Mat 23:5  But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

Mat 23:6  And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

Mat 23:7  And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.


Although this may seem a foolish question because everyone that attends a church does so because they feel the man that they have chosen to teach them behind the pulpit preaches and teaches God’s word in truth. But as we look around the world we see the many religions that there are, and the many denominations all within Christendom, we must know that they all preach something different from the next. Well, in this study we will see how to know if what we hear is of God, or if these men have different intentions when they preach in the pulpit. Matthew 23 gives us a blueprint of a man in the position of a ‘man of God,’ but actually serves Satan and himself. The Lord Jesus Christ speaks of the religious men of His day, and compares them to their fathers; the religious men of times past who persecuted and walked contrary to God and the men He sent. And here in verse 5-7 we see the pride of these men does this sound familiar with today’s biggest religious men? They have a desire to be “seen of men” by way of television, billboards, and any other methods to be known of men. Also, they love the finest things their congregation can buy them, separate themselves from everyone else in the church; and walk about with a celebrity-type persona, just as the men did in Christ’s day and in times past as well.

Mat 23:11  But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Mat 23:12  And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Mat 23:13  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.

Mat 23:14  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.

Mat 23:15  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.


The Lord’s message to the multitude and His disciples is a message of humbleness and putting others before yourself, but this doctrine also is a mystery to the Pharisees and the religious men of our time. And also we see what the Lord expounded unto the scribes and the Pharisees in verse 13; that because these men are unsaved, the message they preach is of an unsaved nature as well, so the hearers of this doctrine remain unsaved, this again takes place today on a daily basis throughout the church world. And now in verse 14 the Lord says the scribes and the Pharisees take advantage of the “widow’s houses,” (he is able to do this because she no longer has a husband in the home), and they “make long prayer,” as a show of godliness; but their ungodly ways and heart will face the wrath and eternal judgment of God for their deeds. The men of our day are similar to the Pharisees and scribes where they want to ‘fill the seats’ in the church, the bigger the attendance, the more important he feels. Now this shows how God looks upon the religious man in any dispensation that self-justifies, and self-sanctifies himself and the hearers of this unsaved doctrine. However, some of the men may have good intentions, some may seem faithful and righteous, but because they have been taught the wrong doctrine, God’s word in truth is not preached, and how can one serve the Lord if he does not preach what God intended to be preached? Now if the preacher does not serve God because of he is ignorant of God’s word in truth, then he can only serve one other individual whether he knows this to be the case or not; and that is Satan.

Mat 23:16  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!

Mat 23:17  Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

Mat 23:18  And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.

Mat 23:19  Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

Mat 23:20  Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

Mat 23:21  And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.

Mat 23:22  And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

Mat 23:23  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.


As we know, we as members of the body of Christ are called “the temple,” and the Spirit of God dwells in us, as His word dwells in us, and works effectually within us, this “temple” is different from the way God designed the temple to operate with Israel. These religious men had more care and concern for the “gold of the temple” rather than the temple itself. The same holds true today with the religious men of our time, there is more emphasis placed upon money, and the financial gain of the members of the church by these men rather than the church member’s eternal security. The emphasis seems to be placed upon ‘paying tithes’ and the physical matters of this life just as it was with the “scribes and Pharisees,” instead the emphasis ought to have been placed upon what is really important; “judgment, mercy, and faith.”


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

Mat 23:25  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.

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

Mat 23:27  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.

Mat 23:28  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.


Furthermore, the religious man has always placed more importance upon the physical things of this earth over the spiritual things, it is because he can only trust in what he sees, which is contrary to how God designed faith to operate with the man. And as we see the “scribes and Pharisees” placing so much emphasis upon the “outward” appearance of themselves and their followers, when in fact, it is the inward man that God wants to be ‘cleansed.’ And once again, our religious men today follow the same blueprint concerning ‘their’ standards for themselves and their followers; as long as the “outward” appearance seems to be “clean,” this person is a godly and holy saint in the eyes of men; but not in the eyes of God. And it is his outward appearance that he wants the man to give glory and praise unto, and because of his pride he assumes men will praise his earthly wisdom and glory in his outward appearance; this is the blueprint that Satan laid from the beginning of the world.

Php 3:1  Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.

Php 3:2  Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Php 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Php 3:4  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:


Today, we are told how to identify these men, and we are warned to stay away from these “evil” men, we are told that these men place their faith in the “flesh,” but as verse 3 says our “confidence” is placed upon the spiritual instead. You see, this how God allows us to identify whether a man is preaching the truth or not; it is done by listening to what he says concerning the word of God. So then, we are told to understand that if a man is preaching about “earthly things,” (health, wealth, and relationship, and the outward appearance) that this man is not preaching God’s word in truth and he is an enemy of the cross of Christ, our focus and faith should be placed upon what we cannot see; which is the heavenly things that we have “in Christ,” this is what we are to “look” forward to, not what these men say godliness is all about. Nevertheless, in every church, all over the world, men will say that they or their preacher teaches the word of God in truth 100%! But this is simply not the case at all, all one has to do is listen to the message, and the doctrine (the church by-laws, commands, do’s-and don’ts, and any other man made thing that they want you to live by that is not written in the word of God to you today) and you will find that the ones who stand by their denomination over “sound doctrine;” or stand by what they feel, think they saw, or what their pastor tells them, over the word of God in truth; you will see that these men are the “scribes and Pharisees” of our time and their “God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things,” but we must remember to keep our “conversation” about the things “which we see not;” the heavenly spiritual things that are ours “in Christ.”

Php 3:18  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Php 3:19  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Php 3:20  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:


Rod Jones

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