For those of you who may like a Bible Study every week. Our Wednesday night studies have not been the normal studies. We have been teaching from the Bible and the anointing has really been strong. If you are, or if you know a shut-in and would like to have our Bible study, just give us a call or leave a message if no answer and I'll see that you receive one in the mail.
I will do my best to publish a new Bible Study every week with a written test. If you do not attend Harvest Fellowship, but would like to participate, you can mail your test or question to me at P.O.Box 495, Lonoke, AR. 72086.
Pastor's phone # 501-680-0730 or 501-680-8650
Are You Plant-able
Dale Carter Sr.
5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Are you plantable is not a question concerning if you can be planted like a bush or tree but are you plantable ground? What kind of ground are you? When the seed is sown, will it just fall by the way side, will it be cast upon stony ground, ground where there is so much trash that the seed is choked out. Are you like to one that receives the word in the heart but by the time you get home the Devil steals it away for one reason or another? Could it be that you are the good soil, soil that is ready for the seed of the Word of God to be planted into your heart where you will treasure it, nurture it, dress it, water it and cause it to produce a harvest? God is looking for and calling men and women boys and girls whose hearts have been prepared, plowed deep by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost and ready to receive the seed of the Son of the Living God. Many are called but few are chosen. All that are called have the same opportunity, All, have a choice. God will never force Himself upon anyone. God has put your destiny in place weather or not you take it is entirely up to you. Your destiny is there not for just the asking, but for the taking.
24 But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people.
God gave Israel a word, a seed. “Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it.” God led them to the edge of the land but it was up to them to go and possess it. When you got “born-again” God is already leading you, when you were initiated into the “Church of the First Born” you were led into the land. Every one of you that are born-again crossed over the spiritual Jordan River and entered into the Land of Milk and Honey that God promised you. Your outward circumstances do not matter.
1.The Apostle Paul with the sewage system of Rome running around his feet could say, “He hath raised us up and given us joint seating together with Christ in Heavenly places.” 2.The Apostle John, though surrounded by wild beast and nothing but dessert could say, “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day.” They tried to boil me in oil but on the Lord’s Day all those things didn’t matter because I was in the spirit and nothing from the outside could touch me.
God gave all of these words, seeds that were planted deep into their hearts, seed that took root and produced a faith the nothing could waver, nothing could make them doubt. The seeds or words of “We Can, We Can” were planted deep into the plowed ground of the hearts of Caleb and Joshua and they knew they could possess the land that God had given them. They didn’t want to sit around and wait for someone to just hand it to them, they were ready to fight for it.
3 John 2. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
In this verse John is telling us of the Will of Jesus. Understand what I mean by “Will,” I’m speaking of His last will and testament. Before a will can go into affect there must be a testator, the will giver must first die, after that a lawyer or a trustee must execute the wishes of the dead person. Jesus said I am going to be betrayed of man and they will put me to death but I’m not going to trust just anyone to execute my “Will” I’m not going to stay dead I’m going to get up out of that grave but first before I get up I’m going to kick down the gates of hell and take back what the Devil has stolen from My people. I will set captivity free and escort them before my father’s throne. I will return to earth and show my people that I have risen, I will ascend into Heaven, sit down at the right hand of my Father, then upon My Church I will pour out of My Spirit and My sons and daughters shall prophecy: (Why did I say “MY” sons and daughters instead of “your” sons and daughters shall prophecy), because in John the 3rd chapter John said, “But as many as received him, (those that have a heart that had been ploughed deep by the Holy Ghost and was ready to receive the Word, treasure it, water it and has a made up mind to endure until the end) to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” then I will give unto My Church the keys that I took back from the Devil, the keys to Death, Hell and the Grave: I looked Death in the face, took the stinger out of his hand and said, “DEATH, WHERE IS THOU STING.” …..I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live. “I WENT DOWN INTO THE PIT OF THE GRAVE BUT I JUST KELP ON A WALKING AND WALKED OUT THE OTHER SIDE AND SAID, “GRAVE WHERE IS THOU VICTORY, YOU CAN’T HOLD ME OR MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS IN BONDAGE ANY LONGER. My Father and I will send the Holy Ghost unto them and the Holy Ghost will execute My will and give power unto My Church and in my name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. They shall take up serpents: serpents are the imps of the devil and we are to take them by the throat, shake them and cast them under our feet and stomp upon their head.
