From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 3- The Unleavened Bread, continued
MODERN PHARISEES AND SADDUCEES
That is why Jesus warned the disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Now the doctrines of the Sadducees were definitely false, for they denied the resurrection, the fact of angels and spirits, and so forth. They were the predecessors of our modern religions which have a form of godliness but “deny the power thereof.” They denied the supernatural; and we have plenty of Sadducees in the world today. But the Pharisees, on the other hand, were quite orthodox in their teachings; so much so that Jesus commanded His own disciples to observe and do what they said. (Matt. 23:3). Why then did He tell the same disciples to “beware” of their doctrine? For this simple reason: “They say, and do not.” What they said was all right, generally speaking, but their works gave the lie to their teachings. So it is with our modern Pharisees, our orthodox Christian teachers. They teach about the power of Jesus’ blood; they lift you to heights of praise as they expound the glories of the celestial, and the power of Christ’s resurrection; they speak much of the miracles of Christ, and the power of the early Church; they will expound the doctrines of healing, and miracles, and the various gifts of the Holy Spirit. But “they say, and do not.” And not only that: for they condemn and denounce the man who wishes to go in and explore the glories of resurrection life and the “powers of the age to come.” They think it is all right to talk about resurrection and life and the heavenly realm–but when one suggests that this is the heritage of the saints here and now, there are loud protests from the Pharisees. Then the leaven begins its subtle influence, and an orthodox theology develops into malice and wickedness.
O saints of God everywhere, let us launch out into the deep! Let us lift our anchor which has gripped the earth for so long–and let us become anchored to Christ in the heavens, where we ought to be anchored. For God has intended that our anchor should pass into the heavens, behind the veil, whither the forerunner has for us entered. (Heb. 6:19, 20). If we are anchored to earth, and to the doctrines of men, we will be earth-bound creatures; but once we anchor to Heaven and to the Man behind the veil, we are Heaven-bound creatures–and we are constantly rising higher and higher and higher into the realms of the Spirit. Then one day, thank God!–the veil of the flesh shall be rent asunder, and we shall see Him as He is! And when we speak this way, we are not talking about physical death, nor about the rapture; but we are speaking of seeing Him “who is invisible,” as Moses did of old. We shall see Him, even though the world sees Him not. Did not Jesus say, “The world seeth me no more; but ye see me…” (Jn. 14:19)? And was He not speaking of seeing Him in the Spirit, because of the coming of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of the disciples? GHW
Why does it seem at times we are earth heavy and heaven light? Why does our anchor seem to hold us to this terrestrial ball we live on rather than let us soar high in the celestial realm? It seems we sometimes have more of the do-nots in our lives than the say and dos. Paul gives us a strong hint of what these are and how to overcome them in Colossians 3:1-17:
“1Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him– 11a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. 12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”