by George Kirkpatrick 

Vital Words to the Body of Christ 
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give

When Jesus walked the earth, there were religious systems already established.  These religious systems all claimed to be the personification of what God had dictated for their worship and service to Him.     

Nevertheless, when they confronted Jesus,  He called them hypocrites, vipers and liars.  The question arises:  If Jesus returned today, what would He think of our worship and service unto Him?     

These religious systems consisted of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and Herodians.  These were the four main divisions,  although the Herodians were not exactly a religious sect.  

As many today, the Herodians had made government their God and were persuaded that the answer to all of man's problems would come from the government.       

The Pharisees were the separatists because of their close adherence to the law.  Today, we would call them Legalists.     

The Sadducees were the righteous.  They were called this because they were strict observers of the ceremonial law.  Most of the wealthy and scribes belonged to this sect.  The Sanhedrin, or Jewish Supreme Court, was made up mostly of Sadducees.  Most of the Pharisees were from the priesthood and the Sadducees came from the scribes.  The Sadducees believed in no resurrection, nor life after death.        

The Essenes are not mentioned in the Bible, but Josephus spoke much about the Essenes.  They were a religious community who kept to themselves.  They ate together in what was called a common meal.  They were not allowed to receive food from strangers, or non-Essenes.  They adhered to the policy of one purse.  The Essenes were bound to an absolute oath of secrecy about their doctrines.        

All four of these groups were absolutely sure that they were correct in the eyes of God.  As we look at a brief description of these four groups, it is very easy to see how they compare with the denominations in the earth today.  They are all totally separated, all righteous in their own eyes and all adhere to a strict governmental creed of precepts and doctrines.  Many religious orders have their secret societies where only the most "higher ups" are able to know.  Every denomination falls into one of these four groups.        

There were four other groups that Jesus dealt with in His daily activities.  These were the

and rabbis. 

The scribes and lawyers were the same.  The Greek word   used for both was NOMIKOS and means "learned" in the law."   The Scribes became experts in the Law because they hand-copied the law.  So it became very familiar to them.  The Scribes and lawyers were Sadducees.  The word for doctor in the Greek is DIDASKALOS and means "teacher"Rabbi also means teacher, but on a higher level.  There were three levels of Rabbical teachers.     

1 - Rab         -  Master     

2 - Rabbi      -  My Master     

3 - Rabboni  -  My Lord and Master     

The doctors and rabbis were teachers of the law.  The Scribes and Lawyers administered the law.     

Luke 9:53 reveals the time frame when Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem for the Last Supper.  As He came to Bethany, some of the Pharisees invited Him to dine with them. 

Luke 11:38.  When Jesus sat to eat, He did not wash before He ate.  The washing was not a cleansing washing, but a ceremonial washing.  No matter what the Pharisees did, they washed their hands before.  They believed that anything they did made them unclean or defiled.  This was a tradition of the elders.       

Today, many churches teach that you sin every day and anything you do causes sin in your life.  They teach that we are just sinners saved by grace, and we can not exist and not sin.  Jesus refused to keep the traditions of the elders.  He admonished them because they desired to look good before man.     

Luke 11:39   "And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter;  but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness."         

The word for ravening is HARPAGE and means "pillage, robbery, extortion, carry off by force, rake or hook".  Jesus knew their hearts.  Then Jesus proceeded to pronounce six woes on the  religious system.      

The word woe is an exclamation of grief, very sorrowful and a denunciation of something. 

The first woe concerned love and judgment.     

Luke 11:42   "But woe unto you, Pharisees!  for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God:  these ought ye to have      done, and not to leave the other undone."        

Jesus told the Pharisees that they paid tithes of mint and rue and herbs.  I am sure that they paid tithe also on their increase.  Jesus did not admonish them because they paid tithes, but because they passed over judgment and the love of God.         

When Jesus walked the earth, judgment for Jerusalem was less than 40 years away.  God was  going to allow Titus, the Roman, to completely destroy Jerusalem in 70 A.D.     

The Pharisees were not warning the people to get their lives in order with God.  They were not warned of God's coming judgment.  Historians tell us that every Christian left Jerusalem before the attack of Titus.       

Today, as we stand in this last hour of time, many churches are not teaching the coming judgment.  God is going to judge this nation.  Yet, pastors are failing to warn their flocks.  They teach that, if the people will keep their precepts and doctrines, they will be righteous in the eyes of God.  The people are not taught to have an intimate communion with their Lord and Saviour.     

