Kato Mivule
November 12, 2007

In this sixth part of our series we take a look at a stern warning that Jesus Christ gave His disciples. He warned then to be careful of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. So, we might ask ourselves what Jesus Christ meant by the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees just like the disciples wondered in amazement when Jesus Christ gave this stern warning.

To get our answer, we will take a look at the term ‘Leaven’ and also the historical Jewish side on how at one time The Lord commanded that the Israelites eat bread with no leaven in it.

Leaven was Yeast, Balm, or Fermentation used to expand or make dough big when making bread. The dough or Flour for that matter does not expand by itself but with the use of yeast, balm, or fermentation it expands. So, Leaven was an extra additive added to the flour or dough to make the bread or cake bigger and testier…

The Lord gave Moses instructions on the day that the Angel of Death passed over Egypt that the Israelites were to observe The Lord’s Passover and that they had to follow certain instructions as recorded in Exodus 12…

* They were to kill a lamb without blemish and eat the whole lamb…
* They were to smear the Blood of the Lamb on their Door Posts…
* They were to eat the whole Lamb…
* They were to eat Unleavened Bread with the Lamb…
* They were to eat Bitter Herbs with the Lamb…
* They were to keep this Passover Feast as an ordinance forever…
* They were to celebrate the Passover Feast for Seven Days with Unleavened Bread…
* Those who ate Leavened were to be put out from among them…

Exodus Chapter 12 was a type and shadow, being symbolic of things to come…

* The Passover was and is a type and shadow of the Perfect Passover which is Christ Jesus.
* The Blameless Lamb is symbolic of The Lamb of God without sin Jesus Christ…
* The Killing of the Lamb is symbolic of Jesus Christ offering His own sinless body for the washing away of our sins by the Blood of The Lamb – Jesus Christ…
* The eating of the whole lamb is symbolic of feeding on the whole council of the Word of God , Jesus Christ being The Word of God…not just choosing what tests good to your ears…
* The Bitter Herbs would represent feeding on the Words of Jesus Christ that are hard and sound painful and bitter yet they are healing to our souls… Today people choose only words that tickle their itching ears…
* The Unleavened Bread is representative of feeding of the Whole Council of God’s Word with no hypocrisy, sin or false doctrines and traditions of men mixed in it…

Placing the historical review aside, let’s get back to the Word of The Lord warning us to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. We know that leaven would represent additives that can be added to dough or flour to make bread or cake grow bigger than normal and also get testier.

Is it not surprising today that many of the sermons on pulpits today sound testier, make you feel flattered? Many ministries and churches preach messages that make them grow bigger than normal, make their sermons none offensive and sound testier… Always watch out for those bigger mega church ministries, always there lies within them lots of leaven…

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees…

Matthew 16:5-12
(5) And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
(6) Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
(7) And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
(8) Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
(9) Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
(10) Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
(11) How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?
(12) Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Jesus Christ warns His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Jesus Christ described this leaven not as of bread but the DOCTRINE of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

To fully understand what Jesus Christ was referring to here is when one takes a look at who the Pharisees and Sadducees were and also to study the confrontations that Jesus Christ had whenever He encountered the Pharisees and Sadducees…

The Pharisees were group elite Jews who gave themselves to study the Law and interpret the Law to the Jews, kind of Priests. They did however, believe in the resurrection while their counterparts the Sadducees did not believer in the resurrection. However both groups did exercise a strict form of legalism as we shall see in the scriptures and added their traditions to the Laws of Moses thus burdening the people further. It is interesting in light of today’s Political Christianity and its leaders that Pharisees too were highly political and though religious as noted by the ISBE Encyclopedia…

“The name means “separatists,” from פּרשׁ, pārash, “to separate” – those who carefully kept themselves from any legal contamination, distinguishing themselves by their care in such matters from the common people, the ‛am hā-‘ārec, who had fewer scruples. Like the Puritans in England during the 17th century, and the Presbyterians in Scotland during the same period, the Pharisees, although primarily a religious party, became ere long energetically political.“ [1]

The Pharisees were not only politically and militarily charged but participated in the rebellion against the Romans in 66AD that led to the destruction of the Second Temple. It is amazing to see similarities between politically charged militaristic Pharisees then and Political Christian Zionist Leaders of today who are calling for the USA to Bomb Iran in order to defend Israel. Wikipedia describes well how the Pharisees’ militaristic endeavors were futile, a lesson all Christians should learn today…

“By 66 CE Jewish discontent with Rome had escalated. At first, the priests tried to suppress rebellion, even calling upon the Pharisees for help. After the Roman garrison failed to stop Hellenists from desecrating a synagogue in Caesarea, however, the high priest suspended payment of tribute, inaugurating the Great Jewish Revolt. The destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE not only put an end to the revolt, it was a profoundly traumatic experience for the Jews that marked the end of an era.” [2]

Pharisees were so strict when it came to tithing that Jesus Christ rebuked them for this hypocrisy. Another trait of the Pharisees was that they were very big at pretending and stage acting. They were professional hypocrites so to say. They had piousness and outside appearance of righteousness and holiness yet inside they were full of sin and evil.

