They Will Not Endure Sound Doctrine
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Matthew 23:23
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 2 Timothy 4:1-4
The whole Christian world is in the grip of false doctrines, apostasy, confusion and dissention and the Body of Christ lacks unity amongst the different members due importance not being given to the apostles and prophets who are the foundation of the Church. Today we have in our midst apostles and prophets like Paul, Peter, John, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, etc. but we do not recognize them. The Word of God tells us:
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22
Yes, we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone” just the the saints at Ephesus were! Being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets is not an one-time affair but a continuous affair. We need apostles and prophets who would take the Church in the right direction by dealing with false doctrines and apostasies which are more prevalent today than during the New Testament period. Paul in his epistles dealt with the doctrines of Judaism and taught the new converts on the doctrines of salvation by faith. John in the book of Revelation revealed the spiritual condition of the seven churches in Asia. But we will not accept the apostles and prophets today who would expose the plethora of false doctrines, which have surreptitiously crept in the churches, and to guide the children of God? We have many false teachers in the body of Christ. But we need teachers who teach the right doctrines and who rightly divide the word of truth. We attach less importance to the Bible Study. In the Bible Colleges, we need anointed teachers and not people with merely doctorate degrees in theology. Of course, we need teachers who have a thorough knowledge about other religions also and who are filled with the wisdom of God and not merely Biblical knowledge.
It’s a sad state of affairs in our churches when we do not go in search of the apostles and prophets. But we go in search of the evangelists who perform miracles or healing ministries. If at all a prophet is perhaps recognized, people flock to him to know their future and pester him to find out God’s will concerning their marriages, businesses or careers. Hardly do they seek him to know the call of God in their lives for His ministry. Christians today don’t want prophets to tell them the truth lest they will have to change their ways and repent. But Jesus as Prophet did not spare the Scribes and the Pharisees of His time. He exposed their deeds and unmasked them before the very people who were the victims of these religious leaders. He did not give any message palatable to their taste. Jesus could not tolerate “Phariseeism”, while forgiving sinners. He rebuked them on their face, saying seven times, “Woe unto you!” He even called them, “Blind guides”, “Blind Pharisee”, “Whitewashed tombs” Hypocrites”, “Serpents, brood of vipers”.
The Scribes and the Pharisees had the misconception that they were upholding the Law of Moses. They in fact followed the Law of Moses in letter but not in spirit. They preached something, which they could not practice. And the modern Scribes and Pharisees in our churches are no different. They preach what they do not practice. They bind heavy burden, hard to bear and lay on men’s shoulders but they themselves would not move them with one of their fingers. They quote the Bible verses and ask the members to follow these commandments. They go on adding a list of dos’ and don’ts to the existing list of Old Testament commandments. But they will not help their members in obeying the so-called commandments because they or their own children do not follow such commandments (Matthew 23:4-5).
On Sundays, they long to make long sermons and love to preach, and not to intercede in their closets before God for their sheep. They do not allow others or the budding ministers to give sermons on Sundays. They make their debut only in the pulpits on Sundays and are missing either in their churches or in their houses the other days. They are thus not available to the parishioners who are in need of their prayers or counsels. They do not visit the houses of the poor parishioners nor do they visit the sick. They want their works to be seen by others. They wear special dresses on the dais or in the pulpit but in their secret life they do not practice righteousness and holiness. They love the best places on the dais or in the churches. They love greetings in public places and in churches and to be called with suffixes or affixes to their names . They do not want to serve their congregations but want to be served by their congregations by tithes and offerings. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant (Matthew 23:6-11).
They shut up the kingdom of heaven against men. They neither go nor do they allow others to enter to go in. By falsifying the truth of the Bible, they present another gospel to the people. They preach that there is neither hell nor the Devil. They justify divorce and adultery. They do not condemn sin. They question the authenticity of the Bible and its translation. For pretence, they make long prayers in prayer meetings and in churches. But they oppress the weak people and covet their money. If a single soul is converted, they make his new life in Christ miserable by binding a heavy burden on his shoulder (Matthew 23:14-15).
Yes, they are hypocrites, as their inner life does not reveal their so-called righteousness and holiness, which they pretend to possess. They demand and prefer outward sanctification to inward sanctification. They condemn and persecute the true and humble servants of God who do not dance to their tune. But God’s word is unchanging:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, “and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. “Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Matthew 23:27-33
For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. Titus 1:10-16
The Word of God tells us that there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, Yes we must raise our voice against the modern Scribes and Pharisees in our churches, and to unmask them. If we allow them to practice Phariseeism, we will be partakers of their sin.
