Before you read this study understand that we do not teach, we share and then ask all who read the following take it to God and verify it with Him. We believe a lot of the world is misled by the church of the world and religion vs the one true church. And to know the truth can only come from knowing, not just knowing of God, John 14:26, I John 2:27, Rev 3:19-22.
Many are called but few are chosen because many are misled by false teachers Matthew 7:13-15 so we help all who wants to know the truth how to find and know the truth of and by God and not of and by man.

Religion or Christ

Pastor Jerry Wilhite, author

Religion and Christ are not one and the same thing. If you are of the belief that you are saved by anything you have done or can do, then this study may cause you some offense. Otherwise it should be a blessing.

Christ is from the Greek word Christos. It is the same as the Hebrew word Messiah, which in English means the Anointed One. To be of Christ one must be anointed. To better understand what anoint means think of a sponge dripping water. It is dripping because it is saturated with water. Water is in the sponge, on the sponge, and all the way through to the point that the only place left for the water to go is outwards.

I use both the Amplified and King James Bibles. Whatever verses I use out of the Amplified I will be identified at the end with (Amplified Bible). The rest are KJV. The reason why I am using the Amplified in some and not all verses is because for some it is too wordy and others it is written as if you read it in Greek. I do not recommend that everyone read the Amplified. If you do, never read it only; always use the KJV as well to compare. Without understanding, the scripture in the Greek, the Amplified can be confusing on its own.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], (Amplified Bible)

Jesus said He is anointed with the Spirit of God. So to be of Christ one must be anointed with the Spirit of God. They must have the Spirit in them (salvation), on them (Baptism - Church) and all the way through them (Christ). Being of Christ is having the Spirit in, on and through to the point that it only has one way to go and that is outwards to others.

Now let us read what the Bible says about Christ.

1Co 1:24 But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. (Amplified Bible)

If you are of Christ you are of the POWER and WISDOM of God. The power that created everything, the power Jesus used to stop a storm, walk on water, heal, and so much more.

1John 2:27 But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do]. (Amplified Bible)

If we are of Christ we are taught all things, not just those of God, but all things by the anointing which is the Spirit.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). (Amplified Bible)

Since God is a Spirit and we are of the Spirit we are of God and it is God that teaches us all things.

2 Corinthians 12

9. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

God told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for thee" because in Grace and being of Grace we are then of Christ. Jesus did not come here to be tortured, crucified, die, and arise from the dead just so we can go on as before. He did this to return us to the original glory mankind had before Adam sinned. In that glory is the power of God.

What Paul meant by, "for when I am weak, then am I strong" was that when pride and ego were replaced with humility and spirituality rather than carnality He was made strong. Pride and ego or all things of the flesh only give us false beliefs and feelings that keep us from God.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. (Amplified Bible)

We can not even be saved without faith. Faith is either of us or of God. When it is of self it is limited, but when it is of God it is unlimited and that is when the power works.

Ephesians 2

8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.

If you are of Christ you are part of the promise God made to Abraham.

Gal 3:29 And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham's Seed], then you are Abraham's offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to promise. (Amplified Bible)

You are not yet of Christ when you are saved. When you are saved you have the Spirit in you, not on you or through you. If you did then you would not need to be baptized of the Spirit. If you were of Christ then you would be operating in the full power and wisdom of God.

Matthew 3

11. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

John said that the one who came after him was preferred before him.

John 1

15. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

How do we become of Christ, and why is it not well known that we are not automatically of Christ when we accept Jesus as our Savior? It is not well known due, in part, to a lack of knowledge plus being of the flesh and not the spirit.

2Corinthians 10:5 [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), (Amplified Bible)

One of the main reasons we are not well versed in hearing from God; or that salvation, church, and Christ are not all one; as well as confusion about Baptism is lack of knowledge.

One must first understand that our thoughts are not our own until we accept them and dwell on them. Every thought we have is from the world or Satan not from us. The only way to get thoughts from God is to seek them.

Here is a way you can see not just the logic of what I am saying but proof as well.

Have you ever wondered how a mother or father could kill their children or how a child could kill one or both of his/her parents? Think about this: have you ever had a thought that you knew was not of you because it just was too radical, violent, etc? Where do you think it came from? How about those who kill, rape, etc; how could it be that anyone can do these things? If they were not as morally strong as you, got a thought about killing, did not cast it down, and dwelt on it, in time they could carry out the thought.

Until we realize where thoughts, ideas, and imaginations come from, some of us accept every thought as being our own original thoughts. I agree that not everyone accepts thoughts to kill their children or parents. But those with weak moral conviction who are allowed to get involved into questionable activities (no matter whether or not it was intentional or due to poor parenting) and then they have this thought and dwelt on it they believe it is their thought. In time they will speak it and eventually even act on it.

So now if you understand and believe that your thoughts are not your own but are forced on you by Satan you can cast them down and be able to get closer to God. If someone does not know it then they will not be able to get to where they need in life with God. Do you think if Satan had that kind of control he would allow you to know the truth? Of course not–he does have that control and has had since Adam gave him dominion over the world and all that is in it. Now that you know this you can start to control your thoughts and in time hear from God. As you hear from God you will learn the truth and in those areas you will be set free.

