“He began to say unto His disciples first of all, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy,”
The Anointed Salvation of Yehovah had spent three years walking the countryside going from town to town preaching the acceptable year of the Lord. He spoke the Word of God and performed all things which were written of Him in the Law and the prophets as the fullness of time had come. Here, in the end of the world, He was followed by His chosen twelve, an host of disciples, a multitude of sight-seers and the religious elite of the land. These renowned men had ascended to the pinnacle of religious importance and prominence because they were convinced they had discovered a way in which a man may indeed keep the Law of God as given unto Moses in the mount. They were well trained, disciplined and practiced in the art of rituals, traditions and ceremonies that convinced them of their purity while demonstrating to others their piety so that when it came to the righteousness of the law they thought themselves, blameless. Men such as Saul of Tarsus dedicated their entire lives to the pursuit of perfection as proposed by this esteemed group of distinction and separation (Pharisee). Jesus, however, was not impressed.
The Law of God as presented in the mount was a demonstration of the tangible representation of the heavenly reality of perfection and Holiness. The carnal patterns were never intended for the cleansing of the natural man before God or the justification from his sinful ways. Adam was concluded in sin or inability (Gal. 3:22) before he was created by Yehovah God, “as it is written, there is none righteous no not one: there is none that understand there is none that seek after God” (Rms. 3:10), that the promise might be of faith and not of works. God never gave anyone an opportunity to be obedient for all of His works were intended to demonstrate that no flesh shall ever be justified in His sight. These men called Pharisees were attempting to show God that He was wrong as they strove daily to manifest their own righteousness by keeping the commandments.
The commandments that these men were observing were at best the ‘types and foreshadows’ of things to come and not the true Law of God. This Law can only be kept by those who have been born from above of that incorruptible seed which cannot fall short of the glory of God. Moreover, this Law is kept in perfect righteousness by all that are born from above in their head in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. He came to do the will of the Father which is to give the kingdom unto His children (Luke 12:32). He spoke the Word which the Father gave Him, He completed all that the Father had given Him to do and He came not to do His own will but the will of Him that sent. He made Himself of no reputation that He might be obedient to the Law as a servant in the likeness of sinful flesh, to condemn the law in the flesh. This was contrary to those who were convinced that they were the rightful heirs of the kingdom of God.
The Lord of glory had manifested Himself before the people of this world as an uneducated son of a carpenter and yet as He taught, “the people were astonished at His doctrine for He taught them as having authority and not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:28). This caused the ruling religious elite to take notice and to seek out this new voice that the people were hearing. They did not like the fact that John had appeared in the wilderness with a baptism unto repentance (John 1:24). They had never heard of such a thing and, while they had various washings in the daily routines of their ceremonial rituals, they had never heard of a washing like unto this one. Therefore they came to John to judge the validity of his claim and, if it was found to be advantageous to them and their cause, to add it unto their repertoire. John sharply rebuked these men of distinction and accomplishment by demanding “works meet of repentance”. He was not impressed with the outward demonstration of their own interpretation of righteousness for He was taught of the Spirit that true repentance is of a “the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, God will not despise” (Ps. 51:17).
Jesus came, being baptized by John, preaching the kingdom of God. This greatly disturbed these same men for they had been given to receive the teachings of a kingdom that was quite different from that which Jesus was teaching. Jesus was completely aware of that which He had given them to believe and He knew of their fervor and zeal for this idea of a kingdom. He came to the house to eat and many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. This enraged the Pharisees who asked His disciples why He ate with such unclean common people (Matt. 9:11). This was a testimony to their distinction and separation.
