THE MESSAGE NOW
Vol. 2, No. 21 – Monday, 22nd May, 2017
(Luke 11:37-44, 12:1, Job.8:13, 13:16, 15:34, 27:8, 34:30, Mark.7:6, 12:15-16, Matt.7:5)
THE HELLISH BREAD
There is no dainty so sweet; neither is there any pastry so succulent and pleasurable as the subtle bread baked from the biggest oven in the biggest bakery which stands at the centre of hell.
This is the subtle and succulent bread called hypocrisy.
What eaters of this subtle bread from hell’s finest bakery don’t know is that their companions at the dinning table where this bread is being consumed are the dead.
How? Proverbs 9:17-18 tells us: ‘stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depth of hell’. The express implication of the foregoing Scripture is twofold. One is the clear expression of the subtle nature of the sin of hypocrisy. Two is the fact that committers of the sin of hypocrisy will eventually dwell in hell and eternally partner with hell-bound citizens in the very end.
The sin of hypocrisy is the trigger of associated sins. How? Hypocrisy is so terrible to such degree that men commit the sin whilst committing other sins. No wonder the Scripture says: ‘speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their consciences seared with a hot iron’ (1 Tim.4:2).
Hypocrisy is a speedy killer of human conscience. But beyond the mystery of being the trigger of associated crimes and sins, there is yet another mystery about hypocrisy. Do you know that you can be an honest person by personal principle and yet you are a hypocrite? The story below will further expatiate this point.
Some years back, in France, a man and a lady went into a shop to buy some sort of pastries. The two soon emerged after their purchase; one of them holding the carrier bag containing the snacks.
They headed straight for their car and soon drove off. While eating, they discovered that the carrier bag contained something more than the pastries they had purchased. True to their discovery and utter shock, the extra carrier bag in the main carrier contained money. It was the entire sales the shop had made for the entire day.
The two immediately decided to do what was most noble by returning to the shop to hand over the money. Of course, on arriving at the shop, there was already great pandemonium. The two got down from their car and soon announced the reason for their return.
At that announcement, everywhere was electrified with joy. The cacophony and pandemonium died off immediately. Then something more shocking happened. As reward for their honesty, the shop managers decided to honour them by inviting the media to interview and showcase to France these two honest people.
At this invitation of the media, the man (one of the two) protested vigorously. The shop managers and the public who were already celebrating the two were surprised. They pleaded and ceaselessly begged the two to accept the gesture. But their plea fell on deaf ears.
Then the man was forced to give the reason for his refusal. After all the pressure; the man confessed. The man informed the crowd: ‘if I get on the media, my wife at home will see me and would discover’.
Discover what? Obviously, the lady with whom he went shopping with was his girl-friend. Hmmm! here was a man who was honest enough to return money but who was living in sexual unfaithfulness to his wife. Does such infidelity bear any other name other than hypocrisy?
I challenge all men to challenge me on the conclusion that all men who are not grounded in God are cheats and hypocrites. Yes! They are. Further, I conclude that all pastors who love fame and money, recognition and self-respect are Pharisees, sadducees and hypocrites.
In Luke 12:1, the Scripture informs: ‘In the meanwhile, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, He began to say unto His disciple first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy’.
This condemnation of hypocrites and hypocrisy by the Lord is replete in many passages of the Bible. The contents of Matthew 23:13, 15-16, 23, 25, 27, 29, 33 and a number of other Scriptures speak volume in this respect. The question is: why is the Lord so particular about this sin?
The answer is not far fetched. There are certain facts so astounding about hypocrisy; a discourse on holiness and heaven without their mention is serious spiritual injustice.
First, the new Testament and indeed the entire Bible refers to hypocrisy or a form of it for a number of times not less than 40.
Common sense would inform any one that such extensive reference cannot be mere mention but for the purpose of very serious warning because of the dastard consequences that accompany the sin of hypocrisy.
Second, has it ever occurred to us that there is no other sin that the Blessed Son of God placed curses on but the sin of hypocrisy? Are you wondering why? I believe one such reason is the intentional nature of the committers of the sin of hypocrisy.
