Fort Frances, Ontario
I sicken myself. These are my lifestories, these articles about hypocrisy. I am sorry for pretending to be holy to you all. I am always ruining my witness with my actions. My words are great, I can quote sripture. I just haven't learned how to obey.
It is embarrassing to write this, but if I can't be honest with you people? It's not like God doesn't know I am a hypocrite. Why haven't I developed the fear of the Lord?
| 2007/1/18 22:33||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
I just haven't learned how to obey.
In a sense you just did.
Your honesty is also my confession, could have written these words in a similar fashion ... Have not pretended to be holy in all honesty ... How much is Holiness derived from honesty? Gods Holiness against ours being something altogether different yet that which we attain after ... Words are dificult and halting here.
Not a few days ago was praying the Lord would turn His face from me.
I am always ruining my witness with my actions.
| 2007/1/19 0:53||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Hypocrisy ~ Various|
[b]Hypocrites Deficient in Prayer
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)[/b]
[i]"Will he always call upon God?"[/i] Job 27:10.
Concerning these words, I would observe, who it is that is here spoken of, viz., the hypocrite
.Jobs three friends, in their speeches to him, insisted much upon it, that he was a hypocrite. But Job, in this chapter, asserts his sincerity and integrity and shows how different his own behavior had been from that of hypocrites. Particularly he declares his steadfast and immovable resolution of persevering and holding out in the ways of religion and righteousness to the end; as you may see in the six first verses. In the text, he shows how contrary to this steadfastness and perseverance the character of the hypocrite is, who is not wont thus to hold out in religion.
[b]Doctrine: However hypocrites may continue for a season in the duty of prayer, yet it is their manner, after a while, in a great measure, to leave off[/b]
.They do so for a while after they have received common illuminations and affections. While they are under awakenings, they may through fear of hell call upon God and attend very constantly upon the duty of secret prayer. And after they have had some melting affections, having their hearts much moved with the goodness of God or with some affecting encouragements, false joy, and comfort; while these impressions last they continue to call upon God in the duty of secret prayer.
[i]It is the manner of hypocrites, after a while, in a great measure, to leave off the practice of this duty.[/i] We are often taught that the seeming goodness and piety of hypocrites is not of a lasting and persevering nature. It is so with respect to their practice of the duty of prayer in particular, and especially of secret prayer. They can omit this duty and their omission of it not be taken notice of by others, who know what profession they have made, so that a regard to their own reputation doth not oblige them still to practice it. If others saw how they neglect it, it would exceedingly shock their charity towards them. But their neglect doth not fall under their observation; at least not under the observation of many. Therefore, they may omit this duty and still have the credit of being converted persons.
Men of this character can come to a neglect of secret prayer by degrees without shocking their peace. For though indeed for a converted person to live, in a great measure, without secret prayer is very wide of the notion they once had of a true convert; yet they find means by degrees to alter their notions and to bring their principles to suit with their inclinations. And at length they come to a notion that a man may be a convert and yet live very much in neglect of this duty. In time, they can bring all things to suit well together: a hope of heaven, an indulgence of sloth, gratifying carnal appetites, and living, in a great measure, a prayerless life. They cannot indeed suddenly make these things agree; it must be a work of time. And length of time will effect it. By degrees, they find out ways to guard and defend their consciences against those powerful enemies, so that those enemies and a quiet, secure conscience can at length dwell together.
Whereas it is asserted in the doctrine that it is the manner of hypocrites, after a while, in a great measure, to leave off this duty, I would observe to you that it is not intended but that they may commonly continue to the end of life in an external attendance on prayer with others. They may commonly be present at public prayers in the congregation and also at family prayer
they may continue to attend upon prayer as long as they live, and yet may truly be said not to call upon God. For such prayer, in the manner of it, is not their own. They are present only for the sake of their credit or in compliance with others. They may be present at these prayers, and yet have no proper prayer of their own.
But they in a great measure leave off the practice of secret prayer. They come to this pass by degrees. At first, they begin to be careless about it under some particular temptations. Because they have been out in young company or have been taken up very much with worldly business, they omit it once. After that, they more easily omit it again. Thus, it presently becomes a frequent thing with them to omit it; and after a while, it comes to that pass, that they seldom attend it. Perhaps they attend it on Sabbath-days and sometimes on other days. But they have ceased to make it a constant practice daily to retire to worship God alone and to seek His face in secret places. They sometimes do a little to quiet conscience and just to keep alive their old hope because it would be shocking to them, even after all their subtle dealing with their consciences, to call themselves converts and yet totally to live without prayer. Yet
they have, in a great measure, left off.
I come now to the reasons why this is the manner of hypocrites:
[b]1. Hypocrites never had the spirit of prayer.[/b] They may have been stirred up to the external performance of this duty, and that with a great deal of earnestness and affection, and yet always have been destitute of the true spirit of prayer. The spirit of prayer is a holy spirit, a gracious spirit. We read of the spirit of grace and supplication: "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications" (Zec 12:10). Wherever there is a true spirit of supplication, there is the spirit of grace. The true spirit of prayer is no other than Gods own Spirit dwelling in the hearts of the saints. And as this Spirit comes from God, so doth it naturally tend to God in holy breathings and pantings. It naturally leads to God to converse with Him by prayer. Therefore, the Spirit is said to make intercession for the saints "with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom 8:26)
.The truly godly have the spirit of adoption, the spirit of a child, to which it is natural to go to God and call upon Him, crying to Him as to a father.
[i]But hypocrites have nothing of this spirit of adoption:[/i] they have not the spirit of children, for this is a gracious and holy spirit, given only in a real work of regeneration. Therefore, it is often mentioned as a part of the distinguishing character of the godly, that they call upon God. "The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them" (Psa 145:18, 19). "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Act 2:21).
