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Brood of Vipers?

VIEWPOINT



When Jesus made the remarks in the FACT box, he was speaking to a group of people that were supposed to be the spiritual leaders of the day. They were to guide the people in their relationship with God. While they thought they were doing their job, He evidently felt that they were not doing it that well. Sound familiar?

FACT


Matthew 12:34:

34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Matthew 23:33:

33You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?


VIEWPOINT



Pharisees as vipers?

A viper is a poisonous snake. At the time of Jesus, as it is still today, it was known as a dangerous creature. It hides until it is disturbed and attacks when it feels threatened. It lives its life as it sees fit and cannot be controlled by the desires or actions of others. (When was the last time you met a "viper-trainer"?) This description may explain why Jesus attacked the Pharisees as being a "brood of vipers". Several times He made comments about how they gathered converts (Matthew 23:15
15Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

), built hedges around the law (Luke 11:46
46Jesus replied, "And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them."

), and preferred their traditions over the laws of God (Mark 7:9
9And he continued, "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

).

Anyone else acting like that today?

Well, there are "church leaders" today who gather converts, teach them un-Biblical, even pagan, doctrines, and teach their congregations to follow them. We call them pastors. While at first glance, we would not call them Pharisees, their actions are the same with one exception - rather than "overteach" the law of God, they teach no law, in direct contradiction to Matthew 7:21
21Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

.

Is this how Jesus sees
"pastor conferences" today?


At a Bible study today, one member said that many of these pastors claim that they do the will of the Father because they accept Jesus, and He does the will of God, so they don't have to do that. Huh. Look again at the Matthew 7:21 verse above. I wonder what verse they use to justify their view.

Maybe they are confusing their concept with the idea that when God looks at us He sees the righteousness of Jesus if we live like Him in the Father's will. Their concept is not in the Bible, so how do they twist the truth of Matthew 7:21 into a statement like that? That twisting is likely what Jesus meant by his viper remarks in the FACT box above.

Modern day "Pharisees"...

They deceive their congregations by creating their own traditions out of thin air or borrowing from existing pagan rituals, and make them part of their doctrine with no Biblical evidence. In the same way that vipers move by twisting their bodies, these pastors act by twisting the truth to fit their denominational scenario. They travel the world to find converts to their views, convincing them to follow their traditions rather than the word of God. That, in turn, makes those converts into sons and daughters of hell by teaching them to disobey the will of the Father by saying that the law does not apply to Gentiles.

...with one exception

The one difference between these modern pastors and the Pharisees is that they remove all burdens from their congregations with regard to the will of the Father. That is the exact opposite of the import of the statement of Jesus in Matthew 7:21
21Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

. Also, Jesus said that His burden was light (Matthew 11:30
30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

), not non-existent.

So, are we being too harsh?

Why are we making all these accusations about modern pastors? Is this just another opinion because we believe differently? Can't people just worship God and Jesus in their own way? Sure, people can worship in any way they like. However, it will do people no good if they worship Them in a way that was condemned by both. (Luke 6:46
46Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?

, Mark 7:9
9And he continued, "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

, Deuteronomy 12:4, 30-31, Jeremiah 10:2
4You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. (Deuteronomy 12:4)

30and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same. 31You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:30-31)

2This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the heavens, though the nations are terrified by them. (Jeremiah 10:2)

).

These verses in Deuteronomy warn about mixing your Christian worship with the worship methods of the pagans - the defining attribute of today's "Paganianity" churches. No, don't look away, this includes your church, too. If you do not keep the Sabbath, but do celebrate "Christmas", "Easter", eat what God calls detestable things, and "keep" a day never made holy by God, then you are paganizing your Christianity. This is known as "setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions". Hence, "brood of vipers".

It appears to be a long way back

Can we reverse this trend of over 1900 years? Is it even possible to get those who claim to follow the true Messiah and profess to honor the God of Heaven, but are sidetracked with man-made traditions, to get back to the basics? Can you teach old vipers new tricks? Well, what would it take? What does the target community look like?

There is a site at Cold Case Christianity that gives a fair description of the first-century ecclesia. This community was before the anti-Semitic early church fathers took over and began setting up those "traditions" mentioned in Jesus' derogatory comments. It was before the scheduled service, before people "dressed up" for church, before the pastors stood on an elevated platform and spoke down to the laity. It was before the hijacking of the pagan December festival to practice a pagan ritual of birthday celebrations. It was before the use of the seasonal equinoxes to determine celebrations of a pagan fertility goddess and change the name of a feast of God (Firstfruits) to that of the pagan goddess being honored (Easter). It was before the pastors convinced their congregations that the law of God is worthless, and that they will be saved no matter what. Our congregations of today do not resemble that first community.

First, we must confess that we have changed from pure worship to something else

According to Jesus, we worship Someone we do not know (John 4:22
22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.

). We worship Him in a way far different from that of the first ecclesia. None of these changes happened before the advent of anti-Semitism. The Adversary has demonized the Jews in the minds of the world. Now it seems only natural for the "churches" to remove anything Jewish from the worship of the very God who made the Jews His people.

"Yeah, but..."

This concept came from the original Viper, Satan (the craftiest wild animal in the garden), and is gladly carried on by pastors, "the brood of vipers", who have been deluded into thinking that this "new" way is what God wants, regardless of how far it is from His word. I have spoken to some pastors who even know and confirm these reasons why their stand is wrong, but refuse to correct it because they will lose their congregations if they try to bring them back to the ways of God.

"...I was taught that..."

The rest are just reacting and teaching from their seminary "education", and teaching what they were taught, both truth and lies. The path to salvation is very narrow, and if they are not on that path, the one described in Matthew 7:21
21Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

, then they are moving away from God. So, if their stand is not intended to lead congregations to the truth of God, then it is intended to lead them in the direction of their denomination, and away from God's will. That was the intent of the original Viper in the garden of Eden, and it is still effective today.

The craftiest viper

The original Viper is still the craftiest creature in our world. He will guide the Antichrist in order to continue the deception of "even the very elect" (Matthew 24:24
24For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

) who are not paying attention. If today's "brood" are already on the wrong path, the Antichrist will just agree with their teachings, all their opposing teachings, convincing them that he is God, and tell them to keep up the good work even when their teachings oppose each other. There is only one true "church" of Jesus, the ecclesia, who will be seeking His truth, and any others will be following that Wicked (2 Thessalonians 2:8

And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: (KJV)

Or in plain talk,

8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. (NIV)

), the lawless one, the Antichrist. How will you know if you are on the right path?

Know the Bible

The Bible describes the ways and expectations of God, the Father, who is in heaven. Reading it with no additions or interpretations, and making sure that your understanding does not create conflicts with any other part of it is the only way to make as sure as you can that you are on the right path. Just remember that there is a Viper out there whose primary intent is to twist and skew your thinking. That's his job.







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