Pharisees displayed a form of humility that was always very religious and false. They pretended to be very humble yet inside their hearts they only stage acted and played the hypocrite. Their humility was a false humility. We need to watch out against this type of Pharisee Leaven….false humility.

I know many Christians who think that they are so righteous cause they pray all night, they tithe, they give to the poor, they support their pastor, they are friendly, they are none offensive, they are always loved and “favored” by the world and held in high esteem….

Yet all this is just FALSE HUMILITY and Leaven of the Pharisees in a believer… When one encounters such Christians with the Teachings of Jesus Christ, they get offended and stick to their rules and regulations often accusing the messenger as not loving, and offensive. Such Christians display a pious spirit and display of False Humility.

Pharisees and Sadducees heavily despised those who did not keep the Law and Traditions as they did that at one time Jesus Christ gave a parable of the Tax Collector who came and repented before God confessing that he was a sinner while the Pharisee spoke to God how he gave Tithes and was not a sinner like the Tax collector next to him.

Pharisees heavily persecuted and resisted Jesus Christ and during the ministry of Paul, the Apostle, Pharisees heavily persecuted and resisted the message of Paul and Barnabas that they had to hold the first Church Council in Acts 15 in which interestingly, the Pharisees placed forward demands to have the those who would be saved keep the Laws of Moses and Be Circumcised…

Pharisees always objected to the Teachings of Jesus Christ and resisted the Teachings of Paul concerning Salvation by Grace and works of the Law. Today the Church has been overtaken by a Pharisee spirit in which traditions of men, denominations, churches, and so-called apostles are central and taken as above the Teachings of Jesus Christ.

So, Jesus Christ warned His disciples to be careful of the Doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Today the Church has turned to Traditions of Men and some Christians have resorted to keep the Laws of Moses. There is an elite group of men and women who have usurped the True Authority of Jesus Christ in the Church and are forcing the Christians to follow after their Church Traditions, Laws of Moses that are financially beneficial like Tithing.

So, Jesus Christ is warning us against any teachings that contain Traditions of Men, Salvation by Law, Hypocrisy, and sin. This is leaven and every believer must beware of this. Hopefully as you read through this series of article and study the Bible, you will be able to grow in discernment and reject the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

A lot of this Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees is mixed in with messages of Jesus Christ…and that is how deception works. You have a preacher stand on TBN TV and preach a message with 50 per cent Truth yet the other 50 per cent is hypocrisy, lies, sin, and traditions of men. So, that 50 per cent Leaven is enough to spoil your pure faith in Christ Jesus. So, watch out!!!

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisee and Leaven of Herod…

Mark 8:14-21
(14) Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.
(15) And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.
(16) And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.
(17) And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?
(18) Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
(19) When I broke the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
(20) And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
(21) And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

Interestingly Jesus Christ warns us not just of the Leaven of the Pharisees but now the Leaven of Herod. To fully understand what the Leaven of Herod was we must know about Herod. Herod was a political figure during the time when the Romans ruled the Jews and the Time of Jesus Christ on earth all the way to when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

Herod was a title of rulers who ruled the Jews on behalf of the Romans. The Herod Family is said to have been some pseudo Jewish Dynasty that ruled the Jews on behalf of the Romans. Historians largely doubt that the Herodian family was Jewish…

“The Herodians were not of Jewish stock. Herod the Great encouraged the circulation of the legend of the family descent from an illustrious Babylonian Jew (Ant., XIV, i, 3), but it has no historic basis. It is true the Idumeans were at that time nominal Jews, since they were subdued by John Hyrcanus in 125 bc, and embodied in the Asmonean kingdom through an enforced circumcision, but the old national antagonism remained (Gen_27:41). The Herodian family sprang from Antipas (died 78 bc), who was appointed governor of Idumaea by Alexander Janneus.” [3]

