These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. -- I John 5:13
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"HYPOCRITES" And "CLIQUES": THE PROBLEM-MAKERS IN CHRIST'S CHURCH!
Key Passages: Job 27: 8; Matthew 6: 1; Acts 10: 34
Evangelist Clifford M. Smith, Th.D.


DEAR READERS:
This article exposes the "Truth" and "Problem", which is probably in all churches (Even though, great things are happening in your Church: "Look-Out", because that's when Satan starts his plan of attack in the Church!). As it's been said, "The Truth Hurts, But It's Always The Best Thing For Us!" Satan has infiltrated the "Church of God" with poison called "Hypocrites" and "Cliques!" Many great empires in the past have fallen, because of problems from within their empire or country. Just as they have fallen, Christ's Churches have fallen from within by these two groups. I will try to define, expose and give suggestions concerning these problems in the "Church."


INTRODUCTION:
"Hypocrites" and "Cliques" have consumed the "Local Churches" throughout the world and brought "Great Shame" upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thousands upon thousands of pages could be written about this subject and placed in a book. These two groups of people in the church have become "Satan's Greatest Weapons Of Use" in destroying the "Godly Testimony" of the "Local Church." "Hypocrites" And "Cliques" in the Church, have deceived many of the "Lost" concerning the "Message of God's Salvation," because of the Un-Christlike Example of Christians! A great number of local Churches have become so divided and ungodly, that many Christ-like Christians (Young & Old) have sought other churches for "Spiritual Direction and Comfort (Some have even stopped going to church all together)." It's been said, "Don't just tell me what you believe, but show me!" The "Actions of Sin (Immorality, Pride, Lying, Jealousy, Hate/Bitterness, Un-Forgiveness and etc.)" in many Churches have brought "Dishonor" to the "Name of the Lord Jesus Christ" in many communities around the world. Now, its "Bad Enough", when ordinary church-members are callled Hypocrites. But when the Leadership of the Church (The Pastor and/or Deacons) have brought "Dishonor" to the Name of the Lord, God has "No Choice", but to remove "His Blessing" and "Power" from that specific local Church( "Ichabod" means "The Glory Of The Lord Is Departed": I Sam. 4: 21). For the local Church to come back to the Lord, the Church must "Clean House." The Church must perform, what's called "Church Discipline (I Cor. 5: 1-5; II Cor. 13: 10; I Tim. 1:18-20; Titus 3: 10,11)", on specific members of the Church. But so many times, the "Minds" of the Whole Local Church Body have become so "Infected" with the poison of many forms of "SIN", that the Church must go through a "Cleansing" by the "Hand of God (Suffering and sometimes Death)!" "The Answer" for All Churches to "Come Back To God," is found in the scripture verse II Chronicles 7: 14 and in the praying for the "Right Pastor" for your local church. The Lord expects His Church to be "United" in Faith, Hope and Love (I Cor. 13: 13)." Christ wants His Church to fulfill "His Plan and Purpose", which is Set-Forth ("Written Down" in Ephesians 4: 11-15) in "God's Holy Word (The Bible)." "May We All Seek To Follow The Example Of Jesus Christ The Lord!"

Job 27:8 says, "For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?"

Matthew 6:1 says, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven."

Acts 10:34 says "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons:"