Do not misunderstand me; every sin is an aberration: every sin is a violent transgression of the law and the righteousness of God. Sin is equally Success In Nothing. Sin reduces any person. Sin is missing the right mark. Sin is Satan’s Innate Nature. Sin is the exact opposite of God’s divine nature. Sin is the catalyst of disgrace and shame. All attitudes of sins are vigorously decried by God.
Nonetheless, it will yet appear that there is something uniquely more devilish about the sin of hypocrisy. Why? Third, it is the foundation for most sins that men commit. Hypocrisy and the hypocrites take God for a fool.
They make themselves and God realise that God does not exist (Psalm 14:1). The sin of hypocrisy is an insult and an assault on God’s intelligence. Fourth, let us not be mistaken; there are four principal goals that any genuine Christian should ultimately seek to attain.
They are goals whose words begin with the letter (h). These are: Holy Ghost, holiness, happiness and heaven. Frankly speaking, hypocrisy is the enemy of these four goals. To start with, men pretend to be happy when they are indeed deeply unhappy.
Contemporary Christians frame holiness with free-flowing and ground-sweeping long gowns. They dress so sanctimoniously and appear to be like the most gentle ladies ever to become born-again.
Very good! Exceedingly so good to dress the way a daughter of God genuinely holy in the heart should dress. The problem is, a good number of times such self-acclaimed sisters are the most cruel witches available in their local churches and around in the neighbourhood.
But sister, who are you really deceiving? God? Or satan? No! you cannot deceive God; He knows you inside-out. You can’t deceive satan either; he is the master of deception and deceivers. So, in the end, you are deceiving yourself.
There is no question about it; the Blessed Holy Ghost cannot dwell in a heart where hypocrisy sits as king. No wonder, many find it difficult to obtain from God and by grace the gift of the Holy Ghost evidenced by the speaking of tongues guaranteed by divine utterance.
When was the last time you thought about heaven? Does the thought of rapture scare you? If yes, then it is time to pray for God to purge hypocrisy out of your heart. If ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’ as the Bible rightly tells us, then hypocrisy is the foundation of all sins and fastest escape route out of heaven’s way into the damnable path heading to hell.
A liar, a fornicator, an adulteress, a thief, a deceiver, a witch and herbalist yet coming to church without seeking repentance, pastor eating church money, church members and church workers who love sweet messages and not sound word of truth from the Lord, are all hypocrites.
No hypocrite will make it to heaven (Job.13:16). One who is living the life of another is artificial and superficial. Such a-one is a hypocrite.
Talking about artificiality and superficiality (which are foremost by-products of hypocrisy), Richard J. Foster in the book: Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth had this to say: ‘superficiality is the curse of our age’.
There are no four antidotes to solve the dastard problem of hypocrisy; it is but three. First is genuine salvation or fresh return to the Lord. Second is embracing in all totality the virtue of sincerity. Third is full and holy consecration.
I WOULD RATHER BE KNOWN WITH ALL MY SHORTCOMINGS THAT GOD AND MAN MAY FIND IT EASY TO CORRECT OR REBUKE ME THAN TO PRETEND TO BE WHAT I AM NOT, CONTINUALLY FEEDING ON THE DESTRUCTIVE HELLISH BREAD AND ALLOW HYPOCRISY BE NURTURED IN ME AND EVENTUALLY DESTROY ME. MY BROTHER, HOW ABOUT YOU?
Backslidden – living in sin – needing fresh recommitment (say):
Christ Jesus, You are the Anointed One of the Most High. I come to you today as I am. In your mercy, help me out of my situation. Heal my soul, my spirit, my body, my life and my destiny. I acknowledge you as the only true lover of my soul. Please, deliver me on every side and save me through and through. I promise from the depth of my soul to be yours from henceforth, in Jesus name. Help me now O God. Be my Lord, my Saviour and my all in all from this day. Thank you Lord (read Psalm 54 in closing and pray more).
Hymn: Come Onto Holiness