Spirit, Jealousy and Crying


Copied from the sermon notes of Alan Breitenstein

December 23, 2018

The reading for today comes from: Numbers 11:16-18:

16) “The LORD therefore said to Moses, Gather for Me seventy men from the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and their officers and bring them to the tent of the meeting, and let them take their stand there with you.

17) Then I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone.

18) Say to the people, Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the LORD saying, Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well-off in Egypt, therefore the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat.”

This message comes from thoughts, and what I have heard from past messages and other sources for the past 6 weeks.

I want to take notice of God taking some of the Spirit away from Moses and giving it to the elders. I used to think that God could put His Spirit on all His people, but it is obvious that there is only so much Spirit available, and it is given to the remnant. The prophets had the Spirit. Jesus had the whole Spirit, and on Pentecost He dispensed it amongst the apostles and disciples of His choosing. Those who have that Spirit, what are they to do with it?

Certainly, they do not sit on it, for the Spirit convicts them or attacks their conscience for trying to do so. Those who have the Spirit cannot convert others, for God chooses who is converted. So, what to do with the Spirit?

I will get back to this later but first I want to point out some instances about the delusion of our people. God has put a deluding influence upon His people as punishment for not following His laws. God has allowed His people’s nations to be flooded with other cultures, and it is due in part for the attack of these cultures. Don's message of the Bush’s and their war against Kuwait and Iraq.

Habakkuk 2:8:  “Because you have looted many nations, all the remainder of the peoples will loot you-----Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land to the town and all its inhabitants.” 

In the Word of God, God gave our ancestors, during the time of their Exodus from Egypt, Feast Days. Those were:

  • Passover,

  • Unleavened Bread,

  • Pentecost,

  • Feast of Weeks,

  • First Fruits,

  • Trumpets, and

  • Tabernacles.

The modern-day church has tried to celebrate the feasts of Passover and Pentecost. They have done it half-heartedly. But they have gone full bore in celebrating Christmas and Easter.

The Roman Catholics celebrate Christmas, or the Mass of Christ, by celebrating the death of Christ and offering up His body and blood to their congregation. I am going to show you the arguments of the Catholic beliefs, which attempt to justify their position. I got this from my brother who criticizes me for not following the ways that I was brought up under.

Before I do, I want to mention that on this radio station I listen to at times when I am in the car, they have presented commentaries on the origin of Christmas. One was that in the year 354 AD the nativity of Christ was celebrated at different times between January and March, and to stop the arguing on who was right, the Pope made a decree that Christ’s birth was to be celebrated on the 25th of December, the very day that Mithras was born.  Mithras was the god of unconquerable sun. Now why do you suppose that this day was picked?

Imagine that to the Romans, Mithras’ birthday was a very sacred day. What if the Pope witnessed how greatly the pagans were enjoying this feast day, and he surmised that if his followers also greatly loved all the rituals of this particular day, he would lose many of his followers, since many of them would still worship the false god Mithras and his birthday. So, what did the Pope do? He just substituted Jesus for Mithras. So, he declared that Jesus was born on December 25th, so as not to lose many of his followers.

Let us look at what Jeroboam did when he was King of Israel:

1Kings 12:27“If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam, king of Judah.”

Another commentary talked about how all the different traditions of Christmas, such as mistletoe and candy canes and Santa Claus, came from different nations making it a multicultural holiday. It hasn’t seemed too long ago that others started new feasts also such as Kwanza (whatever that is) and the celebrating of the Menorah.

Now, at this time, you can understand the part of the title of this message as being called Jealousy. When seeing this word “jealousy” what thoughts come into your head? Good thoughts or bad thoughts? 

Let’s examine this word or form of this word in Scripture. Now I am using the New American Standard Bible.

1 Corinthians 13:4, 5:

4) “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

5) Does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered.”

Exodus 20:5:

5) “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children of the third and four generations of those who hate Me.”

