The sin of hatred is a heart ailment that can be cured by applying Godly love in your life.
Well, good morning everyone. It is awesome to be here with you today. What a beautiful piece. That is one of my favourite piano pieces, to say the least. She tickles those ivories fairly well, doesn’t she? I knew when to come up and sit down, because Mother went and sat down. So I figured by the time she sat down she was not going to be turning any more pages, so that was my cue to come up and be up here in the front for the sermon.
I give you greetings from the Dayton and Cincinnati North congregations. Cincinnati North is to your west. We thoroughly enjoy being with them. I got a call on Thursday and they ask me to come down and speak so it was kind of last minute type thing for me. I see one or two, actually three, people who were in the North last week - my apologies to you because you are going to get the same message.
I saw a horrific accident on 270 coming down. I don’t know if anyone else saw that or not, but it was really, really bad. One of the worst I’ve seen. We were coming to the Home Office from 75, 71 area and on the other side it looked like two cars met head-on. I don’t know if they did or not or if someone went the wrong way. I have no idea but it was horrific. You might ask that God would give comfort to the family. I know that I did in the car as I past - those type of things just kind of tear me up when I see people suffering and hurting like that and I know that God loves all of humanity and there are some family members that are going to have a difficult time for the near future so you might want to, even though you don’t know them, you have no idea who they are - you may, as you say, bless them greatly by your prayers to your Father in heaven on their behalf because He is the God of all comfort.
I thought Dayton and Cincinnati North were the only two congregations that had things cancelled after I announce them, but I understand Mr. Welty’s situation. You make an announcement and things have a way of changing. That has happened to us a few times as well.
I think most of us are familiar with the Second World War. I see a lot of the young people are here and you possibly have heard stories from family members or you’ve studied the subject; you’re interested in history and you go back and take a look at it. I also see grey haired individuals out there and many like myself who have no hair who may have lived at that time. Some of you may have actually participated in the Second World War.
Historians will love to discuss and debate why the Second World War started. They will go back and digest the Treaty of Versais - a lot of differing ideas and thoughts and concepts - I think many will realize that greed and lust for power had an affect upon the people who lived at that time, specifically the people like Hitler and those who were with him. James 4:1-2 James 4:1-2 1 From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not.
American King James Version×give reasons why wars occur. As a matter of fact, he asked the question: Why do wars and fights come from among you?
My wife is German and she only spoke German until she was seven years of age, when she landed at Ellis Island with her parents in New York and we discussed a little bit of her history and past living in Germany and Frankfurt right after WW11 and seeing the devastation, and we discussed the concept of Lebensraum - you who are Germans please forgive my slaughtering of that word - and I used to know it as a word that meant “living room” and she very politely said it actually means “room to live”. I said: Oh, what is the difference? Room to live - living room - what’s the difference? But that was a concept that Hitler had as well as those who were with him and so in order to have more living room or room to live he decides to march into Poland. That didn’t satisfy his desire for living room. He wanted a bigger home, a bigger house, so he annexed Austria. Now we know the story that he eventually ended up occupying France; WW11 eventually came to an end but there was one particular sin that reigned in the hearts of the Nazi’s, the Nazi leaders in particular, during WW11, and that was the sin of hatred.
The sin of hatred: You can’t read and study about that period and time and not realize that many of these of these leaders had a deep hatred specifically for a group of people. Hitler, Adolf Eichmann - many of you have heard that name. He was caught eventually and sentenced, but Hitler, Adolf Eichmann, came out with what was known as the final solution: The destruction and the elimination of the Jews. According to history, what we read, 6 million Jews lost their lives during that period of time. Most disagree with the Iranian leader who said there really was no Holocaust. Most in history realize it did happen; it occurred.
So here was a sin, the sin of hate that caused many atrocities in our world, both in the past as well as today. You can’t keep up with the news and read stories about Darfur; the crisis in the Middle East today taking place with Palestinian and Jews. The attitude there in that area is filled with hatred and hate is a heart ailment, it really is. Hatred is a heart ailment that is forbidden by God in both the Old- and the New Testament. It is a heart ailment. As a matter of fact let’s take a look at just a couple of scriptures, two or three, both in the Old and the New to see about the subject of hate.
Leviticus 19:17 Leviticus 19:17You shall not hate your brother in your heart: you shall in any wise rebuke your neighbor, and not suffer sin on him.
American King James Version×‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. It goes on to say a few more things, a few more words - we will look at those in a minute. So God says you shall not hate your brother in your heart and the reason is because hatred of people are so hurtful, so destructive, both to you, me, as well as to them, those that we may have the attitude of hatred towards. You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall in any wise rebuke your neighbour, and not suffer sin on him.
That is from the King James Version but when we read you shall not hate your brother Moses was saying: You shall not only not do him any harm, any kind of evil, but you shall harbour no hatred in your heart towards him. On the contrary, you shall love him as yourself. That is the context if you read that whole section of Scripture. Now we have somebody, do we not in the New Testament, somebody known as our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who very forcefully impact that subject, that point to us. It is called the second great commandment and that is: You shall love him as yourself. So Moses taught the same thing that Jesus Christ did. After all Christ was the One that was leading them at that particular time.
JFB Commentary says this, under the area: “17. thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour - Instead of cherishing latent feelings of malice or meditating purposes of revenge against a person who has committed an insult or injury against them, God’s people were taught to remonstrate with the offender and endeavour, by calm and kindly reason, to bring him to a sense of his fault.”
Sense of fault that at least you think he has with you. How he may have hurt you. You are to go and remonstrate with him in a calm and kindly fashion.
Adam Clark says this: “And not suffer sin upon him. If thou see him sin, or know him to be addicted to any thing by which the safety of his soul is endangered, thou shalt mildly and affectionately reprove him, and by no means permit him to go on without counsel ….” So he says you shall not hate your brother. You shall actually love him enough, love her enough, that you are willing to go and talk to the individual about the difficulty and the crisis and the problem that might be being faced with the two individuals and affectionally discuss this with him. It doesn’t mean that when you love your brother and sister that you know are willing to discuss some of the difficult things that might be there between the two of you. God says how you handle that is so very, very, very important.
As a matter of fact isn’t that was Galatians 6:1 Galatians 6:1Brothers, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted.
