The Pharisees - Part 12

Posted in: 2011
By Tom L. Ballinger
Oct 27, 2011 - 9:13:28 AM

Plainer Words from 1968
October 27, 2011
All of the teachings in Israel at the time of Christ were rigidly controlled by the Pharisees. No-one dared teach without the approval or authority by the Pharisees. It did not matter how ridiculous or unfair their teaching became; no-one dared to question, or criticize.  By the same token, whatever the Pharisees compelled others to do, no-one insisted that the Pharisees be bound by the same rules.
“For they [the Pharisees] 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).
The “heavy burdens” were grievous to be borne. They were the Pharisaic concoctions out of their Traditional Law [Oral Law]. These “heavy burdens” were used in order to keep the poor in subjection. The “bottom line” of the “Oral Law” was to keep the masses in subjection.
When the Lord Jesus Christ was a Minister to the Circumcision, no wonder He said to those who were weighted-down and in bondage to the “Oral Law:”
“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
What a contrast to the burdens of the Pharisees! What good news this was to the poor and lowly—to wit, those who were labeled as “sinners.” The gospel was that they could put off the yoke of the Pharisees and put on His yoke which would be “easy.” The contrast between the doctrines of the Pharisees and Jesus were world’s apart. One gendered bondage, the other, liberty.
The other contrast noted, here, was that the Lord Jesus Christ was meek and lowly in heart as compared to the Pharisees who were arrogant and high-minded (to wit, proud, conceited, puffed-up). The Lord said His yoke was easy; whereas, the Pharisees’ was hard. The Lord’s burden was light while theirs was heavy. To learn of Christ, that is, to learn His Doctrine, assured them rest, but to follow the doctrine of the Pharisees was to endure continual religious labor and increasingly heavy burdens.
The Lord Jesus Christ came to set at liberty those who were captives of the Pharisees. In the synagogue at Nazareth, He said, quoting from Isaiah; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised [oppressed]” (Luke 4:18).
To have believed the Gospel of the Kingdom of God was to believe Present Truth in that day. This brought about deliverance and liberty. Believing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God broke the bands that bound the people to the Law of the Pharisees (a false doctrine). The Lord spoke the following to those who believed His Words; “… If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free; … If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:31-32, 36).
When John 8:12-59 is read, it should be noted that the sin from which they could be set free was from the Law of the Pharisees; their “Oral Law” which was of the Devil.  It was not deliverance from the sin of “drinking, dancing, cursing, or so-called worldliness.”
This has been pointed out to give additional background on the hold that the Pharisees had upon the hearts and minds of the children of Israel. This hold was the result of fabricated doctrine which was not after Moses but after the flesh.
The Lord Jesus Christ said to the Pharisees in John 8:
37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill Me, because my word hath no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill Me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to Him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
These passages of Scripture are profound. The Lord Jesus Christ said to the face of the Pharisees that they were of their father the Devil. The Devil, He said, “was a murderer from the beginning.” This statement deserves serious cogitation.
Consider the following. Who did the Devil murder in the beginning? Some recognized Bible authorities say that, through Cain, he murdered Abel or that he murdered prior to the so-called “overthrow” (a false doctrine of many Christians). On the contrary, the key to understanding this is the Lord’s further statement that the Devil is a liar, and the father of the lie. THE LIE is associated with not abiding in the Truth. The BIG LIE pertained to death.
The Serpent spoke to Eve, saying; “…Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4).  Remember the words of the LORD God; “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17).
The Devil did not accept God’s Word regarding death, for he did not abide by it, cunningly suggesting to Eve, THE LIE—Ye shall not SURELY DIE! The BIG LIE was that you [Eve] won’t really die, rather; you will continue to live in another form.
The Serpent further said; “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).
Eve believed the LIE! She took the fruit of the “tree” and did eat “… and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Genesis 3:6). The consequence of believing THE LIE of the “NEW” GOSPEL was that, immediately, the death-principle began working within them, which is to say; they began dying.
The result of Adam and Eve embracing The Lie was their ultimate death. Thus, the Devil murdered them with the most destructive weapon of all; believing that which was untrue—The Lie. Therefore, we understand that the Devil was a murderer from the beginning, and that he was the father of The Lie.
Adam was charged with the act of sin (1 Timothy 2:14). Adam’s embrace of the LIE resulted in sin and death entering their world and passed upon all men!  “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
Because Adam acted upon THE LIE, death passed upon him and all men. Therefore, we are to understand that the Devil was a murderer from the beginning, and that he was the father of THE LIE. The Devil was the murderer of Adam and the whole human race.
The Doctrine of the Pharisees, regarding death, is what qualified them for being the children of the Devil. The Lord Jesus told the Pharisees that their fathers killed the Prophets, and they were busy trying to kill THE PROPHET; thus, they were reckoned as being children of those who murdered the Prophets of old. So, too, they were reckoned as the children of the wicked one since they continued to perpetrate The Lie of the Devil. The Pharisees taught that death was not really death, but, rather, it was the beginning of life in another form. The Pharisees spoke of death as a friend to the poor. The Apostle Paul, categorically, spoke of death as the ENEMY (1 Corinthians 15:26). The Pharisees spoke of death as a gateway; the Scriptures speak of it as a terminus.
The Pharisees’ tradition handed down the Devil’s Lie which deceived our first parents, Adam and Eve. God said, “Thou shalt surely die.” The Devil said, “Thou shalt not surely die.” Upon these two statements hang the basis for The Lie. Those in the days of Christ who taught “The Lie” were said to have the Devil as their father. Mm Mmm! What about those, today, who teach that the dead are really alive, either in Heaven in a state of Bliss, or in Hell in a state of Torment. Aren’t they actually teaching the Devil’s Lie?
The Old Serpent misused the Word of God with Eve. The Pharisees misused the Scriptures with the children of Israel. The Devil misused the Scriptures during the forty-day testing of the Lord in the wilderness (Matthew 4:6). “Orthodox Christians” misuse the Scriptures, such as Philippians 1:21-23 and Luke 16:19-31, to perpetuate the Lie. In what category does this place them?
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