Superficial Righteousness Which Cannot Save
(Or, Being In Denial About Spiritual Blindness)
by David J. Stewart | October 2017
Matthew 23:29-30, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish 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.”
This is a truly amazing passage of Scripture! The Lord's arch enemies were the self-righteousness religious crowd, the Pharisees. They were not saved, with a few exceptions, such as Nicodemus; and also many of the chief priests (John 12:42-43). The Pharisees hypocritically honored the Old Testament prophets by repairing their tombs and beautifying their sepulchres where they were buried, while at the same time criticizing and persecuting the Lord continually for telling THE TRUTH.
What is interesting to me is that the Pharisaical religious crowd were in denial about their spiritual blindness, for they said in Matthew 23:30, “If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.” They boasted to Jesus that if they had lived in the days of the prophets of old, they would not have murdered them as their fathers did. BUT THEY DID, DIDN'T THEY... THEY MURDERED JESUS CHRIST!!! They not only murdered the prophets, they murdered the very messiah whom all the prophets gave witness to... “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). The religious Pharisees possessed mere superficial righteousness, as whited coffins filled with dead men's bones. They were outwardly righteous, but inwardly spiritually rotting corpses! ...
Matthew 23:24-37, “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish 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. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”
This passage of Scripture makes it very clear that there is a fake form of outward righteousness which leads to damnation in Hell. The public saw the religious Pharisees as good people, elders amongst the people, highly respected and revered by the common man. But Jesus (God in the flesh) saw the Pharisees as phonies, fakes and spiritual dead men on their way to Hell. My friend, the world's churches are filled with religious phonies today, who outwardly appear as good, moral and caring people, but inwardly they are spiritually dead, unsaved and still hellbound in their iniquity. They have never been born-again! Let's examine a few of these falsehoods.
The Satanic Seventh-day Adventist Cult
What is horribly happening in many Baptist churches today is this—More and more churchgoers are living the Christian life without being born-again. Just like the Satanic Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) religious cult, people are being presented with tons of religious jibber, without seeing the clarity and simplicity of God's plan of salvation. The Alexandrian Bible versions and their corrupt theology are mostly to blame, which I'll explain more in a bit.
I found a book the other day by the SDA cult titled, “Bible Answers.” The book contains 15 chapters. Some chapter titles are “Salvation Only Through Christ” and “Conversion, Or The New Birth.” Yet, if I were to hand an unsaved person this book, they WOULD NEVER be able to learn how to get saved. The book is just a collection of Bible verses taken out of context, pieced together to form a loosely knit book that makes no sense as far as presenting the simplicity that is in Christ to be saved.
On page 17, found in the chapter titled “Conversion, Or The New Birth,” the book states:
Note.—We were slaves to sin. Jesus came down and suffered with us, and for us, and delivered me. As we behold Him in His word, and in prayer and meditation, and serve Him in the person of others, we may be changed more and more into the glory of His likeness; then, if faithful, we shall someday see Him “face to face.”
SOURCE: Bible Answers, Seventh-day Adventist publication; ISBN978-0-8280-1147-1.
Do you see how subtle Satan is? Do you see what is very wrong with the preceding doctrinal statements? Folks, our life is not changed as we serve Christ. Our life is not changed as we serve Christ in others! Our life is changed AS A BELIEVER by the indwelling Holy Spirit, as we yield to Him in obedience to the Word of God (1st Peter 2:2; 2nd Corinthians 10:5; Galatians 2:20). But this is not a plan of salvation! What SDA's are doing is turning discipleship into a plan of salvation, teaching that serving Christ in others is part of the way to be saved. Notice in the preceding heretical quote that SDA's require being “faithful” if we are to someday see Christ face to face. This is unbiblical. What does the Bible say? What saith the Scripture? John 10:1 and 9, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. ... I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
People often write to me, asking for my opinion Biblically, because they simply lack enough spiritual discernment to detect and expose the cults. (I humbly thank God and give Him all the glory that I can help others in the Lord.) Oftentimes they'll send me a link to a website, knowing that something is wrong, but they can't nail it. I am always glad to help them see the truth. SDA is a difficult religious cult to discern and expose, because they constantly quote the Scriptures. Remember, the best place to hide a LIE is between two TRUTHS! That is a common tactic used by liars and deceivers. And don't forget that Revelation 12:9 teaches Satan is he, who “deceiveth the whole world.” 2nd Thessalonians 2:9 tells us that the coming man of sin, Antichrist, will DECEIVE the whole world with “lying wonders.” I believe the 9/11 World Trade Center attack was a lying wonder. I believe the alleged 2011 Sandy Hook shooting was a “lying wonder.” And we are going to witness many more such “lying wonders,” intended to deceive and enslave the naive masses of humanity. Truly, we are as sheep who have gone astray, every one to his own way (Isaiah 53:6).