Exodus 34:14:

14) “For you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

1 Corinthians 10:21, 22:

21) “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

22) Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?”

The jealousy we find in 1 Corinthians 13:4 is the jealousy of God giving to one member of the family knowledge of some matter and not to other members. In other words, be happy with what God gives us.


John 6:60, 61, 66-68:

60) “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it? 

61) When Jesus knew in himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Doth this offend you?

66) From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

67) Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

68) Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”

The Roman Catholics reason that if Jesus did not really mean that people would not eat His flesh and drink His blood, then He would have clarified His meaning and stopped these disciples from leaving Him over a misunderstanding. He would have said something like this: “Wait, you misunderstood me. I was only speaking symbolically. I didn’t really mean that people would eat my flesh and drink my blood.” But He doesn’t do anything of the sort. He lets everyone who cannot accept His message walk away. This is an overwhelming contextual indication that everyone understood that Jesus was speaking literally of the necessity to eat His flesh and drink His blood. They simply couldn’t accept it, and Jesus wasn’t going to deny the truth or modify what He had told them.

The fact that many of Jesus’ followers left Him over the necessity to eat His flesh and drink His blood is sadly illustrative of how this issue would, at different times in Catholic Church history, be a prime cause of people leaving the traditions of the Church. It happened again in the 16th century, when many left the Catholic Church because they refused to believe that the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ.

[I might point out that the Catholic Church is not the Savior, even though they want to be. The Catholic Church says that one must take the Eucharist to have eternal life, but what if the Church doesn’t perform any more Masses? What if for some reason they are not able to provide enough wine or wafers for the Eucharist. What happens then? Salvation was not provided for all peoples. Jesus the Christ died for His people only.

Eating the flesh of another being is cannibalism, and drinking the blood is forbidden. Protestants would say, if you compare verses 47-48 with verses 53-54 in John 6, we see that believing on Christ is the same as eating and drinking Him. Nevertheless, the mass is an abomination to Almighty God. It is blasphemous to say that Jesus has to be sacrificed every day. He only had to be sacrificed once:

Hebrews 10:12:

12) “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;”

This is the point I would ask any Roman Catholic—why is the mass necessary? It is over kill and it is unscriptural. It is not needed and an insult to the sacrifice of Jesus the Christ. One sacrifice is all He had to do; not an unending number of sacrifices, day after day.]

Catholic Mass

The Roman Catholic Church has four Masses for Christmas – the vigil, Mass at midnight, Mass at dawn and Mass during the day. The readings begin with the human origins of Jesus in Matthew’s genealogy (vigil), the account of the birth and the angels (midnight), the visit of the shepherds (dawn) and finally the divine origins of the newborn baby, taken from the magnificent prologue of John's Gospel (day). (Source Catholic Education Resource Center).

This is the end of Advent and the waiting is over. The following is the meaning of mass from that website I gave you www.catholics-saints.net.

The Mass is the complex of prayers and ceremonies that make up the service of the Eucharist in the Latin rites. Other common names for Mass are “Eucharist”, the “Lord's Supper”, the “Breaking of Bread”, the “memorial of the Lord’s Passion and Resurrection”, the “Holy Sacrifice”, the “Holy and Divine Liturgy” and “Holy Communion”.

The central religious service of the Roman Catholic Church, the Mass is the celebration of the sacrament of the Eucharist, the rite instituted by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. Some Lutherans and Anglicans also refer to the Eucharist as Mass. Based on the medieval Latin liturgy of Rome, the Mass takes its name from the Latin missa (dismissed), referring to the practice of dismissing the catechumens before the offertory mass: “Ite, missa est” (“Go; it is the dismissal” or “Go, the Eucharist has been sent forth”), referring to the ancient custom of sending consecrated bread from the bishop’s Mass to other churches in Rome to symbolize that church’s unity with the bishop in the celebration of the Mass.The Mass contains two parts: the liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The Liturgy of the Word is a copy of the Jewish synagogue service of the first century: readings from Scripture followed by responses from the congregation often from the Book of Psalms. The Liturgy of the Eucharist is a reenactment of the Last Supper. A celebrant does what Christ did: take bread and wine and say the same words Christ said and then share the now consecrated bread and wine with the congregation.

