A great tragedy is happening today in the name of religion—cruelty, punishment, war, genocide. Of course this has happened before, but it is shocking to see it in one’s own time, in the name of religions that are supposed to promote peace, forgiveness, compassion and understanding.

What we have here is religion without soul, religion without real conscience. Not social conscience, not what your culture has taught you about what is right and wrong, but what God has put within you to know what is right or wrong.

In the New Message for the world, this deeper conscience is called Knowledge because it is related to the experience of direct knowing. Your deeper conscience produces this experience for you, despite your religious views or your rejection of religion altogether, despite your judgment against other peoples of other faiths. Whether you be with religion or not with religion, Knowledge lives within you because it is what God has put within you to guide you, to protect you and, if you are able to recognize it and follow it, to lead you to a life of greater service in the world.

Religion without soul…many people are embittered about religion because all that has been done to corrupt religion, to misuse religion, to use it as a weapon of war or punishment, all of these things are an abomination to God. For God’s New Revelation to the world does not hold that punishment or execution in the name of religion is just or appropriate. In fact, the New Message calls it an abomination, an abomination to God. This means there are no holy wars or holy warriors. This means that you do not attack, punish or kill people in the name of God or religion. For this is an abomination. This is religion without soul.

Religion based only upon belief, upon tradition, upon ideology, is religion without soul, or what I would say: religion without Knowledge. That is why in God’s New Message for the world, Knowledge is the centerpiece of its teaching, and while it speaks on nearly every subject of importance to humanity, Knowledge is the hub of the wheel because Knowledge is what gives you the eyes to see and the ears to hear. Knowledge is what holds for you your greater purpose and destiny in the world and the recognition of those people who will play the most important role in your life as you go forward.

Knowledge is the most important ingredient, not only to religion, but also to life, for without it you are driven by social conditioning, by religious conditioning, by the control and manipulation of others and by your own fear and prejudices—all the things that can dominate a person’s mind and behavior.

A life without Knowledge is really tragic, whether you are rich or poor, because it is dominated by fear and greed and judgment. But religion without Knowledge is particularly painful because it contradicts the very essence and purpose of religion, which is to bring you into greater alignment with the Presence and the Will of God as God is working through you, through this deeper Knowledge that I speak of.

Religion with Knowledge means that your conscience is more important than your belief. It means that you have to follow what God has put within you to know what is true or what is false, even if it flies in the face of your beliefs or the belief of your family or your culture or your tradition if you have one. It means you are guided from within rather than from without.

But to find this Knowledge within you and to learn how to discern it from the other forces in your mind requires a very important kind of preparation, a preparation that ultimately must be given by God. In God’s New Message to the world, this preparation has been provided through the Steps to Knowledge training—a preparation that is free and available to all people in the world today. Given in the simplest terms but with tremendous depth and power, this preparation can be easily translated into other languages, and it carries with it not only tremendous depth and wisdom, but the Power and the Will of the Creator.

I ask you not to believe this, but to experience it for yourself. For when you engage with this preparation, you will know that it could not have come from a person and that its intent is wholly beneficial, born of Grace and Wisdom.

This is to restore soul to religion and soul to everyone, whether they be religious or not. For in the end, God does not care what your religious belief is. God only cares that you reunite with the power and the conscience that God has put within you—this deeper conscience I call Knowledge.

Come to understand this and you will have the heart to forgive those who err in the name of religion. You will have the ability to understand what leads people to use religion as a weapon of war or revenge, or as a vehicle for gaining power. You will see clearly without condemnation. You will understand what is true and what is not true, what is real, what is not real, what is blessed and what is not blessed.

I call upon you to gain this strength and recognition within yourself and to come to return soul, or Knowledge, to your life and to your understanding of religion, and if you practice your religious faith and your religious tradition, to bring soul into it. For what God has put within you to follow is more important than what the world tells you you must follow, or what your mosque or temple or church emphasizes you must follow.

This is the revolution in thinking. This is what it means to follow the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to have Grace in your life, as you take the many steps it will take to learn to recognize and to follow the voice that God has put within you to recognize and to follow.

May the blessing be with you. And may the power of soul, the grace of soul and the meaning of soul be restored to the human family as it enters its most difficult time, the great times to come. For the blessing now is upon the world through God’s New Revelation, which brings clarity and purpose and meaning to all things religious, which honors all the world’s religions and emphasizes what is within them that is pure and consistent. For they are all born of God, and they have all been changed by man.

May Knowledge guide and bless you and may soul return to religion, for when this happens, religious violence will be no more.