In response to a teaching by Zac Poonen
Zac Poonen “50 Characteristics of a Pharisee’. In short, this is not Christ’s teaching. But a ‘vain doctrine of men’. Do not heed. Most importantly, do not let anyone taint the true image of Christ that is in your heart, holy, pure and blameless lamb of God. Condemn no one, not even the pharisees.
There are many errors in this message. The spirit of this message is not The Holy Spirit. Poonen is writing from his own understanding in many areas.
Poonen seems to refer to the church as the sunday ‘churchgoers. Sinners attend church, pharisees, sadducees and herodians attend church services. The pharisees, herodians and sadducees are not christians for these people never believed, never known Christ. The true people of God is not in any of the three groups. There is no such a thing as a worldly christian. A true christian follows Jesus and is like Him.
Jesus did not purpose to ‘make so much wine’ nor be ‘friendly with sinners’ – He was doing the will of The Father, as He was led by God’s Spirit. The ministry of reconciliation of the lost sheep of Israel calls for Jesus to preach to sinners, keeping company with them as He ministered unto them.
Do we not need to live by the rules ?! Yes we do need to live by God’s commands (His rules!) and it is God who will cause us to be able to do this. The pharisees do not live by God’s rules but by their own doctrines and precepts which are external and have a form of asceticism.
To take up the cross is to suffer for well-doing ie taking the blame, not some of the time as suggested in point 50. “What glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.”—I Pet. 2:20,21
Holiness cannot be taught hence is ‘not in a dress’. Holiness is a fruit that a true and mature believer bears. When our inner life is holy, our outward appearance (external life) will reflect this. It is an inside out and glorious transformation into the image of Christ as we keep our eyes fixed on Him and not on ourselves or to others.
We must rather to seek to know Christ to learn of Him – letting the Holy Spirit teach us of Him in alone time and through the cross, following in His footsteps, through experience and revelation from God. We need not study ‘what we must not be’ in order to become not of it. Behavioural modification is a not of the spirit but of the flesh. What we should do when we know that we have fallen short, is repent before God in true humility and pray for grace believing on His Blood that will cleanse us from all iniquity. Look to only one, that is Jesus, if we want to follow Him and know Him..
Don’t listen to Zac Poonen. The Holy Spirit shall guide you unto all The Truth, with or without a bible. Jesus in us in The Word of God in the spirit! His Sheep will hear His voice! Understanding comes not by studying the scriptures or doctrines but by the revelation of The Holy Spirit. It is given to sheep who desire to follow The Shepherd.
The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable.