I'm Not Famous, But I Am Faithful

The Character of a Pharisee

We were introduced to the sect of the Pharisees in Matthew, Chapter 3, when John was baptizing at the Jordan, and calling the people to come and repent of their sins. And in our initial meeting with them, as they come to hear a wild man preaching remittance of sin beside a river bank, John himself calls the Pharisees "a generation of vipers."

It was the Pharisee sect that opposed the works and teaching of Jesus more than the Essenes, the Sadducees, the Herodians, the Scribes, or any other sect.  The Pharisees would even team up with the other sects in order to gain the strength and support they needed to challenge Jesus, but they would never team up for long term relationships.

The Gospel of Matthew 23: 1-10,

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. 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.

What are the characteristics of a Pharisee?

First, I feel it important to give a brief definition of Pharisee. The Pharisees are defined as Hypocrites and Misguided Zealots. They are hypocritically self-righteous and condemnatory. The root word for Pharisee is " paras" meaning, to divide. So the name Pharisee means " The Separated Ones."

The Pharisees thought that they were better socially and intellectually, and more righteous religiously than most other people, and would have no dealings with people that they deemed to be illiterate, unrefined, or peasants. More often than not, when the Pharisees are mentioned in scripture, it is usually in regard to their faults. They demanded respect as teachers, but they never practiced what they taught. They demanded service from others, but they would never give a hand to help.They gloried in attention, seeking the praise of men more than the praise of God. In their piousness, they paraded their religion on their sleeves and on their foreheads in boxes called phylacteries, or scripture boxes. They loved their titles and positions, and always wanted the high places, or chief seats.

They were also known to glory in bodily cleanness according to the law, but their lives were of moral filth. They studied, knew and kept the law, and stressed all of the minor details of the law, yet they omitted the fundamentals of religion, love, mercy, and justice. They were zealous to win new converts to their sect, but not to God.

Jesus said, " Woe to 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 to you, Scribes and Pharisees, 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 Pharisees simply wanted to be " Famous."

God Honors Faithfulness, Faithfulness Honors God

1st Corinthians 4: 1-2,

" Let a man so account of us, as the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."

In our religious system today, surrounded by a world in utter and complete chaos, we find men and women of God, who pride themselves on being known and exalted by men. We find shepherds who have become dictators according to their institutional structure, rather than stewards, being faithful to do the will of God in the earth. Shepherds who like the Pharisees of old, seek the praise of man, rather than the praise of God.

Jesus said, " Beware of false prophets, , which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

Today's religious system has produced shepherds who are much like the wolves in the wild, shepherds who run in packs. Each one determined to exalt himself. Each one wanting to be famous, instead of faithful.

The exhortation in the letter that Paul wrote to his son Timothy, while it spoke to the common man, it spoke more specifically and directly to the shepherds, those who are leading the flock in the house of God.

Paul said to Timothy, " Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

Today every man and woman of God desires to be famous, to hob-nob with the elite of the Christian circles. To have their faces plastered on billboards dotting alongside interstate highways. To have hour-long radio shows, or thirty minute television programs, to have one church in three locations, each with it's own sprawling campus. To boast of the thousands on the rolls, or their schedules, which keeps them constantly flying from one end of the globe to the other.

After finishing the Last Supper with His disciples, Jesus disrobed,  wrapped himself in a towel, poured water into a basin, and washed the feet of his disciples. After putting His clothing on again, Jesus said to them, " Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

No shepherd should desire or endeavor to be famous, we should seek and strive to be faithful. God honors our faithfulness, and our faithfulness brings honor to God.

For the day is coming, even for shepherds, that the books will be opened, and we too will have to give an account of ourselves before God. Not one of us should want to run this race in vain, and in the end hear him say, "Depart from me I never knew you," and be cast into outer darkness, eternal damnation, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  We should all want to hear Him say, " Well Done, thy good and Faithful servant."

I'm not Famous, But I am Faithful.

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Comments 26 comments

Putz Ballard profile image

Putz Ballard 6 years ago

Amen!


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

godpreacher,

Certainly the Christian life is a life of faith in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a pilgrimage faith journey that ultimately and completely rests on the promises of God. Without faith we are as unbelievers.

Thank you for the message. It inspires perspective and strengthens faith. God bless!!

Forever His,


Unchained Grace profile image

Unchained Grace 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Ya know, I hate to say this, but on the whole? We as Christians have been portraying ourselves as one big dysfunctional family. By far and large, we can't get along, we gossip about each other, we'd stab each other in the back in a hot second and then sit in judgement of anyone who comes to church wearing clothes that aren't "fit for church" not to mention the biggest sin of all. Having not a penny for the collection plate.

Quite honestly, GodPreacher, your description of the Pharisees is how many Christians are viewed today by the rest of the world. While they may not know the difference between a Pharisee and a heresy, they know how they've been treated by self-proclaimed Christians and they see what we see from televangelists who now think they're rock stars.

Is it any wonder why they're lined up at the door to the forums taking potshots at Christians? In reality, what examples have we really given them to command one ounce of respect? Yeah, there will always be trouble makers. There will be those who count themselves among the unbelievers.

We do more damage to ourselves than anybody on the outside ever could. For Dracula, it was the wooden spike. For some of us? It's the mirror. Objects of fear and loathing.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 6 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

I'm not Famous, But I am Faithful. This right here says it ALL!!!!!! Thank you for this HUB!!! Much love to you!


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

godPreacher! AMEN!!! "I'm not famous, but FAITHFUL"

As you stated: "Not one of us should want to run this race in vain, and in the end hear him say, "Depart from me I never knew you," and be cast into outer darkness, eternal damnation, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. We should all want to hear Him say, " Well Done, thy good and Faithful servant." The TRUTH really does set you FREE! In His Love & Blessings!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

AMEN. Loved the title & the content was really well presented. Good stuff here. When people get into theological discussions about what God's will is or isn't for their lives, I often boil it down to this: God requires us to be faithful day by day, hour by hour. If we concentrate on being faithful it seems to me everything else will slide into place.

Peace & blessings to you.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

Putz,

Thanks for stopping by

God Bless


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

RevLady,

As always, Thank you for your comments and taking the time to read these hubs. Though it is true that without faith we are as unbelievers, and it is impossible to please God. But isn't it ironic, when we do have faith, yet we are not faithful?

God Bless


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

UG,

Everybody wants to be a star, on God's dime. We were called for a purpose, and to do the will of God, not to become Famous. We should glorify God in all that we say and do, denying the spotlight for our own lives.

God Bless


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

drpastorcarlotta,

Much luv to you too.

Thanks for coming by, I appreciate you

God Bless


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

Sis. DeBorrah,

What a waste, for us to have labored here, and never succeeded in fulfilling God's purpose for our lives, but rather found a way to exalt ourselves, to make our own name great. Many people think when Jesus said depart from me, I never knew you, that he was talking to those outside of grace. But truth be told, he was talking to those who had been given authority to use his name, and that did so in vain. Remember, " Didn't we prophesy(preach) in thy name, and cast out demons, and did many wonderful works, in thy name." And they were called by Jesus, "workers of iniquity."

Thanks for coming by, much luv.

God Bless


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

Ken,

Many times it is theology and " Head Knowledge" that keeps the body of Christ in confusion. So many now enjoy lording it over others. I believe the I too believe that if we are faithful, everything else will fall into place.

Thanks for coming by

God Bless


A M Werner profile image

A M Werner 6 years ago from West Allis

godpreacher, the word of truth just keeps pouring out of you so fluently. It is a shame some, if not most, of the wolfpacks will probably never come to know this truth. They are so hungry and starving for self-promotion, the Spirit of redemption and humility eludes them. Let your little light shine, and those who want light will come. Peace.


itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

godpreacher -

You have served Him well with this hub-genius.A necessary reminder that worship is for God and God alone;sadly the world seems so full of wannabe self serving gods.

Love this hub.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

AM,

I believe that many Saints are going to miss eternal life with the Father simply because they think the message is always for someone else, and God doesn't see our mess. Far too many have been churched to death, stuck in religion, and are missing relationship with God. And as you know, God sent the prophet, and told him to, " Cry Loud, and Spare Not."

Thank you for a gracious comment.

God Bless

Itakins,

Truly worship is for God, and Him alone. Sometimes when I look at the state of the church, all I can say is, " Look at what we've allowed."

Thank you for coming by, luv ya.

God Bless


Saintatlarge profile image

Saintatlarge 6 years ago from Canada

Sorry i was slow in coming by to visit. Great stuff as usual.

Jesus says a very sad thing in Luke 13.27-29, in talking with the Jewish leaders... "but you yourselves thrown out!"

Phariseeism lives on, because it has a "spiritual" connitation and dwells in the heart. The "acceptance of a New Heart and ever reneweing of our spirit will keep us from this trap.

Mark Verkler in one of his teachings, "49 Lies I rejected when I renounced Phariseeism" is a great teaching on the subject.

Love ya,

L.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

Saintatlarge,

I'm always glad to have you come by. Phariseeism is a condition of the heart, and like you said, it is with the acceptance of a new heart and ever renewing spirit that will keep us from this trap.

Thanks Saint

God Bless


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Yes. There is a whole lotta truth in this Hub. Thank you for the reminder of what's important--to God--not men. Well done.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

James,

Thanks for coming by.

Our focus and attention must on the things pertaining to God, thus we miss eternal life.


christinecook profile image

christinecook 6 years ago

Shepherds I love the name and envision the young man carrying his lost sheep home.Not only did he find it but he picked it up and carried it home.

Great Hub


Internetwriter62 profile image

Internetwriter62 6 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

The Lord is truly writing through you. I am blessed that I first started in the faith in an uncompromising Christian Church, Grace Community Church, where the stewardship of God's Word is taken seriously. I'm glad you take God's Word seriously and are a faithful steward, that is a beautiful hub. may God bless you, always.


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

Internetwriter,

Thank you for such a warm compliment, and one that I will treasure always. I have read some of your writings, and I must say that I'm impressed. Keep writing.

God Bless


Moulik Mistry profile image

Moulik Mistry 6 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

Wonderful article - loved to read it...


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

Moulik Mistry,

Thanks for coming by, and I am glad you enjoyed the writing. You are always welcome here.

God Bless


RackyB profile image

RackyB 6 years ago from The Treasure Coast

Amen. Words of wisdom for a christian woman. Thank you Pastor :)


godpreacher profile image

godpreacher 6 years ago from Atlanta,Ga. Author

RackyB,

Thanks for coming by to grace this page with your comment. You are always welcome.

God Bless

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