We can see false religion had a very early start with Cain. But because Cain was not worshiping in truth God would not accept his worship. Instead of listening to God Cain became angry at Abel and killed him even though God had repeatedly warned him this would occur if he did not change. Our worship must be pure God requires exclusive devotion. So anything God would not approve of should not be a part of our worship it keeps our hearts from being complete with God and can lead us down a path of sin like what occurred with Cain. We may not murder someone but we may do something that we will regret the rest of our lives if we are not doing our best to make our hearts complete with God.
We are not to use images in our worship. We are not to get involved in traditions of man like the pharisees and others did. There are many many very subtle things that may seem harmless but they keep our hearts from being complete with God.
(Jude 11-13) 11 Too bad for them, for they have followed the path of Cain and have rushed into the erroneous course of Baʹlaam for reward, and they have perished in the rebellious talk of Korʹah! 12 These are the rocks hidden below water at your love feasts while they feast with you, shepherds who feed themselves without fear; waterless clouds carried here and there by the wind; fruitless trees in late autumn, having died twice and having been uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea that cast up the foam of their own shame; stars with no set course, for which the blackest darkness stands reserved forever.
(Genesis 4:2-7) . . .Abel became a shepherd of the flock, but Cain became a cultivator of the ground. 3 After some time, Cain brought some fruits of the land as an offering to Jehovah. 4 But Abel brought some firstlings of his flock, including their fat. While Jehovah looked with favor on Abel and on his offering, 5 he did not look with any favor on Cain and on his offering. So Cain grew hot with anger and was dejected. 6 Then Jehovah said to Cain: “Why are you so angry and dejected? 7 If you turn to doing good, will you not be restored to favor? But if you do not turn to doing good, sin is crouching at the door, and its craving is to dominate you; but will you get the mastery over it?”
Many believed the Sadducee and pharisees were teaching bible truths. The difference is so subtle we can be easily deceived. This occurs when we follow the desires of our flesh or heart instead of letting God’s word guide us and accepting and applying all that it instructs us to do. This resulted in many persecuting those who were worshiping in truth. This also resulted in Jesus own people persecuting and killing him. Many will believe they are worshiping in truth because they listened to and followed false teaching. This is why we should make certain of what God requires. Because people do not write God’s word in their hearts and let the things they view as little things persist it results in them being easily swayed by persuasive people. Merchants profit heavily from this fact by taking advantage of traditional holidays claiming these things are to honor God or in celebration to him. But none of these things were instituted by God and Israel had lost God’s approval in the past for getting involved in such things.
Just because it is lawful to do and does not seem to hurt anyone does not mean it is beneficial for us. In the long run it can harm us by weakening us spiritually. All Satan needs is one foot in the door to be able to hinder us spiritually and keeping us blinded. His attacks are not always obvious and often times his most effective attacks are the more subtle ones.
Because of their sin against God Israel started to suffer. When they removed the false worship from among themselves the bible tells us God could no longer tolerate Israel’s suffering.
Many believe that the physical nation of Israel is God’s chosen people but that covenant was fulfilled and this paved the way for the spiritual nation of Israel to be built. This may seem like something minor but think about it. Jesus ransom sacrifice fulfilled the promise to Abraham that through his seed people of all the nations would be blessed. This sealed the new covenant producing a new nation a spiritual nation. So the nation of Israel in our times is a spiritual nation.
Becoming a part of that spiritual nation is not easy. We have to remember Satan has most of the world deceived. So it comes with persecution and hatred towards those who choose to worship God with a complete heart. Just as they persecuted those who worshiped in truth in the past they are doing it and will do it again. The persecution is going to get worse. Very soon those who were indecisive will not have the choice to worship in truth because the system is very near it’s end so now more then ever we need to make certain we are worshiping in truth. Jesus is king in heaven now. By rejecting the spiritual nation we are in a sense rejecting that Jesus is king of that spiritual nation. We would never what to do that. By acknowledge that Israel is a spiritual nation we are acknowledge the king is also a spirit being in heaven sitting on the thrown ruling over that nation, but if we declare that Israel is a physical nation we are rejecting that Jesus fulfilled the promises given to Abraham and we could be rejecting the new covenant that was promised.
