This is a great study of the Seven Beatitudes and the seven Woes Jesus proclamed in his ministry. This study, i believe, is a great filter for us Christians to know what movement really comes from God and which comes from man or the enemy in times of the great apostasy we are living it. This is a good source of knowledge and conviction, I highly recommend you study of this book.
I want to share with you one of it's chapters, very interesting what it says, false christianity is revealed very clearly in it.
THE SEVEN WOES
JESUS PUBLIC TEACHING MINISTRY BEGAN WITH THE PROCLAMATION OF THE BEATITUDES. It ended with the proclamation of seven woes to the religious leaders of His day, as they confirmed their rejection of Jesus message and ministry. After His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the people were ready to make Jesus their king, until He entered the temple and began driving out the buyers and sellers. His decision to cleanse the temple for the second time by overturning the tables of the moneychangers
precipitated a conflict with the chief priests, scribes, Pharisees, and other leaders. If Jesus were truly going to be King, then he would have to dismantle all the corrupt religious machinery that was standing between the people and a right relationship with God. The din and chaos of the buyers and sellers was drowning out true communication with God.
and (he) said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. (Matthew 21:13)
The people wanted Jesus as their King as long
as He just confined His ministry to the working of
miracles. They wanted to be fed and healed, but
they did not want radical surgery to their religious way of life. There were many who felt carnally secure in their ability to procure the proper offering or sacrifice with money at their own convenience. These were the buyers that Jesus drove from the temple. The sellers, represented by the religious leaders, were even more dependent on this illicit economic activity in the House of God, because it was their prime source of income. When Jesus interrupted their flow of cash right at passover (the most profitable time of the year), they reacted desperately.
After several pointed parables by the Lord, these
evil men tried to trap Jesus by asking Him difficult questions. They failed miserably, and the scripture says:
And no one was able to answer him a word, neither
dared anyone from that day forth ask him any more
questions. Then Jesus spoke to the multitude and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees have sat down in Moses seat; therefore, whatever they bid you to observe, observe it and do it, but do not act according
to their works, for they say and do not do it.
For they bind burdens that are heavy and grievous tobear and lay them on mens shoulders, but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But they do all their works that they may be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the borders of their garments and love the first place at feasts and the chief seats in the synagogues and greetings in the markets and to be called of men, Rabbi,
But, as for you, desire not to be called Rabbi, for one is your Master, the Christ; and you are all brothers. And call no one your father upon the earth, for one is your Father, who is in the heavens. Neither be ye called masters, for one is your Master, the Christ. But he that is the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled, and he that shall humble himself shall be
exalted. (Matthew 22:46 - 23:12) Jesus then proclaimed the seven woes, which correlate perfectly with the seven Beatitudes in Matthew, chapter five. With the proclamation of these woes, Jesus makes it clear that not only did
the scribes and Pharisees reject Him and His message; they insisted on doing the exact opposite! Let us study these woes, one by one and contrast them with the Beatitudes.
The first woe:
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of the heavens in front of men; for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye those that are entering to go in. (Matthew 23:13)
The first Beatitude:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens.
Not only do these proud religious leaders refuse
to enter the true Kingdom of Heaven, they stand in
the way and prevent others from entering in. When
those outside observe these representatives of
God, they see nothing but hypocrisy, avarice, and
greed; causing many to reject the Gospel. The
church age is going to close with a time of extreme woe for those church leaders who refuse to enter the Kingdom of God through the narrow gate and at the same time prevent others from doing so; those who have only made a shallow, superficial commitment to God and teach others to do the same. God cannot judge the world until He cleans up His church first! Given the degree of selfishness and corruption rampant in the church today, many of those in the world cant really be blamed for rejecting it.
The second woe:
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 a son of hell than yourselves. (Matthew 23:15)
The second Beatitude:
Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Those who have truly chosen to follow Christ have to leave many things that are dear to thembehind as they take up their cross and follow Him.
Only he who loses his life for my sake and the
Gospel will find it, says the Lord. The one who is dead in Christ will also experience the resurrection power of God that raised Jesus from the dead: He will be comforted, that is he will receive the Comforter.
The Comforter is nothing less than Gods
Holy Spirit. Those who have the Holy Spirit, are
sealed by God, and operate in His authority. Those
who mourn are sincere with God. They are not
The comforted follow only the still small
voice of Jesus Christ, and they win converts
that follow Jesus Christ. The scribes and
Pharisees on the other hand, win proselytes
to their sect, order, or denomination.
