHILD OF HELL than yourselves.



In Revelations chapter 18 verse 23 concerning:

MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

it is revealed that she practiced witchcraft and used sorceries to deceive all the nations.


Rev. 18:23

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for BY THY SORCERIES WERE ALL NATIONS DECEIVED.



Looking back in time we find more detail on the wide spread use of witchcrafts to maintain an empire of spiritually dead captives.


Nahum 3:4-6

4
Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.

5
Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.

6
And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.



So we see how the Lord rewards this wickedness.

Aside from the domineering aspects of the 'mystery religions' and the use of deception to hold the 'illusions' in place we have further evidence that ties witchcraft in with organized religion. Here are some of the practices, paraphernalia used, and beliefs held by witches and compare this list to what goes on under the name, 'Christianity'.


An altar is used.

A golden goblet known as the 'chalice'.

Colored candles are used in services.

The use of incense.

The use of bells in the ceremony.

The use of ornate robes.

Prayer is directed toward statues.

Latin language used in services.

A golden scepter used for overall blessings.

A belief in Purgatory.

A belief in the host.

A belief in the five elements.



Now compare the list above to the beliefs and practices of the very early Christians, as is presented by the Lord in His NEW TESTAMENT, bearing in mind that they didn't even have church buildings, nor were they at all likely to have participated in any 'communion' service which at all differed from that which the Lord Himself had shewed them.

As you can plainly see there appears to be a PROBLEM here. And I don't think that the reasoning behind these changes was to make it easier for witches to join the church. In fact it looks like witchcraft has taken over the churches. When you add to that the witches prayer circle and all the occult symbolism and strange signs and wonders now found in a lot of churches today it is very evident that:

SOMETHING DOESN'T SMELL QUITE RIGHT.


Gnostic Christianity And The Prayer Circle

The 666 Mark on the New King James Version


Revelations 14:6-12

6
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

7
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

8
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

9
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

12
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.



Quite a few ministries today focus entirely on human social needs and indeed human weakness itself of which I don't deny that all mankind shares in. People normally seek alliances and structure to give them a sense of safety, purpose, hope, and comfort. These are the very things that man should seek from God alone, but man in his estrangement from God most often seeks these very things from man and his social orders. As you can see that quest actually sets up a competing influence that actually cannot provide any spiritual life at all due to the fact that 'spiritual life' that comes by way of JESUS CHRIST proceeds from 'GOD' and 'NOT' man.

From experience, much of that grievous, I have learned that looking to God and Him alone to provide for my needs, spiritual and otherwise, is what God intended and that is as it should be, because He is God. The creature 'man' is a created being that for the most part is in gross spiritual darkness, and even though that be not true in some cases, he still cannot take the place of God. All true fellowship among the saints must revolve around their individual abiding in Christ otherwise you end up with a crowd 'puppy fashion' chasing their own tails and those of others.

(I think I may have inadvertently discovered the cause of the dilemma that now prevails in a lot of churches.)

Should you perhaps think that I am offering up some mystic philosophy of my own design I will quote the relevant scriptures so you can know assuredly exactly where I am getting this knowledge from.


Colossians 2:13-19

13
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

15
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

16
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17
Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

18
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

19
And not holding the HEAD, FROM WHICH all the BODY by joints and bands HAVING NOURISHMENT MINISTERED, and knit together, INCREASETH WITH THE INCREASE OF GOD.



Here it is revealed that each member of the Body of Christ (And I am speaking of those who are born of the Spirit of God.) must hold fast to JESUS CHRIST and let His Word abide in their hearts, and that it is by the Spirit of God ALONE that they are united and thereby grow in grace and so partake of the heavenly blessings.

============================================
THIS TRANSCENDS ANY HUMAN SOCIAL ORDER
============================================

As long as one abides in Christ he is a part of His body whether or not he is physically present with other members of the Body, but if the individual is present physically with others (And I repeat, I am referring to those who have truly become new creatures in Christ.) yet is not holding fast to Christ, nor abiding in His doctrine, but is trusting in 'church membership' or 'walking after evil' instead, then such will cut themselves off from the ONLY source of 'spiritual life'. Or simply put:


It is Jesus Christ first, church second. = LIFE

OR

Church first, Jesus Christ second. = DEATH




The Lord will have NO OTHER GODS
BEFORE or BESIDE Him
and that includes 'CHURCH'.



If the church itself is devoid of the Spirit of God, then the child foolishly hoping to get a little nourishment 'second hand' will end up sucking on a completely dry nipple, and faring even worse for the difference.

THE LORD BLESS YOU


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This page was created on the 14th. of January, 2004


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