Prosper and be in Good Health:
Jesus wants us to get every blessing that He has promised us. It pleases Him and brings Him pleasure to do His will. (Phil. 2:13) It is His purpose to lead us into a spiritual dominion where the land flows with milk and honey and He wants you to go in and possess it. We need to stop standing around on the dock waiting for our ship to come in. The ship is there and we are letting a small thing stop us from possessing what God has for us.
1.Chihuahua dog….Stands between us and our ship full of blessings. A little Chihuahua dog will bark and bark and bark and can’t defeat anything. The reason he barks and barks is because he is nervous. All the time he is barking he is shaking in his tracks. That little O’ Chihuahua size Demon is also shaking because he is afraid that you will use the name of Jesus and holler sic-em Holy Ghost and run him back under the cover of hell where he belongs. We need to have a sic-em Holy Ghost service every time we gather together.
26 And it shall be, when thou art come in unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and possessest it, and dwellest therein;
You see it’s already your and mine but God will not make us possess it. He will lead us to it and give us instructions and power to possess it but it’s up to us to take it. God will not make you have joy and peace, He will not make you have good health He will not make you be financially blessed. But He will lead you to it. Then God gave some specific instructions about what to do when you get there. He said, That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name there. Who can tell if it’s a place where God has chosen to place His name? Is it a place that is alive spiritually and growing? Dr. Lester Sumrall says little churches are where little people with little visions go to talk about little things. Everywhere Jesus went, he eventually ended up with a crowd. Even in the case of the Samaritan woman by the well. She went and drummed up a crowd to come see a man who had told me everything I had done. If Jesus is showing up on a regular basis, the crowd will grow. In the last days there will be a famine for the Word of God and people that are hunger for the Word will find a place where it is preached and lived.
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
1 John Chapter 2
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.
13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
Love one another:
Vs. 7. It can be thought or said, that someone from the church thought that John was adding his own commands to the Christian faith. But John replied that all he said came directly from the words of Christ himself.
The outline is:
1.To love the Brethren is not a new Commandment. 2.To love the Brethren has been the foundation and the keynote of the Plan of God from the very beginning. 3.Since the old Commandment of love has been ever before the Believer, there is no excuse not to walk after this direction.
The phrase, “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you,” is not in the sense of the law, but rather as an exhortation to all believer of all ages old and new. The old commandment stated to “love thy neighbor as thy self” and Jesus went as far as to define who thy neighbor was. The old is just as fresh and valuable and powerful as the so-called new which really wasn’t new at all. (Luke 10:25-29) The Old and New Commandment have the same commandment, “Love.”
This is a great inward principle which is the Divine nature of Jesus operating in the Believer motivates and characterizes His life. Only those who possess that new nature can understand this principle of obedience. All who are destitute of a spiritual birth are outside of, and have no
knowledge of, this realm of love and light. And yet it is a common life to those that are in Christ Jesus.
Vs. 8. A second look, however, shows that there is a sense in which the commandment is new, in relation to Christ because His death gave new meaning to the word “love.” And it has become new to Christians as they experience it in their own lives.
The outline is:
1.The Commandment of love is both old and new. 2.Old, because John’s readers have had it from the beginning of their Christian experience. New, because, in the unfolding of Christian experience, it has developed new power, meaning, and obligation, and close correspondence with the facts of Christ’s life, with the crowning mystery of His passion, which translates into the Christian life. 3.Which fact is true in Him and in you? 4.The “darkness” pertains to the time before Christ. 5.The “true light” is Christ and pertains to the time since Christ has come, which light will shine forever.
The phrase, “Again, a new commandment I write unto you,” is actually the old commandment renewed and made complete in meaning by Jesus Christ. (Lev. 19:18; John. 13:34-35)
The idea is that which had been given under the Old Covenant could not be brought to fulfillment until the coming of Christ. When He came He made it real, because in essence, He was and is the Commandment of love. The word “again” as John uses it, in effect says, “in another sense, from another point of view, not in itself but in our recognition of it, it is a new commandment. The next phrase tells us why.
