A study by : Timothy M. Youngblood
Copyright © The Master's Table
Because deception resembles truth so closely, God has given us a way to detect which is true, and that which is false. Jesus stated in Matt 7:15-20 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them." In this study we will compare the fruits of God's Holy Spirit, and the fruits of the flesh. We will show how Satan uses the fruits of the flesh to ensnare us, and how staying close to Jesus our savior will insure our success in this fight against Satan, Self, and Society.
Let's take a look at what the apostle Paul was inspired to write in Gal 5:19-24 "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Many of these fruits of the flesh come about as a result of the other, because they all have their roots in lust, which Paul called lewdness.
As I have stated in other lessons, lust destroys love, and lust never can fulfill your needs because it's in reality a mirage. Lust is fueled by enticement, which means to be attracted by arousing desire. Adultery, homosexual relations and fornication results in uncleanness (Disease), jealousies, and contentions. If you think about these sins you will realize what they are, and how they create confusion in the mind and emotions. Adultery always ends in pain, and sorrow. Everyone involved always loses when adultery is committed, and the ones hurt the most are the children of those involved. Why do we get involved in something that will destroy all we love and care for? Because we become selfish and allow lust (What we want) to over ride our love for God and others. Selfish ambitions, result in hatred, outbursts of wrath, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, and all this takes us into drunkenness, and many other types of addictions. Addictions brethren are the result of trying to fulfill our inward need for love or feelings of no self-worth. Worshipping God the way He instructs will fulfill this need in time if we will only turn our wills over to Him through His Son Jesus the Messiah.
Idolatry is another sin that is very much like adultery, and it results in sorcery, revelries and the worship of Satan. Idolatry takes us away from the true God of heaven, through rituals, and ceremonies, causing people to lose site of His plan of salvation, and His teachings on true morality. Take a look at our failing society; it's corrupt from the head to the toe! A government, Church, society, or a person becomes corrupt when they become morally sick. This means the heart is sick. (See The Lord's table). You might want to read God and Sorcery? and Mardi Gras) What was prophesied for our time recorded in 2 Tim 3:1-5? "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
The fruits of the flesh
The homicide rate among young American men is the worlds highest, and abortion is now the most common surgical procedure in
Satan uses many tactics to get us away from the true God so we can't understand what is happening to us. Many people don't even realize they are destroying themselves or those around them until it's too late. They don't know that eating unclean foods such as pork is sin until they find they will die at a time they most want to live when they can enjoy their grandchildren. Many don't realize they are worshipping Satan instead of the true God, through all the pagan things approved by their ministers they blindly follow and trust. However, many know they are, but don't care. The truth is, your very salvation depends on you coming to and following the true Jesus, not the false ones that Jesus warned us to beware of in these last days. Will you take His warning to heart, or will you go back to sleep? It's very important to understand that to be a true Christian and not just someone calling themselves Christian is to follow Christ. To follow Christ is to know first hand what He taught from the Holy Father and then accept it and reject what YOU believe. If someone claimed to be a football player but only kept to the rules of baseball and never kept to the rules of football would you say they could claim to be a football player? No, and the same is true for those who claim to be Christian but do not follow Christ.
Now let's take a look at what Jesus had to say about it in Matt 7:19- 23 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
The real question is, what's the will of the Father, and are the Churches called Christian doing it? Jesus came the first time to give salvation to all mankind. Jesus taught that He would die in our place to become the mediator for us to the Father and by His shed blood we could become begotten Sons of God. Jesus had to die for our sins because Mankind rejected God thus causing all mankind to receive within themselves, both good and evil. When God declared mankind shall surely die because of taking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it could not be reversed because God can never lie. So mankind can't remove this death curse from himself because the curse is not removed until the one who sins dies, and if a man is dead then he can't come back to life because sin has locked him into the grave. Paul wrote that "The sting of death is sin, the strength of sin is the law." What is sin? 1 John 3:4 "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." So we see that to break God's holy law (which is anything He commands) is sin. Did you know that we are commanded to OBEY the gospel? We read in II Th 1:8-9, where God will take vengeance on those that do not obey the gospel. "In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,"
So there's something we must do. What is it we should obey? The gospel of Jesus is that we should "repent" which means to turn from our old ways and to the ways of Jesus, and God the Father. And to place our spiritual salvation in Jesus the Messiah. The gospel and the sacrifice of Jesus is bringing us back to the point where Eve was standing talking to the serpent in the garden. She made a choice and then took it to her husband Adam and then he made his choice to take of something God said was forbidden. We have the same choice to obey God or the lust of our eyes. We will not be able to blame it all on Adam and Eve if we decide to go our own way. The true gospel of Jesus shows that we through the Holy Spirit can receive the fruits of His Spirit (The greatest being love) and by "rejecting" the lust of our flesh the Holy Spirit can grow and produce much fruit unto the Father, and Son.
The fruits of the Holy Spirit:
What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and how can we have these fruits in our daily lives? Brethren, we MUST be convinced of the evil of sin before we can begin to be filled with the fruits of God's Holy Spirit. We MUST come to a place in our lives where we deeply understand the great pain, and misery sin brings not only the sinner, but also those close to the sinner. We MUST determine to yield to Jesus in every way, growing in love, faith, and understanding by the power of His Holy Spirit. This surrender to Jesus MUST be unconditional, and voluntary. Unconditional because we must follow Jesus the way He commands in this new covenant we have agreed to at baptism, and voluntary because God will never take our free will from us. Our spiritual growth will be according to our willingness to yield to Him through this active relationship. The day we say "I think this is the way" is the day we stop growing, and we will stay at that point until we say "Not my will Lord, but your will be done."
Another thing we need to fully understand is that the fruits of the Holy Spirit are not points we learn, and then act out because we want to be good. They are not a list of rules we must keep so we can enter into the Kingdom of God. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are the RESULTS of an inward change. The result of "yielding" to the Holy Spirit that's working with us before baptism, or that's working in us after baptism. Remember Jesus stated... "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned." John 15:4-6.
This shows that if we are abiding (Yielding to) Jesus we will bear the fruit He bears, which brings joy, peace, satisfaction, health, respect, success, confidence, strength, power to overcome, wisdom, understanding of truth, and life abundantly. So the opposite is also true...if we abide in Satan, Self, and Society, (yielding to them) we will likewise bear fruits to them. Which fruits are, sorrow, grief, distress, affliction, regret, failure, loss, disappointment, a lack of confidence, a lack of strength, a lack of self-control, a lack of respect, a lack of peace because of the fear of knowing we are going against God. And after Satan has done his work, after all this suffering, there's only death to look forward to. The question is... which way do we want?
It's by these fruits we can know if we are following the true God of heaven.
The greatest fruit is love, and when we yield to the love that comes from
God we then begin to experience an "inward change" that brings about
the fruits of the Holy Spirit. This inward change does not come about overnight.
We must grow in grace and knowledge with the help of the Holy Spirit opening
our minds, and guiding us in what is right. People who have this Spirit of
God working with them will "begin to desire" to please God, and
will begin to have the mind of God. Jesus stated that we can't do anything
unless we are connected to Him (the vine). He taught that the Holy Spirit
would come and teach us all things, and bring to our minds all things He taught.
Remember when Jesus stated that He taught what the Father taught Him? John
8:28; The way this was given to Jesus is the same way it's given to us, by
the Spirit of the Father. John 6:44-45 "No one can come to Me unless
the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore
everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me." The
best way I found to understand the fruits better was to break down each of
these fruits. Let's start with Joy.
Joy is a condition or feeling of high pleasure or delight. It's happiness, and all people want to be happy. All the many ways man has devised to make him-self happy has failed, and in many cases caused great unhappiness for others. How can we have real lasting joy? What really makes people happy? Remember the time when the tax collectors and sinners drew near to Jesus to hear what he had to say and the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." Luke 15:1-7 Then Jesus spoke this parable to them..."What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. A true minister will do all in his power to bring back those that have strayed or became lost. We as Christians should be going away from ourselves, and looking to make someone else happy or to help others in their time of need. When we seek the good of others, a law God made just as sure as the law of action and reaction will go into play. This law will give peace, which gives joy, which gives true love, which gives health to the soul, mind, and spirit.
Let's look at other example where there was great joy. "Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings "of great joy" which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11. This was an act of giving by God the Father, and it was considered great joy to all who knew the scriptures because the Messiah would redeem mankind from sins, and restore us back in good standing with God by a new covenant. This joy was so great that it lasted throughout the lives of the apostles even through much suffering until death. Acts 20:23-24 also in verses 34-37 Paul showed that his life was completely given for the preaching of the gospel of Jesus the Messiah. He quoted Jesus saying that it is more blessed to GIVE than to receive.
Now let's notice the word blessed here. The word is "makarios", in the Greek which means by extension, "fortunate", or well off. The Lexical aids to the New Testament states "that in the biblical sense, a blessed person is one whom God makes fully satisfied, not because of favorable circumstances, but because He (God) indwells the Christian through Jesus the Messiah." The reason the attitude of giving, and helping others will give us true joy is because we will be experiencing the true love of God. This is what mankind is truly seeking because this is the very reason we were created. When we become depressed brethren, we need to find someone to help. Look at their despair, and determine to give them joy. Determine to help add a smile on their face, and by doing this we will be lifted up with them. This is a law God has placed in the act of loving others. It's sure and for the good of all as God in His love has intended.