It is natural to one who is truly born from above to pray to God and to pour out his soul in holy supplications before his heavenly Father. This is as natural to the new nature and life as breathing is to the nature and life of the body. But hypocrites have not this new nature. Those illuminations and affections, which they had, went away and left no change of nature. Therefore, prayer naturally dies away in them, having no foundation laid in the nature of the soul. It is maintained awhile only by a certain force put upon nature. But force is not constant; and as that declines, nature will take place again.
The spirit of a true convert is a spirit of true love to God, and that naturally inclines the soul to those duties wherein it is conversant with God and makes it to delight in approaching Him. But a hypocrite hath no such spirit. He is left under the reigning power of enmity against God, which naturally inclines him to shun His presence.
The spirit of a true convert is a spirit of faith and reliance on the power, wisdom, and mercy of God; and such a spirit is naturally expressed in prayer. True prayer is nothing else but faith expressed. Hence we read of the prayer of faith (Jam 5:15). True Christian prayer is the faith and reliance of the soul breathed forth in words. But a hypocrite is without the spirit of faith. He hath no true reliance or dependence on God, but is really self-dependent.
As to those common convictions and affections, which the hypocrite had, and which made him keep up the duty of prayer for a whilethey not reaching the bottom of the heart nor being accompanied with any change of naturea little thing extinguishes them. The cares of the world commonly choke and suffocate them; and often the pleasures and vanities of youth totally put an end to them; and with them ends their constant practice of the duty of prayer.
[b]2. When a hypocrite hath had his false conversion, his wants are in his sense of things already supplied; his desires are already answered; and so he finds no further business at the throne of grace.[/b] He never was sensible that he had any other needs, but a need of being safe from hell. And now that he is converted, as he thinks, that need is supplied. Why then should he still go on to resort to the throne of grace with earnest requests? He is out of danger; all that he was afraid of is removed. He hath got enough to carry him to heaven, and what more should he desire? While under awakenings, he had this to stir him up to go to God in prayer: he was in continual fear of hell. This put him upon crying to God for mercy. But since in his own opinion he is converted, he hath no further business about which to go to God. And although he may keep up the duty of prayer in the outward form a little while, for fear of spoiling his hope, yet he will find it a dull business to continue it without necessity, and so by degrees he will let drop the practice. The work of the hypocrite is done when he is converted, and therefore he standeth in no further need of help.
[i]But it is far otherwise with the true convert[/i]. His work is not done; but he finds still a great work to do and great wants to be supplied. He sees himself still to be a poor, empty, helpless creature, and that he still stands in great and continual need of Gods help. He is sensible that without God he can do nothing. A false conversion makes a man in his own eyes self-sufficient. He saith he is rich, and increased with goods, and hath need of nothing; and knoweth not that he is wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (Rev 3:17). But after a true conversion, the soul remains sensible of its own impotence and emptiness, as it is in itself, and its sense of it is rather increased than diminished. It is still sensible of its universal dependence on God for everything. A true convert is sensible that his grace is very imperfect; and he is very far from having all that he desires. Instead of that, by conversion are begotten in him new desires which he never had before. He now finds in him holy appetites, a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, a longing after more acquaintance and communion with God. So that he hath business enough still at the throne of grace; yea, his business there, instead of being diminished, is rather increased.
The hope, which the hypocrite hath of his good estate, takes off the force that the command of God before had upon his conscience, so that now he dares neglect so plain a duty. The command which requires the practice of the duty of prayer is exceeding plain: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation" (Mat 26:41). "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with [i]all perseverance[/i], and supplication for all saints" (Eph 6:18). "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret" (Mat 6:6). As long as the hypocrite was in his own apprehension in continual danger of hell, he durst not disobey these commands. But since he is, as he thinks, safe from hell, he is grown bold. He dares to live in the neglect of the plainest command in the Bible.
It is the manner of hypocrites, after a while, to return to sinful practices, which will tend to keep them from praying. While they were under convictions, they reformed their lives and walked very exactly. This reformation continues, after their supposed conversion, while they are much affected with hope and false comfort. But as these things die away, their old lusts revive; and by degrees, they return like the dog to his vomit and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. They return to their sensual, worldly, proud, and contentious practices, as before. And no wonder this makes them forsake their closets. Sinning and praying agree not well together.
[b]I would exhort those who have entertained a hope of their being true convertsand who since their supposed conversion have left off the duty of secret prayer and ordinarily allow themselves in the omission of itto throw away their hope.[/b] If you have left off calling upon God, it is time for you to leave off hoping and flattering yourselves with an imagination that you are the children of God. Probably it will be a very difficult thing for you to do this. It is hard for a man to let go a hope of heaven on which he hath once allowed himself to lay hold, and which he hath retained for a considerable time. True conversion is a rare thing. But that men should be brought off from a false hope of conversionafter they are once settled and established in it and have continued in it for some timeis much more rare.
Insist not on that as a reason why you should not throw away your hope, that you had the judgment of others
It is a small matter to be judged of mans judgment, whether you be approved or condemned, and whether it be by minister or people, wise or unwise
if you be one of those who have forsaken God and left off calling upon His name, you have the judgment and sentence of God in the Scriptures against you, which is a thousand times more than to have the judgment of all the wise and godly men and ministers in the world in your favor.
Why will you retain that hope which by evident experience you find poisons you? Is it reasonable to think, that a holy hope, a hope that is from heaven, would have such an influence? No, surely, nothing of such a malignant influence comes from that world of purity and glory. No poison groweth in the paradise of God. The same hope, which leads men to sin in this world, will lead to hell hereafter. Why therefore will you retain such a hope, of which your own experience shows you the ill tendency, in that it encourages you to lead a wicked life?