The nation of Israel had been admonished of the Law not to be entangled with the nations of the world neither giving their sons and daughters to marry nor taking of the Gentile nations for their spouses. This had grown to the practice of an obligatory religious segregation so that if a Gentile was to walk into a room, they who are of the ‘chosen people of God’ were to remove themselves lest they be tainted. This doctrine was extrapolated from the words of the prophet Haggai (2:12) according to the carnal logic of man. They concluded that the natural man could remain ‘clean’ if he had no contact with that which was unclean and so they inquired why Jesus ate with “publicans and sinner”? Jesus responded that they which are whole do not need a physician. He did not deny the uncleanness of those He ate with but rather denounced the assumption that these Pharisees were any different.
These men through their private interpretation of the scriptures and their personally contrived duties had concluded that they were not like other men, especially those who were sinners of the common type. They were ready to expound upon their good deeds which they were completely convinced they had performed and they were admonished to make an open demonstration of these before all men. They fasted at certain predesignated times, with sad countenances and disfigured faces, that they may be seen of others; Jesus said they had achieved that which they were seeking, the acknowledgement of man.
They were religious in the observance of calendar days venerating certain ones for the performance of various customs, traditions and benevolent activities. When they observed that Jesus not only did not hold to the same standard as they did but He taught His disciples contrary to their understanding of the Law, they “held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him” (12:14). They did not know that they were indeed afore appointed by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God to be the sinful hands which would take and slay the Lamb of God. They were totally convinced that they were keeping the Law of God perfectly from their youth upwards and were entitled to admission into the kingdom of God yet they were all “brute beasts made to be taken out and destroyed”.
These men also prided themselves in their relentless reading and studies of the sacred text. They concluded from the writings that no prophet was foretold to come out of Galilee and that Elijah must first come before He who was Messiah. To the best of their logic and understanding, this Jesus was not qualified to be a prophet and His heritage and actions disqualified Him as Anointed; thus they came to Him and required a sign. Healing the sick and raising the dead were insufficient demonstrations of His authority and no man could refute His doctrine yet an open demonstration was demanded. Jesus did not accommodate their wishes but rather openly rebuked them and called them “an evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign and there shall no sign be given but the sign of Jonas” (Matt. 12:38). Even today the religious world cannot see the beauty of the sign of Jonas for it does not fit into the design of their building or the desires of their needs.
Thus the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah was constantly confronted by this pious religious group of people who were at peace with their station before God, confident in the righteousness of their deeds and boiling over in their attempt to make set examples for others to follow. They made elaborate pageantries when they “compass land and sea to make one proselyte and when he is made you make him twofold the child of hell as yourselves” (Matt. 23:15). These ‘learned’ men (Scribes) made stupendous presentations of outward appearances for the eyes of Adam to see; “which walk in long robes and love greetings in the markets and the highest seats in the synagogues and the chief rooms at the feasts; which devour widow’s houses”. They stand on the corners and make long prayers of great swelling words for the ears of man to hear “and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation” (Luke 20:46).
This greater condemnation is to whom much is given for of them is much required (Luke 12:48). This is that house that is built upon the sand and when the storm comes, great shall be the fall thereof (Matt. 7:27). This is the condemnation of the ministration of death which if a man do, he shall live in them (Lev. 18:5) and this is the guilt of all who have offended in one point and are therefore, being shapened in iniquity and conceived in sin, guilty of the transgression of the entire Law of God (James 2:10). Thus the nation of Israel was given the covenant and the ordinances of the pattern of heavenly things and of them was demanded that which was just yet; “Jerusalem, Jerusalem which killed the prophets and stoned them that are sent unto you: how often would I have gathered your children as a hen her brood under wings but you would not! Behold your house is left unto you desolate and truly I say unto you, you shall not see Me until come when you shall say, Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:35).
And now, after three years of these open displays of carnal logic, attention to the weak and beggarly elements of the world, outward ostentatious appearance and disproportionate piety, Jesus, in the midst of ‘an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, He began to say unto His disciples first of all, Be alter and mindful of the love, zeal, passion (boiling over) and fermenting of the distinction of separation for it is pretense’. He did not hide away and take out a full page add in some local newspaper to set forth His opinion on the matter and He did not solicit the help of anyone of the children of the dust. He spoke of the arrogant insolent pride of creature to presume upon God that there was something of worth and value in the nature and spirit of the vessels formed from the dust of the earth. He did not say these things because it was time for Him to refute the arguments of these men or to show forth their errors. He spoke these things for they are the very nature of Adam and every child of grace is subject to the same vanities of this habitation.
