KEYWORDS: world, jesus, god, system, lord, things

Shooting Straight, Part 12--Letter Links: First Place

March 7, 2005

(ML #3534, GN 1125)

FD/MM/FM August 2004

First Place

Revolutionary Discipleship

ML #1965:1-33, DB 8

1. WHEN JESUS WALKED BY THE SEASHORE, HE CALLED TO THE FISHERMEN WHO HAD JUST CAUGHT THE BIGGEST‚ MOST MIRACULOUS CATCH OF THEIR LIVES, "Come now & follow Me! That's the most fish you'll ever catch, you'll never catch any more than that, that's the ultimate!—So you might as well come with Me now‚ & I'll teach you how to catch something better!"

2. DID THEY STOP TO TRY TO FIGURE IT OUT?—"Let's see now, what about the house?—What about the wife & the kids?—What about father & mother? Can I get all the bills paid?" Or did they argue, "Well, we don't know how to catch anything better, we're fishers of fish!"?—No! They dropped everything on the spot, forsook all‚ & followed Jesus!:

3. "AND JESUS, WALKING BY THE SEA OF GALILEE, SAW TWO BRETHREN, Simon, called Peter‚ & Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, & I will make you fishers of men! And they straightway left their nets, & followed Him. And going on from thence‚ He saw other two brethren, James & John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; & He called them. And they immediately left the ship & their father, & followed Him!" (Mat.4:18-22)

4. THEY HAD SUCH GREAT FAITH THAT THEY JUST DROPPED EVERYTHING, IMMEDIATELY FORSOOK ALL & FOLLOWED JESUS! How could they forsake their jobs & their own family & friends, without notice, to follow this strange Stranger & His motley crew?—Because He spoke the Truth & they felt it was the very Voice of God!—And because they must have wanted something better‚ something more than Papa & the business & the fish & the riches had given them.

5. "C'MON!—FOLLOW ME! Forget about old Daddy Zebedee & all the fish & the stinking boat & let's get moving, boys‚ let's go!" After all, Daddy can always get somebody else to help with the business.—There's always somebody willing to make money, always somebody willing to take care of the material things. But God can get ahold of very few people who are willing to really serve Him!

6. IT'S A HIGH PRIVILEGE TO BE CALLED BY THE LORD into His Service, & when the time comes, it's urgent, & often He expects you to drop everything immediately! Time & time again, Jesus' acid test for His prospective disciples was if they were willing to forsake all, drop everything, leave it all behind & follow Him!—And not even look back, not regret the past & not wish they could go back. And today it's the same: One of God's first tests for every disciple is to see if he loves Him enough to put Him first by forsaking all immediately to follow Him now!

7. BUT SOME HESITATE: "And He said unto another, Follow Me! But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go & bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou & preach the Kingdom of God! And another also said, Lord, I will follow Thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him‚ No man, having put his hand to the plough, & looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God!" (Luke 9:59-62)

8. HOW SAD! THE SADDEST STORIES IN THE BIBLE ARE OF THE MEN WHO WERE DISAPPOINTMENTS TO GOD, the ones to whom He gave every chance & opportunity to make good‚ yet they flubbed it & went back, forsook Him or forsook their job, forsook His Work because they weren't willing to forsake something else instead—their wives or their family or their home or their wealth or their pride or their so-called "freedom"!

9. JESUS WOULDN'T EVEN LET THEM GO BACK & SAY GOODBYE TO THEIR PARENTS, much less bury their father! Now that may seem inhumane & unmerciful to some, & I've had unbelievers say, "That's horrible!—What a monster, Jesus wouldn't even let the poor guy go back & tell his family goodbye!"—Well‚ that was often one of their first & greatest tests, & this is why God still often brings division in families today.

10. JESUS SAID, "THINK NOT THAT I AM COME TO SEND PEACE ON EARTH: I CAME NOT TO SEND PEACE, BUT A SWORD! For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, & the daughter against her mother, & the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household! He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: & he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, & followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me!" (Mat.10:34-38)

11. ONE OF THE FIRST TESTS FOR NEWLY-CALLED DISCIPLES IS OFTEN THE OPPOSITION OF FAMILY & FRIENDS. God allows this to test your faith to see if you really mean business, to see if you really have faith & to see if you really love Him. Jesus doesn't want to divide families‚ He would rather they all be united in faith & service to Him.

