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The Works of the Flesh
Updated 01/21/2009
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like...they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5:19-21
"...and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works." Revelation 2:23b

Adultery Fornication Uncleanness

Lasciviousness

Idolatry Witchcraft
Hatred Variance Emulations Wrath Strife Seditions
Heresies Envyings Murders Drunkenness Revellings (New)

***

In some instances I give links or exact verbiage from the scriptures.  In others I do not.  I prefer that you
have your own bible handy to look up scriptures.  I'm not going to do all of the work for you.  Ha!

 

Previously, on this website, we discussed the Fruit of the Spirit. The works of the flesh are always at odds against walking in the Spirit. The two are forever at war. "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."

"Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."  Recall the fruit is: "...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance..." Walking in the Spirit is much less work then walking in the flesh.  There are fewer manefestations of the fruit then flesh.  Also the Spirit walk is referred to as "Fruit" whereas the Flesh walk is referred to as "Work" (i.e. Fruit of the Spirit vs. Works of the Flesh).

We shall look in depth at the works of the flesh.

Scriptures above found in Galatians 5
Adultery Funk and Wagnalls 

The voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with someone not the spouse; unfaithfulness 

The American Heritage® Dictionary 

Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the lawful spouse.

Bible: Greek definition: 
Moicheia - pronounced moy-khi'-ah 

The origin word is Moicheuo - pron. moy-khyoo'-o 

-to commit adultery; -to be an adulterer; -to commit adultery with; -have unlawful intercourse with another's wife 

of the wife: to suffer adultery, be debauched 

A Hebrew idiom, the word is used of those who at a woman's solicitation are drawn away to idolatry, i.e. to the eating of things sacrificed to idols

We always think of adultery being an act of intercourse as mentioned in the above definitions.  Jesus says one can commit adultery in their heart.  "For out of the heart proceed... adulteries..." Matthew 15:19.   "..whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:28. 

So what are acts of the heart?  How do we commit an act from within our heart?  I decided to search the concordances for a definition.  I found that our heart is that organ in the body which is the centre of the circulation of the blood.  That's nothing new.  We all know that.  But did you know, it also denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life.  Read more about it by clicking here but don't forget to return to this page.

So you defile your whole being by committing such an act as adultery.  You defile your heart which is the center of your being.  Not only to you disappoint God, but you also are destroying the temple He gave you for a short moment of pleasure. 

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Fornication
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Funk and Wagnalls 

Voluntary sexual intercourse between unmarried persons. 

Bible: Greek definition: 
Porneia - pronounced por-ni'-ah 

1  illicit sexual intercourse (adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc. sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18 
sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11) 
2   metaph. the worship of idols (of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols) 
3  unchastity 
 

Really little has to be said on the subject.  Most people know what fornication is and that it is not accepted by God.  In these days and times people are coming up with their own righteousness.  "Fornication is sexual intercourse.  I'm not having intercourse but oral sex or anal sex."  You are fooling yourselves.  The bible says not to be ignorant of Satan's devices. 

Never stop at the world's definition.  Dig deep into the true Hebrew or Greek meaning of words when it comes to determining bible issues.  As you see above the Greek definition is much more detailed and specific. 

So you say "Who am I hurting?"  Why does God care?  After checking the Hebrew meaning I came up with a totally different concept.  The word is Zanah (pron. zaw-naw' )  One Hebrew definition of fornication is,  "to be unfaithful to God."  That is deep.  So you are hurting God.  You are in essence committing adultery against God. 

We could go into the many scriptures about the subject, but we'll only study one passage.  In the 15th Chapter of Acts it speaks of refraining from fornication as a necessary thing.  It is pertinent for you to do well.  "15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well." Notice how fornication is put right up there with abstaining from other things that pollute your body. 

