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Of Pharisees and religious theatrics


It is easy to dress up for the camera and say the right words to the reporter. Think of the many constructive and life-changing contributions on that television show or radio phone-in programme.

Just do a check on mission statements and philosophies and belief systems of people on Facebook and other social network platforms. If you listen to debate at church cell group meetings, women’s fellowship (kuchina), lunch hour talk at work, men’s talk in the pub and boys on the road culvert or at the tower light, you will conclude no one is leading a sinful life.

The “constructive” debate will leave you doubting if there are still any bad people on earth. When everyone was gathered, listen to what Jesus had to say in Luke 12:1: “In the meantime, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”

Ever heard of walking the talk or doing the Word? It is said what you do speaks louder than what you say.

The Pharisees know what to do, but cannot do what they know. They have studied the law because they have theological colleges and seminaries. “Sometimes” their interpretation of Scriptures is correct at least as far as the law of Moses is concerned. What they don’t want is Jesus and the power and manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus says of them in Matthew 23:2-3: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” In simple terms hypocrisy is like acting in a play. In a play whatever character one portrays, one is not forced to live like that in real life.

Pharisees have mastered the art of religious theatrics. They may teach you the right thing but do the opposite. The church and the pulpit therefore become a theatre and when church service is over they return to evil ways.

I cannot exhaust the subject of leaven of the Pharisees in one instalment. If you feel this is of use to you and you want part two, let me know.
Last week we covered the Sadducees, today I will do part of the Pharisees then next week I intend to do the leaven of Herod.

Although these groups had some things in common in their opposition to Jesus, they were not completely the same, the reason I have preferred to study them individually. This will answer many of you who wrote me grouping the sects together.
You would also appreciate that even today cults and religious groups differ in their opposition to the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. I will list some of their characteristics, so that you can gauge for yourself.

Pharisees don’t want anyone to enter the Kingdom of God and access His power. They make one a worse sinner than them. Because they don’t live according to the dictates of the Word, the power of God does not dwell in them and they don’t flow in His anointing. They know for example that if we lay our hands on the sick they will be healed.

However, they have developed a bitter spirit because they have laid their hands on the sick and nothing happened or the sick became worse, or even died.

They are against anyone who God chooses to use. The Amplified Bible says in Matthew 23:13 and 15: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces; for you neither enter yourselves, nor do you allow those who are about to go in to do so. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes one (a proselyte), you make him doubly as much a child of hell (Gehenna) as you are.”

Pharisees coerce you out of the blessing of the Lord. They are comfortable if you stay cursed. They don’t want you to seek divine healing and they teach you not to go with tithes and offerings to the church.

When people receive salvation, deliverance, healing and blessings from God, they say it is the work of Beelzebub. They demand a sign from you to prove that it is the work of God. They see the lame walk, the blind see and the poor getting rich, but they tell you to heal all the sick in hospitals and the disabled in care homes.

They don’t have anything to show for their faith, but demand a sign from those who are leading fruitful ministries. They think they are the custodians of the truth and lie to you that they have your welfare at heart. Beware of Pharisaic religious theatrics! You are going somewhere.

•All Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.

•Feedback: pastor@newgatechapel.org.
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