TODAY’S DEVOTION (MONDAY 17TH JULY 2023)
“For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.
One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”
This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and
commandments of men who turn from the truth.
To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure, but even their mind and conscience are defiled.
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” Titus 1:10-16
WELCOME TO THE 198TH DAY OF OUR YEAR OF SIGNS AND WONDERS.
The reason Jesus had a running battle with hypocrites, but constant friendship with sinners, gets clearer and clearer to me by the day.
Jesus was called a friend of sinners. But I am yet to see a place in the scriptures where they called Him a friend of hypocrites.
He was no friend of sinners to condone their sins. You do not condone what you were made manifest to destroy. He was a friend of sinners because His primary assignment was to save His people from their sins.
For Him, it is the sick who admit that they are sick that need a doctor. I believe He saw things in the hypocrites, that made Him scream from time to time. One of them was self-denial and self-righteousness – they never admitted that they were spiritually sick and needed His sin-curing medicine.
A hypocrite is self-righteous and hates rebukes. They do not want correction or exposure of the evil they do. They are like white-washed tombs with rotten bones they do not want any to see. That is why they are the most dangerous people to deal with.
Yes, they are like a concealed bomb that explodes on you when you step on it. A lot has exploded on me since I started ministry.
Some of the worst explosions are taking place even right now.
An innocent message titled, “JESUS IS ENOUGH FOR ME,” has had me bashed, demonized, harassed, victimize, and maligned like never before. Some have said am an enemy of the Church. A Bishop wrote complete lies about me on the social media handle of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya.
One of those who read it had to go watch the message before he realized that the Bishop was just lying on me, misleading the Alliance, and being terribly wicked. I am discovering daily that it is safer to deal with an outright sinner, who tells you he or she needs help, than a hypocrite who is also a sinner but acts as if he or she is righteous.
AT LEAST A SINNER TELLS YOU WHO HE OR SHE REALLY IS AND THAT HELPS YOU TO GUARD YOURSELF.
But a hypocrite does not, making it impossible for you to guard yourself. Outwardly they are full of God but internally they are very wicked, malicious, and have tongues and hearts that can easily turn against you when they explode on you.
The hypocrites Jesus dealt with in His days were outwardly known as the teachers of the law – the scribes and Pharisees. Meaning, a hypocrite is quick at wanting to stand behind the pulpit and say something, even when they have nothing to say.
He or she is quick at trying to lead others, even when he or she is not needed. They are quick at doing things that will make them the objects of attention. When they are doing any giving in Church, for instance, it is usually to have something to talk about, and if they are contributing towards something, it is to have praise of themselves to sing about.
INDEED, THE MOST DANGEROUS PEOPLE TO DEAL WITH ARE HYPOCRITES
In fact, they crucified Jesus. And can still Crucify Him today hence getting angry at a simple “JESUS IS ENOUGH MESSAGE.” They crucified Him then, and can still speak ill, or assassinate the character of anyone who is truly carrying Christ and His word, or walking in His ways, today.
They are potential tools in the hands of the evil one when it comes to demonizing, silencing, or attempting to bring to an end, genuine
servants or people of God. These hypocrites constitute the bulk of both preachers and Church members today. Yes, church members!
I have come to discover that the kind of falsehood that thrive among some Church members, and wickedness that lives in their hearts today is alarming. Apart from the deception and perversion, in some of us known as preachers, what we have in the hearts of most church members is terrible.
In fact, some of them made us the preachers, what we are! Sincerely speaking, though not an excuse, most ministers of the gospel became what they are today because, some wicked Church members killed what God gave them for their generation, and turned them into wicked men with no sexual discipline, or compassion for the suffering.
These hypocrites we treat as Church members have a way of casting evil spirits on God’s true servants. They can submit to the devil to sway a servant of God, to do things that are capable of knocking out love for the sheep, deep concern for people, and genuine commitment to the work of God from their heart.
Personally, I will say it is the mercy and Spirit of God that has been helping me to navigate through the storms of hypocrites being used to contaminate me. It is very difficult to be deeply and genuinely concerned for people, as a child of God, after being betrayed and bitterly wounded, for being deeply and genuinely concerned for people you believe God brought you to raise.
Can you imagine kneeling down to pray for God to bless someone you did not know is a hypocrite, who will soon do things that will destroy your genuine care and concern for the sheep that Jesus committed into your hands? Can you imagine spending hours fasting and praying, for people you did not know are a bunch of hypocrites, who will soon explode on you at a later date?
THESE THINGS ARE BETTER IMAGINED THAN EXPERIENCED!
Can you imagine sheltering someone who will not be compassionate towards you when you will need help? Can you imagine going out of your way to pull people out of the fire – hypocrites you thought were your assignment from Heaven, while you are feeding a snake that would attempt to spew venoms on you later?
It is shocking to discover in the Bible that Jesus never prayed for Hypocrites. He never delivered them from anything. He was full of mercy and power for them, but their hypocrisy neutralized His mercy and power to save them.