American King James Version×tells us? Turn over there if you will.
Galatians 6:1 Galatians 6:1Brothers, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering yourself, lest you also be tempted.
American King James Version×Brethren, if a man (or woman) is overtaken (caught) in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
So the apostle Paul is giving instruction to the brethren, to all of us, that if there is an issue that you see you should have the ability, if you are spiritual - the way to know you are spiritual is if you have the spirit of gentleness, kindness, meekness, love, concern - that is how you know. Not the feeling of animosity or the feeling of hatred. So he says you restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. So he is saying: Be there for your brother. Be there for your sister but do not have any hate as we saw in Leviticus 19, in your heart.
Come over to Matthew 5. Let’s take a look at a New Testament passage.
Matthew 5:23 Matthew 5:23Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has ought against you;
American King James Version×“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember (if youremember) that your brother (or sister) has something (ought) against you, - okay,something against you,
V.24 - “leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother (or your sister) and then come and offer your gift.
You see we have a tendency to think, if I have ought against my brother I’m supposed to go and be able to one on one, talk with him or her and try and get things resolved, if I have ought against my brother. It also says here though that if you know your brother or sister has ought against you, leave your gift at the altar, go to that individual and say: You know what, I know that you have some hard feeling towards me and things aren’t exactly the way they need to be with us. What can we do? What can we do? How can we handle this as far as being able to have reconciliation? You see God Almighty gives both instructions: If you have ought against your brother, or you know your brother has ought against you. He covers both sides of the coin because God is a God of reconciliation. He calls us a ministry of reconciliation. That is what He desires from all of us.
Now if you do any study which I did for preparing the sermon for Dayton and Cincinnati North you will know that there were certain times of the year, especially during the Passover, when the Jews brought gifts. I am referencing primarily animal sacrifices, and they offered these sacrifices at the altar in the temple in Jerusalem.
According to the Life Application Commentary they emphasize this point. It says: “The altar stood in the court of the priest. The person brought this gift into this inner court to worship God and offer a specific sacrifice.” These are described, as he says, in the book of Leviticus. “The Jews brought their gifts as a matter of course, as part of keeping God’s law, but Jesus explained that those who come into God’s presence”, those who come into God’s presence “to worship Him must come with pure hearts. Not hindered by broken relationships that they had the power” - that they had the power - “to mend.”
So God says you have that responsibility; I have that responsibility; to have peace within me and expand peace out from around me. It is my responsibility. It is my duty. We as brethren have that as a responsibility if we - and I don’t know you that well over here but if you have ought against your brother or sister here in the congregation of if you know if somebody has ought against you - It is our responsibility. Now the Jews of that time knew exactly what Jesus Christ meant when He made that statement. Like I said it is interestingly enough that this verse focuses not on the worshipper’s anger but on the anger someone else feels about or toward the worshipper. It is very important. Reconciliation is the key.
What do you do if you’ve tried your best to patch up with your friend but he or she is still torn? Have any of you experienced that? I’ll raise my hand on that one. I have been in the ministry 41 years now and I had ought against a fellow minister once and I went to him finally after about 10 years, no, just joking - it wasn’t quite that long. We talked but when I left I felt there still was a little bit of a difficulty but we worked it out. It worked out just fine and we are actually closer friends today than we were before because we both realized our individual responsibility to rectify the situation. We became even better friends than we were.
What if you go to your friend and she or he is still torn? She - using you ladies as an example here - she can’t let it go. She won’t talk to you and doesn’t answer your calls, what do you do then? What was a person to do during the time of Christ when they went to the altar to offer their gift, left it there, went back to be reconciled but the person will have nothing to do with it. What do you do? Well, I am sorry I can’t go worship God. I guess I am separated from Him. No, no. You go back to the altar and you offer your sacrifice to God and you maintain a spiritual relationship with Him because that is what He wants and He sees in you and in me a spirit that we want that. That is what He wants to see in us. He realizes that we individually may not be able to convince somebody else against his or her will but at least we are in that spirit and if we are in that spirit of reconciliation, when the other person eventually gets there, it can occur. It can happen and that is what is very important.
So when friendships require your complete surrender to her of her point of view, it makes it hard. It just makes it very difficult. When it is clear that you have to give up a different friend or her or his friendship, that makes it difficult. It is a very straightforward statement that I realize that there are past romances that a wife may be a little bit upset if you begin to communicate with that individual regularly okay, or visa versa the husband, but the point being: Let’s just say two friends or one friend requires you to give up another friend to be his or her friend, that is really going a little bit too far. Just because they don’t get along doesn’t mean that you and that person don’t get along. Or when his or her pout is unreasonable or childish - you know some of you may have faced that.
When those things happen it is time to bring your worries to God in prayer. Your relationship, when nothing else is hopeful, where every contact digs a deeper hole, try prayer. Asking God, and me asking God to give me humility and the right spirit to work through these things and try to look through the eyes of the other individual and see what is going on. So we should pray for our friend daily. Pray for his and her happiness; pray for his and her recovery; pray for hers and his immediate needs. Time is a healer and miracles can happen when we have our heart and spirit right before God. It is so, so, so important.
If you jump one down to verse 43 - if you jump on down to verse 43 of chapter 5, Jesus goes on to say:
Matthew 5:43 Matthew 5:43You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.
American King James Version×“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’
V.44 - “But I (your Master, the One who loves you deeply) say (this) to you love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute you - pray for the person who may give you a hard time or like to rub your nose in the dirt or across a piece of sandpaper.
I like to joke with our congregations in Dayton and Cincinnati North whenever I come across this passage and I say: You know it says that we should pray for our enemies, not prey - p r e y - on them. Humanly that is sometimes what we do, isn’t it. We have a tendency: Well, I pray. I just don’t spell it quite the same way. I spell it p r e y, not
p r a y. That is not what God is saying. He says: Pray for those who persecute you and love your enemies.
You know the Pharisees interpreted Leviticus 19:18 Leviticus 19:18You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
American King James Version×where we were about not hating your brother, they had a tendency to interpret Leviticus 19:18 Leviticus 19:18You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
American King James Version×as teaching that you should only love those who love in return. Neighbour, they will tell you, refer to the same nationality and faith. That is why in the New Testament the Jews wouldn’t go on to someone of a different faith. Remember what Peter said there in Acts10? But God had showed me that I should call no man common or unclean. No man, common or unclean. But they thought that neighbour really referred to someone of the same nationality and faith.
