Characteristics of the Pharisees(2).!!!
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’  Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’  Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gifts? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone…… Matthew 23: 13-23 
In our previous study, we began to look at the Characteristics that makes up the Pharisees and what a True Disciple of the Lord should be in the Midst of the numerous Pharisees that surrounds Him or Her. Here we shall continue with more Characteristics of the Pharisees. 
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.:This is another Characteristics of the Pharisees that they don’t want others to hear the Truth. And they also discourage others from hearing that Truth as well. They don’t want others to be exposed to the Truth that would set them free for Sins. There are many people like these today who are not interested in a message of Godliness and Yet hinder others from receiving that message also. There is a Curse on such people. Jesus says there is a Woe on them. Jesus spoke like a Prophet and I tell you, when a Prophet speaks, a lot of people will be offended. The prophet were leading people into God’s Kingdom of Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit, but the Pharisees are shutting the Door to such a Life. How do they shut the door? It is by all these legalistic rules and regulations instead of showing them things that would lead them into God’s Kingdom. We need to understand this even today. A legalist, though He appears to be righteous in so many ways is actually closing the door into God’s Kingdom. People who make much and analysis small things and make them bigger than God intended it. Those who emphasizes Prosperity and Tithing confuse those who are seeking to enter God’s Kingdom. They shut the door that leads to a Life of Righteousness and emphasizes Wealth instead. And the only reason for this is that they themselves are not interested in a Godly life. They are not interested in a life of righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit, so anyone who is seeking for such life is  prevented by them. Read the new testament and count how many times the Holy spirit recorded Prosperity. Maybe Just once or twice. First in 3 John 1:2 which says, ” Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” Also 2 Corinthians 8:9 which says, ” For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich”. These two verses has been over emphasized to the extent that verses that spoke about living a Godly life has been forgotten. And the result is that those who are seeking for the Kingdom of Heaven are shut out by the Preachers because the Preacher Himself is not interested in such a Life. If you find yourself in a church that does not emphasis things that leads You to a Godly life, You are in a wrong place and probably, there may be a Woe on such Church Leaders. 
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.: Another the Pharisees do is that they squeeze money out of widows and helpless people. All in the name of Sowing Seeds. They use their charismatic power as a Preacher on gullible people and get money out of them. And to cover up for this Hypocritical behaviour, they make a Long special prayer for them. God is not interested in your Long prayers if you have not been found Faithful in the area of Money. Those who do such things will face greater condemnation before God. Those who cover up their Sins with Long Prayers will receive greater punishment at the he Judgement seat of Christ.

 

