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The Character of the Hypocrite in the Gospel

They Only Abide by Religion Superficially and Do Not Truly Believe

Woe to you... you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law [God's commandments]—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have done these things without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. (Matthew, 23:23-24)

Woe to you... you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. (Matthew, 23:25-26)

Woe to you... because you give... a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. These are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. (Luke, 11:42)

... You... clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Didn't God make the inside as well as the outside? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. (Luke, 11:39-41)

They Try to Portray Religion as Difficult

Jesus replied, "And you experts in the law [Holy Book scholars], woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them." (Luke, 11:46)

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:  "... So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see..." (Matthew, 23:1-5)

They Add Things to Religion and Multiply Lawful and Unlawful Things to Appear Full of Devotion

... Hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.  They... order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. (1 Timothy, 4:1-3)

Since you died... to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules:  "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"  These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. (Colossians, 2:20-23)

He replied... "Their [hypocrites’] teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!" (Mark, 7:6-9)

They are Secretly Irreligious

For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality... (Jude, 1:4)

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy, 3:1-5)

Although They Possess Knowledge, They Do Not Understand Faith

... People will be... having a form of godliness but denying its power... They are the kind who worm their way into homes... who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. (2 Timothy, 3:1-7)

... The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law [God's commandments], but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. (1 Timothy, 1:3-7)

They Say What is Not in Their Hearts

He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesized about you hypocrites; as it is written 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.'" (Mark, 7:6; Matthew 15:7-8)

... The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.  Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.  They want to be teachers of the law [God's commandments], but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. (1 Timothy, 1:3-7)

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,  "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. (John, 12:4-6)

They Worship for Show

While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples,  "Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the prayer houses and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers... Such men will be punished most severely." (Luke, 20:45-47; Mark, 12:38-40)

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the prayer houses and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. (Matthew, 6:5)

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "... So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.  They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see..."  (Matthew, 23:1-5)

Woe to you... you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing it. (Luke, 11:43-44)

They Worry about Other People's Approval, Instead of God's

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But... they would not confess their faith... for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. (John, 12:42-43)

They Do Not Do What They Tell Others to Do

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:  "... So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.  They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see..." (Matthew, 23:1-5)

How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (Luke, 6:42)

Their External Appearances are Deceptive

Woe to you... you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. (Matthew, 23:27-28)

They Plot against Believers

Then they sent some... to him, intending to trap him in what he said. (Mark, 12:13)

When Jesus left there... began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions,  waiting to catch him in something he might say. (Luke, 11:53-54)

I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.  (2 Corinthians, 11:26)

They Join Believers to Send Reports to Deniers

Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. (Luke, 20:20)

They Seek to Have Believers Imprisoned with False Evidence

Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. (Luke, 20:20)

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people... Judas... the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard"... (Matthew, 26:47-49; Mark 14:43-45)

They Seek to Kill or Exile Believers

All the people... were furious when they heard this.  They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.  But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. (Luke, 4:28-30)

Woe to you... 'I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.' (Luke, 11:47-49)

[Jesus:] "I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word." (John, 8:37)

They Collaborate against and Betray Believers

... He [Jesus] said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me."... "It is one of the Twelve," he replied, "one who dips bread into the bowl with me."  (Mark, 14:18-20)

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests  and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him [Jesus] over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.  From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over... (Matthew, 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11)

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.  Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him."  Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him... (Matthew, 26:47-49; Mark 14:43-45)

Then satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.  And Judas went... discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.  They were delighted and agreed to give him money.  He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present. (Luke, 22:3-6)

Then Jesus replied, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!"  He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him. (John, 6:70-71)

They are Full of Hatred toward Believers

All the people... were furious when they heard this.  They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.  But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. (Luke, 4:28-30)

The... teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely... But Jesus knew what they were thinking... But they were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus. (Luke, 6:7-11)

They Deliberately Watch out and Seek Weaknesses among Muslims

They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him [Jesus]. ..  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." (John, 8:6-7)

But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?" (Matthew, 22:18)

They Invent Excuses to Avoid Striving on God's Path

He [Jesus] said to another man, "Follow me."  But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."  Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God [hereafter]."  Still another said, "I will follow you... but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."  Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God [Paradise]"... (Luke, 9:57-62; Matthew, 8:19-22)

They Do Not Want to Spend in the Way of God

[Jesus:] "You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother." "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.  Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God [paradise]!  Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God [paradise]." (Luke, 18:20-25)

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.  Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you... have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?  Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." (Acts, 5:1-4)

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy, 6:9-10)

They Approach Believers out of Self-Interest

In the very same way, these dreamers... they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error... These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves... These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. (Jude, 1:8, 11-12, 16)

... They are... reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!  (2 Peter, 2:13-14)

They Abandon Believers When There is Nothing to Gain from Them

... Now many antichrists have come... They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. (1 John, 2:18-19)

They are Unwise

... Yet these men... what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them. (Jude, 1:8,10)

... Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings [God is beyond this]... But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes... (2 Peter, 2:10-13)

They are Arrogant and Unpleasantly Brazen

Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings [God is beyond this]... these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish... (2 Peter, 2:10-12)

In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings... Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand... (Jude, 1:8-10)

They Seek to Hinder Other People's Faith

Woe to you experts in the law [Holy Book scholars], because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering. (Luke, 11:52)

Woe to you... hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven [paradise] in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (Matthew, 23:13-14)

They Seek to Divert People Whose Faith is Weak from the True Path

... They are... reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! (2 Peter, 2:13-14)

For they [hypocrites] mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. (2 Peter, 2:18)

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving ... Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. (Romans, 16:17-18)

Woe to you... you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. (Matthew, 23:15)

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.  See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matthew, 24:24-25)

Who have wandered away from the truth... they destroy the faith of some. Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are His,"  and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."  In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (2 Timothy, 2:18-21)

... In later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Timothy, 4:1)

They Join Believers in Order to Spread Corruption

I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. (Acts, 20:29)

This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the Gospel might remain with you. (Galatians, 2:4-5)

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies... Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.  In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter, 2:1-3)

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew, 7:15 -20)

They Do Not Completely Renounce the Life of the Society of Ignorance

They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.  If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing... Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command [God's commandments] that was passed on to them.  Of them the proverbs are true: ... "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud." ( 2 Peter, 2:19-20)

... You must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.  What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you." (1 Corinthians, 5:11-13)

... They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! (2 Peter, 2:13-14)

They are Punished in this World and the Hereafter

... They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you... They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness... These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.  (2 Peter, 2:13-17)

... These men... are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. (Jude, 1:8,12-13)

... They will secretly introduce destructive heresies... bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.  In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter, 2:1-3)

... They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.  They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes... (2 Peter, 2:12-13)

 

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