12. IF YOU CAN BRING YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, EMPLOYER & EMPLOYEES WITH YOU TO SERVE THE LORD, FINE! But quite obviously the fishermen's father was unwilling to leave his boat & the business & all those nice new fish & follow Jesus along with them‚ & we never really hear of him again! The father who stuck by the business vanished into obscurity & oblivion, whereas those stinking fishermen sons of his wandered off with a perfect Stranger, & made History that has helped to save millions of souls for Eternity!

13. ISN'T IT RIDICULOUS NOW TO COMPARE THOSE FEW FISH, A BOAT, A BUSINESS & EVEN ONE FATHER & FAMILY, which all soon perished, with the millions of immortal souls who have been saved for Eternity through the decision of those simple fishermen to put God first that day, drop everything, forsake all & follow Jesus? Now that we can see the results it's easy to know they made the right choice, despite their father's probable objections & the wrecking of his business!

14. JESUS SAID, "IF ANY MAN COME TO ME, & HATE NOT HIS FATHER, & MOTHER, & wife‚ & children, & brethren, & sisters, yea, & his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:26) In other words, if you don't love Jesus more than your own parents, more than your own fleshly family & relatives, you're not worthy to be His disciple!—If you don't love the Lord & God's service more than your own parents, virtually hating them by comparison, then you cannot be His disciple!

15. JESUS HIMSELF KEPT HIS OWN MOTHER STANDING OUTSIDE ONE TIME & WOULDN'T EVEN TALK TO HER, preferring to stay with those who were doing the will of God: "While He yet talked to the people, behold, His mother & His brethren stood without‚ desiring to speak with Him. Then one said unto Him, Behold, Thy mother & Thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with Thee. But He answered & said unto him that told Him, Who is My mother? And who are My brethren? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, & said, Behold My mother & My brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in Heaven‚ the same is My brother, & sister‚ & Mother!" (Mat.12:46-50)

16. SO IT COSTS SOMETHING TO SERVE THE LORD, & once you have chosen God & His way, He refuses to take second place to anything or anybody & will not let you put any other gods before Him—not your old job nor your old boss nor even your old family & friends!

17. AFTER ALL, IF GOD IS WORTH SERVING AT ALL, HE'S WORTH SERVING FULL TIME & ALL THE WAY! He says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, & with all thy soul, & with all thy mind.—And thy neighbor as thyself." (Mat.22:37-40) He says these are the first & greatest of all the commandments in importance, & that you shall have no other gods before Him, for He is a jealous God. (Ex.20:3–5) He desires your love & for you to love Him first of all, above all, & seek first His Kingdom!

18. HE WANTS TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE GOING TO PUT HIM FIRST‚ & HE TESTS YOU TO FIND OUT! Because unless God can prove that you love Him more than anybody or anything else, then He doesn't know for sure whether you love Him enough! Besides that, unless others see that you are willing to give up everybody else, even those closest to you, & forsake everything in order to love & serve Jesus, then you're never going to prove to the rest of the World that you really mean business either!

19. THIS IS ALWAYS THE GREATEST WITNESS TO OTHERS: WHEN YOU REALLY GIVE UP EVERYTHING & FORSAKE ALL TO FOLLOW JESUS & devote your fulltime service to Him!—Such a powerful sample of commitment & dedication & living for Jesus speaks so much louder & clearer than all the sermons you may be preaching! This is what will challenge & thrill & encourage & inspire others, when they see such a dedicated, whole-hearted example & realize that you're happy serving the Lord fulltime instead of the System‚ working for the multitudes instead of the mammon, for the many instead of the money!

20. AFTER ALL, MOST PEOPLE WANT SOMETHING THAT IS WORTH LIVING FOR AS WELL AS WORTH DYING FOR! As my Mother used to say, "I'd rather die for something than live for nothing!"—The challenge to really be able to give your life & yourself to something worthwhile, even if it kills you! Why settle for something half-way & mediocre? The Church System & its lukewarm churchy Systemites don't even go one-tenth of the way, & make God sick!—He says, "I would that thou wert hot or cold!" (See Rev.3:15,16.) Why not go all the way for the Lord?

21. BUT THERE WERE QUITE A FEW CASES IN THE BIBLE OF FOLKS WHO CAME TO JESUS who were really interested & attracted by the whole idea, yet they were never quite willing to pay the price. They knew He had it & they knew He was it, but they just couldn't quite make it. And that's a very sad thing: When God calls someone & they look back & turn around or even run away, & leave their plough deserted in the field!

22. SOME OPPORTUNITIES KNOCK BUT ONCE!—And then are gone forever! Delayed obedience can become total disobedience if prolonged too long, & you can make up your mind too late if you flounder around, "double-minded & unstable in all your ways"! (Jam.1:8) We can't always be choosers unless we choose God's time‚ or else we're more apt to be losers!

23. SO DON'T MAKE THE MISTAKE OF PUTTING YOUR HAND TO THE PLOUGH, THE LORD'S PLOUGH, THE CALLING & JOB THAT GOD HAS FOR YOU, & THEN LOOKING BACK! He says, "forget the things which are behind, & press forward to the things which are before!" (Phil.3:13) That's a commandment from the Lord!—Forget the past! —Think only of the glorious things that God can do & wants to do & is about to do right now through you‚ if you will only yield to & obey Him!

24. "REMEMBER LOT'S WIFE!" JESUS SAID. (Luke 17:32)—When called by the Lord to forsake her old life in the wicked city of Sodom, she was reluctant to leave. And although God warned her not to even look back—because that would mean & show that she'd really like to go back—she turned back anyway & immediately turned into a dead pillar of salt, stuck in the mud outside that wicked city! (See Gen.19:17,26)

25. SO IF YOU'RE SORRY TO HAVE TO LEAVE THIS OLD WORLD & ITS FLEETING PLEASURES & SELFISH INTERESTS BEHIND, like Lot's wife was sorry to leave Sodom & the young man was sorry to have to go on with the Lord without telling his family goodbye, then I'm sorry.—Because unless you have a change of heart & attitude, you are not worthy to be His disciple!

26. DON'T BE LIKE THE RICH YOUNG RULER, WHO CAME RUNNING TO JESUS SINCERELY SEEKING ANSWERS, to whom Jesus said, "Go & sell all that you have & give it to the poor, & come, take up the cross & follow Me, & you shall have treasure in Heaven!" (Mat.19:21) When the young man heard this, it says that he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions!

27. THE SADDEST THING WAS THAT THIS YOUNG MAN'S RICHES HAD NEVER BROUGHT HIM HAPPINESS OR SATISFACTION IN THE FIRST PLACE‚ or he wouldn't have come running to Jesus begging for an answer to his misery! Yet when Jesus gave him the answer to life & love & happiness in forsaking all for Jesus & others, he went away still full of the sorrows that riches bring, back to his riches which had never satisfied. As rich as he was, he was still unable to pay the price of the joy of giving all!—Which, of course, shows that he loved things more than God! What a sad, sad story!

28. THIS SAD STORY COULD APPLY TO ANYONE WHO'S HOLDING ON TO SOMETHING THEY'RE UNWILLING TO GIVE UP FOR THE LORD. You don't have to have very much to have "great possessions".—It only has to be just a little bit bigger than God in your eyes, just big enough to keep you from serving Him, that's all.—Just enough to keep you from breaking loose & shaking loose & serving the Lord.

29. AND WHETHER IT BE FAME OR FORTUNE‚ FUN OR FAMILY‚ it will not be easy to give up!—And usually the more you have, the harder it is to let go! But if you are willing to forsake a good thing for a better & a greater thing—like the picture of the little girl dropping her toy, totally losing interest in it as she lifts her hand to receive a beautiful descending dove upon her finger—God will mightily bless you!