The book of Romans speaks of fornication with a whole host of unlikeable actions (all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful) Romans 1:28-32 .  It says one who commits fornication do not like to retain God in their knowledge.  I looked up the word God in this sense.  Not only does it mean God as in the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), it also refers to the things of God his counsels, interests and things due to Him.   It also says God gave them over to a reprobate mind.  Reprobate - that which does not prove itself such as it ought, unfit. 

The bible even speaks of doing such as being worthy of death (see above scriptures in Romans).  I'm learning such new things as I work and dig deeper into the scriptures.  The Greek and Hebrew dictionaries opens a whole world of meanings.  The bible when translated into English lose some of its interpretation.  Death has a whole new meaning.  Not only do we die physically, we die spiritually. We can also be alive and dead at the same time.  The Greek explanation - 1) the misery of the soul arising from sin, which begins on earth but lasts and increases after the death of the body in hell;  2) in the widest sense, death comprising all the miseries arising from sin, as well physical death as the loss of a life consecrated to God and blessed in him on earth, to be followed by wretchedness in hell. 

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Uncleanness
 
 
 
 

 

Funk and Wagnalls 

unclean: 1) not clean; foul  2) unpure thoughts; unchaste; depraved  3) ceremonially impure 

Bible: Greek definition: 
Akatharsia - pronounced ak-ath-ar-see'-ah 

uncleanness: 1) physical; 2) in a moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, profligate living (of impure motives) 

What does it really mean to be unclean?  Do you shower every day or more than once a day?  Then you must be clean.  Do you brush your teeth, wash your hair?  All of these things make us clean.  For the moment.  Once you step outside of that shower you are unclean again.  The impurities in the air make you unclean.  Obviously physical cleanliness, though important, isn't the real issue.  Unclean and uncleanness are different. One speaks of the physical, the other morality. 

Uncleanness is mentioned in Matthews when Jesus addresses the scribes and Pharisees.  He accuses them of being clean on the outside but not on the inside. <Click here>  He calls them hypocrites.  A hypocrite is one who professes a belief but doesn't act upon it. 

Let's visit Romans 1:24 where the bibles mentions God's reaction to uncleanness. 
King James version: "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,.." 

What does this mean "God gave them up..."?  Let's visit a few more bible versions.  But in essence it is saying God let's you do whatever you want.  You want to be impure, you can be impure.  God does not force His ways on anyone.  We have a choice.  He gives us the choices and even recommends which is the best choice. Deuteronomy 30:19(Amplified version): "I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live." 

More translations.

In the Amplified version speaks of uncleanness as sexual impurity. "Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin],.." 

The Message bible: "So God said, in effect, "If that's what you want, that's what you get." It wasn't long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out." 

New Living Translation: "So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies." 

Contemporary English version: "So God let these people go their own way. They did what they wanted to do, and their filthy thoughts made them do shameful things with their bodies." 

As Christians we ought not give in the uncleanness.  Paul speaks to the Ephesians, "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; "  Ephesians 5:3.  Paul even ranks uncleanness with greediness (greedy desire to have more).  "Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." Ephesians 4:19. 

As I pointed out above, God always gives us a way of escape.  A way out. 

"I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness." Romans 6:19 

"And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God." Colossians 3:5 (The Message bible) 

Wow! I learned alot here, "...doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it...".  How about you? 

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Lasciviousness
 
 
 
 

 

Funk and Wagnalls 

Having, manifesting, or arousing sensual desires; lustful. 

Bible: Greek definition:
Aselgeia 

unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence

Many of these words in this text are similar or ride off the other.  Lasciviousness is no different. All appear to have a deep meaning of impure morals.  Maybe that's why Paul said, "in my flesh dwells no good thing." Romans 7:18 <Click here>   Although we eat the flesh of animals it must be cooked to in order to be safely consumed otherwise our body may reject it.  Our own flesh must be cooked or put under the fire of the Word of God in order for us to live an abundant life. 

