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ISSUE OF THE HEART: ” As if”

Have you ever listened to Israelis speaking in Hebrew and noticed that some of them us the word k’ilu”?  It’s become a word that is used so much as just a ‘filler’ that it is difficult to know when the speaker really means “as if” or not.  

As I prepared my lesson for our house group a few weeks ago, I came upon the Hebrew word l’kachesh that is found in Dt 33:29; 2Sam 2:45; Ps 66:3; 81:15 (16 Heb), for examples.  The word kechash means deceiver or liar.  Kakhashoot is similar to kafira and effikoresoot:  someone who is unfaithful to the truth, especially with respect to God and the principles of the faith; an infidel.  L’kachesh suggests someone or a group or a nation which pretends or feigns submission or obedience or loyalty to God or to a faith or to a nation or to an agreement, but in their heart they are not sincere or truthful.  I was reminded just this morning that nations will be making a covenant with Israel – and vice versa – as IF they accept her, but then Gog and Magog will attack a people at rest in unwalled villages, but. . .Israel will prevail by the power and grace of the faithful and true God and Savior.  Hallelu-Yah!  

As IF/K’ilu 

Mt 23:27-28   religious leaders and teachers who give the impression outwardly of holiness and godliness, but inwardly are dead in their trespasses and sin.  They say one thing but do another.  They are hypocrites and haters of the liberty in Messiah, and make all kinds of rules which bring people into bondage to them or to demons.  

Let’s remember that the Pharisees began as a movement or stream within Judaism before Jesus was born.  They opposed all of the Greek (Hellenistic) influence upon the religion of the Jews, and they sought to preserve the integrity and character of Jewishness within Israel and the Dispersion.  In other words, they began well, but afterwards began to control the people and government through all kinds of religious regulations which controlled the conscience, and these became the traditions and Oral Law. 

With this they made void God’s Word and His commandments, yet presumed themselves to be the guardians of the faith.  In Mt 23, Jesus exposes their lie and says in fact that they are hypocrites and lawless!  

The apostle Paul warns us in the church of God of similar reality in our own days (1Tim 4:1-3), as well as does the Lord Himself in His letter to the church of Laodicea, of those who seem to be true believers but in their heart they are not.  

Mt 7: 15; 24: 4-5   as if sheep but actually wolves: false prophets who draw disciples for themselves rather than to Jesus.  They bring in their own teachings rather than keeping the Word of God.  They are unfaithful to the New Covenant of God through Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross.  

In His letter to the church of Thyatira, Jesus warns of Jezebel as a false prophet within the church who leads people against the holiness and purity of God and of those who say they believe in the Lord Jesus.

The Scriptures are clear that those who practice such things, and do not repent, will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  

Lk 11:5-8   friendship has its limits with us.  We can and do disappoint our friends, and if we are honest, we also feel as if even the Lord lets us down even if by faith we know that is not actually true.  Jesus says that there is no greater love than someone giving his life for his friends.

What are we talking about with all this issue of the heart?  The Holy Spirit is working in us to make our crooked ways straight, our hard hearts of stone to be soft hearts of flesh.  He wants us to be “yes and amen” in our faith and relationships, and not “as IF”, not hypocrites.  If our heart and thoughts are not holy on the inside, then the Word of God judges us as He does the Pharisee and Scribe:  our outward appearance may deceive us or others, but not the Lord to whom every man must give an account.   

Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, whether that knee or tongue belongs to a true believer or to one who was an open hater and enemy or to one who k’ilu believed but was exposed as false.  It is an amazing truth that even after 1000 years of the righteous rule of Messiah, there will still be a rebellion at the end!  The reality of our faith and relationship with God the Father and His Son is an issue of our hearts.  

Let us guard our hearts:  a king in Israel is himself subject to God’s Law.  He could not justly use the Law against others without himself being subject to the same Law, whether as citizen or as king.  An elder in the congregation can not use the teachings of the NT to control the flock of Jesus without subjecting himself to the same teachings.  A husband can not use the Word of God as a sword against his wife without allowing that same Word of God be a sword of the Holy Spirit in his own life as well.  An old person can not use the truth of God against the bad behavior of young people without also applying that same truth to himself as it speaks also to older people.  

So, to be overcomers and victors in this battle for our hearts and souls, and for the integrity of our testimony:
–let each person daily examine and judge him/herself with respect to the personal relationship and fellowship with the Lord and with the other brothers and sisters in the faith;  

–let us desire to know God and His Word, and let Him bring conviction of our sin in the light of His perfection, and allow the Holy Spirit to change us by His power and grace into the likeness of the Son of God, resulting in our praise to such a holy and loving Father;  

–let us deny ourselves, pick up our own cross daily, and follow the Lamb, our Lord Jesus, wherever He leads uf;  

–let us learn to love the Lord Jesus more than anything or anyone else, and obey Him willingly – not “as if” – a living sacrifice.  Let His will be done in our life, not our will; let His will be done in the Church, in Israel, in the nations, not our will.  

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

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