There is no Bible verse explicitly that says: Hate your enemy. Now there are scriptures in the Old Testament that will talk about the enemies of God and different attitudes that we should have but there is no specific spot, at least that I found, where it says: Hate your enemies. And so the Pharisees may have misinterpreted some of those passages that talked about enemies of God. As a matter of fact you do find in Luke 10:29 Luke 10:29But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor?
American King James Version×that Jesus explained that His followers would do the true intent of the law, that is God’s law, by loving their enemies as well as their neighbours. And when the Pharisee asked Jesus: Who is my neighbour there in Luke 10, what did He say? Who is my neighbour?
Luke 10:29 Luke 10:29But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor?
American King James Version×- and then Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. You’ll find in that parable of the Good Samaritan that Jesus explained that His followers must show love to all kinds or people, no matter what their faith; no matter what their nationality; no matter what their personality. Enemies included. Those that you may have ought against. I believe in my heart that if all of us can come to pray for our enemies and love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us then we really are becoming more like Jesus Christ because that possibly humanly, is some of the most difficult things to do in life: to really be concerned about somebody who steps on our feet.
Come on over to Proverbs 6. Now God does tell us and encourages us to hate something. The Bible does talk about hating, but it is very specific and never should be towards any human being or individual. He says we are to hate sin. Once again I ask the question: Why? Why does God want us to hate and dislike deeply sin? It is because sin hurts you. Sin hurts me. It is destructive. As a mater of fact a scripture comes to mind which I didn’t necessarily plan to be part of the sermon but I give it to you.
Deuteronomy 10:12 Deuteronomy 10:12And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
American King James Version×-13 Those in Dayton and Cincinnati North know this passage by heart as I quote it often - that is God asks us and tells us to keep His commandments there in Deuteronomy 10 and He says: I want you to do it for your good. My margin says: I want you to live the life that I have outlined to you for your benefit, for your well-being. God never asked us to do anything that is not good for us, that doesn’t have a benefit involved with it if we are willing to walk and follow His teachings, whereas sin, on the other hand: it hurts; it’s painful; it’s destructive, and here in Proverbs 6, beginning in verse 16, it says this:
Proverbs 6:16 Proverbs 6:16These six things does the LORD hate: yes, seven are an abomination to him:
American King James Version×These six things the Lord hates, - they are not His favourite things in life, okay. He doesn’t like these. Yes, seven are an abomination to Him;
V.17 - a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
V.18 - A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil,
V.19 - A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren.
Did you notice what those seven are? If you go back and do an analysis, an assess-study on this verse, and you will find that most, if not all of these are relationship destroyers. They are relationship destroyers. I don’t read anything here where it says: These things the Lord hates: He who doesn’t keep the Sabbath, the Holy Days. Now granted God wants us to be involved with that. Those are instructions that God gives us - again why? For our good; for our benefit. There are very many, many blessings in walking and following in the teachings of our Saviour Jesus Christ and our Father in heaven. But these here that He says He hates are relationship destroyers and God doesn’t want relationships destroyed. He wants relationships knit together and bound tightly. That is what He wants; that is what He desires. We should desire the same.
If you look at verse 19 where it says: A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren, the word “discord” there is “madawn” and it means: strife and dissension. But in The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the Old Testament there is a statement there that is a little disconcerting, a little disconcerting. It says that “this word refers to a quarrel or a dispute that cannot be stopped once it starts”.
Now I firmly believe that with God all things are possible, so if you are having an issue with an individual and it has gone to the point of “madawn”,
God says if we are willing to repent and seek His humility, anything can be stopped and be mended. As a matter of fact He says we are to be bridge builders, right? Repairers of the breach; not burning the bridges but repairers of the breach. So He talks again about a quarrel or dispute that cannot be stopped once it begins. We want to nip our difficulties that we may have with one another in the bud right in the beginning. You know your issue with somebody in the congregation or a person at work or a person in the neighbourhood might be that small; might be that small. That’s when you want to nip it in the bud. It is easier to do this, right? But if you allow that to continue on out and it gets wider, when it was so small to begin with, it is more difficult to bring it back together. That is more of what this word “madawn” means: that once you let the quarrel or dispute go forward so far, it is hard to stop. So you have to nip whatever it is in the bud right away and we all individually have that responsibility to make sure we do that.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary - I said I did a lot of studying in this subject for the two congregations that I pastor - the Matthew Henry Commentary on Proverbs 6:19 Proverbs 6:19A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brothers.
American King James Version×says this: “The God of love and the God of peace hates him that sows discord among the brethren” He doesn’t like an individual doing that - “because He (God) delights in concord. Those that by tail bearing and slandering, by carrying ill-natured stories, aggravating everything that is said and done and suggesting jealousies and evil surmises or evil motives, blow the coals of contention” - we know what happens when you blow coals, right? You get fire going again. That is what it is saying here: We blow the coals of contention. The last statement by Matthew Henry is very good. It says: “and don’t realize that you are preparing for yourself a fire of the same nature.”
If we fall into this attitude and spirit we are preparing the fire of the same nature. There is an Old Testament passage that says: The pit that you dig for another you will fall in it. It is just a spiritual principle that we need to be aware of. So again, Matthew Henry emphasizes the fact that we need to be careful of tail bearing, slandering or listening to those who might do the same by carrying ill-natured stories that aggravate everything that is said and done and suggesting jealousies and evil surmises.
I know, without going into detail because I like to focus on the
positive and reconciliation and all those things that are good, but I know there are some issues right now that we are all facing. I know that early on I went to one particular website and I stayed there for about half-an-hour, and as I read through it I was getting this idea and that idea and this concept and that concept and this person’s perception, that person’s perception, and there was one particular situation that was being discussed that I very personally have knowledge of. I know all the details about what was there and there were two things: One was totally way off; totally wrong with what was presented. The other one had some truth to it but the motives were being questioned.
