Cost

Cost of Being God's Messenger
(Jeremiah 20, Matthew 23)

The Cost of Being God’s Messenger, and why exactly is it measured in monetary terms.  Is the cost of being God’s messenger any greater than the cost of being a disciple in general?  No true messenger of the Bible ever esteemed themselves greater than the people they were speaking to, or that they sacrificed any more than is required of the same audience.  The great deception today is that you can be as the world as long as you believe, and that the cost the messengers of the Bible paid was special in order to permit you to live a cost free life of recreation.

The messenger is the model of the prototype, which is Christ.  For you see, even Christ said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luk 9:23).  The cost of being God’s messenger is no different than the cost required of those receiving the message, “For there is no respect of persons with God.”  (Rom 2:11).

Indeed, there are two sums portrayed in the simplest of terms in the Bible, and for the Devil, he must cloud this fact.  In order to do this, he separated and elevated the messenger’s work above what the modern believer accepts in opposition to what is the truth:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  Rom 12:1.

The cost of being God’s messenger (or believer) is different than the cost of those who reject the message.  The rejection of the messenger is in fact a rejection of the message, and incorporation into the selfish and sinful lifestyle taught by the secular church as an alternative.

The Bible tells us (in monetary terms), that sin pays in wages, “For the wages of sin is death;” (Rom 6:23).  The sinful and selfish, “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness” (2Pe 2:15); also depicts this love of sinful income in a rebellious adoration of one’s desires above sacrifice.

Sin and selfishness cannot be allowed to exist in the Kingdom of God, although for now, it does exist in this realm (and for the worldly church), its revenue is sweeter to their corrupt hearts than the cost of being God’s disciple, or God’s messenger.  Why live a life of benevolent love for others, “…in lowliness of mind… to…esteem other better than themselves” (Php 2:3); when they can please their flesh instead?

The true cost of being God’s messenger or disciple is so daunting to the modern churched that they have forsaken it altogether in a cloak of lies in order to enjoy a vain existence ignoring the decaying state of a flesh life in pursuit of temporal desires.  We have entered the fabled time where the price is a tale paid in the past by former professors that is discounted and perverted into myth while running up a bill of iniquity on their account. 

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.Mat 13:45-46.

You have not paid near enough.  For, what does God say, “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mar 12:30).

You see, with God it is all or nothing, and if you are straddling the fence between going all out for God and holding on to flesh or worldly desires, be advised; the Devil hides the fence.  From the beginning he has used worldly desires against man and as his greatest ally.  You are the greatest fool there ever was to believe your cost is different than the cost of the messengers or Christ, this life’s receipt is not paid for your pleasure, but His.

The cost of being God’s messenger or disciple is the most reasonable purchase you can make.  If you desire an eternal life with a holy God of love, in His love (not as the world loves), as the Lord loves, paying all that He had, the last measure, then the cost is worth it; that God, “in the ages to come…might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:7).

You are progressing one way or the other daily, and eternally.  Are you becoming more like Christ or more selfish and therefore more evil?  We who shall be saved will forever progress in love and joy and holiness to the point that at some point in eternity, one person’s joy, love, holiness, and happiness will surpass all the combined suffering of every individual that has lived in this world.

Conversely, the torment of one soul in an eternal hell will also surpass the same suffering.  You will find no greater bargain than the cost of being God’s messenger, or disciple, and while that fleshy selfish desire you retain appeals presently, it is in fact costing you much more that what the Lord is asking for, that is, it is costing you your soul.

The person that enters hell, really and truly desires to be there more than in the presence of a holy God; and you too, if you are not striving to be holy and separated from flesh, world, and the Devil.  You will not want to be in His presence either.

If you are not being transformed daily into a more righteous and holy being, how will you stand existing in His presence where holy angles and saints are praising Him constantly?  If you fail to overcome your flesh and the world and the Devil here, what is left?  For it is written, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev 3:21).

