Many of us I’m sure would wish that they could have sat at the feet of Yeshua, to not only listen to His teachings in person, but to ask him questions too. Over the years I would think to myself- there are so many things that would be clarified if I could just have 10 minutes with Him. What were his wishes for us? What is good and what is bad? Little did I realize, that Yeshua in His own words gave us all of the information that we would need in the inspired books of the Old and New Testament to find salvation. One particularly important piece of advice that comes from Christ, came in the very last week of His life, the week leading up to the Passover of His death. We can find this advice in Matthew 23:
“Then spake Jesus 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
This is extremely revealing testimony from the mouth of Christ just prior to his crucifixion. He advises His people that “All that the Pharisees bid you observe, that observe and do.” He doesn’t say- “observe these things only until next week when I die.” He doesn’t say “observe these things and do them unless you are a Gentile in which case you are free to do as you please.” He simply says “whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do.” He goes on to reveal the “works” of the Pharisees and Scribes that we should not do because they were hypocrates, and He is very specific mentioning a list of their errors. What is interesting is that the Pharisees “Sat in Moses’ seat,” in other words, they were responsible for ensuring that the law of God given through Moses was observed as recorded in the first five books of the Old Testament. This included the ten commandments, the days of the seven holy feasts, the food laws, the Sabbath Day and everything mentioned in the law that can be found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers. Yeshua tells us, that what they bid us to observe, that observe and do. He reveals that the Pharisees were preaching and teaching the correct law of God, but they were not taking it to heart and obeying it themselves “for they say, and do not.” He reveals that it remains good to obey God’s laws and to observe the things in the law of Moses. The remainder of this Chapter is Yeshua pointing out the evil works of the Pharisees that we are not to imitate:
“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. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And 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. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. 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. 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. 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. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; ………………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. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 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. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 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. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 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. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” ~ Matthew 23:4-38
In other words, Yeshua was teaching the brethren that the Pharisee had the correct teachings of the law, yet their works were evil and wicked, and no love or mercy was found in their hearts. They didn’t recognize the Son of God that was standing right before their very eyes. Today in Christianity we’ve degraded the Word of God to a whole new low where His laws, times, holy days, etc. are completely ignored all together. These are the things that Yeshua specifically asked that we observe- the same laws of Moses that the Pharisees were teaching the people to observe. This was not some early teaching of Christ that he later changed- this was a teaching of Christ in the very last week of His life which was echoed in the teaching of His Apostles as they spread the gospel. There is much evidence in the New Testament also indicating that the converted Gentile believers were being instructed to observe these same feasts, laws, commandments, etc. Some say that this has been changed, but I ask- “by whose command and by whose authority?” The biblical record confirms that today’s ignorance of God’s ways and lack of observance was never commanded by Yeshua, or by His Apostles. Rather, the churches obey the commandments of men and regard them as higher than the commandments of God. How much longer will the churches ignore the truth found within the written Word of the Bible? How much longer will the world deny the Sabbaths and Feasts of the Creator? We obey the law not because we are justified by it, rather because we love God and we love our neighbor. Yeshua tells us in his parable that those that do the will of the Father and repent will be those that enter into the Kingdom of God:
“But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.” ~ Matthew 21:28-32
It doesn’t matter if we say yes, or no to the will of the Father. What matters is; do we end up doing the will of the Father, or do we ignore His will? Our actions are judged, and obedience to God’s laws, statutes and ordinances requires action on the part of the believer. Yeshua indicates that John the Baptist came unto them in the way of “righteousness”, a term which the bible defines as “obedience to the laws, statutes, and ordinances of God, blameless” (Deut 6:25, Psalm 119:172, Isaiah 51:7, Luke 1:6). He indicates that the “publicans and the harlots”- the sinners constantly looked down upon by society believed Him and repented while the learned and wise men, these wicked Pharisees, didn’t believe him for a moment and rather persecuted him. Then He reveals “the publicans and the harlots will go into the Kingdom of God before them”. This is a wake-up call for the “wise and learned” Christian denominations of today.
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” ~ Matthew 11:25
Don’t take my word for it, and don’t take the word of the ordained priest, the church leader of millions or even billions of people, or the highly educated bible school theologian. Prayerfully read the bible for yourself and see the truth that is revealed to babes. People all over the world every day are waking up to the truth of God’s Word and are coming out of the false teachings of denominational Christianity. They are becoming obedient to the teachings of Moses, the Prophets, Yeshua, and the Apostles who brought a startling and consistent message- repent and turn to obedience towards God and his laws, statutes and ordinances out of love for the Father and love for your neighbor. They come to this by prayerfully examining the Word- plain and simple. We pray that this message doesn’t fall on deaf ears, and that many are called to repentance today.