30. FOR YOU WILL NEVER REALLY LEARN TO BE A FULL-FLEDGED SERVANT OF GOD, you will never know how to truly trust Him, & you will never revel in the fullness of the blessings of really living by faith, until you have forsaken all to follow Jesus!—You will never know the fullness of the joy of serving God to the utmost until you really forsake all to follow Him!

31. BUT GOD WILL NOT NORMALLY OVERRIDE HUMAN WILL. HE'LL LET YOU HAVE YOUR WAY & GO YOUR WAY IF YOU DON'T WANT TO DO WHAT HE WANTS YOU TO DO. Jesus never forced anyone to follow Him, He only said, "Follow Me" & "Come & see"! He doesn't draft you, you have to volunteer. He said, "Pray the Lord of the harvest‚ that He will send forth laborers into the harvest." (Mat.9:38) He'll be glad to send you if you're willing—but you have to be willing. He likes whole-hearted volunteers, 100%ers, forsake–allers—total commitment!

32. AFTER ALL, JESUS GAVE HIS ALL!—HE CAME & SUFFERED & BLED & DIED FOR YOU to save your soul, to save your life for Eternity! So you should be willing to do anything for Him now, whatever He asks or tells you to do! If you're not willing now to turn around & lay your life down for Him, to turn around & live & fight & die for Jesus, Who was willing to suffer & die for you, then you're no disciple!

33. JESUS WAS WILLING TO DIE FOR US TO SAVE US, & HE WANTS US TO BE WILLING TO DIE FOR HIM TO SAVE OTHERS! He died for others, He died for us, so He expects us to be willing to do the same! "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)

Goals for 1998

ML #3160:176-184, Lifelines 24

176. (Peter: ) You've probably noticed that recently there's a trend in the Family of becoming more worldly in many ways. By worldly, I mean closer to the world. It appears that some feel it's quite acceptable to not stay so far removed from the System; that it's possible to serve the Lord with one foot in the Family and the other in the System. I'd venture to say that such an attitude seeps in very slowly. Rarely does a person go from being completely dropped out in spirit to immediately being compromised and polluted with the ways and attitudes of the world.

177. When the Charter was first implemented, there was a problem with excess freedom, much of which bordered on worldliness. This was to be expected. It wasn't a surprise that there was such a backlash, as many of you were reacting to previous restrictions. Thank the Lord, many of you have now come back to a more happy medium in your freedoms, and you've put more emphasis on your responsibilities to the Lord and the Family as they're put forth in the Charter.

178. However, there is still a fairly large pull on the Family from the System. This is manifested in many different ways‚ such as: excess System influence from videos, System music, the Internet, or watching too much sports on TV, etc.; unfruitful ties and friendships with outsiders that are not based on witnessing or the Word; dead-end System jobs that afford no open doors for witnessing or ministering to others; and relationships with overbearing System relatives in which the Family members involved are compromising for gain or to be accepted.

179. It could be that the Lord allowed this time of fluidity regarding our relationship with the world as a test of each person's resolve, and also as part of "floating your faith." But the Lord makes it clear in the following message that there will be an inevitable division in the Family between those who seek to stay dropped out and revolutionary and those who continue to desire and compromise with the System.

180. As you read the following message, I ask you to check your heart and see which category you fall into. Regardless of where you've been up to this point, it's still possible for you to forsake all once again and get back to your First Love—the Lord and the Revolution for Jesus! Let's each make it a personal goal for 1998 to be one of His dropped-out Endtime soldiers!

181. (Jesus speaking: ) In order to walk in unity you must be of one mind, your standards and obedience to the Word must be in sync, and you must be on the same wavelength when it comes to resisting the worldliness of the System and keeping yourselves pure and dropped out and separate from the Great Whore.

182. There cannot be great unity between those who are compromised and those who are true to the message. Those who have moved toward the System and partaken of her evils, and who have allowed their thoughts and actions to become polluted and compromised until there's hardly any difference between them and the children of the world, cannot be in unity with those who seek to stay dropped out, who want to be different, and who are willing to stand up for the truth and be counted.

