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during my research and Bible study I come across this article and I strongly believe there is a message for everyone who reads the article.
Woe to Hypocrites! Many religious people and professing Christians are practicing hypocrites. Are you a hypocrite? I most certainly was and walked around claiming to be a Christian for most of my life, when in fact I was not. As the bride of Christ we are to prepare ourselves for the wedding feast of the Lord. We must make every effort to set aside any provision of our flesh and walk in love and holiness — being without spot and blameless. I still stumble in weakness and sin but it is becoming much less and the good work God started in me, is completing itself. If we are true sons of God, He will discipline us and chastise us when we stray from the path of righteousness. We must respond to God’s chastisement and adjust our paths to stay on the straight and narrow. If we don’t do this, we will end up practicing religion, worshiping God with our lips in vain and we will be practicing hypocrisy. Thankfully the Holy Spirit convicts me of my hypocrisy as soon as I sin. This does not serve the Lord though, it actually harms His Kingdom beyond just me. God has brought these things to my attention and showed me how wide spread the problem is amongst those that express faith in Him. There will be no hypocrite phony Christians in heaven, only the true sheep of God will enter His Kingdom. We must repent and allow the work of God to totally transform us into the image and likeness of His Son. I am continually being reminded by the Holy Spirit when I do things that bring the potential for the H word. It is God’s will that we all be sanctified of all darkness and deceit including the deception of hypocrisy. Let’s look at the dictionary definition of a hypocrite and then get into what Jesus said about hypocrites and the examples He gave us in the Holy Scriptures. hypocrite, noun 1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs. 2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements. So a hypocrite is simply someone who pretends to be somebody or something that they are in fact not. They feign or lie about their true character. Satan is the great pretender, the master of deception, the father of all lies said Jesus. Hypocritical Christians are under the influence of Satan, as deception and lies are not of God. The thief comes to destroy the true work of God and what better way than to create a bunch of hypocrites that by their deeds sow unrighteousness? Hypocrites Damage God’s Kingdom Hypocrisy in the Christian walk harms the kingdom of God beyond the real consequences for our own soul. When we profess to be Christians and yet do things against the word and will of God, we are no different than unbelievers and all others that do not really know Christ. This brings criticism upon God’s kingdom and makes it more difficult to harvest souls for Christ and keep new converts walking the narrow path of eternal life. When pronouncing WOE upon the Pharisees, Jesus identified how religious hypocrites harm others. Matthew 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Far too many people have become religious prideful and arrogant Christians. Many study scriptures and are “book smart” but have no relationship with Jesus, express no love to others and are nothing more than self seeking evil judges. Satan loves to ensnare believers with a Pharisaical spirit to destroy their testimony and walk with God. The signs of this snare is living in hypocrisy. Beware! Matthew 23:15 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. Unless we are lead by the Spirit of God, we are children of the Devil. Doing good things for the wrong reason is still a sin and is vanity to God. The Pharisees had a wrapper of goodness and worked to bring people to God, yet their motives were not pure. They enslaved converts in bondage and taught them a self righteous way of life instead of a righteousness that comes from God. Jesus Warned Against Hyprocrisy Jesus repeated a saying first spoken by Isaiah that defined how hypocrite believers worship God. This kind of worship is not true worship, it is phony and the worship is a waste of time and is merely the following of things made up and taught by man. It has nothing to do with the true worship and following of Christ. Matthew 15:7-9 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. Worshipping in vain means the worship is of no effect. Hypocrites will not enter the kingdom of God is the takeaway you must get clear in your spirit. The examples cited by the Lord in the Bible include “religious” behavior that stems from four primary ungodly motivations. Woe to any of us or our churches if these motivations are manifest. 1. More interested in external appearance than Holiness Jesus called us to holiness and purity before God. This was an inner holiness and inner purity. Facades and the external count for nothing. God indeed judges our hearts. It is what flows from our inside to the outside that determines our holiness. Far too much of Christianity is all about looks and appearances as opposed to a real relationship with God and an intimacy and righteousness that flows through His Spirit into our spirit. Matthew 23:25-26 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. If we speak both blessings and curses to our neighbors we are not walking in godly love, we are walking in carnal love which is hypocrisy to God. James wrote about that James 3:10-12 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. Matthew 23:27-28 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. As I recently blogged about, we must have a Heart for God to be a real Christian. Good deeds will not earn us salvation and in God’s eyes, these deeds are just dead works. The writer of Hebrews warned the early church that they needed to get beyond basic repentance from dead works to move in the will of God and towards the perfection we are called. Hebrews 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God. All “religious” things done in the name of God but intended to draw attention or approval upon us are DEAD WORKS. Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. Do you really know Christ? Do you spend quality time with Him, intimately praying and seeking His counsel? This cannot be done in Church in all practicality but is best done in quiet time we carve out and give to God. It won’t matter on the Last Day if our social network thinks we were a holy person and prayed a lot; it will only matter if God says we knew Him and met His qualifications to enter His Kingdom. 