I was recently watching TV and heard a preacher sharing some testimonies of things happening in his ministry in Africa.  I was amazed as I heard the following.  There was a woman that came to him for prayer that she might be taller than she was.  He prayed for her and the power of God came over her and stretched all her limbs out and she went home taller than she came.  He said many people come to him with tattoos and he prays for them and they vanish off their skin.  I sat in awe and wondered why we didn’t see such things in our country.  I am persuaded that one reason is we are too busy fighting amongst each other and therefore are void of the anointing and manifest presence of God. 

Eph 6:10-12 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

  •                   Wrestling is a contest between two in which each endeavors to throw the other, and which is decided when the victor is able to hold his opponent down with his hand upon his neck.
  •                   Many pastors wear themselves out fighting against those in their congregation in the flesh instead of discerning and dealing with the spirit that is influencing their members. 

2 Tim 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Being a Pastor, you have the opportunity to get to know those you lead more than a traveling minister would.  As a pastor, I have had folks come and share things with me that they were frustrated over (at the point of giving up) and in turn I shared in response with them that I was working to make things better.  However, there were times when things digressed with complaints, murmuring, and strife, and as a result, I began to feel as the Apostle Paul in Gal 4:11 where it reads, “I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” 

Pastor, can you relate?  You say, how can a pastor come through such strenuous circumstances?  Well, I personally came through such an ordeal by being a self-corrector.  Simply being, I asked the Lord to GIVE ME SOME INSTRUCTION as a pastor (with balance) into talking about problems in the church with certain people (around me) as well as others talking about problems in the church to me as their Pastor.  The following is the results of my time with the Lord. 

  •                   The first question that each one of us must answer is, “What is your motive for discussing certain people and problems?”  One, is it to vent and get some things off your chest?  Two, is it for the purpose of turning others against the one that may be causing the problems?  Three, is it for the purpose of making things known that others may be blind too, due to lack of discernment?  Four, is it for the purpose of seeking to find a solution in Godly counsel?

Matt 15:12-14 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?  But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.  Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

  •                   Note that HIS disciples (inner circle) came to him as their Pastor and was telling him what the Pharisees (leaders) thought about his message.  Note Jesus response, “LET THEM ALONE.” 
  •                   While Jesus didn’t get involved in a deep conversation about the Pharisees (leaders) with his disciples, he did make it clear why they acted as they did in opposing him by making it known that they were self-appointed leaders.  Simply being, the Lord had not called, planted, nor anointed them for that which they were doing.  Thus, their mind was veiled from spiritual truths. 
  •                   Jesus also made it known that these leaders were spiritually blind.  The sad thing here is that these leaders didn’t know they were blind as can be seen in the following scriptures.

John 9:39-41 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.  (See other translation below for these verses)

John 9:39-41 Then Jesus told him, “I have come into the world to give sight to those who are spiritually blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”  The Pharisees who were standing there asked, “Are you saying we are blind?” “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But your guilt remains because you claim to know what you are doing.

  •                   I like this translation because it shows us in principle that when leaders share the word of God; they are giving sight to some while showing others they are blind.
  •                   Jesus is our Pastor and model.  He left such people with religious spirits alone and taught his disciples to do the same. 

We have shown you that there are times when those close to the pastor may come and share at times what others think or are saying as far as opposition goes.  Now, lets look at Jesus being our Pastor and see him talking to his disciples about certain people around them.

