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Removing the Deadly Leaven: The Pharisee in us All

"Pharisee."  This word immediately invokes a sense of repulsion among Bible students and Christians.  Yahushua, throughout the New Testament, had more conflict with the Pharisees than any other group of people.  Why, though?  What was at the heart of these conflicts?  Could it be that many professed Christians are today guilty of Pharisaism? 

While we often think of Pharisees as an antiquated people group consigned to ancient Palestine, the truth is that Pharisaism is alive and well.  In fact, it is thriving in the hearts of many of Yahushua's own followers.  The spirit of Pharisaism is not restricted by age, gender, or vocation.  It can reside in the hearts of both the young and elderly; it can reside in the hearts of both men and woman.  None, no matter their title or position, are exempt from its evil influence.

Man looking at himself in a mirror - there is a Pharisee in us ALL 

Are you a Pharisee?  We encourage you to take the time to prayerfully consider each of the points below.1  In our preparation for Yahushua's soon return, it is imperative that we daily examine our practices, our professions, our thought-lives, and the true condition of our hearts in Yahuwah's sight.  Let us be always vigilant in our pursuit of holiness, that we may by the Father's grace be found blameless on that great day. 

Then Yahushua said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Matthew 16:6)

 

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)

50 Characteristics of a Pharisee

(1) A Pharisee glories in his connection to pious men, but does not have a personal or living connection with Yahuwah.  Yahuwah saves us as individuals.  None will be saved by their earthly affiliation with anotherAre you boastful of your relationship to another?  Are you allowing your relationship with a parent, spouse, friend, teacher, or pastor to influence your beliefs and practices, rather than searching the Scriptures for yourself to learn what is true?

Are you allowing your relationship with a parent, spouse, friend, teacher, or pastor to influence your beliefs and practices, rather than searching the Scriptures for yourself to learn what is true?

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham as our father: for I say unto you, that Yahuwah is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (Matthew 3:9)

(2) A Pharisee glories in external righteousness, but neglects true righteousness, which comes from within.  We are exhorted to pursue the genuine righteousness that comes only through a living connection to Father Yahuwah.  Without this, we "shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."  Do you pursue the true righteousness that comes from within?  Do you harbor anger, lust, covetous, greed, etc. in your heart?  True righteousness is a condition of the heart.  "Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23)  "Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see Yahuwah." (Matthew 5:8)

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)

(3) A Pharisee does not mingle with unconverted people.  Yahushua, in all that He did, was a friend to sinners.  "They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mark 2:17)  As followers of Yahushua, we are to imitate Him in all things.  How will you reach the lost if your circles are comprised exclusively of those who are saved?  If you refuse to mingle with sinners, you are a Pharisee.  

How will you reach the lost if your circles are comprised exclusively of those who are saved?  If you refuse to mingle with sinners, you are a Pharisee. 

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? (Matthew 9:11)

 

Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. (Luke 7:39)

(4) A Pharisee is an ascetic.  He boasts of his fasting and prides himself in his outward discipline. 

Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? (Matthew 9:14)

(5) A Pharisee is very critical of others in small matters.  He focuses on trivial details to the exclusion of the heart of the matter.

But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day. (Matthew 12:2)

(6) A Pharisee focuses on rules to the exclusion of Yahuwah's revealed will.

And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Yahushua  knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; And charged them that they should not make him known. (Matthew 12:9-16)

(7) A Pharisee is motivated by jealousy and hatred.  Do you always seek to bless others?  ...or do you sometimes harbor resentment?  Jealousy and hatred are the religion of Cain.

Do you always seek to bless others?  ...or do you sometimes harbor resentment? 

Do you always give people the benefit of the doubt? ...or do you assume the worst?

Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. (Matthew 12:14)

(8) A Pharisee is an accuser and assumes the worst of others.  Do you always give people the benefit of the doubt? ...or do you assume the worst?

(9) A Pharisee is careless in their speech.  They do not hesitate to speak ill of Yahuwah's faithful, even attributing their righteous acts to the adversary.

But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. (Matthew 12:24)

(10) A Pharisee neglects his family responsibilities in the name of religion.

