February 27, 2009
(Matt 23:23) says “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint, anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not leave the others undone.”
The fifth woe Jesus shares with the multitudes and disciples is the Woe of an outward show. Thus, the Pharisees thought that if they paid their tithes they were in fact honoring God. But the fact is that we can pay our tithes faithfully and still bust hell wide open. There is no doubt that tithing is a part of kingdom living; however, if we are tithing as a show of the flesh it profits us nothing in heaven. If we are tithing to be seen by men it profits us nothing in heaven; if we are tithing and our hearts are not right with God it profits us nothing in heaven. Hence, the Pharisees were good tithers but they forgot about the other things which were foundational to kingdom living…such as judgment, mercy and faith. Further saints, God is not going to allow us to have a place in heaven living half way right because He requires that we live the whole word, and when we mess up we have a way of returning back to God called repentance. The outward show may take us lots of places on earth but eventually we are going to have to stand before a holy God that sees not as man sees: for man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. Thus, what matters to God is the inner man because whatever man is on the inside will eventually manifest itself outwardly. But the Pharisees knew how to wear the mask. Let us be true to God as well as ourselves.
God Bless You
February 26, 2009
Matt 23:16) “Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!”
This woe which the Lord shared with the religious leaders of his time was a Woe of false vows. Thus, the Pharisees held that that they were not responsible to pay vows sworn by the temple or the altar (v17-19); but Jesus held that all vows must be paid and that the temple was greater than the parts of its materials and the altar was greater than the gift upon it. Thus, to put it in words that we can all understand, if we make a vow to God then we are expected to fulfill that vow. It’s better not to make a vow to God than to make it and not keep it. The Pharisees were more concerned about their material things and their heartless gifts than the things that were really important to God like keeping your word and obedience to God. Thus, as Christians today we really need to examine our life and the things which come out of our mouths because people will hold us accountable for those things whether we know it or not. Also, we need to be concerned about the things that really matter to God than all these superficial things. The things that matter to God are things like integrity, honesty, obedience and love. One of the things that’s most intriguing concerning the religious leaders of that day is that they only seem to love themselves, and if we only love ourselves we will never be able to lead God’s people in a Godly manner.
God Bless You
February 25, 2009
The third woe Jesus announces upon the Pharisees was the woe of lost souls. (Matt 23:15) says “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”
Jesus doesn’t criticize the Pharisees for their zeal because they would go anywhere and do what it took to convert one to their religious movement or their way of thinking. However, he had a problem with the final outcome of many of those converts. The new converts would be even more zealous about the Pharisees religion than the Pharisees themselves; thus, making them even more a casualty of hell. That’s why this “woe” is termed the woe of the lost soul. New converts would be so excited about their new life in this new religion that they would go even further with it than the Pharisees themselves. As a result they would out Pharisee the Pharisee. And that is one of the dangers with false teachings; often the teacher himself doesn’t believe in his own doctrine as much as the one being taught; hence we continue to see Jesus use the word hypocrite! Thus, Jesus concern was for the many in this religion that were on their way to hell behind believing and receiving false teachings. Thus, we who are believers in Christ Jesus today must really understand why we believe what we believe, and not allow ourselves to be spoon fed by anyone without going to the word of God for ourselves. Because at the end of the day, none of us who say we believe in Christ Jesus want to die and go to hell because we misinterpreted or misunderstood any part of the Gospel that could hinder us from making it in.
God Bless You.
February 24, 2009
The second woe which Jesus shared with the religious leaders of his day was the woe of oppression. (Matt 23:14) says “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” Thus, this woe of oppression was meant to keep people down. It was meant to keep people under their authority through religion and rituals, but not through faith in Jesus Christ; and when you start robbing widows of their property as many of these leaders did in that day oppression is not far away. Not only did these religious leaders take property that didn’t belong to them but they also would spend as much as nine hours a day in prayer. Thus, Jesus told them they would receive the greater damnation because they stood as teachers of the law during that time. In fact, they professed to be the mouthpiece of God in that day. Thus, those of us who are ministers of the Gospel (mouthpiece of God) must be very careful not to oppress the people through hypocritical living or teaching that doesn’t line up with the word because we too will receive the greater damnation.