What I did for my own benefit, and I am not telling you what to do, I am being very personal and open with you now. I am being vulnerable here now, okay. What I did is I got off that site and I personally never went back to it because for me when I was reading all these different thoughts and ideas and concepts I began to feel bad; I began to feel horrible. In some respects - my word - “thump of the dirty”. I got discouraged and I realized that I wasn’t living, I wasn’t living by Philippians 4:8 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
American King James Version×which says: Turn over there in your Bibles. I wasn’t going to turn there but I think we will.
Philippians 4:8 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
American King James Version×- Where Paul, writing to the Church in Philippi said this: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.
That’s where our mind needs to be because it makes us a better person; it keeps us in a better frame of mind when we do that as opposed to hearing all these different ideas and concepts going back and forth. Often we stop with that but I want to read verse 9.
V.9 - The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do - and that would include verse 8 - and the God of peace will be with you.
So if we want the God of peace with us then this is how we are going to be thinking or running our mind or living our lives. Other translations will say that the peace of God will be with you and I am a very firm believer in that, that as long as I can keep my mind where it needs to be, not being stupid and dumb and naive, but at least living by the principles that God gives to me, I am going to have peace; I am going to have the love of God within me and I am going to be able to share that love with everybody else. And I think that is where I need to be. So I just am careful with going to these websites or blogs because I know as sure as I am standing up here that there is going to be some things right and some things wrong and some things in between and I don’t need to be filling my mind with those things.
You see we in the ministry have a responsibility. On the plaque - is there a plaque down here? - It says: “Preparing a people and preaching the Gospel” or the other way around: “Preaching the Gospel. Preparing a people”. Now as a minister I want to preach the Gospel. I really want to. All of us want to be involved with that individually and collectively but as a pastor I look at my primary responsibility as in the fulfilling of the second part. That is helping to prepare people; to be a helper of their joy; the helper of the development of the love of God within them; doing my best to help them see that they need to have the spirit and the heart to want to become like God and Jesus Christ because that really is what it is all about. If you become like the Father and Jesus Christ you don’t need to worry about anything else because you will be in the Kingdom of God. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and that is the heart that God wants all of you and wants me to have and as a pastor I have the blessing, the opportunity of trying to help individuals see that and to deal with situations as they may come up. That can be a little bit painful and difficult but God gives answers. He doesn’t leave us blinded to His truth.
If you go back to Leviticus 19 where we were earlier, that first Old Testament scripture, I want you to come back up to verse 16, though. If you remember, we were in verse 17 earlier.
Leviticus 19:16 Leviticus 19:16You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people: neither shall you stand against the blood of your neighbor; I am the LORD.
American King James Version×You shall not go up and down as a dispenser of gossip - I am reading from the Amplified Version in this case. You shall not go up and down as a dispenser of gossip - I like the way the rest of it is expressed in the Amplified - and scandal among your people, nor shall you (secure yourself by false testimony or by silence and) endanger the life of your neighbour. I am the Lord.
So he emphasizes how we need to be careful that we are not dispensing gossip and scandal among the people. I take that very personally; personally as a pastor. I really do. I want to encourage all of you to do the same. I have a book I want to reference to you. It is kind of a funny name for the subject. This is a book on leadership. It is really a good book on leadership. It is a very easy read. I read it in a couple of hours when I was with my son Scott, and it is called “How full is your bucket?”
When I saw this I didn’t think anything about leadership. You know I had one of my sons suggest this to me and so I took it and I read it. Two of my sons are very much involved with leadership in their company and it is written by a Tom Rath which became known as the grandfather of positive psychology - by that it just means: working from a positive perspective in the workplace; how you deal with people that you are responsible for in a very positive way to bring them along in their leadership responsibilities to a better place; that they can help others to come along and be in a better place in their individual responsibilities.
He got studying this particular subject because of a study that was done on prisoners of war during the Korean War. He found that the prisoners during the Korean War didn’t have the normal tortures that prisoners had during other times: World War 11; World War 1. They didn’t put bamboo under the fingernails, etc., but they used mind games, mental warfare, and it was more destructive than any thing that could have been done physically. There were more men, 38%, who died in the Korean War Camps than any other camp during World War 11 or World War 1, and the disease was called mirasmus, which was “give-up-ites”. No hope, no desire, and he goes on to write - I am breaking into the thought now.
He says: “The ultimate weapon: Many reported that the North Korean objective was to deny men the emotional support that comes from interpersonal relations. To do this the captives used four primary tactics: informing; self-criticism; breaking loyalty to leadership and country; withholding all positive emotional support. You see you could get letters from home during the Second World War. During the Korean World War they would only give you the bad letters. The “Dear John” letters; the rent is due; electricity bill is past due. He goes through and enumerates all of these.
I just want to for the purpose of this sermon, and you know Proverbs 6:19 Proverbs 6:19A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brothers.
American King James Version×and Leviticus 19:16 Leviticus 19:16You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people: neither shall you stand against the blood of your neighbor; I am the LORD.
American King James Version×, which I kind of tied together for the purpose of this thing, where it talked about aggravating everything that is said and done and suggesting jealousies and evil surmises and blowing the coals of contention. He says: “The third major tactic that the captors employed was breaking loyalty; breaking loyalty to leadership and country. The primary way they did this was by slowly and relentlessly undermining a soldier’s allegiance to his superiors. The consequences were ghastly. In one case a colonel instructed one of the men not to drink the water from a rice-paddy because he knew the organisms in that field and in the water might kill them. The soldier looked at his colonel and replied: ‘Buddy, you aint no colonel any more. You are just a lousy prisoner like me. So take care of yourself and I will take care of me.’ The soldier died of dysentery a few days later. You see in the Second World War, when you were in a concentration camp there was an order, there was a camaraderie. If someone asked you to do something, as long as it wasn’t wrong, it was: Yes, sir. Everybody flowed, and there was love and devotion and everybody had the same goals. By using these tactics in the Korean War they broke all of that down. They began to turn one against the other.
It goes on and says: “In another case forty men stood by as three of their extremely ill fellow soldiers were thrown out of their mud hut by a comrade and left to die in the elements”. Forty men stood watching. “Why did their fellow soldiers do nothing to help them? Because it wasn’t their job. The relationship had been broken and the soldiers simply didn’t care about each other any more. Mirasmus began to settle in. That is the technical word that Mayer (U.S. Army’s chief psychiatrist) used.
