William Dankenbring and some others put heavy weight on Jesus'
words in Matthew 23:2,3. They claim that Jesus was telling people
to obey and follow the Scribes and Pharisees in what they taught
and practiced. Of course if this was so then Jesus contradicts
Himself, as He said at another time in His ministry that His
disciples should be aware and careful of the "leaven" of the
Pharisees and Sadducees, and the context of that passage goes on
to tell you that Jesus was meaning the "doctrines" of those two
sects of Judaism (Matt. 16:6-12).
The very context of Matthew 23 should tell us that Jesus could
not have been telling people to just simply follow any dictate of
the Scribes and Pharisees. He could not have been advising people
to have some kind of "blind faith" in those leaders, because they
were "inspired of God" and because they held some kind of
"authority" as sitting in "Moses' seat."
The best OT definition of Moses seat is probably Deut. 17:8-12.
Please read it carefully. Moses was a "judge" - the first judge
under God in Israel. We can see that in Exodus 18: 13-16. Then
others were picked as judges (see also Numbers 11).
Yes, we see then that Moses' seat of judgement was established.
It was mainly the "hard" things (Deut.17) that they were to
judge. It was not so much the expounding and interpreting of the
"Scriptures" as much as the hard APPLICATION of some of the laws
and commandment and precepts of God. The basic things given to
Moses from the Lord and what he wrote down (what we know today as
the first five books of the Bible) DO NOT COVER every single
situation that may arise as pertaining to any particular laws or
precepts. Hence we have what we can read about in Deuteronomy 17.
Then also there was the "calendar" and "new months" within
You can find just about NOTHING on the rules and workings of the
"calendar" in the Bible. The new month days were to be announced,
the calendar was to be formed and executed. Obviously those who
were skilled and who sat in the seat of Moses were to execute the
calendar and also when the new month days would be honored and
announced. There was then a body of people who had certain
authority over certain things within Israel.
You can read about the calendar and those who sat in charged of
it for Israel, in my studies on the calendar question.
Jesus was not telling people to just look to the Pharisees as
some kind of "inspired" and "beyond error" teachers of God's
word, and so without thinking just follow what they taught and
said. He could not have been teaching that kind of theology
mind-set from reading all that Jesus taught and said throughout
the four Gospels. Even in the OT we have Isaiah 8:20 which
clearly states that it is to the law and the testimony - the WORD
of God - that we are to look, and if ANY PERSON (your neighbor,
your child's school teacher, the bus driver, the postman, THE
RELIGIOUS MINISTER) came along and DID NOT SPEAK ACCORDING to
the law and the testimony, THERE WAS NO LIGHT IN THEM, and you
were to pay no attention to them, as far as running your life,
your mind, and your practices.
So within the CONTEXT of the entire Bible, Jesus was NOT here
teaching to just follow casually all that came out of the mouth
of the Pharisee sect. I have also shown you that the Pharisees
had at LEAST TWO THEOLOGY SCHOOLS, and they DID NOT agree on all
aspects of the understanding and interpretation of the
What Jesus was then saying was that WHERE the Pharisees were
CORRECT (like they taught and believed there was to be a
resurrection), then yes, obey them, for where right and
correctness is, then it makes no difference who is teaching it.
And He was also admitting that in CERTAIN AREAS of ADMINISTRATION
(through the Jewish Sanhedrin - you can also read about that in
my studies on the Calendar) and JUDGMENT and things like
announcing the new month days, the Pharisee DID sit in Moses
seat. They did have an authority right to speak on certain things
that they were ALLOWED to speak on, as were the judges in
All of this is FAR from just simply giving your mind over to some
leaders of some "religious sect" that Jesus elsewhere, as in this
very chapter we are studying, condemned with no punches pulled,
and even said they had doctrines that were "leaven" or sin (see 1
Cor.5 on how "leaven" is sometimes used to denote sin and error
NO ONE IS TO BLINDLY FOLLOW SOMEONE ELSE,
YOU FOLLOW "IN THE LORD"
It does not matter who you are, man, woman, child, teenager,
policeman, school-teacher, doctor, nurse, space-explorer, rocket
scientist, YOU never just turn your mind over to ANYONE, and let
them have full un-conditional control of your mind and life. The
only one you should allow to control you unconditionally is God
Look at the following Scriptures and mark them well.
