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Hypocracy, false teachings and false leaders
Be honest with yourself and others!
There are different types of hypocrisy and falseness in the world. Its consequences can be soul destroying and fatal to many.
From the Biblical perspective, hypocrisy was often mentioned in the New Testament when Christ spoke about the Pharisees. Old and New Testament prophets and writers, often referred to false leaders and many passages of scripture warn of the dangers of false teachers and of wolves.
Even Godly people were misled and deceived, as described in Galatians 2:13, where fear of the hypocritical pharisees turned Apostle Peter from doing God's Will. Peter was called by God to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, he had been given a vision by God telling him not to be afraid to go out to the Gentiles, (Acts 10:9).
The vision - Peter fell in a trance, he saw many unkosher animals and birds. A voice told him to get up and eat. Peter replied to the Lord, that he could not eat because he has never eaten unkosher (impure, unclean) food. The voice said, do not call anything impure that God has made clean. The voice spoke these things to Peter THREE TIMES. Three is God's number which means God's divine completion.
God's meaning to this vision and Peter's calling, is that if God makes something clean then it becomes kosher, he used the animals in the vision as symbols of unkosher Gentiles being made kosher, this true meaning will be seen below as we read further.
It is this one verse that is constantly used ritualistically (particularly by cults) and referred to by the majority of the Christian population, in order to convince themselves, that it is okay to eat unkosher foods such as pig meat, meat with blood in it and seafood etc. They have used ONE verse out of the whole scriptures on kosher/unkosher/and the importance of being obedient to God, to justify their reason to disobey God's commands - they have been brainwashed and misled into acknowledging and using that piece of scripture to maintain deception in the churches. Why do I say this? What makes me so sure I am right in what I say? Peter interprets the vision himself in the following verses! Christians are blind to this-choosing to ignore the meaning of the vision.
In verse 19 Peter is told by The Holy Spirit to go and speak with THREE men, that The Holy Spirit had called.These three men led Peter to a group of Gentiles. Peter then spoke to the group of Gentiles about the Gospel of Christ Yeshua, (in Jewish culture Jews were not allowed to associate with Gentiles who were considered ungodly people).
Now this verse is rejected by Christians because it explains the true meaning of Peter's calling to speak to the Gentiles whom God had made clean. This does not mean that all Gentiles are made clean, only those who believe in Yeshua. This group of Gentiles became 'born again' believers and therefore 'made clean' (kosher).
But Christians argue that God said through Peter's dream that they can eat unkosher food, they reject the follow - up verses that explain Peter's vision clearly. Christian's have an unhealthy habit of humanising God (bringing God down to their level of understanding). They assume that when God said His Commandments were an 'everlasting' covenant, that he would behave like a human being and change his mind about his commandments, render them invalid and obsolete and therefore write them off completely! Christians assume that God breaks his promises! They assume God the Almighty changes his plans!
When God sent his son Yeshua to us, he had planned this before mankind was even created! He produced the commandments before Jews were created!. God planned everything way before humans ever existed!
God does not change his mind but keeps his promises and this applies also to his commandments including the one that says his people cannot eat meat with the life blood in it or to avoid unkosher foods such as pig meat. And this is evidenced by what Peter says in the following passages of scripture.
Peter clearly interprets his vision in verse 28 " You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean." Peter then spoke to the Gentiles saying, " I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. While Peter spoke the Holy Spirit came upon the Gentiles, they were then also baptised in water to complete their 're-birth into the kingdom of God.
The key to understanding the above passage is ' those who FEAR (Respect) God and do what is right becomes clean and pure, even Gentiles. In other words those Gentiles, who reject the sinful ways of the ungodly ,and who turn to God, become righteous and therefore acceptable to God as pure and kosher (as symbolised in the vision by the animals). It has nothing to do with being permitted to eat unkosher foods!
The above scripture is only one of the many passages of scripture that has been misinterpreted by Christian leaders and imparted onto their 'flock' to mislead them from the truth. Why has that happened? How could they misinterpret scripture if they are leaders/teachers of God's word?
There are many reasons, but we were warned by the apostles, that there are many deceivers who have entered the church to deceive the people, they come as wolves in sheep clothing. Christians have ignored this advice, particularly in Western countries-our naivety has been very costly, as many believers have remained on the milk (basic teachings). They have rejected the Holy Spirits teachings, and accepted man's explanations of God's word.
Peter says God had shown him that it was okay to associate with Gentiles, and it was through the Holy Spirit this truth was revealed to him (verse 19). Even this explanation was also misinterpreted so that Christians have convinced themselves, that God loves everyone no matter how evil they are.
Christians take a verse out of context and use it to suit their purposes. The reason this happens is quite simple and can be logically seen when we recall the 'born again' process.
As seen in the Cornelius household, the Gentiles listened to the Gospel and teachings being spoken by Peter , they received what he said and the Holy Spirit came upon them, they spoke in the Holy Spirit's language (evidence of them receiving The Holy Spirit), they were immediately baptised fully immersed in water to complete the process of changing from a Gentile to a child of God and a follower of Christ!
