THE END OF ALL RELIGION, AND THE TAKEOVER OF CHRISTIANITY
By C.W. Wood MAY 2001
As any born-again Christian knows, "RELIGION" has become the rule in the Denominational Church World, and if we are honest, we must confess that Message Believers have not entirely escaped this way of death. By examining the fruit of some (Not condemning them, just inspecting fruit), we know that Religion has also crept into our Message Churches. It is our goal in this sermon to first show what RELIGION is; then show what the scriptures say will be its end. There will be an end to ALL RELIGION, and a take over of the entire world by true Christianity. There is soon coming a time when the world will be ruled by "a Rod of Iron", which Rod is "The Word of the Living God."
If then the WORLD’S RELIGIOUS groups are to be destroyed, we must make haste and check ourselves to be sure we are not in a group that is scheduled for execution. We who believe the End Time Message must squarely face the danger of Religion. We must "Consider our ways" and be diligent to make our "Calling and Election Sure." What we need in our own churches is a scriptural setting forth of the condition of the natural man. Man without God’s Spirit is depraved. His spiritual senses are dead. If he does not have "The Token" he is "None of His." (Rom. 8:9) He is only religious.
I can almost hear some of our readers saying, "Such truths as these may be needed in the Denominational Churches, but surely you don’t mean to say that these truths should be pressed upon Message Believing people!" But, that is exactly what we do mean to say. A better understanding of our DEPRAVITY, without the TOKEN, would humble us and make us see our deep need to have a soul change (a nature change). We Message ministers must give this solemn subject a prominent place in our sermons, for it is our bounden duty to warn those who are "Only Religious" and bid them to flee from the wrath to come. To remain silent, is criminal. To substitute anything for it, even BELIEF IN THE MESSAGE, is to set before the people a false hope.
It is the sincere belief of this writer that if some of our Message Believers continue to follow their present course, they will most certainly suffer the same reward as the religious ones in the systems. And what is that reward? Please take your Bible and read Rev. 19:11-19. Perhaps we would not know for sure who these "Kings and Captains and Mighty Ones" are if God had not sent us His Prophet with "Thus Saith The Lord" on the subject. But, now the mystery has been solved. The truth has been set forth in no uncertain terms. They are the Religious Ones out of the Roman Catholic Church along with her Protestant daughters! And, we must cry out to God for the conversion of the Religious Ones in our own midst.
We said that we would attempt to show what "RELIGION" is, then show what the scriptures and the Prophet say will be its end. We will try to keep our terms and our definitions simple so that even our children may understand. Very briefly stated, Religion is "AN ATTEMPT TO SERVE THE LIVING GOD, WITHOUT HIS SPIRIT LIVING IN US." Let it be said in the beginning that most Religious folks are not evil people, at least in the beginning. QUOTE: "Those people don’t go to church to be bad, they are trying to be good." (End quote)
It is at this point that the Ministry from the pulpit plays a most important part in the lives of these people who have set out to be "GOOD." They will end up in one of three ways, according to the Prophet. They will go back to the world and become rank "UNBELIVERS" or they could continue to sit in church without the Token (Holy Ghost) and become "MAKE BELIEVERS" or else they can receive the Holy Ghost and become "GENUINE BELIEVERS." Someone may say, "All of that is up to the Lord" and that is true up to a point, but never forget that we are the "MEANS" by which God does His work.
Of the three things that can happen to a people who want to be "Good", the one where they end up being "Make Believers" is by far the most dangerous and deceiving, for this places them in the seat of the "RELGIOUS!" Religious people, in their final end, must of necessity become hypocrites. They know there is something missing in their lives. The power over sin is not there. Their faith is not what it should be, and true love for the Word is missing. They have not lost their love for the things of the world, yet they attempt to keep up their religious front in order to be received in their church. And may I respectfully say that this is the case with many good people in our Message Churches. They are attempting to follow Spirit-filled People without having the Spirit themselves.
And so we see, that Religion is an attempt, by good people many times, to serve God, but without the Spirit of God to enable them to do so. And we also see that when a person without the Spirit remains in a church, he is open to the lies of Satan. And without his knowing it, he ends up a member of Satan’s Church. May I say that this is exactly where we are today in some of our Message Churches. We have Cain and Able both bringing their offering into the House of the Lord, the Crow and the Dove on the same Ark, Jesus and Judas at the same Communion Table. The twins that Brother Branham’s Revival produced are both in the framework of the End Time Message.