At one point in history the Judea under John Hyrcanus conquered Edom and forced the inhabitants to convert to Judaism. Ironically, the Edomites who were known by the Romans as Idumeans became friendly to the Roman conquerors and ruled the Jews on behalf of the Romans… As Historians rightly note, the Herod dynasty were puppets of Rome…

“The Herodian Dynasty was a Jewish dynasty of Idumean descent, who ruled Iudaea Province between 37 BC – AD 92… During the time of the Hasmonean ruler John Hyrcanus, Judea conquered Edom (which the Romans called Idumea) and forced the Edomites to convert to Judaism. The Edomites were integrated into the Jewish people. In the days of Alexander Jannaeus one of them, Antipas was appointed governor of Edom. His son Antipater was the head adviser of Hyrcanus II and managed to establish a good relationship with the Romans, who at that time (63 BC) had conquered Judea. Julius Caesar appointed Antipater to be procurator of Judea in 47 BC and he appointed his sons Phasael and Herod to be governors of Jerusalem and Galilee respectively. Antipater was murdered in 43 BC, however his sons managed to hold the reins of powers and were elevated to the rank of tetrarch in 41 BC by Mark Anthony.” [4]

The Herod Dynasty was infamous with the massacre of hundreds of babies when Jesus Christ was born. Herod demanded to know where the Messiah was born but the Wise Men did not return to his palace to provide him with further information.

Matthew 2:16-18
(16) Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
(17) Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
(18) In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

The Herod Family was a Political puppet of Rome yet pretended to work on behalf of the Jews; and Jews detested them for this hypocrisy though at the same time some Jews were party to this dynasty. Some Jews thought that possibly the Herods would deliver them from the dominion of Rome. The Jews who joined the Herods formed the Herodian party that came to tempt Jesus Christ on the issue of if they should pay Taxes to Caesar or not. Far and wide, the Pharisees were seen as being political in their day as noted by this Jewish encyclopedia…

“Priestly party under the reign of King Herod and his successors; called by the Rabbis “Boethusians,” as adherents of the family of Boethus, whose daughter Mariamne was one of the wives of King Herod, and whose sons were successively made high priests by him. They followed the Sadducees in their opposition to the Pharisees, and were therefore often identified with the former (see Grätz, “Gesch.” 4th ed., iii. 2, 693; Boethusians). According to the Gospels, their plot against the life of Jesus was supported by the Pharisees (Mark iii. 6, xii. 13; Matt. xii. 16); wherefore Jesus warned his disciples, saying “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the leaven of Herod” (Mark viii. 15; Matt. xvi. 6 has “Pharisees” and “Sadducees”). “Leaven” is explained in Matt. xvi. 12 to mean “teaching,” that is, “bad teaching” (comp. “se’or sheba-‘isah” = “the leaven in the dough,” corresponding to the “yeẓer ha-ra'”; Ber. 17a). This shows that the Herodians represented a religious party. In Luke xii. 1 the Herodians have been omitted altogether, and the Pharisees alone are represented as the enemies of Jesus; and in Luke xx. 19 the scribes and chief priests are mentioned in place of the Pharisees and the Herodians (see also Mark xii. 13; Matt. xxii. 15-16).” [5]

Jesus Christ rebuked them and gave made the famous statement that we should give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God…

Mark 12:13-17
(13) And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.
(14) And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
(15) Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.
(16) And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s.
(17) And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marveled at him.

However, when the Jews rebelled against Rome in 66 AD to 70 AD, Herod warned the Jews against such a rebellion, calling for the Jews to restrain. However, Historians record that when the insurrection took place, Herod fought on the side of the Romans and when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD the Romans rewarded Herod and took him to serve in Rome with his sister Bernice…

“Knowing the futility of resistance, Agrippa warned the Jews not to rebel against Rome, but in vain (BJ, II, xvi, 2-5; XVII, iv; XVIII, ix; XIX, iii). When the war began he boldly sided with Rome and fought under its banners, getting wounded by a sling-stone in the siege of Gamala (BJ, IV, i, 3). The oration by which he sought to persuade the Jews against the rebellion is a masterpiece of its kind and became historical (BJ, II, xvi). When the inevitable came and when with the Jewish nation also the kingdom of Herod Agrippa II had been destroyed, the Romans remembered his loyalty. With Bernice his sister he removed to Rome, where he became a praetor and died in the year 100 ad, at the age of 70 years, in the beginning of Trajan’s reign.” [6]

It is attention-grabbing that Jesus Christ warns about the Leaven of the Herod….it a warning we should take very seriously. This should be a stern warning against political Christianity. The Jews thought that they would be saved from Roman rule by joining the Herodian Party. The Herod Dynasty was one of political hypocrisy and had lots of innocent blood on their hands yet some Jews thought that they could join the Herods so they could use them to gain freedom from Roman Rule.