Roman Catholics believe that the bread and wine become the real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and remain such until the elements are entirely consumed. The Body and Blood not consumed at one Eucharist are reserved for the next celebration of the Eucharist and venerated as the Body and Blood of Jesus. [Of course, they say nothing of this bread and wine being defecated and urinated out.]

I sent this to him with a little help from Sacred Truth Ministries, so once again where does it say at the Last Supper that Jesus cut His flesh and spilled blood for the apostles to eat and drink?

Come on really, what He meant was for them to take up His cross. Being willing to suffer as He suffered. These sick sadistic cannibals you get your information from are nothing more than Jewish Talmudic puke students. Another example is when Jesus was talking to the rich man and Jesus told him that if he wanted to follow Him he would have to sell all he had and give it to the poor. The rich man walked away, and Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to pass through an eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into the Kingdom. Does this mean that all rich men cannot enter into the Kingdom? No, it means that there are people who have more faith in their riches than they do God.

Jesus said He was the living water and anyone who drank from the water would never thirst again. Do you ever get thirsty or take a drink?

Jesus said he was the bread of life. Do you ever eat food?

Scripture says that Christ is our Rest. Do you ever get tired, take a nap, or sleep at night?

Imagine a nation following the laws and statutes and ordinances of God and you will find a nation drinking the living water, eating the bread of life, and having rest or peace.

Having a conversation with him and others keeps making me realize that I am attacking their god and they do not like it, and I don't blame them, for I do not like it when they attack my God. This is just an example of delusion.

The whole problem is this. No matter what Feast Days or Sabbaths or laws of God we have, as long as an Israel nation keeps allowing other cultures in their nation they will all be polluted. Our kindred people are committing adultery and they see it not. 

Habakkuk 1:1-13:

1) “The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw.

2) How long, O LORD, will I call for help, And you will not hear? I cry out to You, Violence! Yet You do not save.

3) Why do You make me see iniquity, And cause me to look on wickedness? Strife exists and contention arises.

4) Therefore the law is ignored, And justice is ever upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore justice come out perverted.

5) Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days—You would not believe if you were told.

6) For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, That fierce and impetuous people Who marcheth throughout the earth To seize dwelling places which are not theirs.

7) They are dreaded and feared; Their justice and authority originate with themselves.

8) Their horses are swifter than leopards and keener than wolves in the evening. Their horsemen come galloping, their horsemen come from afar; They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour.

9) All of them come for violence. Their horde of faces moves forward. They collect captives like sand.

10) They mock at kings, and rulers are a laughing matter to them. They laugh at every fortress and heap up rubble to capture it.

11) Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on. But they will be held guilty, They whose strength is their god.

12) Are You not from everlasting, O LORD, my God, my Holy One? We will not die. You, O LORD, have appointed them to judge; And You, O Rock, have established them to correct.

13) Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You can not look on wickedness with favor. Why do You look with favor on those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they?

The question is, What should we do? Should we blame those who are influential in our demise? Have you ever noticed that when something goes wrong our nature is to blame someone else? My wife would agree, for if something goes wrong I always blame her. Could it be that we are putting too much of our energy into blaming others and not into what can really mend the problem? 

Don’t get me wrong. It is necessary to see what the enemy is doing, but let’s face it, the Jews, Blacks, Browns, LGBTQ, SPLC, etc.  are our punishment and the only way to get rid of our punishment is to repent and cry out to Yahweh.  The Judeo-Christians are taking the punishment thinking it as a blessing, for they cannot see the delusion God put on them. They believe that the life they are living now [being a slave to others] is normal.

Numbers 11:10-15:

10) “Now Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, each man at the doorway of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly, and Moses was displeased.

