There are multitudes of godly men and women down through the ages that have been called and chosen by God, yet no one has not stumbled and sinned along the way. Likewise, a believer’s walk in Jesus is often a hard and treacherous path of missteps and rabbit trails until they attain maturity in Jesus Christ.
This life is not easy, nor is the process of growing in the Spirit. Just as it takes time for corn to grow from a seed to a mature crop, it takes time, tests, trials, and toil for the believer to grow in the Lord. Yet, they continue to grow through the rain, wind, drought and shine.
Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once, he puts in the sickle because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:26-29
But on the other hand, there are more who think they are saved from Hell but are merely religious, prideful, and nasty inside. With a Bible raised in one hand and deceptive ways in the other. They pretend to be good Christians, but the Lord sees into the depths of every heart. He sees when there is a rotten core covered with a polished peel of self-righteousness.
These men seek to show themselves right among their congregations. They scoff at anyone who shows any promise and flattens those they deem unworthy. They refer to doctrines, authors, and theology, ideas made up by men instead of the Spirit of God’s Word: the goodness, mercy, and righteous ways of the Lord.
You may not realize it, but they are prevalent in the churches in these last days. Although they are not who you think they are, you may be surprised when they are revealed as modern-day Pharisees and Sadducees. Beware of them; God’s discernment is essential to weed them out.
Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” “of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Matthew 16:6,12
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-16
The Lord Jesus saw through their shiny outer layer, right to their evil hearts. He sees them as well today, and so can you if you allow the Spirit of the Lord to instruct you, to open your eyes. When you walk in the Spirit, they can not hide who they really are. Their rotten fruit will become apparent.
“Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16-20
Jesus also has very harsh rebukes and warnings for them. God reserves the most significant punishment for the religious leaders, who should know better but went on to disobey His Word. The ones who knew the scriptures, the Law of Moses, and yet used their positions of power for their own evil benefit. Listen to the Lord’s scathing rebuke against them and take note.
“The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Matthew 23:2-4
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense, make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.“
“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!”
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside, they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
“Therefore, you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your Fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” Matthew 23:13-14,23-28,31-33
In these challenging and deceptive times, being on your guard against such men is of the utmost importance. They are master manipulators skilled in educated biblical knowledge and smooth speech to persuade those unaware of their treachery. But, unfortunately, recognizing the truth from the false is often difficult until you begin to poke at the soft rotten center of what they produce.
But they do not fool the Spirit of the Lord, and they will not deceive you if you seek the wisdom and insight of the Lord. Nothing is hidden from Him. Therefore, be careful not to follow their ways, for the Lord has said, “great is their condemnation” for those who live in such reprehensible religious sin.
“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven, men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” Matthew 12:31-32
“Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts. For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” Malachi 3-5-6
Nevertheless, continue to do good, repent often, and search your heart to make it holy and pure, walking in His Spirit. Beware of those whose hearts are rotten walking in the wickedness of the Devil. But be what God intended you to be, a righteous Saint that looks to do as the Lord commands.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
They refer to doctrines, authors, and theology, ideas made up by men instead of the Spirit of God’s Word. The goodness of the Lord.
Hi, I’m not sure what you mean by doctrines and theology. Doctrines are fundamentals to how we understand what the Scripture is teaching without these principles, truths men would be led away by false teachers exactly the warnings you posted about with the Pharisees etc.
But as you have been depicting in the image you show with the rotten apple, it’s whether they display the fruit of the Spirit? Many men have good doctrines and theology but are sounding brass. Even so, there is grace for these men who may be puffed up with a head knowledge, but if there are no sound doctrines then you could not discern error from the truth because while some have the false appearance
‘They pretend to be good Christians but the Lord sees into the depths of their wicked heart. He sees the rotten core covered with a polished peel of self-righteousness.’
You may never know if the doctrines they teach are true or false, especially if you don’t know the doctrines yourself. There are many lovely people caught up in false religion and cults etc.
The Pharisees were puffed up because they assumed they had a birthright to salvation and by the works they performed they would be welcomed into heaven but Jesus told them their theology was incorrect. They often looked down on others failing to see they were lawbreakers too and had not learnt what Grace is and that too is a doctrine.
Guess that’s why Jesus prayed we would be sanctified in the truth but to be puffed up in the knowledge of truth and belittle those below you would perhaps show as you said they are not saved, a young convert, self righteous
You basically answered it in your reply. Obviously it is differing doctrines and theology other that what comes from Jesus and the teachings of the Holy Spirit.
In the churches of this age there are an unending list and different thoughts of theology and doctrine. It is a generalized statement categorize all that appear true to many but have a rotten core.
The Lord knows each and every one of their wicked hearts and will judge them accordingly.
We must be very careful of the Religious even in the Christian community, beware of those who bear bad fruit that they don’t lead us astray.
Jesus even said about when He returns, “will there be faith upon the earth?”
This is a sobering statement.
Perhaps the window of opportunity to receive the gift of faith narrows even more before his return. Even now many are lovers of self rather than lovers of God, even though the gospel is available from nearly everywhere at the click of a button. Faith, but faith in what? many say they have faith but sadly don’t endure sound doctrine, that when he returns those who are holding to the biblical principles will be few, for much of what is called Christianity today is not true faith, they have wandered from the faith and compromised biblical truths to fit in with the world where there should be a distinction.
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Yes exactly, very few and far between are the true and faithful servants of the Lord.
Those who obey His commands and will. Those who are hearers of the word and doers too.
It will be as in the days of Noah. Only 8 out of the world were saved from perishing.
Yet, we keep pushing forward and sharing the Gospel to everyone and leave salvation in the hands of the Holy Spirit. For we do not know the day or hour.