(Acts 4:1-4) 4 While the two were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came up to them. 2 These were annoyed because the apostles were teaching the people and were openly declaring the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. 3 So they seized them and took them into custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 However, many of those who had listened to the speech believed, and the number of the men became about 5,000.
(1 Thessalonians 2:14-16) 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the congregations of God in union with Christ Jesus that are in Ju·deʹa, because you suffered at the hands of your own countrymen the same things that they also are suffering at the hands of the Jews, 15 who even killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted us. Furthermore, they are not pleasing God, but are against the interests of all men, 16 as they try to prevent us from speaking to people of the nations so that these might be saved. In this way they always fill up the measure of their sins. But his wrath has at last come upon them. . .
(2 Corinthians 11:12-15) 12 But what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to eliminate the pretext of those who are wanting a basis for being found equal to us in the things about which they boast. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps disguising himself as an angel of light. 15 It is therefore nothing extraordinary if his ministers also keep disguising themselves as ministers of righteousness. But their end will be according to their works.
(1 Corinthians 6:12) 12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful for me, but I will not let myself be controlled by anything.
(Jeremiah 10:1-6) 10 Hear the word that Jehovah has spoken against you, O house of Israel. 2 This is what Jehovah says: “Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Because the nations are terrified by them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are a delusion. It is just a tree of the forest that is cut down, Worked by the hands of the craftsman with his tool. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold And fasten it with hammer and nails so that it will not fall over. 5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field, they cannot speak; They have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good.” 6 No one is like you, O Jehovah. You are great, and your name is great and mighty.
(Judges 10:13-16) . . .. 14 Go to the gods whom you have chosen and call for help. Let them save you in your time of distress.” 15 But the Israelites said to Jehovah: “We have sinned. Do to us whatever is good in your eyes. Only save us, please, this day.” 16 And they removed the foreign gods from their midst and served Jehovah, so that he could no longer tolerate Israel’s suffering.
(2 Chronicles 7:14) if my people on whom my name has been called humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn away from their evil ways, then I will hear from the heavens and forgive their sin and heal their land
(Isaiah 43:10-12) 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares Jehovah, “Yes, my servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and have faith in me And understand that I am the same One. Before me no God was formed, And after me there has been none. 11 I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior.” 12 “I am the One who declared and saved and made known When there was no foreign god among you. So you are my witnesses,” declares Jehovah, “and I am God.
(Acts 15:15-20) 15 And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written: 16 ‘After these things I will return and raise up again the tent of David that is fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins and restore it, 17 so that the men who remain may earnestly seek Jehovah, together with people of all the nations, people who are called by my name, says Jehovah, who is doing these things, 18 known from of old.’ 19 Therefore, my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God, 20 but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood.
(Acts 10:34, 35) At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial, 35 but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
(1 Peter 2:9, 10) But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies” of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 For you were once not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not been shown mercy, but now you have received mercy
(Genesis 22:17, 18) . . .. 18 And by means of your offspring all nations of the earth will obtain a blessing for themselves because you have listened to my voice.. . .
(Galatians 3:8, 9) 8 Now the scripture, foreseeing that God would declare people of the nations righteous through faith, declared the good news beforehand to Abraham, namely: “By means of you all the nations will be blessed.” 9 So those who adhere to faith are being blessed together with Abraham, who had faith.
(Matthew 21:42-46) 42 Jesus said to them: “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone that the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone. This has come from Jehovah, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 43 This is why I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits. 44 Also, the person falling on this stone will be shattered. As for anyone on whom it falls, it will crush him.” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his illustrations, they knew that he was speaking about them. 46 Although they wanted to seize him, they feared the crowds, because these regarded him as a prophet.
(Galatians 3:7-9) 7 Surely you know that it is those who adhere to faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 Now the scripture, foreseeing that God would declare people of the nations righteous through faith, declared the good news beforehand to Abraham, namely: “By means of you all the nations will be blessed.” 9 So those who adhere to faith are being blessed together with Abraham, who had faith. . .