It is beyond question that Satan has a church, and that he seeks his members among the "RELGIOUS ONES" in the churches. He seeks as members the "Natural Man", for "The Natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discerned." (I Cor. 2:14) The Natural Man, the Religious Man, has no spiritual understanding. The darkness, which is upon his mind, came from the Fall in Eden, and renders him incapable of receiving the revelations of God into his soul. (Although, he may have an intellectual knowledge of the same.) This darkness is upon the noblest part of man’s being, the Soul. That is why the scripture says, "The Soul that sinneth it shall die." All souls have sinned, therefore all souls will die one way or another. In some, their soul will be slain and replaced with the Soul of God Himself. We call that the New Birth, or the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. In the rest, their souls will die in the Lake of Fire.
Our subject is Religion and its ultimate end. It must be said, that Religion plays far more of a role in our Glorious Message than is supposed by most. By the light of the revelations that God gave our Prophet, many common people have an intellectual knowledge of God, of which great scholars of past days knew nothing. Hundreds, and perhaps thousands, are doctrinally sound upon questions that baffled the professors of other days. They believe that God is a Spirit, and that He is One Person. They believe He is eternal and sovereign, that He made the Heavens and the Earth. They are persuaded that He is a Good God, and a Great God yet, despite this knowledge; they are not able to really glorify Him as God. They cannot please Him because their Faith is not in Him. (Heb. 11:6)
They cannot trust Him with their lives. They have no real Communion with Him. They neither love nor adore Him. What is the problem? Their dead souls must be quickened; their blinded eyes must be opened. They need to be redeemed and reconciled to God. The Cross is the only place where men may find God. If the minds of these Religious Ones were not in Spiritual darkness, they would not be deceived by Satan’s lies, or drawn away by his baits. If they were not in Spiritual darkness, they would never believe the delusion that the filthy rags of their own righteousness would make them acceptable to God. The terrible danger that confronts these Religious Ones is that God will eventually, "Blind their eyes and harden their heart, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart and be converted." (John 12:40 and II Thes. 2:10-12)
The Scripture leaves no doubt but what these Religious Ones are the Devil’s Children, though they themselves know it not. This is a mysterious thing, but a very real thing, real because we can read it in the Word. They are, "Taken captive by Satan at his will." (II Tim. 2:26) they are under the "Power of Darkness" unless delivered. (Col. 1:13) They are of their father the Devil and "His lusts they will do." (John 8:44) They do not love righteousness; therefore, they do not "DO righteousness." (I John 3:10) unless they have had a soul change, they are still "Walking according to the course of this world, according to the Prince of the Power of the Air, the Spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." (Eph. 2:2-3)
The religious person in the Church, without the Token, can no more serve God in true Faith and Love with his serpent-like nature, than the Devil could be willing to glorify God with his fallen nature. There must be a radical change in the soul of these church-going, Message-believing people. So radical, that the Lord Jesus compared it to a SECOND BIRTH, saying, "Ye must be born again." There must be placed in us a God-like principle, replacing the Satan-like principle we were born with. Until this work is accomplished, which amounts to the changing out of the soul, we cannot live a God-like life. The salvation of the soul is absolutely impossible through our own efforts. That solemn fact was stated by the Lord when, in answer to His disciple’s question, "Who then can be saved?" He replied, "With men this is impossible." (Matt. 19:26)
Now, if we can see that Satan has used the spiritual blindness of those without THE TOKEN, and has from their ranks built himself a church, we will turn back to our scriptures in Rev. 19:11-31, and see the END that God has prophesied for them. When the carnal mind reads these verses, he is in a quandary as to who these people are. They are called KINGS, CAPTAINS AND MIGHTY MEN! Yet, their end is to be slain and their flesh fed to the fowls of the air. In what realm then are they mighty? Certainly not in God’s spiritual realm, for He it is who will slay them.
