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THE ART OF SELFISHNESS
Gen. 3:1-24 Results of Adam’s and Eve’s selfishness.
Ex. 20:1-17 Comprehensive list of Biblical principals.
II Sam. 6:14-23 David looses all sense of self in worship to God.
Isa. 11:2 Sevenfold Spirit of God.
Matt. 22:34-40 Two basic Biblical principals containing all of Ex. 20:1-17.
Mark 12:29-31 The Great Commandments.
James 3:14-18 Fruit of selfishness.
Gal. 5:16-26 Contrasting fruit of godly and ungodly spirits.
Heb. 5:5 Jesus did not exalt Himself; was exalted by God.
James 4:2-4 Seeking blessings is selfishness.
Jude Concerning selfish leaders and Christians.
II Cor. 10:12 Comparing yourself to others.
Rev. 2 and 3 Could it be that self gratification is the underlying problem in these two chapters?
I guess this topic could be entitled “How To Teach The Art of Selfishness To Your Children” or “How You Learned To Be Selfish”, but I think there is no need to dress it up. Let’s just call it selfishness. I was reading II Tim. 3:1-7 one day and began to understand some errors of my manner of thinking and teaching my children. This chapter seems to contain the results of not heeding the instruction in Ex. 20.
Also, most of us have attended public school where we were subtly taught humanism. If you are over fifty years of age, the humanistic hold on your mind will not be as strong as with those who are younger. The teaching of humanism in America’s public schools is a perfect study of Satan’s use of gradualism. As the years have gone by, it has increased in intensity until people are becoming utterly self-centered, lazy, looking for something to help them escape reality, someone to blame for their failures and dependent on government for those things we should be doing for themselves. Reading and heeding the teaching of the Bible seems like a fantasy to us. Therefore, we Christians find ourselves seeking a God who will take care of all our problems for us. We cannot understand that God has cut covenant with us and never cuts out on us. We are the ones who ask God to do both His part and ours. The Christian life requires a Christian to become deeply involved in correcting the problems in his own life, thereby learning to know God and himself and becoming strong in faith as he sees his obedience to the scriptures bringing corrections in his body, soul and spirit. Then his life will be a strength and encouragement to all people both saved and lost.
Humanism, humanitarianism: 1. the beliefs or actions of humanitarians. 2. In ethics (a) the doctrine that man’s obligations are limited to the welfare of mankind (b) the doctrine that man may perfect his own nature without the aid of divine grace. 3. The doctrine that denies the divinity of Jesus Christ. As any person with any sense at all can see this assumption is a failure. Man nor mankind is not getting better, only worse. If you think mankind is getting better as a group or as individuals, take off your blinders and look clearly at us.
This religion started with the first family in Genesis. We see it in action when Cain comes before God with his rebellious offering instead of following the instructions of God concerning repentance and worship. He brings the works of his own hands demanding God accept them. When God rebukes and rejects him, he plots the death of his brother who has obeyed God and been accepted. We in the church are still doing this.
A man can never be so good that God will have to accept him for his goodness alone without that man accepting God’s way of salvation, repentance and worship. God is not obligated to receive our works in place of obedience to His Word. This is the basis of all false religions.
Selfishness in Worship – II Sam. 6:14-23 1. David danced with all his might before the Lord. 2. Israel was shouting and blowing the trumpets. 3. David was leaping and dancing before the Lord. 4. Michal despised David in her heart. 5. David said, “I will yet be more vile than this and I will be base in my own eyes.” 6. Michal was childless until her death. 7. There is a lesson here for us. Let’s dance, shout, blow the trumpet, leap and humble ourselves before God !
Because of self, we restrict our worship of the Lord. We must follow some preset way of behaving. Sometimes we despise those who really get into worship as David did. Look out, we may receives a sentence like Michal’s.
Because spirits of self are very sneaky and try to trick and confuse us, pray something like this before you begin this study. We often, in moments of mock piety, ask God to sit on the throne of our life but do not consider what it will mean. Once I was carried away with fantasy and asked God to sit on the throne of my life. His answer was “It’s a little crowded here; we cannot both sit here”. We need to consider what this kind of prayer means and not ask such a thing unless we mean to make the changes that will be required of us.
