Question 2: The pastors and elders always read the Bible and preach to the believers. They pray and practice love for the brothers and sisters, and uphold the Bible. If we’re saying that they’re the hypocritical Pharisees, most believers wouldn’t understand it or even tell. Please give a more detailed fellowship on this.
Answer: Back then, the Jewish Pharisees always expounded on the Bible at their services, and prayed for the believers. To the eye, they looked devout, but why did the Lord Jesus expose them and curse them, saying woe to the Pharisees who were hypocrites? Did the Lord Jesus accuse them wrongly? Would people not believe what He said to be the truth? Would they suspect the Lord Jesus made a mistake? If we want to tell if the pastors and elders are the hypocritical Pharisees, whether or not they’re antichrists, we shouldn’t judge them solely by how they outwardly treat people. We should judge them mainly by how they treat the Lord and the truth. Outwardly, they may have love for believers, but do they have it for the Lord? If their love is just for people, but for the Lord or the truth, they only show hatred and utter contempt, and they even condemn Almighty God, Christ of the last days, then doesn’t that only make them hypocrites and antichrists? They give sermons and seem to work so diligently. But if they only do so for crowns and rewards, does that represent their obedience and loyalty to the Lord? To discern if someone is a hypocrite, we should first look at his heart and his intentions. Doing that first is the most vital thing. God looks deep into man’s hearts and minds. Whether one truly obeys the Lord and loves Him, we should first see whether they practice and follow the Lord’s word, and keep the Lord’s commandments. We should also see whether they exalt and testify to the Lord Jesus, and see whether they follow the will of God. We saw that the Pharisees often expounded on the Bible during their congregations. And they observed biblical laws in their entirety and practiced love for others. But in actuality, what they were practicing was not God’s word, and weren’t God’s commandments. They did so just for show. Just as the Lord Jesus 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 …” (Matthew 23:5). They also made long prayers standing in synagogues and at crossroads. When they were fasting, they disfigured their faces on purpose, so that people would see that they were fasting. They deliberately gave alms in the open and did good deeds on the streets so that all could see. “Eat your bread with properly purified hands.” For generations, they kept to their ancestors’ ways and such religious rituals. For the Pharisees to win people’s support and adoration, they camouflaged themselves in the trifling details of their faith. Also they only led the people in prayer, hymns and praise at religious services, or in the observance of their ancestors’ ways. They didn’t lead people to practice God’s word or abide by His commandments to enter into the reality of truth, much less lead them to practice the truth, submit to and worship God. They deceived and fooled all their believers with these outward deeds. And when the Lord Jesus came to do work and preach, all these falsely devout Pharisees wished to still keep their positions and jobs. So they blatantly forsook God’s laws and commandments under the guise of “safeguarding the Bible.” They made up lies, bore false witness and they wildly condemned and framed the Lord Jesus, and did their utmost to keep believers from following Him. In the end, they colluded with the prefect to crucify the Lord Jesus. And thus, the Pharisees were totally exposed as hypocrites who hated the truth, and their substance as antichrists was thoroughly revealed to the world. We know the Pharisees were hypocritical in substance, evil, crafty, cunning, and were false shepherds who forsook God’s way, and who deceived and controlled people. They deceived and bound the believers, controlled the religious world and opposed God, and wildly denied, condemned and hated the incarnate Christ, proving fully that they were antichrists who created their own kingdom!
So now, the various hypocritical behaviors of the Pharisees are clear. Compared to the modern religious pastors and elders, they’re no different. It’s like they’re two of a kind. They don’t practice the Lord’s word or keep His commandments, nor exalt the Lord or testify to Him. All they do is blindly believe in the Bible, worship and exalt the Bible. And they just observe religious rituals. They conduct services, have morning watch, break bread, and take holy meals. They focus only on preaching the believers to be humble, patient, devout, and to love. Yet their hearts don’t love God, much less have true obedience, or any true reverence for God. Their work and sermons are focused merely on biblical knowledge and theology. As for the Lord Jesus’ requirements as to how to practice and experience the Lord’s word, how to keep His commandments, how to spread and testify of His word, how to follow the heavenly Father’s will, how to truly love, obey, and worship God, they don’t seek out or look into, and never find the Lord’s will, nor do they guide people to obey or practice them. They go everywhere preaching about these biblical knowledge and theology, just to show off, establish themselves, and win favor, for adoration and worship. That’s why when Almighty God expresses the truth and does the work of judgment in the last days, the pastors and elders, in order to hold on to their power forever in religious world, control believers and build a kingdom of their own, all go against the Lord’s words blatantly. They make rumors, judge, attack, blaspheme Almighty God and try to stop believers from seeking the true way. Also as Jesus taught us, we must be wise virgins. Once the bridegroom comes and we hear it, we should go meet Him. But after they hear about the Lord Jesus’ return, they desperately seal off the churches and keep the flock from seeking and investigating the true way. The Lord Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves. However, they ask the believers to slander and harm the witnesses of Almighty God’s work of the last days. Jesus asked of man not to speak lies or bear false witnesses. Yet the pastors and elders fabricate rumors in order to slander Almighty God. They collude with the demonic CCP to resist and condemn His work in the last days and discredit His Church. So we can see that what all the pastors and elders say and do is completely against the Lord’s teachings. They’re all just like the hypocritical Pharisees, nothing other than blind guides and deceivers who resist God. Let’s read some 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 detested and 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” (“Those Who Believe in God Should Submit to Him” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Outwardly, these pastors and elders seem to be humble, patient, and loving. Inwardly, they’re just sinister, crafty, and evil. Under the pretext of “protecting the true way and the flocks,” they resist and condemn Almighty God, attempting to control believers, to achieve their purpose of keeping their power forever in the religious world and creating their own kingdom. Hypocritical Pharisees like these hate the truth and hate God. They’re a gang of antichrists stubbornly against God as revealed by Almighty God’s work of the last days. Those who truly believe in God should learn to discern the hypocritical, satanic nature of this gang of antichrists, shouldn’t let themselves be deceived, beguiled, misled, or controlled, but instead should seek out the true way and accept Almighty God’s work, and return before the throne of God!
from the movie script of Break Through the Snare