"Children, obey your parents IN THE LORD; for this is right"
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husband, as it is fit IN
THE LORD." (Col.3:18).
"And we beseech you, brethren, to know them who labor among you,
and are over you IN THE LORD, and admonish you" (1 Thes. 5:12).
And I have already given you Isaiah 8: 20. Mark that one well
Matthew 23:2,3 is not some catch all instructions from Jesus to
tell you that the Pharisee sect had NO ERROR in their theology
teachings, for in fact NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!
And Jesus had already told you that in Matthew 16.
NOW TO ANSWER WILLIAM DANKENBRING
The apostle Paul, of course, was a Pharisee. Did the apostle Paul
deliberately "lie," and bear false witness, in the New Testament?
As a strict Pharisee, all his life he observed Pentecost on the
same day as all the Pharisees did -- Sivan 6, counting 50 days
from the clay of the wave sheaf offering, which the Pharisees
offered the day after the first high holy Day of Passover.
Following the Sadducean Pentecost reckoning makes a LIAR out of
the apostle Paul, who himself was a Pharisee, and who was
brought up and taught at the feet of the leading Pharisee of his
day, Gamaliel. Paul says,"I am verily a man which am a Jew,
born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at
the feet of Gamaliel, and TAUGHT according; to the PERFECT MANNER
OF THE LAW of the fathers" (Acts 22:3). Do we dare believe that
he, apostle Paul, was a LIAR? If Paul says he was taught the Law
of God perfectly, as a Pharisee, at the feet of the leading
Pharisee of that day, Gamaliel, then he is saying he was taught
correctly concerning Pentecost calculation and observation! If
the Pharisees were wrong, then this statement of Paul's would be
an out-and-out LIE!
Notice the words that William D. emphasizes "TAUGHT ..... PERFECT
MANNER OF THE LAW...." Then he tells you that this means "he was
taught the Law of God perfectly,as a Pharisee...." But to do my
own emphasis PAUL DID NOT SAY HE WAS TAUGHT THE LAW OF GOD
PERFECTLY as a Pharisee!!
He said, look at it, see it again friends,".....brought
up.....at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the
perfect manner of the law OF THE FATHERS." The words "of God" are
NOT THERE! And that is a BIG difference, for to be taught the
perfect law of the fathers, say your fathers, your religious
teachers, and taught the Law of God perfectly, could be as far
apart as night is from day, as black is from white, as truth is
We have seen the plain truth from the words of Christ that the
Scribes and Pharisees were so far away from the correct
understanding of the Word of God that they were not only not
going to enter the Kingdom of God themselves, but those they
converted to follow them would not enter either. With all of that
(study again Barclay's comments no Mat.23:3) how is it possible
for Paul to have been taught by the Pharisee Gamaliel, the Law of
God perfectly? He of course COULD NOT HAVE BEEN!!
And Paul himself acknowledged that all the teaching he had BEFORE
Christ came into his life was just DUNG - worthless, see
Paul tells us that the gospel he preached was "not after men" -
he did not receive it from men, nor was he taught it from the
mouth of men, but "by the revelation of Jesus Christ"
Now ask yourself this question: if Paul was taught the Law of God
perfectly by the Pharisees, at the feet of the leading Pharisee
of the day, Gamaliel, then what need did Jesus have to teach him?
Paul, according to Dankenbring, already understood the law of God
perfectly so why did Jesus have to take Paul off to Arabia to
teach him? See Gal.1:15-17.
The phrase "perfect manner of the law of the fathers" is
explained to us in other words by Paul in the book of Galatians.
Notice it. "...for you have heard of my conversation in time
past, in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted
the church of God, and wasted it. And profited in the Jews'
religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more
exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers" (Gal.