“Woe unto you scribes, Pharisees and hypocrite…” (Matt. 23:25)
The men of these groups stand in representation of the inherent nature of man. Adam desires to be learned (scribe) and become wise because Eve saw “a tree to be desired to make wise” (Gen. 3:6). He was a creature that was fashioned to follow after the desires of this world and the ‘passion’ or ‘boiling over’ of that zeal (leaven) consumes every moment of his life. He was created a gregarious being yet he imagines himself to be distinct and separate from his fellow man. He is deceived by this arrogant pride of his heart as he is driven to think more highly of himself that he ought and imagines himself zealous for God. This is the basis for the doctrine of Adam and has been at the root of many conflicts and wars.
Jesus told His disciples that the understanding of the natural mind was that if the outward appearance was pleasing then all is acceptable. Samuel acted in this manner when he stood before the sons of Jesse, but God told him not to look on the outward manifestations for the chosen of Yehovah cannot be identified by the outward man (I Sam. 16:11). Herein is wisdom to know the number of the beast, which is the number of man.
Beautiful sepulchers and decorated tombs cannot change the fact of the death within neither can the outward manifestation of zeal and obedience demonstrate eternal life. The worship of God is in Spirit and truth and since all men are liars and do not know the truth, what the eyes of man see is immaterial to the work which Yehovah God has done. Thus the contradiction of the inability of the outward man in his confinement to this world and the perfection of holiness of the inner man who delights after the law of God which exists in the Adamic nature of every child of grace as they are made partakers of flesh and blood. The scribes and Pharisees are not groups of men that should be shunned and avoided but rather the representation of the pretense or seething pot of the pride of man. The hypocrisy is the playing of a part in pretense of a facade and denial of the truth. It is Adam’s constant attempt to present himself before the throne of God and claim acceptance in his apron of fig leaves, Jehu’s cry of “Come see my zeal for Yehovah” (II Ki. 10:16) and the plea of the ‘workers of iniquity’ who say “Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Your name? and in Your name have cast out devils? And in Your name done many wondrous works?” (Matt. 7:22). This is also the pride of the heart of Esau that wars against the children of grace; Thus Jesus admonishes His disciples to be aware of this characteristic in the flesh.
“Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous, let them not have dominion over me” (Ps. 19:13).
David was taught of the same Spirit of God. He knew what this “boiling” or “seething” was for he was given to see the bondage of the corruption of the body of this death. He acknowledges the fact that man cannot know his own ‘inadvertent demonstration of his inability to measure up to the standard of the perfection of holiness of God’ (errors) and thus he is given to pray unto the Sovereign God, who rules and commands, to purge him of these ‘hidden’ matters. He is taught of the Spirit that this is the very nature of man which he has been created of God with and cannot control. He also knows that this carnal nature by which he is drawn away after the needs and desires of the flesh is inherent to the existence of the earthen vessel. Thus he begs Almighty God for His mercy and earnestly petitions that this lust of the flesh not be empowered to reign over him.
This is the pride by which the heart of man is deceived and caused to strive by that which is right in his own eyes. It is the arrogance of the natural man that seeks after that which he does not have in order to make himself better. It is the insolent nature of man which leads him to have contempt for the way things are and the hope for a better tomorrow as Adam concludes what things might have been and laments what things should have never happened. This is a temporal limited mind which is driven by carnal logic as he strives to make himself wise enough to correct those things which are for indeed the god of his mind is insufficient. This is why a messenger from Satan was given to Paul; that he might not be exalted above measure (II Cor. 12:7).