Lasciviousness comes from within our heart and it defiles us.  "....lasciviousness....: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."  Mark 7:22-23. Lasciviousness means - having, manifesting, or arousing sensual desires; lustful.  Having sensual desires; manifesting sensual desire, arousing sensual desires or being full of lust.  In all cases, it is an act of your will.  Our mind must be renewed so we can put our flesh under subjection and not give in to lasciviousness.  Follow after those who are walking in newness of mind.  We cannot get wisdom from someone who is walking down the same wrong path.  People are always right in their own eyes.  Get wisdom from someone who can be objective. This could even be in the form of a spiritual book or tv program. 

In the book of Ephesians <Click here> it speaks of not walking as other walk who think they are right in their own minds.  They are ignorant of the things of God because they have hardened their hearts in order to give in to their own lusts.  Alluding themselves that their way is right.  We need to look into our own hearts and what we have learned in the past from Jesus.  We are created in the image of God.  Created in righteousness and true holiness.  Therefore, we are to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. 

In our past life, we wasted much time walking in the flesh.  Just as Christ suffered in the flesh for us, we must do the same.  We need to deny ourselves (suffer) those fleshly, lustful ways that feel so good (rather than fail to please God).  "He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That He no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God." 1 Peter 4:1-2

As I read topical passages that refer to lasciviousness there seems to be a pattern. Duh!  Of course there is. I keep seeing reference to those we are around having influence on us.  Peter speaks of Lot being vexed by those around him. Lot was a righteous man. His righteousness did not keep him from suffering or being distressed because he was constantly around the wrong people..  "...seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;"  2 Peter 2:7-8  What you see and hear on a continuous basis will vex you (bring distress or suffering; will plague or afflict). Lot left that place didn't he?  So should we. 

Peter also mentions those out there who prey on Christians.  We may think because we have been Christians 10, 20 years we can't lose faith.  That is not true.  People fall away daily from the Christian life they once knew.  We must be Christians who are renewed in our minds.  Renew our minds daily. 

As a side note: We should attend a bible teaching church.  Don't choose a church because you like the music or the preaching.  Preaching is fine, but you need teaching.  You need to learn how to stand against the devil and put him in subjection.  Learn how to battle spiritual warfares.  Learn to hold claim on the promises God gave you concerning your family, your finances and your health.  Make sure you know how to stand and do all you know to stand.  Know a little about your church leaders.  The same spirits that attack their lives are the ones that will prey on you.  If your leaders had a past of adultery, the spirit of adultery is prevelant in that church. If your leaders were drug addicts, alcoholics, or homosexual or has those tendencies, - then the spirit of bondage will be prevelant.  These are called familiar spirits and they constantly work to find an open door in order to let themselves in.  That door may not be left opened by your leader.  It could have been left open by your because of  curiosity or ignorance.  The subject of spirits is a whole study in itself.

Back to our text.  If you find yourself continually in sin or always falling into the same sin over and over, you need to check who you are around.  Or check what you are involving yourself in or allowing into your eyegates or eargates. 

I'm going to close this section with readings from the bible.  It is very interesting about leaders who take people down the wrong path.  You may ask what does all I've said here have to do with lasciviousness.  This is what God gave me.  The definition of the word determines it as something God does not want in our lives. 

God is teaching here that many caught up in lasciviousness often think they are right.  You see others doing it and saying it is okay, so you think it is.  In essence, it is a sin that can so easily beset you.  "..let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us..." Hebrews 12:1  If you have to, literally run.  Pick up your things and head in the other direction (repent).   SAVE YOURSELVES.  hahahaha!!!  Seriously though...run. 