When all of these THREE things happen - the person becomes a NEW PERSON - BORN ANEW! When this happens - the new born begins to learn new things, about God, His kingdom and his holiness. When a person has the Holy Spirit in their life and they are born anew, their understanding of Godly things is intensified! The Holy Spirit teaches them and demonstrates to them -THE TRUTH!
However, it is possible for a 'born again' person to be deceived if they allow fear to enter them or rebellion take root, then they lose the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (The Holy Spirit cannot dwell with the profane). This is when the believer falls into falseness. This is evidenced when we read about Peter after he was told to speak and associate with Gentiles. In Galatians 2:13 Apostle Paul says "I apposed him (Peter) to his face because he was clearly in the wrong.... he (Peter) used to eat with the Gentiles,... but then drew back and separated himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcised group (Orthodox Jews)." Peter, through his fear of the orthodox rabbis, misled Gentile believers, (Gals1: 6).
There was dissension between the disciples regarding certain laws, leaders could not decide whether certain laws were relevant to Gentiles or not. One of these was about Jews being commanded to be circumcised to accept the covenant between them and God- this act is what separates the Jews from the rest of the world, as God's Chosen people.
Gentiles were encouraged, by some, to also be circumcised, however, other leaders felt it unnecessary. Arguments still exist today as to whether Christians should perform this act,
Paul says there is neither a right nor wrong answer to this question, however, it is not a commandment for Gentile believers to be circumcised but they can do so if they want. The understanding is to realise that circumcision has nothing to do with being righteous or saved or made holy-it is purely a symbolic act to seal the covenant between man and God. Christian believers do not have to be circumcised as their covenant was made to God through their acceptance of Yeshua as the Son of God, the Savior and the Messiah to come!
Many believers, like the Galatians, have given up their gospel to follow the Law and that is why Christians today fear when people say to them 'you must observe God's Laws'. However, there is a significant difference between giving up your faith and Christ, rejecting him as your savior, to that of just being willing to live a 'righteous life' following Yeshua's way, as he states in the Commandments and God's guideline! These practical guidelines state items such as 'Do not charge interest on loans within the family of God or Do not pervert justice or when you have certain infections separate yourself from other people for a period of time. If the Christian world of believers were to follow these principles we would be half way to heaven in this world!
The principle point in Chapter 1 of Galatians was that Peter went to the extreme, he became legalistic because he feared 'man' more than God. This can happen to any believer if he does not fully understand God's word and Yeshua's teachings so that fear and doubt enter their hearts. Now we know that Peter was a Godly Apostle, but this example in Galatians was written for a purpose - to educate others to see how easy it is to be swayed from the true path! Whether it be from false teaching or emotional fear or community pressures. It is easy to allow 'things, thoughts, etc to interrupt our walk with God.
It is important to recognise that strict orthodox Jews, live by rules that bind people, removing their freedom, as Yeshua said 'They place a heavy yolk on the people'. The rabbis imposed further regulations to God's Laws, which made life more difficult. These were referred to as 'traditions of the Elders' in Mark 7:5. Yeshua said in verse 7 " They (the pharisees) worship me (God) in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and holding onto the traditions of men."
The Galatians do what many believers do, they accepted Yeshua as their savior and Lord, they obeyed and went through water baptism, received the gifts of the Spirit; they experienced Yeshua through the Holy Spirit (In biblical times - they actually saw and heard Yeshua), then some little matter rears up to create doubt, then that doubt grows into rebellion, then complacency and finally 'total withdrawal' from the Gospel of Christ. This denouncement of their faith may not be an open 'explicit' act but an 'implied one. Paul was referring to a false gospel being preached, that the Galatians had forgotten the rich blessings of being a believer, one who experienced all of God's Holy kingdom, including the Holy Spirit gifts (Gal 3:3).
Interestingly, the verses in Galatians 2:14 -15, are also popular misinterpretations of the truth used by Christians to take them away from obedience to God.
Paul writes in such a difficult way that it is easy to misunderstand his meaning, however, if the reader understands God's Judaism (not mankind's interpretation of it) and if the reader understands God's mind (from what he commands through his written commandments) and if the reader asks the Holy Spirit to show the truth) the reader would see these verses in the true context. Paul says to Peter in verse 14 " You are a Jew, yet you live like a gentile and not like a Jew. How is it then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? We who are Jews by birth and not 'gentile sinners' know that a man is not justified by observing the Law, but by faith in Jesus Christ...
Christian leaders use the above verses to deceive believers. They misinterpret this as meaning Gentiles do not need to follow the commandments (and contradict themselves by following the Ten Commandments which is a summary of all the commandments given in Exodus 21). These laws are directions on how to live a holy life, to be just and kind to your fellow man and to honour and obey God - yet Christians reject this! I have always had difficulty understanding this attitude of people, who call themselves 'followers of Christ'. Their argument is that Paul said the above, which they interpret as meaning they do not have to follow God's law because they live by faith through Jesus Christ. This is a very subtle perversion of the true meaning of Paul's writings. When you understand the overall truth about justification,God's law and faith then it is easy to put Paul's meaning into the right context and perspective.