God Bless You
February 23, 2009
During the time which Jesus walked the earth he spoke eight woes to the Pharisees who were the religious leaders of that time. And anytime God uses the word “Woe” he is announcing deep sorrow, grief or affliction upon those whom He is speaking to. And although Jesus spoke them thousands of years ago those eight woes are still alive and well today. In fact, those of us who are believers need to be careful that we don’t find ourselves operating in these woes today. Because whether we carry a title or not in the body of Christ we still have a leadership role because when we tell someone we are a Christian we will be watched from that point forward and our life will lead and speak to those whom we have shared our faith with. Thus, over the next week or so we will look into the eight woes or warnings that Jesus shared with the Pharisees. The first woe is found in (Matt 23:13) Jesus says “But woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye that are entering to go in.” Thus, I term this first woe (the antagonism of God). To operate in the spirit of antagonism is to become an enemy of God, or an opposing force. Thus, the Lord called them hypocrites, in that they said one thing and lived another. Not only did the Pharisees not make it into heaven but they taught their doctrine in such a way that even the new converts themselves missed heaven because of this false teaching. Though the Pharisees had some understanding of what it took to get to heaven they refused to teach it. Thus, causing enmity and hostility between themselves and Jesus; never let it be said about us today that we as Christian leaders are operating in the spirit of antagonism. As Christian leaders we never ever want to bring about enmity or hostility between us and God, but to teach false doctrine to God’s people and cause them to miss heaven will open the door for that.
God Bless You
February 20, 2009
As Jeroboam began to reign as king over Israel he instituted the practice of idolatrous worship. This worship of idols came about for at least two main reasons and they were that he might live and hold on to the base of his power (or remain King of Israel). Thus, the king took counsel and made two calves of gold and set them up in Bethel and Dan so that the people wouldn’t go to Jerusalem and worship. In fact, he said in (1 Kings 12:26-27) “Now shall the Kingdom return to the house of David If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me and go again unto Rehoboam king of Judah.” Hence, politics and religion have no place in the church because a politician will say or do anything to hold onto his office. The thing which should concern us with Jeroboam is that he was willing to sacrifice any relationship that he or his people had with God for the benefit of his own power base. Saints of God, if God has put us in a position in the body of Christ we won’t have to campaign for it, lie for it, or even cheat for it; and we certainly won’t have to destroy someone else’s relationship with God in order to hold onto it. Because what God gives no man can take it away. Thus, I’m not saying all politicians are bad; however, most of them will lie to stay in power. And Jeroboam seems to be much more of a politician than he was a man of God. His leadership style seems to be much more about himself and what he wanted than the people he was supposed to serve. Sounds like a lot of politicians today don’t it? Thus, saints let’s keep God in the church and politics out because if we don’t we could all end up with leaders like Jeroboam.
God Bless You
February 19, 2009
All of us were born in sin, and because of that sin, all of us did some stupid things growing up. All of us did some things out of self will, pride and ignorance that even to this day we are not very proud of. In fact, if it wasn’t for us receiving Jesus Christ as Lord many of us would still find ourselves involved in foolish things. However, it’s not how we start out that matters it’s how we finish; and we must finish well, because he that endures to the end the same shall be saved. (Prov. 19:20) says “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” Many people seem to think that as we get older we get wiser but that’s hardly the case because there are a whole lot of 31 year olds walking around who still act as if they are 13. King Solomon’s seemed to be more concerned about how we grow and become what God would have us to be throughout our life as we received counsel and instruction, than he was about how we start out. As Christians we know the best way to start is with the life giver Jesus Christ who has the ability to change our lives if we are willing to receive counsel and instruction from the word of God. Saints of God, all of life’s answers is in the word of God. Every solution to the problems we face as a people is in the word of God. Thus, at the end of the day maybe we didn’t get off on the right foot in life; maybe we didn’t get off on the right foot with God but the good news is we don’t have to stay that way because the Lord desires for us all to grow and become wiser each day until we hear him say “well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.”
God Bless You