Anyway, you better know who you are following after or hanging out with.  Be rightfully informed and be blessed. Read more <Click here>

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Idolatry
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Funk and Wagnalls 

1. The worship of idols. 

2.  Excessive admiration or veneration; blind infatuation. 

Bible: Greek definition:
Eidololatreia - pronounced i-do-lol-at-ri'-ah 

1. the worship of false gods, idolatry : a) of the formal sacrificial feats held in honour of false gods; b)of avarice, as a worship of Mammon 

2. in the plural, the vices springing from idolatry and peculiar to it 

Idolatry. The worship of idols. I guess we need to explore the meaning of worship first. That will determine if a fondness for an item is excessive as referred to in Funk and Wagnalls' definition.  Then we will explore what an idol is. 
Worship
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Funk and Wagnalls 
  1. The adoration, homage, or veneration given to a deity 
  2. The rites, ceremonial forms, prayers, etc., such adoration requires or assumes 
  3. Excessive or ardent devotion of admiration 
  4. The object of such devotion of admiration


     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

Worship as it pertains to idols is found in the Hebrew dictionary. 

Shachah - pronounced shaw-khaw' 

To bow down: 

  • to bow down 
  • to depress (fig) 
  • to bow down, prostrate oneself 
  • before superior in homage 
  • before God in worship 
  • before false gods 
  • before angel 

Also, obeisance, reverence

Idol
 
 
 

 

Funk and Wagnalls (in regards to the bible usage of the word)
  1. an image representing a god, and worshipped as devine 
  2. a false or nonexistent god; object of heathan worship 
Hebrew 

'eliyl - pronounced el-eel' 

1. of nought, good for nothing, worthless; a) of physicians, a shepherd, a divination ; b) of false gods

Now, that we know the true meaning of these words, what do we have? Idolatry is the bowing down or reverence to a worthless image or object. Worthless in comparison to God. Excessive adoration. 

God says to mortify (make dead, deprive of power) your members (limbs). These things are classified as idolatry: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness.  (Col. 3:5) Stubbornness is also idolatry (1 Sam. 15:23). We are told to flee these things.  (1 Cor. 10:14). 

Original Greek: Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 

We need to deprive our bodies of things that grab our attention from God.  We have already discussed fornication and uncleanness which are other forms of idolatry. 

An inordinate affection is an excessive or unrestrained thing which befalls us. It can be sad or joyous.  This excess is a feeling which causes the mind to suffer.  The mind suffers from bad things such as a mishap or affliction.  Our minds can also suffer passions and passionate deeds. Things we have to have or have to do. 

Evil concupiscence occur when we desire, crave or long for forbidden or evil things. Things of a bad nature or a bad mode of thinking, feeling or acting are evil.  It is also evil to be troublesome, injurious, pernicious and destructive. Wow! 

Of course, we all know about covetousness. A greedy desire to have more. So if you constantly have a desire to have more, it is greedy, and it is idolatry. Think about it. Or should I say, "Selah". 

Stubborness? How can that be a form of idolatry? I'm going to take a wild guess and say stubborn is not wanting to change. Now, let's look up the bible definition. It is a bit more specific. (Hebrew def.) To press or push, to be insolent (overbearing or offensive conduct or speech), display pushing arrogance, presumption. Who would have thought? 

The things mentioned above, God hates. The bible says if you do these things you hate God. We can't have an excessive love for things and God. Why? Because God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). He doesn't want to share your worship with anything or anybody. Idolatry can cause iniquity upon our children. Some of our sufferings aren't just because of what we have done. They can be from what our forefathers have done. ("I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me" (Exodus 20:5b). 

God loves us. He loved us enough to sacrifice His Son for us. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Love God, not things. 

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Witchcraft
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Funk and Wagnalls 
  • The practices or powers of witches or wizards, esp. when regarded as due to dealings with evil spirits or the devil. 
  • An instance of such practices. 
  • Extraordinary influence or fascination; witchery. 


 
 
 
 

 

Bible: Greek definition:
Pharmakeia - pronounced far-mak-i'-ah 
  • the use or the administering of drugs 
  • poisoning 
  • sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it 
  • metaph. the deceptions and seductions of idolatry 

Also, Pharmakeus - pronounced far-mak-yoos' 

  • one who prepares or uses magical remedies; a sorcerer 
This is a fascinating subject.  There are things the bible refers to as witchcraft I never would have considered.  We always think of the dictionary definition, but it stems much deeper.  Poisoning and the use of drugs?  Wow!  The bible also speaks of rebellion being "as the sin of witchcraft" (1 Samuel 15:23).  Magic is also witchcraft.  Interesting.  Not slight-of-hand magic, but working magic in the way of spells. 

