THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
by Tony Alamo
There are far more religious people in this world than there are people who are saved, born again of the SPIRIT. The Bible, in so many words, tells us that religion is of the devil, but salvation is of the LORD.1
The difference between believing in CHRIST and believing in religion is that in believing in CHRIST, it is GOD who seeks man. In other words, it is GOD who has sought man and still seeks man. GOD communicated first to Adam, Cain, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, HE communicated first to Matthew, John, and the Apostle Paul. In 1964, HE communicated to me, and there were many others in between Biblical times and now. In other words, GOD has sought all the rams, the leaders of HIS family, sending them to seek out the sheep that in the future will be the final saved ones, those who will spend eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven with GOD the FATHER, CHRIST, HIS first begotten SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT.
CHRIST instructs HIS disciples, all of us, to seek others to be HIS disciples so they will do the same.2 This HE does in Matthew 28:18-20 with the following words: “All power is given unto ME in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them [fully submerged in water3] in the name of the FATHER, and of the SON, and of the HOLY SPIRIT: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” This is CHRIST seeking man, not man seeking GOD. Man seeking GOD is “religion,” but when GOD seeks man, it is “salvation.”
All religions require that unsaved men seek GOD, or who they might think to be GOD. What is religion? Religion is man’s belief in and reverence for what he might think to be GOD. It is in man’s consciousness that there is a god of some kind, but they have no idea of the one true GOD. This is why JESUS, in Matthew 28:19, told HIS disciples then, and all of HIS disciples to this very day, “Go ye therefore, and TEACH ALL NATIONS [who the real GOD is that they are to worship, and that they are only to worship and serve HIM], baptizing them [fully submerged in water] in the name of the FATHER, and of the SON, and of the HOLY SPIRIT.”
To enter Heaven, we must be perfect.4 We can be perfect because GOD commands us to be perfect, and GOD never commands us to be anything that is impossible for us to be.5 JESUS says in Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your FATHER which is in Heaven is perfect.” If we’re walking in the HOLY SPIRIT, we are perfect. Romans 8:1-2 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation [no Hell, no Lake of Fire] to them which are in CHRIST JESUS, who walk not after the flesh, but after the SPIRIT. For the law of the SPIRIT of LIFE in CHRIST JESUS hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Notice that this scripture does not say we can be free from the moral law. We can only be free from the law of sin and death. The law of sin and death says that if we break the moral law after we have been born again of the SPIRIT, there remains no more sacrifice (forgiveness) for sins.
Hebrews 10:26-31 says it this way: “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries [the enemies of GOD]. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the SON of GOD, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the SPIRIT of grace? For we know HIM that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto ME, I will recompense, saith the LORD. And again, The LORD shall judge HIS people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living GOD.” This is why the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.6 We are to do what HE says, to stay out of religions, and to be born again of the SPIRIT. This is understanding what HE wants from us, and the fear of the LORD is understanding.
In John 3:5, JESUS told Nicodemus he MUST be born of the SPIRIT. JESUS never said that you must join some kind of religion. Believing in CHRIST is not at all like any type of religion. Again, believing in CHRIST is GOD coming to seek man, desiring man to serve HIM.
People often ask, “What is the difference between Christianity and religion?” They may ask, “Is Christianity a religion?” To answer this question honestly, I would say Christianity is not a religion. True Christianity is salvation. Although Christianity is considered by the spiritually unenlightened to be one of the five major religions in the world, the fact is that believing in CHRIST is not believing in a religion. We can also explain this by saying that those who truly believe in CHRIST are Christians, not followers of any supposed-to-be Christian religion. Religions, to this date, have a history of being violently against Christianity.
The Roman Catholic Church murdered millions during the three different inquisitions. And they have committed many other murders over the past two thousand years, such as at the Waco massacre, where many children, along with their mothers and fathers, were murdered. These kinds of actions by the Roman Catholic Church continue to this very day.
We can look back on the Spanish Inquisition, as well as many other atrocities committed by the Vatican. This includes the six million Jews they murdered in Auschwitz and in other Nazi concentration camps. The current war against Christianity is coming from the Vatican.7 Many of us have had hundreds of millions of dollars of our properties taken away from us, and many of us who are true born-again Christians are serving lifetimes in prisons on false charges because of the Catholic religion. I’m not talking about the little old Catholic moms and dads that attend Roman Catholic Church cults. They are as ignorant of these facts as are the rest of the population of this present world. Nevertheless, what I’m saying is true.