The Word reveals that, before the judgment of this nation and the world, judgment must begin at the house of God.  God's judgment on His house has begun, and the people are not being warned.  Their lives are not prepared.  Many are falling away, not understanding why things are so hard.      

Some believe that God will not judge this nation.  We hear so many say,  "This is a Godly nation and God loves America".  In truth, the USA has become a sin-sick society and is a stink in the nostrils of God.     

Jesus also told the Pharisees that they were not teaching the love of God.  God's love is agape love, or a benevolent love;  the manifested love of God.  The religious system does not teach the love of God.  Instead, they teach the love of God through their precepts and doctrines.     

Mark 7:9   "And He said unto them,  Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."     

The Pharisees were as Paul stated in his letter to the Romans.     

Romans 10:2-3   "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."        

The religious systems have established their own righteousness and order of worship.  They have substituted their own righteousness and traditions, and do not teach the love of God. 

Jesus stated in Matthew 15:3    "Why do ye also  transgress the commandment of God by  your tradition?"      

He further stated in Matthew 15:7-9:       

"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips;  but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."     

Today, the religious systems have their man-made way to love and worship God.  They are not teaching that we must love God with every fiber of our being.  If we want to be pleasing to God, we must love Him.  If we truly love God, then we will do that which pleases Him.      The first woe pronounced on the religious system was because they did not teach judgment or the love of God.     

The second woe:      Luke 11:43  

"Woe unto you, Pharisees!  for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets."       

The religious system wants to be seen and admired of men.     

Luke 20:46-47   "Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers:  the same shall receive greater damnation."     

The scribes, in their religious uniforms, desire to be seen and admired and honored of men.  It is no different today.  Many have their religious uniforms.  You can recognize the different sects by their uniform.  The word uniform means "to all dress the same".  Many churches have dress codes.  The men and boys must wear suits, ties and the woman must wear dresses of proper length.  Some limit makeup and  jewelry.  All these dress codes are their religious uniforms.          

Many pastors and priests must wear their priestly uniforms.  But if you must wear a uniform to let the world know who you are, there is something wrong with the way you are living. Jesus addressed this in Matthew 23 when He spoke to the Pharisees:     

Matthew 23:4-8   "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men:  they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,  And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.  But be not ye called Rabbi:  for one is your Master, even Christ;  and all ye are brethren."     

They make broad their phylacteries.  Phylacteries were leather boxes which contained parts of the law.  These were hung between the eyes and over the heart.  This was to show that the law was always before their eyes and next to their hearts.  There is nothing wrong with what they did.  It was part of Moses' law  Deuteronomy 6:4-9.  But these pious ones made their boxes much larger to look more righteous before man.  These desired to be called by Godly names.                

They desired to be called, Rabbi, Rabbi, My Master.  Today men desire to have titles and Godly names.  They desire to be called Reverend, Most Holy, Doctor, etc.

In the book of Job, Elihu, the Spirit filled young man who was silent all the time that Job's three friends were talking, related this to us:     

Job 32:22   "For I know not to give flattering titles;  in so doing my maker would soon take me away."            

Elihu stated that if he gave flattering titles, the Lord would take him away.  The writer of the 111th Psalm made it very clear:     

Psalm 111:9   "He sent redemption unto His people:  He hath commanded His covenant for ever:  holy and reverend is His name."       

There has only been one who has made an eternal covenant with His people and that is Jesus Christ.  Holy and reverend is   His name.  When we want the glory of His name, then we are wanting to share His glory. Isaiah reveals:     

Isaiah 42:8   "I am the Lord:  that is My name:  and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images."          

Jesus pronounced the second woe because the Pharisee wanted to be seen of men, to be lifted up and honoured, to be called by many titles.  Jesus warned them not to be called Rabbi.  For one is your master, even Christ;  and holy and reverend is His name.        

The third woe   

Luke 11:44   "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them."  

Jesus called them hypocrites, play actors, or those who act out a part.  In Greek and Roman times the actors wore masks to become something they were not.  These were called hypocrites.  The word "hypocrite" is used 20 times in the New Testament and was only used by Jesus.  Jesus said of the scribes and Pharisees, quoting from the original:  "For ye are as the tombs, unseen by the men who walk over them."  Jesus said they were playing a part;  and were as unmarked graves; or had no life in them.  They appeared to be alive and religious, but they were walking death.     

