A Manual For Discipleship

 

Disciples – Woe to Hypocrites!

 

 

 

In Matthew 21 Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem fulfilling Daniel’s prophecy made 483 years earlier (Matthew 21:1-11; Daniel 9:24-27). Once in Jerusalem, Jesus cleansed the Temple of those who were using their religious position to fleece the flock of God (Matthew 21:12-17), and gave an object lesson on the necessity of spiritual fruitfulness (21:18-22). Then, just as the sacrifice lamb of the Passover was inspected for five days prior to being sacrificed (see Exodus 12: 3 and 6), Jesus, (the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world -John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7), began to be inspected by the religious opposition leaders the week before He was to go to the cross (Matthew 21:23ff.). Jesus responded to his opposition with the clear teaching of parables, which demonstrated their own spiritual bankruptcy and corruption (21:31-32). The primary reason for their spiritual bankruptcy and failure to recognize Jesus as the prophetically promised Messiah was that they had neglected God’s word and were ignorant of it (21:42; 22:29). Their willful ignorance of God’s word disqualified them for God’s kingdom (21:43; 22:13-14).

 

In Matthew 23 Jesus leaves no room for misunderstanding about His position toward the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees. Jesus is now going to give his last public teaching and the Pharisees and scribes are within earshot no doubt. He has silenced His opposition (22:46), and so He turns to the multitude and His disciples. In this chapter Jesus pronounces “woe, ” a statement of judgment, on the Pharisees and scribes eight times (22:13,14,15,16,23,25,27). If you want to know how not to follow Jesus or seek God, this chapter will clearly show you. Some have painted Jesus as a mild, soft, and unemotional Person; but this chapter reveals the passion of Jesus. Jesus never compromised the truth in the face of opposition. The words of Jesus in Matthew 23 are a ringing rebuke of those who merely put on a religious show rather than seek God with all their heart.

 

What is “Woe”?

 

The term “woe” occurs 41 times in the New Testament and eight of those occurrences are found in Matthew 23. “Woe” is translated from the Greek term OUAI (Strong’s #3759 – pronounced: “oo-ah’-ee”). The term “woe” carries a threefold meaning and impression. To pronounce woe conveys the thought of judgment/warning/sorrow. For instance Jesus rebuked the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida by pronouncing woe upon them for not repenting even though they had witnessed miracles (Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13).  When Jesus uses “woe” in Matthew 23 He is pronouncing judgment upon the hypocritical Pharisees and scribes, but at the end of the chapter we see the sorrow that accompanies the pronouncement of woe (23:37-39; see also the following verses for the sorrowful aspect of “woe” – Luke 21:23; Mark 14:21; Luke 22:22; 1 Corinthians 9:16; Revelation 8:13).

 

What Causes “Woe”?

 

Hypocrisy causes woe. Hypocrisy brings the judgment, warning and sorrow of Jesus. The word “hypocrisy” occurs eight (8) times in the New Testament (Mathew 23:28; Mark 12:15; Luke 12:1; Romans 12:9; Galatians 2:13; 1 Timothy 4:2; James 3:17; and 1 Peter 2:1). The plural word “hypocrites” occurs seventeen (17) times in the New Testament (Matthew 6:2,5,16; 15:7; 16:3; 22:18; 23:13,14,15,23,25,27,29; 24:51; mark 7:6; Luke 11:44; 12:56). Of the twenty-eight (28) total references to hypocrisy in the New Testament, fifteen are found in Matthew and eight are particularly found in Matthew 23. The vast majority of Jesus references to hypocrisy are aimed at the religious leaders who opposed Him. 

 

What is “hypocrisy”?

 

The term “hypocrite” used by Jesus eight times in Matthew 23 is translated from the Greek term HUPOKRITES (Strong’s #5273) and it refers to, “an actor, stage player; pretender; hypocrite.” In the classical secular use of the term, HUPOKRITES referred to one who answers or replies on stage. Such a stage actor often made use of a mask. Such mask were used to convey emotions by way of exaggerated expressions portrayed on the masks, e.g. a sad mask; an angry mask; a happy mask, etc. Therefore, a hypocrite as Jesus was using the term, pointed to spiritual actors or pretenders, those who were presenting themselves as someone they were not.

 

Jesus describes what He meant by His use of the term “hypocrite’ when he warned the multitudes and His disciples about the scribes and Pharisees saying:

 

  • Matthew 23:3b - “for they say, and do not do.”    [1]

When a person talks a good talk, but doesn’t walk the talk, they qualify as a hypocrite. Words must be applied in life. It is wrong to say, “Do as I say and not as I do.” The person who says that is a hypocrite.