The phrase, “Which thing is true in Him and in you,” refers to the fact that Jesu has made everything real, or one might say, “Everything new.” This commandment of love is as old as the story of Cain and Abel, but it really could not be put into practice until Jesus came. It was all “in Him” and mow it can be “in you.” (John 14:17)
The phrase, “because the darkness is past,” refers to the fact that Jesus is now come, and because He has now come, ultimately all the darkness of sin and unbelief will pass as a parade goes by on the street. All parades have an end, so will the influence of Satan.
The phrase, “And the true light now shineth,” refers exclusively to Christ, as the “Light of the world.” The word “true” refers to the fact that there are many fake luminaries in the world. They claim to be the true light, but they fall shamelessly short. Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, plus many others that have come and gone.
Vs. 9. John gives us tests by which we can be sure whether our fellowship with God, is genuine.
Test that amount to, “if you are, you are, and if you an’t you an’t.” Pretty simple test with pretty simple answers. So many people in today’s church try to make or give excuses by adding “Yeah But” to defend their commitment to Christ. Some make concession for their life style or the life styles of a loved one. The fact is, you either is or you an’t. God does not make concessions when it comes to sin in a person’s life. Sin pays the same wage for everyone that commits sinful acts.
1.We can claim Salvation all day long, but if we hate our Brother, our claims are false. 2.How can we claim to have love, and at the same time hate our Brother? 3.It there is hate in our heart, then we are in darkness, which means that we’re not walking in light.
The phrase, “He that saith he is in the Light,” presents the fact that people fall into tow classes:
1.Those who are in fellowship with God and, therefore, walk in light and love. 2.Those who are not in fellowship with God and, therefore, walk in darkness and hatred. Where love is not there is hatred. To be sure, the heart is not empty. (John. 3:20; 7:7; 15:18; 17:4)
The phrase, “And hateth his Brother,” describes what cannot be, that is, if we are truly in the light. Hate is a powerful emotion. In both Testaments the word for hatred describes an emotional response or attitude toward a person, persons or things. In human beings, hatred is a dangerous emotion. It is listed in (Gal. 5:20) among the works flowing from the old sin nature. It describes the antagonisms that are so deeply rooted in human society. (Titus 3:3)
Unrighteousness hates righteousness meaning that an unrighteousness person hates a righteous person. Righteousness or a righteous person to some, is like a light that exposes the faults of the unrighteous person. Usually the unrighteous person will try to put out the light of the righteous person even at the expense of the unsaved while trying to convince others and even themselves that they have the Salvation of Christ in their heart. The emotion of hate is so strong that in a lot of cases it can cause a person to become violent and try to harm the hated.
Is “hate” ever okay in the eyes of God?
When a moral issue is involved, as in the statement, “I hate every wrong path” we can best understand hatred not so much ad an emotion but as a value judgement expressed in a choice to have nothing to do with what is “hated.”
Ps 119:128. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.
Prov 8:13. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Prov 13:5. A righteous man hateth lying:…….
The phrase, “Is in darkness even until now,” presents the fact that the absence of love is the absence of Salvation. It is not possible to “walk in darkness” and at the same time be saved. Love and hate cannot dominate the heart at the same time. The Bible plainly states that a fountain cannot put forth two kinds of water.
James 3:12. Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Some have said and is being said by many that they are just out of the will of God but they are going to make it the Heaven. A verse to think about.
Matt 7:21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. KJV
Vs. 10. Love for fellow Christians is an evidence of a person’s position in fellowship with God. Notice that this verse starts out with “He that loveth” rather than “He that saith,” since it is describing a person who loves in action, not merely with words.
1.The type of love addressed here, is the God kind of love. 2.The fact that this Christian habitually loves his Brother-Christian with a Godf kind of love is indicative of his close fellowship with and dependence upon the Lord Jesus. 3.Love will remove the “stumbling-block.”
The phrase, “He that loveth his Brother abideth in the light,” presents as is obvious, the opposite of hate.
The phrase, “And there is none occasion of stumbling in him,” actually has two meanings:
1.It means that such a person weill not cause anyone else to stumble; and, 2.There is nothing in him that weill cause himself to stumble.
He that loves dwells in the light and is not a moral stumbling block to others. To walk in the light is to be governed by love. To walk in the darkness is to be governed by hatred.
The outline is:
1.He that has hatred in his heart is not merely going toward darkness, but in fact, is in darkness. 2.Observe the climax. “In the darkness is, and in the darkness walkth” 3.The penalty of living in the darkness is not merely that one does not see but that one goes blind.