So, what is a witch and a wizard?  I only found the word witch twice in the bible (Exodus 22:18 and Deuteronomy 18:10).  The dictionary reads, one who practices or uses witchcraft and sorcery.  The term witch was found in the Hebrew dictionary as kashaph, pronounced kaw-shaf' and has the same definition as the english dictionary. 

Wizard(s) is found too many times to number. I can tell this subject is going to be an indepth study.   F&W says a wizard is simply a male witch; sorcerer or one having magical powers.  The Hebrew word is Yidd@`oniy, pronounced yid-deh-o-nee'; a knower, one who has a familiar spirit (a familiar spirit, soothsayer, necromancer (meton)). 

So you think what fortune tellers practice isn't real? The bible says it is. 

Witchcraft as a form of rebellion. Saul was rebellious by rejecting or disobeying God's word. He was told his rebellion was as the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23) . God told Saul to destroy Amalek and all that it had. Saul was to spare nothing. In my opinion, his first sin was to warn the Kenites to leave otherwise they would be destroyed. Weren't they included as "all that it had"?  This is just my speculation because the bible doesn't mention God telling Saul to warn them. Secondly, Saul took the king and the livestock alive. Bad news. Because of his sin God, therefore, rejected Saul from being King. 

A king is a ruler. One who has the final word. A king's words change things. God rejects us when we are rebellious (in sin). We rule with our prayers. We no longer have the final word. Our prayers are hendered. God never returned to Saul even after he repented. Praise God for Jesus, who came so we can be restored to God after repentance.  It is never too late to ask forgiveness and turn and walk away from sin. 

Next, witchcraft brings you no peace.  Just the presence of evil or evil practices can rob you of your peace. Kings Joram (of Israel) and Ahaziah (of Judah) went out to see if their enemy, Jehu, had come in peace.  They didn't know God had made Jehu the new King of Israel.  King Jehu responded,"How can peace exist as long as the fornications of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?"  (2 Kings 9:22).  Long story short, he killed both kings. Jezebel prettied herself up and stood on display in front of the window. The King wasn't fooled and killed her too. What is your Jezebel?  Is it disguised to look pleasing or acceptable?  Is it hidden behind some white cloud?  A rose by any other name still smells the same.  Sin stinks regardless of the perfumes used to disguise it. 

You can be swayed by others to follow their way of life or wickedness. Often the bible uses the names of places but there is a deeper revelation.  Jesus often spoke in parables. In Nahum 3, God was not please with the city of Ninevah. He called it the "Mistress of Witchcrafts" (verse 4).   A Mistress in this sense is like a Madame in a house of prostitution. One who teaches others to follow or master her way of life.  God vowed to destroy Ninevah.  Ninevah's wicked ways, though now hidden, will be revealed (verse 5).  All that followed her were also destroyed.  So be cautious of being a follower.  If the ox falls in the ditch, so does all of his followers.  Don't let popularity be your guide, nor be influenced by others.  Know what the bible teaches on such things.  All things that are lawful, aren't expediant (profitable). 1 Corinthians 6:12.  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 

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Hatred
 
 

 

Funk and Wagnalls 
  1. Intense dislike or a version; animosity; enmity 
Bible: Greek definition:
Echthra - pronounced ekh'-thrah 
  • enmity 
  • cause of enmity 
Hatred is a dangerous thing. It eats away at the depths of the soul.  Only the love of God can heal that wound.  Hatred was introduced into the world after the disobedience of Adam in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3).  God put enmity between the man and woman and amongst their offspring. The first instance of human hatred was between Cain and Abel.  Cain slew his brother Abel because God honored Abel's offering over his.  Not so much as Abel's offering, but that Abel was a man of God. 