11) So Moses said to the LORD, Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me?

12) Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers.

13) Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, Give us meat that we may eat!

14) I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me.

15) So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.”

Now what moved Moses? The same thing that moves all of us when we hear or see children crying. 

Luke 18:7:

7) “Now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night , and will He delay long over them?” 

Now back to the Spirit. What if God holds those He gave His Spirit to, to be responsible? Could the above passage be an ingredient necessary to bring justice? 

If we had a favorite recipe for cookies or pie or main dish and we did not have all the ingredients to that recipe and decided to leave out what we were missing, would that dish be as good as we know it to be?

It is said that the elements to the Kingdom of Heaven are Peace, Health, Joy or Happiness, Abundance, and Harmony. Now take away just one of them and eventually they all will fall.

What is meant by crying? Tears flowing from our eyes? Our heart feeling as though it is breaking? Yelling out loud? Or could it mean praying earnestly? Or all of the above and not necessarily at the same time?

Matthew 26:39

39 “And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will. 

40) And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?

41) Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

What can we do to overcome the weakness of the flesh?

Let’s look at the brain function. The brain is not capable of multi-tasking. We can talk and breathe, but when it comes to higher level tasks, we just can’t do it. Workplaces and schools actually encourage this type of multi-tasking. Walk into any office and you'll see people sending e-mail, answering their phones, Instant Messaging, and on My Space — all at the same time. Research shows your error rate goes up 50 percent and it takes you twice as long to do things. When you’re always online you’re always distracted. So, the online organization is the unproductive organization.

The reason I bring this up is because I am guilty of having thoughts that I do not want in my head come into my head while praying for those who are sick or in need. Now if anyone has a solution to stop unwanted thoughts from coming in, tell us at the end of this message. This little voice came into my head and asked, “What do you think Jesus was thinking as His flesh was being ripped off His back while being whipped; while He was struggling with carrying the cross, or while His hands and feet were being nailed to that cross.” Rest assured He wasn’t thinking of anything other than redeeming His people finishing the job His Father gave Him to do.

Not all of us have the Spirit of God. In Numbers 11, Moses had the capital letter Spirit which I speculate was The Holy Spirit. In this passage of Haggai, chapter 2, verse 14, notice the small spirit.

Haggai 2:14:

14) “So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God.”

This spirit is that which God gave us and energizes our body. And when God stirs it up He removes the deluding influence which blinds us. Don had brought up the enemies of the Israelites, such as the Philistines, and asked if they are in existence anymore. I found this several weeks ago. 

The Enemies of Israel

From the passage above, in all eight distinct people groups (all enemies of Israel) were left to dwell within the land. We read of the Philistines, Canaanites, Sidonians, Hivites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, and the Jebusites. Certainly, enough of a mouth full for one sentence! Now, and I’m sure I don’t need to repeat myself on this one, these nations were not meant to be there! God did not want them living on within the land, but due to Israel’s disobedience, He left them for two distinct reasons which are mentioned in the passage above: that is, for testing, and for teaching. But more on that later! Now these nations are quite symbolic of different fleshly, worldly and satanic principles that stand against us as the people of God today. Of the eight nations, the biggest enemies were the Philistines, the Canaanites, the Hittites and the Amorites so I will spend more time on these [1] although all nations will be mentioned.

What a Philistine!

The first group mentioned is the Philistines. They were an aggressive tribal group in the southwest of the Promised Land, and one whom Israel would battle for a long time. The name “Philistine” means “wallowing” or to “wallow self”. The dictionary says that wallowing means “roll about in or to give oneself over to, or revel in, a feeling, or way of life. Example: To wallow in self-pity, to wallow in riches.”

