The Tysons', Missionary Evangelist
Helping struggling churches in remote areas
Urging missionaries and churches to stand fast in the Last Days


Matthew 16: 1-4

My sermon today is about people who seemingly know how to discern the atmospheric conditions and are very reliable in forecasting the weather but their spiritual discernment is nearly blank- just as Jesus experienced with the Sadducees and Pharisees! Our scripture is found in Matthew chapter 16 and beginning with verse one.

Many religious leaders today are just as carnal as those Jesus dealt with in these verses. They have a  belief system that is empty and dry without the saving grace of God!

Mat. 16:1- "The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven."
Mat. 16:2- "He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red."
Mat. 16:3- "And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"
Mat. 16:4- "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed". The sign of Jonas was the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. See Matthew 12:40.

Secular Humanism seeks to know how God works but they deny the power thereof!
Matthew 16:4.
The religious leaders were certainly curious about miracles like the feeding of the five thousand. They wanted to know how
five loaves of bread and two fish fed 5,000 people and another time seven loaves of bread and a few fish fed four thousand besides women and children and how they took up more meat and bread than they started with. No doubt the religious leaders wanted to know how Jesus performed the miracles
so the Pharisees and the Sadducees came to one of the gatherings where Jesus was teaching to inquire about the matter and to ask Jesus to show them a sign to prove he was who he said he was.

(A)- The Pharisee aspect of religion is condemned by Jesus:
2 Timothy 3:5- "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away".
Secular humanist today are much like the Pharisees who practiced some aspects of what we believe but fell short of being God ordained and Spirit led.
The Greek word for Pharisee is - ar-is-ah'-you  which was a sect that seems to have started after the Jewish exile in the Old Testament books. They sought for recognition by outward forms of piety and ceremonial washings, fastings, prayers, and alms  giving. They prided themselves on their fancied good works. They believed in the existence of good and evil angels, and the expectation of the coming of the messiah, they maintained a  belief that the dead would be resurrected from a place of reward or from the penalty they were experiencing in Hades and would each give an account of individual deeds. They believed in a Theocracy much like we do and were patriotic to their country's cause.

(1-) They practiced piety.
(2)- They Baptized converts.
(3)- They Fasted and Prayed.
(4)- They Gave to the poor.
(5)- They claimed good works gave themselves favor with God.
(6)- They believed in Angels.
(7)- They looked for the Coming of Jesus.
(8)- They looked for a bodily resurrection.
(9)- They recognized a judgment of individual deeds.
(10)- They believed in a Theocracy- (one God).
(11)- They were patriotic to their country.

False religion that looks good from the human standpoint is what many church people practice today. They have all the aspects of the Pharisees described above but are empty spiritually!

The ancient historian; Josephus stated that the Pharisees and Sadducees numbered more than six thousand. They were bitter enemies of Jesus because he rebuked them for their hollow reliance on outward works and affections of piety in order to gain popularity.

(B)- The Sadducee aspect of religion is condemned by Jesus:
Sadducees - Greek -
sad-doo-kah'-yos which was a religious party among the Jews during the time of Christ who denied that the oral law was a revelation of God. They deemed the written law alone to be obligatory to the nation of Israel as the divine authority.

(1)- They denied the resurrection of the body.
(2)- They denied immortality of the soul.
(3)- They denied the existence of spirits and angels.
(4)- They denied divine predestination.
(5)- They denied the doctrine of free will.

Some of the doctrine of the Pharisees resemble true religious doctrine but their condemnation from Christ was concerning works without the grace of God.
Titus 3:5-
"Not by works of  righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us ".

Many people today are sitting in dead churches, practicing a dead religion that can not save, like that of the Pharisees. They are described in Matthew 15:8- "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me".

The Sadducees are so far off doctrinally; we don't have a problem identifying them as way out of line with scripture. Someone once made a remark about them that sparks some humor: "They are sad don't you see"! Because they didn't believe there was any hope of a resurrection or a life after this life.