SDA are masterful deceivers, filling people's minds with religious mumbo-jumbo, but never presenting the clarity and simplicity that is in Christ to be saved. There is no mention of “the Gospel” in the aforementioned book “Bible Answers” (at least not that I could find). The book requires keeping the Sabbath Day to be saved, which is the core belief of Seventh-day Adventism. And of course, SDA's deny the existence of an eternal burning Hell for the unsaved. Clearly, and there are many articles on my websites exposing SDA as a satanic cult, this religious group is of the Devil. Jesus will assuredly say to 17,000,000 sincere Seventh-day Adventists one day in eternity... “I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY” (Matthew 7:23). You don't get saved by being “faithful,” but because God is faithful, Who sent His only begotten Son into the world, to be crucified on the cross for our sins, by Whose precious blood we have been redeemed (1st Peter 1:18-19).
The entire SDA plan of salvation requires a life of serving God, in addition to partial faith in Christ. This is “another Gospel” accursed of God (Galatians 1:6-9; 2nd Corinthians 11:3-4). God made it very simple to be saved...
“He [God] did everything, so that you would have to do nothing, except receive it as a free gift! And God says, 'I love you so much that I gave My Son to pay for your sins. Will you believe it? And if you will (believe/trust, used interchangeably in the Bible), will you simply believe that Jesus Christ died for you? And God says, 'If you'll do that, I'll promise you on the authority of My Word, that you'll never perish, but you'll have everlasting life!'” —Pastor Max D. Younce, a quote from the Bible study titled, “SO GREAT SALVATION,” Part 7.
The Satanic Roman Catholic Cult
Like KFC does chicken right, Roman Catholicism does religion right, from the cradle-to-the-casket! Unfortunately, they do woeful injustice to THE TRUTH! If you want all the religious garb, marble floors, crystal chandeliers, fancy decor and religious rituals like none other, then the satanic Catholic church is for you. Good luck with that though, because you'll spend eternity burning in the Lake of Fire! Jesus warned everyone about following the traditions of men instead of keeping God's commandments. Mark 7:9, “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.”
Here is a Catholic website that is very deceptive. They talk about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, and His precious blood, but there is also a bunch of extra junk that perverts the Gospel. In Acts 15:1 a group of false prophets came to town, perverting the Gospel by adding circumcision to faith in Christ. Later in the chapter the apostle Peter says publicly that neither him or any of the other apostles ever taught that garbage! Acts 15:24, “Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment.” My point in linking to the preceding Catholic website is that all the elements of truth are there, but they still get it wrong, because Satan has blinded them with manmade traditions which obscure the clarity of the Gospel.
Corrupters are everywhere in the churches today, saying that you are not saved if you've never repented to turn away from former sinful bad habits, but this is not the Gospel delivered to the saints in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. Turning away from former sinful ways to be saved, is effectively the same as trying to keep the works of the law to be saved. A sincere man recently wrote to me, trying to argue with me that the purpose of God's law is not to show us our need for Christ, but rather, to keep it. He was trying to justify the false teaching of Lordship Salvation. We'll, I have a Bible verse to backup what I believe. Romans 3:20, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Kindly, I asked the man for Scriptural support for what he believes and he never wrote back. You see folks, one of our weapons of spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12-17) is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Even Jesus Himself, when tempted of the Devil in Matthew 4:1-10, quoted the Holy Scripture all three times He was tempted. I don't debate with people, I simply give them the Word of God. Make sure you backup what you believe with the Scriptures, and make sure that you are rightly dividing the Word of Truth. The Devil left Jesus alone after the third attempt. Likewise, God promises us in James 4:6 that if we resist the Devil, HE WILL FLEE FROM US. James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We submit to God by submitting to the Scriptures!
Here's a satanic Catholic website, which teaches that to get to Heaven, you must confess your sins to a Catholic priest. That is evil! No where in the Word of God are we instructed to confess our sins to another sinful man. Only God can forgive sin! JESUS IS GOD!!! There can be no forgiveness of sins without the cross of Jesus Christ. The Lord has already paid for everyone's sins with His precious blood. All we have to do to be saved is to admit our guilty condition as a sinner in the sight of a holy God, and believe the Good News (i.e., Gospel) that Christ died on the cross for our sins, and was buried, and then miraculously bodily resurrected after three days (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). You must admit that you are a sinner. You need to know what you're being saved from. The wages of our sins is death (Romans 6:23). That is why we need the dear Savior, Who promises eternal life to all those who trust Him. John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”
HOW THEY PRAYED
George Whitefield, the famous English evangelist, said, “O Lord give me souls, or take my soul!”
Henry Martyn, a missionary, cried as he knelt on India's coral strands, “Here let me burn out for God!”
David Brainerd, missionary to the North American Indians 1718-1747, declared, “Lord, to Thee I dedicate myself. Oh, accept of me, and let me be Thine forever. Lord, I desire nothing else; I desire nothing more.” The last words in his diary, written seven days before he died, “Oh, come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.”
Thomas a Kempis, 1379-1471, said, “Give what Thou wilt and how much Thou wilt, and when Thou wilt. Set me where Thou wilt and deal with me in things as Thou wilt.”
Dwight L. Moody implored, “Use me then, My Saviour, for whatever purpose and in whatever way Thou mayest require. Here is my poor heart, an empty vessel; fill it with Thy grace.”