Peace means to be in tranquility. God's law brings great peace when we keep it in the right way. Law keeping can not guarantee salvation, but it's required for love and is the law of love. Salvation surly comes by way of grace, but notice in Matt 5:17-19 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
But what did Jesus say was most important? "Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him," 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' "This is the first and great commandment. "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. Matt 22:35-40. And let's look at these scriptures in Rom 13:8-10. "Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. The point is that if we are converted we will have the true love of God and will keep the law because it's the law of love. We have great peace when we worship God without the idols of this world. We have peace when we don't blaspheme, which means to slander God or His holy Law.
We find peace when we worship God on the seventh day Sabbath, and keep His holy days when and how He commands. We find peace when we honor our father and mother because God not only blesses us with health, and long life, but our Father and Mother is at peace with our love for them. We find peace when we don't have a hateful attitude of envy that leads into an attitude of murder. We find peace when we are using wisdom dealing with people and trials in our lives. We find peace when we don't commit adultery because we know it leads to heartache for all involved. We find peace when we don't steal because joy comes from giving, and not taking. We find peace when we don't lie because we are not worrying about the light of truth coming and exposing us. We find peace when we don't covet our neighbor's belongings because we understand it only causes emotional and mental stress that leads to health problems, and envy towards our neighbor. The truth is we need to be content with what God has allowed trusting Him, so we can rest in His peace.
Longsuffering means to patiently endure wrongs, difficulties, and afflictions. We know Jesus endured great afflictions with patience. The reason He was able to do this is because He had a great deal of faith in His Father in heaven, and a great love for us all. He trusted God our Father, and knew He would answer prayers in such a way that would be good for all involved. Could you stand looking at Jesus on that stake bleeding, and suffering great pain and see the good of it without knowing what you know now? What about if we have to go through the same kind of afflictions? What does the book of Revelations reveal about the future of some Christians? Rev 13:7-10; notice the verse, "Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."
Many times we in our carnality want to deal with the affliction ourselves to insure we come out on top. But God may deal with it in such a way to allow the other person to come out on top, or for us to learn the lessons that we will carry into the Kingdom of God. If we endure patiently trusting that God our Father will do what is best for all involved, and not what we want, then God can use us in a great way. A time is coming when we will have to stand on our own faith and the strength of our faith will be determined by our relationship with our Holy Father in heaven through Jesus our elder brother. Without the fruit of longsuffering we will fail early in the fight. Longsuffering is a fruit of the Holy Spirit because it has to do with real faith in God and a true love for God and others.
To be kind is to be friendly. To be friendly means we must put away our fears of people. We must be forgiving and kind, however, because we will have to deal with those that are not of God, it's best to stay away from someone if being around them will cause more problems. Many people however will not be kind because they don't want to be bothered by others, or they believe that the other person is using kindness to get something from them. They want to keep others at arms length for fear of a relationship. Some people don't want to be kind because they may have to help the person in some way. That's why rich people try not to be kind to the poor except in controlled ways like the Salvation Army. We need to put our lives in God's hands in complete trust knowing He will work out all things for the good of all. If we will do this we can experience great joy and peace because kindness is the love of God expressed to others. Remember God's law of what we sow we shall reap? What we give (good or evil) we shall receive? Question is do you want others to be kind to you?
To be good is to be moral. To be moral is to be ethical. To be ethical is to be capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct. Virtuous in sexual conduct, not a traitor, or slanderer. A person that is good, is honest with others, even when being honest will result in our own loss. This type of goodness is the fruit of God's Holy Spirit. This type of goodness comes only from the love of God.
A faithful mate, worker, or friend means to be loyal. To be loyal in those things entrusted to us is of great value to God. When we get baptized into the body of Christ we are entering into a covenant relationship with God stating that we will be faithful to Him. Saying we will never worship other gods, and we will do our best to commit our lives to the same gospel Jesus brought to us. To commit our lives to yield to the Holy Spirit that changes us from carnal thinking to become like minded with our elder brother Jesus. Many people have entered into this covenant relationship without ever understanding what they were agreeing to. As a result they have become unfaithful by worshipping the Madonna, and other pagan gods such as Tammuz.
