TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL (Sunday 20th December 2020)
“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.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore, you will receive greater condemnation.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of [h]hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:13-15 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 354TH DAY OF OUR YEAR OF REJOICING
Today leaves us with just eleven days to step into 2021 according to the Gregorian calendar. But for every prophetic person, we are already there, and we thank God for that. We thank Him for keeping us alive and watching over us.
Many of us are still alive, not because of our righteousness but simply because we have not reached the end of our days. Even the life of wicked is preserved sometimes till the end of its days on earth. Everyone has days appointed by God for them; both the righteous and the wicked.
Precious in the sight of God is the death of the righteous. But the death of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD. In fact, God will prefer keeping one wicked person alive until he comes to repentance than one righteous person who have fulfilled his or her days. Because Heaven rejoices and waits for his or her home coming.
Today is Sunday, and for those living in non-Islamic nations, there will be a gathering for corporate worship today. As we all get set for that, I want to bring a word on two things we should not allow to cross over with us to the next set of days the LORD has given us.
In a time like this, some preachers will stand on their Church platforms to tell whoever care to listen a number of problems they should not allow to follow them to next year. They will be told they should not allow single-hood, poverty, this spiritual problem or that spiritual problem.
They should not allow sicknesses and diseases, or one demon or the other to follow them. The preaching will seem very good and acceptable to everyone. Then they will ask them to either give a sacrificial offering, fast, pray with oil or salt, or do any other form of deliverance invention to make that happen.
Now, if you have been sober and vigilant, you will agree with me that this has been the practice of so many preachers from end of year to end of year. That is why one of the season these kind of preachers gets rich is during year end programs.
If you look at the face of the true Chris and allow His True Holy Spirit to talk to you, you will realize that these preachers, though preaching from the Bible, are not talking from God. Most are talking from greed. And when a preacher sound like God standing on the power of greed, it will take a sober and a vigilant minded Christian to detect it. A gullible Christian will never be able to detect it.
THAT BRINGS ME TO THE FIRST THING WE SHOULD NOT CARRY TO A NEW YEAR; A GULLIBLE MIND-SET.
We have been talking about mindsets in our Church in the house services. A gullible mindset is a mindset that we should not carry to a new year. And today I will be speaking more about it in our Church service – Church in the house.
The consequences of being a gullible Christian are enormous. Why do people have false preachers they defend and fight for as their prophets, apostles or pastors? It is because they are gullible.
You will never have a glorious end as a gullible person. Even in the system of this world that teaches people to be so, gullible mindedness has not blessed anyone. It is a curse on its own.
You find Politicians who have nothing to offer riding on the power of the gullible to win elections. Bad leaders who everyone know are not good people depend on the gullible to thrive, both in Church and in the world. That is why preachers like us who teach people to stop being gullible are considered either an enemy of the ‘Church’ or a threat.
God has said He is taking us to Higher Heights in 2021, being gullible will prevent you from being blessed with the things God wants to do to take us there. Let us not discount ourselves from things the LORD has counted to happen to us.
Being gullible will not let people ask righteous questions about things they see in Church. If they do ask you will find them asking questions mischievously. That is why you see falsehood prevailing.
I believe strongly that Falsehood is prevailing in Church today because some people refused to sit down to think and righteously question things.
Some people have refused to question why they must be giving huge sums of money to some preachers to get blessings from God while so men and women where blessed in scriptures without doing that. They gave huge sums of money not to be blessed; they gave huge sums of money because they were blessed.
People have refused to question why Israel got houses and vineyards they never built or planted without sowing a seed, but they are told to sow a seed to get them.
People are not questioning why they have attended Churches for years and still cannot live a Holy life. They treat sins the way God has not commanded to treat it and lead lives that will take them to hell, thinking they will make heaven. Their gullible mindset is not allowing them to see the arm of the devil in what they call God. They are not seeing how the Holy Spirit is being hindered from transforming their moral nature by their papas.
THEY THINK THEY WILL GO TO HEAVEN BECAUSE THEY HAVE A PAPA OVER THEIR LIVES.
