Tag: Life

A Merciful Death Penalty

How could a loving God advocate capital punishment?

The Old Testament of the Bible speaks with perfect plainness on the issue of capital punishment: “He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death” (Exodus 21:12).

Genesis 9:6 and Leviticus 24:17 also give full authority to those sitting in judgment to execute a murderer. Deuteronomy 19:11-19:13 commands unsparing punishment for such a killer: “…deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.”

Strong words, those. The God of the Old Testament clearly favored the death penalty.

About 7 out of 10 Americans favor the death penalty, too. But that number is beginning to decline. Recent events are casting doubts in many people’s minds.

First there was the report released clear back in June of 2000 showing high rates of judicial error among death-sentence appeal cases. A subsequent moratorium on executions by the Illinois governor at that time propelled the issue into the national spotlight, where it was taken up in force by the overwhelmingly anti-death-penalty news media. It reared its head in the presidential race, and was compounded by two death-row cases in Texas, the state in which the Republican candidate, George W. Bush, was governor. In one case, Mr. Bush, a self-proclaimed “compassionate conservative,” granted a reprieve to a convicted murderer. The second man was executed, amid a flurry of protests.

In the growing national debate, death-penalty advocates are being made to look heartless and uncompassionate. But let’s ask this fundamental question: Is the God of the Old Testament heartless and uncompassionate?

The Bible says that God is a God of love (1 John 4:8). So why would a God of love allow the death penalty? How could a loving God actually command putting someone to death?

As we will see, when the death penalty is understood from God’s vantage point, it is one of the greatest acts of love there can be toward society, and the condemned criminal.

First let’s answer this question: Does God really favor the death penalty? In the Old Testament, yes, but what about the New Testament?

God of the Old Testament

Many people believe that in the “Christian” era, the death penalty no longer should be enforced, saying that the grace of Jesus Christ does away with the need to execute criminals. That is an error! The one who became Jesus Christ is the author of the death penalty in the Old Testament.

The first chapter of the book of John tells us about the prehistory of God, at a time prior to Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him [the Word]; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-1:3). The Word made the universe, and then the one who was the Word became the Son of God, Jesus Christ (verse 14). That is why it says in Ephesians 3:9 that God “created all things by Jesus Christ.” Space is not sufficient in this letter to quote all the scriptures related to this subject, but please study such verses as Colossians 1:12-1:13, 15-17; Hebrews 1:1-1:2; Hebrews 7; John 1:18; 5:37 and 1 John 4:12, which show that Jesus Christ was the God of the Old Testament.

This is a very important point in our study of the death penalty. The one who became Jesus Christ was the God of the Old Testament who demanded death for murderers! Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Furthermore, that same unchanging Jesus Christ said in Matthew 26:52, “for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Likewise, Jesus Christ inspired the Apostle John (Revelation 1:1) to write in Revelation 13:10, “he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.”

By the authority of God the Father, Jesus Christ is the author and originator of the death penalty. He bolsters His words in the Old Testament with clear statements of support in the New Testament.

Old Testament authority to execute murderers is placed into the hands of men, as shown in the above-quoted scriptures. In the New Testament book of Romans, God reaffirms that authority: “Let every soul be subject unto the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist [speaking of man’s governments and courts] are appointed by God…. For he [a government or court official] is God’s minister [“servant” or “magistrate” in some translations] to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:1-13:4; New King James Version).

The God of love tells us in such scriptures as Hebrews 12:5-12:6 that for our own good those who commit wrong must be corrected. Correction is the God-given means to prevent crime and other problems. Using strong correction forces change in criminals convicted of lesser offenses and eliminates entirely the threat of those convicted of violent crimes such as murder.

“Punishment, when meted out in the proper manner, and at the proper time, is one of the greatest blessings a human being at any age can receive!” The reason is that if we do not receive correction, we will proceed on a course to our own destruction (Proverbs 14:12). Through correction, God can steer us in the path toward a happy, fulfilled life.

As will be shown later in this letter, that sound wisdom even applies to the death penalty.

