Posts Tagged ‘modern pharisees’

There is a series of online videos out from Lionandlamb ministries, stating that the Pharisees in Jesus’ Day were all members of a secret society which today is called Cabala. While at first glance this seems to be a convincing argument (and the author of the videos states it with an effort to make it come across as fact, rather than a theory), and it does seem to make sense in the light of such dreaded Scriptures as John 8:44, where Jesus tells them openly, “Ye are of your father, the devil…,” or many others where He blasts the Pharisees, about which many theologians argue that Jesus couldn’t have possibly said or meant that…

After all, He was talking to Jews, and the Jews are God’s people, right?

While I don’t doubt that members of occult secret societies may had infiltrated the governing body of Jewish religious establishment of those days, just as they have allegedly (and obviously) infiltrated today’s established religion, I see a few problems with that theory.

First of all, we have members of the Sanhedrin, Pharisees, who believed in Jesus, even if they had to do so secretly¸ like Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night in John 3, or Gamaliel, who defended the disciples before the Sanhedrin in Acts. Certainly they weren’t Satanists.

Secondly, labeling the Pharisees as members of a secret satanic society creates a comfortable gap between them and us. After all, we don’t belong to a satanic society, so we’ve got nothing to do with those satanic people who were responsible for Jesus’ death. No, we’re the good ones, and they were the bad ones.

I’m afraid that won’t do.

In my own personal experience, today’s established religionists are a lot more like the Pharisees than they would like to believe.

Let’s have a look from the Pharisees’ point of view in the days of the apostles: here was this strange, new, dangerous sect emerging, with scary new doctrines that threatened to overthrow all their good old traditions, and the way they had believed and practiced religion for so long.

How many people attending church do you know who would react differently to that kind of threat, nowadays, than the Pharisees did to Jesus and the Early Christians?

It’s easy to say, “Well, they were of the Devil and belonged to a satanic sect,” now, 2000 years after it happened and there’s no proof whatsoever to back up that theory.

It’s a lot harder to say, “Hmmm, looks like the Pharisees had a definite problem with self-righteousness, and they were quite stuck in their old religious rut, they thought they knew better than God as to who and what kind of people He would use.” Because that sounds a lot more familiar and closer to home, doesn’t it?

The theory also takes any guilt from the general Jewish population of that day, by creating a separation between them and their “satanic” rulers. But you can’t tell me that it was just a few members of a secret society yelling “Crucify Him!” and “Free Barabbas!” before Pilate (see also Mt.27:25).

Many people seem to forget that God has made a new Covenant with man, a covenant of the spirit, not of flesh, and that “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly” (carnally, physically), “but he who is one inwardly…in the spirit” (Romans 2:28, 29).

“By their fruits ye shall know them.”

Maybe a whole lot more people than we think are going to turn out to have believed the wrong things, no matter how convinced they may be that they are in the right, just like the Pharisees were, and maybe a whole lot more of us will turn out to have sided with the wrong guys, opposing and oppressing those who look a lot more like little David with his slingshot confronting Goliath than the guys we’re siding with.

Not all Palestinians are terrorists, nor are all Muslims terrorists. In fact, there used to be more Christians among the Palestinian population than among the rest of the population of Israel, and there probably still are, except that we never hear much of their side of the story these days. Not much of anything gets through that wall the Israelis have built in order to keep out the undesired elements.

I really wonder how God would look on all these things.

And from the way I know Him, I think many of us are in for some huge surprises.

The truth, ladies & gentlemen, is and has always been terribly unpopular in a world run by the father of lies, even – or should I say, especially – in the circles of established religion.

Sin is a lot closer to home than many of us have the guts to admit to ourselves.

It doesn’t take a secret satanic society to oppose the true Messiah and His strange new sect.

All it takes is some damn clever lies of the Devil, and from what I can tell, those are more abundant than they ever were.

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posted Dec.1, 2007

If you type “leaven of the Pharisees” in your google bar, you’ll come up with nearly as many results and definitions of the term, as there are denominations and churches. For the fundamentalist hardliners, the Pharisees of today are represented by the catholic church, whose members, again, have their own definitions.

I find the leaven of the Scribes and Pharisees to be much closer to home than the other side, the other denomination. The leaven of the Pharisees is a sin we have all committed, especially the most righteous among us. It is the sin that nailed our Savior to the cross: Self-righteousness.

It’s the audacity of thinking we have the right to judge another, blatantly defing Jesus’ own commandment He gave us to “judge not that ye be not judged” (Matth.7:1). But we go ahead and do it anyway. We go around and call others “fornicators” and “adulterers” because they live together “in sin” without a marriage license.

We go around and tell others the Satanic lie that they can lose their Salvation if they don’t watch out and stop sinning, quoting the only verse most Christians ever memorize on Salvation (Phil.2:12): “Work out thine own Salvation in fear and trembling” (Ahhh, it feels so good to cause others to feeeaaaar and trrrremmmmble, doesn’t it? – So who’s the pervert here?)…. Of course, totally ignoring the dozens of Scriptures that make it quite plain that Salvation is a gift of grace, only to be obtained through faith, and without works whatseoever. What Paul was referring to in the verse above, is what we make out of our Salvation in this life, and what kind of a life we build on the foundation of the new life in Christ. But our eternal Salvation is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8,9), and if God is Love (1John 4:8), then He won’t jerk that gift away from His child everytime he sins.