Today we have Christians who have joined hands with politicians in thinking that they can make cities and nations Christian by having Christian sympathizers and or Christian elected officials in positions of power and as such overturn the tide of moral decay in a particular geographical area.

The American Christian Coalition is such a very good example spearheaded by Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Fowell of Liberty University. Another famous political Christian group that has emerged and gained lots of publicity is the Christians United For Israel – CUFI headed by Texas Based Preacher John Hagee who of recent has written a book denying that Jesus Christ said He was the Messiah… One does not fail to see the Leaven of Herod in Christendom today…

The Leaven of Herod is certainly Political Christianity today… The Church today has been turned into a political football that politicians can come in and out and use the Church to attain their political goals. On the other hand is the leadership of the Church that thinks that they can use the State to attain Christian Religious issues such as abolition of Abortion, Anti Homosexuality Laws, and a range of Morality Laws geared to make a city or state “Christian”.

The Lord has not called us to go legislate morality, we are called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ that the Kingdom of God is at Hand and Men must repent otherwise they risk damnation to Hell. We are not called to legislate morality… Such mentality of Political Christianity is the Leaven of Herod and makes the church fall in love with the world and as such commit Spiritual Fornication; this we must be very careful of.

The Church in America has been deceived with Political Christianity and the African Church especially here in Uganda has fallen to such deceit that some church leaders are now in bed with the State, committing spiritual fornication.

Warning Against Hypocrisy of the Pharisees…

Luke 12:1-3
(1) In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trod one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
(2) For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
(3) Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

Jesus Christ gives us another definition for the Leaven of the Pharisees. He equates this to Hypocrisy. The Pharisees were known stage actors. They put on a face of humility and piousness yet within their hearts they rebelled against the commands of The Lord and sought to destroy Jesus Christ. Today we have lots of church leaders and Christians who act like they are Christians but within them they are full of evil.

Hypocrisy can come in very subtly into one’s heart by someone assuming they are justified, holy, and right with God because of the external Christian works they do like praying, tithing, fasting, care for the poor etc; and it is something that we are to watch out for. We are to check our hearts daily in light of God’s Word and see if we still stand in the Faith with no hypocrisy in us. Hypocrisy has a tendency to paint people with humility outside and an appearance of righteousness yet inside people are never transformed…this is false humility.

So, since Jesus Christ equated the Leaven of The Pharisees with Hypocrisy then one does well to find out more about what the Bible says concerning Hypocrisy…

Warnings against Hypocrisy…

Isaiah 32:6
(6) For the vile person will speak villainy, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.

Hebrew word for hypocrisy is ‘Choneph’ …
From H2610; moral filth, that is, wickedness: – hypocrisy.

Interestingly the Hebrew word for ‘hypocrisy’ is ‘choneph’ with meanings of moral filth and wickedness.

In Isaiah The Lord warns that the vile person will speak villainy and his heart works iniquity to practice hypocrisy and interestingly utter error against The Lord. Hypocrisy has to do with moral filth, wickedness, and uttering error against The Lord. Why is it that many preachers today utter error against The Lord? Why is it that they teach Error about The Lord? They Teach doctrines that cause people to error against The Lord.

False Teachers and False Prophets always teach and prophesy ERROR against The Lord. They are filled with hypocrisy and outwardly they show that they so holy and next to The Lord, and very humble yet inside they are full of error against The Lord…

I spoke to a Church Leader some time ago concerning issue of The Doctrine and Teachings of Jesus Christ, he seemed very humble and recipient yet afterwards he held to his error and dismissed some of the Teachings of Jesus Christ as false in order to hold to his Church Traditions…He displayed perfect hypocrisy just like the Pharisees did, they stage acted righteousness yet they rejected the Messiah…

Jesus Christ called the Pharisees Hypocrites…

Matthew 23:27
(27) 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.

Greek word for ‘Hypocrites’ = ‘Hupokrites’
From G5271; an actor under an assumed character (stage player), that is, (figuratively) a dissembler (“hypocrite”): – hypocrite.

Jesus Christ always called Pharisees Hypocrites and interestingly the Greek word for Hypocrites is ‘hupokrites’ with means of an actor under an assumed character, stage player, and a dissembler…

Pharisees displayed an outside beauty of righteousness yet inside were full of rottenness and filth. Jesus likened them to white sepulchers which indeed appear beautiful outward but inward are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.

