Since the time of Babel there have been prideful self-righteous religious people influencing the world that think they should be honored and set above the rest of humanity. They claim to be enlightened people who speak for God and like to be called prophet, priest, reverend or some other exalted title for “holy men”. They pretend to be people enlightened by God but many of these religious leaders are actually megalomaniacs doing the work of Satan.
We see these religious examples many times in the Old Testament opposing the true prophets and anointed leadership that God raised up. When the Messiah came to Israel, it was the Jewish religious leaders that rejected Him and opposed Him. Jesus called the religious high priests of Judaism a brood of vipers and sons of their father the Devil (John 8:44).
There should be little doubt that by the time that Jesus made his appearance to the Jews that the Jewish priesthood was ruled by the satanic elite. We can argue if these men allowed themselves to be deceived by Satan, or if they were born to be the vessels of Satan, but in either case most in the priesthood were self-righteous religious leaders obsessed with keeping up outward appearances. The religious leaders did not keep God’s standards themselves but they looked down on everyone else that did not meet their own man-made standards.
The only condemnation from Jesus during His ministry on earth was against these religious leaders. He equated the ruling religious leaders of Israel with the rebels preceding them that opposed and killed the prophets. Jesus said they were sons of the Devil. Jesus had no delusion that these religious leaders would see the light standing before them. He knew that they would literally crucify Him.
Paul warned us that wolves would also come into the Church and lead many astray (Acts 20 29-31). We see how that played out over two thousand years of Christendom’s history. Nothing has changed today except the wolves are now worldwide and in positions of power in most religious institutions. They also dominate modern media.
Many religious leaders within Christendom are doing the work of the Devil. Some are megalomaniac control freaks that drive people out or put them in bondage. Others drive the gospel of salvation out of the institution that they lead. Still others lead the sheep down paths of destruction.
I am convinced that the greatest harm to the gospel of salvation of grace through faith in Jesus comes from hirelings and religious zealots that gain Christian leadership positions. Paul warned us that these wolves would come. We not only can see their evil influence throughout Church history we can see their evil influence nearly everywhere in Christendom Today.
God for His own purposes gives certain people authority to rule over others in the flesh. However, the satanic elite that reach the highest levels in religious institutions are empowered by Satan in his attempt to destroy men’s souls. That is why Jesus had condemnation for religious leaders but did not have any condemnation for state secular leaders. The religious leaders of Israel would not only not come to salvation themselves, they tried to prevent the people of Israel from finding salvation through the way that God provided.
Throughout Church history we see how the religious hierarchy within attacked and corrupted the Christian salvation message that they claimed to promote by adding traditions of men and doctrine of demons to the gospel of grace through faith in Jesus.
They replaced God’s atoning sacrifice for sin and the resurrection power of a risen Lord with earned brownie points and satanic religious dogma that nullified God’s finished work for atonement of sin on the cross. In other words, they replaced God’s righteous work to save mankind from his fallen fleshly sin nature, with man’s own self-righteous efforts to try to restore paradise lost through self-righteousness.
There has been only one spiritual Church on earth since Pentecost. The religious wolves worked within the visible church gatherings, their institutions and media. The satanic wolves rose among the sheep and they created a religious hierarchy within visible church institutions. They then lorded over Christians, oppressed them, lied to them, and even killed those that would not submit to their heresy and rule. Read the history of the Roman Catholic Church and you will see how much of this played out in Church history (A Woman Rides the Beast, by Dave Hunt is one book that outlines some of the wretched history of the Roman Catholic Church).
Religious leaders in the world, more than ever, are still the major hindrance to getting the simple gospel of salvation out to the people.
The Roman Catholic Church is not physically killing people today, but Catholic leaders are still the major hindrance to Catholic people ever finding salvation for their souls. Salvation comes via grace through faith in Jesus Christ, period.
Salvation does not come by good works, earning brownie points, or following any ordinance, decree, or ritual instituted by religious leaders at the Vatican or anywhere else. The Roman Church traveled the whole world seeking converts to Christ, but along the way the satanic elite replaced the gospel of salvation through trusting in Jesus Christ alone with a Babylonian influenced satanic theocratic system and self-effort system that saves no one. (I am not saying that there are no Catholics that are saved.)
Islam came from a bastardization of Christianity by Muhammad or whomever invented his legend and sayings. The religious leaders of Islam are now the ones promoting killing people in the name of a Creator that they cannot even know (The Creator is only revealed through His son Jesus). Many of these religious leaders are making the modern world into a hell hole and its going to get a lot worse.
The religious leaders of Islam will not allow the only gospel given through which people must be saved to even be taught in the land where they rule. Sharia Law was thought up by religious control freaks to keep everyone under their submission.
Many of the religious leaders of Protestantism corrupted the gospel of salvation by buying into the satanic teachings of atheist philosophers that taught humanism. There is hardly a mainstream denomination or church that has not been corrupted by their philosophies and psychologies. Most leaders in liberal Protestantism no longer believe the Bible is uniquely the word of God, so why would they believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation as the Bible teaches? Most of these satanically influenced religious leaders just believe and teach what fits their own humanistic worldview.
Satan now is working through many of the religious leaders of the remaining Bible believing churches. Evangelicals and Pentecostals are rapidly falling for some postmodern more relevant gospel of living your best life now, or how to find God within yourself by whatever works for you. They teach a Christianity where you just create the Lord you want in your own mind.
Other religious wolves among the Charismatics are controlling people by claiming spiritual powers that they do not have and teaching a neo-Gnostic Dominion Theology that the Bible does not teach.
I suggest that Christians get a book like Religious Trojan Horse, by Brannon Howse to get a better understand of what is going on in contemporary Christianity.
Don’t be deceived. Jesus, Paul and Jude made it quite clear that the enemy of the gospel would come mainly via false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing hidden among confessing believers. The main enemy of God and His work on the cross is the religious leaders that are hindering the clear gospel message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus. Many are teaching a path to God that may seem right to many but the end there of leads to death (Pr 14:12).
Editor note: This is an edited version of an article on my old blog. It was Posted on Jul 13, 2013