The comforted pay attention to the ways of the Lord and realize (like Moses) that how we implement the Kingdom of God (our modus operandi) is many times more important than our plans and ambitions.The proselytes of the scribes and Pharisees of religious humanism believe that the end justifies the means. They think nothing of taking the law into their own hands to implement their lofty plans and ambitions in Gods name.
The third woe:
Woe unto you, ye blind guides, who say, Whosoever
shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind, for which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever swears by the gift that is upon it, he is a debtor.
Ye fools and blind, for which one is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Whosoever therefore shall swear by the altar, swears by it and by all things thereon. And whosoever shall swear by the temple,swears by it and by Him that dwells therein. And he
that shall swear by the heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him that sits thereon. (Matthew 23:16- 22)
The third Beatitude:
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
The meek are those who submit every area of
their existence to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The hypocrite will do the opposite; he will interpret Gods precepts according to his own understanding,or according to the doctrine of his organization. The scribes and Pharisees, as opposed to the meek, are busy trying to save their lives and their worldly treasures. Since they do not have the genuine Holy Spirit, they lack the authority of God in their dealings with others. This is why they invoke oaths. They will swear by the gold of the temple, but an oath by the temple is nothing to them; by the gift on the altar, but an oath by the altar is nonbinding.
They cannot bear to pay the cost of putting
their all on the altar and actually becoming
part of that great temple made without hands that
God is raising up as His dwelling place.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us to
not swear oaths by anything. We are to let our yes
be yes and our no be no. Jesus says that anything beyond this comes of evil. Christ must have complete authority over us if we are to be able to speak with His authority. Those unwilling to mourn over their own plans will never receive the Holy Spirit. Without the real Holy Spirit they will never be able to be meek before the Lord . They will never speak with true authority from God. Therefore they will fall into the trap of the devil and justify their actions with pious sounding oaths. At present no one can swear an oath by the gold of the temple or by the gift on the altar because all of that was destroyed
precisely as a result of the fulfillment of Jesus prophetic words of authority in this section of Scripture.
It has been my experience in North America
to hear many swear by the Bible and in South
America to hear many swear by their mother (or by
Jesus mother) when they do not have true authority from God.
The meek are those who moved by the Spirit of
God place all aspects of their existence under the
Authority of Jesus Christ. The blind guides do exactly the opposite, they interpret the precepts of God according to their own criteria or according to the doctrine of their religious confession.
The fourth woe:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin and have omitted that which is more important of the law: judgment, mercy, and faith; these were expedient for ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.Ye blind guides, who strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. (Matthew 23:23,24)
The fourth Beatitude:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Righteousness is the manifestation of right judgment and mercy and faith in our lives that occurs only when Gods Holy Spirit dwells within us. Righteousness is composed of these two components: 1) Being (through grace) the person God wants us to be and 2) Doing (by faith) those acts of justice and mercy that God wants us to do. It is both being and doing right.
This is what the religious legalists are never able to obtain no matter how hard they try. They are always striving hard to tithe the mint, dill, and cummin (the smallest herbs in the garden), while they neglect the foundational virtues of the Christian faith. Being filled with the presence of God is the only way to rest and be satisfied.The legalist will never be satisfied, no matter how many good rules he tries to keep, or how many excellent Christian principles he tries to implement in his own strength.
The fifth woe:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup or of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and incontinence. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter that the outside of them may be clean also. (Matthew 23:25,26)
The fifth Beatitude:
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain
Showing mercy means treating others the way
we would like to be treated ourselves. It is being
willing to forgive and restore our brother (or even our enemy) who has wronged us. It is the sacrificial love of God flowing from a tender heart filled with compassion for those in need. Extortion and rapacity are the exact opposite of mercy. They take advantage of those in need. The religious hypocrite has an outwardly pious appearance but is always ready to pounce on and devour others whenever it is to his advantage to do so. There are many charitable ministries that actually live off of the poor people they are claiming to help.