He says: “The most important part of this tactic was that the soldiers were not confessing to the North Koreans but they were told to confess to their peers.” This is another element that they used. “And” he says, tying this in with this other point: “by subtly eroding the caring, trust, respect and social acceptance among the American soldiers the North Koreans created an environment in which buckets of good will were constantly and relentlessly drained.” So he said not only did they break down loyalty, they began to impact the soldiers by getting them all together and having them confess all the bad things that they did to each other in a group and then confess all the things they could have done but didn’t do. And they did that to each other and in the way they handled it, it broke down the camaraderie and the love and the companionship so much so that you let three of your fellow comrades’ lie in the street of that concentration camp and die.
So it is imperative for us to understand that we need to have our minds filled in a very positive way and be careful not to tear down trust and loyalty among ourselves especially when there are difficulties. You don’t want to turn. You know what I found in my ministry, and I have been blest to go through a number of programmes, into a life programme and working with married couples, and what I found is that many couples have issues and difficulties. They get counselled; they really want to work through those issues; they can be resolved and helped. I have found that when married couples have turned on each other and have used horrendous words against each other, lashed out at one another, cursing, and said horrible and mean things to one another, it is hard. It is hard to get that turned around.
So we as brethren, if you have ought against your brother, be careful not to just to dump and unload on that individual to other people or even to that individual yourself, realizing that he or she truly is a son of the living God. God says we must hate sin and especially those things mentioned in Proverbs 6, but God loves mankind even those who do things that are not appropriate at times. He has a very deep love.
1 John 4:8 1 John 4:8He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.
American King James Version×He who does not love does not know God because God is love.
That is who He is. That is His personality, His temperament. So everything that God does comes from the basis of love, and I mean everything, because that is what He is; that is who He is; God is love.
V.9 - In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
V.10 - In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
V.11 - Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
You know God even loved Israel when they were in the midst of their sins; when they were right in captivity because of their sins. You read that in Jeremiah 29. God says of Israel and Judah when they were right in the midst of their captivity that My thoughts for you are peace and to bring you into a good place. That was God’s mind even in the midst of a difficult time. His thoughts were thoughts of peace for them; their well-being.
Ezekiel 18:23 Ezekiel 18:23Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? said the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
American King James Version×, 32 - just reference these two. You’ll find that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked but that the wicked would change and live. Basically what God was saying there is: I have no joy in the death of the wicked but that the wicked would get a life. That they would get a life! You know the scriptures tell us that Jesus is our life. It goes back to Deuteronomy 10:12 Deuteronomy 10:12And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
American King James Version×once again that says that everything that God asks us to do He asks us to do for our good; for our blessing; for our well-being.
1John 2:9 John 2:9When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not from where it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
American King James Version×He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.
V.10 - He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
V.11 - But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1 John 3:15 1 John 3:15Whoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
American King James Version×Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
Where did John get that concept? Was it something he just thought up or did he walk with a Master who said if you have hate in your heart you are guilty of murder already? So brethren, God wants us as individuals to really get along. That is His desire. We are all free moral agents; we have choices to make in life; we can choose to get along or we can choose to argue and fight and bicker among ourselves. That is not a good thing to do. So God wants us to be peaceful.
What is the nature of hate? Turn to Titus 3:1 Titus 3:1Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
American King James Version×. Hate is a characteristic of the unregenerate state. Whoa, what a big word, right? I came across that word in my studies in Titus 3, specifically the word regenerate in Titus 3, so I looked it up in James Publishing to see what it had to say and regenerate there in Titus 3:1 Titus 3:1Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
American King James Version×which we will read in a moment, means: formed or created again. Titus 3:1-8 Titus 3:1-8 1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness to all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that you affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
American King James Version×. Regenerate means formed or created again; spiritually reborn or converted.
Now we know that our new birth, the ultimate birth I should say, born again is being born into the actual family of God as a spirit being and we are very much looking forward to that, but when I read the spiritually born or converted, what comes to my mind is we become a new man or a new woman. Is that not right? God says we become a new man in Christ.
The third definition that is given I really, really like and I think this really applies to all of us in this room, when we are talking about regenerate or regeneration. It means: restored to a better, to a higher and a more worthy state. That is what God has done for you and for me. You see we came out of the unregenerate attitude and spirit of this world and He says I called you and placed you in a better, higher and more worthy state and He wants us as His people to remain in that better, higher and more worthy state because that is where He is and God is a God who thinks horizontally, not vertically. He is not position oriented. Does He have a position? Absolutely. Jesus Christ, as the Scripture says: You call me Lord and Master and so I am and yet Jesus Christ embodied the spirit of servant hood; coming to die for us. Jesus Christ said He wants all of us along with Him up that ladder of success. Those who think vertically and position oriented in this world are willing to stop other individuals to get to the top of the mountain and once they get there they play what? King of the mountain, and they are afraid and fearful of those who would be coming after them. God doesn’t have that mind set. Jesus Christ said: I came to bring many sons and daughters to glory. He thinks horizontally. He says: Yes, I am you Leader but I want you to be on My team and as I move up the ladder of success I want you to move up with Me. I don’t have fear. I am not in competition against you.
I always remember Mr. Armstrong - there were about three or four things over my years with him that stuck out to me and that I have held onto. I remember at one ministerial conference, probably about 19 - I want to say 1970, 1971 - and he says you never want to seek after another man’s job. Today I understand when you seek after another man’s job you are thinking vertically, of going up that ladder. I want his position. I was discussing this with my wife driving down this evening and she says you are also thinking lustfully. Not just vertically, but lustfully. She had a very good point. Mr. Armstrong also said: But if you are given the job - a man moves on, transfers or whatever else - then do that job with all of your heart, all of your mind and all of your soul. But think horizontally like Jesus Christ who wants to bring all of us along with Him.
Another individual, I think it is Ed Ziegler, made the comment that some believe it is lonely at the top. He said the only reason it is lonely at the top is because you didn’t go about it properly because you should bring every one along with you. Whatever your capacity is as an individual, whatever your leadership position is in the family, it doesn’t make any difference. The goal is to bring everyone along with you and then it is not lonely at the top because you’ve got every one with you. Is that not the spirit and attitude that the Father and Jesus Christ have? They want to bring us along with them; many sons brought to glory.