One that walks in darkness not only walks in darkness but is filled with darkness and is blind and cannot see. As described in Matthew 12 this person may have been once saved and delivered from bondage but now has become total darkness. (Matt. 12:43-45)
Vss. 12, 13, 14.
John assures his readers of their identity in Christ. Because they were genuine members of God’s family, they could successfully cope with the spiritual dangers around them. Because of their conversion they had been born into the family of God, having become partakers of His nature. As an earthly father takes the responsibility of taking care, guiding and protecting his family, God assumes the same responsibility.
In verse 13 John address the fathers, the more mature believers and wrote that they had received this message because they had come to know Christ as described in verse 3.
Verse 14 John continues his massage to the fathers the more mature members and then includes the young men because they are strong. All because they have known Him that existed from the beginning
1 John Chapter 3 Verses 1-3
April 3, 2019
(Write out scriptures references that are in parenthesis and in bold print)
1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
The phrase, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,” presents that which is foreign to this present world, and in fact, which comes from another world. This kind of love is not only foreign to this world but in fact is not found naturally in humanity. This love is freely given upon Faith in Christ and what He has done for us at Calvary.
“Behold” with excitement in his voice, simply means pay attention to what I’m about to say and put great value on it. Meaning not only take it into your ears but absorb into your heart it has great wealth and strength, get a grip on it and hold onto it. This can also mean to watch and observe changes or what is about to happen in a person’s life. 2 Cor. 5:17. Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Watch and see if the person demonstrates a new life style. We are now sons, we belong to the family of God and God is our father not Abraham. The truth that God is our heavenly Father and we are His children is one of the greatest revelations in the New Testament.
1.Being a child of God is the highest privilege of our salvation. (St. John 1:12; Gal. 4:7) 2.Being a child of God is the basis for our faith and trust in God. (Matt. 6:25-34), and our hope of glory for the future. As children of God, we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:16-17).
God wants us to be increasingly made aware through the Holy Ghost, the “Spirit of adoption” that we are His children. (Rom. 8:15). The Spirit produces the cry “Abba” which means Father, in our hearts and gives us the desire to be “led by the Spirit” (Rom. 8:14)
Being a child of God is the basis for our discipline by the Father and the reason we live to please God. (Heb. 12:6-11). God’s ultimate goal in making us His children is to save us forever and to conform us to the image of His Son. When we remember how insignificant we are as creatures, and how ungrateful, rebellious, and vile we have been as sinners, we may well be amazed and hard to understand and realize the depth of a love which would adopt us into the holy family of God, so that we may be regarded and treated as the children of the Most High God.
“Has bestowed,” simply means to give something to someone but with a little gravity, cannot be taken back. God has placed His love upon us in the sense that we have become the permanent object of His love and His love is permanent. This kind of love is a degree of love that will never change in intensity. Time will not change it. Distance will not weaken it. Human decisions cannot void it. Obedience or disobedience will not strengthen it. God love is the same all the time simply because, God “is” Love and nothing can change that neither can it change Him.
“That we should be called the sons of God,” refers to the family of God which is gained by adoption. Adoption into the family of God is accomplished by only one act and that is being “Born Again.” John 3:1-7. There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. KJV
Being born again is the beginning of regeneration. Regeneration is a re-creating and transformation of the person by God the Holy Ghost… (Rom.12:2; Eph. 4:23.) Through this process eternal life from God Himself is imparted to the believer and he becomes a child (son) of God, a new person. He no longer conforms to this world, (Rom. 12:2) but is now created after God “in righteousness and true holiness” (St. John 3:16; 2 Peter1:4; 1 John 5:11; Eph. 4:22-32)
•Regeneration is necessary because apart from Christ, all people, by their inherent natures, are sinners, incapable of obeying and pleasing God. (Ps. 51:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 8:7-8;1Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:3) •Regeneration comes to those who repent or their sins, turn to God (Matt. 3:2) and place personal faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. •Regeneration involves a transition from an old life of sin to a new life of obedience to Jesus Christ. The one who is truly born again is set free from the bondage of sin and receives a spiritual desire and disposition to obey God and follow the leading of the Spirit. Those born again live righteous lives, love other believers, avoid a life of sin and do not love the world. (2 Cor. 5;17; Col. 3:10; Rom. 12:13-14) •One born of God cannot make sin a habitual practice in his life. One cannot remain a child of God without a sincere desire and victorious endeavor to please Him and to avoid evil. Those who do live in immorality and follow the world’s ways, whatever religious organization they adhere to, demonstrate that they are still or once again, un-regenerated and therefore illustrate that Satan is their father. •Just as one can be born of the Spirit by receiving the life of God, he can also extinguish that life by ungodly choices and unrighteous living, and die spiritually. Scripture affirms, “if you live after the flesh, ye shall die” Rom 8:13. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. KJV. •Sin and the refusal to follow or walk in the Spirit as confirmed by Scripture will extinguish the life of God in the soul of the believer and causes spiritual death and exclusion from the kingdom of God. (Mat. 12:31-32; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21;f Heb. 6:4-6; 1 John 5:16) •The new birth cannot be equated with physical birth, for the relationship of God with the believer is a matter of spirit rather than flesh. Our membership in God’s family remains conditional on our faith, obedience and love in Christ throughout our earthly existence.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
The structure of this verse is:
•We are just as much a “son of God” now, as we will be after the Resurrection. •However, our present state as a “son of God,” is not at all like that which we shall be in the coming Resurrection. •The words, “when He shall appear” refer to the coming Rapture. •We shall be like Him, refers more to a physical likeness than a spiritual one. It speaks of being glorified. •Only at the Rapture will we be able to see our Lord as He is now, for physical lives in a mortal body could not look upon that glory, only eyes in a glorified body.
The phrase, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God,” presents the fact that even though there will be a tremendous change in the Resurrection, still, we are just as much “sons of God” presently, as we will be then.
The phrase, “And it doth not yet appear what we shall be,” a biblical commentator comments: this word “what” suggest something beyond comprehension, which pertains to the likeness of God.” The ideal is, it is not yet fully revealed what we shall be like as it regards the glorified body. In all the writing of John he doesn’t encourage us to speculate on these matters. He just makes the statement as it regards that coming time, leaving it mostly in mystery. As Jimmy Swaggart suggests that God has not made a public display of the glory that belongs to His children. But we know that when He shall appear we be like him. The true child of God is already spiritually like the Lord in a relative sense and through the work of the Holy Ghost we are being conformed more and more to His spiritual likeness.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
The phrase, “Every man” refers to all who are truly saved, which will fall into the category mentioned here. This “Hope” is the Resurrection. “Him” refers to the Lord Jesus Christ and what He has done for us at Calvary. Purifying oneself refers to the Christian supplying a willing mind and an obedient heart. The ideal is to be pure like Christ. (some of quotes are from JSM)
August 15, 2018
Harvest Fellowship Community Church
“Where Your Past Doesn’t Matter”
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
1.What is a Critical Spirit? a.What is a Caring Spirit? b.What is Encouragement? c.What is God’s Heart on a Critical Spirit? 2.Characteristics of a Critical Spirit. a.What are the differences between a Critical Spirit and a Caring Spirit? b.What “Smoke Screens” camouflage a Critical Spirit. c.What are camouflaged characteristics of a critical spirit? 3.Causes for a Critical Spirit. a.What was modeled in childhood? b.What are childhood wounds? c.What is the cycle of criticism? d.What is the root cause of a Critical Spirit? e.How can you escape criticism throughout eternity? 4.Steps to Solution a.How to stop a crop of criticism b.How to change a critical heart into a caring heart c.How to respond when confronted for being critical d.How to ask forgiveness for being critical e.How to forgive your critic f.How to confront someone who has a Critical Spirit g.How to respond to criticism from significant people h.How to triumph in truth
Gal 5:22-26. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. KJV
Compiled and Written by Pastor Dale Carter Sr
August 15, 2018
(Write out all scriptures that are in bold letters)
Rom 14:10-1310 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? forwe shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongueshall confess to God.12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man puta stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. KJV
Romans 14:10(The Amplified Bible)
(10)“Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look downupon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.
(12) And so each of us shall give an account of himself - give an answer in reference to judgmentto God.
(13) Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but ratherdecide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way ofa brother.”
In this study, and in its entirety I intend and hope that we can look at and discuss the critical spirit.
1. What is a Critical Spirit?
a. What is a Caring Spirit?
b. What is Encouragement?
c. What is God’s Heart on a Critical Spirit?