"HYPOCRITES ":
First, let's "define", what it means to be a "Hypocrite." The term, word or name "HYPOCRITE" as far as I know,has never been used in a "positive or optimistic manner", when describing someone. The "word" very simply means, "To be a Two-Faced Person (Like an Actor in a "Shakespeare Play" or like an "Untrustworthy Politician", which are many today.) or to simply, Say One Thing, But Do Another!" As "Human Beings" with all of our faults, "We are All Guilty of committing Hypocrisy or being a Hypocrite some time in our life (I know, that you didn't mean to, but neither did I)." But we can strive to be Christians with "Love To Our Enemies, Neighbors And To Our Lord", "Honest Toward All Individuals" and "Devoted In Keeping God's Commandments And Principles For The Glory Of God!" The Greatest Problem of someone living a "Hypocritc Life" in Church is two-fold: (1). "YOU DON'T KNOW, WHO YOU ACTUALLY ARE AS A PERSON(This is a life of "PRETENDING")!" You walk, talk and act like a "Child of God", but you are "Empty Inside Your Heart, Concerning The Things Of God!" You live, as if, you are a Christian, but you know, that you're living a "LIE." You are "LOST" and in need of God's Salvation (Matt. 7: 21-23)! (2). "YOU KNOW, THAT YOU'RE A CHILD OF GOD, BUT YOU FIND IT HARD, OBEYING GOD'S WORD AND BEING A "CHRIST-LIKE CHRISTIAN." As a "Child of God", we all find it HARD in being a "Christian!" Think about it, we were once the "Children of the Devil (Sinful Creatures)", but through Jesus Christ's Death on the Cross (Our Sin's Penalty was Redeemed-"Bought Back") and Christ's Resurrection from the Grave (Gave All Sinners The Opportunity, To Have Victory From Death And Hell By Receiving God's Gift Of Eternal Life (Called God's Salvation)! *My Advice For You Struggling With This Problem!: "When You Wake Up Every Morning, Greet The Lord With A Prayer Of Praise/Thankgiving, Search God's Word (The Bible) And Surrender Your Everything (Mind, Tongue, Attitude and Your Whole Body) to God! KEEP THE FAITH AND FINISH YOUR COURSE IN THE RACE OF LIFE FOR GOD (II Timothy 4: 7), THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WILL SAY TO YOU IN THE END, "WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT(Matthew 25: 21, 23)!"

"CLIQUES (The Insiders)":
The definition of the word or name "CLIQUE" (Pronounced "CLICK") is an "exclusive group" of people, which have separated themselves from the "Main Group Of People", that they're suppose to represent. CHRIST'S CHURCH has "NO USE" for "ANY CLIQUES!" The CHURCH (2 Cor. 6: 11-18) is the "Family Of God !" The "Potenial #1 Problem" of All Churches (2 Cor. 12: 20, 21), is that, they're made up of People (Prayerfully, these people are "Saved-Children of God", though while in their "Fleshly Bodies" are still very"Carnal [Materialistic] Individuals!"). There's nothing wrong in being close and having friendships in the Church. But when a group forms in the Church (For Control) and separates itself from the Body of the Church -The Members (Look-Out!!! A "Clique" has now been formed in this specific local church!)." There's Two Old Sayings, that say, "UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL" and "A CHURCH, THAT PRAYS TOGETHER, STAYS TOGETHER!" Praise The Lord, When All Members Work Together As One-Unit! "Great Blessings from God follow, when All Church Members obey the Lord's Will for their lives in the Church (Eph. 4: 4-15)!" "CLIQUES" have in the past and will in the future destroy every church, that they become a part of! Does your "Church Body" RUN your Church or Do Potential "Cliques" RUN It? When Christ's Church was established with spiritual leaders(Such as the Pastor/Bishop and Deacons), it was not for them to CONTROL the CHURCH, but to Guide the Church in the ways of the Lord (To Follow the Commandments and Principles of the Word of God) with All Authority given to the Church of God! *"Here's some examples, when the "Church of God" has "CLIQUES": (1). "The Lord Jesus Christ Does Not Receive The GLORY (God's Name Is Laughed At And The Church's Testimony Ruined)!", (2). "Children Of God (Christians) Fall Away From The Local Church (Because Of "Divisions", "Special Treatment Shown To A Few Members" And "Your Opinions/Inputs Mean Nothing, While Other Members' Ideas Mean Everything)!", (3) The "Lost" Have Another Excuse To Yell, "Look At All The Hypocrites And Cliques In That Church!", (4). "The Local Church Will Not Be Able To Produce "The Fruit Of The Spirit (Gal. 5: 22-26)!" and (5). "More Lost Souls Will Reject God's Gift Of Salvation And Spend Eternity In The Lake of Fire (Hell)!"