Unregenerate: I love when the dictionary does this. Did you ever notice this - you go to the dictionary and you look up unregenerate and it says: not regenerate. I didn’t know what unregenerate meant, okay, not regenerate, but it goes on and says: not reformed. It means obstinate and stubborn. With that as a background and a little bit of understanding, let’s go to Titus 3.
Titus 3:1 Titus 3:1Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
American King James Version×Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,
V.2 - to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.
V.3 - For we ourselves were also once - what is he saying there? He says we were like what I am about to discuss with you. We also were once unregenerate, is what you can put there as a word. We also were once unregenerate, foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, (we also were once) living in malice and envy, (we also were once) hateful and hating one another.
V.4 - but when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
V.5 - not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
You know what it says there by definition? He saved us through the washing of regeneration. He brought us to a better, to a higher and a more worthy state and that is where He expects us to stay. He wants us there in that state because when you are brought to that better, higher and more worthy state you are becoming like Him. And is that not what He wants? Because the more we become like God and Jesus Christ the happier our lives will be; the more success we will have. Christ came that we might life and have it abundantly so His desire is for us to be blessed.
V.6 - whom He poured out (or what He poured out) on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,
V.7 - that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
V.8 - This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, - He says what I told you is very faithful and you need to affirm in your mind constantly that God has called you to a better, higher and more worthy state. Be very grateful and thankful for that blessing that God has given to you and has given to me. And He will eventually bring everyone to that state. So it is a faithful thing that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Once again, Deuteronomy 10, everything God asks us to do He asks us to do for our benefit, for our well being, for our blessing. That is so important and so critical.
If you come over to Galatians 5 - we will see that hatred is among the works of the flesh.
Galatians 5:19 Galatians 5:19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
American King James Version×Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
V.20 - idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
V.21 - envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, - so Paul also was wanting to repeathimself - that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
I think most of us in the ministry don’t focus on that element of not inheriting the kingdom of God. My personality focuses more on what Peter says when he is going through, talking prophetically, what is going to be coming. Some men count the return of Christ as slack and he says there in his writings but we focus on the new heavens and the new earth. That is where our primary focus is. Now we know these difficult times are going to come. The Galatians are going to be here but he says we focus on the new heavens and the new earth and that is where I primarily put my mind and I think a lot of that is my personality. Some of you are aware of the color-code - the color-code personality. Some may be animals. I am a white-yellow. White is peaceful; yellow is fun-loving. So I am just a fun-loving peaceful guy. I have a little bit of red in there, a little bit of blue. My wife is red and blue and I am white and yellow. We have fun. So we want to realize and recognize that we want to be part of the kingdom of God and that is why I think I really focus on the fact of developing the very nature of God because that takes care of everything else. It really, really does when you have that desire and that heart.
Proverbs 10 - I have under this subject: Hate leads to many other evils. Hate leads to many other evils. Hate stirs up trouble. It stirs up trouble.
Proverbs 10:18 Proverbs 10:18He that hides hatred with lying lips, and he that utters a slander, is a fool.
American King James Version×Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.
Now I don’t want to be called a fool by God. I don’t want to be a fool. Now I think those in Dayton and in Cincinnati North will say sometimes Frank you become foolish and you get carried away with certain things because of my joking and whatever but I don’t want to be considered a fool.
It says: Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.
Adam Clark says this: This is a common case. How many, when full of resentment, and deadly hatred, meditating revenge and cruelty, and sometimes even murder, have pretended that they thought nothing of the injury they had sustained; - Oh, I am fine. I am fine, nothing wrong. (I hate your guts.) No really, nothing wrong, I am fine. (I wish I could just kill you.)
We hide with lying lips how we feel and that is not good. It stirs up trouble. What is good is to go back and fulfill those two points of: if you have ought against your brother or if your brother has ought with you, get it resolved. Come to reconciliation.
In Matthew 5:43 Matthew 5:43You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.
American King James Version×- The scripture here says this: Now I am reading a bit father than we were last time.
V. - 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’
V.44 - “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
V.45 - continuing from where we were at earlier - “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
V.46 - “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
V.47 - “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
V.48 - “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
The word here actually means maturity; becoming spiritually mature in our lives. So in essence hatred is evidence of spiritual immaturity; spiritual immaturity. God says: I have called you to a higher place, a more worthy state, to move beyond our immaturity especially spiritually. So when we stir up strife we are acting immature because Proverbs 10:12 Proverbs 10:12Hatred stirs up strifes: but love covers all sins.
American King James Version×where we were, also says love covers all sin.
Can you think of a particular family that ended up with a lot of strife within it that was generated from hearts of hate? You can probably think of any number in the Old Testament, can’t you? I can go through a number of them but one that stands out is the life of Joseph and his brothers. We are talking family here - blood - Joseph and his brothers. You find a strife that generated between Josef and his brothers generated from hearts of hate and led to all kinds of strife.
Genesis 37:4 Genesis 37:4And when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.
American King James Version×but when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him - now Joseph’s father could have taken a class in child-rearing. He really needed one, okay, because of how he dealt and handled certain situations. But it says that they hated him and when they hated him it says: (they) could not speak peaceably to him.
The hatred was so bad. Again no show of hands: have any of you gotten to the point where you are just frustrated with one another in a marriage and you just couldn’t speak peaceably to your wife or you couldn’t speak peaceably to your husband because of strife that was there. Then you remedy the problem, you resolve it and you get back to where you can speak peaceably to one another.
I use an example in one of my marriage workshops about coming in from the garage and, this is all in speaking peaceable words, and I said it is like coming in from the garage into the kitchen and I see Sonja in there scrambling. The chairs are up against the table and slamming the doors closed hard on the cabinets and kicking the table. If I come in and say: Now what is wrong with you now? What am I stirring up? A soft answer turns away wrath, okay. I am going to get in return because I see there is pain - that is what it is. Under anger often there is hurt and pain. But if I come in and I say: Sweetheart I can see you are really upset and I am sorry about whatever has transpired to cause this. I want you to know that I am there for you. If there is anything I can do to help remedy the situation I am here. I think if we can learn to do that as husband and wives you will be amazed at how you’ll see that tension, that anger, just begin to dissipate.
