Many so-called Christians read accounts of Jesus’ run-ins with the modern day opposition known as the Pharisees and Sadducees…but who were these people? Most of us take a position of disdain towards them because of how Jesus addressed them; but., would you fit into that “Pharisaical” or Sadducee mold today? Judge not…lest you too be judged…let’s take a look.
He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.
*The Pharisees (from a Hebrew word meaning separate) were laymen(modern day deacons and elders) popular with the “common” people (the congregation). They were chiefly characterized by adherence to applying the law to daily life (works righteousness). After the (prophetic)ministry of the post-exilic(time after Babylonian captivity) prophets ceased, godly men called Chasidim (where we get the idea to be called saints) arouse and sought to keep alive reverence for the law among the descendants of the Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity. This movement degenerated into the Pharisaism of our Lord’s day—a letter-strictness which overlaid the law with traditional interpretations held to have been communicated by the lord to Moses as oral explanation with the Law itself. The Pharisees were strictly a sect(as defined by Websters: sect: 1. a dissenting religious body, 2. A group adhering to a distinctive doctrine or to a leader). A member was a chaber (meaning “knit together” Jud. 20:11) and was obligated to remain true to the principles of Pharisaism (bka: The “vision or mission” of the said church/non-profit organization, not the body).
They were moral, zealous, and self-denying, but self-righteous and destitute of the sense of sin and need. They lacked grace and were full of pride. They were the foremost persecutors of Jesus Christ and the objects of His unsparing denunciation.
*These were a Jewish sect (see above definition) that denied the existence of angels or other spirits, and all miracles, especially the resurrection of the body. They were the religious rationalists of the time, and were strongly entrenched in the Sanhedrin and priesthood. The Sadducees are identified with no affirmative doctrine, but were mere deniers of the supernatural.
Bring it Forward
So …..It is written:
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (Eccl 1:9)
Since there is nothing new under the sun, we can safely say that modern day Pharisees and Sadducees still exist. If one examines so-called “church order”, you will find both characteristics in most institutions known as “churches” today. This is far from the early examples found in history. Biblical instruction of so-called church order has been twisted to accommodate human desires and; in some cases, a money generating organism. This poison has continued to keep the church impure which is why the Spirit of God continues to be quenched…thus..no maturity, no deliverance, and no Power.
Today’s Pharisaical characteristics mirror traditional masonic and social “secret” organizations. They are encouraged or instructed to limit fellowship with anyone “outside” the sect. When vetted, they are given instructions on social order with a justification that the action is “tradition”. Much of this instruction is prior to becoming “ordained”. Much like Freemasons, frats, and other Gnostic organizations and cults, there is always an order that excludes people.
THIS IDEA CONTRADICTS THE WORD OF GOD!
“And He gave some, apostles, prophets, and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry(word origin: douleuo, meaning “to serve as a slave.” unto Christ)”. (Eph. 4:11) The word “Deacon” was not the original Greek translation, similar to the word “church”. Additionally, the word Elder does not denote an office. It simply means…an older person. Where do we get this foolishness!
True ministry is evident when the spiritual gifts are being exercised (1 Corinthians 12:1-31). The servants’ heart, mind, body, and soul is submitted to Elohim. Not to a church leader. Hebrews 13 gives full instruction on what this should look like. If one chooses to “study to show thyself approved”, he will see that prior to the words “submit to your leaders” , we are instructed and exhorted to use wisdom via these words: “Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith”.
WOW. So…the question is? What kind of faith (spiritual fruit and manner of life you see and in respect the end game) will you follow?
CHRIST IS THE HEAD. Whats-more, most people that serve in this capacity are not always aware they are participating in the deception. For them, it is more important to follow man; particularly the “bishop”, than to fear God. (John 12:36-43, Prov. 29:25)
Signs that you may be a Modern day Pharisee or Sadducee (not an exhaustive list)
1. Self-righteousness: The Pharisees, thought their own goodness was so impressive that it could not fail to make them acceptable to God. They held rigorously to the ceremonies and traditions of the law, making a public show of their religiosity, all to be seen by other men, many of whom they despised as being beneath them. Today’s Pharisee becomes prideful due adherence to “church” directives and goals. This is not a Spirit-lead ministry of Christ.
*2 Hearty agreement with error and remaining passive when there is wrongdoing: The modern day Pharisee is confused and lacks discernment. Much of this is due to a conflicted conscious. Though he/she understand the Word of God, they are apprehensive about their faith in obedience because they’ve taken a ungodly oath or un-biblical covenant.
3.Showing Partiality and straying away from real relationships: The modern day Pharisee and Saducee shows partiality (favoring one or a group of people over another). Though they give a facade of loving everyone they prefer to fellowship with other laymen or “preferred” members of the church. It is also encouraged that it is suggested by leadership to not allow their children to fellowship with children outside the laity.
*4. Deny the existence of the spiritual world: The modern day Sadducee ignores or does not speak about spiritual things. Unfortunately due to charismatics and demonic influence in the today’s church-culture, most are afraid to speak about it. The Holy Spirit of God is necessary fruit-bearing, deliverance, and understanding of God’s word.
5. Showing a lack of grace: Modern day Pharisees believe that God controls all things, yet they believe decisions made by individuals also contributed to the course of a person’s life. Thus they have an inability to show compassion, and they fail at times to extend grace and mercy. Modern day Pharisees have a tendency to become selfish and fearful. This contradicts the ministry of the Holy Spirit and Faith of the Holy one.
What do we see in Acts? Men and women living day by day in true freedom of love, looking for opportunities to share the Gospel to everyone. We see a community of all social-economic backgrounds, races, and professions doing the work of ministry to each other and for the glory of the Father. We see no one left to oneself during a struggle with deliverance issues and we see a genuine move of God’s Spirit showing in wonders, signs, and miracles…with Power. Selah
*sources: Scofield Reference Bible, Gotquestions.org, EVScrossway, Oxford University Press