We read that there were five Lords over the Philistines and if you will allow me a little lee-way here I would like to suggest that these stand for five different aspects of our sinful nature in regards to wallowing. Namely:

  1. Self-pity,

  2. Self-depreciation,

  3. Self-importance,

  4. Self-indulgence, and

  5. Self-pleasure.

The Philistines speak of our great enemy “self” in all the delicious forms it comes in. Doesn’t matter whether you are wallowing in the depths of self-pity or are giving yourself over to worldly indulgence or self-importance, one thing is for sure – there are stinking Philistines in the land! And don’t forget this either – of all the enemies of Israel, the Philistines were the greatest and lasted the longest! This was not an easy battle then, and it isn’t an easy battle now! The Philistines remained and would later become Israel’s strongest and most bitter enemy during the reigns of King Saul and King David. So, don’t be surprised, even if you have been a Christian 20-30 years, at the depth of wallowing self will do if unchecked! [2]

The Canaanites – The Curse of Modern-day Western Christianity!

While the Philistines speak of the wallowing of self, the Canaanites speak of the influence of the world upon the Christian faith. The name Canaanite means “merchant, or trafficker” and this is exactly what they were. Harpers Bible Dictionary states that “the Canaanites enjoyed a reputation as traders.” They lived within the land and were happy to remain there just so long as the trading and profit were good! Do we not see this Canaanite principle all around us in western Christianity? The principle of looking “religious” or going to church, simply for what you can get out of it! This may be for monetary gain [3], or social gain… it is Canaanites within the land! How many “Christians”, while they would never say it, simply treat God like a Father Christmas to satisfy their every want? How can the “name it and claim it, blab it and grab it theology” take such a hold upon so many believers? Or how could the self-centered “Prayer of Jabez” [4] pass itself off as biblical Christianity and draw in “millions of followers”, if you believe the hype, unless the Canaanites are still very much a strong enemy within the hearts of believers? [The list of million-dollar preachers was recently seen.]

Hittites, Hittites Everywhere!

Now this one gets me. The third major people group that lived on within the land were the Hittites. The Hittite empire was one of the largest in ancient times and its people were very strong, spreading out over an immense area. The name Hittite is derived from the name “Heth” and means “sons of terror”. It is the principle, or spirit, of fear that seeks to dominate our Christian lives. Now the Hittite empire may have come and gone, but its principle of fear certainly hasn’t. How many Christian lives are still held captive, and controlled by the Hittite enemy? I could go on but none of it would be half as good as the following footnote from Samuel Ridout, [5] so I’ll stop!

The Good-Looking Amorites (from a distance!)

The next major people group we find in the land were the Amorites. The word Amorite means “a talker, to say, speak”. It is also interesting to see that it is derived from a word that can be used in the sense of self-boasting or commanding. So the Amorites speak of words without action [6]. It is the very principle that Jesus warned His disciples against when He spoke of the Pharisees saying, “Obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” (Matt 23:3).

James spoke about these dangers as well saying “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) Paul reminds us that the goal of all instruction is love, from which some have wandered away, turning aside to meaningless talk (1 Tim 1:5-6).

Is not this something we can all be guilty of? When you read the Bible or listen to a sermon, are you merely after head knowledge or are you looking to how the word can be applied in your life? True understanding is important but it should always have a practical outworking [7] (Psalm 119:34). All knowledge and speech are but a clanging bell if you do not have love. Beware of allowing the Amorites to settle and live in your life!

The False Humility of the Hivites and Perizzites.

The names Hivites and Perizzites have the same meaning. Hivites means “a villager”, and Perizzites means “rustic or belonging to a village”. In the Amorites you had a talker, someone who liked to command and thought very highly of himself. The Hivites and Perizzites represent the other side of the coin – the villager or commoner mentality. Someone who constantly downplays him or herself to the point where they do not think God can use them. Now, some boast of self, some downplay self, but sure enough, self is still the focus! Into this category of the villager mentality we could put two great “stars” of the Old Testament – namely Moses [8] and Gideon [9]. But both overcame this attitude and were greatly used of the Lord.