“Mitigating Circumstances”

Many people reject God’s clear commandments involving implementation of the death penalty. And though the death penalty was reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976, Americans have demonstrated a fear to sternly correct evildoers, and are vacillating in their determination to use the God-given option of executing people for horrible wrongs. As the late fbi Director J. Edgar Hoover once stated about our modern permissive society, we have “substituted indulgence for discipline.” The result is that our prisons are full to overflowing and our society is inundated in violent crime.

Too often, we indulge the weaknesses of criminals. The liberal element in our society constantly seeks to explain away evil deeds by reason of “mitigating circumstances” that supposedly justify a lesser or softer sentence. Claims of parental abuse, mental instability and racial injustice have all been used to acquit clearly guilty individuals.

Science has even rushed to the aid of lawbreakers by trying to uncover genetic and biochemical predisposition to violent behavior. “Evidence Found for a Possible ‘Aggression’ Gene,” blared a 1993 headline in the journal Science. Some sociobiologists claim that “impulsivity,” a trait presumably caused by bad brain chemistry or bad genes, is enough to give someone the inclination to lead a life of crime.

That is the whining, indulgent nonsense that is preventing deterrence of crime today. We shouldn’t be trying to “understand” criminals, we should be harshly punishing them with retribution so severe that they never want to commit crime again!

And in the case of intentional murder, for reasons we will see later, that severe punishment should be death.

So says our great God, who understands human nature and tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that our natures are deceitful and desperately wicked. And in Romans 6:23 we are told that the “wages of sin is death” not separation from God, but death, the absence of life.

Mankind continually makes excuses for his wrong behavior and, in particular, has done so concerning crimes deserving the death penalty in the last 40 years. When will we learn that there are no mitigating circumstances, justifications, or excuses for crime and lawlessness? There are reasons why people do things, but those reasons cannot be allowed to become excuses for which they are given leniency. History repeatedly shows that when a society indulges its criminals with leniency, that society will drift into anarchy and total collapse!

Discipline Promptly

In Proverbs 19:18, God gives us the principle that applies to disobedient children, juvenile delinquents, or hardened criminals. We are told, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Proverbs 19:18). There comes a point for an undisciplined child when there is no (or very little) hope of correcting bad behavior. Often, a delinquent, and finally a hardened criminal will result because the parents were too soft during their child’s early years, when they had the greatest hope of curbing the child’s self-centered and destructive ways.

As parents and as a society, we are not to “spare for his crying” by lessening the punishment. Proverbs 13:24 admonishes us, “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (nkjv). For the good of society and the individual, swift, stern justice must be meted out when wrongs are brought to light.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 tells us the importance of swift punishment when it says, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” How clear and wise! When wrongdoing is not immediately punished, then all or almost all of the deterrent value to any subsequent punishment is lost!

As for determining a person’s guilt, there is only one biblical rule: “Whoever kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the testimony of witnesses; but one witness is not sufficient testimony against a person for the death penalty” (Numbers 35:30). Deuteronomy 17:6 agrees: “Whoever is worthy of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses, but he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.” In God’s eyes, repeated reprieves and appeals; and now, insistence upon dna testing to verify guilt should not be necessary for death-row inmates.

If mankind would only receive instruction from the word of God instead of doing what seems humanly right.

As pointed out above, without swift punishment, any hope of dissuading others from committing similar crimes is lost or greatly diminished. Ezra 7:26 guides us toward speedy response to crime by stating, “And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.”

The criminal mind does not respect authority. The only thing such a person respects is equal or stronger force! And when that strong force is used immediately to severely punish an offender, it makes others of like mind think twice before acting likewise.

However, once again, the liberal element in our society says there is little deterrent value in punishments such as the death penalty. They have a point but only because of how hesitant our courts are to use the death penalty!

The Deterrence Factor

No sane man or woman wants to put another person to death. It is understandable to have a certain degree of pity for someone who is going to die, even if he or she deserves to die.

But it is the seemingly interminable delays of 10 to 18 years that are taking the much-needed deterrent value out of the death penalty! The death penalty, once carried out, is as humanly irreversible as the murder itself, and therefore great care must be taken in implementing the death penalty. But human justice will always be flawed to a degree, and we cannot stop the wheels of justice or remove the deterrent value of the death penalty simply because we may make a mistake! To do so is to make a far greater mistake!

