The Pharisees and Hypocrisy

Christ gave his disciples a warning:

Luke 12:1 Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

The leaven of the Pharisee’s. Leaven is like a yeast. You start with a small bit and as you add it to the bread it pervades and causes things to grow. Hypocrisy if it is not dealt with will leaven the entire being until we grow up full of air, full of pride, full of air like a puffy loaf of bread. In order to make a good loaf of bread you have to give it a good punch and knock the air out of it. However, no hypocrisy can be tolerated in heaven therefore He says beware of the leaven of hypocrisy. We often like to examine ourselves and say that was the leaven of the Pharisee and I’m not a Pharisee so therefore I don’t need to beware of the leaven of hypocrisy. Well the Pharisees didn’t realise they were hypocritical.

But the principles cherished by the Pharisees are such as are characteristic of humanity in all ages. {MB 79.2}

The Pharisee is the natural man. Every single human being is by nature a Pharisee.

The spirit of Pharisaism is the spirit of human nature; and as the Saviour showed the contrast between His own spirit and methods and those of the rabbis, His teaching is equally applicable to the people of all time. {MB 79.2}

Those warnings that Jesus Christ gave regarding the Pharisees are for you and me because by nature we are Pharisees and we are by nature hypocrites.

In His promises and warnings, Jesus means me. {DA 390.5}

When God rebukes sin in the scriptures, when He rebukes the individual in the scriptures, He means me. God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that I by believing in Him, might not perish, but have everlasting life. The experience related in God’s word are to be my experience. These people have got great blessings from God. We are to relate that what He gave them to what He gives to me also but as we track through the lives of certain individuals we see multitudes in transgression. These are to be regarded as my experience. As we look at the kings and all the great evils they committed, we are to regard ourselves as having committed such things.

The experiences related in God’s word are to be my experiences. Prayer and promise, precept and warning, are mine. {DA 390.5}

As we open the word and we read of the denouncing and woes on the Pharisees, God means me. He doesn’t mean my brother or my sister, He doesn’t mean those who I can conjure up in my mind thinking that is applicable in their situation, He means me. What I’m sharing today is mine. It applies to me. I’m not throwing sticks at anybody. I’m not throwing rocks at any individuals. If I share something that you are dealing with or you think I am having a go at you, no, I’m having a go at me.

Matthew 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, [that] observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

This is the definition of hypocrisy. To say but not to do.

Matthew 21:28 But what think ye? A [certain] man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. 29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

There was one son that said he wasn’t going to go and in the end he did. There was one who said he would but he didn’t. This is that which Christ warns us about. To say something but not to live it.

Numbers 30:1 And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This [is] the thing which the LORD hath commanded. 2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

If you make a vow and say you will, the Lord commands us to do it.

Ecclesiastes 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for [he hath] no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better [is it] that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it [was] an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

If you will say something, mean it, do it. If you don’t do that, you are a hypocrite. But if you don’t say I’m going to do it, then there is no hypocrisy about it. If we vow a vow to God such as to put so much money in the offering box, then we should. But if we don’t vow it, then we don’t have to but if we do but don’t, that is hypocrisy.

Ecclesiastes 5:6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it [was] an error:

I made a mistake. I didn’t realise I couldn’t perform what I said I would therefore I’m going to back pedal and not fulfil my word, this is hypocrisy. If you vowed it, keep your word. To what point? This tells us who is going to go to heaven. It has to do with meaning what we say and doing it.

Psalm 15:1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 [He that] backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. [He that] sweareth to [his own] hurt, and changeth not. 5 [He that] putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these [things] shall never be moved.

Those who will make a commitment and say, yes I will make that commitment even though it cost them the earth, these are those whom God esteems. Often we make a commitment of money and suddenly we find other bills jump out and I realise I have to pay this and that bill and I didn’t really mean it. it is easy to do it with tithe unless you perform a habit. Even if it is to your own hurt, fulfill your pledge. There are many other aspects of life in which we need to keep our word. One aspect is church offices. If we say yes I accept that nomination of office and it comes to the time of voting and you are placed into the office, do that job even if it hurts.

Even if you have to make a great sacrifice and get up early in the morning to be there, if you are not going to do that, don’t accept that nomination. A husband and wife in a marriage make a vow, keep that vow. If you don’t keep that vow in any respect, we are hypocrites. Christ denounced the hypocrites. He denounced those who say they will do but do not. Those that sat in Moses seat would be more than happy to tell other people what to do but they wouldn’t do it themselves. It is easy for us to look at each other saying he hasn’t done his job and she hasn’t taken up her responsibility, well God means me.

