Today’s Gospel Then Jesus said to them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. – Matthew 16:6 Reflection In what context did the Lord Jesus speak the words? It is written in the Bible, “Which when Jesus perceived, he said to them, O you of little faith, why reason you among yourselves, because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? How is it that you do not understand that I spoke it not to you concerning bread, that you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matthew 16:8-12). The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the high-level people in the church at that time, but why did the Lord Jesus teach His disciples to beware of them? When the Lord Jesus was working, He performed many miracles. The Pharisees and Sadducees, seeing many people follow the Lord Jesus, wished to still keep their positions and jobs. Therefore, they continuously fabricated lots of rumors against Him and slandered and condemned Him. However, the foolish Jewish people, after hearing the rumors, had no discernment and couldn’t maintain a firm stance. They followed the Pharisees and the Sadducees to deny and judge Him. Under that background, the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matthew 16:6). The Jewish people, because of being deceived by the rumors of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, followed them to nail the Lord Jesus to the cross, becoming those who resisted and condemned God. In the end, the entire nation suffered the destruction. The disciples of the Lord Jesus recognized that He was the coming Messiah from His work and words; they saw through the Pharisees and the Sadducees’ tricks of making rumors, and followed the Lord Jesus steadfastly. Faced with rumors, their two different attitudes determined their different fate. We should learn lessons from this so that we won’t miss out on the second coming of Jesus because of rumors when meeting His appearance and work. » You may be interested in reading more: • Beware of the Pharisees’ Leaven on the Path to the Heavenly Kingdom • Will the Lord First Give Revelation to Pastors Upon His Second Coming? • Learn the Root of the Pharisees’ Resistance of the Lord Jesus in the Bible from 3 Aspects » Most people also watch Christian Crosstalk “Last Days’ Pharisees”: Who Blocks Christians From Welcoming Lord Jesus’ Return
Church Skit “ Look! That’s a Modern Day Pharisee! ” Introduction Two thousand years ago, the incarnate Lord Jesus appeared and worked, preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, expressed the truth, and gave people the way of repentance. In these, many people heard God’s voice and followed Him. The Pharisees stubbornly kept to their own ideas, denied and condemned the incarnate Lord Jesus, and even crucified the Lord. The Lord Jesus prophesied that He will come again in the last days. So, who plays the role of the modern Pharisee? Watch the skit Look! That’s a Modern-Day Pharisee!. » Most people also watch: • The Pastor’s ‘Good’ Intentions (Church Skit) • Church Skit “The Lord Is Knocking”
As the Bible records, when the Lord Jesus did His work, the Pharisees wildly defied and condemned Him. Do you know the root of their resistance? In a Bible study meeting, Brother Zheng got the answer.
Gospel Movie “Break Through the Snare” Clip Introduction Pastors and elders of the world of religion are all people who serve God in churches. They frequently read the Bible and give sermons to believers, pray for them and show them compassion, but why do we say they are hypocritical Pharisees? Especially with regard to their approach to the return of the Lord, not only do they not seek or examine anything, but on the contrary they wildly defy and condemn the work of Almighty God. Why exactly is this? » Click here to watch more: • Church Skit “The Lord Is Knocking” • “Song of Victory”Clip: How to Discern the Modern Pharisees • Christian Show “Last Days’ Pharisees”
Gospel Movie “Song of Victory” Clip Introduction When the Lord Jesus came to do His work, the head of the religious world slandered and condemned Him, and in the end they united with the Roman government to nail Him on the cross. Nowadays the sinful conduct of those in the religious world who oppose Almighty God is similar to the terrifying words and actions of the Jews who opposed the Lord Jesus back then. Why is this? Do you know the root cause of why they oppose God? Do you want to understand their substance? Then watch this clip! » Read more on our Videos About Desolation of the Church page, or click on the related articles below. • Seeking the Lord’s Return in Desolate Church • Reflections on Religious Desolation From Destruction of the Temple • Christian Show “Last Days’ Pharisees”: Who Blocks Christians From Welcoming Lord Jesus’ Return
By Liu Fang Two thousand years ago, the Israelites desperately longed for the coming of the Messiah, but when the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, finally arrived, the Pharisees actually nailed Him to the cross, and as a result, the Israelites were subject to God’s punishment—the destruction of Israel. This bitter failure really calls for our reflection: How come the Pharisees who had believed in God for generations resisted God? Now it is already the last days, and the prophecies of the Lord’s return have basically been fulfilled. At this critical time of welcoming the Lord, how can we avoid following in the footsteps of the Pharisees? As we all know, at the end of the Age of Law the Israelites, according to the prophecies in the Scripture, all longed for the Messiah to come and save them. At that time, the Pharisees, after hearing the prophecies about the coming Messiah, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6), and “But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2), began to fancy what He would be like based on the literal meaning of these prophecies. In their mind, the One who was to come must be called Messiah. Since He would come to rule, He must be someone who would be born into a royal palace with a heroic bearing and commanding presence, who would grow into a great warrior like David and lead His people to drive the Romans out of Israel, rescuing them from the oppression of the Romans. However, the fulfillments of the prophecies were not as the Pharisees had imagined. When the Lord Jesus came, He was neither called the Messiah nor born into a royal palace. Instead, He was born in a manger and grew up in a poor carpenter’s home. His external appearance was not as majestic and extraordinary as they had fancied, but was very ordinary and normal. He didn’t lead the Israelites to overthrow the rule of the Romans, but walked among the people preaching the way of repentance, and taught them to practice forgiveness and tolerance and to love others as themselves. Seeing the Lord Jesus, who was ordinary and normal, not like the Messiah they imagined, the Pharisees stubbornly held on to their own notions and imaginings, concluding that He couldn’t be the coming Messiah, and seized upon every chance to condemn and resist Him. Even though the Lord Jesus performed many miracles and expressed many truths, from which many people recognized that He was Christ, the Pharisees didn’t have the slightest intention to seek. Regardless of how profound the Lord Jesus’ preaching was or how many miracles He performed, they obstinately rejected His work and even incited the people of Israel to resist and condemn Him. Later, they went so far as to collude with the Roman government to crucify the Lord Jesus—the Messiah who had come, committing a heinous sin and offending God’s righteous disposition, and ultimately were subject to God’s punishment—the destruction of Israel. The failure of the Pharisees is really worthy of our self-reflection. They treated the prophecies about the Messiah based on their own conceptions and imaginations, which led to them becoming the ones who bitterly longed for the arrival of the Messiah but nailed Him to the cross. We all know that the prophecies in the Bible are about the things that God will accomplish in the future, which cannot be fathomed by us humans. So how should we treat them in a way that is after God’s heart? The Bible says, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21), and “Who also has made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). These verses tell us that the prophecies are all from God, which cannot be commented on at will by us. We cannot interpret them literally, or rely on our own notions to speculate on them or determine their meaning, because they will only be fulfilled according to God’s own plan. God’s work is wondrous and full of His wisdom, which cannot be fathomed by us humans. If we define God’s work based on the literal meaning of the prophecies, we are liable to resist God and ultimately be destroyed by our own conceptions and imagination. Compared to the Pharisees, there was a group of people who approached the prophecies of the Messiah in a different way. When seeing the Lord Jesus, who was ordinary and normal in appearance and not in accord with their fantasies about the Messiah, they didn’t hold on to their conceptions and imaginings but focused on listening to His words, and finally recognized through His words and work that He was the coming Messiah. Just like Simon Peter—he once said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Why could he say these words and recognize the Lord’s identity as Christ? This is because he found that what the Lord did was totally beyond what humans can do, that what He said contained the truth, and that He possessed the essence of God and “the words of eternal life.” The woman of Samaria is another example. When she…
Know how the Jews opposed the coming Messiah because of their imaginations. With regard to the Lord’s return, we should avoid repeating the Pharisees’ mistake.