183. I warn those who've moved closer and closer and closer to the ways of the world, those who have lost their pureness and innocence as they've become deceived, thinking that it won't hurt them because they can "take it"—that they are in danger of slipping away altogether. The flame of their faith burns dangerously low‚ and they must be pulled back to the pillar. They must make a stand to strengthen their convictions against the ways of the world and the sirens of the System. Those who partake of the evils of the Whore and drink in her delicacies with great enthusiasm‚ losing sight of the vision, the Word, the goal, cannot be in unity with those who continue to give their all to Me and who seek not to be encumbered with the ways of the world‚ the flesh, the System.

184. You cannot be equally yoked with unbelievers and those of the world and yet hope to stay in unity with the red-hot, dropped-out children of David. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)

More on the S2K

ML #3262:24-25, 29-33, GN 863

24. (Dad speaking:) Exactly what is an "unedifying" or “ungodly” activity? That can be a pretty tough question to judge. Many people have different ideas or opinions on whether some particular activity is “unedifying” or “ungodly,” and that difference of opinion can sometimes be a bone of contention between individuals, between parents and children, between Homes, or between shepherds and their flocks.

25. Added to this is the fact that in some cases a certain activity might be considered "unedifying" or “ungodly,” but in other circumstances with different people, the same activity might not be.

29. Let's take System relatives. For some people, having so much contact with their System relatives and being so close to them has a real pull on their service for the Lord. It causes them to be weakened spiritually, to water down their convictions, to compromise for gain, to not live up to the standard in the Word because they're afraid of offending their relatives. It often opens the door to materialism and influences their children wrongly in that way.

30. So in situations like that, it's definitely ungodly and unedifying, and according to the Charter‚ those folks should be minimizing it. That doesn't mean they can't ever talk to their relatives or visit them, but it does mean that they should tone things down, really seek the Lord about how it's influencing them and their children, and get back on track in upholding the standard, even if it means less contact with their relatives. They need to make sure they aren't being unequally yoked with unbelievers, and if they are, they should cast off that yoke!

31. But in other cases, the contact that some Family members have with their relatives is positive and helpful. They're witnessing to them and bringing them along spiritually; they're not compromising their convictions or letting the standard drop. They're careful that it's not too much contact, for the sake of the children. So contact with relatives in itself is not ungodly and unedifying‚ but it certainly can be if the fruit of it is wrong, if it's weakening people spiritually and causing them to lower their standard.

32. You see, that's the key. That's how you can tell—by the fruits. You can't make a black-and-white list and say, "This is ungodly, but this isn't; this is unedifying, but this isn't." Well, you can with some things that are pretty black and white and spelled out in the Charter. Listening to poisonous music with devilish lyrics is obviously ungodly; there's no question about that. Or smoking dope. Or watching horribly violent, senseless movies. That's pretty clear and easy to recognize. But there are lots of other influences that can be ungodly and unedifying that you can't put down in black and white because so much depends on the people involved, the degree of involvement, the circumstances, the effect it has on them, the extent or frequency with which they partake of such activities, etc. So in cases where it's questionable, you can tell by the fruit.

33. Having ... extensive contact with your relatives may not be ungodly or unedifying in every case‚ but if it's bearing bad fruit, then it is ungodly and unedifying, and it should be stopped or minimized! "Wherefore by their fruits, you shall know them." It's the fruit you judge by! If the fruit is ungodly, then the tree—in this case, the activity—is ungodly.

Understanding Prophecy, Part 2

ML #3304:100-110, GN 905

Can System input clog your channel?

100. (Question: ) What effect, if any, does it have on a person's channel if they're not minimizing unedifying and ungodly influences in their life, or they just started to seriously minimize, but before that had perverted appetites for the things of the world? Does contact with System music, bad computer games, reading System books, watching violent, senseless or time-wasting movies; surfing the Internet (including not just really bad stuff‚ but unnecessary general browsing) affect a person's ability to be a clear channel?