People who commit crimes are promised a fair trial, not a perfect trial. Yet so many of the habeas corpus appeals (many of which amount to little more than stalling tactics) are procedural and/or frivolous in nature, nit-picking the court over minor imperfections in court procedure. Flawed humans will make mistakes. But that must not stop us from following God’s plain commands! A swift death penalty was intended by our Creator to deter or restrain additional people from committing the sin of murder. To stop or delay the death penalty because the courts are afraid of making a mistake is direct disobedience to God and His laws!

Many a career criminal has already proven he cannot “make it” in normal society; and if he murders, rapes, robs, and commits general mayhem, so what? He knows he’ll be provided food and shelter for the rest of his life so that he never has to work again! Why should he fear to kill? Even though he probably murdered unmercifully, the “merciful” liberals will see to it that his life is spared so that the taxpayers can support him for the next 20, 40 or 60 years in a prison environment where he is “somebody” a suppose “man among the suppose men” so to speak!

We must not get softer on crime, we must get tougher!

The book of Proverbs states, “When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise,” and “Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware” (Proverbs 21:11; 19:25). People can learn vicariously from the experiences of others!

Even after 11 years of appeals, when convicted murderer Charles Troy Coleman was finally executed in September of 1990, the deterrent effect of the death penalty was clearly seen and reported in the news. On September 10, the day of Coleman’s execution, the Daily Oklahoman quoted fellow condemned murderer Howard Marquez as saying, “I felt the fear. I felt fear for my life.” Another death row inmate, Robert Grady Johnson, one of two men convicted of cold-bloodedly killing four people in the 1984 Geronimo Bank massacre, said after Coleman’s death by injection, “Several people here are saying, ‘I don’t have a chance. I’m going to be up there (in the death chamber) too.’” Johnson further said, “People here are scared to death.”

The deterrent effect of the death penalty is muted because of current practices. But even basic understanding of human nature tells us that, if administered properly, the death penalty would have a significant deterrent effect!

The Missing Dimension

Again, why does God command the death penalty? Why would a loving God allow a convicted murderer to be executed and supposedly end his chance to ever repent and change?

The answer to these questions is plainly revealed in your Bible as being the resurrection of the dead. All unconverted sinners will be raised alive from the grave while Christ is ruling the Earth, and then they will be given a chance to learn and change.

The pagan teaching of an “ever-burning hellfire” (to which most professing Christians today would condemn the executed murderer) is nowhere found in your Bible!

Hebrews 6:1-6:2 shows that the resurrection is one of the foundational doctrines taught by your Bible. And it is the knowledge of the resurrection that gives us God’s mind and understanding about the death penalty.

There are several references in the Old Testament to the resurrection, but only the Prophet Daniel begins to hint that there might be more than one resurrection. Daniel wrote, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). In the New Testament, Jesus Christ said, “… the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [judgment]” (John 5:28-5:29).

In Acts 24:15, the Apostle Paul plainly stated “that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” Paul wrote at length regarding the resurrections in 1 Corinthians 15.

The simple truth of your Bible is that there will be three resurrections altogether (Revelation 20:4-20:15). The first will be at Christ’s return to Earth (1 Corinthians 15:22-15:23) when He will resurrect to eternal spirit life those who have received God’s Holy Spirit in order to belong to Christ (Romans 8:9) and who have overcome and endured in God’s ways and held fast to God’s truth (Revelation 3:11-3:12; 21:7). These are the Saints and Christ’s wife to be.

The second resurrection will occur 1000 years after Christ’s return (Revelation 20:11-12). Those in this resurrection will be given human physical bodies once again. For the first time, they will receive the opportunity to understand God’s precious truth and put it into practice in their lives (Isaiah 30:20-30:21) so that they, too, can be added to the spirit-composed family of God (Ephesians 3:14-3:15). The analogy of Children stemming from the result of such a Spiritual Marriage between Christ and the Bride-Church, within the Government, Family, and Kingdom of God is implemented here, enlightenment with wisdom.

This second resurrection is the missing dimension and key to understanding how a God of love can be in favor of a death penalty.

