Should we look out for the contamination of leaders and elites?
I need to be careful. There is a slippery slope where being a religious zealot moves quietly into religious rule keeping.
Has it happened to me?
Yikes! I resemble that remark.
The Pharisees (religious leaders and elites) were an influential religious sect within Judaism in the time of the Messiah and the early church.
The Pharisees (religious elites) are often presented as hypocritical and proud opponents of Jesus. The Master stated it bluntly: “They do not practice what they preach” (Matthew 23:3).
This is a series of quotes to emphasize the seriousness of deception and our responsibility to look out for it constantly.
What are we to do? “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good…” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
Matthew 7:15-23 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?‘ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’”