Kingdom of God vs. HYPOCRITES
aymon de albatrus
"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of Heaven before men; for you do not enter, nor do you allow those entering to go in." (Mat 23:13)
Jesus calls the Pharisee "hypocrites", a Greek word that means "actors." Hypocrites (hupokrites) were people "stage players" who played roles on the stage; play-acting, carrying out fake roles pretending to be someone they were not, also who wore costumes and masks to hide who they really were. In a theatre of the Greek kind, these actors wore masks in front of their faces (hiding their real selves). The masks indicated which "person or even god" each actor represented.
In the Greek, hypocrite was a neutral word describing an actor who performed behind a mask. Jesus "unmasked" the Pharisees, revealing the conflict between their words and actions, a deliberate pretence. That (the pretentious covering mask) might possibly be what Jesus referred to by this statement.
The concordance defines the word hypocrite as follows:
5273 upokrithv hupokrites hoop-ok-ree-tace’
1) One who answers, an interpreter
2) An actor, stage player
3) A dissembler, pretender, hypocrite
Basically, All actors are liars, and the better they lie, the more they are rewarded and exalted in our decadent society.
Surely this activity must also be against the 9th commandment: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour." (Exo 20:16) Besides the protection of the good name of our neighbour this commandment has included in itself the avoidance of falsehood in our everyday life. A person that portrays someone else in a film, or a play or in a TV show or anywhere else where he lies, and wears a false mask pretending to be what he is not, is a liar. In our evil society we do not consider that a form of lying, indeed the better one is in lying in these roles, the more he gets remunerated, some even with astronomical figures, just look at the Film industry and its "Hypocrites", that we applaud so much. Actors are the worlds best liars and get paid millions to do so; some even become president of important nations with that ability.
We, ourselves, are no less involved in this recital for we even lie to our little children pretending, very skilfully, the existence on "father Christmas" thus teaching our young ones to lie at an early age that will set them for a life of continual lying.
But there is no surprises here for we ALL are actors (hypocrites) and compulsive liars, in all staged of our lives, for indeed we all practice hupokrisis Greek word meaning "the act of a stage player" and putting up an act, pretence, deceit, every single minute of our days of our little lives, often unconsciously for it is deeply ingrained in our human makeup: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9)
Here are some examples of all sorts of justification to lie:
Lying Is Good For You. If I told you lying was good for you, you probably wouldn’t believe me. But trust me--I’m not lying. Lacey Rose
Simply put, we lie because it works. When we do it well, we get what we want.
We lie to avoid awkwardness or punishment. We lie to maintain relationships and please others. And, of course, most of all we lie to please ourselves. Whether we’re embellishing our credentials or strengthening our stories, we often tell untruths to make ourselves appear and feel better.
In 2002, Robert Feldman, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, conducted a study in which he secretly videotaped student’s conversations with strangers. After the fact, he had the students examine the videotapes and identify the untruths. On average, they claim to have told three lies per ten minutes of conversation. And that number is likely to be far too low. First, we’re likely to underreport the number of lies we tell (we lie about lying, that is). And Feldman’s study only accounted for lies of the verbal variety, ignoring other deceptive behaviour, such as misleading body language or facial expressions, for example.
In fact, we lie so readily that the dishonesty becomes automatic. Most of the time, we’re not even aware of the lies we tell, explains David Smith, director of the New England Institute at the University of New England and author of ‘Why We Lie’. He says we lie best when we don’t know we’re lying. "We don’t have the nervousness or broadcast the tell-tale signs of unease that the intentional liar can barely help," he explains. "Self-deception is the handmaiden of deceit; in hiding the truth from ourselves, we’re able to hide it more fully from others."
But why are we so dishonest so often? Is not honesty always the best policy? In fact, nobody wants to hear that they look heavier or less attractive. In truth, we consider those who are too honest to be blunt, antisocial and even pathological. A recent study found that adolescents who are most popular with their peers were the ones that were the best at being deceptive.
And lying has proven psychological benefits. For instance, there’s ‘scientific’ evidence showing that depressive people are more honest with themselves than non-depressive, or mentally healthy, people. When people recover from their depressions, they become less honest.
Strangely enough, despite the frequency with which we lie, we are pretty bad at it. "Lying, at least the intentional kind, is not easy. It takes more work to tell a lie than it does to tell the truth. You have to not only make up something, but also watch your interlocutor to make sure he is believing you."
But don't worry too much. People are easily fooled. "There is no Pinocchio’s nose," explains Paul Ekman, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California, San Francisco. "There’s no sign that is always present when someone lies and always absent when someone is truthful." As a result, research shows that we’re only slightly better than chance level at detecting deception. "Our default assumption is that people are telling the truth," says Feldman. And often, we don’t actually want to hear the truth. If we hear what we want to hear, we accept it, true or not.
"So while we’d like to say we value honesty, we also value dishonesty," says the University of New England’s Smith. After all, we have been taught the importance of lying from a very early age (i.e. father chistmas type). The catch is that we do not call it lying; we call it tact or social grace.
Truly we all are Hupokrites:
Hypocrisy is the act of pretending to have beliefs, virtues and feelings that one does not truly possess. A classic example of a hypocritical act is to denounce another for carrying out some action whilst carrying out the same action oneself, this is done often in politics.