Read these verses in a modern translation. Many give "Jews
religion" as "Judaism" - what Paul profited in. What he was
exceedingly zealous in, what he was taught according to the
perfect manner of the law by Gamaliel, was "the TRADITIONS OF MY
FATHERS." In Acts he said "of the fathers" in Galatians he put it
"of my fathers" but both times Paul was saying the same thing, he
was taught by the sect of the Pharisees the perfect traditions
and manner of the teachers and ancestors of Judaism. He was
zealous in following the Pharisees way of teaching the law
according to their ancestral fathers. And as we have see, many of
the teachings and practices of that sect was "way off beam" -
just like their modern follower Dankenbring and their children
the Orthodox Messianic Jews.
We must not read the Bible with blinkers on. we must we willing
to read the WHOLE bible and the WHOLE writings of Paul. If you do
not read ALL of Paul, I guarantee you can make Paul say just
about anything, even of course to WILDLY contradicting HIMSELF!
Was Paul a LIAR? On another occasion, Paul said to the Sanhedrin
or Council, "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a
Pharisee" (Acts 23:6). Paul obviously was not embarrassed to have
been a Pharisee -- for like the other Pharisees, he believed in
the hope of the resurrection, which the apostate Sadducees denied
I have in this edition given you a very full explanation in
regards to Paul's words "I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee,"
but will add yet more to what others have written.
Turn to the book of Acts - read verse 7 of chapter six. The
Temple still stood in Jerusalem, the whole temple rites continued
as before, nothing had come to an end, the priesthood was still
functioning in their duties. Nothing is said in this verse to
indicate that the priests who were obedient to the faith gave up
the priesthood and its functions. As many commentators have
said., the early Church of the apostles would have been looked
upon as just another Jewish sect of the day. The Christian church
did not set itself against all that Judaism stood for, taught or
practiced and this is clearly proved by Acts 6:7.
A great company of the priests became believers in Jesus. Now if
any of these priest found themselves in the "hot seat" that Paul
found himself in Acts 23:6, would it have been proper for them to
have used their position as a priest to get out of their tight
spot? Would it have been a lie for them to have said, "Men and
brethren, I am a Priest, the son of a Priest, of the hope and
resurrection of the dead I am called in question."? Why of coarse
it would have been legitimate for them so to have said they were
Christians but they were still priests. Their upbringing was in
the priesthood, their fathers were priests, their education was
temple service, even if they had retired from active duty they
were still within their rights to have said "I am a priest, the
son of a priest." Saying this does not imply they agreed with the
other priests in ALL theological beliefs. Nor does it imply they
would have been following all the practices of the other priests
that did not believe in Christ and His resurrection. It would
have been a statement that they were of the ancestry of the
priesthood and so were a priest. Nothing of a lie or nothing
deceitful at all, if they had said those kinds of things in the
same predicament as Paul found himself in.
So it was with Paul, he was of the ancestry of the Pharisee sect
and so a Pharisee. Paul was in his legal right within the Jewish
society to still say he was a Pharisee even when he followed and
was a part of the new sect of the disciples of Christ.
Again we need to remember the status of the Christian community
within Judaism at this point in history. It would have been
regarded by all - Jews, Gentiles and the Romans - as a part of
Judaism with a few different ideas such as Jesus as the Messiah
and His resurrection from death to eternal immortality. This
truth is verified by the fact that MANY of the sect of the
Pharisees also BELIEVED and were a part of the New Testament
Church, SEE IT, MARK IT FRIENDS.... Acts 15:5.
The Church was growing, not only in numbers but in understanding
of truth, and there were differences of opinions on certain
matters and God was leading with His Spirit to the correct
answers. But notice, Luke(the writer of Acts) did not think it
strange or a "no,no" to still classify and call some of the
believers "Pharisees" or "of the sect of sect of the Pharisees."
Would they have called themselves Pharisees if under the specific
circumstance that Paul found himself under? Of course they could
have, just as Paul at one time did. They would have not been
telling a lie. Luke did not tell a lie when he called SOME in the
Church by the name of "thee sect of the Pharisees."
Again you need to have no tunnel vision when you read the Bible.