The third resurrection will also be a resurrection to physical life, but the end result of this resurrection will be eternal death, complete cessation of life, It’s not spending an eternity boiling and bubbling in an ever-burning hellfire, but death. Think about it, do you think God would want to hear his creation scream in agony for all eternity? A course not! For those that end up here will simply burn up and no longer exist ever. These individuals (the could of been saints) truly understood God’s truth and ways but came to reject them, through either rebellion or weakness (Hebrews 10:26-10:27; Revelation 20:13-20:15; 21:8). I call it spiritual abortion due to self infliction which makes sense if you truly understand that these people received true baptism (not the many false ones taken place today), they came to learn and understood all the truths of God yet then decided to reject God and his only way of life.. God will mercifully impose an eternal death penalty (no more life or existing) upon them to prevent the creation of another ever-living, wretchedly miserable murderer like Satan the devil (John 8:44).

To understand how the death penalty can be a blessing, one must have God’s perspective on human life. Human death don’t mean much to God except a temporary sleep (1 Corinthians 15:51-15:55), because God can resurrect humans from the grave! If we understand the resurrections, then we can see how the death penalty is one of the greatest acts of love there can be, even toward the condemned criminal!

Imposing and carrying out the death penalty stops the example of lawlessness in society which can corrupt other human beings into the same wrong ways of violence and murder. Swiftly carrying out the death penalty also prevents the murderer from continuing in a downward spiral of ever-deepening rebellion against God’s law. The longer such a person is allowed to live, the more deeply entrenched will become their evil habits and twisted and corrupted human nature, all of which must be changed when the person is resurrected to physical life in the second resurrection!

The merciful God will even resurrect Attila the Hun and Adolf Hitler, along with every serial killer and mass murderer who has ever lived! Once resurrected, all those who did not receive the truth of God in their brief human life (which is the vast majority of people throughout human history) will have their first opportunity to have an open mind and receive God’s truth!

Every human being only gets one opportunity to respond to God’s truth! Just because a person has lived does not mean they understood God’s truth. They will receive their one opportunity in the second resurrection!

That is how the death penalty can be implemented in love! It deters others in this life from committing offenses worthy of the death penalty. And it prevents a murderer or violent career criminal from continuing in his wrong and worsening ways and more firmly establishing habits which must be broken when he or she has their opportunity to receive God’s truth.

How beautiful is the pure truth of the merciful God!

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Anoint Your Eyes

Ours is a world of you do your thing, I’ll do mine. It has grown comfortable with accommodating and excusing evils like immorality and perversion that was scarcely imaginable just a few generations ago. Yet people feel smug and self-satisfied, convinced that such tolerance is a virtue.

 

God’s assessment of this age is evident in the personal message Jesus Christ sends to “the church of the Laodiceans” (Revelation 3:14-3:22). This is the end times and the final era of God’s Church, which exists right before Christ’s Second Coming. This is a time when truth has been cast to the ground (Daniel 8:12). Laodiceanism is the spirit of the age, it’s a spiritual disease that permeates not only the majority of God’s people (all those who profess to be his), but also society as a whole.

 

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot,” Christ says. “I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:15-3:17).

 

This spiritual wretchedness, accompanied by complacency and self-righteousness, deeply affects modern manhood. Many men are weak, effeminate, indeterminate, numbed by materialistic luxury and idleness, blanketed in a spirit of lukewarmness.

 

God wants men to be strong, masculine, and on fire for the truth! God needs men who are burning with zeal. His Work needs men who are ardently devoted to God’s purpose. Children need fathers and wives need husbands who are keenly engaged in their daily lives, leading the way God ordained.

 

Be honest: To what degree have you allowed yourself to get weighed down by Satan’s world? To take comfort in complacency, to shrink back into unmanliness? To feed your own laziness, selfishness, smallness? Is the trajectory of your life really leading you to where God wants you to be? 

Lif

A Key Approach to Lasting Joy

Do you know how to apply what the Bible teaches? Do you know where to find the help to bring joy and happiness into your life and that of those around you? If you do, your life will be filled with radiant and lasting joy.

 

Is true joy and love absent from your life? Do you struggle to face or overcome problems? Most people repeatedly do. It is easy to become discouraged, even depressed when we are bombarded with trials and problems and we fail to conquer them.