“Father, I come to you now in the name of Jesus asking you to send the Seven – Fold Spirit of God upon me (Isa. 11:2) to help me to understand the selfishness in my life. I bind all self spirits from interfering with my understanding of my motives and actions. Give me wisdom to attack my problems. Grant me the ability to see my motives and actions as you do. Father, please forgive, cleanse, and instruct me in your way. I repent of accepting humanism as a religion to live by. Father, help me to comprehend the many subtle ways it has controlled my ideals and actions, clouded my view of you and of life, and kept me from understanding your Word. I now take authority (Luke 10:19) over all the power of the enemy, and I bind him and his demons from interfering now. I ask you Father to send warrior spirits and angels to assist me (Heb. 1:14). I ask this prayer in Jesus Name.”
We complain about the young being so selfish. Where do you think they were trained? Look in the mirror. Selfishness is a lack of control of self indulgence. One proof of the Holy Spirit’s work in us is self control (Gal. 5:5, 22-26). V.22 But the fruit of the Holy Spirit, (the work which His presence within accomplishes) – is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness: V.23 (meekness, humility) gentleness, self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such there is no law. V.24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus, the Messiah, have crucified the flesh – Godless human nature – with its passions and appetites and desires.
II Tim. 3:1-5 V1. When He said but understand this, I realized that whether I agreed with the statement or whether I liked it or not, this is the way it would surely be. That in the last days perilous time will set in. Any slow-minded person can tell that perilous times have indeed set in: hard to deal with and hard to bear. Does anyone in this room doubt that these times are hard to deal with and hard to bear?
V2. For people will be lovers of self and utterly self-centered. Here we see the demon behind many of the plagues in America today. Just consider the true motive behind: sex out of marriage; drunkenness, gluttony and drugs; robbery; murder; the most awful murder to the helpless – abortion; sexual, mental and physical abuse of children; homosexuality; betrayal of our nation and the list goes on. I believe you can judge the condition of a person or a nation by the way it treats its children.
Lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate greedy desire for wealth. The Bible tells us that God gives blessings to His beloved in his sleep (Ps. 127:2). Jos. 1:6-8 gives the real formula for good success. I have noticed that many people completely ware themselves out attempting to obtain money and things (the better things of life). They lose their children to drugs, people who prey on children, polluted and perverted sex, or suicide and do not awake from their slumber until the children have been destroyed. Our children follow our example.
Proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. Have you ever noticed who does the bragging and boasting? It is usually those who are attempting to cover their failures. Are they full of hot air? People who boast are really showing their rejection. Our children follow our example.
They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffers). These days it’s not uncommon to hear people scoffing at God, Satan and every thing that is honest, correct and true. In II Pet. 2:9-10 these people are filled with self-will, despise authority, walk after the flesh, and indulging in polluting passions and exaggerating emotions. They do not give proper respect to God, the Devil or the demons. The children are just following our example.
Disobedient to parents. When you consider the example set by and the life lived by most Christians, is it any wonder the children of Christians scoff at God, parents and the law? Most Christians don’t care very much about obeying God. They won’t spend enough time to read and learn how to obey Him. In all the deliverance’s we’ve been in where disobedience was a big problem in the children, we would always find the parents were self-centered, had not taken time to live a life of obedience before the children, nor taken the time to teach Biblical principles to them. Worse of all, the parents do not live by Biblical principals themselves. The children are just following our example.
Ungrateful. It is so seldom that you hear anyone say thanks to God, let alone to parents. Our children see us like we are, not like we pretend or say we are. If we don’t live grateful lives, the children will know and they will follow our example.
Unholy. From the time children can hold their heads up, they are exposed to all kinds of unholiness right in mom’s and dad’s house.
Profane. A lot of people who spank their children for cursing do it themselves. Have you ever said (most people especially Christians do), “Oh God or oh my God”. They will follow you.
V3. They will be without natural (human) affection (callous and inhuman) relentless-admitting of no truce or appeasement. There is so much child abuse today, but not all of it is beatings etc. Much of it is overindulgence, appeasement and submission of parents to children by begging them to obey. We don’t love our children enough to teach right living to them. Sinners often have higher morals than Christians. Natural human affection is simply love among family members. Natural human affection requires that there be no sex among family members. God looks at incest as requiring strong punishment. Where there is a lack of natural affection between family members, there is callousness. Young and old alike will slumber on in evil ways and refuse suggestions for change until some calamity happens, and even then make no changes.
They will be slanders – false accusers, trouble makers; intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. These are the common emotions and actions in the world today, and to our shame even in the Christian world. We say we have power over all the power of the enemy; why do we no stop all of these?
