Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY SEPT. 19, 2021

Scripture To Consider:
“In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, Jesus began to say to His disciples first of all, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.’

“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who can kill the body, and after that have no more they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell. Yes, I say to you, fear Him!”

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12.1-7

Something To Consider:
An extremely large multitude of people gathered around Jesus and His disciples which was probably due to the uproar of the scribes and Pharisees’ reaction to the words of Jesus. And in the middle of a human stampede, Jesus took time to teach His early disciples and hopefully us an important lesson of a lifetime concerning fear.

Apparently, His disciples had become fearful of either the verbal attacks of the religious leaders, or of the pressing of the crowds. So Jesus took advantage of the moment, by saying, “Beware of the leaven of the scribes and Pharisees which is hypocrisy.”

Jesus spoke of leaven as being a form of corruption that had permeated the religious system and leaders of that system. The visible byproduct of that religious corruption was according to Jesus, hypocrisy among the leaders. How shameful that Jesus had to call them out for their religious corruption!

What would Jesus proclaim of this 21st century organized religious system? What would be His response to the leaven of hypocrisy that is widespread in and throughout the extremely established corporation style church of America? What would Jesus profess concerning the many thousands of duplicated cookie cutter American look-a-like leaven creating churches planted around the world? Would Jesus be pleased or disgusted with the vain glory and legacy seeking fame of religious leaders extending their own little kingdoms on earth? 

The spread of the leaven of hypocrisy is something that Jesus was willing to expose. What about us? As Christ-like followers of Jesus, are we willing to expose the leaven of hypocrisy that has cemented itself deep within the average American corporation-style so-called church? Or even as important, are we willing to expose them as imposters and to come out from among them as did godly men of the reformation against Rome? That is indeed something to consider!

Something Else To Consider:
The leaven of hypocrisy is deceitful. Peter instructing new Christians, warned them of the deceitfulness of hypocrisy, by writing in 1 Peter 2.1-3, “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, all evil speaking, as new born babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

In other words, we should do all we can do to stay clear of the leaven of hypocrisy. As we can see from Peter’s list, the companions of hypocrisy have no place in the spiritual life and mindset of a true believer. Our lives should be as an open book. There should be nothing hidden that would bring shame to the name and person of Jesus Christ.

Something More To Consider:
Jesus also warned His disciples that nothing is hidden that would not be made known. Evidently their fear of the moment was not hidden, at least not from Jesus. For He admonished them, by saying to them, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.” That is, if we are the final end time generation, and we come face to face with death due to our witness of Jesus, we are not to fear the Antichrist and his destroying our body, for he cannot touch our eternal status in Christ. Only God can do that!

Fear is as crippling as the corruption of hypocrisy and must be addressed. The antidote to our fearing man or the enemy of our souls is to fear God, with a reverent, holy, and respectful fear, knowing that nothing is hidden from God. The prophet Samuel spoke at the coronation of Saul, the new king over Israel, in 1 Samuel 12.24, by announcing to the people and to Saul, “Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.”

Samuel followed up with another warning in verse 25. “But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away [by God’s punishment], both you and your king.” And in time, the people and King Saul did wickedly and forced God to fulfill His promise of punishment. Even after being warned by God through Samuel the prophet, the people and King Saul chose to do that which was considered wicked in the eyes of the LORD. Sound familiar?

A Few Final Words:
God speaks to our separating ourselves from the leaven of hypocrisy through the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians chapter 6. In verse 14, Paul declared; “Do not be unequally yoked [joined] together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” The answer of course is none! Righteousness should not have fellowship with lawlessness, according to the Word of God. Those who walk in the light of the Word of God should not have communion with the darkness of unbelief.

In other words, fellowship and communion speak to a spiritual closeness that only true brothers and sisters in Christ should experience. It does not mean we never rub shoulders with the unrighteousness of unbelievers or the darkness of those outside of Christ. If that was the case, how would we be able to so let our lights shine before others in order to exemplify Christ?

And yet, in verse 17 of 2 Corinthians chapter 6, God, through Paul, gives us a divine directive if we ever find ourselves in the fellowship or communion of unbelieving lawless lovers of darkness, even within the so-called church. Therefore, Paul proclaimed, “Come out from among them [the unrighteous and lawless] and be separate [holy], says the LORD. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.”

The leaven of hypocrisy is to spiritual leaders what cancer is to the human body. Therefore, beware of the religious play acting of modern day Pharisees. According to the Word of God, they have come to steal, kill, and to destroy our relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit by way of their leaven of hypocrisy. “Therefore Jesus began to say to His disciples first of all, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy.’

Our Father in heaven, help us to resist the leaven of hypocrisy and the fear of men, thereby having nothing hidden from Your eyes. Help us to stand firm in the face of false teaching that is in opposition to Jesus’ words. In Him Always, Amen!

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