What Does A Hypocrite Look Like? - The Nature of A Hypocrite

 

Matthew 23:1-7 – “Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples,2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.3 “Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.4 “For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.5 “But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.6 “They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,7 “greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’”   [2]

Jesus opens His last public message with an introductory description of the nature of a hypocrite. He minces no words about whom He is speaking but points directly at the scribes and Pharisees (23:2). What does Jesus tell us about the nature of a hypocrite? What does a hypocrite look like? These are questions we need to answer so that we do not cross the line into hypocrisy ourselves and so that we will know how to minister to the hypocrite.

 

First, hypocrites take authority rather than receive it from God. Jesus said, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.” (23:2). Don’t miss what Jesus is saying here. The connotation is that the scribes and Pharisees selfishly took by presumption their position of authority. Literally in the original language it states they seated themselves in Moses seat of authority. They were hungry for authority, for power, for influence, and for control. They hypocritically masked these dark motives and tried to come off as very religious and spiritual. The underlying motive of hypocrisy is to seize authority or appear more than what you are so as to have greater influence on others.

 

Second, hypocrites say and don’t do (23:3). This is the basic contradiction of the hypocrite; they say one thing but don’t back it up with their lives. They teach things or say things that they themselves don’t do. Jesus denounced such inconsistency (Matthew 7:3, 21-23; John 7:23). If someone says something or teaches something that they themselves do not abide by, they are hypocrites and that is woeful according to Jesus.

 

Read what the Bible has to say about those whose lives are not consistent with their words:

 

  • Romans 2:1,21-24 – “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. . . . 21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.”  [3]
  • Titus 1:15-16 – “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.16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”  [4]
  • James 1:22 – “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  [5]
  • James 2:15-16 – “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?”  [6]
  • 1 John 2:3-6 – “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”  [7]
  • 1 John 3:17-18 – “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”  [8]

These are only a few of the portions of Scripture which can be quoted in evidence that the inconsistency between what one says and what one does is unacceptable to God.

 

Third, hypocrites build burdens that break backs (23:4). A hypocrite will raise the standard of righteousness for others, but will give him or herself a pass. Jesus came to set the captives free while the Pharisees sought to control people by heaping ordinances, traditions and laws on people that they people had to go to them to work out. Pastor Chuck Smith states in this regard:

 

“When the law says, Thou shalt not bear a burden on the Sabbath day, what constitutes bearing a burden? If you have a wooden leg, would that constitute bearing a burden on the Sabbath day to strap on your wooden leg? If you had a false eye, would it constitute bearing a burden to put in your false eye on the Sabbath day? And so they tried to determine just what does constitute bearing a burden. If you wear false eyelashes, does that constitute bearing a burden on the Sabbath day? Some I’ve seen I think do. And ultimately, they ended up with some fifty volumes plus explaining what the law meant.”[9]

 

Hypocrisy and legalism often go hand in hand. The hypocrite manipulates and controls by heaping guilt on people and creating situations where the guilty party has to come to them for relief. Jesus came to cleanse and liberate the sinner from guilt through a saving faith that is repentful (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

Fourth, hypocrites are people pleasers. Hypocrites live for attention from people. Jesus said the hypocrite does “their works . . . to be seen by men” (23:5; Matthew 6:2,5,16). The Bible tells us that we aren’t to be people pleasers but God pleasers. We are to do all that we do to please the Lord (Colossians 3:17,21-23).

 

Fifth, hypocrites see prestige as their priority. Jesus points out that the scribes and Pharisees “love the best places . . . the best seats . . . to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi’ (23:6-7). Pride and prestige are the goals of the hypocrite. Jesus then goes on to point His listeners to an alternative.

 

Holiness Not Hypocrisy

 

Matthew 23:8-12 - But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.9 “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.10 “And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.11 “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.12 “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  [10]

Jesus did not only point out the negative aspects of the hypocrite, he pointed the positive alternative, which is holiness. Holiness is being set apart by God to serve Him. The hypocrite serves him or her self, the disciples serves the LORD. There are three active attitudes we can take to combat hypocrisy in our lives. If you want to guard against hypocrisy creeping into your life, follow these three commands of Jesus.

 

First, be anonymous. Jesus tells us not to seek titles such as, “Rabbi” (23:8), “father” (23:9), or “teacher” (23:10). Be anonymous; don’t seek to be identified in ways that elevate you over others. Let God get all the glory.

 

Second, be a servant. Jesus said that the way to greatness as a disciple is to be a servant (23:11). Jesus came to serve not be served and He gave His life as a ransom for the lost (Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:5-7). If you want to be a disciple and not a hypocrite, serve Jesus with a servant’s heart.