Many Christians today and their leaders are so pleased to put on a mask and pretend to be holy, righteous, pure, loving, forgiving, embracing yet inside they are full of dead men’s bones symbolic of dead works… Brethren, lets check our hearts in light of God’s Holy Word that there be no seed of hypocrisy in us…

Inside they are full of hypocrisy and iniquity…

Matthew 23:28
(28) Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Greek word for ‘Hypocrisy’ = ‘Hupokrisis’
From G5271; acting under a feigned part; that is, (figuratively) deceit (“hypocrisy”): – condemnation, dissimulation, hypocrisy.

The Greek word for Hypocrisy again here is ‘hupokrisis’ and same as the Greek word for Hypocrite. The meanings here are acting under a Feigned Part, Deceit, Condemnation, and dissimilation…

The Pharisee Spirit makes one act as though they are righteous before men but inside their hearts are full of iniquity and deceit…

Jesus Christ knew Men’s Hearts that they were hypocrites…

Mark 12:14-15
(14) And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
(15) Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.

The Leaven of the Pharisees which is Hypocrisy always seeks to test The Lord in order to discredit His teachings and His sayings…

In the Last Days, Folks will Speak Deception in Hypocrisy…

1 Timothy 4:1-2
(1) Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
(2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

In the last days false preachers and false teachers will speak lies and teach deception in hypocrisy… They will teach and prophesy as though they were very holy and righteous and full of humility yet they will be deceiving people…lets watch out.

Just because someone comes in humbly and teach with great softness and with no offensive words, and such eloquence does not mean what they teach is true and of God. Most of the time it is deception taught to you in hypocrisy…the guy is just stage acting in order to deceive you…

The Wisdom from above is pure and without hypocrisy…

James 3:17-18
(17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
(18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

The wisdom from The Lord is pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated for those who receive it. However, those who reject the wisdom from above it is not so. So people use this verse and take it out of context with all the other bible scriptures and claim when confronted with Truth that the confronter is ‘Hateful’, without wisdom, unloving, ungentle etc…

Well, if you claim that, then the first person you ought to condemn is Jesus Christ. Was He not full of Wisdom from above when He sharply rebuked and confronted the Pharisees by calling then Hypocrites and Vipers? Was he without wisdom when He rebuked the Pharisees openly before the masses? So, to the Pharisees, they would not enjoy this Peaceable Wisdom from above because they rejected The True Commandments and Teachings of Jesus Christ…

Others would also then condemn John the Baptist, Paul the Apostle, Peter, Steven, and Jude…all these sharply confronted and rebuked their detractors… Those who enjoy the wisdom from above that is peaceable and pure are those who hold no hypocrisy in them… Remember Hypocrisy involves people outwardly appearing righteous yet inside they reject the Teachings of Jesus Christ.

Warning to the Hypocrites…

The Congregation of Hypocrites shall be desolate…

Job 15:34-35
(34) For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.
(35) They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.

There is a clear prophetic warning against congregations of the hypocrites, they shall be desolate. Desolate means ‘left empty’, deserted, none to dwell in. Today that would mean such congregations would be left void of the Holy Spirit and spiritually dry with no Presence of God in them at all. They would be with award written on then ‘ICHABOD’ – The Glory of The Lord has departed…

Do you pray with a Congregation of the Hypocrites? Get out and look for True and Sincere Christians and Fellowship with those Christians who will challenge you to walk according to the Teachings o Jesus Christ and live a life of holiness and not religiosity…

Hypocrites in heart heap up wrath…

Job 36:13-14
(13) But the hypocrites in heart heap up wrath: they cry not when he bindeth them.
(14) They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.

Hypocrites stage play that they are righteous but store up wrath against the righteous and those who speak Truth. We see that the Pharisees and Chief Priests always sought out ways to Murder Jesus Christ until the day they handed Him over to be killed by the Romans…

We see Herod put John the Baptist to Death because John the Baptist confronted him with Truth Concerning a wife that Herod had stolen from his brother… We see the Pharisees in the Book of Acts heavily persecuted Paul the Apostle and sought to have him killed because taught against the False Teachings of the Pharisees.

Persecution in this day and age will start in the Churches by Leaders of Christian Denominations against those who proclaim Truth in Jesus Christ as Jesus Christ clearly warned…

Luke 21:12-13
(12) But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
(13) And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

Hypocrites always caught up in fear…

Isaiah 33:14
(14) The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?