101. (Jesus speaking:) Everything that you take into your mind and spirit affects you. There is no one who is not affected negatively in some way when they partake of System influence via movies, music, novels, worldly attitudes put forth in newspapers, magazines, or the Internet. All of that propaganda of the Enemy goes into your being and becomes part of you.

102. If you have a strong foundation of faith, you're less affected, and the propaganda doesn't gain a firm hold in your heart and mind, as long as you take the time to wash yourself regularly with the Word and My Spirit. But if you're weak in faith and you have bad Word and prayer habits, then the propaganda from the System has more effect. And it's a cumulative effect, growing more and more harmful with time. The more you take it in and the longer you allow it to remain in your heart and mind, the stronger the influence, especially if you don't wash it away with the Word. Don't just take things in and let them remain in your mind‚ but check out your input with Me. Ask Me about the information you are exposed to and hear from Me in prophecy about what My perspective is on the matter. I'll tell you what is true and what is false and what you should reject. Getting My viewpoint and My mind on the matter will help keep you cleansed of false information and wrong attitudes.

103. Those who have taken in much System influence over time subconsciously develop perverted reactions and thought patterns. That System influence can be in the form of such things as excessive movie watching, or the watching of bad movies, or listening to evil music‚ or playing violent computer games, or receiving the vain philosophies of man. Because of the System influence and their entertaining the wrong attitudes or ways of looking at things, even without their realizing it, they develop a mentality that is ungodly. That ungodly mentality wars against the spirit. It's in sharp contrast to the ways of My Kingdom, but the unsuspecting victim often doesn't realize that their first reactions and many of the conclusions they draw are not Word-based.

104. Because of this, the person is at a disadvantage when it comes to hearing from Me, because they're not in a position where they can easily discern the spirits and judge what voice is of Me and what is not. Their senses have become dulled because they've heard the voices of the Enemy's world for so long, so they don't recognize that it's wrong‚ and that those voices and attitudes and reactions have become a part of them.

105. When a person is in this state spiritually, their prophecies will likely be less pure. Therefore, until such a person gets cleaned up spiritually by taking in massive doses of My Word, having united prayer, and having his thought processes brought in line with My way of seeing things, then he will need to be very careful with his prophecies—careful to seek confirmations and counsel from those who are spiritually stronger.

106. As a person who has been contaminated by the world for a period of time seeks the cleansing power of My Word, prayer, and the spirit, they will become a more reliable channel, a clearer one. But it stands to reason that someone who has taken in from the System without limit‚ who has drunk deeply of the evil wells of the wisdom of man and his perversions, and who has built up a large "database" of stored System values and attitudes in their mind, will have to flush that out and be cleansed and strengthened in spirit.

107. I'm still able to speak to those who are contaminated by a long-term deep feeding of the System, but they must realize their handicap and be very desperate. They must also be aware that there could be some impurities from the Enemy and from their perverted mindsets that can slip into the prophecies because of their weak spiritual state. This can happen because they're not finely attuned to My voice and ways‚ so when they hear the voice of the Enemy, they don't recognize that it goes contrary to My Word and Spirit, and therefore they're not able to raise a standard against the Enemy's voice on the spot.

108. This is another type of serious tainting of My messages that comes about as a result of the channel being dirtied through System influence, especially System influence that has been taken in over a long period of time. This type of tainted prophecy is often characterized by compromise and a general permissiveness that pushes the boundaries and guidelines of the Word and the Charter to the limit.

109. If someone wants to be a reliable channel‚ one who receives complete prophecies that are the result of great faith and yieldedness, then that person must seek to cleanse their mind and spirit of the ways of the world. If the influence of the world has been great, it will take more time and a conscientious effort to reprogram the channel's mind so that their first reactions and mindset are in line with My Word and the truth, rather than the perversions of the world, and so that they can recognize My voice and discern when the Enemy's voice tries to butt in. If someone has been contaminated by much input from the world, he should take more time in the Word and prayer, and even have a prayer of deliverance.