Finally, we have the Sidonians and the Jebusites. Sidonian means “hunting” and reminds us of the battle that we are in where “our adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8). The last enemy mentioned is the Jebusites. Jebusite means “to trample, tread down” and speaks of the desired end result of our combined enemies. The Jebusites dwelt around and in Jerusalem and there is evidence that Jebus was the pre-Davidic name for Jerusalem [10]. So from this we see that just as the Jebusites desired to rule in the center of Israel, where God’s rule should be established, so our enemies desire to rule from the very center and heart of our lives. Think about your life for a second. Have you been giving the enemy a place that should be reserved for God?

The Purpose of the Enemy

Ok, so that took a while! Let’s get back to the original text – Can you remember what God said He would use the enemy for? Here is a clue in the footnote [11]. Ok, here is the scripture again.

Judges 3:1: 

1) “These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan ( he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience).”

Two things to remember: God said that He would use those nations to test Israel and to teach warfare to Israel. So firstly, there is a test… What exactly was the test?

Well, we read at the end of Chapter Two that the nations remained “in order to test Israel by them, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk in it as their fathers did, or not.” (Judges 2:22). In other words, the nations remained in the land and God used them to see whether Israel truly had a heart for Him, or whether they would give in to the temptations of the other nations and follow their gods. So, let me ask you… what enemies remain in your life? Are you given to Hittite fear, Philistine self-wallowing, Canaanite worldliness or Amorite hypocrisy? We are all different, and as such, we all have different areas of weakness. But like Israel of old, the Lord will test us to see if our hearts are truly for Him [12].

Moses cared for 600,000, Jesus died for all His people past present and future, we have to pray for all our kindred people. So, if anyone has a wandering mind while in prayer, put on the full armor of God and pray with your whole heart and soul as though it is breaking no matter whether we know the one we are praying for or not. If they are kindred brothers and sisters, they need true unadulterated heartfelt prayer in order for God to heal them both physically and mentally. Who knows? God may be willing to stir up the spirit of those we pray for and will direct them to open that door and come in on Sunday as He did me.


[1] And, thankfully enough, the meaning of these nation’s names gives me plenty to go on! Whew!!!

[2] Major Ian Thomas writes ‘The flesh will threaten, shout, strut, domineer, sulk, plot, creep, beg, plead or sob – whatever the situation may demand in the interests of its own survival... The flesh hates to be exposed for what it is and will fight desperately to avoid that awful moment of truth – that moment when the Holy Spirit rips the mask from its sickly face!’ – So true. A lot of people will just say ‘well, that’s just me, that’s who I am!’ But if you are a born again Christian then you are also a new creation and that is not who the ‘real you’ is anymore. But you do have to know and recognize your enemy! And that may sometimes be the old you! The first step to victory comes from self-judgement. Instead of wallowing in some form of self-pity (which, if we are honest, we all strangely enjoy!) we recognize the influence of the enemy and ask the Holy Spirit to produce in us that which we are not.

On a different topic, repeat after me ‘I must go and buy Major Ian Thomas’ books.’ Repeat 10 times in drone like fashion. Not sure if hypnotism works through a study, or that it will ever be overly popular within Christian circles) but you would do well to follow the advice for they are really good!!!

[3] Have a look at 2 Cor 2:17, 1 Tim 6:5Jude 11.

[4] Went into a Christian bookshop the other day and found a new book on the life of Jabez. Someone had written a 200-300-page novel on the life of this man who is only mentioned in three verses in the Bible. Wow! What insight that author must have had! Or maybe, just maybe, it was a desperate attempt to make money out of the latest ‘Christian’ cash cow! I smell Canaanites!!! Or for that matter, while I’m having a rant, when will the ‘Left Behind’ series ever come to an end? I’m not against the content of these books but is it just me or does each new book seem to occupy a smaller time frame of the tribulation? You don’t think they could possibly be squeezing it for all that its worth do you?