If your own experience of the nature and tendency of your hope will not convince you of the falseness of it, what will? Are you resolved to retain your hope, let it prove ever so unsound and hurtful? Will you hold it fast until you go to hell with it? Many men cling to a false hope and embrace it so closely that they never let it go till the flames of hell cause their arms to unclench and let go their hold.
Certainly, it is foolish for men to imagine, that God had no more wisdom, or could contrive no other way of bestowing comfort and hope of eternal life, than one which should encourage men to forsake Him.
[i]From "Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer" in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2, reprinted by The Banner of Truth Trust.[/i]
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758): Massachusetts Congregational preacher. Regarded as Americas greatest evangelical theologian and well-known for his preaching in the Great Awakening along with George Whitefield. Author of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, and numerous other titles. Born in East Windsor, Connecticut, America.
| 2007/1/20 15:59||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Hypocrisy|
[b]How Far May Hypocrites Go?
David Clarkson (1622-1686)[/b]
[i]"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity"[/i] Matthew 7:22, 23.
[b]Observation: Many think themselves sure of heaven, when it is sure they shall never come there.[/b] Many are persuaded they shall enter into heaven, whom Christ is resolved to shut out of it. This is clearly implied in the text. Yet because it is but implied, I shall not much insist on it
Only it will be necessary to take notice of the grounds of this woeful mistake, [so] that they may be avoided. And they are such as these:
[b][i]Ignorance and inadvertency:[/i][/b] there are many who know not or at least consider not what is necessary to bring a soul to heaven, where the way lies, and what Christ requires of those that would enter into it.
They consider not that there must be [i]regeneration[/i], that "except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Joh 3:3); that there must be a new creation; that the new Jerusalem is only for new creatures. There must be an universal change in every part of the soul, in the whole course of their lives; old things must pass away and all things become newnew heart and new way. There must be a [i]holiness[/i] in the life, growth, power, and exercise of it, "without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb 12:14). There must be [i]self-denial:[/i] a denying of their own wisdom, will, humor, interests. A [i]renouncing of the world:[/i]they must be crucified to the world. They understand scarce what it is to be crucified. [i]Mortification:[/i] they must mortify the flesh with the affections and lusts [and] die daily. [i]A taking up the cross:[/i] that if any man will come after Christ, it may cost him tears, sighs, bonds, imprisonment, his estate, his relations, his limbs, his blood, his life, and all
that it requires all diligence (2Pe 1:5); that he must strive and break through all difficulty, what sweat and toil soever it cost to crowd in (Luk 13:24); that he must wrestle, employ all his strength (Eph 6:12); that he must run, put out all his might, [and] so run as he may obtain; that he must fight, be in a continual war, fight the good fight; that he must beat his body (1Co 9:27); that he must take heaven by force, if he will have it. If they did know and consider this, they would not be confident of heaven, when they are strangers to these things which are required of all those for whom heaven is intended.
[b][i]Negligence, slothfulness:[/i][/b] if they know these things, yet [they] will not take the pains to examine their state by them. They will not be at the trouble to compare their hearts with the rule. They will not spare a few hours seriously to inquire whether they come up to what the Word requires. Alas, for the wretched carelessness of men as to their own souls and their everlasting state! One that seriously observes would think that the greatest part of people amongst us are either atheists or madmen: either they believe not that there is a God or that the Scriptures are His Word; or that their souls are immortal; or that there is a state of everlasting misery or happiness for every one after death; or that there are evidences in the Word by which they may know whether they shall be eternally damned or saved. Either they believe not these things, and so are plain atheists; or if they believe there is such a God and such a soul and such an eternal state and such a Word, wherein they may have directions to know whether their souls are bound for heaven or hell, would they not make use of these directions? Would they not spare some hours to examine seriously whether heaven or hell be their portion? Would they not do this presently? Would they not do it seriously, as a matter of eternal life or death requires, if they were not madmen indeed, if they were not quite bereaved of all spiritual sense and reason?
No. Rather than thus trouble themselves, they will take it upon trust that they shall go to heaven, when, alas, they have no ground for a trust but what Satan suggests or their own deceitful hearts prompt them. And thus, they hang the whole weight of eternity upon a cobweb. Thus, they pin the everlasting concernments of their souls upon a shadow, as though it would hang there safe enough, where it can have no hold at all. Would any do this but a madman? What! Trust without trial in a matter of eternal consequence to body and soul? "What need I put myself to this trouble? I will trust God with my soul," say some. "What need I take any care further?" But alas, wretched creature! This is not to trust God, but to trust Satan with the soul! And, oh, what a woeful account will he give thee of it one day! Now, when men are so careless of their souls, when they will not trouble themselves to inquire after their eternal state, no wonder if they be so woefully mistaken as to promise themselves heaven, when nothing but hell is reserved for them.
[i][b]Self-love:[/b][/i] this possesses men with a good conceit of themselves, a good opinion of their souls condition, so that if they come to examine their state or be called to try it in the public ministry, they come to the work prepossessed. Self-love will not suffer them to deal impartially with their souls. They catch greedily at anything that seems to make for them and are careful to stave off everything that would make against them. Or if they cannot yet put such a favorable construction on it as partial men will do when they are resolved to defend a bad cause, they look upon that word as an enemy that would shake the rotten pillars of a false hope. They deal with it as the prophet did with the kings messenger: [they] make sure to shut him out.
As self-love makes them flatter themselves, so they would have the Word of God to flatter them. They love not plain, searching, awakening truths. They will have a good opinion of themselves, whatever be said to the contrary. They say as Laodicea that they are "rich and increased," though Christ in the ministry says the contrary: they are "poor, wretched" (Rev 3:17). Though this be plainly manifested, yet self-love makes them both unable and unwilling to discern it. A blind man cannot judge of colors, and self-love blinds them. They cannot judge of the complexions of soul, whether the features, the characters of heaven or hell be on it. [They] care not for looking in a true glass lest the visage of their soul, if truly represented, should trouble them. Satan blinds one eye, self-love closes the other, and the deceitfulness of sin seals both. No wonder if they call darkness light! No wonder if they fancy themselves in the way to heaven, when they are in the high road to hell. [When] the blind leads the blind, you know what will be the issue; no wonder if when they think they shall be safe ashore in heaven and their feet near the very banks of happiness, at that very moment they are falling into the ditch.