What W.D. is doing here is leading you down the garden path into
the bramble bush by focussing on just a few verses and leading
you to a certain conclusion that he wants you to conclude from
just a few certain verses. What he does not want you to see is
where Luke called certain ones who "believed" and were in the
Church of God ..."the sect of the Pharisees."
Very clever on Dankenbring's part but alas it takes you into the
ditch of false deception and false doctrines.
Paul wrote to the Philippians about hiss religious training and
upbringing. He declared, "If any other man thinketh that he has
whereof he might trust in the flesh, I wore: Circumcised the
eight day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an
Hebrew of the Hebrews; AS TOUCHING THE LAW, A PHARISEE;
concerning zeal, persecuting the church; TOUCHING THE
RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS IN THE LAW, BLAMELESS" (Philippians
But how could this be? If the Pharisees were IN ERROR on
Pentecost and its calculation, then Paul could not have been
"blameless" as concerns the Law of God, the divine instructions
for Pentecost! If the Sadducean reckoning was correct, then the
Pharisees had to be wrong, making Paul himself in error, and
certainly NOT "blameless"! Therefore, did Paul then lie when he
made this clear and obvious declaration?
The Greek word for "blameless" here is "amemptos" and means,
"irreproachable, faultless, unblamable." Thayer's Greek English
Lexicon defines the word, "blameless, deserving no censure; free
from fault or defect." The same word is used in Luke 1:6 of the
parents of John the Baptist:
"And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the
commandments and ordinances of the Lord BLAMELESS."
Obviously, they observed Pentecost on Sivan 6, reckoning it
like the Pharisees did!
Paul gives us how he was taught as touching the law (William
D. even emphasizes it) - a PHARISEES! His understanding of the
law was from the point of interpretation as the Pharisees saw it,
and I have shown you that even they did not agree among
themselves, but had two theological schools that argued
between themselves as to the meaning of parts of the law. W.D.
does NOT want you to know this, if he himself even know that
Jewish fact of their history. If he does know it, he is going to
keep that truth hidden from you, for then his arguments would
have a gaping hole in them right away.
So Paul was BLAMELESS as touching the righteousness which is
in the law, but the preceding words of his explains his
"blameless" statement. Does he say he had the perfect
righteousness of God? Does he say he had full and complete and
perfect understanding in the law of the Lord? NO! He says NO SUCH
Dankenbring and his tunnel vision does not see the next verses,
nor does he give them to you (possibly hoping you will not
bother to open your Bible and read them these verses in their
context). Read the following verses my friends, verse 7 he says
that what he attained under the teaching of the Pharisees and
other national traits, he counted as LOSS for Christ. For the
KNOWLEDGE of Christ (and His Spirit that leads into all truth)
Paul counted his past attainments as DUNG in verse 8.
Paul wanted to be found in Christ - so that "not having mine OWN
righteousness, which is of the law" - aaahhh! There it is,
whatever righteousness of the law that he was blameless in, it
was his OWN righteousness and not that of God's or Christ's. He
had been taught the Pharisees righteousness of the law, that he
in verse 9 calls "mine own righteousness" and sure, as far as
that went he was blameless. He may have been able to keep that
kind of righteousness perfectly, just like the great Job was
blameless also - both men blameless in their OWN standards of how
THEY understood the righteousness of law. Yes, and even God might
have claimed that in THEIR framework as they saw it, they were
perfect. God said that Job was perfect and upright, one that
feared God and eschewed evil (Job 1). But did that mean Job was
all he needed to be ot all he should have been. Did that mean Job
was fully instructed in GOD AND HIS HOLY WAYS AND LAWS. Did it
mean Job REALLY KNEW God? Or was it that he knew God in a "human
teaching form" only, and was yes, perfect and upright in that
human way? The LATTER is the real answer as Job himself tells us
in his own words in chapter 42. "I have HEARD OF YOU BY THE
HEARING OF THE EAR (what man teaches about you and your holy
ways) BUT ***NOW*** MINE EYE SEES YOU, *** WHEREFORE I ABHOR
MYSELF AND REPENT IN DUST AND ASHES***
Paul was in many ways a NT era JOB! He was perfect in the laws of
"the fathers" BUT what was the ways of "the fathers" as a
Pharisee people, all those ways, when he REALLY CAME TO SEE GOD
AND CHRIST, he counted as DUNG, in order to WIN CHRIST, to REALLY
be a Christian and to REALLY KNOW GOD!!