 

Third, be humble. Jesus instructed His listeners to not try to exalt themselves because that would only lead to being forcibly humbled and humiliated by implication. Rather, if you humble yourself, God will exalt you (23:12). The Bible tells us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble and that if we humble ourselves before God He will exalt us in due time (1 Peter 5:5-6).

 

These are the three antidotes to hypocrisy. Jesus is woefully against hypocrisy, therefore, it would be wise to watch against hypocrisy in our lives.

 

The Author of Hypocrisy - Satan

 

Satan is the author of hypocrisy. Satan is a liar and the author of lies. Hypocrisy is living a lie. Satan’s primary strategy at undermining the gospel is to present himself and his agents as something they are not. Satan masks himself and his agents in a good and righteous package, but beneath the masks are ravenous wolves seeking to devour seekers of God and disciples themselves.

 

The apostle Paul was also inspired to write about Satan’s deceptive strategy when he taught:

 

  • 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 – “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”  [11]

Paul here speaks of Satan who presents himself as “an angel of light,” as something he is not. That is hypocrisy. Paul speaks of false apostles and deceitful workers who infiltrate the church by hypocritically presenting themselves as something they are not. Satan is behind hypocrisy on the levels of false teaching as well as the temptation people experience to present themselves as something they are not. It starts with a desire to be accepted and continues with a bending of the truth to impress and gain acceptance. This is purely a fleshly or self-serving act. Hypocrisy, like all sin, does not remain small but always grows. Little lies require bigger lies to cover the hypocritical and false presentations people make of themselves. If Satan can get you to lie about yourself, he has his foot in the door of your life. Once inside, he is a cancerous foe that will pick away at his victims so that they will remain in his control.

 

Hypocrisy – Tool of False Teachers

 

Jesus warned against hypocrites and false teachers earlier in our study of the gospel of Matthew. Jesus said that false prophets would attempt to undermine His disciples from within. He said that the fruit of life application was the true test of whether or not hypocrisy was present. We see this in His teaching about false prophets in the Sermon on the Mount where He states:

 

  • Matthew 7:15-20 - “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.18 “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”   [12]

In the apostle Peter’s second epistle, he is inspired to describe the attributes of false teachers. It is interesting to see how hypocrisy plays such a prominent role in his description. Hypocrisy is presenting oneself as something you are not. Hypocrisy is deception. Read what Peter says about false teachers:

 

  • 2 Peter 2:9-22 – “the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption,13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you,14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. 18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.”  [13]

The description of false teachers by Peter demonstrates the danger of those who use deceptive hypocrisy to infiltrate and then undermine the work of God. To present oneself as a minister of God to serve Him and then to seek through manipulation of position one’s own selfish desires is a work of the devil and the height of hypocrisy.

 

Eight Woes and Eight Blessings

 

Early in His ministry Jesus gave His greatest teaching which we referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. The main point of this greatest sermon was expressed in Jesus’ words:

 

  • Matthew 5:20 - “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”  [14]

As we studied this great sermon we saw that the “righteousness” of the Pharisees was external and superficial, artificial. Jesus called His disciples to give Him their hearts and by doing so their righteousness, received through faith in Jesus, would indeed exceed that of the Pharisees.

The Sermon on the Mount was Jesus first and greatest teaching. What we see in Matthew 23 is Jesus last public teaching. Now you might think that Jesus’ last public teaching would be positive, but quite to the contrary Jesus uses this last opportunity to pronounce woe on hypocritical religious leadership. What is also interesting is that the eight woes pronounced in Matthew 23 correspond closely in contrast to the eight Beatitudes with which Jesus introduces the Sermon on the Mount. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is teaching His disciples how to follow Him, in His pronouncement of woe against the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus is teaching His disciples and the multitudes how not to follow Him.

The Reason Hypocrisy Causes Woe

 

Hypocrisy receives a woeful response from Jesus, a denunciation of judgment, warning and sorrow. Why does hypocrisy cause such a woeful response? Let’s look at the eight woes of Matthew 23 and contrast them with the eight blessings of the Beatitudes to answer this question.

 

First - Proud in Spirit or Poor in Spirit?