You can also see the result of the enmity in the world today. Parents killing and abusing children, children abusing and killing parents.  Brothers and sisters killing each other.  Hate has destroyed our world along with jealousy and greed. 

The story of Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 37) is one of the most inclusive examples of sibling rivalry in the bible. There is another rivalry that happened before this account and we'll later see how similar they are. 

From what I can see, Joseph was the favorite of his father. He would often commune with him. He revealed a dream where he was to rule over them all. So, of course, his brothers hated him after that. 

The father sent Joseph out to work with his brothers. The brothers sold Joseph into slavery where he suffered many things over a long period of time.  He was even lied upon and thrown into jail.  Through it all he still honored God. 

Joseph later became a great man of position.  During a time of famine, His brothers had to depend on his wealth to survive.Unbeknownst to them of course.  It was Joseph who saved the family. 

There was a greater hatred than that one.  It was the one Lucifer had.  More of a jealousy. Lucifer was the anointed cherub. He was made perfect and given wisdom. Ezekiel 28:13-15 isn't addressed specifically to him, but is indicative of him. He was the only angel made to have his own thoughts.  Other angels operate on command (Psalm 103:20).   Lucifer abused that gift by pride when he exhaulted himself. He wanted to be on the same level as God. "I will be like the most High" (Isaiah 14:13-15).I believe this is why he went after Eve, in order to separate man from God.  He was successful because he was made the god (little "g") of this world.

The separation between man and God wasn't for long. God became flesh in order to redeem His own.  He sent Jesus into the world where He suffered many things at the hands of man.  Much like what happened when Joseph's father sent him out with his brothers.  Jesus was also sold out by one of His own.  He was lied on and locked up.  He was abused and finally crucified.  But that is not the end of the story.  He rose again and we were redeemed back to God. 

Now the devil will suffer and he is forever separated from God.  There is no turning back for him. That is not so in our case.  We have Jesus who stepped in and mended that bond between us and God. We have been redeemed.  God is waiting for us with open arms. 

All we have to do is repent and accept what Christ did for us and we are saved (see below). 

PRAISE GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND FOREVER MORE!!!! 

There is no peace in hatred.  It is a sin and only separates you from God.  We are all created by Him and for Him.  We must love each other because He loves us.  Not for what we are or who we are, but for who He is. 

To be redeemed back to God click here.

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Variance

 

Funk and Wagnalls 
  1. dissension, discord
Bible: Greek definition:
eµriv (eris)
contention, debate, strife, variance
There is much dissension and discord in the world today.  The current war in the mid-East is a prime example.  Everyone wants to be right and get their own way.  Today's families have much variance going on too.  Mother against daughter, father against son, sibling rivalry.  These things ought not to be, according to this passage.  But then, they always have been. 

So, what was the first instance of variance in the bible?  Did it start with Adam and Eve?  Cain and Abel?  Or could it have began long before, with Lucifer? This led me to look up the word strife.  F&W's definition is angry contention; fighting; any contest for advantage or superiority. 

First, let's look at  the latter, any contest for advantage or superiority.  I choose the contention of Lucifer.  Some of the details of his accounts are mentioned above under "Hatred" (see here).   This is what caused his fall, not what he did in the Garden of Eden.  That just added to his already fallen state. 

Many times people want what they cannot have.  Lucifer wanted so much to be like God, that his mouth got him in trouble.  Isn't that often the case?  He wasn't satisfied that he was the anointed cherub.  The only angel allowed his own thoughts and could choose his own words.  Nevertheless, his choice was to exault himself above God. 

Often ones ego causes more trouble than it is worth.  It caused Lucifer to be thrown out of heaven.  Luke 10:17-18.  He lost his spot as the closest celestial being to God.  He was God's praise and worship leader in a sort.  Strife can cause you to lose great relationships and close family ties.  Lucifer became separated from God. 