The way in which Matthew recorded Jesus' words was:  Whited tombs that appear beautiful outwardly, but inwardly full of dead man's bones  Matthew 23:27-28. They were dead in the sight of God because there was no life (Holy Spirit) in them.

There is no life in a grave.  The only thing a grave stands for is death.  This is the reference Jesus made to the scribes and Pharisees.  It was because there was no life in them.  They had a form of godliness, but denied the power thereof  II Timothy 3:5.     

Jesus was speaking to the religious system.  Today, all the religious systems speak of is death, dying and going to heaven; dying and being with Jesus.       

Jesus said, "Though he were dead, yet shall be live"       John 11:25.     

But they only talk about life in heaven where Jesus will explain it all to them.  If we are not alive now, in the Spirit, and if we are not as He is when He appears, we will never see Him.  There will be no eternal life.  We must have that eternal life dwelling in us now.     

The seminaries teach their doctrine of death.  They talk about life, while teaching death.  When all they speak about is dying and going to heaven, they are graves that appear not.  Jesus made it very clear when He revealed that we are already seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus  Ephesians 2:6.       

If we are already seated in heavenly places, why do we need to die to get there?     

Many churches today are "whited tombs", beautiful on the outside and full of dead man's bones;  no life, no Christ, no hope.  Jesus' third woe was pronounced on this system.     

Luke 11:45   "Then answered one of the lawyers, and     said unto Him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also."        

One of the lawyers spoke up and said, "You insulted us."  The lawyers were experts in the law and were well-respected by the people.  How dare Jesus insult one of them!        

The fourth woe was upon the lawyers.      

Luke 11:46   "And He said, Woe unto you also, ye  lawyers!   for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers."       

How God's people have been burdened down by those who are supposed to be lifting them up.     

One of the biggest burdens put on God's people today is debt.  Building programs, we must be bigger then the church down the street.  How many times have we heard that we must serve God with our best.  If you want to serve Him with your best, serve Him with clean hands and a pure heart.     

Big buildings do not impress God.  He said heaven is My home and the earth is My footstool.  Where are you going to build Me a house?  Isaiah 66:1.  And yet man goes to the world system to borrow money and pay the world system interest (usury), which God hates, to build a house to worship Him.  What kind of God do they serve?     

Another burden that is put on God's people is all the "don'ts".  Paul addressed this in Colossians.     

Colossians 2:20   "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,"       

If we are dead with Christ, why are we still following worldly philosophies and precepts and doctrines of men?      Jesus spoke of this in Matthew:     

Matthew 15:9   "But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."     

Colossians 2:21   "(Touch not;  taste not;  handle not;"       

All the "don'ts" that man has put on God's people.  God convicts.  Man condemns.   

Jesus said, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed"  John 8:36.     

The Son has tried to set us free, but man has enslaved God's people.  Isaiah spoke of them.     

Isaiah 42:22   "But this is a people robbed and  spoiled;  they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses:  they are for a prey, and none delivereth;  for a spoil, and none saith, Restore."     

Enslaved in their prison houses, snared in holes, to be robbed and spoiled of their inheritance in God.  They are a prey and none can deliver them because they do not want to be delivered.  Jeremiah spoke about the prophets and priests who bear rule over His people.     

Jeremiah 5:31   "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means;  and My people love to have it so:  and what will ye do in the end thereof?"  

This is what people want.  He asked the question:  "What will ye do in the end thereof?"  If our complete trust is not in the Lord Jesus and our walk is not in the Spirit, then what is our end?  "Know the truth and the truth will set you free."  It is the truth that will set us free, and the truth is the Spirit of the Father, or the Holy Spirit.  God wants us free before Him.  Man tries to keep us in his bondage.  Jesus said "Woe" unto this.     

This brings us to the fifth woe:     

Luke 11:47  "Woe unto you!  for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them."       

When God sent prophets to warn Israel of God's judgment because of their sin, Israel killed them.  Jesus, weeping before Jerusalem, said,      

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee;"   Luke 13:34.     

All through history Israel killed their prophets.  It is no different today.  The seminaries and churches are still killing the prophets.  The writings of the prophets are recorded in the Old Testament.  Many do not teach the Old Testament.  To them it is just a dead letter, a history book and does not pertain to today.  Many go so far as to call themselves New Testament churches.     

The writer of Hebrews spoke of these great men of faith and said the world was not worthy of them  Hebrews 11:38.   Most do not want to believe the Old Testament because it pronounces judgment on their way of life.  Many have moved so far away from God and His Spirit that they no longer are quickened by the Spirit, to the truth, in the Old Testament.  We praise God that Paul was not of this persuasion.           