The sixth woe:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whitewashed sepulchres, who indeed appear beautiful outside, but inside are full of dead mens bones and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matthew 23:27,28)
The sixth Beatitude:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
It takes a pure heart to see God. The heart is the mirror of our soul, created to reflect the image of God. If it is stained and defiled with hypocrisy and iniquity it will never reflect the image of God.This is what causes spiritual blindness. The reason that Jesus has been calling these seemingly respectable religious leaders blind guides is because their hearts are rotten to the core. Jesus says that if theblind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. (see Luke 6:39)
The seventh woe:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets and adorn 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. Therefore ye are witnesses unto yourselves that ye are the sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape
the judgment of hell? (Matthew 23:29-33)
The seventh Beatitude:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
Here we have the true sons of God on one
hand and those who witness against themselves that
they are the sons of those who murdered the prophets on the other. The pure hearts of the sons of God radiate peace (integrity). The rotten hearts of the hypocrites (which are full of extorsion and rapacity) generate murder and violence towards those who would attempt to illuminate them with Gods truth. (Bear in mind that Jesus equates harboring an angry grudge with murder in Matthew 5:21)
Therefore, behold, I send unto you prophets and wise men and scribes, and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and some of them ye shall scourge in your synagogues and persecute them from city to city, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed uponthe earth from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye murdered between the temple and the altar.
Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that didst kill the prophets and stone those who are sent unto thee, how often I desired to gather thy children together, even as a hen
gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would
not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me from now on until ye shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:34-39)
Compare the above Scripture to the continuation
of the remaining two Beatitudes in Matthew
Blessed are those who suffer persecution for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in the heavens; for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10,11)
For the sons of God, persecution is the
mark of true sonship. But woe to those who
are doing the persecution. The hypocrites will always persecute the true sons of God. The religious traditions of men will always contradict the true revelation of God. Prophets do not normally get into serious trouble until they try to drive the buyers and sellers from the temple.
When the buyers are told that they may bypass the temple vendors and go directly to God the Father with their problems and concerns through the mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ; when the sellers are confronted for building their own kingdoms in the name of the Lord, for using the things of God to line their own pockets and exalt their own name (or the name of their organization) instead of Gods name; when the existing religious machinery becomes threatened
by the prophetic Word of the Lord; then watch out:
This is when the generation of vipers will attack. They will attack whenever they are cornered and their kingdom is threatened. It has been said that: Those who attempt to do Gods work mans way will always persecute those who do
Gods work Gods way.
And Jesus went out and departed from the temple,
and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down. (Matthew 24:1,2)
The Old Testament age ended with the complete
destruction of the temple about 70 AD. After the
temple had been burned, Roman soldiers pried apart
every stone seeking precious metals that had melted in the fire and had trickled down into the cracks. All of the apostate religious machinery that rejected the Lord was completely destroyed. Not one stone was left on top of another. Not one ounce of the temple gold that the Pharisees had sworn their oaths by was left. Even though almost everyone and everything in Jerusalem was destroyed, all the true Christians escaped unharmed. In the confusion surrounding the Roman siege of Jerusalem, two opposing factions of Jews had a bloody fight for control of the temple citadel. The Christians took this as the sign given by the Lord and fled (the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet
We are now drawing nearer and nearer to the
end of the Church Age (the New Testament Age).
Jesus is still saying Blessed, Blessed, Blessed
to those who come to him as poor in spirit, to receive forgiveness for their sins and proclaim Him Lord of their lives. But he is saying woe! woe! woe! to those who stand in the way of those who would enter the narrow gate that leads to life.
He is saying woe! woe! woe! to those self-righteous hypocrites who are still doing the exact opposite of His Gospel as set forth in the Beatitudes. He is saying woe! woe! woe! to those who continue to persecute His prophets in order to save their manmade kingdoms and traditions.
Make no mistake. Before the end of this age, God will make as thorough an end to the present man-ordained religious machinery as He did in the last age. Only those houses that are truly founded on the rock will stand when the rains come down and the floods rise and the wind beats upon the structures that we have built in the name of the Lord.
See that you do not refuse him that speaks. For if those who refused him that spoke on earth did not escape, much less shall we escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from the heavens, whose voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, saying, Yet even once, I shall shake not the earth only, but also the heaven. And this word, Yet even once, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken,as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, receiving a kingdom which cannot be
moved, let us hold fast to the grace, by which we serve God, pleasing him with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:25-29)
(The seven woes is the 9th chapter of the book "THE BEATITUDES" written by Russell M. Stendal, if you are interested in this great book,clic on the following direction.) http://www.fuerzadepaz.com/pdf_ingles/bienaventuranzasingles2009.pdf