Now after I gave that example in my very first marriage workshop, my wife came up to me afterwards and she said: Sweetheart, you need to use a specific word when you give that example. I said: What is that? She said you need to use the word hypothetical. Now I have never seen my wife slamming cabinet doors, kicking the table and throwing chairs around. I have seen her do other things. She is not here this afternoon so if you want to see me afterwards I will tell you about them. Not really.
The point being is we want to be careful not to stir up strife and here it says: they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.
V.5 - Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more.
Notice verse 8 - You will find that not only does this stir up trouble. Hate stirs up envy, and envy generates hate. It is a vicious cycle. It says Joseph’s brothers hated him and correspondingly, they envied him. You’ll notice that in verse 11.
Their envy of him caused them to have greater hate. The greater hate, because of things that transpired, caused greater envy. And that’s why you can have the spirit of leadership of realizing that we’re all in this together and we think horizontally, willing to encourage each other up that ladder of success and not vertically. You can end up not having these types of issues when it comes to generating envy and hate. So, malice, envy, jealousy, ill-will and suspicion are all the off-springs of hate; they are the off-springs of hate.
Hate also leads to murder and assassination. It has happened over time. God says if we have hate in our heart we are already guilty of murder but if you look at verse 20 there in Genesis 37, because they hated him Joseph’s brothers said what: Let us slay him. Let us kill him. Let us put him to death. Absalom hated Amnon and had him killed. You know the sins of hatred crucified Jesus Christ? John 15:25 John 15:25But this comes to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
American King James Version×says: ‘They hated Me without a cause.”
Now theologically we are all on the same page. We all know, and it is very clear, we know that our sins caused Jesus Christ’s death. He had to die for me; He had to die for you; to reconcile us to His Father in heaven. We know that. That is not what I am discussing here or even trying to intimate. We know that Jesus Christ died for our sins but what was it at the time of His death, what was it at that time that caused them to crucify Him? Malice, envy, jealousy, ill-will, hatred. Remember those elements malice, jealousy, envy, ill-will are attributes or off-springs of hate. Hate leads to sins of the tongue.
James 3 tells us that we have all fallen short in that area in one way or another. It leads to the sins of the tongue. James 3:1-5 James 3:1-5 1 My brothers, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, wherever the governor wants. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles!
American King James Version×tells us that the tongue can cause a huge fire. When it becomes so huge it burns relationships; destroys them. So we want to have a fire extinguisher around when it is just an itty-bitty-little fire. We can put it out; get that sucker snuffed. When it gets so big it’s difficult.
Matthew 12:35 Matthew 12:35A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
American King James Version×“A good man (a regenerated man, who has been put into a higher, better and more worthy state, a good man or woman) out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
V.36 - “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
V.37 - “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
That’s why I am saying that hate leads to sins of the tongue. We can do and say some things that are pretty terrible. God doesn’t like that. Why doesn’t He like that? Because He doesn’t like you, because He doesn’t like me, or is it because He knows it hurts us? What Father enjoys seeing His children in pain?
You know the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit, as I also like to joke with our Dayton and Cincinnati North people, the fruits of God’s Spirit are love, joy and peace. I won’t read the rest. They are not pain, misery and agony. God wants us to have that joy, that love within us to be again in that more worthy state as the word regenerate means. We don’t want to be burning relationships realizing that our mouth can get us into a lot of trouble. Hatred can lead to bitterness, resentment and retaliation. We already looked in Matthew 5 so I won’t go there, but it says: Bless those who curse you (v.44)
I do want to read Romans 12, if you will come over there with me. We find that the apostle Paul really quoting Jesus Christ once again:
Romans 12:14 Romans 12:14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
American King James Version×Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
V.15 - Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
We are all in this together; we want to have fun when people are having fun and we want to be there for them in their hurting. I hope those people who were in the accident today have individuals who can be there with them and for them at this time because it was horrendous. We as God’s people are there for each other because we love one another with a deep, deep love. The same love that God the Father and Jesus Christ has. So he says rejoice and weep, depending on the circumstances.
V.16 - Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
V.17 - Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
V.18 - If it is possible, as much as depends on you, (there is that individualresponsibility) live peaceably with all men.
V.19 - Beloved, do not avenge yourselves but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
So God says if you are having issues and you can’t resolve them, come to Me. These are principles that I give to you. If you have ought against your brother, go. If your brother has ought against you and you know it, go. But if you can’t deal with it, come to Me. I will deal with the situation.
V.20 - Therefore “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
V.21 - Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
And I say, and I believe this in my heart, when you and I get to the place where we can do that, we are really becoming more like Jesus Christ and our Father in heaven - when we keep ourselves under control. It is important to remember that to render evil for evil is devilish. To render for evil for evil is devilish. To render good for good is human. You do me a good service, a good deed; I do you a good service and a good deed. That is normal; that happens all the time; that is human. But to return good for evil is God-like.
Let me give you those three again: To render evil for evil is devilish; to render good for good is human; but to render good for evil is God-like.
You then are set in a more worthwhile place, in a higher position, because you are becoming more like God. Paul was just quoting Jesus Christ here.
What are some of the consequences of hate?
Well, hate will, number one, rob your happiness. It will rob your happiness. As long as you hate, if you are in that category you will be miserable. You just will be. You will be miserable.
Windell Winkler said hate and hell dwell in the same heart. Hate and hell dwell in the same heart. The heart is filled with hate; it is also filled with hell, from his perspective. I thought it was a good statement as I was studying this.
You know if I were to suggest that you go knock on the most miserable man in town, knock on his door, where will I send you? No, no, no, I wouldn’t send you to the guy you are thinking about. If I were to ask you to go and knock on the door of the most miserable man in town, I know exactly where I want you to go. I would tell you to go to the door of the bitter, resentful, unforgiving hater. That is where you go. Go to that individual because he is miserable, or she is miserable.
What are the consequences of sin? Hate will make you a slave. You will become a slave. You hate somebody and they will control your thoughts and your dreams. You have ought against your brother and don’t get it resolved, it will control your thoughts and your dreams. I have been there. I have thoughts go through my mind in my past: Oh, if I had only said this. No hands but anybody else had that thought, when you leave somebody you had a conflict with? Oh, I wished I have said this; I wish I had presented that, because I could really have gotten a zinger in. They will control your thought and dreams.