Jesus told His disciples that if the righteousness they had DID
NOT exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, THEY
should in no case enter into the Kingdom of God" (Mat. 5:20).
If the Pharisees had the correct righteousness which was in the
law, if they were blameless in their understanding, teaching, and
practices of the LAW OF GOD (not "the fathers"), WHY did Jesus
tell His disciples they had to do better than the Scribes and
Pharisees if they wanted to enter the Kingdom?
Obviously from the context of Philippians 3 and the rest of the
NT, Paul was only blameless in following the teachings and
practices of the human righteousness that the Pharisees
established in THEIR interpretation of the law.
Notice how clever Dankenbring is: "If the Pharisees were in
error on Pentecost and its calculation, then Paul could not have
been 'blameless' as concerns THE LAW OF GOD...." He has CHANGED
what Paul actually said to what he wants YOU to believe Paul
said. Paul never used the words "law of God" in this section of
Philippians. It is just not there! Of course not, because Paul
never ever taught anywhere that the Pharisees and Gamaliel his
teacher had the PERFECT UNDERSTANDING AND INTERPRETATION of the
LAW OF GOD!!
To the CONTRARY, he showed that when the full knowledge and
understanding of the law came to him he found he was under the
penalty of death. Under what he knew of the law as taught by the
Pharisees, he thought he was okay - alive - in right standing
with God, but when Christ revealed to him the real meaning and
intent of the commandments "sin revived,and I died"(Romans
7:7-9). Read that friends, MARK IT, what could be plainer here in
what Paul is teaching about himself as a Pharisee and then as
when he REALLY CAME TO KNOW GOD AND CHRIST.
Clearly Paul was not blameless when it came to the Law of God.
When he only knew life as a Pharisee he thought he was ALIVE, he
thought he was blameless before God, but he was, as the saying
does "as guilty as sin." He was a DEAD mam - heading for death,
until Christ came into his life and the true righteousness of God
and the commandment which were ordained to life. He had been
under the righteousness of the Pharisees, DECEIVED, blinded - sin
had taken the opportunity by the instrument of the commandments,
to SLAY him (Romans 7:9-11).
Paul was indeed blameless, irreproachable, faultless, where it
came to judging him by the standards and precepts and
righteousness that the Pharisees "set for themselves" based on
how they interpreted the law, but he was a DEAD man - a walking
dead man, and very much to BLAME when it came to the Law of God.
It makes no difference that this same Greek word for "blameless"
is used in Luke 1:6 in reference to the parents of John the
Baptist. That Greek word of itself is NOT THE KEY! It is the
CONTEXT and other words used along with it that MAKE the
DIFFERENCE and hold the TRUTH.
John the Baptist's parents were righteous and walked in all the
commandments and ordinances BLAMELESS, because they did it BEFORE
GOD! They walked, notice it, "in all the commandments and
ordinances of THE LORD..." The words "God" and "the Lord" are
USED HERE!! Paul never used such words in connection with his
walking in the law as a deceived Pharisee who did not know the
Son of God.
Because the parents of the Baptist did walk blamelessly in the
law of the Lord, they would NOT have observed Pentecost on Sivan
6, nor the Passover on Abib 15, as William D. does!!
I'll tell you boldly and categorically Dankenbring is VERY WRONG
ON THOSE TWO DOCTRINES OF GOD!!
Was Paul a "Liar"? We have a conundrum here -- a paradox. If the
Worldwide Church of God is correct in observing Pentecost
following the Sadducean method of counting, and therefore
observing a different day, then they are calling the apostle
Paul a LIAR! likewise, the Church of God International, under
Garner Armstrong and Ronald Dart (remember this was written
before the WCG disintegrated and went Protestant in theology and
before the CGI broke up) by following the Sadducces, are also
calling Paul a despicable LIAR. Furthermore, Gerald Flurry, and
the so-called "Philadelphia Church of God," by also following the
reckoning of the Sadducees and observing their "Pentecost," is
also branding the apostle as a LIAR and false witness!