 

It is easy to be down when our efforts do not yield results. Could it be that our efforts are misdirected? Could it be our attempts are purely physical? The Bible calls such an approach “the works of the flesh.” While our intentions may be right, this approach lacks the power to really triumph.

 

At times, even true Christians struggle to find real joy. Some can put on a great face at Church services while at home problems are boiling! Some homes are divided: A young persons turns 18 and wants to get out because he has seen hypocrisy within the home; a husband and wife are so divided they contemplate breaking the vows they made to God and to one another; a family has employment or financial problems leading to undue stress between family members. At times, the tension produced by these problems can get so thick you can cut it with a knife.

 

A common cause may be that some people’s religion is a purely intellectual exercise; they are not truly living it. The Christian life is not merely knowing, but doing (James 1:22; Romans 2:13). Someone convinced only of the arguments of God’s truth will not change.

 

Most people are not successful because they don’t know the way. Do you know the way? If not, how can you be prepared to help teach all mankind?

 

If you are in God’s Church, remember that judgment is now on you (1 Peter 4:17). Note that this verse speaks in terms of obeying the gospel. God considers, or analyzes, all our works (Psalms 33:15). Does God see harmony or division? Does He see His people struggling and giving up or does He see them going to Him relying on Him for help?

 

God’s ministers see all sorts of personal and interpersonal problems people face. They can also see the purpose for these trials as God is perfecting and purifying His people. God’s ministers are called to be helpers of your joy (2 Corinthians 1:24). Godly counsel can go a long way in providing vision, staying power, and drive to tackle the issues at hand. To help your joy, true ministers of Jesus Christ have to show, teach, and expound on the laws of God. Keeping those laws is what makes people happy!

 

Do you practice the way to peace in your own family? Are you able to fight against, and overcome the works of the flesh? How skilled are you in educating people in the way of peace in your own home?

 

CAUSE AND SOLUTION FOR DIVISION.

 

It is natural and easy for human beings to rely on the flesh. When we have a problem, we tend to rely on our own abilities to work out physical solutions.

 

Thinking of all those who have lived and died before the first coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, lets point out the ancient Israelites here momentarily. To the ancient Israelites, God gave His Spiritual Law, as well as civil laws, statutes, and judgments. Before the sacrifice of Christ He also gave “a sacrificial law to remind them of sin and He gave a ceremonial law of physical works; rituals and things to do morning, noon, and night as a previous and temporary substitute for the Holy Spirit. The rituals and ceremonies of ancient Israel were there as a temporary substitute. But the ancient Israelites did not rely on God, even in obeying those physical laws. The physical rituals God instituted would have reminded them continually of the need for their Creator. They ended up rebelling.

 

How often do you solely depend on physical efforts of your own, not drawing on the power of God’s Holy Spirit? When you do not rely on God and the power of His Holy Spirit, It is impossible to overcome your problems. This is particularly true for relational problems within a family. Look at what happened in the Laodicean era (the sixth era) of the Church after one of God’s true servants died: Soon after, the people were not using the Holy Spirit, and family division ensued (Malachi 1:2-1:3). “God is telling us that the main problem is FAMILY DIVISION. This is the main problem Malachi is attacking. HIS MESSAGE IS NOT FOR THE WORLD. IT’S FOR GOD’S DIVIDED CHURCH TODAY, WHICH IS RAPIDLY BECOMING MORE DIVIDED.

 

People might see the Spiritual application of this principle in the Church but fail to see that the Kingdom of God must start in our homes! A family is a miniature type of the Kingdom of God and is the building block of that new civilization.

 

Any time a family fails to apply God’s Law by using God’s power, division becomes the result. The government in our homes must be right (Malachi 4:4-4:6). The husband must be the head of his wife, and Christ must be the Head of the husband (1 Corinthians 11:3). If we don’t honor our head, there will be deep Spiritual division.

 

God hates division! If our personal lives are full of strife and division, we are apart of the majority that is rebelling against God!

 

Some members are unwilling to talk with each other at services. Some seem not to understand that this is even a problem! Oftentimes such division exists between members of a physical family. How can that be in a united body of believers?

 

The Church produces a lot of material: the knowledge is available, but not everyone reads it. Some claim they don’t know where to find it. Others may have God’s Word but fail to apply it. This is where God’s ministers can be of special help. A minister who helps you understand and apply God’s law is a true gift from God.