What is the cost of being God’s messenger, or His disciple?  Perhaps it is persecution, beatings, beheadings, or as some that were sawn asunder, or boiled in oil, feed to lions, perhaps stoned, stabbed, whatever cruel means the world and the Devil can use; but what is that, for it is written, “And they overcame…by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Rev 12:11).

There is nothing in this world of greater value; let me have such a death if God is willing, what a testimony, what love, and what honor to pay such a meager price for eternal life.  Now the selfishly lost and the hypocrite will never pay this price.

Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things.”  Jer 20:1.

Here is a hypocrite and ally of the Devil, unwittingly.

Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah unto him, The LORD hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magormissabib. For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it: and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive into Babylon, and shall slay them with the sword. Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon. And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies.”  Jer 20:2-6.

“A cost will be paid by us for living for God in this sinful world.  In the experiences of Jeremiah, we see this realty exemplified.  Jeremiah the prophet was harshly opposed by his fellow Jews who despised his warnings of God’s approaching judgement.”

Is the expense spoken of here displeasing?  I say a greater cost will be paid by those who live sinfully in this world.  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or, what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mar 8:36-38).

To dwell on what living for God, standing on His truth, and speaking His word will cost you is the wrong focus, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me” (1Co 9:16-17).

Cost is the wrong focus, but of course the Devil and the hypocrite want you to focus on this cost, because they do not want to pay it, and they hate and despise those that do.  They hate and despise those that make such a sacrifice, and they hate and despise preaching against sin.  In their heart, they so much hate the preaching against sin and the revelation of truth that you can see their faces cringe.

Another remarks, “the prophetic warnings of Jeremiah were intended by him (and by God) to save Judah from destruction.  However, the people of Judah did not want to hear Jeremiah’s warnings, and their attempts to silence him by persecution intensified.  Eventually, his warnings became reality, because refusing to hear the truth does not change or cancel the truth.”

Refusing to hear the truth, or cloaking it in lies does not change it.  If we look closely we see who was directly refusing to hear, and it is none other than the hypocritical religious establishment, “Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things” (Jer 20:1).

You may see the gross sins of the enemy in society, the adulterers, fornicators, murderers, thieves, and such, but the most deadliest enemy to the truth bearer of God is not publicans and the sinners, but the hypocritical religious establishment.  For, 99.9% of the so called Christian churches in this nation are full of corrupt leaders and their false teachings that excuse willful sin as normal among their adherents.

Since we are indeed measuring the cost involved in being the messenger or disciple of God, let us look at the cost of following the corrupt leaders, “And thou, Pashur, and all that dwell in thine house shall go into captivity: and thou shalt come to Babylon, and there thou shalt die, and shalt be buried there, thou, and all thy friends, to whom thou hast prophesied lies” (Jer 20:6).  Perhaps following the false prophets and teachers bears a more reasonable price than presenting, “your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom 12:1).

Sacrifice your body to selfish desires, and indulge your flesh with the pleasures of sin for a season instead of, “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” (Heb 11:25).  The wise in heart see the foolishness of your false belief, how that you believe you can live an unholy life to God now as a short-term pleasure boon.  I assure you, it is a long term soul destruction.  To never change such abhorrent behavior now, before the candle goes out, is to depart this world certifying that you are a child of the Devil, and the lust of your flesh ruled your motives and developed your wayward character.

O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.” Jer 20:7-10.

Those who dedicate themselves to being God’s servant in truth and with a whole heart will suffer the most tormenting trials and temptations of any one in this world.  Any shortcomings you battled in the past will be brought to bear on you with temptations to backslide again into a wickedness of 10 fold more weight than you ever endured when you readily committed sins of that nature.

The enemies of God will focus all their efforts on you, for they concern themselves not for the lost or dead in trespasses and sins, but the found and delivered from their sins and living holy unto the Lord.  If you are truly walking with God and striving for perfection, those closest to you are secretly watching for your halting, they are looking for anything to find fault with you in order to say ah hah, you are not living holy for the Lord.  They love sin so much that they cannot stand your sacrifice which convicts them.

