. My Pastor growing up would quote this verse nearly every Sunday. 2 Corinthians 13:5-"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? What invaluable wisdom from Apostle Paul. First off I would like to say in no way am I throwing stones. Peter said in Acts 4: 9 "If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;" They were examining Peter and John instead of looking to see whether they were in the faith or not. Have we missed the mark somewhere? The thought I have today is do we really know ourselves, who we really are and how does God see us?
We all have our own Spirit and that makes us individually unique. It is your personality, your demeanor. Look at 1 Corinthians 2:11 - For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Your spirit is where your knowledge is at and it is what makes you who you are. Is there ever a time that we need to work on our Spirits? How would we even go about such a feat? God uses something natural to show what kind of spirit someone has. Have you ever known anyone who you were afraid to be around because they say hurtful things about others or about you? God gives their pictures in Hebrews 6:8 - But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. Is that person you? Things said to hurt people God called them "Thorns and Briers" Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Where have the honest people gone that want to serve the Lord and help someone along the way make it to heaven? Are personal agendas the driving force behind our lives to the point we have lost touch with God? We have been warned of this day, that is was indeed coming.
2 Timothy 3
3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
We all have the same responsibility to do what we know is right! That is where God's judgement according to truth has been committed to us. "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free"
Lets look at a few examples of different kinds of spirits in people in the bible.
3 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
No woman, man or child would stand there and carry on a conversation with a snake with fangs and hissing violently at them. Yet some entertain serpents all the time. What did this serpent in the garden of Eden do? He LIED. He changed the word of God. God said he was "More subtil than any other beast of the field" He used his words to divide Adam and Eve from God. Lets look at some more examples of serpents in the bible.
Isaiah 59 3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
5 They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.
6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
A cockatrice is a snake and the eggs hatched were lies that these people had told. Consuming the lie of a spiritual serpent will always bring forth death. If we don't ever let the truth of God root out the lies being told from these types of serpents one day that egg will crush open in you and out will come the Viper spirit. That is the difference in what the truth will do and what a lie will do. Born not of the will of man but by the word of God. A lie is hatched and the egg crushed, but the word of God will make us born again.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
So here we see "Sheep" "Wolves" "Serpents" "Doves" all of which are human beings that God used something natural to show what spirit these people possessed.
Sheep is God's people and the Wolves God told us about here in
John 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
God called the Wolf spirit a Thief. They always are after the substance of this world what they can acquire and what they can devour. Look at Acts 20 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Who were these WOLVES? Men of your own selves Paul said. Here they are again in
Matthew 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
You have a spirit of your own and it does matter with God what kind of spirit you have. God told us to love not the world and that if we do, the love of the Father is not in us. If you receive the spirit of the world you will go the way their going and believe anything they say. We are to try the spirits to see whether they be of God or not. Not everyone that says Lord, Lord shall enter in. Their is some wolves and serpents to watch out for.
You don't have to be a false teacher to be a serpent did you know that? What did Cain do? The bible said in 1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
So we see here Cain was a spiritual child of the devil, the wicked one. He was a murderer which made him a serpent and a wolf. That sounds so devastating and I know it is but their is more evil in this world than someone who pulls the trigger. Too many folks walk around with MURDER in their hearts.
1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
In Gods eyes those people are still murderers even if they never pull the hammer on a natural weapon. Psalms 37:14"The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation." You can murder someones spirit, their witness and their character with the words we speak.
Thank God for the blood of Jesus through it there is hope for all of us to draw nigh to God. There is a remedy for a bad spirit whether it be a lying spirit, drunken spirit, hateful spirit, proud or disobedient spirit and God has an answer.
2 Corinthians 7 King James Version (KJV)
7 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.
3 I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.
We use the word of God through the preaching of the cross to cleanse our own spirits. God intends for our spirit to be just as clean as our hands are. In fact your heart is just as clean as your hands. If you have taken the thief out of your heart through the Gospel and God's operation then your hands wont pick up things that doesn't belong to you.
In closing today i'll ask the question. I wonder what God sees when he looks into our spirit? Is there a harmless dove and a sheep that is easily led by the shepherd or is their thorns, briers, ravening wolves, serpents, lions, dogs, scorpions all of which are hurtful things.
2 Peter 1:4-10 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
We see these promises again given to you and me to be a better person, better husband, wife, father and mother. Be a kinder brother and sister and neighbor to our friends and enemies. Take those promises and apply them and add to them, grow in the grace and knowledge of the Son of God.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
Ronnie Bumgarner 02/11/2020