Stop Majoring In The Minors, Stop Building Monuments To Prophets
Two passages talk about the Teachers of the Law that major in the minors. I’m afraid that these passage refer to today’s Pastors. These teachers look fine on the outside, but inside they are Filthy, Greedy, Self-Indulgent, Corrupt & Impure. Let’s take a more detailed look at the specifics.
The Matthew Version
NLT Matt 23;23 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. 24 Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel! 25 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too. 27 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. 28 Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed, and you decorate the monuments of the godly people your ancestors destroyed. 30 Then you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would never have joined them in killing the prophets.’ 31 “But in saying that, you testify against yourselves that you are indeed the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead and finish what your ancestors started. 33 Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?34 “Therefore, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers of religious law. But you will kill some by crucifixion, and you will flog others with whips in your synagogues, chasing them from city to city. 35 As a result, you will be held responsible for the murder of all godly people of all time—from the murder of righteous Abel to the murder of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed in the Temple between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 I tell you the truth, this judgment will fall on this very generation.
The Luke Version
NLT Luke 11;39 Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness! 40 Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? 41 So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over. 42 “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. 43 “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you love to sit in the seats of honor in the synagogues and receive respectful greetings as you walk in the marketplaces. 44 Yes, what sorrow awaits you! For you are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on.” 45 “Teacher,” said an expert in religious law, “you have insulted us, too, in what you just said.” 46 “Yes,” said Jesus, “what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with impossible religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden. 47 What sorrow awaits you! For you build monuments for the prophets your own ancestors killed long ago. 48 But in fact, you stand as witnesses who agree with what your ancestors did. They killed the prophets, and you join in their crime by building the monuments! 49 This is what God in his wisdom said about you: ‘I will send prophets and apostles to them, but they will kill some and persecute the others.’ 50 “As a result, this generation will be held responsible for the murder of all God’s prophets from the creation of the world— 51 from the murder of Abel to the murder of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, it will certainly be charged against this generation. 52 “What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.” 53 As Jesus was leaving, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees became hostile and tried to provoke him with many questions. 54 They wanted to trap him into saying something they could use against him.
Let’s take a look at what “Building Monuments to the Prophets” (vs 48) and “The Key To Knowledge” (vs 52) are.
Building Monuments To Prophets
These teachers are following in the footsteps of those that killed the Prophets. Back in Mat 23;32 they are told to finish what their ancestors started. Could that indicate that they may actually be performing some useful function?
By continuing to ignore what the prophets say, they demonstrate their agreement with what their ancestors did. I think Today’s pulpits are these monuments. The fact that they continure building upon these monuments (these Pulpits) proves that they “join in their (ancestor’s) crimes”.
The Bible call is for Sheppard’s, but these teachers insist on the place of prominence, leading from the front, not willing to urge the flock on from within, not willing to get out of the way of the Holy Spirit. Take a look at a recent event that gives insight into this interpretation.
On Oct 20, 1996 at the Christian Tabernacle on the east side of Houston, God and his Holy Spirit were on the move. James Rutz in “Megashift” declares that “even before the 8:30 AM service the presence of God was overwhelming…. Some of the people didn’t even make it to the sanctuary; they collapsed on the floor just outside the doors.. … On the platform the music team got so chocked up they couldn’t keep playing their warm up music….No one had to announce what was happening. Every soul in the place was face to face with the Eternal presence met by Moses in the burning bush.”
We hear that after about 15 minutes of this encounter with God the Head Pastor wanted to introduce the days guest speaker. He walks over to the podium and reads 2 Chronicles 7;14 …if My People who are called by my name will humble themselves pray and seek my face and turn form their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Pasor Heard then explained that we are to seek his face not his hand. We should not seek his benefits, but seeking to know him. At that point God moved. There was a loud thunderclap. The pulpit, a 1/2″ thick acrilic podium was slit in half at the neck and thrown in two separate pieces towards the congregation. The pastor was thrown 8-9 feet in the opposite direction. The pastor did not wake for 2 hours. The following is a quote form the guest speaker that seems to encapsulate the experience quite well.
Tommy Tenny in his book “The God Chasers” Page 6, explains that he did not want to interrupt what the Holy Spirit was doing. “For too long we humans have only allowed the Holy spirit to take control up to a certain point. Basically whenever it gets outside our comfort zone, or just a little beyond our control, we pull in the reins ( the Bible calls it Quenching the Spirit 1 Thess 5;19). We stop at the tabernacle veil too many times.”
How can we ignore this dramatic demonstration from God? He is clearly telling us that he has had enough of our Pseudo Worship Services. These pulpits cut us off from Christ. We need to be Restoring Christ As The Head Of Your ChurchThey Key To Knowledge
The ‘key to knowledge’ that these teachers have removed is the early church model (House Church, Simple Church, Believer Gathering), the assembly of believers sitting in a circle letting the Holy Spirit lead, and following the gathering commands of 1 Cor 14;26-40. When believers obey these commands they plug themselves directly into the vine (no more surrogates are in the way). These obedient souls are freed from today’s un-biblical “Church Machine” and are free to truly seek and follow Jesus. They can let Jesus’s Spirit show them their assignment, and their spiritual gift so they can truly carry their crosses. Those that spend time gathering together and sharing their Christian walk can rest wholly on Jesus, on his word and his Holy Spirit, seeking one mind together. This is the launching point that God’s Word describes for us.
The blind leaders at todays churches cut us off from God’s simple plan. They continue getting in the way. They’d rather stay in control, perpetuating the misinformation that they received. They refuse to submit to the truth. The truth is that they have been deceived and they are passing on that deception to others, just like generation after generation before them.
Today’s podium/pulpits are the Monuments to Prophets
The Key is each person directly seeking the Holy Spirit. The structure, gathering in a circle is important, but structure is not the Key. The relationship is. With each person doing his part to seek and share what the Holy Spirit is saying, when no one is standing in the way, the Holy Spirit is clearly in control. Everyone is on level ground. We ‘ve heard over and over that the ground is level at the foot of the Cross. When there is no human leader getting in the way (cutting us off from the Headship of Christ), when we are all seeking the Holy Spirit, when all eyes are on him, he is the conductor of his great orchestra!
May We All Seek God And Be Transformed Into his New Creation