Matthew 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men’s shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers.

Ever heard of the saying a law for you and a law for me? This is human nature. We are happy to make things harder for other people. Adjust the laws and regulations a bit so when it comes to me, I have got it easy. I do this all the time. Happy to get my children to do all these jobs, because they need to learn and so they should but I am the father and I have to do my reports and this and that, a law for you and me. In heaven everyone is under the one law.

Matthew 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

The phylactery was a little box and in that box they would scribble out the scriptures and they would wear them on their arm or head. There are still Jews today that wear a little box on their arm or forehead with scriptures in them.

Matthew 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, [even] Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 9 And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, [even] Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. 13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

The mentality of mankind is I am number one and you must serve me but Christ was number one and He came to serve. Christ said to His disciples who were bickering amongst themselves that they are the ones who want to exercise dominion over their people but He said it shall not be among you. How many ministers today understand the word minister? In the churches they become a minister and they think now I have power and authority, they don’t live up to their name which is minister which means they are to serve.

Matthew 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

They shut up the kingdom of heaven against man. How do they do that? They do it through their own opinions and interpretations of the scriptures. They say this is how you have to believe and they coerce people and shut them out. They also set the wrong example. As man beholds he becomes changed. The people who were not having their own individual experience because of their authority followed their example and thus they would not suffer others to go into heaven either.

For Us Today

Isaiah 57:13 When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take [them]: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain; 14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people.

Is there anything in our lives that is hindering others into that way of life? Hindering their progress in that way of life? Cast it out, get rid of it. if you find something in your own nature and find you are arrogant and judgemental, don’t cast yourself out but get on your knees and plead with God to get it out. When I realise I am a stumbling block, my reaction is I am out of here but God says open the door and let me in and I will drive it hence. May we all examine our hearts and do this work that we will not make it any harder for each other than what it already is.

Matthew 23:14 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.

The Pharisees would befriend the widows and the fatherless and they would befriend them in such a way that they would give them their money and would give all their money to the church and Pharisees but the Pharisees would not give something in return. Has someone ever assisted you but you have never assisted them back? The old barter system is a good system. You help me and I will help you. I will give you something in exchange for something beneficial for me. I will pay them for helping me and that removes me from the obligation to do this favour. It is no difference to the Pharisees devouring widow’s houses. Have you ever been bowed down upon your knees while someone makes a long prayer? You might not want to be honest and confess it, but it is very painful to the listeners. If you have been in an environment where there is a long prayer needlessly long, don’t’ feel that was painful. Long prayers unless under the divine influence they are a pretense.

When Christ taught the people, He did not devote the time to prayer. He did not enforce upon them, as did the Pharisees, long, tedious ceremonies and prayers. He taught His disciples how to pray: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him. After this manner therefore pray ye.” {2T 580.3}

He is also referring to public prayer. What was this manner?

Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

This was the prayer that Christ taught his disciples.

Christ impressed upon His disciples the idea that their prayers should be short, expressing just what they wanted, and no more. He gives the length and substance of their prayers, expressing their desires for temporal and spiritual blessings, and their gratitude for the same. {2T 581.1}

By that prayer He taught the disciples and the multitude, He gives the length and the substance. How long was that prayer? It was not long. It came straight to the point. How comprehensive this sample prayer, straight to the point yet comprehensive.

How comprehensive this sample prayer! It covers the actual need of all. One or two minutes is long enough for any ordinary prayer. There may be instances where prayer is in a special manner indited by the Spirit of God, where supplication is made in the Spirit. {2T 581.1}

Long prayers do have their place but they are not to be dry and formal, they are to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

But many offer prayer in a dry, sermonizing manner. These pray to men, not to God. If they were praying to God, and really understood what they were doing, they would be alarmed at their audacity; for they deliver a discourse to the Lord in the mode of prayer, as though the Creator of the universe needed special information upon general questions in relation to things transpiring in the world. All such prayers are as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. They are made no account of in heaven. Angels of God are wearied with them, as well as mortals who are compelled to listen to them. {2T 581.2}

Secret prayer is neglected, and this is why many offer such long, tedious, backslidden prayers when they assemble to worship God. They go over in their prayers a week of neglected duties, and pray round and round, hoping to make up for their neglect and pacify their condemned consciences, which are scourging them. They hope to pray themselves into the favor of God. But frequently these prayers result in bringing other minds down to their own low level in spiritual darkness. If Christians would take home the teachings of Christ in regard to watching and praying, they would become more intelligent in their worship of God. {2T 582.2}

To pray long out of season is hypocrisy. To preach a sermon in a prayer is hypocrisy. We don’t need to preach a sermon to God, God needs to preach a sermon to us.