Only those who follow the heavenly Father’s will can enter the kingdom of heaven. How can we follow His will? Does laboring for the Lord mean following His will?
The Lord Jesus gave man all His mercy and love and performed so many miracles. But why is it that He met with so much hindrance when He preached and did His work?
She always thought pastors were the Lord’s servants, and He would first give revelations to them if He came. But later she said that pastors have become modern-day Pharisees.
Through a pastor acting a Pharisee in a performance, this skit exposes how modern pastors and elders hold on to the Bible to resist God, and shows clearly that the path they walk is exactly the same as that of the Pharisees.
Question: Most people in our church cannot tell the difference between being discerning with people and judging people. I’d like to ask, with regard to dissecting and discerning the God-defying essence of the pastors and elders, and calling them the Pharisees of the present age, is this not judging people? Bible Verses for Reference: Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. Truly I say to you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mat 24:45-51). Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves (Mat 7:15). But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in (Mat 23:13). Relevant Words of God: The purpose of My work to conquer is not solely for the sake of conquest, but to conquer so as to reveal righteousness and unrighteousness, to obtain proof for the punishment of man, to condemn the wicked, and furthermore, I conquer to perfect those with a heart of obedience. In the end, all will be separated according to kind, and all those perfected have their thoughts filled with obedience. This is the final work done. Those filled with rebellion will be punished, sent to burn in the fires and forever be cursed. When that time comes, those former “great and indomitable heroes” will become the basest and most shunned “weak and useless cowards.” Only this can illustrate all the righteousness of God and that the disposition of God allows no offense. from The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God Believing in God and pursuing the knowledge of God is no simple matter. They cannot be achieved simply by gathering together and listening to preaching, and you cannot be perfected by passion alone. You must experience, and know, and be principled in your actions, and gain the work of the Holy Spirit. When you have undergone experiences, you will be able to differentiate many things—you will be able to distinguish between good and evil, between righteousness and wickedness, between what is of flesh and blood and what is of the truth. You should be able to distinguish between all these things, and in so doing, no matter the circumstances, you will never be lost. Only this is your real stature. from Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God Those who only believe in Jesus Christ but do not believe in the incarnate God of today are all condemned. They are all contemporary Pharisees because they do not recognize the God of today, and they all resist God. No matter how devoted their belief in Jesus is, it will all be in vain; they will not receive God’s praise. All those who say that they believe in God yet have no true knowledge of God in their hearts are hypocrites! from Be Mindful of God’s Will to Attain Perfection Those who read the Bible in grand churches recite the Bible every day, yet not one understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one is able to know God; moreover, not one is in accord with the heart of God. They are all worthless, vile men, each standing on high to teach God. Though they brandish the name of God, they willfully oppose Him. Though they label themselves believers of God, they are ones who eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such men are devils who devour the soul of man, demons who purposefully disturb those who try to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks that impede the path of those who seek God. Though they are of “robust flesh,” how are their followers to know that they are antichrists who lead man in opposition to God? How are they to know that they are living devils who specially seek souls to devour? from All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God Such a person always retains hostility against the new work of God, shows no intent to submit, and has never gladly obeyed or humbled himself. He exalts himself before others and never submits to another. Before God, he considers himself the most proficient in preaching the word and most skillful in working on others. He never discards the treasures already in his possession, but treats them as family heirlooms to be worshiped, to be preached to others, and used to lecture those fools who adore him. … They think preaching the word (doctrine) to be their highest duty. One year after another and one generation after the other, they perform their holy and sacred duty. None dare touch them and none dare openly reproach them. They became “king” in the house of God, acting tyrannically through the ages. These demons seek to join hands and together destroy My work; how can I allow these living devils to exist before Me? from The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God Look at the leaders of every denomination and sect. They are all arrogant and self-right, and they interpret the Bible out of context and according to their own imagination. They all rely on gifts and erudition to do their work. If they were incapable of preaching anything, would those people follow them? They do, after all, possess some learning, and can speak a little…