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.”  [15]

The hypocritical ways of the Pharisees shut people out of heaven because they were too proud to humble themselves before God and accept Jesus as Messiah. The Lord is opposed to the proud and gives grace to the humble. He receives the one who humbly comes before Him. In 1 Peter it states:

  • 1 Peter 5:5-6 – “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for 1 “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,”  [16]

God “resists,” the proud one, or the one who exalts him or herself. The word “resist” is translated from the Greek term ANTITASSOMAI (Strong’s #498) that means, “resist; oppose; to range in battle against.” The idea hear is that God Himself will oppose the one who is proud. Would anyone want God to array His forces against him or her? I wonder how many would lift themselves up proudly if they realized it would lead to having God array His battle lines against them. Furthermore, God gives “grace” to the humble. The word “grace” is translated from the Greek term CHARIS (Strong’s #5485) which refers to, “grace; favor; kindness; pleasure; that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness.” [17] Grace is God’s undeserved intervention and help, His unmerited favor. In these verse it is further depicted by Peter who uses the word “exalt. ”  In these verses is translated from the Greek term HUPSOO (Strong’s #5312) and means “to lift up; to lift up on high; exalt; to raise to the very summit of opulence and prosperity;  to exalt, to raise to dignity, honor and happiness.” [18] In other words, God promises to lift up the humble and set them in their proper place. It all boils down to this, do you want to be aligned against God or with God; do you want to be aligned on God’s side or across from Him? If you are proud God is going to come against you personally; if you are humble, God will come along side of you and support you with all His resources.

In the Beatitudes on the other hand, Jesus said:

  • Matthew 5:3 - “Blessed are the poor in spirit, 1 For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  [19]

Being poor in spirit means you come to the realization of your utter spiritual poverty and bankruptcy before God. To be poor in spirit means you admit your sinfulness before God. Poverty of spirit is the first step in salvation in God’s kingdom.

Why is such poverty of spirit a blessed thing? The only way to come to God is on our knees. When we come to God on our knees, He welcomes us. God is near the one who is broken and humble before Him. Read  what the Bible tells us about coming to God in this way:

  • Psalm 34:18 – “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.”  [20]
  • Psalm 51:17 – “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.”  [21]
  • Isaiah 57:15 – “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”  [22]
  • Isaiah 66:1-2 – “Thus says the Lord: 1 “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?2 For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.”  [23]

These verses describe the exact opposite attitude of the hypocrite. The hypocrite seeks to make something of themselves; to come to God you must realize that without Him, you are nothing.

Second – Manipulating Mourners or Ministering to Mourners?

Matthew 23:14 - “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.”  [24]

When the Pharisees saw a widow, they saw an opportunity for gain. Such behavior is paralleled today by those who seek to get widows and the grief stricken to sign over their inheritance to a particular ministry leaving heirs destitute. The apostle Paul and apostle Peter both referred to such behavior when they were inspired to write:

  • 2 Timothy 3:1-7 – “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  [25]
  • 2 Peter 2:1-3 – “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.”  [26]

There never seems to be a shortage of those who are willing to exploit the weak and vulnerable and unfortunately those who do so, do so under the cloak of hypocrisy.

Jesus in the Beatitudes said:

  • Matthew 5:4 – “Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.” [27]

The mourning in question here is not merely mourning for a lost loved one. The mourning here is mourning over one’s sinfulness. This mourning is a repentant desire and yearning to turn from sin to God. Those who mourn over their spiritual poverty or circumstantial plight should not be bilked and manipulated but rather have the comfort of the Spirit ministered to them. The true disciple and minister should concern him or her self to comfort those mourning over their sin or situation. This is not something the disciple can do in their own strength, but the disciple relies upon the Holy Spirit, the Comforter to comfort through them.

Third – Make Sons of Hell or Sons of Heaven?

Matthew 23:15 - “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.”  [28]

When the Pharisees converted someone to their legalistic and hypocritical way, it served to make the person twice as bad as before they had met the Pharisees. When you buy into hypocrisy, you end up twice as bad as before. That’s a reason for woe!

The apostle Paul spoke of the misguided zeal of the Jews. Paul pointed out that the Jews were zealous, but they were zealous with regard to their stubbornly held traditions and were closed to the Spirit of God and the true fulfillment of prophecy in Christ. They were zealous in their stubborn attempt to make themselves righteous before God in their own strength and ability, in their own works of the flesh. Paul was inspired to put it this way:

  • Romans 10:1-4 – “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”  [29]

Those Jesus spoke to did not have the truth; in fact they were refusing the truth. The ministry of the religious hypocrites led to damnation because it was a ministry of self-righteousness and as we have stated numerous times in this study of Matthew, no one can make themselves righteous before God, only by faith alone through Christ alone can one avail themselves of God’s grace and become right before God (see Galatians 2-3).

In the Beatitudes, Jesus on the other hand said:

  • Matthew 5:5 – “Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.”  [30]

Meekness is not weakness but strength under control. To come to God you need to understand that your ONLY source of strength comes form God and it is only through Jesus, not your own works, that you can be made right before Holy God.