 

God’s true ministers have to lead the brethren in following God. They must show them more and more how to put God’s knowledge into action, step by step. Real love faces problems and difficulties head on. We must not sweep our problems under the rug. We must address the causes.

 

Family division is a result of a lack of Christ in us. God wants deep unity within His Family! He wants His people to be as unified as He and Christ are (John 17:11). Only through using the Holy Spirit can we have the unity and joy we need. We cannot produce Spiritual fruit on our own: We need God’s help (John 15:4-15:5). The closer we are to God, the more Spiritual fruit we will bear. The more we obey God’s commandments, the more of His love we will receive and exhibit (John 15:7-15:12).

 

In Matthew 25, we see the example of foolish virgins who were kept out of the Kingdom of God because they didn’t have enough oil. Oil here is a symbol of God’s Spirit. We must monitor and ask God to replenish the Holy Spirit we receive from Him, and we must do it every day. Romans 8:14 and 16 say that to be children of God, we must use God’s Spirit.

 

WORKS OF THE FLESH.

 

The Apostle Paul was dealing with Jews in Galatia who insisted that people had to be circumcised. He wrote, “For you were called to freedom, brethren: only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh {anything carnally motivated}, but through love be servants of one another” (Galatians 5:13 Revised Standard Version).

 

The Greek word translated opportunity means a base of operation. When our base of operation is purely carnal instead of purely Spiritual, it always leads to sin. True liberty is freedom from sin. We have been called unto freedom from the curses that come from disobedience.

 

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another (Galatians 5:14-5:15) because hate is a curse and fruit of vanity that fulfills nobody and it divides, conquers, and devours those who hate. When members of a family or congregation are attacking one another even passively, it affects the entire congregation and the whole body of Christ!

 

Any action that is solely a human effort lacks real love. Paul lists the “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19-5:21 referring to physical action, as the Greek word ergon implies; work that is produced through human effort: “Adultery, fornication (sexual vice, impurity-adultery committed by a married person, fornication by a single person), uncleanness (lustful living), lasciviousness (unbridled lust, excess),Idolatry (worship of any false god, even wealth, status, etc), witchcraft (magic, sorcery, dabbling in the occult; the Creek word “pharmacaia” can even mean the use of drugs to try to escape reality), hatred (quarreling, picking fights), variance (strife, seeking to debate and argue), emulations (envious and contentious rivalry, jealousy), wrath (a quick temper, anger that boils up, emotional immaturity), strife (electioneering; putting oneself forward: This is the opposite of God. It’s Satan-inspired. God wants unity! We have to handle divisions His way), seditions (dissentions, divisions, disunion, party spirit), heresies (a body of people following their own way), Envyings (spiteful jealousy, ill will), murders, drunkenness (drinking bouts, intoxication), revellings (carousal), and such like (there are more ways the flesh manifests itself!): of the which i tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”

 

These works of the flesh are manifest, because this is the way of human nature. This is the way the world is going, the way on which modern society (man’s entire civilization) is built. Can you see you are harming yourself and others if you practice these things?

 

We all struggle against the works of the flesh to one degree or another, because we are physical. These are the actions we naturally default to if we are not using the Spirit of God. Christians are called to OVERCOME these disqualifying works of the flesh.

 

Society is drunk on these works. Sadly, society can rub off on God’s people if they allow it. People struggle and fail to make any significant Spiritual progress. In some cases, we have two, three or four generations caught in a trap. If you are reaping such curses, challenge yourself to let it stop with you!

 

True Christians must not love the world, because that way is incompatible with the love of God (1 John 2:15). The person who is fulfilling the lust of the flesh is not of God (1 John 2:16). “That is, desires of the flesh, to have things to please the different senses. The sense of sight; the sense of touch and feel, sex; the sense of the exhilaration that you get from alcohol and or drugs.” Lust of the flesh, what is it? Even the taste of food; Many foods that taste good are bad for your health, and people wonder why their health is not good. They don’t think about eating food that’s good for their health and will keep their minds clear and their bodies in good shape. They only think of what tastes good to the palate, lust of the flesh. Brethren, I tell you, were just simply loaded with that and we don’t realize it.

