Law Of Jesus: Pharisees, Sadducees And Zealots

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Chapter Two
FIRST CENTURY RELIGIOUS GROUPS
At the time of Paul’s missionary Journeys there were a number of religious groups; perhaps as many as a dozen. Three of them are mentioned in the Bible: Pharisees, Sadducees and Zealots.
THE PHARISEES
The largest of these groups was the Pharisees which was organized about 140 B.C. and they taught strict adherence to the law. They were probably coming nearer to keeping the Law of Moses than any of the other groups.
The Pharisees believed in a future life, a bodily resurrection and in spiritual beings; including angels. The Rabbi’s had developed the Talmud, which was their own set of rules to assist them in keeping the Law. It had its beginning as a commentary on the Law of Moses. Then, some Rabbi
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Many of them were merchants, land owners and government officials. They believed that God had little or no interest in the daily affairs of humanity; therefore, they did not believe that God, by providence, answered prayers or in any way had an interest in the daily affairs of human beings. They did not believe in the resurrection, angels, demons or the Devil. They thought man’s soul went out of existence upon death; therefore, they did not believe in an afterlife. Sadducees made up the majority of the seventy-one member Sanhedrin body.
The Sadducees upheld the written Word, but they did not keep it very well. In that sense, they are still among us, because some Christians today attempt to rationalize their actions when their behavior conflicts with the New Testament.
ZEALOTS
The Zealots, probably originated by Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37), made up another religious group; a very militant religious group. They believed and taught that God alone was the ruler of the Jewish people; therefore, they were opposed to all government rules. Perhaps this Zealot belief prompted Paul’s discussion on civil government at Romans chapter thirteen.
Simon, the apostle was a Zealot. (Mark 3:18)
THE
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The only other mention of him is in Acts 22:20 where Paul makes mention of his death. Anyway, almost everything that is said about Stephen occurred on one day of his life; the last.
Sermons by both Peter and Paul are recorded in the book of Acts, but when Luke recorded Stephen’s sermon, he gave more space to it than either of the others.
Stephen was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit and when the apostles chose “the seven,” they chose him first. Peter’s sermon on the first Pentecost following the Lord’s crucifixion and ascension, may have been the beginning of Stephens’s faith. (Acts 2: 1-39) Anyway, there was no room for doubt in Stephen. He was full of faith. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) He had filled himself with the Word of God.
Although, the New Testament speaks of flaws in the lives of Paul, Peter, Barnabas, Apollos, and others, not one bad thing is said about Stephen.
STEPHEN’S

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