Then came to Yahushua scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of Yahuwah by your tradition? For Yahuwah commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of Yahuwah of none effect by your tradition. (Matthew 15:1-6)

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (1 Timothy 5:8)

Does 'self' allow you to be easily offended?  Love is not easily provoked. (1 Cor. 13:5)

(11) A Pharisee is easily offended.  Does 'self' allow you to be easily offended?  Love "is not easily provoked." (1 Corinthians 13:5)

Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. (Matthew 15:12-13)

(12) A Pharisee is spiritually blind.

Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch. (Matthew 15:14)

(13) A Pharisee exalts outward signs above the testimony of Scripture.  He demands an outward sign as proof of divinity, rather than searching the Scriptures for truth.  Those who trust their outwards senses to the exclusion of Scripture's testimony will be deceived by the lying wonders soon to be manifested in these last days.

ALT TEXT

The Final Hoax: Satan in Robes of Light
Those who trust their outwards senses to the exclusion of Scripture's testimony will be deceived by the lying wonders soon to be manifested in these last days. 

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. (Matthew 16:1-4)

(14) A Pharisee seeks to catch people in their words. 

The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? (Matthew 19:3)

 

Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. . . . But Yahushua perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? (Matthew 22:15, 18)

(15) A Pharisee is hard-hearted.

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (Matthew 15:8)

(16) A Pharisee cannot appreciate true worship and genuine praise.

And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Yahushua saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? (Matthew 21:15-16)

(17) A Pharisee teaches Yahuwah's law, but does not live it.

Then spake Yahushua to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. (Matthew 23:1-3)

(18) A Pharisee lays heavy burdens on people.

Do you cater to the crowd?  ...or are you a committed follower of Yahushua at all times, in all circumstances, in all places, and in the company of all men?

(19) A Pharisee is a hypocrite.  He says, but does not do.  Are you a different person with your "religious" friends than you are with your worldly friends?  Do you cater to the crowd?  ...or are you a committed follower of Yahushua at all times, in all circumstances, in all places, and in the company of all men?

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. (Matthew 23:4)

(20) A Pharisee is ostentatious and seeks to be honored by men. He is more concerned with what men think than what Yahuwah thinks.  Are you clinging to unbiblical practices or neglecting to render complete obedience to Yahuwah because you are concerned about what others think?  Are you more concerned about what your friends, your spouse, your parents, your teacher, or your congregation thinks than you are about what your Father in Heaven thinks?

(21) A Pharisee thinks holiness is in the outward appearance.  Do you seek attention by the clothes you wear? ...or are you well pleased to wear "the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of Yahuwah of great price"? (1 Peter 3:4)  

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)

(22) A Pharisee covets exalted positions and places of honor.  Do you covet the title of pastor, teacher, preacher, priest, leader, donor, etc.?  Do you demand recognition for your contributions to Yahuwah's cause?  Do you delight to see your name or picture in headlines and bibliographies?

Do you demand recognition for your contributions to Yahuwah's cause?  Do you delight to see your name or picture in headlines and bibliographies?

And [they] love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. (Matthew 23:6-7)

(23) A Pharisee takes advantage of the poor.  This is a grave sin in the sight of Heaven, for "he that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor." (Proverbs 14:31)

(24) A Pharisee makes long prayers in public to be esteemed by men.

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. (Matthew 23:14)

(25) A Pharisee corrupts others.  Are you unwavering in your commitment to Yahuwah and to the pursuit of His righteousness? ...or do you inadvertently muddy others' perceptions of Yahuwah's standards through an example of lukewarm behavior?

Are you unwavering in your commitment to Yahuwah and to the pursuit of His righteousness? ...or do you inadvertently muddy others' perceptions of Yahuwah's standards through an example of lukewarm behavior.

(26) A Pharisee makes people feel they are born again when they are not.  Do you tell people that they are bound for Heaven, while they are yet unrepentant?  We must preach the gospel in its entirety if we are to have true conversions.  Two things we must do to be saved: (1) Repent and turn away from all sin; (2) Trust in Yahushua and in the merits of His sacrifice.  (Once a person understands the fearful consequences of transgressing Yahuwah's Law, the Ten Commandments, they will abhor sin and cling to the Saviour.  Thus, we must give people a right understanding of Yahuwah's Law if we are to have true conversions.  Many today are being led astray by the modern pseudo-gospel.)