When we look at Matthew chapter 16:1- It seems to me an unlikely event that two opposing groups of religious leaders could come together on common ground to question the Word of God but when we carefully consider it, that hasn't changed much as we often have religious groups that can't get along on most doctrinal grounds but when it comes to a challenge against a man of God who is preaching scriptural truth; it seems that they can head up a united front against him. For instance; when I was pastoring a mission church at Wrangell, Alaska, I preached some messages on the false doctrines of Catholicism and there was a uniting of non Baptist religious leaders who wrote articles in the newspaper condemning Baptist theology even though every thing I said came from the Word of God.

Mat. Ch.16

Human reasoning can never get you saved and give you eternal life no matter how hard you try to play the role of a Christian.

(1)- THEY CAME TEMPTING JESUS. (Matthew 16:1).
The Greek word for tempting is PI-RAD'-ZO to examine or seek proof.

(2)- THEY DESIRED JESUS. (Matthew 16:1).
Desired is Greek word, EP-ER-O-TAH'-O  ask a question.

(3)- THEY ASK FOR A SIGN. (Matthew 16:1).
Human reasoning has led multitudes of people to a devil's hell and a sign without scripture is worthless.

Doing good and doing it often will not save you! Many people look to good works for salvation or expect their religious denomination to get them into heaven but they wind up  with a  method  that will send them to hell. Prov. 16:25-  "There is a way that seemeth right unto man but the end thereof are the ways of death".

The only sign Jesus gave them was that of Jonas the prophet which was a sign of the Death, Burial and resurrection of Christ which is the gospel in a nutshell. It offers eternal life to those who accept Christ as their only method of salvation!
Matthew 12:40-
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth".

Matthew 16:6.
Many religious leaders don't have the answer to your spiritual needs! I don't care if you are a member of the Catholic hierarchy or some other institution. They can't mediate your salvation or give instructions for your service and you would be wise to listen to God's word instead of a false religion which will keep you in spiritual bondage and send you to a devil's hell .


The Greek word for LEAVEN is DZOO'-MAY - a metaphor is inveterate mental and moral corruption, viewed in its tendency to infect others.
(A)- Jesus reproves the people for not understanding the illustration he used concerning false leaders with false doctrine in Matthew 16:11 and at times it seems like we still have a hard time making people understand what we are telling them from God's word. In Matthew 16:12 -They finally understood that Jesus bade them not to beware of leaven bread but leaven spiritual doctrine.

(B)- God is warning us to keep our doctrine based on scripture and not let religious leaders persuade us off track. The world is full of deceivers who have created their own doctrines based on just enough scripture to confuse the mind. The anti-christ will be the master deceiver and the scripture tells us, if it were possible he would deceive the very elect.

Matthew 24:24- "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect".

Matthew 16:14.
This is what every unsaved person does until God reveals the truth to them. They make an effort to understand God but only come up guessing.
Matthew 16:14.
(1)-Some guessed that Jesus was John the Baptist.
(2)-Some guessed that Jesus was Elias.
(3)-Some guessed that Jesus was Jeremias.
(4)-Some guessed that Jesus was one of the prophets.

2-Peter 1:20- "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."
This is how so many people see just enough spiritual truth to make a wild guess about the secret things of God but until a person is truly born again and the Holy Spirit begins to reveal what god's word is about and they begin to study scripture, they will never understand spiritual things.
1-Corinthians 2:14- "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."


Spiritual awakening can only come when God reveals the truth to an individual like He did to the Apostle Peter in Matthew 16:15-16 when Peter said- "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.".
Mat.16:17- Jesus answered him and said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee,  but my Father which is in heaven".

When the Holy Spirit of God reveals to you who Jesus is and reveals what a destitute sinner you are; you are ready to do business with God. You can then see clearly what you need to do in order to be saved. You might be religious but lost. If You ask God with a repentant heart, to have mercy on you and save you for Jesus sake ; your sins will be placed under the Blood of Christ, your name will be written down in Heaven's log book which is called the book of life and the Spirit of the Living God will take up his abode in your heart to live forever. Don't let the Pharisees and Sadducees of religion deceive you into believing that you are all right by following their false doctrine of works; to a devils hell. You need to make that decision today to believe on Jesus Christ as your only hope of eternal life.

By James T. Tyson Sr.