While the Catholic and Lutheran bells were ringing in Poland, millions of innocent people were being put to death in German gas chambers and ovens, then bulldozed into large pits (mass graves). Some, I’ve been told, were still alive. The watchers saw it all, and the watchers heard it all.8 GOD saw it all, and GOD heard it all.9 Thank GOD for Judgment Day, which is soon to come.10
Luke chapter 12, verses 1-5 say, “In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, HE [JESUS] began to say unto HIS disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees [the religious Jews], which is hypocrisy [sin]. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light [by the watchers and GOD]; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. And I say unto you MY friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear HIM, which after HE hath killed hath power to cast into Hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear HIM [GOD ALMIGHTY].”
GOD came to Adam, who didn’t know what to do. GOD told him to eat from the tree of LIFE to live forever, but instead he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, from which GOD told him not to eat.11 Again, GOD came to Adam with the knowledge of salvation, but Adam preferred Satan’s religion (knowledge). GOD also comes to the entire world, including you, with the knowledge of salvation, but like ticks which cling to the skin of animals and people, you more than likely will cling to some Satanic religion, won’t you?
GOD came to Seth with the knowledge of salvation, and Seth began to worship GOD. Then GOD came to Enoch, who walked with GOD, and GOD took him into Heaven to be with HIM.12 Then GOD came to Noah.13 Noah didn’t come to GOD, nor did any of the others. GOD came to them. Abraham was an idol worshipper, a member of a religion, but GOD came to him. Abraham didn’t come to GOD.14 Moses didn’t come to GOD; GOD appeared, and came to Moses.15 GOD came to hundreds of others, such as the disciples. HE came to the Apostle Paul, a religionist, causing him to be saved.16 Paul became useful to GOD in his salvation, fighting a good fight against the powers of darkness, which also involved his writing approximately two-thirds of the entire New Testament. All these were involved in true salvation.
In Daniel, the three Hebrew children (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) were all cast into the fiery furnace because they would not worship the king’s golden idol—because they refused to belong to the king’s religion.17 “The fire had no power [over their bodies], nor was a hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the GOD of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent HIS angel, and delivered HIS servants that trusted in HIM, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god [any religion], except their own GOD” (Daniel 3:27-28). In the New Testament, the Apostle John weathered a similar experience. He was boiled in oil and wasn’t burned. Nor did he die from the boiling.
It is wonderful that throughout the entire Bible, whenever a person has contact with GOD, it is always because GOD has contacted him first. GOD also came to find Job first, and then Job served HIM. There is no case in the Bible where a person served GOD because he first had the thought of serving GOD. The entire Bible speaks only of GOD coming to find man. One day, Isaiah saw a vision, and heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for US? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8). After seeing a vision, Jeremiah rose up to prophesy to the Israelites the words that JEHOVAH had commanded him to say (Jeremiah 1:4-19). Daniel also saw a vision before he rose up to fast and pray, beseeching JEHOVAH to restore Jerusalem (Daniel chapters 7-9). The entire Bible shows that GOD first comes to man before man serves GOD.
GOD is contacting you through myself and other saved pastors and evangelists, so you have no excuse. The SPIRIT of GOD, living and working in and through us who are saved, is after you to contact you, not for a religion, but for your salvation and the salvation of others.
Romans 10:12-15 plainly states that preachers sent from GOD must be sent to the world in order for people to believe for salvation in these words: “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek [Gentile]: for the same LORD over all is rich unto all that call upon HIM. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved. How then shall they call on HIM in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in HIM of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Again, JESUS has sent us to you. GOD is seeking you; you are not seeking GOD. This fact is illustrated to you in Luke chapter 10, verses 1-12, which say, “After these things the LORD appointed other seventy [disciples] also, and sent them two and two before HIS face into every city and place, whither HE HIMSELF would come. Therefore said HE unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the LORD of the harvest, that HE would send forth labourers into HIS harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the SON of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of GOD is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of GOD is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.”
