I was meditating on the list of things and people that the Lord Jesus commanded us to take heed of doing or being:
TAKE HEED that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Matthew 6.1
And He said unto them, “TAKE HEED and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Luke 12.15
Then He charged them, saying, “TAKE HEED, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Mark 8.15
BEWARE of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.” Luke 20.46-47
If we analyze this well, when it comes to TAKING HEED of DOING, the act of “giving” is involved. Giving to be seen and recognized will not bring any reward. And being greedy, giving only alms, or “not” wanting to give is a great evil before God. So the Lord Jesus says: TAKE HEED of this!
But, when it comes to what we should TAKE HEED of BEING, it involves the act of being a “hypocrite.” He tells us to BEWARE of being like the Pharisees and scribes, who are the same ones that the Lord Jesus severely rebukes in Matthew, chapter 23. What would be the reason for such severity?
To better understand, let’s compare what we’ve talked about so far with what the Lord Jesus says to the church of Laodicea in Revelation:
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are LUKEWARM, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Revelation 3.15-16
This church was “lukewarm,” this is, neither hot nor cold. At the Universal Church, we have emphasized “EVERYTHING” or “NOTHING,” which is why we are often criticized and regarded as extremists and radicals, especially when it comes to sacrifices. However, isn’t this what the Lord Jesus is saying here? He even says it would be better to be “cold.” Why is that? Because those who are cold do not “pretend” to be Christian, obeying God in whatever is convenient, giving “bad” testimony, which will cast many souls in hell.
Those who are lukewarm give part, half, or almost everything on the Altar, and consider themselves a “Christian,” but do not have the courage to sacrifice ALL of their life on the Altar. Therefore, their testimony is incomplete and causes many to doubt God and question the Church.
On the other hand, those who are hot give their ALL on the Altar. Consequently, they receive ALL from the Altar and live a life that glorifies the Lord Jesus, contributing so that many will know the Lord Jesus, surrendering their lives to Him.
We conclude that the reason the Lord Jesus was angry with the religious hypocrites, who are lukewarm, and extremely revolted with them, to the point of saying that He would vomit them out of His mouth, is what He describes in Matthew, chapter 23:
But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Matthew 23.13
They do not go in (do not give EVERYTHING) nor allow others to go in, because of their “bad testimonies.” Take heed… so this does not happen to you!