The one who turns to God and receives forgiveness and the indwelling of the Spirit, finds strength to live in the Spirit in a way that enables them to put to death the deeds of the flesh. Salvation and life in the Spirit is all according to God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 15:10). Living by God’s grace leads to holiness of life. Paul put is this way:

  • 1 Corinthians 15:10 – “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”  [31]
  • Galatians 5:16,24 – “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. . . . 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  [32]

It is a woeful thing when people are converted to hypocritical ways. What often happens is that the truth of the hypocrisy is eventually exposed and the convert is disillusioned and becomes hardened to the truth of the gospel making them twice as hard to convert. This too is a woeful consequence of hypocrisy.

Fourth – Deception or Illumination?

Matthew 23:16-22 - “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’17 “Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold?18 “And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’19 “Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?20 “Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it.21 “He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it.22 “And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.”  [33]

The Pharisees were “blind guides” because they used semantics and double-talk to manipulate people in their religious system. They were saying that if you swore by “the Temple” that was an oath that could be wiggled out of, but if you swore and oath by the “gold of the Temple,” that was binding. Jesus points out the similar manipulation by deception regarding the altar and oaths. The point is, they were using words to say one thing and then do another, they were deceptive. They were manipulating the system.

Blindness

Jesus said, “Woe to you, blind guides.” How blind were the scribes and Pharisees? Read what Pastor Chuck Smith has to comment on these two kinds of religious leaders:

            The . . . Pharisees . . .  were the ones who . . . tried to put into practice all of the little nuances of the law. They sought to live by the law fully and completely. They spent their entire lives, devoting their lives to the strict adherence to the law. Now the Jews themselves had described the Pharisees into seven different groups. They called one group the Shoulder Pharisees, that is, they wore their religion on their shoulders, so to speak. Everything was outward so that everything they did was for outward show and display. Then there were what they called the Bruised and Bloody Pharisees. A Pharisee would never be caught in public talking to a woman, even if it was his wife. They were so strict, they weren’t to be moved by any kinds of passions towards woman, so they would never talk to a woman publicly, even their wives. But there were some of them who were so strict that whenever a woman would be approaching they would close their eyes and they were always bumping into posts or buildings, and thus their faces and noses were always scabbed and bloody, so they called them the Bloody and Bruised Pharisees. And then there were the Mortar and Pestles, or also called the Tumbling Pharisees. Now these were men who sought to put on such an appearance of humility that they always walked around bowed down, to just show humility. And they were so humble they wouldn’t lift their feet, they would just shuffle. And so they were always stumbling, and so they called them the Tumbling Pharisees or the Mortars and Pestles because they were always bent over.[34]

 

It is a woefully sad state that hypocrisy leads a person to.

 

Blind and Self-Deceived

When a person lives in hypocrisy for a period of time hypocrisy can become so rooted in their hearts that the hypocrite rationalizes away their sin and becomes self-deceived. You see, the hypocrite aims at making himself more than what he or she actually is. Hypocrisy is an act rooted in pride. Pride itself is self-deceiving. Read what the apostle Paul was inspired to write in this regard:

  • Galatians 6:3 – “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”  [35]

The apostle John was also inspired to write of this when he said:

  • 1 John 1:5-10 – “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.  [36]

Hypocrisy is a not only a work of one’s flesh, it is a faithless step. The real deception of the hypocrite is that he or she sees themselves as something they are not. The hypocrite does not wait on God in faith to fulfill His desire in and through them, they rather set up a premature and fake reality of what they are too impatient to wait on God to do. The hypocrite arrives at a false and fake destination thinking they have need of nothing, when in fact they have nothing and need everything.

 

When Jesus sent His letter to the lukewarm church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation, He rebuked the church for her self-deceived attitude. Jesus said:

 

  • Revelation 3:17 -  “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—“  [37]

The Laodiceans lived in a paper house and Jesus blew it down. If we ever think we have no need for God, we are self-deceived and that self-deception is often the product of living a life that is false and hypocritical portraying ourselves as something we are not, self-sufficient.

Deception in the Last Days

 

The Bible tells us that the End Times will be characterized by a great deal of deception:

 

  • 1 Timothy 4:1-2 – “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”  [38]

Deception is a strategy of Satan who the Bible says often sends his agents as “angels of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14). The Antichrist will be characterized by lying wonders and deception (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10; 1 John 4:1-6).

Jesus on the other hand said:

  • Matthew 5:6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”  [39]

Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.

God’s Soul Food

How does God fill the hungering soul? God fills the hungering soul with nourishment from His Son Jesus. The Bible states:

  • John 1:9 – “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”  [40]
  • John 8:12 – “ Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  [41]
  • John 12:46 -  “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”  [42]

The Holy Spirit illuminates the truth of God as the Bible states:

  • John 16:13a-16 -  “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth;”  [43]

It is only the one who has been born again and received the Holy Spirit living within them that can understand God’s word (1 Corinthians 2:14).