Hypocrites are always caught up in the fear that somehow somewhat they will be discovered for whom they really are. They are afraid that somehow their masks will be removed and people will see their nakedness. For sure that fear is well founded as Jesus Christ will expose all hypocrites for their evil, iniquity, and real venomous vipers they really are…

Hypocrites give to be seen before men…

Matthew 6:1-4
(1) Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
(2) Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
(3) But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
(4) That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

The Leaven of the Pharisees which is Hypocrisy causes men to act in such ways that they do works of godliness such as giving to the poor to be seen by men and for trumpets to sound that they are such humble, loving, and caring to the poor yet all this they do to be seen by men.

Today Powerful Christian Denominations of the West give alms to the poor in Africa but with disguise in their hearts to expand their denominations and also collect more money from their Western Constituents. Their giving has strings attached to it that if the recipients fail to comply with the attached strings, the donations are cut off… This behavior is hypocrisy as Jesus Christ described it above…

Jesus Christ commands that our giving and taking care of the poor should be done in secret and true humility not to gain anything out of it but as a ministry to The Father in Heaven who sees in secret and will reward openly…

Pray NOT as the Hypocrites do…The Pharisee Prayer Model…

Matthew 6:5-6
(5) And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
(6) But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Recently here in Uganda, some Evangelical Christian Leaders confronted Leaders of the Ugandan Government over the issue of praying for the government in public and state functions. The Evangelical Christian Leaders argued that they are always neglected at State functions and also Public Occasions when they are not invited to pray for the President and State along side other religious leaders of the Catholic, Episcopal (Anglican), and Moslem Faith who are always invited to grace such occasions.

What was interesting was the fact that these evangelical leaders wanted to be seen in public saying prayers for the President and the State so as to be appreciated by men. They eventually got their requests answered and recently at the Uganda Independence National Celebration Day, they were given front row seats next to the President and they graced the occasions with their “Evangelical” prayers…

The issue was not the prayers for the President but to be seen before men as people of authority and piousness. Jesus Christ sharply rebuked the Pharisees for such behavior in Matthew 23… Many Christians and Christian Leaders today are caught up in this kind of hypocrisy and we MUST check ourselves that we don’t fall to such lies of Satan. Our prayers are part of acts of our righteousness and we are NOT to do them so as people to see us as holy or righteous but rather do them in secret, in true humility to be seen and approved of our Heavenly Father Alone…

Fast NOT as the Pharisees Do in Hypocrisy…

Matthew 6:16-18
(16) Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
(17) But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
(18) That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Our Fasting just like prayers are part of our acts of righteousness and should not be done so as to be seen and approved by men. Christianity today has become so much Man oriented that Christians get their approval not from God but from Men. Jesus Christ clearly tells us that even when we fast; let it not be done to be seen by men but by our Father in Heaven…

This is one of the major problems Paul the Apostle addressed in the Book of Galatians, when Men though they could attain God’s approval through works of the Law by circumcision and keeping the Law of Moses. The Galatians were deceived by hypocrites that they could attain justification and approval by their works of the Law and legalism rather than Grace through Jesus Christ.

Today many Christians have been deceived that they can attain God’s Blessing only if they Give Tithes to God…so many are caught up in this deception that they think they are more righteous than everybody else because they tithe… Brethren, lets not be deceived by thinking that we can gain God’s Approval by being justified by Man.

Pharisee Hypocrites and False Worship of God…

Matthew 15:6-9
(6) And honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
(7) Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
(8) This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
(9) But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Is it not interesting that today’s mega churches place huge emphasis of worship and actually spend thousands of dollars in purchase of state of the art multi media equipment for what they call corporate worship sessions. They record lots of worship sessions and sell the DVDs and CDs which has actually become a multi million dollar enterprise. Worship to such fellows is money generating.

They go further and stress the fact how the Christians can be united “Just for the purpose of worship”… These same fellows neglect the Teachings and Doctrine of Jesus Christ for the sake of “unity” and “fellowship” which is a false unity.

Today Christians have fallen into the same trap as the Pharisees did. They worship The Lord with their mouth but their hearts are far away from The Lord. They neglect the New Testament Teachings of Jesus Christ and His Apostles while teaching their Church Denomination Regulations as the Commands of God…this is hypocrisy.

I had an argument with a Church Leader who told me how “important” it is to keep the “fellowship” and “unity” despite the fact that he continued to hold and teach doctrines that was contrary to the Bible.

Many Christians have fallen for this trap of false worship, thinking that Right Biblical Doctrine does not matter but just “unity” to worship Jesus… Jesus Christ in John Chapter 4 clearly told the Samaritan woman that God is seeking those who worship Him in Spirit and in Truth…Truth being the Whole Counsel of God’s Holy Word and The Holy Spirit being The Spirit of Truth…as spoken about in John Chapter 16.