This is not the fault of the person just repenting and being baptized because they're babes in Christ and they need faithful ministers to help them along. The ministers are the ones that need to teach the true covenant, and all the requirements a person should know before baptism. Rom 10:12-15 and notice that Paul wrote Timothy this..."If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness." 1 Tim 4:6-7. May the ministers today see their error and repent so they can become faithful to God, growing in this fruit of His Holy Spirit teaching the true gospel of Jesus.
To be gentle is to be considerate, and patient with others. We need to understand that no one person is perfect. We need to keep in mind that we all are at our own individual place of growth. Some can run faster or jump higher than others, and some can understand math or knowledge of things that some can't, but that does not make one person worth more or less than another. We all start out the same, but it seems that as we grow we THINK we become more important by what we can do or what we come to possess. There's a reason Jesus stated that it is very hard (not impossible) for a rich person to enter into the Kingdom of God. The riches can cause an attitude of superiority but the person God will fellowship with has an attitude of humility. Isa 66:2 "For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist," says the LORD. "But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word. Being gentle is being humble, and a humble man can speak to God. Consider that if a rich man in all his power mistreats the humble, and the humble cry out to God, what can riches do for the proud? Remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus recorded in Luke 16:19-20?
Self-control means to be able to control ones thoughts, actions, and feelings. A person with addictions such as sexual problems has lost control of their emotions, thoughts, and actions. Losing control in any way results in great harm to the person who has lost control or to those around them. The same holds true for those who lose control of their temper and allows the demons of hate, and murder to control them. Many suicides are the result of the person losing control of their lives and emotions. Child abuse is the result of the adult caring for the child losing control. Guns and knives are killing many people today because the argument got out of control. How do we maintain control? The answer has been given in the above points of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Remember the fruits are not a list of rules we must learn and then act out so we can become good. The fruits of the Holy Spirit come about from an inward change. Just like the fruits of the flesh comes about as a result of our seeking only for the self, and not caring about the other person. We can't overcome the down-pull of our human nature by ourselves, it takes the POWER of God's Holy Spirit to make the change in our character.
If we could change ourselves then Jesus is dead in vain, because the ability to change not only took the blood of the Messiah to justify mankind but it took His death so we can have access to the Holy Spirit of the Holy Father. We must believe in Jesus (Have Faith which is to rely on Him) and overcome our sinful nature by the blood of the lamb and the power of the Holy Spirit. We must yield to the Holy Spirit so the love of God can fill our hearts. 1 Cor 13:4-8 teaches the love that comes from God's Holy Spirit is "the key" that can help us overcome lust, but how do we continue in the right attitude day by day?
The Apostle Paul taught that we should keep our mind on good thoughts as we read in Phil 4:8; He wrote “Things that are true, noble, just, and pure, he said to meditate on these things.” If we fill our minds with lustful things we will naturally start to seek these things, and the Holy Spirit will not be able to work in us. The more we think on the things of God like giving, helping, having understanding, sharing, and going away from ourselves the more we will have power to overcome because the Spirit of God can dwell in this type of environment as these good attitudes cancels out lust, hate and envy. Matt. 13: 3-9. It is a fact that we will sin till we are changed however our character can be altered over time and when we are changed to the spiritual immortal body at the resurrection we will have learned from our human inadequate character.
What we need to understand is that lust may affect us physically, but lust's roots are spiritual. We must come to understand how it works in order for us to deeply grasp what the word of God is trying to teach us about overcoming with the power of the Holy Spirit. In order to overcome the darkness in a room we must FLOOD the room with light. To try and overcome the darkness a little at a time will never work. The spiritual things work the same way. We must allow God's Holy Spirit to flood into our minds at all times, and never quench the Spirit when it convicts us of sin. When we are upset we need to try thinking about how to solve the problem in love for all concerned instead of with our old ways of force. Many times we use force because we truly don't know what else to do, but if we will try to do it in love for all involved then the Holy Spirit will act within us and we will see clearly how to deal with the problem.
Maybe we will need to just say I'm sorry, I was wrong. We sure wouldn't think of that in our carnal anger, but God's Spirit would let us know that is the solution if we will yield to it. The more we yield to the Holy Spirit the more we move closer to God. The more we move towards God the more we grow in great understanding of the truth of the new covenant we have entered into with Him. We can't understand the greatness of it until we become a part of God Himself. When we yield to Him, we begin to take on His thoughts, His mind, His will, His dreams, His hopes, His likeness, His Joy, His peace, His longsuffering, His kindness, His goodness, His faithfulness, His gentleness, His self-control, .HIS LOVE!
Regards and God Bless
Pray for the Messiah to return soon.
Timothy M. Youngblood
Webmaster of The Master's table