110. Even if people have good habits in the Word, if they have regular contact with the world through movies, the Internet, novels, etc., they must raise a standard against the influence of that contact through prayer and a plea to Me that I will wash them clean as they drink deeply of the things of the spirit. (End of message from Jesus)

Renewal: The Big Picture

ML #3489:68-69, GN 1073

68. (Jesus:) Maybe you don't play computer games‚ watch movies, view sports or TV, or listen to System music. So what is this renewal period going to mean for you? Don't just look on the surface at the most logical or obvious things that might need changing in your life. I may wish to cleanse you of any number of things during this period of renewal—wrong mindsets, bad habits, ties with certain System relatives that are having a detrimental effect on you or your loved ones, addictions to food, alcohol, bodybuilding or extreme exercise, perverted appetites in sex or a desire for ungodly sex, the spirits of seduction, eating disorders, a materialistic spirit, an addiction to acquiring the latest and greatest worldly gadgets, to name a few. Some of these things aren't as clear-cut or obvious addictions or habits as movies, novels, System music and the like‚ but they can be just as dangerous to your spiritual life, if not more so.

69. The cleansing of this renewal period is going to touch everyone—ALL. No one will escape being changed and cleansed in some way.

The Christian's Relationship to Worldly Society

1-5, Word Basics

1. Christians do not belong to this world (society):

Jn.15:19Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world

A. We are citizens of Heaven:

Heb.11:14They...declare plainly that they seek a country

Heb.11:15,16Now they desire a better Heavenly

Heb.13:14Here have we no continuing city...we seek one to come

Jn.14:2,3I go to prepare a place for you...that where I am, there ye may be also

(See also Jn.18:36)

B. We're sojourners in this world, pilgrims passing through:

Heb.11:13Confessed they were strangers & pilgrims on the earth

Psa.39:12bI am a stranger with Thee, & a sojourner

Psa.119:19aI am a stranger in the earth

C. Earthly lands & homes are only temporary:

Lev.25:23bThe land is Mine (God's); for ye are strangers & sojourners with Me

D. Our life on earth is brief, so we do not settle here:

1Chr.29:15We are strangers before Thee‚ & sojourners...our days on the earth are as a shadow

1Pet.1:17Pass time of your sojourning here in fear (of God)

(See also Psa.39:4,5)

E. Guard against thinking this world is your permanent home:

Psa.49:11,12Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, & their dwelling places

2. Though in this world, we are not to be part of it:

A. Christians are not part of this present worldly society:

Jn.17:14-16They are not of the world, even as I (Jesus) am not

Rom.12:2aBe not conformed to this world

Eph.2:2,3In time past ye walked according to the course of this world

Gal.6:14The cross of...Christ, by whom the world is crucified (dead) unto me, & I unto the world

Phi.2:15The sons of the midst of a crooked & perverse nation‚ among whom ye shine as lights in the world

1Jn.4:4-6They are of the world...we are of God

1Jn.5:19We are of God, & the whole world lieth in wickedness (malignant evil)

(See also 1Pet.2:9)

B. We are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers:

2Cor.6:14Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?

2Cor.6:15What part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

C. We are not to have close friendship with the Christ-rejecting worldly:

Pro.1:15My son, walk not thou...with them; refrain thy foot

Pro.24:1Be not envious against (of) evil men, neither desire to be with them

1Cor.10:20,21I would not that ye should fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, &...of devils

Eph.5:11Have no fellowship with of darkness

(See also Pro.4:14-17; 13:20.)

D. We are to be separate from the worldly:

Isa.52:11Go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of [them]; be ye clean

2Cor.6:17Come out from among them, & be separate...touch not

Rev.18:4Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers

E. Do not become entirely separate; we must witness:

Jn.17:15Not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but ...keep them from the evil

Jn.17:18As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world [to witness]

Mk.16:15Go ye into all the world, & preach the gospel

3. Our attitude toward worldly values:

A. Caution not to love this present world:

Jam.4:4The friendship of the world is enmity with God

1Jn.2:15‚16Love not the world, neither the things that are in world

B. The pilgrim's attitude:

1Pet.2:11As strangers & pilgrims, abstain from fleshly [worldly] lusts, which war against the soul