True Bible Worship involves receiving the whole truth in God’s Holy Word and obeying that Truth… otherwise it becomes lip service worship filled with false humility, stage acting and hypocrisy…

Pharisee Hypocrites fail to discern the Signs of The times…

Matthew 16:3
(3) And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

As I detailed in the previous article on this series of discernment, Pharisees were students of scriptures and knew exactly when and where the Messiah would be born but choose to ignore all the signs that pointed to the birth of the Messiah. We see in scripture that the Pharisees even told Herod where the Messiah would be born as pointed out in scripture. However, even though they knew the signs they chose not to discern the signs pointing to the first coming of the Messiah…

Matthew 2:1-6
(1) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
(2) Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
(3) When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
(4) And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
(5) And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
(6) And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

However, the Pharisees looked for a Messiah who would fit their own desires; they looked for a Messiah who would deliver them not from sin and hell but from Roman Rule…

Today Christians and their leaders are falling in the same trap and that is ignoring the signs of the times that point to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Christians today are failing to discern signs of the times that point to the second coming of Jesus Christ not because they don’t read these things in the scriptures but because of their leaders who ignore these signs and teach otherwise.

Christians in the West today have at least more than one Bible in their homes but yet they are blinded by ‘Left Behind’ Christianity and TBN’s Omega Code movies that promise them deliverance before the “bad things“ really happen.

It is imperative that Christians read and study their Bibles to see what Jesus Christ spoke about events that would happen pointing to His Second Coming in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21…

Pharisee Hypocrites Tempt or Test Jesus Christ…

Matthew 22:17-18
(17) Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
(18) But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

Pharisee Christianity is one that tests or tempts The Lord. How can Christians test The Lord? In the verse above we see that they tempted The Lord pr tested The Lord by trying to get Jesus Christ teach against Giving to Caesar what belonged to Caesar and giving to God what belongs to God…

The Pharisees tried to find fault with Jesus Christ and His teachings…but failed all the time. Jesus Christ perceived their hypocrisy and rebuked them by telling them to give to Caesar what belonged to Caesar and to God what belonged to God.

Today many Christian leaders look for favors from the state yet they at the expense of neglecting Bible Teachings. They seek favors such as tax breaks and compromise Bible Doctrine. They refuse to give to Caesar what belongs to him – His Taxes and eventually fail to give to God what belongs to Him – undivided obedience and worship…

Jesus Declared 8 Woes against Pharisees, Hypocrites…

1 – They Shut the Kingdom of Heaven against Men…

Matthew 23:13
(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.

2 -They devour widow’s houses and make pretentious long prayers…

Matthew 23:14
(14) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

3 – They Make False Converts and false disciples who become worse…

Matthew 23:15
(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.

4 – They Blind guides and swear falsely…

Matthew 23:16
(16) Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

5 – They are big on the Tithe and very legalistic about it…

Matthew 23:23
(23) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, 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.

6 – They make the outside white but inside are full of extortion…

Matthew 23:25
(25) Woe 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.

7 – They appear righteous but inside are full of dead men’s bones…

Matthew 23:27
(27) 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.

8 – They murder the true servants of God yet pretend to support them…

Matthew 23:29-35
(29) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous,
(30) And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
(31) Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
(32) Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
(33) Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
(34) Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
(35) That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zechariah son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

When one looks at the 8 woes Jesus Christ declared on the Pharisees, we cannot fail to see them apply to today’s Christian leaders in Christendom. Today we see Christian leaders who stand in the way of truth and hinder their constituents from knowing the whole Truth concerning God’s Holy word. We see leaders who are extortionists and how they use Media power to extort money from believers.

We see leaders who are big on the Tithe and enforce it on the people. We see leaders who stage act and pretend to love Jesus Christ yet inside they have dislike for Truth and are filled with hate towards all who proclaim truth in Jesus Christ… Certainly the 8 woes that Jesus Christ declared on the Pharisees apply to our generation today…

Faithful Servant gives them meat in due season, not so for hypocrites…

Matthew 24:45-51
(45) Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
(46) Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
(47) Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
(48) But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
(49) And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
(50) The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
(51) And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Faithful servants of Jesus Christ will know the proper times and seasons and as such feed the household with the right food. These faithful servants know how to discern the signs of the times that point to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and therefore will know what type of food to give to the household of God.