Besides, sinning is something we all do a lot more often than we like to admit. Those self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees of today are just trying to make it easier on themselves by re-defining sin: you are a sinner because you’re not married, and I’m not, because I go to church on Sundays and have a marriage license. According to Jesus, everyone who even so much as looks at a woman and desires her in his heart, has already committed adultery (Mt.5:28). Now, the only sort of (male) people I know of who can withstand that natural urge God built into a healthy man’s system, are homosexuals.

Selected Scriptures About the Pharisees:

Mt.5:20 You’ve got to be better than those who are think they are good, if you want to go to Heaven.

Mt.12:14 (It was the Pharisees who were responsible for Jesus’ death, not the Romans, nor the publicans and sinners, prostitutes and adulterers!);

Mt.12:34 When the Pharisees accuse Jesus of casting out demons through the Devil’s power, He winds up calling them a “generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?”

Mt.12:39 He also calls them an “evil and adulterous generation.” Funny, because it was usually the Pharisees that point their fingers at adulterers (as they still do!). What is Jesus trying to tell these people? Perhaps the same thing Paul was trying to tell them in Romans 2:1, that they become guilty of the same things they judge others of? Maybe the spiritual adultery they commit with the gods of this world (materialism, power and prestige) and with the spirits of the Devil (pride, self-righteousness, etc.) are much worse in God’s eyes than the mere “sins” of the flesh?

Mt.15:3 Here Jesus replies to their accusation of having broken one of the formalities of Jewish law by asking them, “Why do you break the law of God by your tradition?” What IS the law of God? In Mt.22:36-40 Jesus makes it plain that the law of God is LOVE, and all the other little laws are fulfilled in that one. In other words, the traditions of both Scribes and Pharisees of yesterday and of their self-righteous followers of today are breaking God’s true law!

Mt.15:5 He goes on to say that they are making the law of God of none effect by their traditions. Why is it that you find anything but love in those churches? (John 13:35).

Mt.15:8 They’re always praising God with their lips in their church services, but then treat their fellow humans with the very self-righteousness of the Devil, oblivious to the fact that they are putting God at the same distance from their heart to which they exiled that sinner they judge.

Mt.15:9 Such worship is empty and vain in God’s eyes. They’re replacing God’s law of Love with their own man-made rules: “Thou shalt not this and thou shalt not that, and thou shalt not the other,” instead of “Thou shalt love!”

Mt.15:14 They’re blind guides (thinking they see – John 9:41), destined for a hard landing.

Mt.16:6 Beware of the leaven of Self-righteousness!

Mt.21:23-46 Jesus responds to their questioning His authority by a parable in which he exposes their plan to kill Him and announces that the Kingdom will be torn away from them and given to a nation that would bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom. Instead of self-righteously judging lonely people, they ought to win their souls to Christ and bring forth fruit for the Kingdom, instead of chasing them in the other direction!

Mt.23 – A whole chapter full of advice from Jesus to both His disciples and the multitudes about the Pharisees, which He probably knew were going to be around for as long as the Devil himself:

verse 3: You can listen to their sermons, but don’t follow their sample! They don’t practice what they preach!

Verse 4: they burden you with rules that they wouldn’t even think of keeping themselves.

Verse 13: Woe unto you Pharisees! You won’t allow others to go to Heaven, and you won’t go there yourselves!

Verse 14-16: Woe! Woe! Woe!

Verse 23: Woe unto you: Keeping your little traditions, you have omitted the weightier things of the law: (true) judgment, mercy and faith!

Verse 25: Woe unto the hypocrites! All clean on the outside (pretence) and all filthy on the inside (in God’s eyes)!

Verse 28: Appearing righteous, they’re really full of hypocrisy and sin.

Verse 33: Doesn’t look like they’re going where we’re going.

Verse 34: The Pharisees ceased to exist after the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, only 40 years after Jesus said this. So, who is He talking to? Who are the prophets and wise men and wiriters they keep persecuting?

John 8:15-59 Probably the most remarkable conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees recorded in the Bible, during which He plainly tells them, “Ye are of your father, the Devil,” which causes them to try to stone him.

John 9 – A chapter describing the pitiful dilemma with the Pharisees: no matter what good you will do, they will never recognize it unless you play the game according to their rules, the only standard they accept is their own, and the only world they see is their own. According to Jesus, they see nothing at all.

John 11:53 They kill the love, they kill God’s gift of love, they kill…

Acts 7:51-58 … and kill again. The story continues.

Nowadays they may not kill the prophets physically (they probably would, if they could, as the inquisitors and other Christian rulers have done for centuries), but they still spread death through their false doctrines of “eternal insecurity” and fear, that one might lose their Salvation, if they’re not good enough.

And, of course, they can legally exterminate tens of thousands of people who dare to believe otherwise through their practical little instrument called war. Just elect a warmonger for president, and you’ll have those God-darn heathen taken care of big-time.

“Here I am, an empty hallway

Broken windows, rainy nights

I am 1962 and I am ready for a fight

People crying ‘Hallelujah!’

while the bullet leaves the gun

People falling, falling, falling

and I don’t know where they’re falling from.”

(Jann Arden, “Unloved”)

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