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. (Matthew 23:15)

(27) A Pharisee interprets Scripture in shallowness, without understanding, and without the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.  A Pharisee will twist the Scriptures to agree with his desired interpretation.  Do you accept Scripture for what it says? ...or do you seek an interpretation that agrees with your presuppositions and traditions?

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! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of Yahuwah, and by him that sitteth thereon. (Matthew 23:16-22)

 

And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:37-39)

(28) A Pharisee is a stickler for the letter of the law, but acts contrary to the spirit of the law.  He focuses on the minor points, while neglecting the major ones. 

(29) A Pharisee neglects justice, mercy, and faith.

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. (Matthew 23:23)

(30) A Pharisee meticulously judges others in small issues, while they themselves are guilty of greater offenses.

Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. (Matthew 23:24)

Are you the same person in public that you are when you're alone?  Is it your custom to do right even when no one is looking?

(31) A Pharisee is more concerned with his outward appearance than with the condition of his heart.  He is diligent to maintain a righteous appearance, while on the inside, his heart is dark and deceitful.  Are you the same person in public that you are when you're alone?  Is it your custom to do right even when no one is looking? A Pharisee is more concerned with his own excess than he is with blessing others

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. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. (Matthew 23:25-26)

(32) A Pharisee is self-righteous and supposes that he would never make the mistakes he claims others have made.  Do you ever judge others' mistakes by saying "I would never have done that"?  Do you presumptuously boast that your judgment is superior to another's?

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 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. (Matthew 23:29-30)

(33) A Pharisee persecutes Yahuwah's prophets.

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 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: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (Matthew 23:33-36)

Are you more concerned with what your peers think than with what Yahuwah thinks?

(34) A Pharisee is overly concerned about what others think of them.  A Pharisee fears men, but does not fear Yahuwah.  This is the opposite of Yahushua's council: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)  Are you more concerned with what your peers think than with what Yahuwah thinks?

The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. . . . But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet. (Matthew 21:25-26, 46 )

(35) A Pharisee is covetous and loves money.

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. (Luke 16:14) 

(36) A Pharisee trusts in his own works.   Do you suppose in your heart that feast-keeping, Sabbath observance, abstaining from unclean foods, etc. will get you into Heaven?  We are saved by faith, not by works.  It is Yahushua's sacrifice alone that provides atonement, and our only hope of righteousness is imputed righteousness.  There is nothing we could ever do to add to what He has done.  To add our works to His sacrifice would only pollute the altar.  "But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags..." (Isaiah 64:6)  Our works are the fruit, not the root.  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of Yahuwah: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Do you suppose in your heart that feast-keeping, Sabbath observance, abstaining from unclean foods, etc. will get you into Heaven?

(37) A Pharisee despises others.  Do you harbor resentment towards others? ...or do you "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you"? (Matthew 5:44) 

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. (Luke 18:9)

(38) A Pharisee considers himself better than others.  Are you proud?  Do you pride yourself upon a particular talent or attribute?  "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." (Philippians 2:3)  "For the day of Yahuwah of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low." (Isaiah 2:12)

(39) A Pharisee is puffed up with pride and does not consider the feelings of others.  Are you always, and in all circumstances, mindful of the feelings of others?  Do you "rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep"? (Romans 12:15)

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, Yahuwah, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  (Luke 18:10-11) 

(40) A Pharisee boasts about his discipline, achievements, and practices.  Do you pride yourself in your diet or discipline?  Do you look down upon those whose practices differ from yours? 

Do you pride yourself in your diet or discipline?  Do you look down upon those whose practices differ from yours?  

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, Yahuwah, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. (Luke 18:11-12) 

(41) A Pharisee accuses others.

Yahushua went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Yahushua stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Yahushua was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Yahushua had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Master. And Yahushua said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:1-11)

(42) A Pharisee imagines Yahuwah is their father, while their father is really the devil.

Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even Yahuwah. Yahushua said unto them, If Yahuwah were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from Yahuwah; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:41-44) 

(43) A Pharisee is a liar and murderer.  Do you justify dishonesty or tell "white lies"?  Do you harbor a spirit of anger?  "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment..." (Matthew 5:21-22)

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

angry preacher

Do you hold in contempt those who do not agree with all of your interpretations of Scripture? Do you deride those who do not see everything the way that you do?