[i][b]Misapprehensions of God:[/b][/i] if light and conviction proceed so far as to discover to a sinner that he comes short of the rule and that [which] the Word calls for as necessary to salvation is not to be found in him; if he cannot misapprehend his own state any longer, rather than quit his vain deceiving hopes, he will misapprehend God and think Him more merciful than the Word represents Him. "It is true," says the sinner, "in this case, the rule is strict and the way to heaven seems to be strait, and much is required of a sinner that he may be saved, and I am to seek in this or that. But God is merciful. And He may save me, though I find not this or that which seems to be required. Though I allow myself this or that sin and fall into it now and then, why it is but a little one. And God is gracious. He is not so strict and rigid as some would make Him. What? Though I be not so strict and precise as some others, must none be saved but such as they? God forbid! Though I come not up to the rule, God is gracious. He may dispense with me, [and] I may be saved as well as the best of them."
But alas, poor deluded sinner! If here be all thy hopes, thy case is hopeless. Will God be so merciful as to contradict Himself and go contrary to His Word? Will He show thee so much mercy as to neglect His truth? Will He save thee when He cannot do it without making Himself a liar? Doest thou not tremble to see that thou hast nothing to bear up thy hopes of heaven but plain blasphemy? If thou find not what He requires as necessary to salvation, if He should save thee without it, He should deny Himself [and] abandon His truth. Dost thou think He will make Himself no God that He may make thee happy? Oh, how sad is thy case, when even as thyself has stated it, thou hast no hopes of heaven, but upon such terms as the very thought of them deserves hell forever!
[b]Observation: Many shall go far towards heaven and yet never reach it.[/b] They may go far in the ways of Christ and yet miss heaven in the conclusion. This is evident in the text. Here are many who had professed Christ and been zealous professors; who professed Him not in word only, but had really worshipped Him, had been much in hearing, preaching, praying, praising Him
.And yet for all this, when they shall come to allege these things at the Day of Judgment for their admission into heaven, Christ tells us here that He will shut them out. He will disclaim them and profess to them that He knows them not, i.e., that He never loved them, never approved them. He will command them to depart from Him and give them their portion with the workers of iniquity. There needs nothing more for evidence to this truth.
But the question here will be, "How far may professors go in the ways of Christ, and yet come short of heaven?"
I shall resolve this according to the method of the text by endeavoring to show how far they may go in both ordinaries and extraordinaries.
[b]1. In [i]extraordinaries:
Revelations, dreams, visions:[/i][/b] God may reveal Himself by dreams and visions. It is no peculiar privilege of the godly, which is promised, "your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions" (Joe 2:28; Act 2:16). For dreams, it is evident in Nebuchadnezzar, to whom "the Revealer of secrets," as Daniel speaks, by dreams made known what should be hereafter (Dan 2:47). His dream arose not from an ordinary cause: it was sent from the Lord, the Revealer of secrets. The subject of his dream was not ordinary, but secrets and things future. [It revealed] even the most remarkable acts of providence that should come to pass to the end of the world: the rise, periods, and revolutions of the worlds monarchies and the erecting of the kingdom of Christ, [Who is] the stone cut out without hands, which should crush all the kingdoms of the world and raise His throne upon their ruins (Dan 2:34). Here is a remarkable revelation, almost comparable to any mentioned in Scripture.
Pharaoh also had a revelation by a dream (Gen 41:25, 28). And when Saul complains that the Lord answered him not either by dreams or prophets, it implies that He did reveal Himself by these before [Saul] was cast off (1Sa 28:6). This is confirmed [by] Deuteronomy 13:1, 2.
For visions, we have a clear instance in Balaam, the wizard or enchanter, who used to seek for enchantments (Num 24:1). Even to him did the Lord reveal Himself by visions. God came unto him, conferred with him, and revealed to him both what he should say and what he should do (22:9, 12, 20). He had the vision of an angel (22:31)
God met Balaam and put a word into his mouth (23:4, 5). Two immediate revelations we have in that chapter and two in chapter 24, whereto the preface is observable: "And the spirit of God came upon him. And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open. . . which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open" (24:2-4); and, "
and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty" (v. 16).
[b][i]The gift of prophecy:[/i][/b] those, whom Christ shuts out of His kingdom and will take no notice of them, had this plea for themselves, "In thy name have we prophesied." It is known that Saul was at best but an hypocrite; yet, "and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them" (1Sa 10:10, 19, 23). Hence the proverb, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" And there is scarce a clearer prophecy of Christ at such a distance than that of Balaams, where he also foretells the ruin of several nationsMoab, Edom, Amalek, the Kenites, Assyrians, and Romansand who should ruin them, which the event has proved true (Num 24:17-24).
[i][b]The power to work miracles:[/b][/i] they may do signs and wonders, heal all diseases, cast out devils; yea, it is possible for them to remove mountains. For proof, see Deuteronomy 13:1, 2: "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass
saying, Let us go after other gods
" Idolaters may do these. They may also cast out devils. This they plead, whom Christ will not own: "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" (Mat 7: 22). Yet what they were appears by Christs profession, "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (v. 23)
it is express that Judas had power to work miracles. For Christ "called unto him his twelve disciples," whereof Judas was one, "he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease" (Mat 10:1). We cannot doubt but Judas was one, since he is named amongst them, verse four; and immediately after Judas [is] named, [Matthew] adds, "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying
heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give" (Mat 10:4-8).
[b][i]The gift of tongues:[/i][/b] "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels" (1Co 13:1). For these are not saving gifts, and therefore may be given to those who shall never be saved.
[b]2. In [i]ordinaries:[/i]
In knowledge, they may go far:[/b] this we may discover in the text. It is included in the word prophesy. For whether we take it for teaching and publishing the truth or foretelling things to come, it necessarily supposes and imports knowledge. And this knowledge may be,
(1) Great for the extent of it: it may reach many truths that are out of the reach of many sincere Christians. Their minds may grasp more of truth than the understanding of others is capable of; may admit more light than others can let in. They may dig further into the mines of truth and make greater discoveries. No question Judas knew more than many of those he preached to, though we may suppose some of them sincerely converted. If he had not known more than his hearers, he had not been apt to teach [or] fit to be their teacher. And Christ, who would have this to be observed as a qualification in those that we choose, would not Himself choose one destitute of it.
But that their knowledge may be exceeding great, the Apostle puts it out of question (1Co 13). . .They may know not only all necessary truths, those that are vital and radical, being the foundation of religion, but those which raise the structure and tend to edifying, nay, those which are for the finishing and completing of an intelligent Christian, which tend to make him a thoroughly furnished and accomplished man as to his intellectuals.
"All knowledge" is a large expression and will reach thus far and farther without stretching. He may far outgo a true saint in the largeness and extent of his knowledge
.He may apprehend truth not only truly, but clearly, distinctly, evidently so as the clearness of his conceptions may convince his conscience and satisfy his judgment of the truth he apprehends. His notions may appear in his mind with such a clear ray of evidence as may scatter all doubt [and] leave no room for question or contradiction. He may be able to convey his notions clearly to others so as to convince and satisfy them. A sincere soul, as to many things, may be much in the dark compared with him.
[b](2) [i]Divine[/i] as to the object of it:[/b] they may have great and clear knowledge of the things of God, of the truths of Christ, [and] of the doctrine of the Gospel; not only of those truths that are more common and obvious, but of the more mysterious and subtle parts thereof, those which are called the mysteries of the kingdom. "Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 13:11). Mysteries of God: "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God" (1Co 4:1). The Apostles discourse implies that he, who has no true grace, may know all mysteries, all Gospel mysteries (1Co 13:2). [The hypocrite may understand] a divine secret, such as could not have been known but by divine revelation, such as no light of nature, no human understanding could have ever reached had they not been brought down by the Spirit of revelation. He may see far into these mysteries; he may have access unto the most retired of those secrets; he may wade far into the deep things of God, as if all were fordable. Those things, which are difficult to others, may be easy to him
As for [i]experimentals[/i], though they have but this knowledge second-hand, yet they may have more at the second than those of experience have at the first. By experimental discourses and conversing with experienced Christians, they may come to great attainments in this kind. They may draw the lineaments of a new creature and to the life so exactly, as though they had a pattern thereof in their own souls. They may give such an account of the work of grace, as you may think they were transcribing their own hearts, and that their expressions were but copies of some original there. They may hold forth the conflicts betwixt the flesh and the spirit, as though the combat were in their own quarters, as though they had really felt some such thing as you hear. They may express the actings of grace in such and such a duty, such an occasion, under such a temptation, in such a manner, as you would think nothing could teach them but their own experience. They may have the exact idea, the true notion of these things in their heads, when there is nothing of all this in their hearts.
As for [i]textual divinity[/i], the understanding of the Scriptures, they may excel herein. They may overcome those difficulties, which some obscure places make impassable and unfordable to others. They may understand not only the words and phrases, and so become masters of the letter of the Scripture, but they may with a great sagacity, find out the sense and meaning of the Holy Ghost and may outstrip many herein who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.
[b](3) [i]Spiritual[/i] as to the author of it (such as proceeds from the Spirit of God):[/b] they may attain their knowledge, not only by their pains and industry in searching after it, by not only reading, study, conference, etc.; but the Holy Spirit may dart this light into them, either in the use of means or immediately (Heb 6:4-6). Those who were never in a sav-ing condition are said to be "enlightened." And who it was that enlightened them, we may learn by another clause in that verse: "partakers of the Holy Ghost." They partook of the Holy Ghost because they were partakers of the light and other gifts and operations of the Holy Ghost. They did partake of Him, as He communicated Himself to them. This was one way He enlightened themnot only in a common way, as all light and knowledge in the world may be said to come from the Father of light and as Christ is said to enlighten every man that comes into the world, viz., by implanting in their minds that light which we call "natural"
But He enlightens them in a more special and peculiar manner, though not the most peculiar, as He is Mediator and the great Prophet of His church. [Christ sends] His Spirit in the execution of His prophetical office to spread abroad a divine light in the minds of some who enjoy the Gospel, whereby they may discover the deep things of God. The Spirit of God may come upon such a man as Balaam, or Saul, or Caiaphas, and may shine into their souls, if not ordinarily now with a prophetical light, yet with an evangelical light to discover to them the secrets of Christ, the mysteries of the Gospel, and the things of the world to come
.They may partake of the Holy Ghost and be thereby so enlightened as to see these things and so see them as to taste them. They may by this light discover the excellency, goodness, [and] sweetness of these things so clearly and convincingly as if they did taste them. Such a light, such a knowledge, they may have from the Spirit of Christ in that respect a spiritual knowledge, and yet have their portion in outer darkness.
[b](4) [i]Operative[/i]:[/b] their knowledge may be in great measure effectual. It may have a mighty efficacy both upon their souls and lives, both upon heart and affections, and upon their conversation. It may have an influence both upon inward and outward man, powerful to change both in some degree.