A response, “what was Jeremiah’s complaint, his resolve, and the outcome of both regarding his actions?”  Are we to believe that Jeremiah penned this writing at the direction of the Holy Ghost to indicate that, as one says, how he, “felt let down by God, how badly he had been treated for doing what was right, how he had troubling thoughts about God,” and “Jeremiah had troubling questions about his circumstances and his relationship with God.”  Or, did Jeremiah’s writings follow the children to Babylon?

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.  And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:” Dan 9:1-3.

And Jer 25:12, the reference itself:

And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.”  Jer 25:12.

Did not the writings of Jeremiah, at the hand of the Holy Ghost, reveal how wicked the people were, and how justified God was in His judgment of Judah, and how holy and un-blamable Jeremiah was instead of the pedantries of a prophet scorned and reviled?  His writings made their way to Babylon, where Daniel understood from them the time of the accomplishment of the desolation, and from them (no doubt), the time there became symbolic of the prophet’s suffering ahead of time.

It encouraged, enlightened, and instructed the exiles in the truth of the matter, and because these things did happen to Jeremiah, and were written, those reading his words could believe in the truth that God was a God of His word.  He had showed by His servant what would happen, and while the cost of being God’s messenger presently appeared great in the case of Jeremiah, the cost of rejecting God was far greater for Judah.  Hindsight is 20/20.

And for us, this so called cost is nothing but a mere initial investment with a long term windfall.  For, Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:33-39).

Was the torments endured by Jeremiah any more, on the whole, than the sufferings endured by any righteous person in the Bible?  Was not Able murdered, Joseph bound with chains, David hunted as an animal, and even Elijah suffered the same doubts in the face of overwhelming anxiety for the wickedness of the wicked that spears with our heart.

It is a cup of trembling that none of this world really wants to drink, for the speaking forth of the truth of God is not popular, and quarantines the speaker to a lonely life; because even those who accept the words spoken by the speaker – will do so in secret only, fearing the same apparent cost in worldly reputation.  When the idolaters come against you, it is the carnal nature to protect yourself instead of sacrificing in hope of a better value.

And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.  And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.  And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not. And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.”  Act 19:28-31.

This is the same false religion being observed today.  Can you feel the force of such action against you, being taken forcefully, by a mob that intends to kill you?  Would you be so brave as to try and stop a mob, or be willing to join your brothers in withstanding evil?  You will find that the church today is quite timid when it comes to confronting what the messengers of the Bible confronted.

You see Paul did not fear what evil may come to him; yes, he counted it a joy to suffer for the sake of Christ.  He spoke the word of God with force of conviction and the world paid him with beatings, stoning, imprisonment, and ultimately beheading.

The cost of being the messenger of God or His disciple is inexpensive; it only costs you your worldly life.  That seems like a lot to pay if you love this world or life more, some carnal pleasure, some unholy relationship, goods that you have in possession, whatever it is, it is wood hay and stubble.

If you are a true follower of Christ, and love God with all thine heart, soul, mind, and strength, it is time to let it show, it is time to let it shine, it is time for the world to see the true difference between selling out to God, and trying to own both portions or serve two masters.  You are being a hypocrite.  Being worldly and trying to appear righteous, when you know in your heart you are not living for God but simply sporting a belief in case His existence is true is the poorest of pretenses.

Or, perhaps you have deceived yourself into believing some false doctrine that allows you to continue to live in sin and hope to be saved, because after all, it is impossible for you to cease from the sin you love as some falsely teach.  You are a fool to believe such lies, and a faith in Christ that does not save you from your sins right now is not a true faith, and is the counterfeit the Devil has constructed.

He has had 2,000 years to work his false doctrines into the church, and it is now in their “New” Bibles.  Do you have one of those “New” Bibles, kind of like “New World Order?”  Remember he is subtle.  You may trust in his lies, and if you do, you will over extend yourself, having confidence in your flesh to speak in behalf of God falsely, and venture yourself to even act erroneously.