Matthew 23:15 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.

Man has an opinion and that opinion everybody has to believe it. It is amazing to what effort man would go to make others believe what he believes. We have today multitudes of churches and they are run by a few opinions and they will get on a plane and go over the world compassing sea and land to find someone gullible enough to believe what they believe. What efforts do we put in to make people believe what we think is right? The word of God is right what we think is wrong. The word of God must replace what we think. Great efforts and ministries we see in the world today yet it is great error. They are make proselytes that are two fold more the child of hell thank yourselves. It makes them worse than they were to begin with. There is a saying ‘let the sleeping dog lie’. There are many humans who will not lay hold of the truth as they do not love the truth but give them a lie. God will permit them to be deceived and that sleeping dog will become the most vicious dog.

Matthew 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! 17 [Ye] fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 19 [Ye] fools and blind: for whether [is] greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

Hypocrites greatly lack spiritual discernment. They have an issue with discerning what God’s way is and what is not Gods way. They think the gold is greater than the temple that sanctifies the gold.

Faith and Works

We as human beings as natural men and Pharisees think the works God requires of us is greater than the faith which is to produce those works. We get confused between faith and works and get all bound up in these great reforms of life without discerning the motives of our heart and discerning that it is the pure service of love and faith that makes the reform to be acceptable in Gods sight. May the Lord grant us the spiritual discernment that we will not be found hypocritical.

Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier [matters] of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

So yes, pay the tithe of the mint, anise and cummin. These yet ought to have done but don’t leave the weightier matters of the law. Judgement and its twin sister mercy, faith, these we ought to do. Unless we don’t do them like the Pharisee, the tithing is unacceptable. God will not accept those tithes without the others.

Christ again condemns the abuse of sacred obligation. The obligation itself He does not set aside. The tithing system was ordained by God, and it had been observed from the earliest times. Abraham, the father of the faithful, paid tithes of all that he possessed. The Jewish rulers recognized the obligation of tithing, and this was right; but they did not leave the people to carry out their own convictions of duty. Arbitrary rules were laid down for every case. The requirements had become so complicated that it was impossible for them to be fulfilled. None knew when their obligations were met. As God gave it, the system was just and reasonable; but the priests and rabbis had made it a wearisome burden. {DA 616.3}

All that God commands is of consequence. Christ recognized the payment of tithes as a duty; but He showed that this could not excuse the neglect of other duties. The Pharisees were very exact in tithing garden herbs, such as mint, anise, and rue; this cost them little, and it gave them a reputation for exactness and sanctity. At the same time their useless restrictions oppressed the people and destroyed respect for the sacred system of God’s own appointing. They occupied men’s minds with trifling distinctions, and turned their attention from essential truths. The weightier matters of the law, justice, mercy, and truth, were neglected. “These,” Christ said, “ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” {DA 617.1}

They occupied men’s minds with trifling distinctions. Could we do that today? The dress and boot have to come to that centimetre and the food can’t have this additive in it. These are trifling distinctions. There are duties, these things we ought to do but don’t get distracted with them. Focus on the greater matters of the law and as you do, everything else will come into perfect balance and harmony. But if we lay upon ourselves and others and judge them for it, God denounces us as hypocrites. When it comes to justice and mercy there is one thing we all need to learn and when we read the scriptures it means me.

Frequently the truth and facts are to be plainly spoken to the erring, to make them see and feel their error that they may reform. {3T 93.1}

If someone is wandering out of the way there comes a time where you need to speak the truth and facts to them but with pity and tenderness.