(44) A Pharisee derides those who will not listen to them.  Do you hold in contempt those who do not agree with all of your interpretations of Scripture?  Do you deride those who do not see everything the way that you do?

Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give Yahuwah the praise: we know that this man [Yahushua ] is a sinner. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. . . . If this man were not of Yahuwah, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. (John 9:24-25, 33-34) 

(45) A Pharisee is jealous of those who can perform miracles that they cannot.  Are you jealous of those who have different talents or different gifts of the Spirit than you?

But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Yahushua had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. (John 11:46-47) 

(46) A Pharisee judges even pious people for not holding to their standard of feast/festival observance. Do you look down upon those who have a different understanding of how the Sabbaths and feast days are to be calculated or observed?

Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of Yahuwah, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. (John 9:16) 

(47) A Pharisee is a soul-destroyer, not a soul-winner.  Are you actively seeking to win souls? ...or are you leading people astray?  Are you living and sharing the fullness of the Gospel message?  (See commentary on #26 above.)

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. (Matthew 23:13)

Does your heart cry out for those who are spiritually perishing?

"Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you're not saved yourself, be sure of that!"
(C.H. Spurgeon)

(48) A Pharisee has no concern for lost sinners.  Do you sigh and cry over the abominations that are daily being committed all around you.  Does your heart cry out for those who are spiritually perishing?  Is winning souls at the top of your "to do" list every single day?  If not, you need to do some serious heart searching.  "Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you're not saved yourself, be sure of that!" (C.H. Spurgeon)  The Saviour's call is to, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19)  His command to us is "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in My Name: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:20)  We are to be His witnesses "unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8)  "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." (Proverbs 11:30)

Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. (John7:47-49) 

(49) A Pharisee values tradition more than Yahuwah's word.  Are you willing to discard every doctrine and practice that does not agree with Scripture (regardless of its age or popularity)?  Would you step free of error and go it alone if none of your friends or family went with you?  Tradition is a major stumbling block for many, as they prefer unification by error over division by truth.  Today, many professed Christians are clinging to Christmas, Easter, and Sunday worship, not because it is Biblical, but because they cherish their traditions more than the Word of Yahuwah.

Are you willing to discard every doctrine and practice that does not agree with Scripture (regardless of its age or popularity)?  Would you step free of error and go it alone if none of your friends or family went with you?

Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of Yahuwah, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of Yahuwah, that ye may keep your own tradition. (Mark 7:5-9) 

(50) A Pharisee justifies himself before men.  A truly converted individual will always justify Yahuwah and agree with Scripture's declaration of his true condition.  A truly converted individual will humbly acknowledge their faults, and will own up to their mistakes. "Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, Yahuwah resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." (James 4:6)  Do you humbly acknowledge your mistakes? ...or do you lash out at those who offer you criticism? Do you acknowledge your faults? ...or do you seek to shift the blame to others?  Do you humbly acknowledge that you are spiritually bankrupt and in need of a Saviour? ...or do you seek to justify yourself?

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but Yahuwah knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of Yahuwah. (Luke 16:14-15) 