We, the members of Christ’s body, do constitute the spiritual Jerusalem. We are the children of the promise. But Jesus weeps over our Jerusalem. The Church, which is ordained of God as “the light of the world”, is not shining brightly and steadily but flickeringly. If the Church, the salt of the earth, loses its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men (Matthew 5: 13-14). The Church of today is a divided house and has backslidden. It is laden with lukewarmness, worldliness, prayerlessness, unfaithfulness, heresy, rivalry, hatred, etc. To rub salt into the injury, the false prophets and false teachers are throttling the Church from within. Though it has a name that it lives, it is indeed dead (Revelation 3:1). Although Christ, the Head of the church is not divided? (1 Corinthians 1: 13) but, the Church, the body of Christ is divided by man – divided mainly on account of some doctrines, some of which are but minor. “There is one body, and one Spirit….” (Eph.4: 4). “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…” (1 Corintiahs 12:13). God is not to blame for the division of the Church because He has never intended any such division. But it’s a fact that many of those belonging to one denominational church look down upon or even hate those belonging to another denominational church. “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now”. Darkness hath blinded his eyes (I Jn.2: 9-11). “He that loveth not his brother abideth in death” (I Jn.3: 14). Nobody can claim salvation through the Blood of Jesus if he hates his brother and thus abides in death. Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer and no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (I John.3: 15).
But in our present day Christianity the disciples of Christ Jesus write or preach in a derogatory manner against one another, thereby persecuting the very body of Christ, of which they are themselves, members. “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Church: For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones” (Ephesians 5: 29-30). The Church has thus become a divided house. And then the demons of drugs and alcohol, divorce and adultery, homo-sexuality, abortion, lustful pleasures are spreading their tentacles on God’s spiritual children, our brothers and our sisters. We must confess our sins and iniquities, repent of our backslidings, humble ourselves before the glory of His Cross and turn to God so that God may not send “His armies of Babylonians” to destroy these spiritual children in the body of Christ.
Yes, it’s a wake-up call for us to fast and pray on behalf of all those in Christendom. And we should not persecute the prophets that the Lord sends to our churches! In many churches, the pastors stone these prophets who are appointed in the second place in the body of Christ by God. These prophets give warning and prophetic messages to the churches. We need to accept them in our churches and heed to their messages. They function like the white corpuscles in the body of Christ. When some foreign bodies (false prophets/false teachers) enter the body of Christ, these prophets fight the false prophets with the two-edged Sword of the Spirit. They are inbuilt members of the body of Christ. When a human body is short of white corpuscles, it becomes prone to deadly diseases like AIDS. We must heed God’s word”
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’S doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’? “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. “And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” Mathew 21:42-44.
Yes, there are chief priests and Pharisees in our midst. They claim through their mouth that they have accepted Christ as their Savior but deny Him through their life. The Lord has blessed them with all resources including abundant finances so that they might bring forth the fruits. They have built their own empires and not the Kingdom of God. They evangelize the same people who have already heard the gospel. They have not used their resources for preaching the gospel to those who have not heard the gospel even once in their lifetime. They may prophesy in Jesus’ Name. They may cast out demons and do many wonders in His Name. If they have not done the will of the Father, Jesus will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, ye who work iniquity” (Matthew 7: 21-23). The ministries given to these people will be taken away from them and given to those who will do the will of the Father and who will bring forth the fruits thereof.
Whoever falls on this stone will be broken. Jesus is the Chief Corner Stone of the Church or the household of God, which is being built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2: 19-20). Those people who do not do the will of the Father may fall on this Stone in the household of God and will be broken. It may be an anointed servant of God, a Christian ruler or a Christian businessman. If he or she does not do the will of the Father, he or she will stumble on this Stone and will be broken. On whomsoever this Stone shall fall, it will grind him to powder. This Stone will fall on those who persecute the body of Christ and will grind them to power. The Son of God is angry and His wrath is kindled but a little. They will perish in the way unless they repent and turn to the Son (Psalm 2:10-12).
God who has done something before can and will do it again. God chose Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonians to judge and destroy His own people of Israel (Hab.1: 6) The armies of Babylonians or Chaldeans became the armies of God. And even today the King of kings and the Lord of lords will become furious. He will send out His armies, destroy these murderers and burn up their city . Gods word is unchanging:
But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Matthew 22:7