2. Characteristics of a Critical Spirit.
a. What are the differences between a Critical Spirit and a Caring Spirit?
b. What “Smoke Screens” camouflage a Critical Spirit.
c. What are camouflaged characteristics of a critical spirit?
3. Causes for a Critical Spirit.a. What was modeled in childhood?
b. What are childhood wounds?
c. What is the cycle of criticism?
d. What is the root cause of a Critical Spirit?
e. How can you escape criticism throughout eternity?1
4. Steps to Solution
a. How to stop a crop or harvest of criticism.
b. How to change a critical heart into a caring heart.
c. How to respond when confronted for being critical.
d. How to ask forgiveness for being critical.
e. How to forgive your critic. How to confront someone who has a Critical Spirit.
f. How to respond to criticism from significant people.
g. How to triumph in truth
1. What is a critical spirit?
A critical spirit is a negative attitude of the heart that seeks to condemn, tear down, and destroy with words. In contrast, constructive criticism involves opinions that are meant to build up. A critical spirit creates blind spots in a person’s heart and mind causing them to believe they are being constructive.
I’ve been around people who have a critical spirit and I’ve been around those who don’t. I must say that it is a lot more fun to be around people that don’t have a critical spirit. People with a critical spirit are like porcupines. When they feel threatened, they push out their barb-like quills to protect themselves and can deeply stab you heart. Sometimes it is hard to feel safe around those kind of people. Being around them makes you have to walk on egg shells and there are very few people that can walk on eggs shells without crushing them. Critical spirited people, in most cases are quick to attack others, often without justification and just as easily turn on us without provocation. Many don’t recognize the negative character flaw in themselves. Instead, they defiantly proclaim, “I’m not negative. I’m just right!
The person with a critical spirit usually dwells on the negative, seeks for flaws rather than good. They’re a complainer, usually always upset, and generally have a problem or a complaint about something. They often have little control over their tongue, their temper, and have tendencies for gossip and slander, which Paul said were sins “worthy of death” (Rom. 1:29-32).
If you try to have a close relationship with someone who has a porcupine-personality, realize thatit’s next to impossible to embrace a porcupine without getting hurt, only another porcupine can do that. But if you are being subjected to the jabs of an unjust critic, watch out, you can get into the same jabbing pattern by jabbing back then the results is a war. Remember, in a war a lot of innocent people are hurt and even destroyed.
If you are one of these people and you want to stop the war remember what Jesus said in Luke 6:31. “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” Can you image, if every person with a critical spirit were to apply this passage every moment of every day, the transformation would be life-changing. No more barbs, no more jabs, no more sharp-pointed quills, just the permanent change of a life reflecting the love of Christ which would produce love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance and there would be a lot less heart-attacks, strokes and ulcers. Pharmaceutical company would sell a lot less “mind altering drug,” doctors would prescribe less tranquilizers, divorces would decreaseand our children would have a peaceful home. Let us all work toward becoming a building stone and not a stumbling block. (Matt. 18:6) (Matt 12:34-35) (Matt. 7:12) (Romans 12:1-14)
Very religious people usually possess or may be possess by a critical spirit as were the Scribes and Pharisees. Those names or labels may have been altered but the spirit is still alive and well. If a person does not agree with their teachings then they label them as stubborn, dumb or just plain stupid. Then there are those that will call you an unsaved heather and try to make you feel insufficient and not worth of fellowship. It is not wrong to disagree with their doctrines but it is wrong to criticize with the intent to hurt and destroy. I think that we should not offend or hurt others feelings just because we don’t agree.
The person with a critical spirit usually dwells on the negative, seeks for flaws rather than good. They’re a complainer, usually always upset, and generally have a problem or a complaint about something. They often have little control over their tongue, their temper, and have tendencies for gossip and slander, which Paul said were sins “worthy of death”.
A. What Causes a Critical Spirit?
1. Negativeness - A bad attitude and a negative view of life. A person may have unconfessed sin in their life (Rom. 2:1), or may harbor unforgiveness or bitterness toward someone who may have offended them (Heb. 12:15).
2. Insecurity - Criticism is often a subconscious means to “elevate one’s own self image.” By putting others down, they are inwardly trying to feel more important or that “they know more.” Jealousy toward the spiritual victories of others is often the cause of criticism and belittling comments. Popular ministers of the Gospel are often the target of such tactics.