Now since this knowledge may have such power upon the affections, and seeing affections are but the acts and motions of the will, it follows that it may have some efficacy upon the will. Now the will being the great wheel that [being] moved sets all the parts of the whole man on motion, it is hence evident that their knowledge may be operative upon the whole man. It may have a working influence upon every faculty within, upon every part and member without. For the inward efficacy of it, we have said sufficient at present. It may excite fear, hope, joy, sorrow, etc
.See here the efficacy of this knowledge as to reformation of life: it may make them not only avoid sin, but fly from it, fly from it as from a pollution, as though they loathed and abhorred itfly from it, as we do from that we are greatly afraid of and to fly so far, so fast, as one would think it could never overtake, one would hope they had made a clear escape. Such, so powerful may be the knowledge of those that are no better than hypocrites.
Oh, consider your sad condition! Will you stay far short of those who fall short of heaven? If those who come so near Canaan as they can descry it, so near it as they taste some of it, shall yet fall in the wilderness and never enjoy it, how can they come to Canaan, who will not stir out of Egyptian darkness? How can you come to the land of promise, come to heaven, who stay in your ignorance, that which is worse than Egyptian darkness and a condition further from heaven than Egypt is from Canaan? A man with thus much knowledge may possibly perish, but an ignorant person shall certainly perish.
From "The Conviction of Hypocrites" in [i]The Works of David Clarkson[/i], Vol. 2,
reprinted by The Banner of Truth Trust.
David Clarkson (1622-1686): Independent Puritan preacher and author. Colleague of John Owen and successor to Owens pulpit. Clarkson wrote powerful, experimental works. Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
| 2007/1/23 23:36||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Hypocrisy ~ Various|
The Christian, however, does not belong to that class. He will at times begin to be terribly alarmed, lest, after all, his godliness should be but seeming and his profession an empty vanity. He who is true will sometimes suspect himself of falsehood, while he who is false will wrap himself up in a constant confidence of his own sincerity. My dear Christian brethren, if you are at this time in doubt concerning yourselves, the truths to utter will perhaps help you in searching your own heart and trying your own reins; and sure I am you will not blame me if I should seem to be severe. But you will rather say, "Sir, I desire to make sure work concerning my own soul; tell me faithfully and tell me honestly what are the signs of a hypocrite, and I will sit down and try to read my own heart to discover whether these things have a bearing upon me. And happy shall I be if I shall come out of the fire like pure gold."
| 2007/4/3 16:20||Profile|
| Re: Hypocrisy ~ Various|
Hypocrisy is a weed naturally springing in all ground. The best heart is not perfectly clear or free of it. John Flavel
In The Mystery of Providence, J. Flavel also wrote
"Yea, the holiest,and best of men, before God: [b]'verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity' Ps 39:5[/b]
'Every man,' take where you will; and every man 'in his best state', or 'standing in his freshest glory,' is not only 'vanity', but altogether vanity.' literally 'every man is very vanity.' For do but consider the best of men in their extraction. ' By nature the children of wrath even as others'.
In my mind, it doesn't really make much difference, hypocrisy or not, for the non/false Christians, men/women are all hypocrites of some sort, and even when they are at their very best or holiest, as one read in the above verse in Psalms, they are vanity.
Flavel called it a weed, sadly, for as long as we (the Christians) live in the flesh, hypocritical actions or behaviours will spring up here and there from our sin nature.
Perhaps pride is the main root of this "weed"..., whereas unbelief the seed thereof. Even with a "best heart", one will definitely not be permanantly clear or free of it, I think.
As for the danger of hypocrisy in Christians, (me included), it has got to be the robbing of Christ's glory.
| 2007/4/3 21:14||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Hypocrites|
[b]A hypocrite may be known by the fact that his speech and his actions are contrary to one another.[/b] As Jesus says, "They say and they do not." The hypocrite can speak like an angel; he can quote texts with the greatest rapidity. He can talk concerning all matters of religion, whether they be theological doctrines, metaphysical questions, or experimental difficul-ties. In his own esteem, he knoweth much and when he rises to speak, you will often feel abashed at your own ignorance in the presence of his superior knowledge.
[b]The next mark of a hypocrite is that whenever he does right it is that he may be seen of men.[/b] The hypocrite sounds a trumpet before his alms and chooses the corner of the streets for his prayers. To him virtue in the dark is almost a vice: he can never detect any beauty in virtue, unless she has a thousand eyes to look upon her, and then she is something indeed. The true Christian, like the nightingale, sings in the night; but the hypocrite has all his songs in the day, when he can be seen and heard of men. To be well-spoken of is the very elixir of his life. If he be praised, it is like sweet wine to him. The censure of man upon a virtue would make him change his opinion concerning it in a moment, for his standard is the opinion of his fellow creatures. His law is the law of self-seeking and of self-honoring: he is virtuous because to be virtuous is to be praised. But if tomorrow vice were at a premium, he would be as vicious as the rest. Applause is what too many are seeking after.
There is another sign of the hypocrite; and now the lash will fall on my own back and on most of us too. [b]Hypocrites, and other people besides hypocrites, are generally severe with others and very lenient with themselves.[/b] Have you ever heard a hypocrite describe himself? I describe him thus: "you are a mean, beggarly fellow." "No," says he, "I am not; I am economical." I say to him, "You are dishonest, you are a thief." "No," says he, "I am only cute and sharp for the times." "Well, but," I say to him, "you are proud and conceited." "Oh!" says he, "I have only a proper and manly respect." "Ay, but you are a fawning, cringing fellow." "No," says he, "I am all things to all men." Somehow or other he will make vice look like a virtue in himself, but he will deal by the reverse rule with others.
| 2008/1/16 8:24||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Hypocrisy ~ Various|
[i]Edit; Origianly posted the middle section as an excerpt. Detaching it from the whole for the purpose of the heading (Hypocrisy). Felt though it might be long that I could not really do justice this way, have now included the whole of it, even if it is but a section of a greater work.[/i]
[b]Faithful Witness to the Truth[/b]
Then He was a [i]faithful Witness[/i] to the truth.