In the times of Jesus, the theatre in Judea was of the Greek kind. Its actors often played god roles, representing different Greek idols. Through that, the actor became "a one who gives an answer", that is, an oracle. This has to do with the original meaning of the verb hupokrinomai. The actors represented "the deity", and announced "the words of the gods".
It seems that Jesus referred to that; what the Pharisees did was that they put on an act, and they also acted as if they somehow were oracles or "representatives of God" (the biggest "Christian" church is saying the same even in these evil days). They took to themselves a "right" to decide (for others) what supposedly was "right" and "wrong". For this our Lord gave a stern warning to His disciples in Luke 12:1,2: "At that time, when thousands of the people had come together, in such numbers that they were crushing one another, he said first to his disciples, Have nothing to do with the leaven of the Pharisees, which is deceit. 2 But nothing is covered up, which will not come to light, or secret, which will not be made known."
When Jesus called the Pharisees hupokritai, he called them actors. And when he said that the Pharisees performed hupokrisis, then He obviously meant that they were like the actors of the Greek theatre were in those days: They pretended themselves as something they were not, and acted as "gods" and as "oracles of the gods" (hupokrinomai). Moreover the word hupokritęs could also refer to someone who did not work as an actor but who just pretended to be something that he was not. That is precisely what the Pharisees did. One example of that is that they acted as if they sat "in the seat of Moses" (i.e. "the holy see"), even though God gave them not such a "seat".
God wants us to pursuit righteousness, to be a heart that hungers to be like Him. Then out of the overflow of this quest we will be like Him, others will catch a glimpse of Jesus in us. Jesus wants us to be careful that our praise gives God the whole glory for the work He does in our life. We must not be like the woodpecker that was pecking on the trunk of a tree. Suddenly a lightening struck the tree and splintered it. The woodpecker flew away unharmed. Looking back to where the split tree was, the proud bird exclaimed, "look what I did."
Why do we lie? We lie to cover up; we fear that something we wish to hide will be exposed. We also lie to rise above our feelings of inadequacy or inferiority, or to lower a third party in the eyes of others. This latter reason tends to elevate ourselves in our own eyes and, we hope, in the eyes of others.
Consider the use of cosmetics in this regard. Makeup is always used to hide, to cover up what we consider to be inadequacies of beauty. But by whose standard are we inadequate? Are we really being a true witness of ourselves? Can we use cosmetics to beautify what is in our hearts? No, but I guess we would do it if we could. Hypocrites, it is God that justifies, not ourselves.
We my tell untruths to others, even deceive ourself but we cannot fool our Omniscient God: "7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (Gal 6:7-8) God cannot be mocked and us liars seem to forget this so easily. We cannot treat His law with disrespect or contempt and get away with it. We are accountable to Him whether we like it or not. What we do in life, life does back to us, and this is an inescapable principle. We cannot run away from it. If we sow to death, we will reap death. If we sow to life we shall receive life. Jesus asked a question with an obvious answer: "….. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" (Mat 7:16)
No one, not even a hypocrite, can fool God's laws, he can only hoodwink otherc and himself, and only for a while.
Paul clearly states our responsibility to God regarding the ninth commandment. We should manifest truth in every part of our life, making honest and diligent use of God's gracious gifts without guile: "1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God." (2Co 4:1-2)
In these verses, the apostle tells us that we must have nothing to do with hidden shameful methods and false speech or unscrupulous cleverness. But that we must live our lives in the fear of God, knowing He is watching and justly judging our conduct. Our lives should demonstrate that we present ourselves transparent to human conscience in the sight of God.
Once I did ask a dear friend and brother of mine a pertinent question, to which he did not want to answer and rather than telling me a lie or hurt my feelings he courteously answered: "I prefer not to answer that question".
We should be childlike and open to leave as little room as possible for people to misinterpret our motives, misunderstand our actions or twist our words from their real meaning because of our possible "double talk". Does it make any difference what people think of us? Some take the approach that "I will do what I want to do, and what others think doesn't matter." This at times has the appearance of wisdom, but it matters to God. If He did not care, He would not show so much concern in His Word about being a good witness for Him and protecting our reputations or His. Much of our effectiveness as a witness depends on being trustworthy through honesty.
Friends, keeping this 9th commandment begins with not letting our deceitful heart trick us into doing or saying anything less than what is honest and true in God's sight. We must demonstrate a true witness regardless of what men may discern from what we say or do, or what painful harm the truth may do to our vanity.
Do we really believe that we can find our way into Heaven by lying?
NO liars will have part in the Kingdom of God as Scripture attests: "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Rev 21:8)
Well then, if ALL men are liars (hypocrites) as Scripture verifies: "I said in my alarm, All men are liars." (Psa 116:11) who will then be saved to heaven?
But praise be unto our God that has provided Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord, and propitiator of every one of our many sins that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved if he can honestly testify and believe: "9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Rom 10:9-10)
Should Christians be employed as professional actors (i.e. Hypocrites)? Methinks not.
Should Christian participate in play-acting?
Should people present Jesus to children dressed as clowns with painted face?
Should Christians watch films?
Should Christian watch soap operas?
Should Christian wear Make-up?
Should Christian on this earth be involved in things that are NOT of the Kingdom?
More lies have been said about this guy than anyone else we know.