Strife also brings about undesirable characteristics.  Lucifer became Satan (saw-tawn).  His name turned from shining one and morning star to superhuman adversary (causer of affliction, anguish, distress, tribulation, trouble).  He was also titled the deceiver, father of lies and the accuser just to name a few.  People with these characteristics usually want others to join them in their suffering.  Satan goes about seeking those he can bring down.  Remember Job?  Satan tried his best to cause Job to curse God.  Someone once said, "misery loves company".  Job was smart enough not to fall for that trap.

So much is lost because of variance or strife.  Satan lost his position and was replaced by Jesus.  Rev. 12:10 - "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."

Don't allow variance and strife to cause you to lose the good things God has given you. You don't want to risk being separated from God.  Try to work out issues that separate you from others.  It will give you so much peace.  Think about it.  Many times we are mad and stressed out while the other person is going on with life as usual.  That stress can cause health issues like high blood pressure and/or heart problems.  Most of all, the variance causes separation  from God. 

How about we look at this scripture in Matthew 5.
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. 

God's ideals and thoughts are much different than the worlds.  The world says if someone has something against you, they need to come to you and fix it.  God says for you to fix it. (verse 23-24).  This is how I interpret verse 25.  If you don't make it right.  The adversary is the other person or the strife.  God is the judge who must therefore, deliver you to the officer, Satan.  You are now in his hands and are separated from God, thrown into prison (unhappy).  You remain there until you pay (fix it).  I don't think it is worth it.  Do you?   Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! 

So what does it take?  First, let go of your pride (God hates pride anyway ).  Then go to the person and work it out.  Compromise or apologize if you have to.  Even if you aren't at fault.  You lose nothing except the pride, which isn't worth a hill of beans anyway.  Then ask God for forgiveness and be on your merry way. 

You will feel much better and be reconciled to God.  And guess what?  Now your prayers aren't hindered.  You can't afford that.  I and others depend on your prayers.

Now really Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

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Emulations

Funk and Wagnalls:
1. To rival or vie with successfully.
Bible: Greek definition:
zh=lov - pronounced dzay'-los
an envious and contentious rivalry, jealousy
The bible is full of envy and jealousy.  The specific type here I found only in reference to the new testament. In Acts 5:15-19 Peter did great healing miracles (through Christ) and the high priests were jealous and put him and the apostles in prison.  In Acts 13:42-50, the Jews and other religious people and spake against Paul's teachings, contradicting and blaspheming him.  They finally drove Paul and Barnabus out of the region.  They at first followed the two men until they saw the multitude who had also came to hear them.

Romans 13:11-14 Tells us that envy is a work of darkness.  It is a lust that people make provision for.  Lust is pleasure or an overwhelming desire or craving.  That is why people sometimes give in to their lust. It feels good.  The lack of something another person has makes one feel bad. Therefore, a justification is created to make them feel good.  It makes them feel good to feel bad about someone else's success.  Success doesn't necessarly mean financially. It could be a simple as another person's clear skin, energy or their capability to make friends easily.  Anything.

We are to live in light by following the things of Christ.  Christ had many opportunity to be envious or jealous. He could have asked God why He thought so much of us.  Why did He (Christ) have to sacrifice His life for us.  "Do you love them more than me?"  Well He didn't, so that gives us no right to be jealous of one another.  "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8.

1Corinthians 3:3 - "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"  

Paul says envy is carnal and that carnality is for babes. (1 Corinthians 3:1-4)  He told the Corinthians he must give them milk because they are not mature enough to receive meat. Milk refers to beginner teachings of God.  Sort of like wearing training pants.  Those who envy still need to learn how to buffet their flesh.  Meat is the fullness of God. The spiritual workings like healing and deliverance.  Those things cannot be taught until one is taught to stand on their own.  Able to go without training pants.  Ha!