John McKenzie prayed thus when as a young missionary candidate he knelt on the banks of the Lossie: “O Lord, send me to the darkest spot on earth!”
“Praying Hyde,” a missionary in India, pleaded, “Father, give me these souls, or I die.”
Mrs. Comstock, a missionary in India, uttered this prayer of parting when she sent her children home, “Lord Jesus, I do this for Thee.”
The preceding satanic Catholic website also requires repenting from sins to be saved, but the author has a wrong understanding of what it means to repent. The writer of the webpage thinks “repentance” means to stop committing “mortal sins” (i.e., murder, adultery, really bad stuff). But this is not the meaning of Biblical repentance. To “repent” in the Bible concerning salvation simply means to judge one's self as a needy sinner, that is, “a change of mind.” We are saved by trusting the Gospel, not by repenting. But no man has ever believed who didn't also repent, for “every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:20).
When a man “repents,” he changes his mind about whatever has been hindering him from coming to Christ to be saved by faith. The errant concept of having to cease from sinful ways to be saved blinds millions of people from getting saved. Certainly, we ought to turn away from sinful ways because WE ARE saved, but not to BE SAVED. The Christian believer who sins, falls IN GRACE, never FROM GRACE!!! If we sin (and we all do), 1st John 2:1 says we have “an advocate,” a defense attorney, Who runs to our side to declare our innocence by the precious blood that He shed for our sins. ...
1st John 2:1-4, “ ”My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
Carefully notice the words “we do know.” It doesn't say “you do know” concerning someone else. Rather, the Bible is teaching that we personally can know we are saved by the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit (1st John 3:24), Who should compel us to desire to keep God's commandments. That doesn't mean we will always obey God. In fact, many believers rarely, if ever, obey God. Samson was God's man, but he frequented the whore house (Judges 16:12). Noah was God's man, but when he wasn't preaching the Gospel, he was a drunk (Genesis 9:21). No one is worthy to serve God, because we are all woeful dirty sinners!!!
The believer who chooses to live in sin is a miserable person, because God is chastising them (Hebrews 12:6-8). Ah, but Romans 5:20b so beautifully states, “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Again, the Christian believer who sins, falls IN GRACE, never FROM GRACE!!! The precious blood of Jesus can wash out the toughest stains of sin in our lives. That is the wondrous grace of God my friend!
Corrupt Baptist Churches That Are Helping Satan
Ironically, when the average independent Baptist preacher and layman read about the Pharisees in the Bible, they immediately think of unsaved cults like Roman Catholicism and such assorted superficial religious groups worldwide. Yet, tragically, this sort of outward superficial religious hypocrisy is epidemic in our independent Baptist churches today!!! Look no further than the ungodly Alexandrian Bible perversions in the churches today! This includes ALL modern Bible versions which are based upon the 1881 Greek translation by Brooke Westcott and Fenton Hort!!! I'll make it very plain for you... If you don't have a King James Bible, you DON'T have a Holy Bible!!!!!!! Only the King James Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. By defending and using these demonic imposters falsely called “Bibles,” the churches are pulling on the same rope as the Devil.
There's a large 700 member independent Baptist church down the street from me on Guam, that employs several dozen graduates of Bob Jones University (BJU) in their 1,000 student religious school and college. Yet, tragically, despite my warnings (and oft admonition from other Christians) about the satanic counterfeit Bible versions, the church adamantly continues to use, sell and promote the ungodly Alexandrian Bible PERversions. Officially the church uses the Easy-To-Read Version (ERV) to interpret the King James Bible (KJB). May I say, the King James Bible is not just another “version,” it is God's Holy Word! The King James Bible is not one of many, it is one of a kind! If you are using any of the modern Bible translations, Satan has deceived you! Literally, BJU are helping damn souls to Hell, by helping the Devil obscure the Gospel with the confusion which the hundreds of corrupt Bible versions are causing, just as Satan intended (Genesis 3:1b, “Yea, Hath God said?”).
Folks, we are at war over the inspiration of the Word of God today. It has been the battle of the ages since Genesis 3:15. The same false understanding of repentance in the Seventh-day Adventist and Roman Catholic cults, has crept into I'd say at least half of all Baptist churches today, rendering them of the Devil. Any Baptist church that teaches from the pulpit, or in their tracts, that you must “turn away from sins” to be saved, is teaching an accursed false Gospel. The only requirement should be to admit that you are a sinner, and then believe the Gospel. We are saved by BELIEVING (trusting) the Gospel. We are saved by placing our sole confidence in what Christ did on the cross to redeem us, by the blood of His cross; and believing that Jesus was buried and raised up bodily the third day from the dead. If these historical facts are your only personal hope for forgiveness of sins and eternal life, you are saved permanently and eternally! This is the simplicity that is in Christ.
This is why I make such a big fuss exposing the modern satanic Bible versions, all of which pervert, obscure and corrupt the Gospel. Our churches are in big trouble. Many preachers are dipping their sails, compromising, going along to get along for all the wrong reasons! My friend, there is no controversy if you believe the Bible!
SO GREAT SALVATION! (a helpful video Bible study series by Pastor Max D. Younce)
of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”
(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”)