Today we have unfaithful servants who instead are getting drunk with the drunkards. They are getting drunk with the wine of this world, with the pleasures of this world; they are becoming friends of the world and leading God’s people to do so…

Today unfaithful servants are giving Christians food such as the prosperity doctrine, left behind teachings, political Christianity, denominational Christianity, and much more spiritual junk food. Christians have been deceived by these unfaithful servants that they have all the time they need to be friends with the world and “be all they can be”…

Such unfaithful servants have failed to discern the signs of the times and therefore know not what food to give to the saints. Jesus Christ says that their reward will be with the hypocrites.

Purge out the old leaven of Sin…

1 Corinthians 5:1-13
(1) It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
(2) And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
(3) For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed.
(4) In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
(5) To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
(6) Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
(7) Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
(8) Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
(9) I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
(10) Yet not altogether the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
(11) But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no not to eat.
(12) For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
(13) But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

* We are commanded to purge out the old leaven which is the leaven of sin, hypocrisy, malice, and wickedness.
* We see that the Corinthian Church had an issue of a man who had committed fornication with his father’s wife and the church was commanded by Paul to put out this brother who walked contrary to teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles.
* Paul uses the purging of the old leaven in this regard. The old leaven was sin that the church had to put out. However, we are to check our lives daily in light of God’s Holy Word and the Holy Spirit that we be purged of all old leaven that is sin in our lives…
* Paul then refers to what I mentioned at the beginning of this article in that the Passover was symbolic of Jesus Christ being sacrificed for us for He was without sin when He shed His Blood and died on Cross and for us but rose from the dead on the third day.
* We see that Paul warns that little leaven the whole lump. We are to be careful as little sin will certainly corrupt and spoil our faith in Jesus Christ…
* We are to purge ourselves of all that leaven of sin from our lives but also from our assemblies as was the case for the Corinthian Church…
* Paul refers to the saints as unleavened…in other words they are without sin, hypocrisy, malice and wickedness…
* However, false teachers always come with leaven which is sin, malice, hypocrisy and wickedness in their teachings which soil the faith of many believers…
* Jesus Christ is our Passover sacrificed for us…without sin and pure…
* Therefore we are to keep the feast – Christ our Passover without the old leaven which is sin, leaven of malice, and leaven of wickedness…
* We are to keep the feast – Christ our Passover with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth…Truth in God’s Holy Word…

The Leaven of keeping the Law…

Galatians 5:1-12
(1) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
(2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
(3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
(4) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
(5) For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
(6) For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
(7) Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
(8) This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
(9) A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
(10) I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.
(11) And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offense of the cross ceased.
(12) I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

There is another type of leaven and that had to do with keeping the Law of Moses that some Pharisees taught Christian. They taught Christians that in order to be saved one had to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses. Paul told the Galatians that salvation is a free gift and by works of the Law.

Paul warned the Galatians that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. A little teaching that you must keep some Law of Moses so that you get justified before God is Leaven that will destroy your faith.

I had a discussion with a church leader recently and he emphasized how his church must pay the Tithe because this is a Law that was never refused in the New Testament. He agreed that Tithing was part of the Mosaic Law yet he subjects his followers to keep the Tithe in “order to support ministry work”. Brethren, this is lies and deceit from Satan…it is leaven from the wicked one to taint your faith in Christ. If you are to keep the Law of Moses, Paul the Apostle suggest you keep the whole law otherwise you are under a curse…

Interestingly preachers and pastors today only choose the Laws of Moses that are financially beneficial to them such as the tithing law. The Tithing Law has brought lots of leaven in the church and hypocrisy in many Christian lives who think they are righteous because they give the Tithe.

The Tithe Doctrine is Leaven and we must purge that out. Jesus Christ taught Giving and Paul the Apostle taught Giving, the early Church in the book of Acts practiced giving not tithing. We are called to give and give not out of compulsion but give freely and as led of The Holy Spirit…for those who are led of The Holy Spirit are NOT under the Law…

Brethren, lets purge out the Old Leaven from Among us…

* The Leaven of Sin
* The Leaven of Hypocrisy
* The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees – False Doctrines
* The Leaven of Herod – Political Christianity
* The Leaven of Malice
* The Leaven of wickedness
* The Leaven of Keeping the Law

Let us celebrate the feast, Christ our Passover with unleavened Bread of Sincerity and Truth…

In Christ Jesus
Kato Mivule
Uganda, Africa

Resources and Notes
[1] International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Pharisees

[2] Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia: Pharisees

[3] International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Herod

[4] Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia: Herodian Dynasty

[5] Jewish Encyclopedia Online: Pharisees

[6] International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Herod