People have refused to question the use of oil for prayers while Jesus never used it. In Mark 6:13, and James 5:13-16 (two anchor scriptures of the gullible), it was a people who have not received the Holy Ghost that used the Oil, to pray for the sick. They did not even rob it on people’s bodies or ask them to drink it.
They did not use it to ordain anyone into ministry. They used it to just pray for the sick. And they did that because they had not received the Holy Spirit. He was not flowing with power through them. If they had received like Paul did, they would not have used it.
Which means if you are anointing everyone in your church with oil, it means all are sick. If you are ordaining someone into ministry or giving him or her a leadership position anointing their heads with oil, it means they are sick. And no one should sit under a sick leader. But the gullible will not see these things. Their minds have been stolen not to think again.
The oil was used as a symbol of the anointing of the Holy One that was to come upon the human race in the last days. And the last days began from the day Jesus resurrected from dead. 40 days later, the Holy Spirit was poured to function as the replacement of the oil. But we have people who still hold on to it, saying all kinds of things. The gullible will always cling to symbols if they are working in their lives.
They will forget that results are not a sign of divine approval. They do not know about Nehushtan spirit functioning today as the anti-Christ spirit, and how it uses symbols to work among them. God will never reveal such things to the gullible.
If you will go high in Christ in 2021, please do not be gullible. Learn to listen to preachers God is using to make people wise enough to engage in righteous thinking.
Being gullible will make you willing to do or believe in anything that will meet your need. It will place hypocrites over your life as your leaders. It is a dangerous state of mind that does not allow people to see the hypocrisy of their leaders and the falsehood they are walking in!
That brings me to the second thing you should not allow to follow you to the next sets of days the LORD has given us; hypocrisy! Our devotional text says;
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
Jesus repeated that not once of twice. If you see God repeating a thing, it is because it is an establish thing that needs double attention.
WE MUST NOT ALLOW HYPOCRISY TO FOLLOW US TO THE COMING YEAR
Hypocrisy will destroy us more than a thousand demons around. In the book of Matthew Chapter 23, you find Christ pronouncing a curse not on any sinner who ran to or was brought to Him with loads of sins hanging on them.
You find Jesus not pronouncing a curse on an adulterer or fornicator who is crying over their wickedness and repenting before God. You find Jesus not pronouncing a curse of an agent of the devil looking for how to stop being an agency for Satan on earth.
You find Jesus pronouncing a curse on not even murders and killers of unborn children repenting before God; not even on divorcees or husband snatchers. You find Jesus pronouncing a curse on hypocrites.
You could be all that we have mentioned above, but if you are not a hypocrite you will find mercy with God. A hypocrite is a son of hell pretending to be a son of GOD. He is one who is not what he or she portrays he or she is. That is why God finds it difficult to work on their lives.
God can easily work on an adulterer, a fornicator, a liar, a murderer, a divorcee carrying the pains and scars of life on his or her life, a husband snatcher, a killer of unborn babies, a mischief maker, a gossip or any kind of sinner, because they are willing not admit that they need help. He cannot work on a hypocrite. That is why He placed on curse on them.
Hypocrite are good at presenting themselves as angles, while internally they are devils. They are like snakes that hides under the green grass. You will never know they are the people killing you and making life unbearable. When you are asked to choose the most helpful people on earth, you might likely go for a hypocrite because they are good at presenting themselves as such to us all.
If you will have a blissful 2021, don’t allow hypocrisy to be found on your life. Hypocrisy have been defined as “the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another or the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.”
WE SHOULD USE THIS DEFINITION TO CHECK OUR LIVES FROM TIME TO TIME.
This definition is one of the most accurate definitions you can find. It real tells us what hypocrisy is. But let me balance things up! If, for example, you preach against fornication and you find yourself in it, and keep telling others not to do it while you are doing it, a curse will come on you because you are a hypocrite.
But if you preach against fornication and find yourself in it, and run out of it, crying in repentance before God and warning others not to do what you did, you are a true son of God and will help many. You are not a hypocrite!
When we stand to confront sin, sin has a way of coming back to confront us, and many of us in the faith will overcome while some of us will fall. Those who fall will be placed at a cross road of becoming either a hypocrite or keep being a true son of GOD. I have experienced this myself.