3. Immaturity - Believers must always keep their focus upon Christ and His Word, not man, who will often fail (Heb. 12:2. Read the entire chapter). The young or immature believer who has not progressed very far in their own faith, remain overly dependent upon the faith of those within thebody of Christ. Unfortunately, when they begin to notice the flaws in their brethren, subconsciously, this becomes a threat to their own sense of victory. Criticism becomes a reactionof disappointment, because their expectations in others have been crushed.
4. An Unrenewed Mind - Put-downs, making-fun-of, criticism, sarcasm are the world’s ways ofreacting to the faults of people. However, as Christians we don’t behave this way. Our thinking and attitude should be renewed by the Word of God, which teaches us to bear the infirmities of the weak, to love, and show compassion and encouragement (Rom. 12:2).
5. The Devil - As we may realize, the Devil specializes in influencing obsessive behavior. He may use any or all of the above channels, or other techniques, to influence a complaining or critical attitude to stir up turmoil and strife within the body of Christ (Eph. 6:12). We must be on guard that none of us would be used as a tool of the Devil to bring harassment or discouragementupon our brothers or sisters through continual criticism, as the Bible warns us not to “give place”to the Devil (Eph. 4:27). Remember that Satan is specifically called “the accuser of the brethren”(Rev. 12:10). Are you an accuser of the brethren?
The Bible says that the reason that we are to come together as a church is, not to criticize, but to “exhort” (encourage) one another (Hebrews 10:25). “Cursing the darkness” won’t change anything, but we must light a candle and “expose the light” of God’s Word. By sharing the truth of God’s Word, and encouraging people to live in its truth, people will change. Love and encouragement is a “motivational force.”
If we ever hope to bring improvement in others, we need to become people of encouragement. This is the only attitude that will change people, and our actions and words must be devoted to encouraging the spiritual progress of our brethren.
The Christian’s tongue should never be used for anything but good. “Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word, nor unwholesome or worthless talk (ever) come out of your mouth; but only such speech as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it” (Eph. 4:29 The Amplified Bible). Prov 17:22. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” God gave all of us a free will mind so that we chose to have a merry heart or dried bones. Whichever we chose to have we will become a channel to pass it on. The Bible says that the reason that we are to come together as a church is, not to criticize, but to “exhort” (encourage) one another (Hebrews 10:25). “Cursing the darkness” won’t change anything, but we must light a candle and “expose the light” of God’s Word. By sharing the truth of God’s Word, and encouraging people to live in its truth, people will change. Love and encouragement is a “motivational force.”
a. What is a Caring Spirit?
The second chapter of Job exposes the integrity and charter of Job’s friends. Initially theydemonstrate a caring spirit reflecting the deep, attentive love of God toward Job. But theyhad a change of heart and tried to get Job to admit to a sin that he had not committed as did his wife. Later on God proved that He is always there even in our afflictions and desertions of friends and family. In chapter 42 God said to Eliphaz, …..My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Vs 8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job…… And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Prov 8:13 “ The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Caring involves someone giving watchful or painstaking attention based on desiring whatis best for others. To be thoughtfully attentive and protective, be personally interrested in or feeling affection toward someone else, to be actively involved in doing what is best foranother person. The one who created us gives loving, watchful care toward us. I believe that it grieves the Lord when one tries to destroy another. Matt 10:29-31. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, yeare of more value than many sparrows.
Caring people are genuinely interested in showing concern for others. In the Bible we read about truly caring people.
The Good Samaritan, who took care of the savagely beaten traveler. Lu. 10:34
The apostle Paul, who cared for the new Christians young in their faith. I Thes. 2:7.
The Christians in Philippi, who sent a brother to care for the needs of Paul. Phil. 2:25,30.
a. What is Encouragement?
Encouragement literally meansAfter Eliphaz speech, Job replies in his own defense expressing a need for sincere encouragement instead of wounding words. In Job 6:15 Job laments my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams, as the streams the streams that overflow. He is saying that his friends increased his burdens rather than help relieve them.
In truth, from our earliest years, we’ve all yearned for approval; we have cried out for encouragement. A little on cries out, “Mommy look what I drew!” When we were learning to play baseball or to swim or ride a bicycle our hearts cried out, “Daddy look at me!” Just as children need encouragement so do adults. But not just once in a while.
Hebrews 3:13. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Col 3:12-14. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.5