Previously we discussed that when we are faced with something, we need to go deep. Your uncle, aunt, mother, or father is not your real problem. If you can diagnose the problem, you will know that there is a root problem that is working behind the scene. Sometimes these barriers and problems are invisible or unseen. And unless you ask GOD, Who sees the invisible to dismantle them, they may continue and even transfer to your children and other generations after you. We have to seek GOD to help us on what to do, pray for, or cast out, so that what we are going through could stop. It may be a family background issue. It may be someone has put a curse on you. The Bible says when we seek GOD with all our hearts and minds, GOD will help us and provide solutions to our problems for our sake and but also for our children’s sake.
There is an example in the Bible, and please just because the Bible says Peter, it doesn’t mean all Peters once had the spirit of the devil working behind them. The Bible says Peter was a great Apostle and man of GOD. It’s just this passage happened to be an example of Apostle Peter when one time he tried to rebuke the Lord Jesus from going to the Cross…hahaha. But he didn’t know the way to the cross that the Lord Jesus had to go was God’s Will, and the plan of redemption for all mankind. And Peter was trying to divert the Lord Jesus from going to the cross, but the Lord Jesus knew it was satan working behind Peter trying to stop Him to fulfill His purpose He came for to this earth.
In the book of Mark chapter 8 verses 27 to 38, it says that “Then Jesus and His disciples went out to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They answered Him, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” And He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter replied to Him, “You [in contrast to the others] are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).” Then Jesus strictly warned them not to tell anyone about Him. And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must [of necessity] suffer many things and be rejected [as the Messiah] by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and must be put to death, and after three days rise [from death to life]. He was stating the matter plainly [not holding anything back]. Then Peter took Him aside and began to reprimand Him. But turning around [with His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, satan; for your mind is not set on God’s will or His values and purposes, but on what pleases man.” Jesus called the crowd together with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake and the gospel’s will save it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world [with all its pleasures], and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul and eternal life [in God’s Kingdom]? For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
The Lord Jesus had just revealed to His disciples for the first time the plan: He was to go to Jerusalem to suffer, die, and be raised to life. The text says “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must [of necessity] suffer many things and be rejected [as the Messiah] by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and must be put to death, and after three days rise [from death to life]. He was stating the matter plainly [not holding anything back].”
And Peter understood the Lord Jesus words, and he simply could not handle it. Remember now, just moments before Peter declared the Lord Jesus as the Christ, but the minute the Lord Jesus said about the sufferings He had to go through, he turned from God’s perspective and viewed the situation from man’s perspective. There was a shift there.
And the Bible says Peter took the Lord Jesus aside and began to reprimand Him. But turning around [with His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, the Lord Jesus rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, satan; for your mind is not set on God’s Will or His values and purposes, but on what pleases man.”
Do you see it? It is the same Peter that the Spirit of GOD was upon him to confirm the Lord Jesus was the Messiah, that the devil used to mislead the Lord JESUS. Why would the Lord Jesus said ‘satan get behind me while He was speaking to Peter?’ Because He realized there was shift in Peter, his mind now was set on the things of men, and not of the things of GOD. It was the spirit of the devil influence speaking through Peter to mislead the Lord Jesus. And the Lord Jesus knew it. He was able to discern whether it came from GOD or not. He was supposed to go to the cross, it was the FATHER’s Will that He should go to the cross.
When we are faced with something, we need to go deep. Your sister, uncle, aunt, mother, or father is not your real problem. If you can diagnose the problem, you will know that there is a curse or something that is working behind the scene, and unless you ask GOD to dismantle it, it may even transfer to your children and other generations after you. The blood and words covenants and spell made by your ancestors for instance that are associated with gods of the kingdom of darkness, are the forces that are disturbing you. Your great grandmother is already dead, but why what she went through is troubling you today? It’s the demonic and evil spirits behind the scenes that you need to terminate.
The Bible records one situation that happened to Abraham twice that also happened and reoccur to his son Isaac once. Basically it was a generational transfer, because the same mistake his father made, Isaac also made it. Let’s look on both three events so that you can see there is such a thing as generational transfer of curses and blessings.
The first time it happened to Abram through Pharaoh, and it is recorded in the book of Genesis chapter 12 verses 10 to 20. It says that “Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.”
The second time it happened to Abram it was through Abimelek. In the book of Genesis chapter 20 verses 1 to 18. And the Bible says “Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her. But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.” Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against Me. That is why I did not let you touch her. Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die.” Early the next morning Abimelek summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid. Then Abimelek called Abraham in and said, “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.” And Abimelek asked Abraham, “What was your reason for doing this?” Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” Then Abimelek brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. And Abimelek said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.” To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.” Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again, for the Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.”