Mark 8:14-15 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.  And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

  •                   Jesus was talking about a group of people as well as an individual.  We could bring this up in our day and it would be like Jesus warning his disciples about a certain denomination or organization as well as a certain minister from a local assembly.
  •                   When we put both these incidents together, we can see what Jesus motive was in telling them to leave the blind leaders alone as well as warn them of corrupt doctrines.  Simply being, his motive was protection.  I am reminded of John 17:11-12 which reads, “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”
  •                   The word kept is rendered as follows; to guard a person (or thing) that they may remain safe, to protect one from a person or something, to keep from being snatched away.
  •                   With this insight, we can see that it is in order for the pastor to discuss problems with those under them when they see it is for their protection and well-being.  After all, the pastor does have to give an account for the souls of those they are placed over according to Hebrews 13:17 which reads, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

Matt 16:13-17 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

  •                   Note Jesus (pastor) asking certain of those in his congregation who people were saying that he was.  There are times when it is perfectly in order for your pastor to ask you what people are saying about them in the church at large as far as outside in the world.
  •                   Note that Jesus (pastor) first finds out what those outside his circle were saying about him and then comes into his inner circle to hear what they have to say about him.
  •                   I think it interesting to point out here that your answer will determine where your relationship with the Father is. 

We have shown you that there are times when those close to the pastor may come and share at times what others think or are saying as far as opposition goes.  We have shown you Jesus being our Pastor talking to his disciples about certain people around them.  Now, let us move on and see the Apostles following in the footsteps of Jesus to those under them by calling the names of the people who are causing trouble as well as defining what they are doing.

2 Tim 4:13-15 The cloke that I (Paul) left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

  •                   Alexander’s name in Greek means man-defender.  He speaks in principle of those that defend flesh while opposing the spirit of God.
  •                   Timothy was a friend as well as a convert of Paul.  Paul therefore being his spiritual father warned him of Alexander and told him that Alexander strongly opposed what he spoke. 
  •                   The principle here being, if they oppose the leader, they will oppose the followers.  We can see this truth in John 15:20-21 where it reads, “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him (spirit of God-truth-love) that sent me.”

2 Tim 4:9-11 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.  Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

  •                   Demas speaks in principle of those that talk big but when it comes to laying down their life and being sold out to the Lord, they will draw back from those that are determined to sell out for Jesus.
  •                   Demas forsook Paul and went to Thessalonica.  I think this is interesting when one reads Acts 17:13, “But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.”  I trust you see the principle; Demas forsaking Paul ended up in a place where he could oppose Paul with others while still acting religious.
  •                   You must be on guard against these religious spirits in our day working through individuals.  They will be close by wherever the Living Word is being preached in order to stir up trouble. 
  •                   One rendering of stir is to cast down from one’s secure and happy state of being.  Simply being, have you ever left a high service and someone call you later or say something to you on Monday that cast you down?  It is these individuals that you must be made aware of because many of them are unknowingly being used by demonic forces to stir up trouble.  Selah
  •                   Luke was only one with Paul.  The principle of loneliness can be seen here in that few want to walk with those who have sold out to Jesus. 

3 Jn 1:9-14 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.  Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.  Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.  I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.  (See other translation below for these verses)

3 Jn 1:9-14 I sent a brief letter to the church about this, but proud Diotrephes, who loves to push himself forward as the leader of the Christians there, does not admit my authority over him and refuses to listen to me. 

When I come I will tell you some of the things he is doing and what wicked things he is saying about me and what insulting language he is using. He not only refuses to welcome the missionary travelers himself but tells others not to, and when they do he tries to put them out of the church.  Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do what is right prove that they are God’s children; and those who continue in evil prove that they are far from God.  But everyone, including Truth itself, speaks highly of Demetrius. I myself can say the same for him, and you know I speak the truth.  I have much to say, but I don’t want to write it, for I hope to see you soon and then we will have much to talk about together.

  •                   Diotrephes name in Greek means nourished by Jove, which was a supreme deity of the Greeks.  Note how close Jove is to Love.  Truly, there is a fine line between truth and error. 
  •                   Diotrephes speaks in principle of those in the church that are under the influence of a controlling spirit.  They seek and love to be in control while resisting the God given authority placed over them.
  •                   Diotrephes prated against John with malicious words.  Prate is rendered in English as a tattler, nonsense, idle accusations, make empty charges, to badmouth, to accuse one falsely.
  •                   With the above insight, it should be easy for you to see that this spirit is at work in many local churches in our day. 