Acts 24:14   "But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written      in the law and in the prophets:"      

Acts 26:22   "Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the      prophets and Moses did say should come:"     

When they came to Paul, he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets from morning to evening, Acts 28:23.     

Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible.  These are called the Law.  Jesus spoke of the Old Testament.           

John 5:46   "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me:  for he wrote of Me."       

Moses spoke of Jesus.  We know the Old Testament is full of the testimonies of Jesus.  We need to know all we can about our Lord and Savior.  If we confine ourselves to the New Testament, we lose all the Spiritual insight into Jesus' life found in the Old Testament.  Peter was given the keys to the kingdom.  Peter reveals:     

II Peter 3:2   "That ye may be mindful of the words  which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:"            

Peter went on to say that there shall, in the last days, come scoffers, walking after their own lust.      

Truly the words of Jesus and Peter have come to pass.  Many have succeeded in burying the prophets and Jesus said, Woe unto them!       

The sixth woe:     

Luke 11:52   "Woe unto you, lawyers!  for ye have taken away the key of knowledge:  ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered."        

The lawyers had taken away the key of knowledge.  Key is singular.  There is only one key to knowledge.  That key is the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation.     

Ephesians 1:17   "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit  of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:"     

I John 2:27   "But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you:  but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him."     

The anointing which is upon us is the Spirit of Truth.  When the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth  John 16:13.       

The Spirit of Truth is also the Comforter  John 15:26.  The key to any knowledge is the Holy Spirit.  The religious systems have robbed the people of the key of knowledge by not teaching a relationship to God through the Spirit, and that His anointing will lead them into all truth.     

The seminary, trained teachers and preachers, are not trained in how to be an example of the Holy Spirit directed walk in God.  Instead, they are taught denominational doctrine that has been cut in stone and cannot change.  They continue to teach their dogma, unwilling and unable to teach what the Spirit is speaking unto the churches.     

Matthew 23:13   "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye shut up the kingdom of  heaven against men:  for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."     

Heaven is the Spiritual realm in God.  The religious systems have shut up the Spiritual realm of God to their people.  Their teachers and preachers cannot lead the people into the Spiritual realm because they have not walked  there themselves.  They can only teach the system they were trained in.     

Matthew 23:15   "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye compass sea and land to make one  proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."        

They teach how they can please God in the flesh by following their man-made doctrines with no intervention by the Holy Spirit.        

Luke 11:53-54   "And as He said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge Him vehemently, and to provoke Him to speak of many things: Laying wait for Him, and seeking to catch something out of  His mouth, that they might accuse Him."     

Today, when the church system is confronted with these truths, they become vehemently angry and argue back.  They continue to question, to find something that they might accuse, or some basis of disagreement that they may justify where they stand.      

Jesus warned the people to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is "hypocrisy".  Leaven is yeast or fungi.  It represents the corrupting influence in our lives.  The religious system has been a corrupting influence in many lives.     

Jesus pronounced six woes upon this system.  Why did Jesus reveal the things that were not pleasing to Him?  That He may judge them?       

No, He revealed them so He would not have to judge them.  His desire is that we come out of whatever we are in, and  establish a relationship with Him and look only to Him in all things.      

God's judgment hand is upon the house of God.  He is purifying and changing those things in our lives that are not pleasing to Him.  We need to be sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and be willing to be changed into the image and likeness of God.     

These woes need not be manifested through the wrath of God.  Pray that God move mightily in you through the Holy Spirit.  Pray that you may be a usable vessel unto Him.  Our walk in God demands change.       

If we are unwilling to change, then, when the judgment comes in its fullness, those who have only listened to their prophets and priests, and have not heard the Father's voice, will need to look to them, because they have not developed a relationship with God.     

Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice."       

If you do not hear His voice, then you are not His sheep and it will be necessary for those who only hear the voice of man, to depend on man.              

Woe!  Woe!  Woe!  Woe!  Woe!  Woe!  