I learned from His ministry that our hypocrisy can neutralize God’s power to save us in the day of adversity and make us vulnerable to the evil one. Even if prayer is made for someone, their hypocrisy will stop the result of that prayer from manifesting.
All the hypocrites in Jesus’ day ended very badly. They could get nothing from His presence. No hypocrite has ended well. I have come to discover that even when you prophesy peace to them, your peace will return back to you. When you try to help them, your help will do little or nothing to save them.
They sit as teachers while they ought to be students, hence missing the help they need. They call themselves spiritual fathers and mothers while they ought to be Children to be fathered.
When you see a Child calling something, “My Son,” that thing is a dull baby, not a real person. Have you ever seen those little Children who carry dull babies behind their backs? You got it! That is who you are if a hypocrite who needs fathering is calling you “My spiritual son” or “my spiritual daughter.”
As they yield to the devil to destroy the deep concern a preacher has for the lost and suffering, they are destroyed by the same devil whose influence they are under.
A verse of scripture in our devotional text says “To the pure all things are pure”. So as a preacher who dearly cares for the sheep, you may not even know they are hypocrites but God knows. So even when you sacrifice your life in prayer and fasting for them, God will never answer you. He will wait until they change their ways.
If you choose to be a hypocrite, please do not forget that your hypocrisy is destroying you more than anyone the enemy may be using it to target. I have seen so many hypocrites around me destroy themselves in my over 30 years of ministry.
One thing the devil does to stop a work that is pulling men from the fires of hell is to surround it with hypocrites – people who have
God on their lips but not in their hearts. People who are quick to make a pledge they will never pay, or commit themselves to doing something in Church they will never do.
They rush out to tell you “Pastor you can count on me” but will never be there when you may need them. It is part of the warfare hell musters against divine purposes! That is why Jesus declared woe upon them. The Bible says;
“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 hell as yourselves.” Matthew 23:13-15 NKJV
This was what the hypocrites got from the LORD. They have the capacity to make children of God sons of hell. That was why Jesus called forth judgment on them, using the word “woe.” That is what they will still get from Him even today. It is not therefore safe to be a hypocrite.
It is better for people to call you one while you are not than to truly be one. If people call you one while you are not, Christ will deposit His presence in your life and do things in and through you to show them that you are not a hypocrite. But if you are one, but everyone sees you as not, you are in trouble. You will have the pass marks of everyone but never have the authentic presence of the LORD in your life.
Jesus pronounced curses on the hypocrites. They are still lying there in the spirit realm, where He placed them. The easiest way to walk into these curses is to be a hypocrite in Church. In fact, no hypocrite needs anyone to curse them again because they are already cursed by Christ. If you understand what it means when Christ says “Woe to you” you will never follow the paths of a hypocrite.
LET US SEE SOME BEAUTIFUL INSIGHTS FROM OUR DEVOTIONAL TEXT
A scriptural verse in our devotional text says “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”
I think there is no description of a hypocrite that fits like this one. He or she professes, acts, preaches, behaves, and does all to show that they know God. But in their works or private life, they deny Him.
A hypocrite will be doing something, but as soon as the one they may be deceiving walks in, they stop whatever they may be doing and start pretending. The hypocrite presents himself as saved but is very much unsaved.
They see themselves by the positions their hearts tell them they qualify for in Church and gets their hearts filled with spiritual pride.
They are interested in Charisma and not character.
They may miss Church for years but the day they appear they will tell you how far they have gone with God. Some are always hearing a word from God, even when GOD is not speaking or has not spoken. They see themselves as world changers but inwardly need a lot of Change themselves. Jesus said they are like graveyards that look beautiful outside but inside are full of rotten bones. One other thing our devotional text today said is;
“For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.”
This scripture made it clear that the mouth of the hypocrite must be stopped because he or she is not circumcised at heart. The Bible calls them deceivers, insubordinate, and idle talkers.
Meaning, the hypocrites who may be preaching the gospel, should close their mouths because whoever hears them is also becoming a son of hell like them. That is how they destroy their neighbors with their mouths. The Bible says, “The hypocrite, with his mouth, destroys his neighbor.”
They destroy, not through slander, because some do not slander. They destroy by pouring the spirit of hell they carry into the hearts of their neighbors. Jesus said,
“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 hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15 NKJV
From these scriptures what Paul said becomes clearer. They are great at having forms of godliness but deny the power. Paul said from such people we should turn away. He did not say we should marry them, make them our Church members, accept them as sons and daughters in faith, or make them our financial supporters.
He did not say we should make them Church workers or give them some pastoral assignment. He said we should turn away from them. If we do otherwise, they will explode on us and kill everything God may have in our or around our lives.
The message here is, if we will fulfill our destiny, a life of hypocrisy and a company of hypocrites must not be part of our lives.
MAY THIS SCRIPTURE BE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR YOU TODAY
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisees, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so, you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Matthew 23:25-30 NKJV