Who are the REAL "liars"?
Of course, as an apostle of God and Christ, it would not he
proper for Paul to lie. Jesus said the Scripture cannot be broken
(John 10:35), and said to the Father, "Thy Word is truth" (John
17:17) -- and part of that Word of God is the writings and
epistles of the apostle Paul -- inspired Scripture given by
inspiration of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Therefore, Paul could NOT
Of course Paul did not lie, but W.D. by clever words and hoping
you will not take the time to look up the passages he quotes and
see them in their context, and hoping you are a person that does
NOT READ the NT and especially ALL the writings of Paul, tries to
get you to be tunnel visioned on these passages and so fall into
the hole of believing Paul was, as a Christian still a FULL
PRACTICING Pharisee as he was before he became a Christian.
Some of W.D. arguments are so silly and weak if you are a reader
of the WHOLE NT that most would not bother to give their time in
Peter told us about Paul's writings, "And account that the
longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved
brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath
written unto you; as also in ALL, HIS EPISTLES, speaking in them
of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood,
which they that are unlearned and unstable WREST, AS THEY DO THE
OTHER SCRIPTURES, unto their own destruction" (2 Pet.3:15-16).
Surely, then since Paul's writings we here referred to as
"SCRIPTURE," and God CANNOT LIE (Titus 1:2), there is no way that
Paid could have lied in his epistles! But if this is the case,
their notice the predicament that those who REFUSE to accept the
Pharisee's reckoning of the Day of Pentecost face! Notice. how
their reasoning leads to a DIRECT CONTRADICTION of Scripture --
and makes a LIAR out or the apostle Paul! For by following the
Sadducces, they make the apostle Paul out to be a liar, who
followed the practices of the PHARISEES, and who said he did so
"BLAMELESSLY" -- who said, furthermore, that he was TAUGHT by
Gamaliel, the leading Pharisee of his day, "according to the
PERFECT MANNER OF THE LAW"!
Who is right? Paul, who wrote Scripture? Or his critics
Paul did write scripture. He was an apostle of God. He was
inspired by the Holy Spirit of the Lord. He said not lie! Paul
never said or wrote that as a Christian he "followed the practice
of the Pharisees." What he did when unconverted as a Pharisee was
blameless "according to the perfect manner of the law OF THE
FATHERS." Notice how William D. above LEAVES OUT THE WORDS "of
the fathers" to lead you to believe Paul is talking about God's
law and not the law of the fathers, whom I have shown you by
Paul's own words were Gamaliel and other ancestral teachers of
Dankenbring hopes you will not look up the verses in the Bible,
and just kinda say, "Wow....William D. has something here, Paul
was blameless in the law OF GOD as a Pharisee, so it must be
correct, we are to follow the teachings of the Pharisees" (which
today would mean you follow the Messianic Pharisee Jews, just as
some of them tell you that is what you should follow, as we saw
at the very start of this 5 part study).
Isn't the answer perfectly clear? Jesus Christ Himself stated
plainly, " The Scribes and Pharisees SIT IN MOSES' SEAT: All
therefore whatsoever THEY [not the Sadducees] bid you observe,
that observe and DO"(Matthew 23:2,3. The Pharisees were the true
authorities for interpreting the laws of God -- we true
custodians of the "oracles of God" (Romans 3:1-2). Isn't it about
time we give them a little respect for the good that they did,
preserving the Laws of God and the correct date and method of
calculating Pentecost? To observe Pentecost on any other day than
the day Christ Himself approved, is sacrilege -- an abomination
in the sight of God and a plain inexcusable violation of His
The answer is perfectly CLEAR when you read the whole New
Testament and take off the blinkers. We have show you what Jesus
was saying when He said, "The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses'
seat." Did the apostles and disciples OBEY, and OBSERVE, and DO
all that the Pharisees and Scribes bade them to do? The book of
ACTS gives us the truth of the matter.