THE REASON WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD ATTEND A LOCAL CHURCH!:
To my dear fellow-believers in Jesus Christ, I'd like to share some reasons why we should be faithful in the "Local Called-Out Assembly Of Believers - THE CHURCH!" Now when Christians are home-bound or physically unable to attend their local Church, it is understandable, that they may have to stay home to watch the Church Service on the television (When you "Get Well", get back actively in your Church-ASAP!). Here are "Seven (7) Reasons To Attend Your Local Church!": (1.) Jesus Christ is the "Head of the Church Of God" (Colossians 1: 18 says "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning , the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preminence."), (2.) We as "Born-Again Believers in Christ" should desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ (Jesus attended the synagogue (The Jewish Church) faithfully on the sabbath !) - [Matthew 12: 9; Mark 1: 21; Luke 4: 16], (3.) After the "Ascension of Jesus" on the Mount of Olives (Forty Days After His Resurrection From The Grave), about 120 Disciples (Including The 11 Disciples) in an upper-room in Jerusalem prayed with supplications (Fervent Tears) and chose the 12th Disciple (Matthias) to replace Judas Iscariot [Acts 1: 12-26], (4.) On the "Day Of Pentecost (50th day since Christ's Resurrection)" about 3,000 souls received God's Salvation through repentance, then got baptized and were added to the Church - [Acts 2: 41, 47], (5.) At the beginning of the "New Testament Church", they had Church services DAILY" - [Acts 2: 42-47], (6.) The Book of Hebrews (Believed to be written by the Apostle Paul), tells the Church of Christ to NOT FORSAKE the assembling of ourselves together and to lift-up one another in the "Promises of Christ Second Coming" - [Hebrews 10: 25] and (7.) As a "Blood-Washed Believer" of the Lord Jesus Christ, all of us need to be Faithful in our Local Church. No matter how corrupt, self-centered, hypocritical and cliqueish the churches are in your area where you live, you must search to be a part of a Christ-Honoring Bible Believing and Bible Living Church of God (Even if you have to travel 50 miles to go to Church)! I urge you to be a "Christ-Like Christian (Disciple of Christ)" with a love and thankfulness in your heart to "Worship, Praise, Learn God's Word, Pray For Others and Consecrate Your Life on the Altar of God for the Glory Of God!" Remember, when you stay home from Church Services, you are giving place to the Devil (Satan has won a battle in your life)! "YOU NEED THE CHURCH TO HELP YOU IN YOUR DAILY WALK WITH GOD and THE CHURCH NEEDS YOUR SPIRITUAL, PHYSICAL AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT!" Question: How much do you love Jesus Christ? Answer: That will be determined very greatly, concerning how much you love the "Church of Christ (The Bride Of Christ - Romans 7: 4; Ephesians 5: 25-27)!"

IN CLOSING:
"I love to attend a local Church, that welcomes me with a smile, a handshake or a hug with the "Love of God In Their Hearts!" As a member of the Church, I like to be treated as an "Equal Member (We are all equal in God's Eyes), instead of an "Out-Sider (Even though, I may be New to the church) Of The Church!" I'm "Not Someone Special In The Eyes Of The World", but Hallelujah, I'm a "Blood Bought, Blood Washed Child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (The Lord Jesus Christ)" and a "Sinner Saved By The Grace Of God Through Faith(100%) In Jesus Christ- Ephesians 2: 8, 9!" "Remember This, God Loves The Sinner, But Hates The Sin!" When we as "God's Children" act "Two-Faced , may we all, please seek Christ's forgiveness for that sin and stop committing or doing it! *If You Search Your Heart, I Have To Believe, That You Would Not Want To Be Known As A "Hypocrite" And/Or Be Part Of A "Very Sinful Clique!" "WITH ALL MY YEARS IN THE MINISTRY, I BELIEVE, THESE ARE TWO OF THE "GREATEST SINS" OF ANY LOCAL CHURCH OF GOD!" "Lost People" are plunging into a "CHRIST-LESS HELL" about Every Second (Give or Take A Few), because of the Shameful Testimony of "Children Of God" and "The Church!" If You Are One Of The Reasons "For This Sin", Please Seek The Lord's Forgiveness And Allow God To Mold You Into "His Instrument Of Glory" And "Blessing" For The "Great Praise And Honor Of His Holy Name - JESUS CHRIST THE LORD (Romans 12: 1-21) !!!" AMEN!!!*