The mystery surrounding these great ones has been solved, not by we ourselves, but by God revealing it to His Prophet. They are the Religious Ones who, without THE TOKEN, remained in the churches and became full-blown MAKE BELIEVERS. They are those who have ended with permanently blinded eyes because they did not seek to be truly CONVERTED. They are those who received the "Mark of the Beast" when they compromised the True Word in order to be able to "BUY AND SELL." They are those who worshipped the Image of the Beast and became GREAT in the Army of Satan, even to being KINGS AND CAPTAINS AND MIGHTY ONES.
In their ranks will be some who professed to believe our glorious Message, but whose faith was never perfected, and therefore when the SQUEEZE came they could not stand the pressure. Their only thought was for their flesh bodies, and they took the necessary steps to preserve it, but in doing so they lost their last chance for Redemption. The Mark of the Beast sealed their doom forever. Please note, we do not include the Foolish Virgins in this lost group of MAKE BELIEVERS. They are in a different spiritual realm. They had an experience with the Lord before the Rapture, and though they were not Bride, they were purged during Tribulation and were given Eternal Life at the White Throne Judgment.
At the End-Time, which is very near, a great religious CHURCH, headed by Satan himself, will appear on the battlefield with his great army of UNCONVERTED Catholics and Protestants (and some who have deflected from our Message), ready to do battle against Christ and His Army.
QUOTE: THE FOURTH SEAL, PAGES 324-325, "Notice, life followed the Rider on the White Horse. (This Rider) who was the Word of Life. (He was) vindicated by His resurrected Saints that He had with Him. Now, how is the Battle (of Armageddon) going to go?.…….Here comes Satan with all four corners of the Earth, with his Protestants and his Catholics all together, marching right up to the Battle of Armageddon. And here comes Jesus, coming down from Heaven with His resurrected saints, (who) are the vindicated Word……While DEATH rode the Pale Horse, mixed creeds and denominations followed him….That’s where he (Antichrist) rode them to, eternal separation from God, and Christ rode His Church right into Glory!" (End quote)
QUOTE: THE FOURTH SEAL PAGES 326-327, "Jezebel is the type of the modern church today, because Catholics and Protestants are joined together now, there is no getting around it. They are both denominations. So, it’s just Mother and Daughter, that’s all. They fuss and argue with each other, but it’s the same thing, they are BOTH HARLOTS. Now, I’m not saying that myself, I’m quoting from "Thus Saith The Lord." Now we notice, Jezebel was killed by a command of God, because God had Jehu go down and have her thrown out the window and killed, and the dogs ate her flesh. Literal Jezebel. And Ahab, her King Head, the dogs licked his blood, as the first Elijah predicted."
CONT. QUOTE: THE FOURTH SEAL PAGE 327, "You see where we are going don’t you? The first Elijah was a rejected man by the CHURCHES, and Jezebel and Ahab was Head of those CHURCHES. Church and State all together. And Elijah revealed Ahab’s sins, and commanded the whole CHURCH to turn back to the true Word. If that isn’t exactly what the second Elijah is supposed to do when he comes to THIS CHURCH? IF YOU WANT TO SEE THEIR DEAD BODIES, TURN OVER TO REV. 19, AFTER THE WORD SLAYS THEM." (End quote)
CONT. QUOTE: THE FOURTH SEAL PAGE 327, "Now watch, He comes forth smiting, who is He smiting? Jezebel and her Ahab! (False Prophet) ……He feeds them to the beast and birds……The Jezebel CHURCH, her actual body, (The actual bodies of the modern CHURCH people., the Religious Ones.) is to be eaten by the fowls and beasts of the earth. Just exactly like Ahab and Jezebel was in the natural. So are they to be, in the Spirit form of the CHURCH. (End quote)
QUOTE: THE FOURTH SEAL PAGE 328, "Elijah was the Prophet in the days of Ahab and Jezebel, natural. And God has promised to do the same thing, according to "THUS SAITH THE LORD" in the Word, to this Jezebel spiritual, through form of ministry. Watch! Elijah, in his day, though properly and profoundly vindicated, could not turn them back to the Word….They laughed in his face. Same thing they will do with this spiritual." (End quote)
Yes, it’s true! The Religious world has laughed in the face of God’s end-time Prophet, William Branham, just as they scorned the words of the Prophet Elijah in the days of Ahab. Generally speaking, they will not be turned back to the Revealed Word, but here is a paradox, they will become MORE AND MORE RELIGIOUS AS TIME PASSES! There is even now a "SPIRIT OF RELIGION" that has come upon the Word-rejecting church people of this age. This writer can remember 65 years ago when it was very unpopular to testify of having been filled with the Holy Ghost, especially if speaking in other tongues was involved. Not so today. The most influential people in town boast of having the Holy Ghost.
