Jesus called them “whitewashed tombs.” They were beautiful on the outside; on the inside, they were full of dead people’s bones. (Matthew 23:27) Jesus wasn’t confused by them. He wasn’t tricked. He wasn’t fooled. He called them out. He said they were full of “all uncleanness.”
The tax collector got it. He realized that he didn’t have to hold himself to a superficial standard, that God didn’t expect him to ever attain holiness through works. He realized that he could never attain salvation through works, either. He realized that he was dust, that his righteousness was putrefied rags. And so he could not even lift his eyes toward heaven. He merely begged God for mercy for his sinful, broken, depraved, unholy self.
Woes on the Pharisees and the Experts in the Law-
3 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal. 39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.
44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”
45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”
47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.
I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan."
We also see this in Revelation 3:9, when He speaks again directly to the Pharisees:
“I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you!"
While the incessant debate rages on, concerning who is Israel, who is a Jew, who is a Pharisee, Jesus speaking directly to the Pharisees told them what distinguishes a person from being a member of His household, and who is not.
There are only two types of people in this world, those who believe and follow Him and His word, and those who don’t. Obviously, those who call themselves Jew, Israeli, Messianic or Zionist, who actively (and deceptively) are involved in crimes against humanity, breaking all of God’s commandments, and bent on world domination can technically and theoretically be called a “Pharisee” because they oppose Jesus Christ!
If being a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, who questions any activity, motive or purpose that goes against God’s will, incites the phrase, “Anti-Semite,” so be it. Jesus was not afraid to question the motives of the Pharisees. Neither should His followers. Jesus looked them squarely in the face and told them what is required to be a member of His chosen people:
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching,(AK) you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”(AL)
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants (AM) and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.(AN) 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.(AO) 36 So if the Son sets you free,(AP) you will be free indeed. 37 I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me,(AQ) because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence,(AR) and you do what you have heard from your father.”(AS)
“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are determined to kill me,(AU) a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.(AV) Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the things your own father does.”(AW)
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”(AX)
The Children of the Devil
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,(AY) for I came from God(AZ) and now am here. I have not come on my own;(BA) but he sent me.(BB) 43 Why is my language not clear to you, because you are unable to hear what I say? 44 You belong to your father, the devil,(BC) and you want to carry out your father’s desire.(BD) He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.(BE) 45 Yet because I tell the truth,(BF) you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 He who belongs to God hears what God says.(BG) The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
The Claims of Jesus About Himself
48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan(BH) and demon-possessed?”(BI)
49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself;(BJ) but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”(BK)
52 At this the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed!(BL) Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham?(BM) He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself,(BN) my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.(BO) 55 Though you do not know him,(BP) I know him.(BQ) If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.(BR) 56 Your father Abraham(BS) rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it(BT) and was glad.”
57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born,(BU) I am!”(BV) 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him,(BW) but Jesus hid himself,(BX) slipping away from the temple grounds, (John 8:31-58).
Therefore, these bickering to heated debates concerning Israel and the Church, who is a Jew, who are God’s Chosen Children, who is an “Anti-Semite” can be resolved by understanding there are not various interpretations of God’s word that need be opined nor proffered. You are either with Christ, or you are not!
Obviously, those who willingly or unwittingly support criminal behavior of any kind, as those Christian Zionists (such as John Hagee, Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and millions of their followers) who support the rogue state of Israel because they believe they are God’s chosen people (who will someday repent of their sins), are not on God’s side, whatsoever!
Many may claim to be Christian or Messianic who believe in Jesus Christ, and many can be self-proclaimed Israeli, Jew and Zionists, who do not believe Jesus is the true Messiah. Regardless, if they oppose the true word of God and support activities that go against His will, do qualify and can be called “Pharisee”, whether they like it or not!
For information about Joe Ortiz' books, click on The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation. To access his web sites and blogs, please click on Joe Ortiz.