 

That is, desires. Just selfish, self-centered desires of your own flesh, of the five senses. The sense of hearing. Now there’s good music and bad music. And Satan has got bad music going and got so many and especially all of the younger generation today on bad music and its having a very bad effect on their mind and spirit.”

 

WALK AFTER THE SPIRIT

 

Commandment keeping is for our own protection. It is a common sense matter of self preservation. We are not to walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1). As we do so, the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us (Romans 8:4). “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:5-8:8).

 

To be carnally minded is DEATH!

 

All humans struggle with the works of the flesh to some degree or another. It is important to deeply understand that “works of the flesh” just refers to any physical action. In other words, people may not want to sin deliberately but this is how they naturally act. If we don’t employ the power of God’s Holy Spirit, THESE ARE THE ACTIONS WE DEFAULT TO.

 

We MUST USE GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT TO OVERCOME OUR PROBLEMS! If we don’t, we will always struggle. Anyone who is not growing spiritually should truly ask themselves whether they are drawing on God’s help as they can and should. So many of the problems people face are being battled only with human will and human effort. If a person has been struggling with something for years, they should question their approach.

 

There is a war on wills and a lack of progress indicates a lack of depth in one’s Spiritual understanding.  The person in a health trial may try diligently juicing and dieting, but is he or she more importantly really looking to God for healing? How about you? Do you put your trust in the works of the flesh (anything you can humanly do)? You should do what lies within your power, but put your faith in God! Let your attack of your problems be of the Spirit. When we are motivated by God’s mind of love, our efforts are driven by God’s Spirit, not just our human will. That mindset will see real results.

 

God promises to strengthen, uphold, and help His people (Isaiah 41:10, 13). Don’t have a mere desire for help from God: (I HOPE GOD will help me with this.” Have faith: I KNOW GOD will help me). “This i say then, Walk in the Spirit, AND YE SHALL NOT FULFIL THE LUST OF THE FLESH. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Galatians 5:16-5:17).

 

These verses are both a command and a promise. Walk in the Spirit, being deeply focused on God’s perfect law of liberty and then you won’t be preoccupied with thoughts and works of the flesh. How awesome is that? You will not fulfill the lust, or longing, of the flesh. Why? Because you are overcoming spiritually and are not defaulting back to letting your human nature guild you. The liberty God’s law offers prods us toward perfection.

 

“It Gets down to doing, but IT STARTS WITH AN ATTITUDE OF MIND THAT INSPIRES THE DOING: and then you act on it.” We have to think, and we have to act accordingly to the thinking. And the mind must direct what we do, our actions. And sin is when that action, that thought, conceives into a WRONG action. I’m trying to get down to the biblical definition of sin and just what is sin. It is a spiritual thing.

 

God explains the standards and wants us to live up to them. We don’t have to guess but we do have to act! Even if we only do what is commanded merely on a letter of the law level (a Chapter covered in my book “The Tree of Life, You’re Journey – My Mind”), God considers US UNPROFITABLE servants, whose fate is outer darkness (Luke 17:10; Matthew 25:30).

 

HARVEST OF THE SPIRIT

 

Know that every day you must fight and battle to spiritually grow. Every day presents opportunities for growth. Seek God’s direction in your life, through the Holy Spirit, every day. Heed that direction and be an individual of righteous action!

 

Moffatt’s version translates Galatians 5:22-5:23, which lists the fruit of the Spirit, as “the harvest of the Spirit” and say, “There is no law against those who practise such things.” A harvest is a crop you collect after the seeds have grown over a period of time. We must be sowing and practicing these seeds and fruits of Godliness now! They will not spring into action without first planting them.

 

The world loves the works of the flesh and is miserable because of them. But “they that are Christ’s have crucified the (self) flesh full of it’s affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-525). How can we live and walk in the Spirit?

 

“The human will and the human effort is what you use to follow the Holy Spirit, and then use it! But it is the power of God, The Holy Spirit of God, that does the good deeds.” True freedom, peace, and fulfillment come through harvesting the fruits of God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ living in us.

 

Resist the temptation to employ mere human efforts and solutions. Learn to follow and use the Spirit, and you will walk in the Spirit instead of giving into the lust of the flesh!