Tit.2:12,13Denying ungodliness & worldly this present world; looking for that blessed hope

Heb.11:24–27Moses...choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God...forsook Egypt

Jam.1:27Pure keep unspotted from the world

1Pet.1:17(God) judgeth...every man's work, [so] pass the time of your sojourning here in fear

2Pet.3:11,14Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved‚ what manner of persons ought ye to be

1Jn.2:16,17The lust of the flesh, & the lust of the of the world. And the world passeth away

C. We should resist being influenced by trends, fads & media:

Exo.23:2aThou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil

Psa.1:1Blessed is man that walketh not in counsel of ungodly

Pro.1:10My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not

Rom.12:2aBe not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed

1Cor.7:31bThe fashion of this world passeth away

Col.2:8Beware lest any man spoil you through...vain deceit (See 1Pet.3:2-4 re: fashions.)

D. Warning against indiscriminate worldly entertainment:

Psa.101:3I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes

Psa.119:37Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity

Isa.33:15He that walketh righteously...shutteth his eyes from seeing evil

2Ki.17:15bThey followed vanity, & became vain, & went after the heathen that were round about them

E. The detrimental effect of this wicked world on believers:

2Pet.2:7‚ seeing & hearing [filthy Sodomites], vexed (tormented) his righteous soul...with their unlawful deeds

2Pet.3:17Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your steadfastness

F. Peer pressure & influence:

1Ki.12:3-16[King Rehoboam foolishly followed the counsel of] the young men that were grown up with him

G. Don't compromise or tolerate worldly ways:

Exo.23:32Make no covenant with them, nor with their gods

Exo.23:33They shall not dwell in thy land...for if thou serve their gods‚ it will surely be a snare unto thee

1Tim.5:22Neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep...pure

H. Avoid wanton worldly parties & activities:

Rom.13:13,14Not in rioting & drunkenness, not in chambering (licentiousness)...fulfill [not] lusts

1Pet.4:3‚4[We are not to indulge in drunken parties & revellings]

(See also Eph.2:2,3; Tit.2:12.)

I. But don't go to the opposite extreme:

Mat.9:9-13[The self-righteous demanded:] Why eateth your Master with publicans & sinners?

1Cor.10:27[We can accept invitations to banquets & feasts]

4. If possible, live peaceably with others in order to win them to the Lord:

A. Peaceable relations with others are preferable:

Rom.12:18As much as lieth in (depends upon) you, live peaceably with all men

Pro.16:7Lord...maketh even his enemies to be at peace w/ him

Jer.29:7Seek the peace of the city...& pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace

Mat.5:25Agree with thine adversary quickly...lest at any time

Col.4:5Walk in wisdom toward them that are without

1Tim.2:1‚2[Pray] that we may lead a quiet & peaceable life

B. Try to relate to their way of thinking, in order to win them:

1Cor.9:19-22Unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews. I am made all things to all men

1Cor.10:32Give none offence, neither to Jews, nor to Gentiles

1Cor.10:33I please all men...that they may be saved

C. Identify with them by giving your secular background & credentials:

Acts 22:3I am a man...brought up in this city...taught according to the law of the ye all are

Acts 21:39I am...of Tarsus‚ a citizen of no mean city

(See also Acts 16:36-38; 22:25-28.)

5. Caution against compromising with the world:

Gal.1:10Do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ

A. Caution against pleasing to the point of compromising:

Lk.6:26Woe unto you, when all men speak well of you

2Ki.5:17,18In this thing the Lord pardon Thy servant, that...I bow myself in the house of Rimmon (a heathen god)

B. We should stand up for, & not be ashamed of, our faith:

Mk.8:38Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me & of My Words in this ...sinful generation; of him shall (I) be ashamed

Rom.1:16I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ

2Tim.1:8aBe not thou ashamed of the testimony of our Lord

1Pet.4:16If any suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed

C. We are not of this world, & it hates us for that:

Lk.6:22Men...shall separate you from their company, & reproach

Jn.15:18,19Because ye are not of the hateth you

1Pet.4:4They think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you

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