Verses 4 and 5 tell you all the consequences of the way we have raised our children. It is not just us but the way we were raised. If there is to be any change for the better, dads and moms will again have to learn and obey their Heavenly Father, read the manual (Bible), and put it into action.
These two verses are self explanatory. V4. They will be treacherous (betrayers) rash and inflated with self-conceit. They will be lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. What has all the name it – claim it – faith it and God wants you rich led to? We boast of the size of our church when many times we have led the people to crave what they before only mildly wanted. Now they feel that their greed is holy.
V5. For although they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it – their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession. (When we deny our sins in this area and reject change and deliverance, we show we have no power). From such people turn away. Such people fill the church houses today. They show by their attitude that they would rather be some place else: sleeping through the dead service given by the defeated pastor. If anyone does get in touch with God and start cleaning himself up, most of the church will hate him. True seekers of God welcome His action in their lives and the lives of others. They welcome His supernatural power in the church and in their own life. If you are one of those people who does not like for God to move in the church as He will, you may be one of the followers of Cain (Gen. 3:1-24). His religious system says God should accept us when we do things we have decided are good.
Women’s Lib was born in Gen. 3:1-6. We aren’t told why Eve listened to the serpent. If she acted as all people do today, I would say she felt rejected and inferior. The Bible does not tell us why she did what she did. But I believe the serpents comments give us some clues. First, he questions God’s instructions and requirements (doubting God really meant what He said). Then he points to her desires: to be wise, to know the difference between good and evil, blessing and calamity. I believe these desires are the basic drive of all Jezebels. Adam became Ahab. He loved Eve and chose to submit to Eve in his actions as well as to consequences. Nothing happened until Adam ate, then their eyes were opened. Each of their actions were motivated by selfishness. By letting selfishness rule them, they gave way for other demon activity in their lives.
Ahab and Jezebel traits have followed us today and are still causing grave troubles. Watch the pattern of Ahab and Jezebel develop. First they agree to rebel, next hide from God, try to cover the sins, blame someone else, and can no longer approach God with purity. God passed judgement on their sins. The tendency to sin in the same manner passed on to all their descendents.
1. Ahab and Jezebel characteristics. 2. Disobedience and rebellion. 3. Rejection. 4. Desiring to be equal to God. 5. Lying. 6. Making excuses. 7. Blaming others for our mistakes and sin. 8. Jezebel challenging man and the position of man. 9. Fear of facing God, attempting to hide from God. 10. Realization of evil. 11. Loss of position and possession. 12. Sadness. 13. Shame. 14. Cursed to back-breaking work. 15. Grief. 16. Death. 17. Cursed ground. 18. Grief and suffering in pregnancy, and pain in childbirth. 19. Hate, jealousy and murder. 20. Beginning of the false religious system. 21. Man and wife separated (no longer one). Eve said I, not we, have gotten a son. 22. Evil first baby. 23. Woman’s desire and craving to be to husband, and he will rule over her. 24. Like Cain, we try to get God to accept us without our obeying Him.
We are still living in the above sentence. After we repented and accepted Jesus, the results of Adam’s and Eve’s actions did not melt away like magic. We now have the right to face up and over come them all. Instead of conquering them, we pass them on to our children.
Let’s just take a look at how we parents really flub up. Let’s use the coming Christmas Season as a case in point. We loose demons of self-centeredness on our children plus those of idolatry. We say to them every so well meaning, “What would you like for Christmas?” He probably hasn’t thought to much about it unless we’ve allowed him to get brain washed by TV. So we start him on the self trail.
As a teacher I can tell you that it takes a month or more for your child to get this self-centeredness under control if at all. My assistant and I would have to bind up idolatry and self-centeredness, and loose Godly spirits on the children for weeks after they came back to school. We would use scriptures about self-control, good work habits and generosity to help them get back into school work.
As we continually probe for their desires, we are really sicking demons on the child. As parents, we should have the good sense to know what toys our child should have and when. We should have enough spiritual strength to teach the children why they can and cannot have certain things. When they say everyone else has it or does it, a parent gets a great teaching opportunity. If you do not have sound convictions, you will not be prepared to calmly and powerfully teach with enough conviction to convince them of your confidence in your knowledge.
We don’t just wait for holidays, we are constantly asking the children what do you want for supper. If there are three children, there will be no agreement.
Why not take on your responsibility and make a wholesome meal; those who don’t like it may wait until the next meal – no snacks. When they get hungry, they will eat.
