"A guidebook to accessing the life of God
Without being sidetracked by religious tradition."
takes a time and study to understand the Scriptures, we call The
Holy Bible. Is it history or fable? Is it the
word of God and relevant to life in the 21st Century? Is it inviolate
truth or not? It is only after we have studied the Bible carefully
with the intent to understand that we begin to glimpse its
consistency and simplicity. It has been called many things,
such as the "Makers users manual," "A love letter from God,"
"A book that prophetically foretells things to come." Theologians
dig into the study of Scripture from a variety of motives and at
times leave with a lot of knowledge but little understanding.
The apostle Paul who was highly educated and religiously situated
proclaimed that scholarship, philosophy and theology are a pathway
that does not lead to knowing God. Human knowlege is not Spiritual
knowledge. Truth and wisdom is a Spiritually derived gift. Spiritual
life is outside of religion. For it is only God himself who through
the revelation of the Holy Spirit to impart to human beings the
necessary understanding and revelation of the Mysteries
WHAT ARE SOME RELIGIOUS ATTRIBUTES
WHICH HINDER FULFILLMENT IN A LIFE OF GOD?
**Schisms and division in the body of Christ
from denominational boundaries
**Schism and division result from the designation of clergy
and the subordinate laity
** Some form of priesthood remains as the controlling voice
**Human headship a heirarchy of authority controls and imposes
**Formalistic rituals or orders of service prohibit God's
**Religious services become a form of performance or entertainment
**Congregations (the laity) undervalued and serve mostly
to support the institution
**The members of congregations are identified as "sheep"
to be exploited
**the institution church is focused primarily on maintenance;
continuance and growth
**Religious traditions borrow worldly values and methodology
**The doctrines of institutional Christianity may be at variance
**All individual believers are not expected to grow, mature
and assume leadership
**Traditional religious practices lack a demonstration of
the power of the Holy Spirit.
**Although Christianity is the outgrowth
and fulfillment of
roots there is little acknowledgment of these foundations
Attributes of Religion
Leaven of Pharisees "
" - - the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be
so among you, but whosoever would become great among you shall be
your minister; and whosoever would be first among you shall be your
servant: 28) even as the song of man came not to be ministered to
but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew
judge things which are from God to be evil and devilish.
things which are from God to be evil and devilish.
the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the
devils." (Matthew 9:34) "But when the Pharisees heard it, they
said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince
of the devils." (Matthew 12:24)
is a class of religious people who know only the ritual, the letter
and the doctrine of their institution. These individuals are quick
to react to the person who comes with a doctrine or revelation that
does not coincide with their own. They do not recognize the revelation
of the Spirit of God and in fact do not even know God or his attributes.
In the case of Jesus, they ascribed his anointed works to that of
follow codes of legalism
when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples
do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day." (Matthew
12:2) "And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean
the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full
of ravening and wickedness."
11:39) "But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue
and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God:
these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." (Luke
to religious rules or "legalism" marks the religious behavior of the
Pharisees. Doctrines are judged right and correct because they follow
"the way of the fathers." It is the tradition. Tradition is
sacrosanct and can not be violated. Jesus saw past the tradition into
the moral and spiritual foundations of God.
violently oppose those who they perceive to be contrary to their doctrine.
Pharisees set themselves to destroy those who differ with them.
"And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel
with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him." (Mark
the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might
destroy him." (Matthew 12:14)
for another viewpoint not evident in the doctrine of Pharisees. We
see the immediate response to opposition which threatened their power-base
is that of reprisals, sanctions, or worse. It is dangerous to confront
a religiously grounded person especially one who has a vested interest
in the status quo. No congregation wishes to be threatened in way
which impacts the base of power or the economic interests of their
Pharisee's behavior is contagious
Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees
and of the Sadducees." (Matthew 16:6)
their is no spiritual center to religious life everything that is
done is based upon going along with the status quo or replicating
traditional behavior. Once so conditioned it is very hard to break
free. Such bound religious people are called "children of hell"
by Jesus. (Matthew 23:15)
hinder or prevent the acquisition of true faith
23:13 "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves,
neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."
23:15 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass
sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him
twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."
present themselves with pomp, pretense and self exaltation.