2. Seeking the attention and approval of men instead of God Jesus told us that if we love Him, we will obey His commandments. In the great commission, He instructed us to raise up disciples and teach them to obey everything He has commanded. God must be first in our lives, we must seek to please Him and Him alone. Anything we do that does not please God is sin, regardless of the judgment or approval that men may have on the action. In today’s churches the gospel preached is geared towards pleasing men and not God. While many serve or give with a contrite heart, there are many others that do likewise but secretly their motivation is to be seen and approved by men. This is worshipping God in vain, it is not worshipping God in truth and spirit. Jesus called out the Pharisees for similar behavior. Matthew 6:2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. We need rewards in heaven, we don’t need them here in this life. I cringe sometimes when I see men honored in church for doing great deeds. While many of these men did not ask for the recognition, shame on the church for promoting men and taking the glory away from God. Many churches like to boast to their congregations about all the good deeds they do. There is a fine line between reporting activities and boasting and seeking the approval of men. Many are way over the line. Charity that is not a dead work is something we give or do in response to the urgings of the Holy Spirit. These are God’s commands and it is our duty to obey Him and therefore there should be no recognition sought by us or given to us. Matthew 23:29-30 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? I liken this passage to the clicks and clubs that permeate the denominational Christianity of today. Someone comes along either outside or inside the church with a warning from God, or a call to holiness and obedience or for the community to take a stand against overt sin; then the hypocrites attack and persecute the Godly messenger and cite their traditions and not the truth of God’s word. That is just how the Pharisees reacted to the truth of Jesus ministry; persecuting Him for teaching righteousness. Matthew 6:16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Like most Christians, I don’t fast very often and I know this must change. But when we do fast, we can’t go around telling our social contacts seeking their admiration or subtle atta boys. The fast is between us and God and if we seek approval from others for our plight, we void our reward in heaven. 3. Applying hypocritical and unrighteous judgment “Do as I say and not as I do” is a cliche no Christian should be citing to others to instruct them in righteousness. We need to walk the talk and our actions should belie our faith. I have been guilty of this charge but I am getting a whole lot more congruent in my words and my actions. All of us should strive to be holy, pure and practicing righteousness. When we harbor unrepentant sin in our hearts and yet criticize others for their sins, we are a hypocrite. Jesus gave us a wonderful analogy to remind us against hypocritical judgment. Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. The story about the woman caught in adultery is typically mistaught to excuse sin. Properly divided this story speaks to Jesus exposing the hypocritical judgment the Jews had in accusing the woman. Jesus was not excusing the woman’s sin, He was exposing the unrepentant sin in the Jew’s hearts and the partiality they showed by only bringing the woman for judgment and not the man. Jesus showed His love and forgiveness He freely gives us all that confess our sins. Jesus ended this story with His command to Go and Sin No More. John 8:7-11 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” 4. Majoring in Minor Things Jesus chunked up the commandments we need to obey to enter His kingdom into two commands. 1) Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. Love is the operative word. Paul told is in 1 Corinthians 10 that without love, our testimony and ministry is just a clanging symbol, of no effect. Many Christians have made themselves into prideful, arrogant, boastful, critical spirited evil judges. The glass is always half empty and rather than provide encouragement and show love to others, they are full of condemnation and hate. While it is true the whole counsel of God needs to be preached, even the eternal torment of Hell, we must be gentle and seasoned with salt to be effective for God’s kingdom. Luke 13:15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” This is a classic example offered by the Lord. Here He heals a godly women of demons and is rebuked by the Pharisees for working on the Sabbath yet they wouldn’t think twice about helping their donkey on the Sabbath. This reminds me of some churches that build huge buildings to pamper their congregations yet the homeless and poor that live all around them are neglected. The homeless and the poor don’t need a big building, they need basic help. Matthew 23:23-24 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law— justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Sowing love and seeds of righteousness does not happen when we become anal retentive cherry pickers of the Bible. We need to major in major things and show the same mercy and forgiveness God has shown us when we minister or fellowship with others. If we are really His Sheep, we will hear His voice and follow Him. We do this by following the Holy Spirit which we are promised will guide us into all truth. The Spirit is not going to guide us into becoming an evil judge. That is our fleshly pride or worse inspired by a demon. It is easy to fall into this judgmental hypocrisy, Satan loves to use pride as an enticement. Here are a few scriptures we should memorize to counter this inevitable war with our flesh. Col 4:6 Let you conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone Phil 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all 2 Tim 2:24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition Rom 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in Brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” Hypocrites are not Real Christians The place of those that call themselves Christians but are really hypocrites will be in Hell. Jesus did not mince words, He spoke out so boldly against the hypocrites so there would have no confusion on the matter. The Bible is full of other passages that confirm and validate that God does not change. Only a true faith and a true walk with God will secure us a place in heaven. We must contend for our faith earnestly and not allow our fellow “believers” to go down without a fight. Matthew 24:51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Weeping and gnashing of teeth occurs in Hell, there are no tears in heaven. Or consider the Parable of the Wedding Feast, where the King finds someone at the party not clothed in proper wedding garments. Matthew 22:13-14 ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Hypocrites will not be able to crash God’s Wedding Feast, they must be properly clothed in a true righteousness that comes only from Christ via obedience to His commandments. If we live in hypocrisy yet call ourselves a Christian our joy of Christ will be short lived. Hypocrites are the seed that falls on the rocky soil, it never takes root and the heat of the day comes and destroys the seedling. In the Book of Job, Zophar in his sermon grouped hypocrites in with wicked men. Job 20:5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment. Matthew Chapter 6 and 23 and Luke chapter 13 contain the bulk of Jesus woes against hypocrisy. I encourage you to be familiar with the issues Jesus spoke boldly out against. This way you will be equipped to confront the snares of Satan when the devil comes to steer you into hypocrisy and undermine your walk and ministry for Christ. If you have made mistakes and acted hypocritically to your expressed faith, learn from it and move on. We are what we practice and making a mistake and then responding to God’s discipline does not make us a hypocrite. Through the Holy Spirit and Premonition during my Recent study I come across the above article and it was something that I believe as a Christian and a pastor that I should share it with other people and especially Christians because I strongly believe there is a message for everyone who reads this article, may the Holy Spirit shower you with the fires to cast out Satan's mischievous plans to hurt other people through you and may you receive the blessings of our heavenly father so that you can be a living example and a true Christian to your heavenly father. Amen. Pastor Garry Cuthbert "Universal Life Church”
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