XV. Questions and Answers on Dissecting the Essence of the Pharisees
Question 2: Pastors and elders often read the scriptures and preach to people, pray for brothers and sisters, have love for believers and ask people to hold on to the Bible. If we say they are hypocritical Pharisees, most believers will not be able to see through or distinguish. Then please communicate to us in more detail.
Answer: Back then, the Jewish Pharisees often explained the Scriptures and prayed for believers in synagogues. Didn’t they appear quite godly to people too? Then why did the Lord Jesus expose and curse the Pharisees, saying woe to the hypocritical Pharisees? Could the Lord Jesus have wronged them? Do people not believe that the word of the Lord Jesus is the truth? Do people still suspect that the Lord Jesus did the wrong thing? Distinguishing whether pastors and elders are hypocritical Pharisees and antichrists or not cannot be done by just looking at how they treat people on the outside. The main thing is to look at how they treat the Lord and the truth. On the outside they can be loving toward believers, but do they have love toward the Lord? If they are quite loving toward people but are full of boredom and hate toward the Lord and the truth, and judge and condemn Christ of the last days—Almighty God, then aren’t they hypocritical Pharisees? Aren’t they antichrists? They seem to preach and work hard outwardly, but if it is for the sake of being crowned and rewarded, then does this mean that they obey and are loyal to the Lord? To distinguish whether someone is hypocritical, you mainly have to look inside their hearts and see their intentions. That is the most important thing about distinguishing. Only after such communication do I understand! God inspects people’s hearts. So to see if a person truly loves and obeys the Lord, the main thing is to look at whether they practice and adhere to His word and uphold His commandments, and moreover look at whether they exalt the Lord Jesus and bear witness to the Lord Jesus, and if they follow God’s will. We see that the Pharisees often explained the Scriptures to people in synagogues, held on to the rules of the Bible for everything, and were also loving toward people. But in reality, everything they did was not practicing God’s word or upholding God’s commandments, but was done to be seen by people. Just as the Lord Jesus said when He exposed them: “But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments” (Mat 23:5). They even purposely stood in the synagogues and on the street corners to engage in long prayers. During fasting they purposely made their faces look very sad, so that people could tell that they were fasting. They even deliberately did good deeds in the streets so that people could all see. They even continued to hold on to ancient traditions and religious rituals such as “do not eat unless they wash the hands carefully.” To deceive people into supporting and worshiping them, the Pharisees kept making a big deal out of small things to disguise themselves, and they only led people to engage in religious worship, singing and praise, or holding on to some ancestral traditions, but did not lead people to practice God’s word, uphold God’s commandments, and enter the reality of the truth. Moreover, they did not lead people to practice the truth and obey and worship God. All they did was use some external actions to confuse and deceive believers! When the Lord Jesus came to preach and work, for the sake of protecting their own status and livelihoods, these Pharisees who pretended to be godly actually openly abandoned God’s laws and commandments under the guise of “defending the Bible.” They made up rumors, bore false witness, and furiously condemned and framed the Lord Jesus, doing all they could to block believers from following the Lord Jesus. In the end, they even colluded with those in power to nail the Lord Jesus to the cross! Accordingly, the Pharisees’ hypocritical and truth-hating essence was completely exposed. Their antichrist essence was thereby completely revealed. This shows that the essence of the Pharisees was hypocritical, treacherous, deceitful and malicious. They were all false shepherds who abandoned God’s way, deceived people and caged people! They deceived and bound believers, controlling the religious world to oppose God, furiously denying, condemning and hating the incarnate Christ. This is sufficient to prove that they were the antichrists who wanted to erect their own independent kingdom!
Now we see clearly the various expressions of the Pharisees’ hypocrisy, when we compare them to today’s religious pastors and elders, would we not discover that they are just like the Pharisees and are all people who don’t practice the Lord’s word or uphold the Lord’s commandments, and moreover not people who exalt the Lord and bear witness to the Lord? They are just people who blindly believe in the Bible, worship the Bible, and exalt the Bible. They just hold on to various religious rituals, such as attending regular services, morning watch, breaking bread, partaking of Holy Communion, and so forth. They only pay attention to talking to people about being humble, patient, godly and loving, but they don’t love God in their hearts, and moreover they don’t obey God and don’t have a heart that fears God at all. Their work and preaching only focuses on holding on to and explaining Bible knowledge and theological theory. But when it comes to how to practice and experience the Lord’s word, how to uphold the Lord’s commandments and how to spread and testify to the Lord’s word, how people should follow the will of the heavenly Father, how to truly love God, obey God, and worship God, and all these various things the Lord Jesus asks of mankind, they do not seek, do not explore, and do not figure out the Lord’s intentions, and moreover do not lead people to practice or comply. The purpose of them going around everywhere preaching Bible knowledge and theological theory is to show off themselves, build up themselves, and make people look up to and worship them. Therefore, when Almighty God came to express truths and perform His judgment work of the last days, these pastors and elders, for the sake of achieving permanent power in the religious world, and for their ambition of controlling believers and creating their own independent kingdom, openly violated the word of the Lord Jesus, making up rumors, judging, attacking and blaspheming Almighty God, doing their utmost to block believers from seeking and investigating the true way. For example, the Lord Jesus taught people to be wise virgins: When one hears someone yell “Behold, the bridegroom comes,” they should go out to welcome Him. But after pastors and elders heard news of the Lord Jesus’ second coming, they instead did all they could to seal off the church and prevent believers from seeking and investigating the true way! The Lord Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Yet, they incited believers to slander and beat brothers and sisters who testify to Almighty God’s work of the last days. The Lord Jesus asked man not to lie, not to bear false witness, but pastors and elders made up all sorts of lies to slander Almighty God, and even colluded with the devilish CCP to resist, condemn Almighty God’s work of the last days and smear the Church of Almighty God. From this we can see that what religious pastors and elders have said and done completely violates the Lord’s teachings. They are just like the hypocritical Pharisees. They are all people who blindly lead, resist God, and deceive people. Allow me to read a passage of Almighty God’s word. Almighty God says, “If your intention is not to submit to Him but you have an ulterior motive, then what you say and do, even the prayers you say to God, your every act, will be viewed as resisting to God. Even if you speak tenderly, act with a mild manner, your actions and expressions appear appropriate to others, and you give an impression that you submit to God, yet judging from your intention and your viewpoint of belief, all you do is against God, and is evil. Being submissive like a lamb on the outside but bearing evil intentions on the inside, this is a wolf in sheepskin, one who directly offends God. God will not let go of anyone who is like this, and the Holy Spirit will reveal them one by one, so that everyone can see that all hypocrites will be rejected by the Holy Spirit. There is no need for anyone to worry. God will deal with each of these people in turn, He will sort them out one after the other.” (“In Your Faith in God You Should Obey God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) These religious pastors and elders appear on the outside to be humble, patient and loving, but in their hearts they are full of treachery, deceit and malice. Under the guise of “defend the true way, protect the flock,” they openly resist and condemn Almighty God and plan to control believers to achieve their goal of permanent power in the religious world and setting up their own independent kingdom. These hypocritical Pharisees who hate the truth and hate God are precisely the group of stubborn God-opposing antichrists exposed by Almighty God’s work of the last days. All those who truly believe in God should learn how to distinguish their hypocritical essence and satanic, antichrist nature. Don’t be deceived, confused, caged and controlled by them anymore. You should seek and investigate the true way and accept Almighty God’s work of the last days, and return before God’s throne!
from the movie script of Break Through the Snare