Paul was actually saying that the Law was produced to convict Jews of their sinfulness and a constant reminder/guidance to avoid committing these sins. God's commandments were EVERLASTING ORDINANCES! This means that he has never changed his mind about the use of these commandments, they are for our use forever.
The Law was never intended to provide 'eternal life' or to justify a person of their sin. Yeshua (Jesus Christ) was sent to do that! That is why Yeshua says he has come to fulfil the Law - he has come to 'complete' it. The Law convicts people of their sin by bringing it to their awareness, Yeshua provides the next step - to forgive sin! He also provides the gift of eternal life! That is the true GOSPEL!
Yeshua is the only one who can forgive (justify) sin or give us eternal life! That is the meaning of Paul's writings above. He does not say Gentile Christians must ignore the Law!
That is what Paul meant by " man is not justified by observing the law but by faith in Yeshua....." He is saying that justification comes from the SON OF GOD - Yeshua. But the Law is part of the walk to acquire righteousness. Yeshua himself continued observing the commandments, he observed the sabbath,he did not eat unkosher food, and he did not follow man's interpretation of Torah (Law), for example, he encouraged the disciples to heal the sick on the Sabbath,(Matt 12:10) the Pharisees said he was breaking the Law. However, God's law says to love 'him' first and to love others also - love includes helping those who are hungry, sick and suffering, on any day of the week, including the Sabbath!
The above is evidence of how believers have been deceived or deceive others by falsely interpreting God's word. There are many other examples and most of the misinterpretations focus on scripture about how believers, Jew and Gentile, should behave by obeying God, following Yeshua etc. False teachers try to detract from obeying God and the key method is to detract from obedience of the Laws that are relevant to God's people.
Deceptions are typically the serpents method of distracting, misdirecting or confusing the believer into doubting the truth and twisting the truth into becoming a lie.
The serpent whispers in the ears of believers and says to them " This law is just a way to imprison you. to take away your freedom. God wants you to be free that is why he sent Jesus." This is the biggest lie ever!
God sent Yeshua to set you free from the serpent's chains of bondage and from sin! You can see the subtle difference!
Yeshua says "he came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it." This means that Yeshua came to provide what the Torah Law does not provide - JUSTIFICATION and ETERNAL LIFE!
Is it starting to make sense to you now? How easily the serpent and the wolves distort your thinking? How easily you are misguided? It is so subtle that it is easy to trip you up! It sounds correct to the novice ear! It sounds doctrinally acceptable when spoken but the subtle differences are the deciders between an obedient servant of God and a disobedient one. Rebellion and disobedience is how the devil (satan - the serpent) deceived Eve in the Garden and how he managed to deceive many Godly leaders ever since! But remember this important point, satan cannot deceive a Godly person if led by the Holy Spirit, and lives a righteous life. He can only deceive the 'Elect' if they allow it - How do they allow it? By having a weak area that gives satan an open door to enter into your thoughts and behaviour. What I mean by that is seen with Peter, a great man of God, who became fearful of the orthodox rabbis - he feared man more than God - a big mistake to make! That fear was Peter's Achilles Heel (his weakness). The fear was the 'open door' which led to Peter's action (behaviour) to withdraw from doing God's Will! This then is a rebellion against God and as the scripture says ' Rebellion is as witchcraft' it is equal to being unrighteous! Isaiah 15:23. And if unrighteous then unsaved!
Be wise to satan's wiles, be wise to his subtle distractions and distortions. Be aware their are many deceivers in the world ready to rob you of the truth. Seek the truth through the Holy Spirit.
In conclusion, read the book of Hebrews chapter 8 whereby God promises a new covenant to Jews and Gentile believers and this covenant will be better than when God took them out of Egypt to freedom, led by Moses, into the dessert and then onto the Promised land.
This time Yeshua will lead them out of the slavery of this world into the future Holy Land - the real - Promised Land!, where God himself will dwell, as he promised ( verses 8 to 13).
" This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel, after that time, declares the Lord." The words 'After that time' significantly refer to the period after this 'present' period -prior to Lord Yeshua's return as the Messiah! After that time, is when the Messiah Yeshua has returned and taken up his place on the judgement seat!
The time referred to is the commencment of the 'Millennium period (the 1,000 years transition period, after the judgement period). And God says the following:
" I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying , 'know the Lord', because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."
" By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. "
You can now see in context that reference to the covenant refers also to the law in the above passage says it is 'obsolete' but it refers to the millennium period when ALL WILL KNOW YESHUA, and ALL WILL KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SIN AND HOLINESS. It is a future prophesy that the law (within the covenant) will become obsolete because sin will be NO MORE, and Yeshua WILL BE OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, and all will be holy!