Jesus Warns the Disciples of False Doctrine
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Matthew 16:6 Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” NKJV
The public school systems in much of this country the United States of America is under pressure to raise or elevate the ability for our children to pass standardized test that every State develops to test the knowledge of the student prior to graduation. The former President George W. Bush implemented what was thought to be a ground breaking piece of legislation (No Child Left Behind) that would surely improve the learning ability of America’s children that attended public schools. However, we soon learned that while legislation with goals, targets, and criteria serve a purpose and are well intentioned that they alone will not transfer the required skills children need to be successful at retaining what was taught in the classroom and how it was taught to them. The founding of many Charter Schools today where some of the same students previously in the aforementioned Public Schools are now being observed excelling in learning and retaining what they learned can be traced directly to the people teaching them, how they teach them, and what they teach them.
Our Lord faced a similar problem while He walked with His disciples many centuries ago but with far greater consequences. More than the ability to receive a diploma, but the consequences of hearing, receiving, and believing false or bad spiritual teaching could work to lead the souls of men, women, boys, and girls to an eternal @#!*% . Therefore, our Lord sought with earnest diligence to warn His true disciples to beware of two forms of false spiritual teaching that they would encounter and that would sound so good it could pull so many looking for truth away from THE TRUTH that He had been teaching them and that He would continue to teach through them after His ascension into Heaven.
There were two religious sects of the Jews during that time that received respect, regard, and even reverence from many of the Jewish people and they were the Pharisees and the Sadducees. First the “Pharisees” means the separated ones. This religious sect of the Jews taught the doctrine of LEGALISM, which essentially means a strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit. They appear to be responsible for the transformation of Judaism from a religion of sacrifice to one of law. They saw God as concerned with the life of a person without denying that the individual was responsible for how he or she lived. The Pharisees opposed Jesus because He refused to accept the teachings of the oral law. These were they that our Lord said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”
Second the Sadducees were the aristocrats (so called blue blood) of the time. They were the party of the rich and the high priestly families. They stood in opposition to the Pharisees and sought to conserve the beliefs and practices of the past. They opposed the oral law, accepting the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament, as the ultimate authority. The Sadducees were materialistic in their outlook. They did not believe in life after death or any reward or punishment beyond this life. Therefore, they taught the doctrine of LIBERALISM, which meant that since they believed in no after life this life was all that there was and a person, could live as they desired indulging whatever sensual passions that satisfied them, eat drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die. They did not believe that God was concerned with what people did. Rather people were totally free. These were they that our Lord said, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ ? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.” They wanted nothing to threaten their position and wealth, so they strongly opposed Jesus.
LEGALISM seeks to bind people to a strict list of rules and regulations, do’s and don’ts, and the worship of angels and saints which things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh. LIBERALISM, on the other hand, designs to set people free to indulge the fleshly appetites without limit or restriction and having no guilt because (in their unregenerate mind) God does not care how people live their daily lives. The teaching of LIBERALISM speaks foolishness to people, and the heart of those who teach it and receive the teaching will continually practice sin and all manner of evil and ungodliness, and it will cause people to speak error against our Lord, and it will keep the hungry heart/soul unsatisfied. Our Lord knew that many who would desire to come to Him to receive the free gift of eternal life from His hand would meet with these false roads or gates that appear to lead to the same eternal life, but they are like leaven in dough permeating secretly, silently, and stealthily and would lead the souls of people down, down, and down into degradation, despair, and destruction. See article entitled "Making the Word of God of No Effect, http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=90554).
1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. NKJV
2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. NKJV
“Nothing makes a man so virtuous as belief of the truth. A lying doctrine will soon beget a lying practice. A man cannot have an erroneous belief without by-and-by having an erroneous life. I believe the one thing naturally begets the other.” Charles Spurgeon
“It is an undoubted truth that every doctrine that comes from God, leads to God; and that which doth not tend to promote holiness is not of God.” George Whitefield
“We should no more tolerate false doctrine that we would tolerate sin.” J. C. Ryle
“Doctrinal preaching certainly bores the hypocrites; but it is only doctrinal preaching that will save Christ's sheep.” J. I. Packer
“Christians should not be content merely with knowing mentally the doctrine of the Holy Spirit as given in the Bible; they also need to know Him experimentally.” Watchman Nee
“There is scarcely anything so dull and meaningless as Bible doctrine taught for its own sake. Truth divorced from life is not truth in its Biblical sense, but something else and something less.” A. W. Tozer
“Doctrine matters. What you believe about God, the gospel, the nature of man, and every major truth addressed in Scripture filters down to every area of your life. You and I will never rise above our view of God and our understanding of His Word.” John MacArthur
“The foundation of true holiness and true Christian worship is the doctrine of the gospel, what we are to believe. So when Christian doctrine is neglected, forsaken, or corrupted, true holiness and worship will also be neglected, forsaken, and corrupted.” John Owen
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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