Closing Remarks:

From henceforth, there are two questions you need to ask when someone approaches you with talk about a certain person or problems in the church.

1)                  Why are you telling me this?

2)                  Do you care if I repeat what you say to parties involved in hopes of clearing this matter up?

It’s Time To Get The CRAP Out Of The Church

How many times have you said lately, “I am tired of all this CRAP?

C = carnality

R = religion (man-made)

A = attitudes

P = pride

1) Carnality: 1 Cor 3:1-3

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

  •                   One that is carnal is governed by their human nature or flesh while one that is spiritual is one that is filled with the spirit and governed by the Spirit of God.
  •                   Note the digression of carnality; envying, strife and finally DIVISIONS.  Di is a prefix and means two.  Therefore, whenever envying and strife enter into the picture, the end result will be a divided vision as others begin to see things their way instead of the Lord’s way.
  •                   One English rendering of division is dis-union or dis-sension (discord within a group).  Dis is a prefix and denotes to deprive of a thing.  Hence, when it attaches to unity, it will deprive you of unity. 

2) Religion (man-made) James 1:26-27

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain (worthless).  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.  (See other translation below for these verses)

Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air.  Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

  •                   Pure religion is designed to produce an effect on our whole being (including our tongue).  Therefore, in the light of this text, if we can’t bridle our tongue, it leads people to believe that our religion is worthless.  Our tongue therefore is the acid test of our religion and thus will reveal if we have pure religion or man-made religion.
  •                   I am reminded here of Matt 15:8-9 which reads, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart (thoughts – feelings) is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

3) Attitudes:

What is an attitude?

It is our best friend or our worst enemy.

It is more honest and consistent than our words.

It is a thing, which draws people to us or repels them.

It is never content until it is expressed.

Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (See other translations below for this verse)

  •                   In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus.
  •                   Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
  •                   Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.

Jesus is our example according to 1 Pet 2:21. His standard is not given to frustrate us but to reveal areas in our lives that need improvement.

  •                   Your attitude (positive or negative) in your circumstances will determine YOUR Altitude!
  •                   There are many in the Church today that their abilities say, “WIN” but their attitudes say “LOSE”.
  •                   Attitudes can be seen in our conversations.  Simply being, our attitude can reflect a complaint or compliment.  There are times that we sense attitudes and times that we see them.
  •                   The attitude is an inward feeling expressed by behavior.  That is why an attitude can be seen without a word being spoken (pouting lips, mad lips, smile, frown, etc).
  •                   Of all the things that you wear, your expression (a look that conveys a feeling – countenance) is the most important, for your expressions usually reflect your inward feelings.

1 Sam 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

  •                   While we refrain from judging others by their outward expressions, many times the outward expressions or actions become a “window to their soul”.
  •                   A person who gives a “look that kills” probably is not inwardly singing, “Something good is going to happen to you”.
  •                   Since an attitude often is expressed by our body language and by the looks on our faces, it can be contagious. Have you ever noticed what happens to a group of people when one person, by his expression, reveals a negative attitude? Or have you noticed the lift you receive when a friend’s facial expression shows love and acceptance?
  •                   Sometimes the attitude can be masked outwardly and others who might see you are fooled. But usually the cover-ups will not last long because there is a constant struggle within you as your attitude tries to wiggle its way out.
  •                   Some people don’t like to be told to do certain things. Their attitude speaks loud and clear for them as it says, I am doing what you said on the outside, but I am furious with you on the inside.

4) Pride: Pro 13:10 Only by pride (arrogance, cockiness) cometh contention (strife –quarrels): but with the well advised is wisdom.

  •                   Pride and strife walk hand in hand.  In fact strife according to the Word of God will only come out of the heart of one that has a problem with pride.
  •                   While there is a place to confront people, there is a right spirit to confront them in.  We therefore can be obeying a bible truth in going to a person we have a problem with but go in the wrong spirit and be guilty of SIN!  Selah.