But this should ever be done with pitying tenderness, not with harshness or severity, but considering one’s own weakness, lest he also be tempted. When the one at fault sees and acknowledges his error, then, instead of grieving him, and seeking to make him feel more deeply, comfort should be given. {3T 93.1}

What does the natural man do? I can tell you as I’m a natural man and guilty of this and that when we see someone who has made a big mistake we think we need to make them feel bad for it and we rub it in more and I’m not satisfied until I see a groaning. The word of God commands that we are not to make them feel more deeply but comfort as they are already feeling that. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and brings them into a state of guilt. We can’t do that, our words are only as kicking someone in the guts when they are already down.

Justice and Mercy

Justice and mercy are twin sisters the Spirit of Prophecy declares.

In the sermon of Christ upon the mount He said: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” {3T 93.1}

I shudder to consider when I think what is yet to be meted out to me. What we sow we reap. Where I have been unjust and condemnatory against others when I look back at my life as I have tried to make people feel bad for what they have done to me, I am scared to meet that crop. I am scared. What measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Our Saviour reproved for rash judgment. “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye; . . . and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?” It is frequently the case that while one is quick to discern the errors of his brethren, he may be in greater faults himself, but be blind to them. . {3T 93.1}

Isn’t that pure hypocrisy to pick faults with others when I myself have faults?

All who are followers of Christ should deal with one another exactly as we wish the Lord to deal with us in our errors and weaknesses, for we are all erring and need His pity and forgiveness {3T 93.2}

Why did Jesus take human nature? Jesus consented to take human nature so He would learn how to pity and learn from his own experiences how weak and frail man is.

Jesus consented to take human nature, that He might know how to pity, and how to plead with His Father in behalf of sinful, erring mortals. {3T 93.2}

He came to his disciples that were sleeping in the garden and what did He say? The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. He took upon sinful flesh with all its infirmities so He could say I understand. This should be our attitude as well as we are all encompassed with sinful flesh considering our own selves lest we also be tempted.

He volunteered to become man’s Advocate, and He humiliated Himself to become acquainted with the temptations wherewith man was beset, that He might succor those who should be tempted, and be a tender and faithful high priest. {3T 93.2}

This is why He became a human being so He could be our high priest so He can comfort us when we realise how hypocritical we are.

Matthew 23:24 [Ye] blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

The Pharisees were so particular in regards to the clean and unclean they would filter their water to make sure there was no insect in it. Caution has its place but we are not to lose the greater matters of the law. They would swallow a camel. They would make nice fine distinctions but overlook the weightier matters of the law. Very particular in the details of reform but at the same time cold hearted and judgemental.

Matthew 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Have you ever gone to the cupboard to get a bowl to eat out of and as you look in the cupboard it is all clean and shiny and you get your cereal and the bowl hasn’t been washed properly? How disgusting is that? It is so disappointing. It looked so clean on the outside yet it is useless. Christ declares the cup and the plate is useless, the hypocrite is useless unless he is clean on the inside. No matter how we want to dress and perfect our diet and conduct our speech and presentation, it means nothing. If we are dirt on the inside we are useless. Cleanse first that which is within the cup. If you are dirty on the inside you are regarded by God as dirty on the outside.

Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men’s] bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Hypocrites are so quick to judge others and to look on the outward. The word of God declares it means me.

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Whited Sepulchres

We might be so clean and we look at a brother and we see a little tiny speck and we have to tell him all about it and make him feel it not realising that I have a massive beam sticking out of my eye. Have you ever accepted a reproof from someone who is guilty of the same thing? No chance, no way, they are not even qualified to give that reproof.

The sin that leads to the most unhappy results is the cold, critical, unforgiving spirit that characterizes Pharisaism. {MB 126.1}

We must confess that I am a Pharisee. By nature I am a Pharisee. I am cold, critical and unforgiving. I never forget, I like to store in my brain grievances. Do we really like this nature? We hate it, I hate it.

When the religious experience is devoid of love, Jesus is not there; the sunshine of His presence is not there. No busy activity or Christless zeal can supply the lack. There may be a wonderful keenness of perception to discover the defects of others; but to everyone who indulges this spirit, Jesus says, “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” {MB 126.1}

What is that saying? If you see a mote in your brother’s eye, why do u see it? You have a beam in your eye.

He who is guilty of wrong is the first to suspect wrong. {MB 126.1}

The person who questions who did something is guilty themselves.

By condemning another he is trying to conceal or excuse the evil of his own heart. It was through sin that men gained the knowledge of evil; no sooner had the first pair sinned than they began to accuse each other; and this is what human nature will inevitably do when uncontrolled by the grace of Christ. {MB 126.1}

Human Nature

I see a fault in me and when I find it in you, I am going to make it big.

“Thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” Romans 2:1. Thus those who condemn or criticize others, proclaim themselves guilty, for they do the same things. {MB 126.1}

That is the word of God word for word. How often do we like to read the word of God word for word? As often as it feels good but to think that the very thing I am judging my brother or sister of I am guilty of. No, that’s not possible is it? But that is what the word of God says and the word of God means me.

Thus those who condemn or criticize others, proclaim themselves guilty, for they do the same things. {MB 126.1}

Whatever it is that we want to find fault in each other, I am guilty of that very fault and I just trying to shift the blame.

In condemning others, they are passing sentence upon themselves, and God declares that this sentence is just. He accepts their own verdict against themselves. {MB 126.1}

If we think a brother or sister deserves that and that is the sentence, well God says that is your sentence, case closed. That is what you are going to get. Whatsoever we mete it shall be meted unto us again.

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

We cannot read the heart. Ourselves faulty, we are not qualified to sit in judgment upon others. {MB 124.1}

If we do, we sit in judgement upon ourselves and we are condemning ourselves. We should be so scared to even open our words. I should be so scared.

Finite men can judge only from outward appearance. To Him alone who knows the secret springs of action, and who deals tenderly and compassionately, is it given to decide the case of every soul. {MB 124.1}

It hasn’t been committed into our hands as we don’t understand the secret springs of action as we are still learning to deal tenderly and compassionately.

Whited Sepulchres

Whilst we ourselves are so shiny on the outside, we are painted sepulchres and dead men’s bones. It is rotten. The rottenness we want to pick out in others we are guilty of even greater sins. A little speck in someone’s otherwise white clothing paints me black altogether if I’m going to pick on that little speck. I must never pick on that small speck.

Matthew 23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

Isn’t it so true to say that? We can look back through the ages and say yes I would have been brave there and I would have been burnt at the stake and the Pharisees looked at Jeremiah and Isaiah and say, our fathers treated them so harshly, if only they had listened to them and so now they try to redeem the time and adorn their graves.

Today we can pick out the Spirit of Prophecy and the testimonies and say yes I don’t know why the people of that time had such a hard time listening to that old lady but today it is easy for us to read those books and take the admonition. It is easier to receive reproof from a dead person than a living person isn’t it? If you take the book home and you read the book, it’s easier to take the reproof but if someone stands at the pulpit ad they read the book, it is harder to take.

When a brother or sister takes their experience in that word and brings a reproof to you, ouch. No I don’t like that and I throw it out. But oh yes, happy to adorn the tombs of the prophets.

Sr White

We would have loved Sr White in our midst wouldn’t we? We would have loved for her to stand up and give sermons and to sit in our seats. It would not have been easy. If we think we could have sat there every week without feeling a thing and just loved her company, it would not have been without a fight, it would have been a real struggle.

Matthew 23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 [Ye] serpents, [ye] generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Me? Not me. God means me. God is telling us that we are serpents and a generation of vipers. I am not going to escape the damnation of hell except I would enquire how and do it.


Matthew 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and [some] of them ye shall kill and crucify; and [some] of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute [them] from city to city:

Surely not, I wouldn’t kill, I wouldn’t hurt anybody. I’m so gentle.

Matthew 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

If we would remain as hypocrites, if we would say and not do, we will have all the blood from all the prophets and righteous that ever lived on our souls. I didn’t do that, we are to enter into every single experience.

Matthew 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would….


Would we listen to the admonition of God? Would we receive the reproof and admonishment and warnings? Will we claim the promises? Will we let the Word take His pruning knife and scapple and tare open our whited sepulchres and show us how wretched we are? Do we want to be wretched or do we want to go to heaven? Do we wanted to be wretched and go to heaven? May the Lord help us to examine our own hearts in the light of His word and testimonies to see where it is in my life that I am a hypocrite because hypocrites do not enter into heaven and I want to enter into heaven. May the Lord help us all to be there.


About The Typist

Sabbath Sermons is a small resource information ministry in Australia standing upon the original platform of the Adventist truth. We are dedicated to spreading the special 'testing truths' for our time and are not affiliated with the various denominations. This website is administered by lay members only

Posted on 10/12/2011, in Divine Service Sermons, The Leaven of the Pharisees and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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