HE BEGAN TO SAY
Luke 11:53 And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things: 54 Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.
Luke 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. 3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. 4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. 10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. 11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal Son of God. And he is introduced to us as “the Word.” For he is the Word “with God,” who “was God” from the beginning. It was His Enunciation which was the creative power that called all things into existence in distinction from Himself! Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
And he is the Word become flesh to dwell among us. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
And it is this Word alone who “creates” new creatures in grace, who once were but dead sinners! Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. And even though the darkness of sin was upon the face of the deep in their hearts, he calls forth the Light of Life (John 8:12), in this new creation, the same as he did in the natural creation! 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Therefore it is at the point of God’s word that the enemy comes to wage his warfare of lies! John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
So we listed the last two verses of the eleventh chapter of Luke to show the true issue in the following passage. Please notice that the phrases, And as he said these things, and he began to say, are then the focus of the Holy Spirit, accenting the very words of the creative mouth of the Person of the Word.
And we take note that he spoke to the Pharisees and lawyers in chapter eleven. He left them with six “woes” of impending judgment. Now he speaks of them to his disciples. His words left a stinging whelp on the serpent’s offspring that would, most surely, lead to his death. It was one of the last public discourses he would have with them before his final entry into Jerusalem. Now he must make sure that his disciples were clearly instructed by his warning to Beware of these religious leaders hypocrisy.
He set the example by his conduct and words at the meal in the Pharisee’s house how they were to treat the encroaching lies of the devil. Now he must follow up that example by this instruction. And in this instruction he would warn them, and the church throughout the ages, that the two great dangers to them would be hypocrisy and inordinate fear!
But before going any farther, let us deal with that which is found in the first verse of chapter twelve concerning the innumerable multitude. This Greek word comes from the word translated, ten thousand in 1 Corinthians 4:15, and 14:19. So ten thousand is a certain number to show the uncertain size of this crowd! And we are told that they were stepping on one another trying to get close enough so as not to miss his words.
But since we know that the Holy Spirit does not put any filler in his scriptures, just what can we see in these bits of information? Here are two verses that may grant some light as we compare spiritual things with spiritual. John 4:38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
In the days to come the Apostle Peter would preach one message and three thousand souls would be birthed into the kingdom! (Acts 2:41). Then a little later, some five thousand would be saved. (Acts 4:4). So the apostles would indeed, be reaping a crop in which they had no part of sowing! For those eight thousand souls were brought forth by the life, the preaching, the death and resurrection of the Person of the Word! And those eight thousand still do not come up to the number of this one innumerable multitude present upon this occasion! For it is always He who gives the increase!
1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. For especially were the labors of the Eternal Son of God not in vain! 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
This awareness come forth in the Apostle Peter’s message in Cornelius’ house. Notice his words, That word, I say, ye know…! For Peter was aware that there was a previous knowledge of the word of the gospel before he arrived on the scene! Acts 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) 37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
But let us now return to our passage and see that he speaks to his disciples to warn them of the evil of the Pharisees’ hypocrisy. And just what is hypocrisy? Listen to Luke 11:44. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them. Their hypocrisy is revealed by the Lord in the words, as graves which appear not. For hypocrisy is the concealment of an inner evil which may not be outwardly seen! And according to the law, stepping on a grave would cause defilement lasting seven days, and require a sacrifice for cleansing. (Numbers 19:16). Therefore these religious leaders, like undetected graves, were causing unseen defilement in their hypocrisy!
Here are two more comparisons our Lord made in order to reveal their hypocrisy: Matt. 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
This is much needed instruction for the church throughout the ages. For we have it set forth to us by the writings of the apostles as well. 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (Those “spirits” are said to be “false prophets” in the same verse. So we are talking about spiritual gifts, – preachers and teachers – and not characters in the invisible, spirit-world.)
For we are not only instructed to be careful that we hear; but also how we hear! Mark 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: Luke 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear:
The second thing of which he warns his disciples is to be careful of inordinate fear. For if they preach the strong truth as Christ did, would they not be in danger of losing their lives as well? Yes! – And some would. For as soon as the Lord states that they should soon come out of concealed darkness, with the boldness of the coming of the Holy Spirit, he then tells them in the very next verse not to fear them that kill the body!
And just how do we overcome this powerfully motivating force of inner, sinful fear? The fear of man is only overcome by the spiritual and holy fear of God! Isaiah 8:11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
King Saul, standing head and shoulders above all the rest of Israel, with fearful heart could not stand before Goliath. But the shepherd boy, David, with the fear of God in his heart, would bring him down! 1 Samuel 17:32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
Also those professors who are not willing to co-operate with the Holy Spirit in being made of “no reputation,” as was our Lord Jesus, (Phil. 2:7), will have the inordinate fear of not being liked, or not esteemed by their piers. And wanting to be accepted, will cause hypocrisy to rear its deceptive head, causing them to try to hide the strength of Christ’s truth, so as not to offend!
But only blessed souls will not be offended at the truth! Luke 7:23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. And only those who are cured from the opinions of men can truly be the servants of Christ. Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Jeremiah 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
There must be that spiritual necessity laid upon the souls of men, given from God, to truly preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. For that alone will provide the urgency needed to set thine heart upon, and to declare all that thou seest. 1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
For the gospel of Jesus Christ is not received by education from the Bible College; nor by illumination from man’s influencing personality; but by the Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto him!
Pastor Gene Breed, September 5, 2014