What is Self-Righteousness? By: Eric Turner
I have seen many of my Brothers and Sister accused of being “self righteous” when we start speaking of being obedient to Moses, and this usually comes from Christians. This is always, and I mean always, an attempt to remove the focus of the conversation back onto the person witnessing, and it always hinders the flow of the conversation, redirecting you from a delivery situation, to a defensive one. Today I will give the BIBLICAL definitions of self-righteousness and the righteousness of YHVH, so you have better defensive capabilities, as well as discuss some tactics to use the Wisdom of YHVH to avoid these situations, or at least to be able to keep the witness session going in a steady direction.
Eze 33:12 “And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins.
Eze 33:13 Though I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, yet if he trusts in his righteousness and does injustice, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered, but in his injustice that he has done he shall die.
Rom 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
Rom 10:3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
We see in BOTH These passages that “self-righteousness” accompanies the IGNORING of the righteousness of God, so now, we must understand what is the righteousness of YHVH in order to figure out what self-righteousness is.
Righteousness of God-
Deu 6:24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
Deu 6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.
Psa 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
Psa 40:9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.
Psa 72:2 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment.
Psa 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
Psa 119:143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.
Psa 119:144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.
Psa 119:145 KOPH. I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.
Psa 119:172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
So, we see here that the Righteousness of God is following HIS commandments. Let us look at some verses again to see exactly what “self-righteousness” is.
Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Rom 10:3 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.
Was there a group in these days that traded in the righteousness of God in order to establish their own Righteousness? Who were they? What did Messiah say to them about this matter? I believe what we will soon find, is the very people accusing Torah observant people of “self-righteousness” are actually the ones who are being self-righteous, trying to do whatever seems right in their own minds, while ignoring the Righteousness of YHVH. In the First Century, the groups guilty of this was the Pharisees, they traded the commandments of YHVH to observe their own set of rules and regulations, based on the thoughts of men.
Mat 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
Mat 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Mat 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Mat 15:5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
Mat 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Mat 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Mar 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Mar 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Mar 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Mar 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
So, we see here that the self-righteous men of those days made up their own commandments, and ignored the Law of YHVH. Do we see this today? Is it not the very people who accuse us of being “self-righteous” that practice this error? What I have come to understand is Satan like to reverse things, twist definitions, and do things opposite of YHVH. YHVH speaks Truth, Satan lies, that simple. So again we see another great example of how Satan has deceived the Church into accusing the Truly Righteous but in the process the very things he says he Himself is guilty of, making Him and the vessel he is using the biggest HYPOCRITE of all. When you preach YHVH’s Righteousness and someone accuses you of self- righteousness, point these things out to them, then continue move along in the conversation without all the attempts to redirect. How can we do this? If someone accuses you of self- righteousness, answer them with a question. What is self -righteousness? Allow them to attempt to answer the question while in the presense of others watching if there are people around. After they fail miserably, stomp on that Pride a little by quoting the above scriptures, making them look ignorant. Many will say, “This is not a very Christian thing to do”, but this is how the Messiah Himself dealt with the Paharisees EVERY time they challenged Him. Put the ball in their court, give them the opertunity to score, when they get stuffed at the goal line, throw a 99 yard touchdown to silence the crowd, simple as that. After you do this, you WILL be conspired against, and probably with more witnesses, but if you use the very same battle plan with more people, you will silence their ignorance too, one man can put a thousand to flight without ever firing a shot, if they are operating in the Spirit of Yeshua. I pray this has been a blessing to them that have ears to hear, HaShem Yeshua!