You should be aware that when you speak in the spirit through the Holy Ghost, it can be heard, and if you are in sin or sinning, the Holy Ghost will not cover for you, or endorse your actions with His gifts in order to justify you and your religious show.  You are not the first to force your efforts on others in order to control their faith and direct their respect toward you in order to lift you up as someone who is, super spiritual.

The difference in you and that of a Jeremiah, or Daniel, or Paul, is that they would supplicate, pray, fast, wear sackcloth in order to bring under their flesh and find the true God, not for their glory, but to help others, not in a vain show with no true result.  You see, we should be honest with each other, and admit that it is only together that we can seek for God to move in the realm of the miraculous.

I want to see God move for you, for them, for whomever, with miracles, but what use is the miracle if that person is going to continue to live for the Devil.  Why cure you to continue to be evil, the affliction is meant to turn your heart toward Him in honesty.  The Spirit of God could easily move to heal the sick, bring sight to the blind, raise the dead, but what good would that do if there is not a lifestyle change?

I am sick of religion, it is the one institution that suffers hypocrites to the point that they thrive in the environment.  They, like the Devil, can twist and turn words and wrest doctrines from the Bible to secure their falsehoods.  Why?  Why be a phony, why?  I often wonder this when I see someone deceived to the point of delusion.

When you become this diluted, even God is wrong for not justifying your actions, and hence, you must wrest His word.  He will never justify you, you can jump, shout, scream, dance, pray aloud, try and manifest some gift, but in the end, He will leave you blowing in your own wind; because if it does not bring Him glory, but stands to bring you glory, then it is not of God.

If it does not change the soul of the person toward righteousness, to the praise and worship of God, then no flesh change is needed.  Faith begins in the heart, the change within cannot be restrained but that it will manifest itself in the flesh.  The soul that seeks God daily cannot help but shine, it is a wonderment to all that behold it, as it is a city set on a hill, a bright burning light.  What witness is the afflicted soul that has no joy but is in constant septicity, never overcoming the infection?  What good is my pity for such if God’s pity is not properly brought to bear or understood, if He has allowed Satan to so afflict a soul.

The pretenders will naturally oppose those who see through their pretense.  Even Jeremiah endured the contradiction of prophet verses false prophet.  And the false will always accuse the real of being false or deceived in order to throw off the witnesses, or direct their eyes away from their own false proclivities.

The false always wants you to stay at their level, you are a miserable sinner, and can never overcome sin, and you must stay at the cross daily you poor who cannot overcome your flesh.  Don’t listen to a preacher of righteousness, you are forgiven to sin, ask forgiveness and it is so, repentance (that is, forsaking sin and going the other way) is not required, you are accepted, just as you are.  LIES!

Those who teach such lies, hate the light of exposure, and will do all in their power to redirect the focus, and will also try and intimidate those who see through their hypocrisy.  What does the Bible say about such dissemblers, “For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (1Co 11:18-19).  Heretical behavior is present in order to manifest those that are approved.

But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.”  Jer 20:11.

Those that oppose God’s messengers or His servants will pay a much greater cost, as they will ultimately stumble.  It is an everlasting confusion that shall never be forgotten, but forgotten by whom?  It is an everlasting confusion for them, it shall never be forgotten by them, as they will forever be tormented in hell with it.

The wicked will never forget it, but the torment of it will grow as everlasting increases.  Consider this in comparison to your own estimation of what true value is, and how the cost is measured.  For if you also hold to some thing and fail to sell out to God and serve Him with all your being, you too will endure such everlasting confusion.  Because whatever you hold to in contradiction to the call that says, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Act 2:40), is the thing you truly worship and not God.

If you are not at this moment prepared to sell all that you have in service to God then do not bother following Him any longer, for you have not understood the true cost of discipleship.  It is an all or nothing proposal, God does not take the half-baked, and if you are mingled with the world and trust that you have paid the right amount, then you too shall not prosper, and your persecution of those that make the ultimate sacrifice, and treatment of them as fools is your own stumbling block.

But, O LORD of hosts, that triest the righteous, and seest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I opened my cause. Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.”  Jer 20:12-13.