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard, do not cease to pray and desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Col. 1:9).
Since God has filled the minds of the sons of man with the things of this world so that they cannot find out the work which God has done from the beginning it is only reasonable to conclude that it is not God’s intent for man to know His ways. He is not obligated to explain Himself to His creatures and He has no interest in a public opinion poll of how He is doing. God sits in heaven and rules over His creation bringing to pass that which He has purposed in Himself. He needs no assistance and He asks no counsel for He is God and there is none greater. He has predestined the times of habitations, the stations of life, the paths that should be walk and the labours assigned to each portion of His masterpiece to cause all tings to function in complete harmony according to the good pleasure of His will.
This is contrary to the mind, reasoning and understanding of the creature unto whom He has assigned to labour all the days of his life. God commanded that Adam would eat his bread by the sweat of his brow as he was sustained by the fruit of the field. It is therefore logical that man conclude, in a demonstration of his arrogance, that all he has is a produce of the work of his hands. Thus the inherent nature of the children of the dust is to worship the creature with all his natural abilities and to strive to improve them with training, education and practice. This is a Pharisee.
The children of hope however have not so learned the Anointing. As the light of His glory shines into the heart of flesh of His people (for He has been removed the heart of stone) the beauty of His Holiness is communicated from faith to faith. The darkness of the ways of man are also illuminated as the pure commandments of Yehovah enlighten the opened eyes of they who once were blind but now they see (Ps. 19:8). The prayer of the Apostle was that the Spirit of God would continue to illuminate the pure hearts and minds of His people shewing them the contentment in His ways and the peace of His sovereignty over all things.
The wisdom of this world is precluded from the knowledge of God by the decree of God in His creation. They who seek to know the Lord through their learning (Scribes) do indeed separate themselves (Pharisee) in their ascension to the lofty heights of knowledge but by the wisdom of this world they cannot know God and the preaching of the cross is foolishness (I Cor. 1:21). Therefore in the acquisition of the knowledge of this world is much sorrow as the Spirit teaches His children the vanity of all things. This is not to say that God’s creation is worthless for He has created all things according to the intent of His desire, therefore everything serves the purpose of God in the performance of His will; but nothing is added unto God. He is not made a greater God through worship nor is He raised up to a higher plain of existence through the works of His creation. He is God and there is no other and while man is busied observing the outward appearances of the universe, God knows the heart, mind and spirit of His creatures and them that are His.
They which are born from above have the Spirit of the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in them. They are given to know and understand, not by the faculties of the flesh or by the instructions of fellow earthen vessels that envying and strife, confusion and every evil works proceed from the wisdom that is earthly. They also know that when these attributes of the dust are revealed daily in every thought, word and deed, they are drawn away after the arrogance of the flesh to attempt to rid themselves of this menacing enmity; “for to will is present with me but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Rms. 7:18). Yet they find they are without the strength to suppress this inveterate foe and thus they cry out unto the Lord, who is able to save. God has indeed empowered the pride of man to teach His children in all wisdom (for they know the number of man) and spiritual understanding (for we wrestle not against flesh and blood) that this world is not their home for they are strangers and sojourners in a foreign land. He has brought them low into Canaan that they should see and know the people of the land who dwell with them and understand that they live move and breath, not by the will of man but by the power of God. Thus they groan waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace” (James 3:17).
The Pharisaical nature of the earthen vessels is to present that counterfeit representation of the second river in the land of Shinar. It is unstable as water and tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. It strives for the approval of fellow children of the dust but within is hypocrisy and guilt. These are they who are “presumptuous, self willed”, “sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adulteries and that cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls and heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children” (II Pt. 2:13f).
Jesus was not teaching His disciples to hate these groups or to take up arms against them. He was teaching that these groups are a demonstration of the vileness of the corruption in each member of the Adamic family. His Spirit shows His people their weakness in Adam as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
September 13, 2015