God’s word illuminates the reality of life so that we can pass through darkness and into the light of God’s life. The Bible says of itself:

  • Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”  [44]
  • 1 Peter 2:2 –  “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,”  [45]

Hypocrisy is a deception of the devil and keeps people in darkness. Jesus is the light we need to escape the darkness and the Spirit is the One who shines the light of Jesus in our lives with God’s word that feeds our souls. Don’t settle for the junk food of life; live on God’s solid soul food. Don’t let Satan deceive you or allow your flesh to deceive you, attack the flesh with God’s word, in the name of Jesus, in the power of the Spirit by the love of the Father.

 

Fifth – Majoring on Minors or Majoring on Majors?

Matthew 23:23-24 - “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.24 “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”  [46]

The largest unclean animal was a camel, the smallest unclean animal was a gnat (see Leviticus 11). By Jesus saying the scribes and Pharisees strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel He was saying they majored on minor issues and minored or neglected the major issues. In the particular case mentioned here, Jesus points out that they meticulously tithed their spices but neglected “justice and mercy and faith” (23:23).

You see, the scribes and Pharisees would literally strain through a cloth the wine and other liquids they drank so as to catch any gnats that might have flew into their drink. They paid particular attention to the things that were relatively unimportant and left undone the weigthier things of God.

Now notice Jesus doesn’t dismiss the need of tithing but rather validates it as a necessary practice when He says, “These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” It would be a mistake of pharisaical proportions to think that God does not want people to tithe their income; and it would likely expose a degree of hypocrisy in such a one as well. Tithing predates the Law by more than 400 years as we see it practiced by Abraham (Genesis 14:20). The disciple of Jesus ought to tithe their income (their grow income!).

Jesus said in the Beatitudes:

  • Matthew 5:7 – “Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.”  [47]

In the Beatitudes Jesus sets the proper priorities by emphasizing the importance of being merciful. Later in the New Testament the apostle Paul exhorted the Colossian church to make mercy a part of their life attitude when he was inspired to write:

  • Colossians 3:12-13 – “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”  [48]

The disciple is to live a life of mercy as His Master Disciple-Maker modeled for him and her. The hypocrite is so self-consumed that they view the world in terms of what they can get out of it and if getting what they want requires stepping on or over those around them, they will do so mercilessly. But the disciple is to be merciful because the disciple is ever mindful of the mercy he or she received in Jesus Christ. Woe to those who are unmerciful. Those who are merciless, will themselves not receive mercy. And that is a woeful state.

 

Sixth – Painted Outside or Pure Inside?

Matthew 23:25-26 - “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.26 “Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”  [49]

The Pharisees painted over the holes and cracks of extortion and self-indulgence and so showed that they really didn’t see or grasp the substance of God’s truth. Jesus on the other hand said:

  • Matthew 5:8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.”  [50]

Herein is the essence of what Jesus seeks to have accomplished in the disciple; Jesus wants a clean heart in us. Only when our hearts have been cleaned by the Spirit can we see God accurately. Hypocrisy pants over the problems of the heart so that one can’t hope to see the truth of what God desires in us. When you fail to scrape off the old paint and just paint over it, it eventually cracks again and become even more unsightly than before you painted it. When we put a mask over our hearts, we will eventually be exposed as one woefully out of touch with the Spirit of God.

What is Heart Purity?

The will of God is that our hearts be purified before Him. God is in the heart cleaning business. What is a pure heart? In Psalms it states:

  • Psalm 24:4 – “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.”  [51]

Here we see that purity of heart is contrasted with swearing deceitfully. What is a pure heart? A pure heart is a heart that speaks the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15); a pure heart is a heart that is not caught up in idolatry or alternatives to God, but a pure heart puts God first in all situations and all things. A pure heart is singular in devotion to God.

Even believers can have polluted hearts. The Bible speaks of carnal or fleshly believers who have selfish motives or impure hearts (1 Corinthians 3). When a heart is divided between commitment to God and commitment to self, it is confused and chaotic and cannot serve the Lord effectively.

Interestingly, the words “perfect,” “loyal” and “complete” are words used in the Bible to describe that heart which is purified. In the Old Testament  the word term SHALEM (Strong’s # 8003) is used to describe the heart and means,  “perfect; complete; made ready; peaceful” (see 2 Chronicles 16:9).  Another similar word is the Hebrew TOM (Strong’s #8537) which means “completeness; prosperous; integrity; perfect” (see Psalm 101:2). Another word used to describe this heart condition is the Hebrew term BAR (Strong’s #1249) which means, “choice; clean; clear; pure” (see Psalm 24:4). 

