In Matthew 23, Jesus Christ rattles off a series of stinging rebukes directed at the Pharisees, calling them everything from blind fools and hypocrites to serpents and vipers.

 

He says in part, Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
[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.
[16] Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!”

 

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Jordan explains, “Christ just peels the hide off their bark. He skins them good! Down South they used to say about someone, ‘He peeled their hide off, tacked it on the wall and packed it down with salt.’ This is a scathing denunciation of the Pharisees and their external religious activity and their internal absence of any faith.

 

“If you start reading in verses 6-7 and read down through the end of the chapter … if you’ve ever thought that you heard a preacher be unkind to other people in his discussion of them . . .  The Lord Jesus Christ was never unkind to anyone but, boy, when you go through this chapter, if you’d have been the guy He’s talking about, you’d of sure felt that He was nailing you good because He was! And the reaction to Him was the reaction of the unbelieving religionists getting nailed.”

 

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Later in the same chapter, Christ warns the Pharisees, 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:
[35] 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.”

 

Jordan explains, “When Jesus talks all the righteous blood from Abel to Zacharias, He’s saying from Genesis to II Chronicles—all the Old Testament up to the point He’s at right there. It would be like, ‘Now that we have a whole Bible . . .’

 

“What I want you to see is at the end of the verse, He says, ‘Whom ye slew.’ Who does He say slew Zacharias, and by implication, Abel? Who’s He talking to? He’s talking to the Pharisees. He says, ‘You guys slew him!’ Who slew Abel? Cain. Then who was the first Pharisee? You follow that?!

 

“The things the Pharisees represented at the time of Christ really began with Cain. Something important began with Cain and it’s called in the Book of Jude ‘the way of Cain.’

 

“In fact, the Book of Jude is a book written to the tribulation saints out future from where we are today and when it talks about ‘woe unto them that follow the way of Cain,’ Cain is being preached in the future tribulation.

 

“What started with Cain in Genesis 4 extends all the way out to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”

 

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When you study the Book of the Revelation, you notice over and over again that things started in Genesis conclude in Revelation.

 

For example, the expression “without form and void” is found only one other time exactly that way and it’s in a passage in Jeremiah 4:23 describing the judgment in the land of Palestine after the event known as “the battle of Armageddon,” which is when Jesus Christ comes and destroys Satan, throwing him into the bottomless pit, thereby putting an end to the satanic policy of evil as it functions in the earth. Again, it begins in Genesis and concludes with Christ’s Second Coming.

 

“Something began in Genesis 4 with the first Pharisee that developed into a line of people,” says Jordan. “When you say somebody’s first and there’s a whole bunch of people following them you know the Pharisees in Jesus’ day, and in Paul’s day, didn’t just come up then. They’re promoting a system that began with Cain!”

 

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Talking to the Pharisees in Luke 11, Christ warns that “the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
[51] From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.”

 

Jordan explains, “When the Bible talks about a generation, it’s not talking about how long it lasts, it’s talking about where’d it come from. When you generate something, you originate it. It’s this spiritual lineage that is the idea. It’s the pattern that’s being established there.

 

“Psalms talks about this ‘generation of the righteous,’ for example. It’s this lineage of people who have similar thoughts, similar behavior, similar actions. They’re related to one another. They really come from the same source.

 

“When Jesus says ‘ye generation of serpents,’ who do you think originated that crowd? Satan did. It’s about, ‘Who did this crowd come from?’ and notice that these people…there’s a LONG lineage here. It starts with Cain.

 

“In fact, Jude 11 calls it ‘the way of Cain.’ Now you know in the Bible there’s a ‘way.’ Jesus said ‘I am the way.’ In Acts 16, the one who pointed at Paul says ‘he showed unto us the way of salvation.’ That term ‘the way’ is used to describe a pathway.

 

“In Matthew 13, Jesus says, ‘Straight is the way.’ Then He says, ‘Broad is the way that leads to destruction.’ The word ‘straight’ means narrow—it’s like the strait of Gibraltar. The way that leads to righteousness and to life is narrow.

“Broad is the idea that if you walk down a path by yourself, you just kind of cut a little swath, but if 50 people go with you, it makes a bigger path. Cain started this way. He took the machete and cut the trail. A whole lot more people go the way of Cain than they do salvation.”

 

(Editor’s Note: To be continued . . . )