This is what happens: Jesus is knocking at the door seeking to enter and be part of us. Some take this to be a call to a ministry, others are so busy in life or in talking they do not hear but the few who hear and allow it grow.

Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

Matthew 7:23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]. [Ps. 6:8.] (Amplified Bible)

In verse 22 many is actually most; so Jesus tells us most will not be saved even though they not only believe that they are, but they also perform many wonders and signs that make them appear to be of the Lord. Before this He said that many were on the path to destruction, that the path was wide because many were on it.

Matthew 7:13 Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.

Matthew 7:14 But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. [Deut. 30:19; Jer. 21:8.] (Amplified Bible)

How is it that so many are led to destruction when we are told in John 3:16 that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to die to save us not condemn or judge us?

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves. [Ezek. 22:27.] (Amplified Bible)

There are many references in Matthew 24, Luke 21, Revelation and other books of the New Testament that tell us about false teachers, false Christs, etc. Those who go on the wrong path do not go there just because of misleading and false prophets. Some do because they have been lied to for so long (and never knew it was a lie). The lies get is so well rooted in them that they can not believe we can actually hear from God. Then there are those that did not know or just could not hear because they were too busy talking.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.

Revelation 3:21 He who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant him to sit beside Me on My throne, as I Myself overcame (was victorious) and sat down beside My Father on His throne.

Revelation 3:22 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the [Holy] Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). (Amplified Bible)

Jesus is clear in Revelation 3:20 – anyone who hears and listens to and heeds His voice.

John 14:26 But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

We have a problem–we allow things of this world to distract us from where we need to be or growing into a relationship with the Lord. In Mark 4:12-20 Jesus lists some of the distractions and problems that cause mankind to not get all it can get from God.

There was a time in my life (and you may be there now) when I had the smallest doubt about my salvation; I mean so small it was almost not there, but as soon as I heard God call me His child I knew that I would never doubt again.

Romans 8

16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

We hear from God and do not realize it. We know in the beginning that we are missing something, that we have a huge hole in us. Some try filling it with different things, alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. But those who realize that it is the Lord that they need are blessed. Then we have to keep hearing so we can grow.

Matthew 16:15 He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am?

Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Matthew 16:17 Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven.

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros--a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra--a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it].

When God reveals to us (when we hear) who Jesus is as the Son and the Christ, we are then a large piece of the rock (church).

After salvation (we have the Spirit in us) we are Baptized in the Spirit and we hear even better and we grow and become a part of the church (we have the Spirit on us). We continue to listen to grow to OVERCOME the walls in us that were built based on lies we heard, told, etc over many years or decades. As they come down we get closer to God and He can communicate with us better. When we are finally flowing in the Spirit constantly, we are of Christ (saturated in the Holy Spirit).

Now that you have read and learned a little about what being of Christ is let us look at what religion is. Here are the only 3 verses in the entire Bible in the Literal that has the word religion in them.

Acts 26

5. Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

James 1

26. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

27. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world

Strong's Ref. # 2356

Romanized threskeia

Pronounced thrace-ki'-ah

from a derivative of GSN2357; ceremonial observance:

KJV--religion, worshipping.

Notice that the definition of threskeia from the Greek is ceremonial observance: and it is used in the KJV for religion and worshipping.

What did Jesus say about worshipping?

John 4

24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Religion in the dictionary is:


    1. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
    2. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

  1. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
  2. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
  3. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

The problems I have with religion are that one can be religious to anything from television to a hobby and that religion normally refers to a physical way not a spiritual way of thinking. It is another way to keep us out of the truth and in the lie.

Know this–religious people are normally very judgmental and they justify it by the law and commandments of the Old Testament and forget what Jesus said. In the law and commandments we are to take an eye for an eye, but Jesus said, "Turn the other cheek."

Matthew 7:1 DO NOT judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.

Matthew 7:2 For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.

Matthew 7:3 Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother's eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?

Matthew 7:4 Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye?

Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother's eye.

How is it that people can read the above, attend service anywhere once, twice, or more times a week and still judge?

Matthew 12

34. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

35. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

36. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

37. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

You are either–of Grace and growing in Christ, do not judge, forgive and live life constantly striving to be sin free–or you are of the law, judging, and are of the "generation of vipers."

The word idle refers to words that are not pertaining to the knowledge of God.

John 8

7. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Before you judge remember what Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone." This also pertains to judging because if you cast a stone you are judging.

John 8

10. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11. She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Jesus would never tell anyone to do something that they could not do. How much more should we be able to do, being of Grace, than that woman who was of the law?

Religion judges and does not forgive, I have seen it first-hand and at one point in my past I was as religious as anyone could hope to be.

Matthew 6

14. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Below Jesus forgives all those who had tortured, mistreated, abused and nailed Him to the cross.

Luke 23

34. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Before you say, "But that is Jesus and I am just a man/woman," remember so was He at that moment. If He had been any more He could not have paid the price we owed.

It is your choice–continue following and listening to man and being religious, or be forgiving, judge not, listen for and to the Lord's voice and be obedient.


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