You Are Poisoned By Bitterness
“For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” Acts 8:23
Jesus told us that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire (Matthew 5:22). Obviously we put ourselves in real danger of judgment and hell fire if we don’t watch the words that we speak? Those who are wise would do well to heed the word that they say or the judgments that they make about others!
When Simon, the sorcerer, saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given to people he offered the apostles money so that he could have this power also. Peter through the gift of the spirit of discernment said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! “You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me. (Acts 8:17-24). Simon was rebuked by Apostle Peter but he also repented and asked for prayer!
It takes a true man of God to discern what is going on in the heart of men and most of God’s people are not true men of God. But there are also those foolish ones who based on their religious upbringing and indoctrination not only try to put God into their own bottle but they make judgments about God’s people such as calling them demon possessed or say they have a seed of bitterness, resentment or anger that was been planted at some point in their Christian experience that have no basis in reality because they are solely their opinions based on some doctrine of demons that they have acquired in life. Their psychoanalysis or judgments of a particular person is usually from the pits of hell because they ignore what apostle Peter and Paul told them:
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:28-29
For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 1 Corinthians 1:27
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:11-16
Most of us operate using our carnal senses of touch, taste, sound and sight and not the Spirit of the Lord. We don’t appreciate the fact that God is not logical and He doesn’t do things our way or according to our understanding. He has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty. Unless a person is God or is walking in the Spirit of the Lord operating in the gifts of the Spirit of 1 Corinthians 12, it’s dangerous to go to war with a person or a group of people because he is not discerning if God is not with the person or the group of people he is contending with.
After the day of Pentecost the religious Jewish leadership did not like what the apostles were doing and forbade them to speak about Jesus. But a wise priest told the Jewish leadership to be careful lest they find themselves fighting God. These kinds of things do happen in life. The bible records:
When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them. Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while. And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men. “For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. “After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. “And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; “but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it-lest you even be found to fight against God.” Acts 5:34-39
The Word of God tells us in Numbers 16 that ‘ Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?”
Now Korah, Dathan, Abiram with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown were sure they were right in their actions especially as they were in agreement and a majority. But God is not democratic and He doesn’t care about majority agreements but about His kingdom and that His will be done. So God did a new thing and the bible records of the surprise that Korah, Dathan, Abiram and their friends received:
And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” So they got away from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, their sons, and their little children. And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. “If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me. “But if the LORD creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the LORD.”
Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!” And a fire came out from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense. Numbers 16:26-35
If we are not careful we will be consumed in the sins of others when the judgment of God falls on them for defending them or being friends of them. This is something that happened to Oral Roberts who defended his not-innocent friend Jim Bakker. Assembly of God Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, had been accused of complicity in the “diabolical plot” to take over the Bakker ministry by Jim Bakker. Swaggart said that he had initiated a church inquiry into Bakker’s personal conduct, but that it was “absurd and ridiculous” to suggest that he wanted to take over PTL. He also stated ” I’m ashamed, I’m embarrassed. The gospel of Jesus Christ has never sunk to such a level as it has today. We’ve got a dear brother in Tulsa, Oklahoma, perched up in a tower telling people that if they don’t send money that God’s going to kill him, then we got this soap opera being carried out live down in South Carolina all in the name of God. ( Jeffrey A. Frank and Lloyd Grove, “The Raging Battles Of the Evangelicals,” Washington Post, March 25, 1987.)
In an interview on “The Larry King Show,” Swaggart claimed that Bakker’s downfall represented a “very glad day, because this cancer has been excised that I feel has caused the body of Christ untold reproach. ‘ ( Associated Press, “Swaggart Calls Bakker ‘Cancer’ of Christ,” The Daily Progress (Charlottesville, Virginia), March 25, 1987.)
These comments aroused Oral Roberts’s ire, and he blasted Swaggart while defending Bakker. Foolish Oral Roberts forgave and defended Jim Bakker for something that was not forgivable. God does not forgive those who rob, rape and murder in the house of God as Eli and his two sons were not forgiven. This is something that is found in the very bible that they sometime use and is true.
Oral Roberts forgave his friend, Jim Bakker, for robbing and raping in the house of God. Roberts made large contributions to the Praise the Lord (PTL) ministry of Jim and Tammy Bakker when they fell into hard times during the 1987 scandal. (Sara Diamond, Spiritual Warfare (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1989). Then he wondered why the City of Faith of faith was not finished, the law school was not accredited and ORU incurred a 40 million dollar debt. (Robert’s aides confirmed annual donations of $58 million in 1986, but the Association’s Internal Revenue Service returns show that the organization has been losing money steadily since 1986)
There are those foolish one who believe that Jesus was very gentle and never said an unkind word about nobody. But in fact that Jesus was anything but gentle and the reality is He destroyed some people with His words according to the prophetic word given by Prophet Isaiah:
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Isaiah 11:1-4
Now ‘Woe to you’ doesn’t mean “something good is going to happen to you’? It is a fact that Jesus cursed, not blessed, the religious rulers and political rulers of His day and our day. He called them all kinds of names including brood of vipers, liars, hypocrites, murderers, dead men, blind ones, sons of hell and so on as record in the Gospel of Matthew 23:13-39. He told them:
“Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? “Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, “that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. “Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. Matthew 23:32-36
It is a fact that God has other ministers besides preachers and these ministers, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil, kill people even in the current time of life:
For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Romans 13:4
Josephus gave us a historical record of what happened to all the people that Jesus cursed with ‘woe to you.’ The result was that as a result of the Romans siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D there was tremendous famine and suffering with many wretched men caught by the Romans prowling in the ravines by night to pick up food and these were scourged, tortured and crucified. This was done to terrify the rest, and it went on till there was not wood enough for crosses. The roman soldiers were merciless and destroyed the whole city and the people in it. During the whole of this siege of Jerusalem, 1,100,000 were slain, and the prisoners numbered 97,000.
Now Exodus 15, John 2 and Revelation 19 clearly tells us that Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday today and forever is, was and always will be a Man of War and the Judge of All the Earth who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and told us to fear Him or He would destroy us:
“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:27-28
And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:13-14
Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, the author of the Declaration of Independence, the foremost spokesman for democracy of his day and one of the greatest men who ever lived, stated some things that all should consider:
In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will discover, and wickedness insensibly open, cultivate and improve.”—Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782.
“The sheep are happier of themselves than under the care of the wolves.”—Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782.
I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.. – Thomas Jefferson Letter To Francis Hopkinson, Paris Mar. 13, 1789
Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day. – Thomas Jefferson Letter to P. S. Dupont de Nemours, Poplar Forest, April 24, 1816
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