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.: Can You imagine that Pharisees could be Missionaries? They gave up their Jobs in order to serve the Lord and one would think that such people are making such a sacrifice for the sake of God’s Kingdom. But Jesus exposed the Hypocrisy in this Phariseesical missionaries. They travel land and sea to make one convert, but what kind of convert have you made with all their sacrifice? They have made a Convert Just like Themselves. They have made another Pharisee. The Pharisees are bound for Hell but they have made another person double the Son of Hell. Why Is He called Twice the Son of Hell? He was already a Child of Hell before You met Him, but now, even though He is not really converted, you told Him He is. And you have immunize Him from hearing the Gospel again and He becomes double a child of Hell because He imagines He is converted when He is not. He imagines He is on his way to Heaven when He was on his way to Hell. He was safer earlier on when He was on his way to hell and He knew it. But now He is in a more dangerous condition because He is on his way to hell and he thinks He is going to Heaven. There are many people like these in Today’s churches. Because the Preachers says, You should say the “Sinners Prayer”. And You have said it, You now begin to think that is all about Christianity and Yet no fruit of Repentance is coming forth from such life. This is a very dangerous condition to get into. We have to be careful that we are not deceived by Pharisees today who tries to win us only to make us candidates of Hell. We cannot play with people’s Lives. It is a very serious thing to play with people’s lives. If we go out in Jesus name, it is very important that we present the True Gospel and obey what He asked Him to understand. All those who responded to the Gospel Message must be led into Discipleship. For the great commission is that we should go into the world and make Disciples(Matt 28:19).
Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’  Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’  Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gifts? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it: This blind guides were not only Hypocritical but they were also proclaiming their Doctrines to others. They were preaching to others but they were blind guides. They did not have light. Why were they blind? Was it because their Doctrines were wrong? Certainly not!!! Their Doctrines were correct. They were blind because their Doctrines were not backup with their lives. They did not see their need. We must be careful that we don’t end up like these ourselves. Not seeing our own needs and trying to lead others, when we are blind guides. Another thing the Pharisees do is that they love argument over doctrinal issues and they made their own laws which Moses never gave. The Pharisees have got additional traditions which are not in Scripture. And there are people like that today also who have some particular church traditions which is very scared to them. If you don’t keep that, you are not accepted. And that is what Jesus was speaking here. He said, “You blind guides, You don’t understand” If we don’t understand Spiritual truths we are bound to make mistakes and lead others astray. In this particular case, it was in relation to swearing about the Temple or the gifts on the temple. These does not apply to us because Jesus says we are not to swear at all. Let Your Yes be Yes and Your No be No(Matt 5:33-37). But in those days, they swear because most of the time, they told lie. So they have to swear to signify that they were really speaking the Truth at the Moment. And whenever a Man has to Swear, He is actually saying, He is generally a Liar but now He is going to Speak the Truth. But a True Disciple of the Lord is someone that does not need to swear because He has learnt to speak the Truth all the time. Be careful of those that gets into argument over difference between terminologies. If we have the Holy Spirit, it would give us a signal to never to get into an argument. 
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. : Mint and cummin were little things like vegetable that the Pharisees grew in their garden. They were so careful to be exact in the payment of their tithes but they have neglected the more important things. The weightier provisions of the Law such as, being Merciful to others, or Faithfulness in Little things, they were not concern with be righteous and Just in their dealings with others. Even in the Old Covenant, Tithing was not part of the Weightier matters in the law. There are some commandments that are least and great even in the New testament(Matt 5:19). All the commands needs to be kept but it is clear that some are more important than the other. If we keep the small things and ignore the big things, we are Pharisees but that does not mean we keep the big things and ignore the small things. Should we ignore the Small commands like a Woman should veil her head when she prays and don’t call anyone by titles in the Church? Definitely Not. If we do, we will be the least in God’s Kingdom!!! 

 So if Tithing does not even qualify as Weightier Matter in the Old testament, do You think it has significant in the New testament? Because Many people quote this place to defend Tithing principles saying that Jesus says “You Must pay tithe and not neglect it even if it is a Small Matter in the Law” I Laugh when people go to this Verse to defend Tithing. We must never forget that Jesus was speaking to those who were still under the Old Covenant. The New Covenant had not yet been established. Remember Jesus also told the cleansed Leper to show Himself to the priest and offer the necessary sacrifice as Moses commanded(Matt 8:4). Remember also told the Rich Young ruler who was seeking eternal life that the way to get eternal life is to keep the Commandments(Matt 19:16-17). Now do we tell people who are healed to go and offer the sacrifice that Moses Commanded? Do we tell people that the way into eternal life is keeping the Laws? Definitely not!!! But Jesus said it even in the New testament!!! Don’t be Babe in your understanding!!! So Jesus taught those in the Old Covenant to be obedient to the demands of the Laws of Moses. I am 100% sure that even Jesus paid His tithes because God commanded it. But now, the New Covenant has been established. The Holy Spirit has been poured out. Our relationship with God has changed. God is now our Father, we are now children of the Father who owns all the Silver and gold. Everything we have now belongs to Him and not Just 10% of it. Just like Son gives to His Father cheerful, we are to give to God. And only a Wicked Rich Father will send a devourer to the House of His Son because He did not give Him 10% of His income. It is so sad when I hear people painting a wrong Picture of My Heavenly Father. It grieves My Heart So Much that people are still living under a Covenant that was abolished over 2000 years ago. Just like Paul said, “O Foolish Galatians!! Who has bewitched You?(Galatians 3:1)” I also say the same today, “O Foolish Christians!!! Who has bewitched You?” Is it your Pastor or Your own Lust. That’s why your Christian life is so shallow. That’s why You are weary and tired of The Christian Race. You are living under principles that was Abolished 2000 years ago. You are outdated!!! The Choice is yours to Choose. Your Preachers has mixed both old and new for you. He who has ears, Let Him Hear. 
Dear Friend, this is a good time to examine Yourself and see if you are a Pharisee or a True Disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord give us Grace to cleanse ourselves from any attitude of the Pharisees that we find in our lives(Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day. 
#Everyday with Jesus.

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