The third time it happened to Isaack through Abimelek. Remember now, this was years later. So it wasn’t the same Abimilek. The Bible says in the book of Genesis chapter 26 verses 1 to 11 that “Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed Me and did everything I required of him, keeping My commands, My decrees and My instructions.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar. When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.” When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.” Then Abimelek said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” So Abimelek gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who harms this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
Now, may be let me ask you a question? What issues you are going through or your parents are going through today that you need to address, deal with and confront, so that they won’t transfer to your children? I know I have a lot right now, and may GOD help me!
So those are just a couple of examples I wanted to share to tell you that sometimes the problem is not on the front, is behind the scenes, maybe a lineage thing. If we can discern it, then we will know where it started from. And maybe after that we will be able to know what to do concerning it.
Once you understand GOD’s Will for your life, then you will know there is a problem somewhere in your life when things don’t look right. Because it is GOD’s Will for you to get married, to have children, to succeed and fulfill your purpose, to be healthy, to travel on vacation to see different parts of this world, and so forth.
Okay, we are continuing with our series, “The Kingdom Of GOD In.” Today we are going to discuss about a religious spirit. This spirit basically is about self-righteousness and defilement of the Word of GOD.
- Religious spirit or the spirit of Pharisaism
If you are familiar with the Pharisees in the Bible then you are probably aware of this spirit. This spirit can basically block others to enter the Kingdom of GOD. So let’s go to the scriptures again and see the many conversations the LORD JESUS had with the Pharisees in those days and what He told them.
The first example is in the book of Mark chapter 7 verses 1 to 23. It says that “The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of His disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.) So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?” He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” And He continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. Thus you nullify the Word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” Again Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen to Me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” After He had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples asked Him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” He asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
So what do we learn from this passage? One is that the Pharisees were mainly concerned on the outward things; the outward cleanness, but their inward cleanness is what God was more concerned with. It was about their characters and cleanness of their hearts.
And the Lord Jesus said to them they nullify the Word of God by their tradition that they have handed down. They have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions. They had a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe their own traditions. They twisted the Word of God around to justify their means and traditions. They worshiped God in vain and the teachings they followed were merely human rules and not according to what God said.
And the Lord Jesus told them “Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” And when His disciples came to asked Him for clarity on what He really said, the Lord Jesus said “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
Another example is in the book of Matthew chapter 23 verses 1 to 36. In this Bible passage, the Lord Jesus diagnosed the spirit of Pharisaism in details but also outline the eight woes He spoke to Pharisees. The Bible records that “Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and Pharisees have seated themselves in Moses’ chair [of authority as teachers of the Law]; so practice and observe everything they tell you, but do not do as they do; for they preach [things], but do not practice them. The scribes and Pharisees tie up heavy loads [that are hard to bear] and place them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not lift a finger [to make them lighter]. They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries (tefillin) wide [to make them more conspicuous] and make their tassels long. They love the place of distinction and honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues [those on the platform near the scrolls of the Law, facing the congregation], and to be greeted [with respect] in the market places and public forums, and to have people call them Rabbi. But do not be called Rabbi (Teacher); for One is your Teacher, and you are all [equally] brothers. Do not call anyone on earth [who guides you spiritually] your father; for One is your Father, He Who is in heaven. Do not let yourselves be called leaders or teachers; for One is your Leader (Teacher), the Christ. But the greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be raised to honor.” “But woe (judgment is coming) to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the Kingdom of heaven in front of people; for you do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow those who are [in the process of] entering to do so. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you swallow up widows’ houses, and to cover it up you make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation.] “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte (convert to Judaism), and when he becomes a convert, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears [an oath] by the sanctuary of the temple, that is nothing (non-binding); but whoever swears [an oath] by the gold of the temple is obligated [as a debtor to fulfill his vow and keep his promise].’You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the sanctuary of the temple that sanctified the gold? And [you scribes and Pharisees say], ‘Whoever swears [an oath] by the altar, that is nothing (non-binding), but whoever swears [an oath] by the offering on it, he is obligated [as a debtor to fulfill his vow and keep his promise].’ You [spiritually] blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? Therefore, whoever swears [an oath] by the altar, swears both by it and by everything [offered] on it. And whoever swears [an oath] by the sanctuary of the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears [an oath] by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him Who sits upon it. “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you give a tenth (tithe) of your mint and dill and cumin [focusing on minor matters], and have neglected the weightier [more important moral and spiritual] provisions of the Law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the [primary] things you ought to have done without neglecting the others. You [spiritually] blind guides, who strain out a gnat [consuming yourselves with miniscule matters] and swallow a camel [ignoring and violating God’s precepts]! “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and robbery and self-indulgence (unrestrained greed). You[spiritually] blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the plate [examine and change your inner self to conform to God’s precepts], so that the outside [your public life and deeds] may be clean also. “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. So you, also, outwardly seem to be just and upright to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build tombs for the prophets and decorate and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have joined them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the [allotted] measure of the guilt of your fathers’ sins. You serpents, you spawn of vipers, how can you escape the penalty of hell? “Therefore, take notice, I am sending you prophets and wise men[interpreters, teachers] and scribes [men educated in the Mosaic Law and the writings of the prophets]; some of them you will kill and even crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues, and pursue and persecute from city to city, so that on you will come the guilt of all the blood of the righteous shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah [the priest], the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, [the judgment for] all these things [these vile and murderous deeds] will come on this generation.”