[5] Samuel Ridout in his excellent book ‘Lectures on the book of Judges’ makes the following convicting, challenging comment – The Hittites dwell everywhere, and if you allow them, they will settle down in your midst. They will close your mouths, so you will be afraid to speak. Why is there so much silence amongst God’s beloved people? Why is there so little testimony in the gospel, so little ministry amongst the saints, so few voices heard in prayer and praise in the assemblies? Is it not because the Hittites are allowed to dwell right in our very midst? You are afraid to speak a word for the Lord Jesus, afraid to lift up your voice in thanksgiving – to lead the prayers and praises to Christ Jesus. You are afraid to take your stand for Christ and confess Him fully – afraid to do that which your conscience and the word of God declares should be done. Oh, the Hittite empire is indeed a wide one – it reaches everywhere and their dwelling amongst us is a witness how we have failed to cast them out. Yet thank God, their very presence amongst us is a call from Him to rise now and put them from us; to be done with fear, to be done with all this terror, this holding back, and to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might!

[6] This cracks me up. You may remember that Christian and Faithful (Pilgrims Progress) met Talkative on their journey to the Celestial City. John Bunyan writes of Talkative saying ‘He was a tall man and somewhat better looking at a distance than close up.’ You probably all know someone like that! Someone who has all the right words, and when you meet them you think ‘wow, that person is spiritual!’ But a close-up inspection of their life shows it to largely be a facade. They can talk the walk but are somewhat lacking walking the talk! Lord save us all from that hypocrisy!

[7] Good old Faithful (in Pilgrims Progress) makes another interesting comment about understanding and words without action (the Amorites)… ‘Faithful then said, “This reminds me of the words of Moses when he described the animal that is ceremonially clean. It is the animal that has a split hoof and chews its cud, not the one that has a split hoof only, or the one that only chews its cud. The rabbit chews its cud but it’s still unclean, because it doesn’t have a split hoof. This resembles talkative. He chews the cud – that is, he seeks knowledge and chews on the word – but he doesn’t have a separated hoof; he doesn’t separate himself from the way of sinners. Like the rabbit, he retains the foot of a dog or bear, and so he’s unclean.”

[8] You probably know the story but please read Exodus 3:10-12 and right through chapter 4 if you are really keen. Here is a loose, and I mean loose, paraphrase… In verses 10-12 God tells Moses that He will send him to deliver Israel. Moses responds with ‘oh, but who am I? I am nothing, a nobody, how can I go?’ With Moses’ eyes firmly upon himself, God simply says ‘I will go with you! Isn’t that enough? Do you really need to know anymore?’ Moses carries on in 4:10 saying ‘Please Lord, I have never been this, and never been that… I don’t have what it takes! Send someone else.’ At this point the Lord’s anger burns against Moses because his lowly opinion of himself was becoming his reason for disobedience to God! Moses is known for his humility, this is not humility! It is the flip side of pride and shows that at this stage Moses still very much had his eyes on himself.

[9] The same attitude is found initially in Gideon in Judges 6:11-16 although he did overcome it and was, after great assurances by the Lord, obedient to God.

[10] See (Josh. 15:8; 18:28 ; Judges 19:10 , 2 Sam. 5:6-924:18-25)

[11] _e_t_n_ and t__c_i_g. (Fill in the gaps. Lame form of hangman.)

[12] The Lord will never tempt us to do wrong (James 1:13 ), but like Israel He will use the imperfect situations we get ourselves into to test us. Testing by the Lord is certainly not a new thing. He tested Israel repeatedly in the wilderness (Ex 16:4Deut 8:2). You can imagine Job’s anguish in saying, “What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, that you examine him every morning and test him every moment? (Job 7:18). The Lord even uses false prophets to test whether we will follow the truth. (Deut 13:3) David also knew (through his experience) of how the Lord tests the heart for integrity (1 Ch 29:17) and spoke frequently of it in the Psalms (17:3, 26:2, 139:23) Testing is always for our own good (James 1:3).