Jesus went from village to village healing the sick, casting out demons and preaching the kingdom of God. Apart from performing miracles, a significant aspect of his ministry was his tryst with the Pharisees. A good part of synoptic gospels were devoted to showcasing his confrontations with the chief pastors and center pastors of his era. Note that his warfare was not with gentile sinners unlike modern ministers of our era! His combat was with those who were already known among men as ministers of the word of God. Let us turn to Luke 18. Here Jesus confronts the Pharisee ideology.
9 And he spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, “I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Luke 18:9-14
This little parable fits perfectly with TPM Clergy. I hope that it rings alarm bells to the ears of TPM Fanatics.
Ponder these questions
- What was wrong with the Pharisee?
- Did Jesus mean that his followers should become extortioners or adulterers or like the publican? God Forbid
- Did Jesus mean, that one must not fast, and must not tithe? No! Nothing like that!
- Are we saying we should sin and live a sinful life? No!
- Are we saying TPM is doing anything wrong in trying to live a life of piety? No!
The Crux of the Parable
What is Jesus trying to make us understand through this parable? The parable is about them that trust in their own religious capabilities and achievements Vs others who have no such special capabilities or achievements!
This parable is about two kinds of worshipers of God!
- One that trusts in their own righteousness, their life of separation, their life of consecration, their dressing style, their track record of certain ordinances and
- Others which have nothing to trust in about theirs, but desperately are in need of the mercy of God.
The key Point of the parable is where do you put your trust in? Pharisees put their trust in their achievements, instead of God. The Publican had no achievements and he desperately sought redemption purely based on the mercy of God! He had scored zero marks! And he wanted God to declare himself passed! The Pharisee had scored some good marks! And he was showing to God and to the world, how he has a higher calling and deeper truths. He wanted to exhibit his passing grades.
In the end, what did Jesus declare? Pharisee who had tithed, and fasted and did not commit adultery and who lived a victorious life, was not declared as RIGHTEOUS. Why so? Because he sought it not by faith! Because he had no faith in God that God could declare unrighteous and righteous. He might have had another kind of faith – like faith to get healed without eating medicine, faith to get food and clothing without salary, but Alas! He had no faith in God, – that if there is no work of righteousness in a person’s life then their God could declare such an ungodly man, – as perfectly sinless and perfected in holiness!
The same is said about Israelites! Why did they perish in-spite of having God’s oracles! All of their generations had it for 2000 years! But the Gentiles who had no Old Testament, suddenly come after 2000 years and attain the mark of righteousness! How? Read Romans 9:30-31
30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Why does Paul say that gentiles became righteous and Israelites failed? See next verse.
32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone;
Paul is saying, that the Israelites sought to attain holiness and righteousness by works of Law and by obeying God’s commandments! This holiness they sought for 2000 years but did not reach unto it! But Gentiles attained to it without any obeying of Old Testament laws? How ? Because gentiles sought holiness by faith and Israelites labored sincerely to attain holiness by their labors!
Apply the same verse of Rom 9:30-32 on parable on Pharisee! Let us paraphrase Rom 9:30-32
30 What shall we say then? That the “Publican”, who followed not after righteousness, did attain holiness, even the holiness which is of faith! 31 But Pharisee, which followed after the rules of holiness, did not attained to justification. 32 Wherefore? Because HE sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For He stumbled at that stumbling stone;
The Teachings of TPM Founders
This is not what Paul Ramankutty taught! He taught to get material things by faith! He taught faith life – where you get money, healing etc, from a point of zero money and zero health! But for holiness – he taught you have to work for it, you have to forsake your all, you have to leave your old parents at mercy of the world and become a Clergy member of TPM. Everyone who followed him in TPM thereafter was deceived by this master builder of hell! Alwyn made it worse! And the so-called great that followed later, continued duping their generations! But Paul, the true apostle – taught about getting holiness by faith, from a point where you have zero holiness and zero works of righteousness. His faith life teaching was that God declares ungodly man as righteous by faith! Did you observe the difference in faith life taught be Apostle Paul and Ramankutty Paul? One taught to get earthly things by faith life and other taught to get eternal life by faith.
Coming back to our parable! Pharisee who had tithed, and fasted and did not commit adultery and who lived a victorious life, was not declared as RIGHTEOUS. But Publican who had zero works of holiness and consecration, and zero balance in his account of victorious life, was declared justified!
Read Romans 4:5
But to him that worketh not, (Read again – worketh not)
but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly,(believeth him who can declare ungodly man as just)
his faith is counted for righteousness. (his faith which seeks imputed righteousness is counted as righteousness)
We have seen two examples until now, where unrighteous ungodly men were declared righteous and holy, without having sought and run after holiness! – example of Gentiles and example of publican! And we have seen two examples, of those who sought and ran after holiness and righteousness, but could not attain it! Example of Old Testament Israelites and example of Pharisee!
I’ll give you one more example and witness from scripture. Do you remember a thief was declared righteous? Like the publican, he too had nothing in his defense! He too had zero account balance in his account of a holy life! He realized his inability to lead a holy, overcoming, victorious, consecrated life! He said – “we receive the due reward of our deeds (Luke 23:41)” Then he looked unto him who could justify the ungodly and begged solely for his mercy “Lord Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom!” What was the verdict? Jesus said – “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43)”.
Do not miss the point, by thinking that the word “paradise” here means Sheol, or hades or gehenna and Jesus took him to Hades! The word “paradise” is actually used by Jesus as a pointer to Paradise of Eden. Paradise means garden. The man was banished from Paradise of Eden when he sought autonomy. Now at the cross, he is welcomed back into Eden (Paradise)! – “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in Garden (Paradise)!”.
So, here we have the third example of Romans 4:5 – him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness!
Alas! TPMiites find it hard to believe, that ungodly can be called righteous, (without having worked works of righteousness)! Their founder taught them to get material needs, after selling all your possession and then glorifying your consecration to draw disciples after you! He taught them to get health when health was zero (divine healing by faith without medicine!). All these carnal things, he said, could be gotten by faith life! But he missed the eternal significance of faith, – in declaring ungodly as godly – without having lived overcoming life – by faith on him who can declare ungodly as godly!
Brothers and sisters, do not trust in your righteousness, like that of Pharisees! Cease from boasting in divine healing, consecrated life, victorious life and life of faith (faith for material things). Cease from trusting in your own righteousness! Hearken the bells of gospel beckoning you to repent! Repent from trusting in yourselves and in your ability to live a holy life! Cease being a Pharisee! Cease being a TPMite!
Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All could never sin erase,
Thou must save, and save by grace.
Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress,
Helpless, look to Thee for grace:
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
(Rock of Ages by Agustus Tolstoy)