James 4:5-7 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth (opposes) the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God (Word – Love). Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

  •                   If you have a problem with pride, you are in big trouble with the devil and God both working against you.  Selah

James 3:14-18 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion (instability or disorder) and every evil work.  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

  •                   Note the deception of these believers.  They actually tried to convince people that they had the wisdom of God.  However, the word came and revealed their wisdom was devilish.
  •                   Show me a person who is walking in envying and strife and I will show you a person who has disorder in their homes, marriage and relationships.  These people will also be instable.  Simply being, they will be up one day and down the next on a consistent basis.

Deut 23:12-14 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.  (See other translation below for these verses)

Deut 23:12-14 The toilet area shall be outside the camp.  Each man must have a spade as part of his equipment; after every bowel movement he must dig a hole with the spade and cover the excrement.  The camp must be holy, for the Lord walks among you to protect you and to cause your enemies to fall before you; and the Lord does not want to see anything indecent lest he turn away from you.

  •                   In regards to a believer, there is no place in a local assembly for your CRAP!  Crap is rendered in English as follows, nonsense, something useless or anger.  The scripture makes this plain where it says, “thou (each one) shalt have a place without the camp.”  The word without in Hebrew means outside or separated from a wall.
  •                   The scripture makes it plain that when you EASE yourself, to turn back (repent) and cover that which comes out of you.  Can I be crude and tell you that people aren’t interested in your waste.  Knowing that, COVER IT UP
  •                   In the natural, waste begins to build up in your bowels as you eat.  After eating a meal therefore, it is natural to go and ease yourself and you suddenly feel better.  Well, have you ever went to someone and dumped on them and felt better?  The question remains to be answered; how does the person you dumped on feel? 
  •                   The spiritual application is as follows.  Right after hearing and receiving the Word of God, you are going to have a movement (action).  The question is; “what kind of movement?”  Your movement or action will reveal what you have been eating (taking into your soul).   
  •                   Note that the Lord said that the camp should be HOLY (set apart)!  One Hebrew rendering of camp is a body of people.  Have you ever went into a church and said something like, “this church is no different that the others I have been in?”  The truth being, you stepped into yet another assembly that have not separated themselves unto God.
  •                   One sure sign that the people of God are walking upright as a body in holiness is that there will be deliverance in the lives of those held in bondage.
  •                   Note that the Lord let his people know that he would turn away if he saw anything unclean (also rendered improper behavior) among them.  The word turn away here is not used in the sense of returning to the starting point, but is in reference of retreating which is rendered to withdraw in the face of opposition.  This bears witness with Hebrews 12:14 which reads, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”  Another translation reads, “Try to stay out of all quarrels, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for one who is not holy will not see the Lord.”
  •                   I am reminded here of Philippians’ 3:8 which reads, “Yea doubtless, and I (Paul) count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”  Another translation reads, “The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash–along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ.”
  •                   Toilet paper is used to get rid of crap from your body.  One English rendering of toilet paper is simply, “paper used to clean one after defecation which means to excrete WASTE (worthless, profitless, unnecessary, purposeless, garbage) matter from the BOWELS.”

In closing, I want to stress the point that the waste of the people was to be buried outside the camp.  Therefore in principle; when they came into the camp, there was no waste within them for it had passed out from them outside the camp and was buried.

  •                   The campsite speaks in type of Christ.  Therefore, in Christ there is no WASTE!  Selah
  •                   To the Hebrews, the bowels speak metaphorically of the seat of emotions and feelings, much like the use of the word “heart.” Hence “bowels” means pity, compassion, and tenderness as can be seen in the scripture below.

I Jn 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  

2 Cor 6:11-12 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.  Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened (cramped) in your own bowels. 

  •                   In this case, a spiritual enema would suffice.

John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.



LETS GET THE CRAP OUT OF THE CHURCH [Troy Nichols]          1


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