Those who believe in a religion take the initiative to serve what they think is a god, while those who believe in CHRIST serve GOD after they have been prompted and touched by GOD. For this reason, I say that one should not be in a hurry to serve a god that is a fiction, to serve a mere religion. We serve GOD only when HE, by HIS SPIRIT, is within us.18 If we serve GOD without GOD first living in us, we are into religion rather than into salvation. Figuratively speaking, many people today hang the sign “Christian” outside, but inside they are engaging in a religious enterprise. They are Christians in their own minds, but in reality they are only religious.
What is it to be a Christian? A Christian is one who has CHRIST living and working in him by the SPIRIT, and is moved by the HOLY SPIRIT to serve GOD.19 A religious person, on the other hand, is one who believes he is serving a god and desiring to do what he thinks his god would want him to do. This is the situation of many professing Christians today. They are professing Christianity, but they are not born again. They’re not saved, so they don’t know CHRIST, and they have no idea of how to serve HIM. They cannot follow CHRIST because they cannot hear HIM.20 Therefore, they are self-willed, and the real GOD cannot use them. They are useless. However, in the experience of genuine Christians, the LORD is the ONE who guides them in everything. They simply say, “Yes. Amen.” The LORD is their guide and their GOD. This is completely different from the way of religious people.
After the Apostle Paul met the LORD on the road to Damascus, the first words he spoke were, “Who art THOU, LORD?” (Paul knew it was the LORD, or he never would have asked, “Who art THOU, LORD?”) The LORD then told him, “I am JESUS whom thou persecutest [when anyone persecutes the members of CHRIST’S church, they are persecuting CHRIST. This is because we are HIS body, HIS temple, the Body of CHRIST].” First Corinthians 3:16-17 tells us, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of GOD, and that the SPIRIT of GOD dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of GOD [the LORD’S body, which we are], him shall GOD destroy; for the temple of GOD is Holy, which temple ye are.” It’s Holy because you are not following a dead religion, one in which CHRIST with the FATHER by the SPIRIT does not live, but you are saved, a born-again Christian. CHRIST by the FATHER, by the SPIRIT, does live in you who, if you are saved, are the temple of GOD. This is why the BODY that GOD lives in is Holy, and the body that GOD does not live in is not Holy but unholy. You will surely want to be Holy more than anything when you are at the Judgment Bar of GOD.
The world is full of distractions and diversions. These are Satan’s distractions, causing your mind to be misdirected from the only important thing in the universe, which is keeping your soul in the service of GOD and keeping CHRIST with HIS FATHER living in you. “Cease you from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Isaiah 2:22).
Your choice is this: do you want to be GOD’S Holy BODY, or do you want to be just another unholy body wherein Satan dwells? If your choice is to become the BODY of CHRIST, say this prayer:
My LORD and my GOD, have mercy upon my soul, a sinner. 1 I believe that JESUS CHRIST is the SON of the living GOD. 2 I believe that HE died on the cross and shed HIS precious blood for the forgiveness of all my former sins. 3 I believe that GOD raised JESUS from the dead by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT 4 and that HE sits on the right hand of GOD at this moment, hearing my confession of sin and this prayer. 5 I open up the door of my heart, and I invite YOU into my heart, LORD JESUS. 6 Wash all of my filthy sins away in the precious blood that YOU shed in my place on the cross at Calvary. 7 YOU will not turn me away, LORD JESUS; YOU will forgive my sins and save my soul. I know because YOUR WORD, the Bible, says so. 8 YOUR WORD says that YOU will turn no one away, and that includes me. 9 Therefore, I know that YOU have heard me, and I know that YOU have answered me, and I know that I am saved. 10 And I thank YOU, LORD JESUS, for saving my soul, and I will show my thankfulness by doing as YOU command and sin no more.11
Now that you are saved, serve GOD with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).12 Be baptized, fully submerged in water, in the name of the FATHER, of the SON, and of the HOLY SPIRIT.13 Diligently study the King James Version Bible and do what it says till the day you die.14
Then, as JESUS commands, be a soul-winner. You can do this by becoming a distributor of Pastor Alamo’s literature. We print Pastor Alamo’s literature in many languages, and we ship it all over the world free of charge. We spend millions of dollars on paper and shipping, so we need your prayers and financial help.
