The Modus Operandi of a Hypocrite

Job 8:11-15 ESV

“Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
While yet in flower and not cut down,
they wither before any other plant.
Such are the paths of all who forget God;
the hope of the godless shall perish.
His confidence is severed,
and his trust is a spider’s web.
He leans against his house, but it does not stand;
he lays hold of it, but it does not endure.”

The Hypocrite in Action

This passage of Scripture appears to be talking about hypocrites, who have all the appearance and/or the pretense of a relationship with God (with Jesus Christ) but their profession of faith is of the flesh, not of the Spirit. Their profession of faith is absent of true God-given faith in Jesus Christ because there is no real substance to their faith. Their faith does “not hold water,” i.e. it is invalid. It is not biblically sound in doctrine or in practice.

A hypocrite is one who is a Christian only by profession (confession) of faith but who does not walk the walk but only talks it. He (or she) is someone who probably knows enough of the Scriptures to talk the Christian life but it is empty, void of anything pure or righteous in practice. Some people know the Scriptures very well and yet will live a life of hypocrisy, pretending one thing outwardly while living the opposite of the faith that they profess.

They are those who will talk the walk but they will forget God. They are those who look at themselves in the mirror (in self-examination) and yet walk away and forget what they look like, spiritually speaking. They will read the Scriptures and the Scriptures will speak truth, and they know the truth, and yet they will willfully and deliberately forget what they just read. And then later on they will act as though they had no knowledge of that truth.

They know the truth but they will claim ignorance when it suits their purposes. They know the truth but they will conveniently forget the truth when they want to do what they know is wrong. Most of them are not short on knowledge, but they are short on (or absent of) obedience to what they know is right to do. And they are short on (or absent of) forsaking their lives of sin, saying “No” to sin and “Yes” to God and to his righteousness.

His Trust is a Spider’s Web

Have you ever run into a spider’s web by accident? It is not a pleasant experience, especially if the spider is still in the web. But if you have, you know how flimsy a spider’s web is, which is often symbolic of deceit. And those who spin these spider’s webs are false teachers. Their webs are traps in which they catch their prey. And there are many false teachers out there spinning their webs of deceit and are catching many people in their traps.

Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ but who are godless in practice have put their faith in something that does not “hold water,” as well as their trust is in something that is flimsy and deceitful. It has no substance to it, or very little, for it is based in lies (half-truths) and not in the pure word of God, taught in context. And it is intended to catch you in its trap in order to destroy your life, not to save you (as they profess).

These spider webs (of deceit) are teaching people that they can “believe” (not defined) in Jesus Christ, be forgiven of all sins (past, present, and future), and be guaranteed heaven as their eternal destiny regardless of how they live their lives on this earth. If they do mention repentance it is often more in the sense of confessing that one is a sinner in need of a Savior, but it rarely has to do with a life of dying with Christ to sin and obeying him.

But it is a trap. It is a big fat lie created by Satan and put into the minds of humans who then have been spreading their propaganda far and wide. And people by the thousands or millions are flocking to the lies for the lies tell them what their itching ears want to hear. They want to believe that God’s grace forgives them of all sin and that they are going to heaven when they die but that this “faith” does not have to alter their sinful lifestyles.

But it Shall Not Stand

If your faith and trust is in this false gospel which promises you heaven as your eternal destiny regardless of how you live your life on this earth, then it is a lot like leaning against a wall that is not secured, and by you leaning against it, it collapses. It is very much like leaning against a spider’s web. That will immediately collapse. For you are putting your faith and trust in something that is not secure and is not lasting and will not stand.

So, please know what the Scriptures teach (in context) on the subject of faith in Jesus Christ, salvation from sin, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life with God. Read them all, and read them in context, and don’t put your faith in a few hand-picked Scriptures taught out of context which may not be being taught in truth. And if you have access to multiple translations, read them in more than one translation. And if you have access to Bible study helps, such as Bible Gateway or Bible Hub, use them, but sparingly.

But don’t rely on other humans for your understanding of what the Scriptures are teaching. Yes, read other people’s devotions, and listen to the preaching of the Word, but let the Holy Spirit lead you into all truth, for we are all human. Test everything you read and hear against the Scriptures to make certain that what you are hearing is truth. But test what you hear against the Scriptures taught in context. Context is critical!

Okay, so what’s the bottom line here? It is that Jesus said that if we are to come after him we must deny self, die to sin daily, and follow him in obedience. For if this is not our practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God. We must forsake our lives of living in sin and for self, and obey our Lord by walking in his holiness and righteousness, in practice, or heaven is not our eternal home (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10).

For not everyone who says to Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23; cf. Titus 2:11-14). We are what we practice.

[Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Rom 12:1-2; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; Ac 26:18]

How Long Has it Been?

By Mosie Lister

How long has it been since you talked with the Lord
And told him your heart’s hidden secrets?
How long since you prayed?
How long since you stayed on your knees till the light shone through?

How long has it been since your mind felt at ease?
How long since your heart knew no burden?
Can you call him your friend?
How long has it been since you knew that he cared for you?

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