What but a RELIGIOUS SPIRIT would make a people who STILL LOVE THE WORLD, boast of having been born again? Though we have stated that the end of all religion has come into view, we must be prepared for it to "flourish mightily" before it is destroyed. The scripture says this is exactly what will happen, and we are now witnessing the same. II Thess. 2:3-4 declares that RELIGION will increase world wide until right at the end-time, "A MAN OF SIN, THE SON OF PREDITION" will set himself in the Church and actually declare himself to be God.
II Thess. 2:3-4, "Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the Son of perdition. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; So that he, as God, sitteth in the Temple (church) of God, showing himself that he is God."
In other words, there is to be a LEADER of this RELIGIOUS GROUP who will draw the world unto himself, under his RELIGIOUS CANOPY. We in the Message know this one to be a POPE OF ROME. In II Thess. 2:7 Paul said, "FOR THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY doth already work." What is this Mystery of Iniquity? What makes this sin so mysterious? It is the fact that it is VERY RELIGIOUS, in that these people are CHURCH PEOPLE. They preach Jesus Christ and him crucified, yet they do this without KNOWING HIM! They pretend Christianity while they still love the world and its systems and programs.
The people of the world have now come under a RELIGIOUS SPIRIT that preaches Christ while they steadfastly deny His revealed WORD. An interesting article appeared in the April 2001 issue of "Believers International." It was entitled, "Selling Religion."
QUOTE: "A recent report by the Book Industry Study Group, a New York trade organization, shows that the sale of RELIGIOUS materials has reached an all-time high, 2.25 billion dollars this year alone. Sales have grown an unprecedented 33 percent over the past five years……Retailers and market analyst are at a loss to explain this unexpected turn of events. However, there is actually a very simple explanation, and can be found in II Thess. 2:3-4. Religion must increase worldwide! And this Religious Spirit that we are now seeing, as it gains momentum among the people will, undoubtedly, become a RELIGIOUS FRENZY as the day approaches when Rome will step forward and "SELL" its deception to the entire world, in the NAME OF UNITY AND PEACE."
How true to the Word this is, that the Anti-Christ will sell his "Unity and Peace" under the name of RELIGION. He will fool the whole world, except for a few Elect.
QUOTE: GOD OF THIS EVIL AGE, "Notice what this fellow will do now. This fellow, he will set in the Temple of God (That is the Church.) revealing himself to be God." (End quote)
This Anti-Christ will bring the RELIGIONS of the whole world into an agreement of sorts, a FALSE God to actually lead the people into a war (Armageddon) against God Himself. Truly, as the Apostle Paul said, this is the "MYSTERY OF INIQUITY." A world full of religious acting people, will, while they preach Christ, actually war against Him and His WORD. It is so deceiving that only those who are taught by THE SPIRIT OF GOD, rather that by man, will ever see it. How can the carnal mind ever believe that a Loving God is going to destroy millions of people while they call on His Name and pretend to worship Him?
QUOTE: THE FOURTH SEAL PAGE 330, "We had to go to different places in the scriptures, to Rev. 19, to show that the Coming of Christ (after Rapture and during Tribulation) will slay the Anti-Christ (and his church). So that’s the reason I went to Rev. 19, to show the end of Anti-Christ, will be the slaying of Anti-Christ…..When He (Christ) comes, He will slay the Anti-Christ……like He did to natural Jezebel, so will this man do it to spiritual Jezebel, THE DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES…….It so perfectly blends in, even to the beasts destroying their natural bodies, consuming them, as He did back there." (End quote)
Our prayer is the same as the Prophet of our day. "Call them out Lord. May they now repent, come quickly to you and be filled with the Oil and the Wine, and be changed from that denominational "Robe of Death" into the snow-white robe of Eternal Life." Amen!