50 Characteristics of a Pharisee (A Review)

  1. A Pharisee  glories in their connection to pious men, but does not have a personal or living connection with Yahuwah. (Matthew 3:9)
  2. A Pharisee glories in external righteousness, but neglects true righteousness, which comes from within. (Matthew 5:20)
  3. A Pharisee does not mingle with unconverted people. (Matthew 9:11; Luke 7:39)
  4. A Pharisee is an ascetic. (Matthew 9:14)
  5. A Pharisee is very critical of others in small matters. (Matthew 12:2)
  6. A Pharisee focuses on rules to the exclusion of Yahuwah's revealed will. (Matthew 12:9-16)
  7. A Pharisee is motivated by jealousy and hatred. (Matthew 12:14)
  8. A Pharisee is an accuser and assumes the worst of others. (Matthew 12:24)
  9. A Pharisee is careless in their speech. They do not hesitate to speak ill of Yahuwah's faithful, even attributing their righteous acts to the adversary. (Matthew 12:24)
  10. A Pharisee neglects his family responsibilities in the name of religion. (Matthew 15:1-6, Timothy 5:8)
  11. A Pharisee is easily offended. (Matthew 15:12-14)
  12. A Pharisee is spiritually blind. (Matthew 15:14)
  13. A Pharisee exalts outward signs above the testimony of Scripture. (Matthew 16:1-4)
  14. A Pharisee seeks to catch people in their words. (Matthew 19:3; 22:15-18)
  15. A Pharisee is hard-hearted. (Matthew 15:8)
  16. A Pharisee cannot appreciate true worship and genuine praise. (Matthew 21:15-16)
  17. A Pharisee teaches Yahuwah's law, but does not live it. (Matthew 23:1-3)
  18. A Pharisee lays heavy burdens on people. (Matthew 23:4)
  19. A Pharisee is a hypocrite.  He says, but does not do. (Matthew 23:4)
  20. A Pharisee is ostentatious and seeks to be honored by men. (Matthew 23:5)
  21. A Pharisee thinks holiness is in the outward appearance. (Matthew 23:5)
  22. A Pharisee covets exalted positions and places of honor. (Matthew 23:6-7)
  23. A Pharisee takes advantage of the poor. (Matthew 23:14)
  24. A Pharisee makes long prayers in public to be esteemed by men. (Matthew 23:14)
  25. A Pharisee corrupts others. (Matthew 23:15)
  26. A Pharisee makes people feel they are born again when they are not. (Matthew 23:15)
  27. A Pharisee interprets Scripture in shallowness, without understanding, and without the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 23:16-22; John 5:37-39)
  28. A Pharisee is a stickler for the letter of the law, but acts contrary to the spirit of the law. (Matthew 23:23)
  29. A Pharisee neglects justice, mercy, and faith. (Matthew 23:23)
  30. A Pharisee meticulously judges others in small issues, while they themselves are guilty of greater offenses. (Matthew 23:24)
  31. A Pharisee is more concerned with his outward appearance than with the condition of his heart. (Matthew 23:25-26)
  32. A Pharisee is self-righteous and supposes that he would never make the mistakes he claims others have made. (Matthew 23:30)
  33. A Pharisee persecutes Yahuwah's prophets. (Matthew 23:33-36)
  34. A Pharisee is overly concerned about what others think of them.  A Pharisee fears men, but does not fear Yahuwah. (Matthew 21:25-26, 46 )
  35. A Pharisee is covetous and loves money. (Luke 16:14) 
  36. A Pharisee puts his trust in his own works. (Luke 18:9)
  37. A Pharisee despises others. (Luke 18:9) 
  38. A Pharisee considers himself better than others. (Luke 18:9-11) 
  39. A Pharisee is puffed up with pride and does not consider the feelings of others. (Luke 18:9-11) 
  40. A Pharisee boasts about his discipline, achievements, and practices. (Luke 18:11-12) 
  41. A Pharisee accuses others. (John 8:1-11) 
  42. A Pharisee imagines Yahuwah is their father, while their father is really the devil. (John 8:41-44) 
  43. A Pharisee is a liar and murderer. (John 8:44)
  44. A Pharisee derides those who will not listen to them. (John 9:24-25, 33-34) 
  45. A Pharisee is jealous of those who can perform miracles that they cannot. (John 11:46-47) 
  46. A Pharisee judges even pious people for not holding to their standard of feast/festival observance. (John 9:16) 
  47. A Pharisee is a soul-destroyer, not a soul-winner. (Matthew 23:13)
  48. A Pharisee has no concern for lost sinners. (John7:47-49) 
  49. A Pharisee values tradition more than Yahuwah's word. (Mark 7:5-9) 
  50. A Pharisee justifies himself before men. (Luke 16:14-15) 

Let us all, by Yahuwah's empowering grace, repent of every Pharisaical attitude and attribute, that we may be washed clean of this spiritual leprosy, and that we may eradicate every trace of the Pharisaical leaven from our hearts.  Amen.

praying with Bible 

Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to Yahuwah, But the blameless in their ways are His delight. (Proverbs 11:20)

 

Now may the Eloah of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Master Yahushua the Anointed. (1 Thess. 5:23)


1 This article was inspired by the sermon series entitled, "Characteristics of Pharisees" by Zac Poonen.  This is not an endorsement of Mr. Poonen's other teachings or beliefs.