Very scary. All these woes. We need GOD’s Grace for sure. I have also just realized that this spirit of Pharisaism existed even in the days of Abel. That’s what the Lord Jesus said. So as you can see, those are the characteristics of religionism…hahaha. How do you know you are affected? Read the Bible passage; it’s plain and clear.
The third example is in the book of Luke chapter 5 verses 27 to 39. It records that “After this Jesus went out and noticed a tax collector named Levi (Matthew) sitting at the tax booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].”And he left everything behind and got up and began to follow Jesus [as His disciple]. Levi (Matthew) gave a great banquet for Him at his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were reclining at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes [seeing those with whom He was associating] began murmuring in discontent to His disciples, asking, “Why are you eating and drinking with the tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews]?” And Jesus replied to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but [only] those who are sick. I did not come to call the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to repent], but sinners to repentance [to change their old way of thinking, to turn from sin and to seek God and His righteousness].” Then they said to Him, “The disciples of John [the Baptist] often practice fasting and offer prayers [of special petition], and so do the disciples of the Pharisees; but Yours eat and drink.” Jesus said to them, “Can you make the wedding guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But days [for mourning] will come when the bridegroom is [forcefully] taken away from them. They will fast in those days.” He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old one; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new [fermenting] wine will [expand and] burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine, wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is fine.’”
So there was another argument between the Pharisees and the Lord Jesus. The Pharisees believed that they could obey the law of God through their good works and win God’s affection through their upstanding ways. And the Lord Jesus used a parable of the old and new wine-skins. And it looks He was distinguishing the Old Testament and New Testament or Covenant that He was going to establish.
The Pharisees were angry with the Lord Jesus for associating with sinners and tax collectors and for breaking all their rules. Not God rules, but their rules. They murmured and asked the disciples “Why are you eating and drinking with the tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews]?” But it was the Lord Jesus Who replied to them and said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but [only] those who are sick. I did not come to call the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to repent], but sinners to repentance [to change their old way of thinking, to turn from sin and to seek God and His righteousness].”
Basically the Lord Jesus was telling them that what He came to bring them was something completely new. He came to turn everything inside out and upside down. All that the Pharisees believed, that they could obey the law through their good works and win God’s affection through their upstanding ways, was wrong. The Lord Jesus came to establish something completely new that can’t be merged together with the old. The Lord Jesus’ teachings, the Gospel of Grace couldn’t be added to their old wine-skins, or else it would burst. He also didn’t come to simply patch up our tattered lives; He came to give us completely new ones.
We can’t just add the Gospel of God’s grace to our lives, like putting on a jacket. The Lord Jesus has given us a brand new garment, His own righteous robes. Trying to add grace to legalism or self-worship or whatever idols we bow down to will only make the old wine skin burst. He has come not as a patch, but as something brand new, to fix, fulfill the old, and make all things new, starting with our very selves. In the book of 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17, it says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” And that’s what happens when you accept and invite the Lord Jesus in your heart and life as your LORD and SAVIOR. He makes you new. The old has gone, the new has begun. In this new life in Him as a child of God, you are going to live it up to eternal life. In this new life, The Spirit of the Living GOD, the Spirit of the LORD, the HOLY SPIRIT will be living in you, working in and through you, sanctifying and helping you, and guiding you daily to live this godly life He has called you to live as the child of GOD. In this new-wine, the New Covenant, you will be worshiping GOD in truth and Spirit. You will be praying and walking in the Spirit.
In the book of Romans chapter 8 verses 2 to 5, it says that “And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent His own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.”
So as you can see this new wine must be put into fresh wine-skins.
Helen Majaga is a founder of Helen Majaga International, Live to Your Full Potential Podcast & YouCount Magazine, specializing in the training and development of individuals and businesses to achieve personal and professional goals.
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