(Hosea 2:23) 23 I will sow her like seed for myself in the earth, And I will show mercy to her who was not shown mercy; I will say to those not my people: “You are my people,” And they will say: “You are my God.. . .
We know Jesus is on the heavenly throne now and taking action because things have gotten very bad. Satan and the demons have been cast out of heaven and they know they have very little time left so they are angry. Because many do not know the sign to look for to know Jesus is now sitting on the throne they will ridicule because they cannot see him. Jesus will destroy all the rebellious nations and the heavenly kingdom will rule over man for eternity. No more will man decide what is right or wrong for ourselves. We have seen the end results of that. We see the injustice, famine, wars, chronic illness and death. Man has not been able to prevent any of this, we are only making things worse. Once Jesus work is done he will hand the kingdom back over to his father Jehovah and it will rule over man who will happily obey God. Even the disciples had not understood that the new nation of Israel would be ruled over by the heavenly kingdom and mistakenly thought the nation would be a physical nation on earth. There were many prophecies that have been fulfilled so we have a more complete picture then that had at that time. At that time they had not fully known how things were to occur they only had the prophecy given to king David so they had not realized the seed would be sitting on a heavenly thrown. Chronicles 17:11-14)11 “‘“When your days come to an end and you go to be with your forefathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your sons, and I will firmly establish his kingship. 12 He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will firmly establish his throne forever. 13 I will become his father, and he will become my son. I will not remove my loyal love from him the way I removed it from the one who was prior to you. 14 I will cause him to stand in my house and in my kingship forever, and his throne will last forever.”. . . Later we know the apostles had come to realize the the nation of Israel would be a spiritual nation and that it would not be one with an earthly king but it would be one that was ruled from heaven. (1 Peter 2:4, 5)4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen, precious to God, 5 you yourselves as living stones are being built up into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, in order to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. . .
(Revelation 12:10-12) . . .“Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! 11 And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even in the face of death. 12 On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time. . .
(Acts 2:31-36) . . .. 32 God resurrected this Jesus, and of this we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore, because he was exalted to the right hand of God and received the promised holy spirit from the Father, he has poured out what you see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35 until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”’ 36 Therefore, let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you executed on a stake. . .
(2 Peter 3:2-4) . . .. 3 First of all know this, that in the last days ridiculers will come with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning.. . .
(Jeremiah 23:17) 17 They are saying again and again to those who disrespect me, ‘Jehovah has said: “You will enjoy peace.”’ And to everyone who follows his own stubborn heart they say, ‘No calamity will come upon you.’
(Romans 9:7, 8) . . .” 8 That is, the children in the flesh are not really the children of God, but the children by the promise are counted as the offspring.
(Romans 11:17-24) 17 However, if some of the branches were broken off and you, although being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became a sharer of the richness of the olive’s root, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If, though, you are arrogant toward them, remember that you do not bear the root, but the root bears you. 19 You will say, then: “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true! For their lack of faith, they were broken off, but you are standing by faith. Do not be haughty, but be in fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Consider, therefore, God’s kindness and severity. There is severity toward those who fell, but toward you there is God’s kindness, provided you remain in his kindness; otherwise, you too will be lopped off. 23 And they also, if they do not remain in their lack of faith, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them back in. 24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree that is wild by nature and were grafted contrary to nature into the garden olive tree, how much more will these who are natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree!
(Galatians 3:28, 29) . . .. 29 Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s offspring, heirs with reference to a promise. . .
(Daniel 2:44) 44 “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever,
(1 Corinthians 15:24-28) 24 Next, the end, when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. 25 For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. 26 And the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing. 27 For God “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that this does not include the One who subjected all things to him. 28 But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.
(Luke 19:11) 11 While they were listening to these things, he told another illustration, because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God was going to appear instantly.
(Acts 1:6) 6 So when they had assembled, they asked him: “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?”
(John 18:36) 36 Jesus answered: “My Kingdom is no part of this world. If my Kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my Kingdom is not from this source.”
(Revelation 11:15) The seventh angel blew his trumpet. And there were loud voices in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.
To be accepted into this kingdom it is very important we know what God requires. So we should know what the bible really teaches.