If you want the world saved, as JESUS commands, then don’t rob GOD of HIS tithes and offerings. GOD said, “Will [you] rob GOD? Yet ye have robbed ME. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed THEE? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed ME, even this whole nation [and this whole world]. Bring ye all the tithes [a ‘tithe’ is 10% of your gross income] into the storehouse, that there may be meat [Spiritual food] in MINE house [souls saved], and prove ME now herewith, saith the LORD of HOSTS, if I will not open you the windows of Heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of HOSTS. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of HOSTS” (Malachi 3:8-12).
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THIS LITERATURE CARRIES THE TRUE PLAN OF SALVATION (Acts 4:12).
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The Difference Between Salvation and Religion footnotes:
1. Isa. 1:11-16, 29:13-14, Jer. 7:8-11, 23:33-40, Ezek. 13:1-23, Mic. 3:11, Matt. 6:5, 7-8, 7:21-23, 15:7-9, 21:28-32, 23:1-37, Luke 6:46, 18:10-14, John 5:40, 6:35-58, 10:1-15, 14:6, 15:2, 2 Tim. 3:1-7, Titus 1:16, James 2:19 return
5.Gen. 17:1, Lev. 11:44-45, 19:2, 20:26, Deut. 18:13, 1 Kings 8:61, Psa. 15:1-5, 24:3-5, 119:1-3, John 17:17-23, Rom. 6:4-14, 8:1:14, 37, 2 Cor. 6:14-17, 13:11, Gal. 5:16, Eph. 4:11-13, 5:25-27, 6:10-18, Phlp. 1:9-11, 2:12-15, 3:12-14, 4:13, Col. 1:10-11, 21-22, 1 Thes. 4:6-7, 1 Tim. 6:11-14, 2 Tim. 3:16-17, Heb. 2:18, 12:14, 13:20-21, James 1:4, 27, 1 Pet. 1:15-16, 5:8-10, 1 John 2:14, 3:5-10, 4:4, Rev. 3:1-5, 7:13-15 return
10. Eccl. 12:13-14, Dan. 7:9-10, Matt. 3:12, 24:3-15, 29-44, Mark 4:22, Rom. 2:5-13, 16, 14:10-12, 2 Cor. 5:10-11, 2 Thes. 1:7-10, 2 Tim. 4:1, 8, Heb. 10:30-31, Jude 14-15, Rev. 1:7, 11:18, 20:11-15 return
18. Ezek. 36:27, John 14:15-20, 23, 26, 15:1-11, 26, 16:7-14, Rom. 8:1, 10-11, 26-28, 1 Cor. 3:9, 16-17, 6:19-20, 2 Cor. 6:16-18, Eph. 2:18-22, Phlp. 2:12-13, Col. 1:27-29, 2 Tim. 1:14, 1 John 4:4, 5:12 return
1. Psa. 51:5, Rom. 3:10-12, 23 return
2. Matt. 26:63-64, 27:54, Luke 1:30-33, John 9:35-37, Rom. 1:3-4 return
3. Acts 4:12, 20:28, Rom. 3:25, I John 1:7, Rev. 5:9 return
4. Psa. 16:9-10, Matt. 28:5-7, Mark 16:9, 12, 14, John 2:19, 21, 10:17-18, 11:25, Acts 2:24, 3:15, Rom. 8:11, I Cor. 15:3-7 return
5. Luke 22:69, Acts 2:25-36, Heb. 10:12-13 return
6. I Cor. 3:16, Rev. 3:20 return
7. Eph. 2:13-22, Heb. 9:22, 13:12, 20-21, I John 1:7, Rev. 1:5, 7:14 return
8. Matt. 26:28, Acts 2:21, 4:12, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14 return
9. Matt. 21:22, John 6:35, 37-40, Rom. 10:13 return
10. Heb. 11:6 return
11. John 5:14, 8:11, Rom. 6:4, I Cor. 15:10, Rev. 7:14, 22:14 return
12. Deut. 4:29, 6:5, 10:12, 11:13, 13:3-4, 26:16, 30:6, Josh. 22:5, Matt. 22:37-40, Mark 12:29-31, Luke 10:27 return
13. Matt. 28:18-20, John 3:5, Acts 2:38, 19:3-5, Rom. 6:3-5, Col. 2:10-12 return
14. Deut. 4:29, 13:4, 26:16, Josh. 1:8, 22:5, 2 Tim. 2:15, 3:14-17, James 1:22-25, Rev. 3:18 return