The pure heart is a heart that completely belongs to God, it is at peace with Him, and is therefore ready to be used by God to fulfill His purposes. To be used by God is the greatest blessing.

Only God Can Clean a Heart

Only God can cleanse a heart. In Acts Peter explains the work of God in terms of cleansing hearts of people to serve Him stating:

  • Acts 15:8-9 - “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,9 “and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”  [52]

The phrase, “God who knows the heart,” is one word in the original language. The Greek term KARDIAGNOSTES (Strong’s #2589) means, “heart-knower.” God made our hearts and knows our hearts. Only He can purify a heart.

Notice, this cleansing by God in us is by faith. The one who desires to have a clean heart simply goes to God in faith requesting God clean their heart; it is by faith. Heart purity is a gift from God that is received by faith, not a work we do. All we need to do is draw near to God and He will cleanse our hearts (James 4:8).

How Does God Purify a Heart?

How does God purify a human heart? God begins with an initial cleansing of the heart from sin at salvation by the Holy Spirit (Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5). It is the application of the blood of Jesus to our hearts that works this cleansing (Hebrews 9:14; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5). God then does an ongoing process of cleansing day by day moment by moment as we walk in the light of His word (John 15:3; Ephesians 5:26).

Why Should You Have Your Heart Purified?

What should we desire to have purified hearts? First, there is a blessing promised to those whose hearts are pure toward God. It states in the Psalms:

  • Psalm 24:3-5 – “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.”  [53]

We will never experience God’s best without purified hearts. Indeed, the person with an impure heart will always feel incomplete and missing something because they will not have come fully into God’s presence and purpose for their lives.

Why is heart purity so important? Second, there is a song of praise in the pure heart. Depression, and chaos in life is often the product of dirty hearts, hearts that are divided in their sense of purpose and meaning. A heart divided cannot stand in peace. But the heart that is squarely focused on God will sing the song of assurance and joy.

  • Psalm 101:1-4 – “I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.2 I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness.”  [54]

Why is heart purity important? Third, because God is looking for and will use those whose hearts are pure. In 2 Chronicles the Lord speaks to king Asa through the prophet Hanani and describes the blessing and advantage of having a heart that is pure from relying on any alternatives to God as one’s strength, a heart that is complete relying upon and focused upon God; a heart that is loyal to God in everyway. Hanani states:

  • 2 Chronicles 16:9a - “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”    [55]

A pure heart, a heart loyal to God, is the heart through which God can work and fulfill His will and that is the best of blessings disciple. An impure heart is a woeful condition compared to a pure heart.

Seventh – Planners of Death or Peacemakers?

Matthew 23:27-28 - “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.28 “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”  [56]

The ultimate hypocrisy was the beautiful outward appearance the scribes and Pharisees painted themselves to be with their flowing robes and religious attire; but inside, they were all about death. The scribes and Pharisees presented themselves as righteous on the outside, but inside they were planning the death of Jesus. That is the darkest and deepest depth of woeful hypocrisy.

Rather than painting over the death within us like a hypocrite does, we should follow the Beatitude of Jesus that states:

  • Matthew 5:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”  [57]

Jesus is the Prince of Peace and the scribes and Pharisees were plotting His death. If only they had owned up to their sinfulness, they might have become “sons of God.”

Eight – Persecutors or Persecuted?

Matthew 23:29-35 -  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,30 “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.’31 “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?34 “Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city,35 “that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.”  [58]

The scribes and Pharisees thought of themselves as better than their predecessors. They believed they would never have murdered the prophets of old as their forefathers did. But as Jesus states, they are just as much persecutors of prophets as their forefathers were. Jesus states of these hypocrites, “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” Hypocrisy is woeful because the hypocrite is self-deceived and far from God and doesn’t even realize it! They find themselves in opposition to God.

Jesus said:

  • Matthew 5:10 – “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”   [59]

When you are a disciple, you are willing to be persecuted. A disciple doesn’t have to live in the majority, but is willing to be counted among the minority. A disciple says along with Martin Luther, “One with God is a majority.”

The Final Woe of Hypocrisy

Matthew 23:36 - “Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.”  [60]

What did Jesus mean by these words? He meant that just as they brought blood and death scourging and tribulation on the prophets, they too would experience such persecution. Within 40 years of Jesus’ statement here, in 70 A.D. General Titus of the Roman army leveled Jerusalem and carried out the annihilation of thousands of Jews in the City. In Damascus 10,000 Jews had their throats cut. Subsequent Roman Emperors declared Jews to be less than human and fair game for anyone to pillage, persecute and rob throughout the Empire. History has revealed the literal fulfillment of Jesus’ words through inquisitions, the Crusade, and the Third Reich. Why does history show this persecution against this small people? Because Satan is out to destroy the apple of God’s eye, Israel (Zechariah 2:8).