I gave this sermon last week in Dayton and Ron Barker, one of our deacons up there, - family members here in Cincinnati - Ron Barker came up after church and he told me about a friend at work. This friend was telling him how he had hatred for a couple of people and he said the guy told him, and I actually put it in my notes - I thought it was awesome; not that he hated people, but what he said - the guy told him, he said, I allowed them to live rent-free in my mind. I allowed them to live rent-free in my mind when I held on to this animosity, these thoughts, these attitudes. I allowed them to live rent-free in my mind, so we give Ron Barker credit for that one.
You hate someone - consequences: You hate someone and he will require you to take medicine for indigestion, headaches and loss of energy. It is just what happens. So if you want to be slave to somebody, find somebody to hate because it will imprison you.
Hate will harm you physically. It just will. It will harm you physically. Man and woman can think that it pays to hate but later they learn they must pay for their hate.
Dr. S. I. McMillen speaks of jealousy, envy, self-centeredness, rage, resentment and hatred as “disease producing emotions.” Again, let me read what Dr. McMillen said: Dr. McMillen speaks of jealousy, envy, self-centeredness, rage, resentment and hatred as “disease producing emotions.”
He also goes on to say: “what a person eats is not as important as the bitter spirit, the hates, and feelings of guilt that eat at him.”
What did Jesus Christ say? It is not what goes into a man, but what comes out of him that defiles him. He wasn’t preaching and teaching that it is okay to eat anything you want - Arsenic, unclean foods. He was teaching a spiritual principle. He says if you get hold of something that is bad it is going to go through you and come out. Now it may come out very loosely but eventually it is going to come out. But that what comes out of you as a human being in a form of anger, malice, envy, jealousy, hatred will eat you alive. God doesn’t want you eaten alive. God wants you with Him. He wants you to be thinking as He thinks. He wants you loving as He loves.
We have already read in Galatians where it says it can actually keep you out of the kingdom if not repented of and dealt with.
You want a cure for hate? Let me give it to you. It is very simple; it is not complicated; you will find it written throughout the Bible. Love is the cure for hate. Love is the cure for hate.
God loves mankind deeply; came and died for him while we were yet sinners. I am going to give you a scripture as we begin to rap this up - I thought I might get some smiles when I said that! You know 1 John 2:9 1 John 2:9He that said he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now.
American King James Version×, 11 as well as 1 John 3:14 1 John 3:14We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brothers. He that loves not his brother stays in death.
American King James Version×, 15 say: Love your brother and you are in the light; hate your brother and you are in the darkness. God says it is pretty black and white in that regard: love and hate.
I want you to notice the importance and the necessity of love as I go through some scriptures and concepts with you in the scripture. I bet you will not be able to write all these concepts down. You can write these scriptures down and check them out, but by doing this it might re-enforce this concept, okay. And I use this with the expression of brotherly love.
Notice the importance and necessity of love:
John 13:35 John 13:35By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.
American King James Version×Brotherly love is the badge of discipleship
John 15:12 John 15:12This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.
American King James Version×Brotherly love is a command
1 Peter 4:8 1 Peter 4:8And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
American King James Version×Brotherly love is to be maintained above all things
Matthew 22:39 Matthew 22:39And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
American King James Version×Brotherly love is the second greatest commandment - loving you brother as yourself.
Romans 13:8 Romans 13:8Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law.
American King James Version×Brotherly love is the fulfilling of the law.
1 John 2:9-11 1 John 2:9-11 9 He that said he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loves his brother stays in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not where he goes, because that darkness has blinded his eyes.
American King James Version×Brotherly love will prevent stumbling - offense.
And what is the nature of the love that we ought to have for our brethren - still in the scripture phase, but I want to form a different question for you - what is the nature of the love that we ought to have for our brethren?
John 13:34 John 13:34A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
American King James Version×We are to love our brethren as the Lord loved us
Matthew 22:39 Matthew 22:39And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
American King James Version×We are to love our brethren as ourselves.
1 Peter 4:8 1 Peter 4:8And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
American King James Version×We are to love our brethren fervently.
1 Peter 1:22-23 1 Peter 1:22-23 22 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned love of the brothers, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and stays for ever.
American King James Version×We are to love our brethren without hypocrisy. In other words our love is to be real, honest, forthright, embodied by those of us who had been regenerated and placed in a higher, more worthwhile state. That is how we ought to be.
1 John 3: 18 - again the nature of the love we are to have for our brethren: We are to love our brethren in deed and not only in word, in deed and not only in word.
Let me conclude by giving you three things to be mindful of that can help you overcome an attitude of dislike for somebody, or hatred if it has gone that far. Obviously one that we all know is we need to repent of our attitude and ask God to help us, but that is not one of the points. It is the primary understanding there.
If we hate someone or just have a dislike for them these three points can really help us overcome them with that attitude if we really practice it.
1. Pray for the person who is the object of our hate. Pray for that individual.
2. Find something good to do for the person who is resented. You know humanly you actually might find this more difficult than praying for them because praying for them you can do it where? - In the privacy of your closet. You don’t have to look at them; you don’t have to talk to them. So this one might even be a bit more difficult but with God’s help it can be done. So find something good to do for the person who is resented because this is where the rubber really hits the road - If you really, really want to be reconciled.
3. Try sincerely - I emphasize the word sincerely. Try to sincerely to understand the person who is your frustration and who you may resent at the time. Try to sincerely to understand why that person is thinking the way he or she is because they have reasons and you have reasons for why you think the way that you do.
Booker T. Washington said: “I will not allow any man to reduce my soul to the level of hatred.” It is a pretty powerful statement. “I will not allow any man to reduce my soul to the level of hatred”.
Remember the one definition of regeneration in Titus 3:5 Titus 3:5Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
American King James Version×? What was that definition? To be restored to a better, restored to a higher, and restored to a more worthy state. That is what a Christian is. We come out of being unregenerate and that philosophy of life. Hatred and one that sows discord has no place in a regenerated Christian. There is just no place for it.
So brethren may we always love one another and may we always hold one another with the absolute deepest respect.