After the coming of the Holy Spirit the apostles preached
POWERFULLY Jesus and His resurrection, so powerful was their
preaching that it soon stirred up the anger of the priests, ruler
of the temple, Sadducees, rulers, and elders, and scribes(Acts
4:1-7). I will prove to you shortly that among this group was the
Pharisees, who had a great deal of power and authority as William
D. would verify.
The apostles were told to leave the COUNCIL that they had been
brought before, verse 15. This council(containing the Scribes and
Pharisees that sat in Moses' seat) COMMANDED them "not to speak
at all nor teach in the name of Jesus." verse 18. Notice how
Peter and John answered them in verse 19 and 20. Did they say
"Okay, we know that you sit in Moses' seat and we were taught by
our Jesus to observe and do all whatsoever you bid us."? No they
said no such thing - they would continue to speak about the
things they had seen and heard, that is what they told this
Sanhedrin group of men.
They went back to their company and all prayed that God would
give them the BOLDNESS to speak His word. God answered and did
give them even more Spirit to speak His word boldly(verses
23-31). They did NOT obey the dictates of the Scribes and
Pharisees and the others that made up the Jewish council.
Within a short period of time they again were brought before the
COUNCIL who said they had commanded them not to teach in Jesus'
name(Acts 5:27,28). This teaching and decree from the "seat of
Moses" was not the truth of God, it was not the WORD of God, it
was not the CORRECT DOCTRINE of the Lord, and so Peter answered
and said to them, "We ought to obey God rather than men."
Now notice the proof that this council included the Pharisees.
Mark it, friend, verses 33 and 34. One of the council was Paul's
teacher, the famous Pharisee - Gamaliel. The council took his
advise but still commanded the apostles not to speak in Jesus'
name, which of course the disciples did not obey.
Obviously, even with the great power of the Holy Spirit filling
their minds, bringing to their remembrance all things that Jesus
had taught them, they did not understand Jesus' instruction in
Mat.23:2-3 to mean they should BLINDLY obey all the commands and
dictates of the Scribes and Pharisees and council that
represented the "seat of Moses."
What Jesus was telling His disciples was to respect those in the
seat of Moses and observe what they said AS LONG AS IT WAS
ACCORDING TO THE WORD AND TRUTH OF GOD. Anything less than that
they would do as Peter was inspired to tell that council "we
ought to obey God rather than men."
We also need to realize the fact that the Jewish council -
those in Moses' seat - were more than just a bunch of religious
teacher. They were the court of their society who could pass
punishment and authorize it to be carried out, they could even
pass the death sentence, but that punishment the Roman Empire
would not allow them to fulfil. Read again Acts 4:13-21 and note
verse 21. The apostles honored this authority even to the point
of submitting to BEATINGS from the council, chapter 5:40.
Yes, get that, they honored this council by willingly having the
sentence of beatings upon them!!
The Jews were custodians of the "oracles of God" but that only
meant the preservers of the WORD OF GOD whether they BELIEVED it
or not, whether they obeyed it or not, whether they understood it
or not. This was the chief advantage and profit of why God had
preserved the Jews (Rom. 3:l-4).
From all we have seen in what we have published it should be
clear to see that Jesus, Peter, John, Paul, or any other apostle
NEVER TAUGHT that "the Pharisees were the true authorities for
interpreting the laws of God" as the imagination of Dankenbring
I see from Matthew 23 very little if any "respect" shown to the
Pharisees from the Messiah. A few were truly converted, as Paul
was, along with some others, to follow Jesus, but the majority
were the children of hell, blind guides, whited sepulchres full
of dead men's bones, serpents, children of them that killed God's
true prophets, and those who shut up the Kingdom of heaven, not
only from themselves, but from those who would enter.
NOW FRIENDS YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD "THE REST OF THE STORY" CONCERNING
PAUL AND THE PHARISEE SECT.
Someone like William Dankenbring, you need to HOLD WITH KID
GLOVES....maybe you need to think twice about whether to hold
anything from him at all.
Written July 1993