The Woeful Sorrow of Hypocrisy

Matthew 23:37-39 - “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!38 “See! Your house is left to you desolate;39 “for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”     [61]

In these final words of His message Jesus pours out His heart in woeful sorrow. Jerusalem has murder and rejected those sent from God to help her. Jesus yearns to gather Israel to Himself, but they were not willing! That is the sad woeful state of the hypocrite, they are unwilling to trust God; they are unwilling to give themselves to God; they are blind to the things of God. Truly their house would be left desolate. And those who persist in hypocrisy are desolate as well.

But there is a glimmer of hope here. Jesus says, “for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Jesus is referring to the shouts of welcome He was met with at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem a short time before this message was given. Now notice, Jesus doesn’t say, “you will see Me no more unless you say . . .” No, He points out that there is a definite time in the future when Israel would say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

The Bible tells us that God is not finished with Israel (see Romans 11). God again will graft Israel back into the Vine of Himself and “all Israel will be saved.”

Jesus Wants Our Heart

The message Jesus ahs been proclaiming throughout the gospel is that He wants our heart. Jesus doesn’t just want our bodies or an artificial portrayal; He wants an authentic, real sincere, surrender of our hearts to Him.

Jesus addressed the danger of hypocrisy when He taught:

  • Matthew 7:21-23 - “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’  [62]

This is a picture of the tragic end of the hypocrite. A person can play a religious game all their lives, but unless they know Jesus personally, Jesus will say, “Depart from Me.” The only way to enter into that personal relationship with Jesus is by faith alone in His work alone. Disciple, are you living to please others rather than living to please Jesus? Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior? Are you living a lie or living in the truth? Your answer to that question will determine how Jesus greets you. When you come before Jesus He will either say, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord,” or he will say, “depart from Me I never knew you.” Which will it be?

Conclusion

Nathaniel Hawthorn once wrote:

No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.

Matthew 23 depicts for us the woeful state of the hypocrite. Hypocrisy is not something that affects only the hypocrite; it effects and misleads those around them too. Hypocrisy is a very subtle and deceptive work of the flesh. Hypocrisy is the mistaken notion that what we say does not carry over into what we do.

There is a story that points out the superficiality of the hypocrite and the substance of a disciple:

There was a preacher who was interviewing with a pastoral search committee. An English teacher headed the committee, and was very concerned that the future pastor spoke properly. "When the hen is on the nest, does she sit or set?" he asked the candidate. The hopeful pastor was frustrated. He didn't know what to say, and his career was on the line. Finally he replied, "It really doesn't matter if she's sitting or setting. What I want to know is this: when she cackles is she laying or lying?"

We need to get before God and ask Him to cleanse our hearts from all hypocrisy. If you allow hypocrisy in your life, you are giving Satan a foothold and he will wreck havoc if given half a chance. And Satan’s aim is not only to use the hypocrite to deceive and destroy others, but to destroy the hypocrite too in the end.

Hypocrisy creates minefields, which threaten to blow up in our faces. In the last presidential election one of the hot topics was religion. During the election it became popular for candidates to voice that they were people of faith. On one such occasion a slip of the tongue resulted in an awkward revelation. A short comment on the mistake proved revealing as it stated:

Al Gore gave a big speech this week about how his faith is so "important" to him.  In this attempt to convince the American people that we should consider him for president, he announced that his favorite Bible verse as John 16:3.  Of course the speechwriter meant John 3:16 but nobody in the Gore camp was familiar enough with Scripture to catch the error. Do you know what John 16:3 says? "And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me."  The Holy Spirit works in strange ways!

Jesus said, “Woe to you,. . .hypocrites!” There is judgment, warning and sorrow for the hypocrite. Disciple, don’t be a hypocrite, give Jesus your heart, your whole heart. Seek God’s cleansing touch. Heed the pronouncement of woe by Jesus. Be pure in heart.

 



[1]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[2]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[3]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[4]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[5]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[6]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[7]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[8]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[9] Pastor Chuck Smith word For Today audiotape #8022 (Costa Mesa, CA 92628)

[10]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[11]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[12]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[13]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[14]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[15]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[16]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[17]Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.

[18]Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.

[19]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[20]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[21]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[22]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[23]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[24]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[25]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[26]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[27]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[28]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[29]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[30]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[31]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[32]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[33]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[34] Chuck Smith, Ibid.

[35]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[36]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[37]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[38]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[39]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[40]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[41]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[42]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[43]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[44]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[45]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[46]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[47]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[48]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[49]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[50]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[51]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[52]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[53]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[54]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[55]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[56]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[57]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[58]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[59]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[60]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[61]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

[62]The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.