Its a word that was very often on His mouth on His lips: the truth truth truth. Faithful and True Witness He is called in another place in this book of the Revelation [3:14]: [i]faithful Witness[/i] to the Truth.
There was faithfulness about His Witness, His Witness as to the truth of man. He covered up nothing. He made no pretence that man is better than he is. He was faithful in His Witness as to what man is. We might be afraid to do that. Or we might think it not politic. We certainly would know that it would be unpopular to speak the truth about man. But Jesus was faithful in this in the uncovering and the exposure of the truth about man.
He was faithful to the truth about God. He was faithful in His Witness to the truth about sin sin. And He was faithful in His witness to the truth about satan. He does not hedge this matter. He does not hesitate to uncover the devil; He exposes him, drags him right out into the light, tells you exactly what he is: hes a liar from the beginning - hes a murderer. A [i]faithful Witness[/i] to the truth.
Why? Because He was the Truth. His nature was the Truth. And there we must stay to use more of our time. It is a tremendously important thing, in relation to the power of Resurrection, to authority, to Government, to what is here revealed as to Christ in Resurrection. It is a basic, a fundamental thing that there shall be the Truth the true Witness.
You see, His authority, His judgment, His government, His everything His right His right to call the churches into question, His right to judge the nations, His right to deal with the kingdom of satan is based upon this thing this one thing, and that He [i]IS[/i] the Truth. He is [i]TRUE[/i]. He is [i]TRUE[/i]. There can be no comeback from Church or world or satan which would find some point in Him that was a flaw, that was not true. That would upset His whole authority, His right to judge. It is all resting upon the fact that He is True.
Dear friends, you will at once pass in mind from Him to ourselves, to the Church, see weakness, failure to register, the lack of authority, the absence of authority; and all this terrible state of weakness, and that the world can point at the Church, point a finger. And that the Church has not the influence and power with the world; and that satan can stand and hold the ground and almost laugh at the Church is very largely due to the fact that the truth is not here. Its not true. It is just not true. Many of the things that you say may be true in themselves; theyre not true in you. Many of the things that you profess, while in themselves they may be correct, they are not true of you. Theres a gap between what you profess, and say, and claim, and yourself. Its just not real in your own case. Therefore your whole position is given away. You see what Im getting at.
This is a very important matter for witness, for influence, for effectiveness, for standing before God and standing before man, before the world, and standing before satan. What a large place God has given to this matter of truth! He is Himself the God of Truth. He is shown in His Word to be very jealous over the truth. He is said to desire truth in the inward parts. He holds all lies, we are told, in abomination. He has consigned all liars to the lake of fire, so the Word says [Revelation 21:8]. He excludes from the city, the New Jerusalem, [i]EVERYTHING[/i] that maketh a lie. It has no place within [Revelation 21:27]. Jesus Himself is called the Truth. He called Himself the Truth. And here He is [i]the Faithful and true Witness.[/i]
While, on the other side satan, at the other extreme, in the other realm altogether, is called the liar, and the father of lies [John 8:44]. The whole structure of creation collapsed when the lie, the falsehood entered in. There was that time that all that beautiful structure just went to pieces. It was all because of a lie, a lie came in. And if there is a lie in anything, thats whats going to happen to it. Sooner or later it is going to mean the collapse, the disintegration of any structure, if theres a lie in it.
The result of that lie entering at the beginning was that man himself became a lie. Man became a falsehood. It was not just that there was untruth in him: he himself [i]BECAME[/i] a falsehood. He is a deceived creature. Theres a lie in his very nature. He is not the true thing that God made him and intended him to be. He is a misrepresentation of Gods thought about man. There is a lie not only in his nature and constitution, but there is a lie in his life and in his work. He hopes and he believes. He works and he strives. And it is all in vain. It is all in vain.
The wise man said that he had explored every realm of knowledge and learning. He had sought out every secret law. He had made it his business to go into every realm to discover its secrets and to make himself acquainted and familiar with all things with all things. And he said when Ive done it (and, you know, he did get quite a lot; the Queen of the South came to see his wisdom. And the wisdom of the [
] of Solomon is proverbial, if it is not fabulous), hed gone a long way in this matter, and when he had done it all, made it his life business, he said: [i]All is vanity. All is vanity. All is vanity[/i] [Ecclesiastes 12:8]. Theres a lie in it all. Theres a falsehood in the whole thing. Disappointment awaits the best that man can do. Disappointment is his destiny. Thats the end.
Man thinks that hes free, but he is a prisoner. He thinks that he knows, but hes a fool. Thats not too strong a word. In the light of things today you have to say: Oh, what fools men are. The wisest and the cleverest and the strongest of them, what fools they are. Theyve missed the Way. He thinks he knows. Hes a fool. He thinks he can do, and he does a great many things. But where does it end? In the hydrogen bomb. Terror, fear in all the earth, apprehension, holding of the breath, men at their wits end. What to do? What to do? Thats what he can do. The end of his wonderful, wonderful work, all that he can do, only leads to more problems still more problems. He builds on sand, not on rock. His whole world is run by lies, [hypocrisy], make-believe, pretence, falsehood.
One of the rarest commodities in this world is downright honesty, in politics, in industry, in commerce, in business, in society downright honesty. Man can only succeed in this world if he misrepresents or deceives or pretends (I speak quite generally), if he mixes things a bit, he exaggerates a bit. What about all our advertisements? What a marvellous, marvellous world this would be if a modicum of what is said in our advertisements were really true. My, we should have reached utopia. We should all have immortal bodies. We well! The golden age would come if only half a dozen advertisements were true. Its true thats a fact, you know. Just read them and, of course, you read them and youre captured and go off and buy this, that: food or medicine or something. And then you try it out, and afterwards, well, it hadnt done the thing it was advertised to do. But man can only run his world like that. He can only get on, he can only make money, he can only get any success by these appearances and exaggerations.
