There are multitudes of godly men and women down through the ages that have been called and chosen by God, and yet they stumbled and sinned along the way. The walk of a believer in Jesus many times is a hard and treacherous path of missteps and rabbit trails until they attain maturity in Jesus Christ.
This life is not easy and neither 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 and toil for the believer to grow in the Lord. They continue to grow through 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, I dare say, there are more who think they are saved, but they 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 their wicked heart. He sees the rotten core covered with a polished peel of self-righteousness.
These men seek to show themselves right. 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 and righteous ways of the Lord.
They are very prevalent in the churches in these last days. They are not who you think they are, you may be surprised when they are revealed to be modern-day Pharisees and Sadducees. Beware of them and the leaven they spread to taint the flock.
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. The truth of who they are beneath can not be hidden from those who walk in His Spirit. Their rotten fruit will become obvious.
“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 for them. The boldest and most fearless rebukes were reserved for those who should have known better. The religious leaders of that time and for this time as well. 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.
“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 hard and deceptive times, it is of the utmost importance to be on your guard against such men. They are master manipulators and skilled in educated, biblical knowledge, and smooth speech to persuade those who are unaware of their treachery. Many times making it is hard to recognize the true from the false until you begin to poke at the soft center of what they produce.
But they do not fool the Spirit of the Lord and they will not fool you if you seek the wisdom and insight of the Lord. Nothing is hidden from Him. Be careful that you do not 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
Continue to do good, repent often, and search your heart to make it holy and pure, walking in His Spirit. Be what God intended you to be, a righteous Saint that looks to do as the Lord commands and beware of those whose hearts are rotten.
“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