The hand of evil doers shall put you out of their synagogues: “yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (Joh 16:2).  And who are those that put out of the synagogues, but those in them that are evil.  It is easy to spot them, because they hate the light, they want the focus to stay on sin or self.  It is their obsession.

They will always avoid light, but you should run to the light as saith the Gospel, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (Joh 3:20-21).  This is the trial of the righteous, and your heart is never exposed more than when you boldly come to the light, not as those that drew back, that said to Moses, “Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die” (Exo 20:19).

And what did Moses say, “Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not” (Exo 20:20).  The Lord tries the hearts, to prove you, so that you will forsake sin.  The hand of evildoers is short; it shall not progress beyond the veil.  Those who love self and love sin, see the cost of allowing God to try them and their hearts and they hide behind errant dogma meant to obstruct true exposure of their character.

Jesus encountered this among the religious of His day.  There are eight woes in Matthew 23, in fact, almost ten percent of all the woes in the Bible are found in Mathew chapter 23.  It portrays one of the clearest pictures of the hypocrite who fellowships among us.  To the hypocrite, any cost relationship has no meaning, as they never intend to make the ultimate sacrifice in the first place.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”  Mat 23:13.

The first woe outlines the hypocrite’s true desire; maybe somewhere in the heart and conscience of the hypocrite they know they are pretenders.  When they encounter the real, they will do all that is in their power to pervert it to the hypocrite’s belief system, or mark and gainsay the true believer to others in order to negate the true believer’s influence among the rest in order to prevent others entering into heaven.  That is, prevent a fervency that rises above the lukewarm temperature of the hypocrite.

The true believer is worshiping and following God, and that is his desire for you as well, as opposed to the hypocrite who desires for you to acknowledge their works and faith by agreement with them in order to soothe their evil sinful heart.  They are really political, trying to make you choose their side, where the true believer is really just seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

If you are doing the same then good and even better, but if you look to the advice of the hypocrite who is telling you falsehoods, then welcome to the hypocrite’s woe, and by the way, their lot is not to enter into the kingdom of heaven.  This is the dynamic of the first woe of the hypocrite.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”  Mat 23:14.

The cost of following God for the hypocrite is borne by the widow’s house.  The widow is one of the delicate ministries of the Lord; all great men of the Bible were praised for their attention to widows to help them.  For the hypocrite, the widow or needy are a means to an end by agreement where the hypocrite uses compelling speech and influence over the widow or needy, and/or gets it monetarily such as by donations.

This influence is seen in the vain show to make the needy see the hypocrite as super spiritual, because for a pretense, the hypocrite makes long prayers.  This appearance of being super spiritual easily overcomes the lonely widow or needy, who are looking for someone to follow now that they are alone.  The poor widow or needy are overcome by the evil of the hypocrite’s second woe of show, and the first woe of denying others to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”  Mat 23:15.

The third hypocrite woe is most revealing in that since the hypocrite has a false religion, he therefore has to convert others to the same false belief system.  These converts are converts to the hypocrite’s faith, not the true faith of God.  That is why there are such passages in the Bible as the Lord saying, “I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity” (Luk 13:27).

If you listen and follow the hypocrite, and their advice and false doctrines, you are a proselyte of the hypocrite.  The third woe is the multiplying of hypocrites within the church, and their pedigree that destines them for hell.

Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.  Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.”  Mat 23:16-22.

The fourth woe is worldly.  For the hypocrite, it is always external not internal service with worldly measurability.  The gold is more important that the temple that houses or sanctifies the gold, the gift is more important than the altar that holds or sanctifies the gift.  Why, because of the blindness of the hypocrite, the same blindness that says,

He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.  Joh 12:40-43.

The fourth woe is therefore the blindness of the hypocrite, and their inability to see anything in terms other than worldly terms that never progress beyond the basics of religion.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”  Mat 23:23.

The fifth woe reveals how important church service is to the hypocrite, but not the administration and application of true faith.  The hypocrite is the phoniest and most dangerous person the true church encounters.  For instance, tithing is a rule adhered to by the hypocrite and others in order to feel compliant to some law that does not even apply to the church but the Levitical priesthood.