What about clothes? Parents are paying; they should say what you wear. If you are on your own and paying you own bills, you may chose.
Lately, I hear and see moms and dads begging children to obey. In our day we didn’t beg, we told them what they could or could not do. Those children seemed to be better adjusted and happier than now. It is really more disgusting to see an Ahab daddy beg a child to be good than to see a mom giving in.
You will need to study your own motives to see why you do the things you do. They may point to your own need to face up to the need for deliverance from rejection, bitterness and rebellion, etc. Refusing to shape up, once saved, is serious rebellion and stupidity.
Do you have enough strength to read, study your Bible and obey it? Will you take the time to teach your children Biblical principles? Will you be strong enough to stand up to their objections as the family begins to come into order? The children really respond well to their father’s teaching them. Our children would really be kicking up a fuss. After Gene talked to them, they would correct quickly.
The Biblical principals we are to live by are contained in Matt. 22:34-40 and Mark 12:29-30. We tend to forget that if we love Jesus we will work at keeping all His Commandments (John 14:15). II Timothy 3:1-7 is the results of breaking the Ten Commandants (Ex. 20:1-17).
Ex. 20:1-17. We shall have no God but God. Self cannot be our god. V4. We shall not bow to another God. Self cannot be bowed to. V5. This is the result of not loving God with all our mind, heart and whole being. If we worship or hold self in higher esteem than God, we have made ourselves an idol. We will curse ourselves, our children, our grand children and our great grandchildren. Is serving the God of self, worth our children for generations? V6. God’s mercy is shown to a thousand generations of them that love Him and keep His Commandants. V7. Taking God’s name in vain as saying, “Oh my God or oh God”, is profanity. Do not use either the name of Jesus Christ or God as a curse word. We will not be held blameless. V8-11. Trying to get ahead by working on the Sabbath will backfire. By not taking the time to study and think on God, and to rest your body, you will find you are slipping backwards rather then getting ahead. V12. We shorten our life when we do not treat our parents with honor, due obedience and courtesy. V13. Do no murder. To murder is selfish. V14. Committing adultery is a totally selfish act taking no care for duty, self or loved ones. V15. Stealing is for gain without having earned the privilege of ownership. V16. Lying about someone is a serious breach of Christian ethics. V17. To covet is to desire something you have no right to have or have not earned the right to obtain.
It is easy to see selfishness is the force breaking every commandment.
You cannot maintain your deliverance from demon bondage unless you determine to obey God’s commandments. God’s principals must become our principals. A Christian without God’s principals is not worthy of trust. In the Old Testament, God is telling us what actions to have and not have. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is looking behind our actions to our motives or the roots of our actions. God says not to commit adultery; Jesus says to look with lust is adultery.
When we break any commandment, curses are loosed on our children. This means that demons have a right to work on our children to get them to sin and allow in more demons.
Take adultery for instance; demons will follow our children and put pressure on them to enter into sex sin. The age at which children get into sex sin is younger and younger, and the sin more and more gross and unclean.
Begin by recognizing and truly repenting of sin in breaking God’s commandments. Then repent with sincere repentance for each commandment you have broken.
Now you are ready to break curses of idol worship and self worship, and of bowing down to idols (don’t forget the idol of self). Break curses of witchcraft and satanism, using God’s name in vain or in profanity, not honoring the Sabbath, not honoring parents (the curse for not honoring parents is short life), hate, murder, adultery, stealing, lying, covetousness and for rebellion.
“Dear Father, forgive me for setting up gods to worship, especially the god of self. For placing self on the throne of my life and for serving my wants. I ask you to give me understanding of myself and the motives for my actions. Help me to understand how I became my own god. I do repent for being selfish, of always looking out for myself, of always wanting the best for myself and my family. I am also ashamed to see how I have taught my children to be selfish. Please forgive me for my selfish motives and acts, the way I have tried to and have manipulated others to get my desires. Forgive me for serving you to bring honor to myself. Oh Lord, please cleanse me and instruct me in your way. I will apply myself diligently to learn your way and do it.”
It is a serious thing to make a vow to God and not pay it. If you plan to keep this vow, you may pray a prayer something like this:
For the men: “Dear Father, I will apply myself to study Biblical principals. I will live them and teach them to my children. I will not berate nor harass my wife and children as they learn.”
For the women: “Dear Father, I will apply myself to study Biblical principals. I will incorporate them into my life. I will live them and teach them to our children. I will not belittle or disrespect my husband as he leads us.”
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