The Apostate Church System

Abominations In Secret Chambers  
Bricks Without Straw
Bringing God's Order Into The Church  
Come Down and Worship With Us
Crippled Feet and Idol Hearts  
Death in the Pot
Dry Bones    166K File  
Eli, The End Time Apostate Church System
God Desires Truth In His Church
High Places  
Let My People Go  
Outside the Camp
Prophets Speak to Pastors 
Rapture False Hope
Six Woes on the Religious System
The Dry, Withered Fig Tree
The Glory Has Departed
The Man Clothed In Linen 
The Mouth of the Prophet
The New Testament Church
The Spirit of Jezebel
The Queen of Heaven
The Unattended Vineyard
There Ain't No Free Lunch  
Those Who Do What Is Right In Their Own Eyes    207K file
Those Who Obey Not The Gospel


1.  In what were the 4 religious systems active in Jesus' day?  

2.  The Sadducees did not believe in _________________ .       

3.  Compare the 4 religious systems in Jesus' day to our day.  

4.  The Greek word NOMIKOS means __________________.           Which two religious sects in Jesus' day prided themselves in       this distinction?  

5.  What does the word "woe" mean?  

6.  Compare the lack of the Pharisees in the first woe to the lack     in the church today.  

7.  Compare the second woe to religious pride in our day. 

8.  What 3 scriptures warn against giving man flattering names?

9.  Compare the whited tombs and dead men's bones in the 3rd woe to the religious systems in our day. 

10.  According to the 4th woe, what heavy burdens have been put on  God's people by the religious systems of our day?  

11.  According to the 5th woe, how do the prophets kill in our day?   

12.  According to Jeremiah 5:31, what two things do many people in religious systems today love?       

13.  What 4 scriptures prove that the Old Testament is not a dead  letter?   

14.  According to the 6th woe, what have the lawyers taken away?  

15.  The Key to Knowledge is the _________________.        

16.  What have many churches today cut in stone?  

17.  The leaven of the Pharisees is ____________________.

18.  Why is God's judgment hand upon the house of God?   Review the comparison of the six woes to the religious systems of  our day.   

Answer Key:

1.  What were the 4 religious systems active in Jesus' day?      

Pharisees,  Sadducees,  Essenes, and  Herodians

2.  The Sadducees did not believe in _________________.      


3.  Compare the 4 religious systems in Jesus' day to our day.      

all are totally separated

all righteous in their own eyes     

all adhere to a strict governmental creed of precepts and doctrines

4.  The Greek word NOMIKOS means ________________________________.

learned in the law   

Which two religious sects in Jesus' day prided themselves in this distinction?      

the scribes and lawyers

5.  What does the word "woe" mean?      

it is an exclamation of grief, very sorrowful and a denunciation of anything

6.  Compare the lack of the Pharisees in the first woe to the lack in the church today.       

The Pharisees did not each coming judgment

7.  Compare the second woe to religious pride in our day.       

the pride of a religious uniform to be seen of men to look good in man's eyes

8.  What 3 scriptures warn against giving man flattering names?      

Job 32:22    Psalm 111:9   Isa 42:8 9. 

9. Compare the whited tombs and dead men's bones in the 3rd woe to the religious systems in our day.      

Those who appear to be alive but who are walking in death appear beautiful outwardly, but inwardly  are full of death because they do not have the life of the Holy Spirit in them. Many religious systems today speak of death, dying and       going to heaven.  We must be dwelling in life not death.

10.  According to the 4th woe, what heavy burdens have been put on  God's people by the religious systems of our day?       

Debt, building programs;  dont's

11.  According to the 5th woe, how do   the prophets kill in our day?          

many do not teach the Old Testament which record the writings of the prophets

12.  According to Jeremiah 5:31, what  two things do many people in religious systems today love?      

love to hear only prophesy from false prophets and priests who bear rule by their own means

13.  What 4 scriptures prove that the  Old testament is not a dead  letter?             Acts 24:14;  Acts 26:22;        Acts 28:23;  Isaiah 5:46

14. According to the 6th woe, what have the lawyers taken away?             

Key of Knowledge which is the Spirit of wisdom and Revelation           

15.  The Key to Knowledge is the ___________________________.            

The Holy Spirit

16.  What have many churches today cut in    stone?             

Denominational, man-made doctrines

17.  The leaven of the Pharisees is _________________.             


18.  Why is God's judgment hand upon the house of God?            

because the religious systems are  not pleasing in His sight 

Review the comparison of the six woes to the religious systems of our day.      


The Religious Systems of Jesus' day compared to the religious systems of our day.

First  Woe:  Coming Judgment 

Second Woe:  Outward appearance

Third  Woe:  Whited tombs and dead men's bones

Fourth Woe:  Heavy burdens on God's people

Fifth  Woe:  Killing the prophets

Sixth  Woe:  Robbed of the Key of Knowledge

Vital Words to the Body of Christ 
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give