For one, the tithing laws had to do with cattle and crops not money, even here in this verse it has to do with crops not money.  But the hypocrite’s conscience is soothed by this obedience.  Hypocrite, in the new faith of Christ, all your possessions are to be used in the service to God, not ten percent.  What does the apostle say, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2Co 9:7).

In the Old Testament form of tithing, if you did not own cattle or crops you did not have to tithe.  I have never understood how adamant a church would be toward a misapplication of the Levitical tithing law, yet would let the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and true faith be sacrificed for the evil love of money.  Well, now you know it is the hypocrite’s way to pick and choose, as says verse 24:

Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”  Mat 23:24-28.

The sixth woe of the hypocrite has to do with their appearance to others in general.  They go to great links to appear righteous on the outside.  This is the hypocrite’s true form, outward righteousness inward wickedness.

Their heart is full of hate and envy, and every kind of malicious motive, and although outwardly they appear to serve God and worship God, inwardly it is self and their pet sins they truly worship.  And because the true followers of God can see their wickedness, they have a special hatred for them, and they exercise their tongue against those that are truly righteous in God constantly.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”  Mat 23:27-28.

The seventh woe is a double witness to the hypocrite’s true form.  “Hypocrisy is the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, esp. with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretense, sham.  It is a cause, as well as a result, of cognitive biases and distortions which predispose mankind to effortlessly perceive and condemn faults in others, while failing to perceive and condemn faults of their own.”  The final woe of the hypocrite:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,  And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.  Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.  Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.  Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?  Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:”  Mat 23:29-34.

This final capacity in the hypocrite to point to all the right things done by the righteous of the past, while they are excluded from doing the same, is witness against them.  If they had been amongst the primitive church, they too would have persecuted those whose writings they reference now in their vain open show.

Their own hypocrisy is even hid from themselves, they, like the hypocrites of the Lord’s time, do not believe they are hypocrites, they just know that inside they are angry and discomforted when these words are spoken.  Is that anger and discomfort in you, hypocrite?

The hypocrite is not known for giving their all in dedication and service to God, hence the cost of being the messenger of God, or servant, is an estimation not calculated in their mind, because it cannot be calculated for the obstruction of the selfish desires of the hateful character they fail to see and overcome.  They are truly blind, and only satisfied with expanding this blindness among others.

True brothers, true sisters, the hypocrite is one of the deadliest enemies you will face, and they are one of the prime allies the Devil uses to fight against the true followers of God.  Their spite and hatred for the Lord is well documented.  In heart, the hypocrite cannot stand the Lord or those who faithfully follow the Lord, and all their vain worship arises out of a mental accent to truth that every man possesses.  For even the most wretched sinner acknowledges moral character, and will flush in agreement with such character when they are confronted with it, that is why heroes are so popular in writings and movies.

Hypocrites will also view the assessment of being God’s messenger, or His servant in such monetary terms because of their selfish motivations.  Where the apostle said, “I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved” (2Co 12:15), the hypocrite disguises the expense and extracts it from those they hate in heart.

Do not suffer the hypocrite’s woe.  It is never seen presently, but its cost is eternal misery.  All are going to die, and while you may fear being a fool for Christ now, the woe that follows for not living for the Lord is far greater.

It is a battle; you will have to fight for what you hold dear in the Lord, and for those you could reach in the Lord.  The sacrifice of Christ is for everyone, but only effectual for the true in heart as currently understood.

If you have been moved in heart to rise up and stand and fight for the truth of the Lord, be bold and be brave and press forward in the might of the Lord.  If you have been angered and are filled with hate, consider the prophetic woes closely.

The faithful in the Lord do not think as you do, the cost is a loss they readily give, not as you, a cost you feel you need to protect.  They do not think like you because they have nothing of worth here to gain.  Their treasure is in heaven, what they hold dear is in their heart and you cannot take it from them, no matter what device you bring; be it persecution, beatings, imprisonment, or even death, that is the cost of being God’s messenger or disciple, and it is a good deal.


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