Theres a lie, you see, somewhere in the whole creation, and the lie has gone into religion. The charge that our Lord laid against the scribes and the Pharisees was in a horrible word a horrible word: [i]HYPOCRITES![/i] play-actors, pretenders, those who are making believe. [i]HYPOCRITES![/i] false, false. Yes, the outside of the platter washed, but underneath... the sepulchre painted white, but inside: rotting bones. The Lord saw through! Its a horrible story, isnt it? this story of mans deceived and lying nature.
Over against that, you see, Jesus says: [i]I am the Truth; I came to bear witness of the Truth[/i] [John 18:37]. Those were among His last words at the Cross, for His statement to Pilate that He had come to bear witness of the Truth and Pilate was so unfamiliar with that commodity that he said Well, [i]WHAT IS TRUTH?[/i] I Im not familiar with that. I I dont know anything about that. What is it? What is that thing you call truth? This world doesnt know what that is.
The Truth, the true Witness. You see, its a great spiritual fundamental law. This is why I said that it is so important to note these things at the beginning, that this is an unveiling of Jesus in Authority and in Government and in just Judgment, because it rests upon this. No-one has a right to exercise authority or judgment at all. No-one has a right to be in a place of government unless this can be said of them: They are true. They are true absolutely true, through and through. Theres no lie in them. Theres no falsehood in them. There is no question about them. There are no two things in them that contradict each other.
Dear friends, that is why the Lord Jesus came to the church's [i]BEGINNING[/i]. He started there, you see. [i]Judgment begins at the house of God,[/i] and He began this whole exercise of His Authority with the churches, the seven churches symbolic, of course, of the whole Church, and He stands before and He is really saying, Look here, you are weak, you have failed, your testimony has broken down. The world is not feeling the impact of your presence. Powers of evil are making inroads into your life as churches, and it is because this is the implication it is because theres something false there something false there. You notice how again and again, in His messages to the churches, He raises this question of falsehood and truth whether things are true. Oh, it is important for it to be like this about us that we are real, that we are real, that we are genuine, that what we say is true, what we pretend or profess is true of us. It must be like that for spiritual power in this world. If only the Church could recover itself from the weakness resultant from a false position something that is not really true. [i]As the truth is in Jesus.[/i] If our representation of Gods Mind were more exactly according to [i]THAT MIND[/i], what power there would be what power there would be. But as I said, as the creation at the beginning collapsed and went to pieces because a lie entered in, its an abiding an abiding fact that wherever there is anything that is questionable, doubtful, not true, not real, there will be sooner or later spiritual collapse. We have to be built upon the foundation of the Truth the Truth.
Now this so much explains, does it not, the very title of the Holy Spirit that Jesus gave Him: [i]When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come[/i] [John 16:13]. [i]The Spirit of Truth[/i] the Holy Spirit is [i]THAT![/i] He is exact! He is particular! He sees through everything. And if you and I walk in the Spirit, we shall be very true. We shall be very real. There would be nothing that is doubtful and false about us. We shall be checked up on everything: upon maybe an exaggeration maybe an exaggeration, it may be a pretence, a make-believe, anything that is not true, that is false, the Holy Spirit will check us up on that not because He delights to bring us into judgment, but simply because it is so very important for the building of that which is going to stand, abide, and go through, and go right through to the end, and come out triumphant at the end. It is so important that right from the foundation the thing should be true.
The Lord will take us down, take us down, take us down, all to pieces, and bring us right down to the bottom in order to begin with what is true if theres a superstructure that is unsafe because it is mixed or because it is not true. And we ought to be thankful to the Lord that He does that. I am sure we would say: Lord, let there be no falsehood in my position, no untruth in what I profess. There should be nothing that is not absolutely real in what people think about me. Its very important. You see, the Lord Jesus stands as He does, and as He may, to judge, and to be the Measure because He is the true Witness the true Witness. That is, He is the embodiment of the Truth.
Now that is a sombre word. Its a searching word. It is not perhaps a very inspiring and uplifting word. But, you see, after all, this is a title of the Risen Lord a title of the Risen Lord. Why did God raise Him from the dead? Why could He be raised from the dead? God wont raise a lie! God will never even resuscitate a falsehood! He was raised because He was the true Witness. He had in His Own Person borne a true testimony to His Father, and to the thoughts of His Father. Its a matter of life whether theres truth, you see. Life can never go alongside of anything thats not true. Life demands the Truth.
[url=http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/000418.html]Titles of the Risen Lord[/url]
| 2008/8/13 22:36||Profile|
Sparks has a way of saying things, he just thrust that truth in there and twist it around.
I recently heard a sermon from him called reality through the cross, there is one part where this old sparks, 1967 i think, two years before he went to glory speaks with such trembling in his voice about [i]the[/i] reality in his/our walk.
if you havent heard it brother, take a listen, i think you will appreciated it.
God bless you brother
| 2008/8/13 23:44||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Hypocrisy ~ Various|
I recently heard a sermon from him called reality through the cross, there is one part where this old sparks, 1967 i think, two years before he went to glory speaks with such trembling in his voice about the reality in his/our walk.
I must search that out, thank you brother. Sparks has a way as you mentioned, he always brings me back to contemplation, conviction ... such a myriad of things; his demeanor, his ability to speak truthfully without guile or a misplaced criticism ...
[i]speaks with such trembling in his voice about the reality in his/our walk.[/i]
God bless you dear brother.
(Forgot to mention I went back an edited the post prior, felt it was necessary to include it all)
| 2008/8/14 0:26||Profile|