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Text Sermons : Zac Poonen : Pharisees interpret Scripture without revelation from God

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"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, `Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.' You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? And, `Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.' You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it." (Matthew 23:16-22).

The Pharisees interpreted Scripture with their minds, without any revelation from God. So they would modify God's Word according to their own ideas and preach that as God's law. There are Pharisaical preachers doing that today too. They don't understand the spirit behind God's Word, but preach it according to the letter - and "the letter kills" (2 Corinthians 3:6). These preachers don't see their inconsistency either, when they disobey that same word in some other area.

Here is one example. Some church-leaders teach that the wearing of jewellery is a sinful luxury and look down on any sister who may be wearing even imitation jewellery (that costs just 400 rupees). But those same preachers may have spent more than a million rupees in building their own house with many luxurious fittings in it. But they don't see their inconsistency and hypocrisy there. They ease their conscience by saying that Scripture does not speak against the use of expensive marble flooring in a house, but only against jewellery (1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3)!! But Scripture actually urges us to avoid all unnecessary luxuries.

There are many other examples like this. Such church-leaders do not have the revelation of the Holy Spirit on the Word. Instead, they interpret Scripture to suit their own convenience and judge others.

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