We don’t fully realize how deadly the religious spirit is. The religious spirit is the antichrist spirit. This goes way beyond just a certain religiosity forcing us into condemnation or works of legalism to merit favor with God. The religious spirit continually fosters a false revelation of Jesus Christ. It is so ingrained in Christianity that Christians will perpetually bristle when this spirit is confronted. This is why the Pharisees were so enraged with Jesus. Paul, before the Lord met him, was driven by this same religious spirit. Acts 26 states, “And as I (Paul) punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.”
The religious spirit presents a false Christ. Christianity will defend this false image to the death. Much pride is generated by this spirit. Those immersed in this spirit will bow up when words are spoken contrary to this spirit’s presentation of the Lord. What is diabolical about this spirit is that it prevents a collective people from standing as the voice of God in the earth. It seeks to prevent the judgment upon principalities and powers that must come. Why is this so? Because it is only through the true church that judgment comes. The religious spirit ministers a false Christ in which anyone who judges or makes an assertion regarding good and evil is considered “not Christ- like.” Does this sound familiar? It should, because it’s the same spirit that fuels the politically correct mindset.
8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;
10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,
12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.
It is the passivity of the religious spirit that fosters false compassion and humility. The religious spirit loves to emphasize the love of God and how it’s synonymous with turning the other cheek and being gentle and meek. Gentleness and meekness are qualities of the new nature in Christ, and do not remotely resemble what passes for them in the religious realm.
Many messages have come on how God is separating His own from the false in this hour. It’s a time of God separating the wheat from the tares, and the sheep from the goats. This will continue because Christianity has become the haunt of every foul an unclean spirit. This is why the cry is to come out of her in Rev. 18.
1 ¶ After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory.
2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.
3 “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.”
4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;
5 for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
Babylon the harlot is the spirit that has infiltrated everything that God has ever brought forth. We make a great mistake interpreting Babylon as only a world system. Many, many of God’s people are still trapped in this spirit. This is why the cry is for God’s people to come out of her. The world’s systems are fed by this spirit. To better understand it, we can look at what came forth in the Dark Ages under the Popes. Right within Christianity this spirit so dominated that for a 1000 years one could not “buy or sell” without paying homage to this spirit. The religious, antichrist, Babylonian harlot spirit spread from Catholicism into every movement that broke free from the reign of the popes, and continues to this day. This is why Babylon is called the mother of harlots and the abominations in the earth (Rev.17:1-6).
God is bringing forth a living word devoid of the religious spirit. This word is imparting a true revelation of Jesus Christ to those who are open. It’s significant that the closer we get to the Lord the less tolerance there is for the false. It becomes easy to spot the effects of the religious spirit when Christians launch into their “do not judge” and “love and meekness” spiel. Yes, the Lord taught and expressed these mindsets. But look carefully in the Gospels at how He responded to different situations. He could tell the woman caught in the act of adultery that He did not judge her and to go her way and sin no more, and then turn and tell the Pharisees they were a brood of vipers and sons of the devil. It is the lack of revelation of the Lord Himself that fosters passivity and compromise.
Grace and judgment are the stepping stones into the kingdom of God. The religious spirit is incapable of expressing either one accurately. We are to walk by a true revelation of Jesus Christ. We are to see Him just as He is, and as we see Him as He is, we become like Him (1st John 3:2).