I like what I read in James 3 from the New Living Translation.  He says that jealousy is a selfish ambition and not of God. Rather it is unspiritual and demonic.  Where those things are you will find other evil disorders. Open up one door of evilness and others will creep in.

Let us work hard to keep our slate clean. Even during this writing I everytime I read about envying and stife I would see faces of other people. God taught me to look at my own faults.  Check myself and see where I am letting things slip.  I fell to my knees and asked His forgiveness.  I asked the Holy Spirit to bring me back to this time and place whenever I slip in this area.

I want to be reminded when I am walking in envy, jealousy or strife. These things can hinder my relationship with God.  My prayer is that I walk upright before Him and have a pure heart and a mind of Christ.  

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Wrath

Funk and Wagnalls:
1. extreme or violent rage or fury; vehement indignation.

Bible: Greek definition:
thumos {pron. thoo-mos'}
1) passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again

2) glow, ardour, the wine of passion, inflaming wine (which either drives the drinker mad or kills him with its strength)

Okay, get out your bible and let's walk, walk, walk.

Wrath has many faces as show in the definitions above.

F&W's definition of wrath settles in on the harsh sense of the word.  It leaves out plain ole anger.  We think of wrath as when we get so mad we just can't stand it. We could burst, as I've heard it said. That is the extreme.  Well, the bible even touches on the tone down acts of passion and anger.  Wow, how often do we find ourselves in that state?

I primarily found this use of wrath only in the New Testament. It is used here as a noun. Luke 4:28 brings to us the first instance of our topic. The people had so much wrath towards Jesus' that they commenced to throw Him off the hill. Jesus left them and went elsewhere with His teachings (blessings).

As you know the scriptures are filled with wisdom and knowledge besides what you see on the surface. I get from it, when we are acting in wrath; we cannot receive the Lord's blessings. He wants nothing further to do with us in that state. Interesting right? Let's go back a bit in that chapter of Luke.

Verse 14 shows that Jesus was in Galilee before going to Nazareth. The people there received Him with such glory and praise. In Nazareth, His hometown, His own people didn't accept him. Then He returned to a city of Galilee, Capernaum. It is interesting how He returned to those who were doing right to give them more blessings than when He was there before. If we aren't in the correct frame of mind to receive our blessings, they will be given to someone else. Okay, back to other instances of wrath.

In Acts 19:28, the people there went into wrath and began to start a riot because of one person. Demetrius feared loosing money because he built shrines (idols). He had the people get made at Paul's ministers because Paul speaks against idols. He said that Paul speaks against the goddess they worship. Not only that they worship, but also that the whole world worships. We know that isn't true. He lied to make the people even angrier. Thank God for someone with some sense to come to their rescue. The town clerk made the people realize the ministers said nothing against their false god. He also invited Demetrius to take legal action if he has issues with them. Of course he had none so they all left.

This is an example how things can be taken out of proportion. People get mad about something they know nothing about. They get made over hearsay; over what someone else said another person said or did. He says, she says. They often have no proof other than that person's account of it. Use wisdom before rushing to anger. Make sure you know for a fact. If there is no solid proof or witnesses, don't believe it. Deuteronomy says there should be two or three witnesses.  So, obviously even one witness is not enough.

Rather than entertain wrath we are to be forgiving and loving to each other (Ephesians 4:31-32) just as God forgave us for Christ's sake. Verse 22 in the same chapter speaks of putting away the old ways, which are deceitful lusts. Romans 2:8-9 says to continue in wrath only brings tribulation and anguish. That is so true, anger only makes more anger.

Wrath of others. Regardless of the King's wrath, Moses decided to return to his own roots. He didn't not want to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. Those people lived in sin and he wanted no part of it. Sin is only pleasant for a season. He looked further than the King to the blessing, which was to come. We all know how God used Moses. Read Hebrews 11:23-30. When you know you are doing right, don't fear the wrath of others. Don't let it cause you to do wrong or to jump on their bandwagon. We have a much better reward coming.

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