23:14 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore
ye shall receive the greater damnation."
miss the spiritual meaning of the word and the law.
unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint
and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the
law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and
not to leave the other undone." (Matthew 23:23) "And the Lord
said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup
and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness."
who are of the world and those who are connected with the vine of
religion fail to hear Jesus' words and they fail to believe. Jesus
told these religious persons that if they belonged to God they would
hear and recognize that Jesus spoke for God. Jesus concluded that
they did not belong to God but to their father the devil.
teaching and practice do not equate; hypocrisy.
- he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the
leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy." (Luke 12:1)
unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the
outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of
extortion and excess." (Matthew 23:25) "Woe unto you, scribes
and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers,
which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead
men's bones, and of all uncleanness."
23:27) "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe
and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."
separate themselves from common people and sinners.
when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners,
they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh
with publicans and sinners?" (Mark 2:16)
their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying,
Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?" (Luke 5:30)
"And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth
sinners, and eateth with them." (Luke 15:2)
turn what should be a spiritual life into burdensome tasks.
they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on
men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of
their fingers." (Matthew 23:4)
are still religions today who bind their people with obligations and
burdensome tasks. To fail at the task is to risk spiritual repercussion
of God's wrath.
see God formally and far off from man; have no knowledge nor experience
of the intimacy of "son ship."
the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this
which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?"
Pharisees the "status" of their ecclesiastical position is a source
unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues,
and greetings in the markets." (Luke 11:43)
the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and
they derided him." (Luke 16:14)
all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their
phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments," (Matthew
judge the externals, see only the outward forms and appearance of
things, therefore they do not judge with righteous judgment (Isaiah
when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should
come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with
observation:" (Luke 17:20)
judgment is described in Isaiah Chapter 11. It states that Lord, the
righteous Judge will not judge by the external evidence of the things
which are seen by things revealed in the Spirit.
do not recognize the anointing, they contend and compete with the
anointing, using any available argument to stop it.
Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself;
thy record is not true." (John 8:13)
both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment,
that, if any man knew where he were, he should show it, that they
might take him." (John 11:57)
person who is spiritual in the midst of religious non spiritual people
is at once suspect and accused of many kinds of evil. Whether by reason
of jealousy or of fear that they might be exposed as spiritually deficient
charlatans. In such situations, the true man or woman of God is singled
out for persecution and eventually suffers legalistic reprisals from
the priestly leadership.
flaunt the status of their religious titles, which are used
to "lord it over" the simple.
greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi."
(read Matthew 23:7-10)
these scriptures it can be interpreted that any names which exalt
clergy or human leadership is unscriptural. Whether "Rabbi," "Master,"
"Father," "Excellence," "Eminence," "Your Grace," "Reverend" or "Pastor,
" or any other.
apostles forbid such obsequious fawning and we should not become so
phony and egoistic as to require it. These kinds of men may be our
brothers if they are believers but they are no more than a brother
who shares the same testimony that ,"We have nothing that was not
given to us".
expect privilege, power, status, and gain through their titles and
love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,"
"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ;
and all ye are brethren." "And call no man your father upon the earth:
for one is your Father, which is in heaven."
whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble
himself shall be exalted." (Matthew 23:6,8,9,12)
as a privileged class is assumed widely within contemporary tradition.
Leadership, some presume, has the privilege of living in a kind of
exalted manner, with lavish attention to their every need. Of course
there are some poor churches who barely support their pastors and
might well do more, many of the clergy class "lord it over" the parishioners
essentially expecting a high standard of comfortable living to be
supplied by the gratuities of others.
is something about the picture of a fat, self indulgent preacher that
the world does not trust. The Broadway musical production "Cabaret"
typifies this view as it features one song which was called "Money."
In it there is just such a reference to a fat money-grabbing preacher.
While fat and affluent business men seem perfectly Okay by worldly
standards the world does not really want to see Christians among the
materialistic and self indulgent. While I do not normally see the
world as having much spiritual enlightenment, this is an interesting
forget the true nature of ministry: mercy, sharing and helping others.
whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble
himself shall be exalted." "But he that is greatest among you shall
be your servant." (Matthew 23:11,12)
Kingdom of God is not about ourselves. The Kingdom of God is not about
wealth or comfort though it would be good if want and suffering were
banished. The Kingdom of God is about realizing a life where God is
a reality and his presence is a continual comfort and strength to
any of us in this world, regardless of our status or situation. God
is a reality and his blessings are real and new each day. Those who
know God are aware of this reality, those who know only religion are
still waiting to connect to the real thing.
"Knowledge makes arrogant, love edifies."