I consider myself the worst sinner like Paul did, not because I killed people or did the abominable that many do. I consider myself, especially before GOD, a worst sinner because I never lived in sin actively when I was an unsaved boy, growing up in our family, I lived in sin after I got saved!
And because I started pastoring very early in life, I lived in sin as a pastor. Every sin I have committed I have committed them as a preacher and placed my life under the risk of preaching to others and becoming a cast away. That is why I consider myself the worst sinner.
But I have also used those experiences to teach and pour the very grace I found that helped me to return to Holy living, on others. That is why they testify of being able to break free from sinful habits when listening to my teachings. They broke from them because they sat under someone who also broke from sin.
I learned from my own experiences that no Hypocrite can be used of the LORD to deliver people from sin; especially habitual sins. People are being delivered through our ministry because the LORD helped us to come out the practice of sin when we ourselves where caught in the same net they found themselves.
THE EXPERIENCES TAUGHT ME WHY GOD HATES HYPOCRITES.
He cannot use them to deliver people from sin. We give Him the opportunity to use us to deliver others from sin, if we return to Holy Living after falling into it, instead of continuing in it and leading the life of hypocrite. David said;
“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted and return to You.” Psalm 51:12-13 Amplified Version
The truth remains, you will become a hypocrite if you keep confronting sin and living in it yourself, but a true son of GOD if you retreat and repent and then return to use your own experiences to confront it by teaching transgressors God’s ways and bringing practicing sinners to repentance, being an ex-sinner yourself.
Maybe this time, you will be more effective, graceful, powerful and helpful because you have also experienced it yourself.
You have become sin, and with truth and honestly running through your veins, now you can function as a sharper instrument in GOD’s hands in helping others who are trapped in it come out of it.
This is where the ignorant will say, “thank God I fell into this sin or that sin. Now, I can help someone.”
Please do not thank God that you fell into sin. Thank God that God brought you out. There is nothing to thank God for in falling into sin. You do not thank Him for falling into what He died on the cross to save us from. Yes, you do not thank Him for falling into what cost Him so much and is still costing Him so much. That will be ignorant on fire, and religion on display.
As we bring this to a close, I want you to understand that if you want Heaven to be pouring the best of God on you in 2021, do not be gullible. It will hand you over to the dragon spirit and all it represents.
Secondly, do not be involved in the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which you criticize others, or the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which your own behavior does not conform. Do not be a hypocrite! It will destroy you.
LET THIS SCRIPTURE BE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR US TODAY
“Whoever exalts himself [[c]with haughtiness and empty pride] shall be humbled (brought low), and whoever humbles himself [whoever has a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly] shall be [d]raised to honor.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces; for you neither enter yourselves, nor do you allow those who are about to go in to do so.
“[e]Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you swallow up widows’ houses and for a pretense to cover it up make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation and the heavier sentence.
“ Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes one [a proselyte], you make him doubly as much a child of hell (Gehenna) as you are.
Woe to you, blind guides, who say, If anyone swears by the [f]sanctuary of the temple, it is nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the [g]sanctuary, he is a debtor [bound by his oath].
You blind fools! For which is greater: the gold, or the [h]sanctuary of the temple that has made the gold sacred? You say too, Whoever swears by the altar is not duty bound; but whoever swears by the offering on the altar, his oath is binding. You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar which makes the gift sacred?
So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And he who swears by the [i]sanctuary of the temple swears by it and by Him Who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by Him Who sits upon it.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you give a tenth of your mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected and omitted the weightier (more important) matters of the Law—right and justice and mercy and fidelity. These you ought [particularly] to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, filtering out a gnat and gulping down a [j]camel!
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but within they are full of extortion (prey, spoil, plunder) and grasping self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and of the plate, so that the outside may be clean also.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you are like tombs that have been whitewashed, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything impure. Just so, you also outwardly seem to people to be just and upright but inside you are full of pretense and lawlessness and iniquity.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, Saying, If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have aided them in shedding the blood of the prophets.
Thus you are testifying against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Matthew 23:12-31 (Amplified Version)