What Addiction Am I Hooked On?

Fred R. Coulter—December 17, 2005

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Last week I gave a sermon on The Spirit of Sodom and how the 'spirit of whoredoms' has almost literally possessed this nation, if not the whole world, and it brought up another thing that we really need to look to, and that is this is the addicted society. Now let's think about it. God made us so we function best when we have a regular routine. So we were created to be habitual creatures. And God made us this way so we could be made in His image and develop the character of Christ, learn the laws of God, and so forth. Well, enter Satan and, of course, you know what happened there at the Garden of Eden. And now we come down to our society today and let's look at it this way: Satan is more powerfully deceiving the world than ever before because he has every tool available for him to do so. We'll look at some of those in just a bit. So today we are

  • deceived and self-deceived
  • driven by lust
  • driven by addiction
  • broken and shattered lives
  • controlled, influenced or possessed
  • ruled by Satan and his demons

And more and more that's the way the world is; reflected in the way that people live, reflected in all of the media, especially television, movies, etc. Then we have tremendous addiction problems: alcohol addiction, drug addiction, porn addiction, sex addiction, food addiction, and you can throw in with the foods that people are hooked on junk foods—'junk food junkies.' Then you have the control of television and movies, video games, music, witchcraft, lying, stealing, and all of those things.

Today we have a generation that has been brought up that is not responsible, does not understand the word responsibility except in a very few, rare cases. You can't depend on them to come to work on time; they get there when they are ready, and they work when they feel like it. A lot of that is reflected in their lives, and a lot of it is because they are suffering from addiction, and suffering from being cut off from God.

Now someone sent me a book. This is an interesting book. And as I mentioned before, that God has many witnesses and many people called into repentance and God works in the ways that are true. People, like Protestants, won't listen to Sabbath-keepers—because after all we don't know anything—but they will listen to one of their own. So this man, Mickey Bonner, has written a book, Brokenness, the Forgotten Factor of Prayerand How to Recover from False Religion in Protestantism because they are getting more and more and more into it. And I want to focus especially on the addiction factor, and not only on alcohol and drugs, but on addiction to pornography online. There are probably 30-40-million people hooked online to pornography; they are addicted to it. Some of them spend hours a day watching it—men and women. And women get all mad when men watch pornography, but if it weren't for women showing off their bodies on television and on the Internet, for a fee, men wouldn't be watching pornography. So to condemn men without condemning women is the wrong thing to do. Now here is what he writes on page 29,

For many years we have taught spiritual warfare in fundamentalist churches throughout the country. Many learned critics from the realms of academics and traditional church leadership have accused us of teaching foolishness. In spite of these criticisms, the church at large is now faced with the explosion of witchcraft and suicides among young people in the families of pastors and other Christians.

And they actually have an addiction center for recovering pastors who are addicted to pornography.

This has been brought on by rock music, the New Age movement… [and, of course, false teachings within churches—a lawless grace.] …Suddenly the wise ones find themselves devoid of ability to offer doctrinal help in these areas. Now the church is being overcome and destroyed. It has lost its power to stand against what is happening. It is non-praying, leaders blinded by unbrokenness … (Brokenness, the Forgotten Factor of Prayer, throughout.)

—because the theme of it is in brokenness that in order to return to God with such callous consciences that they have to have a 'broken spirit and a contrite heart' and truly seek God that way. So what is happening, 'the blind are leading the blind.'

And we said this before didn't we? Based on, what? Let's go to Matthew 13. We've gone here before, but we see this in action. Put in your notes Jer. 23. We have gone there before, but what is interesting about Jer. 23 is this: God said even the false prophets that He didn't send, who are teachers of Baalism, 'if they would cause His people to stand by His Word,' He would honor that, because 'His Word is exalted above His name.' We're seeing this happen in a very profound way, much more so the difference between the Truth of what God's Word is and the reality of how the world is functioning, the gap is greater and greater and greater because this living principle is happening.

Matthew 13:10: "And His disciples came to Him and asked, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been given'" (vs 10-11). Now, that's something that we all need to really understand. We understand what we understand because of God, the Spirit of God, the Word of God, and because of God's Spirit in us—it's been given to us to know. To the world it hasn't been given to them.

Now a perfect example: Last night on Fox News I was watching the Britt Hume Show (Special Report), but it was chaired by Tony Snow. And right at the end about the last three minutes, there was a man who came on to tell them what you don't know about mythology. One the news commentators on Fox [Juan] Williams wrote a book, The War Over Christmas, and because of the 'happy holiday' controversy, they've been promoting Christmas and 'merry Christmas' and putting up Christmas scenes everywhere as much as they can.

I've got here a little cartoon and it shows a woman buying a package in a store. And the clerk doesn't know how to treat the customers that come in because of the raging holiday controversy and she's handing the lady the package and she says, 'Happy holidays, unless that phrase offends you, of course, in which case: best wishes for the season, or merry winter weeks, or enjoy a festive end-of-the-year revel, or felicities on which-ever observance you may or may not be pausing to reflect upon within a familial, cultural, or sectarian milieu or whatever.' And the woman reaches out to take the package and says, 'Merry Christmas to you.'

So back to Tony Snow and this fellow and I don't think that Tony Snow was prepared for it because all of those on Fox are good Catholics. It's owned by a good Catholic: Murdock, and he is a high mucky-muck in the Knights of Columbus and all of this sort of thing. So they have been promoting all this Christmas. So here comes this fellow to tell you about mythology you don't know about. And Tony Snow says, 'Well tell us about Christmas.' He said, 'Well, Jesus wasn't born on this day.' What they've been saying is that Christmas is all about Christ and the birth of Christ, and even on the same program he even had Franklin Graham on there and he's saying, 'Well it's all about the birth of Christ.' So he comes on and says, 'This has nothing to do with the birth of Christ. The 25th of December has nothing to do with when Jesus was born. It was originally pagan.' And then 'What else can you tell me?' He's trying to use up the two minutes, and then he starts on about Easter and how that's pagan and none of it's Christian. And poor old Tony Snow is sitting there swallowing, nearly choking, he can hardly wait until the two minutes is up so he can move on.

But I thought it was interesting. Did God arrange that as a witness for all those gung-ho Christmas-keepers to give them a little witness that what they are upholding is a perversion of the Truth of God married to a pagan custom? Just like this man here [Mickey Bonner], he is a fundamental Protestant, so the Protestants will listen to him. So here is what he says of this generation ('Going, Going, Gone,' pg. 208, Brokenness, the Forgotten Factor of Prayer):

Future historians, if there be any, will look at what was once a Christian nation that died because the church lost its place by becoming involved in the business of doing things like the world did. The church became caught up in the busyness of propagation that brought to a dying planet a watered-down, compromising gospel that leavened its truth with error. Propagation became a religious foundation of sand.
Very well put.

Time has shown that many such churches are sinking; some are already gone. These churches have traded activity for prayer as well as compromise for conviction. They are now meeting the people where they are, rather than where Christ is.
Quite a statement!

Consequently, one complete generation of young people has been lost to the value systems that have been coordinated by the demonic calling evil good and good evil and having no use for God and His Christ. We now face the acceleration of the demise and disintegration of the world's first truly foundationally Christian nation. Its very beginning was a harvest of laws and rights for persons who sought God in deep brokenness and prayer. America was birthed by prayer and will die by religion as have many nations in history. America's traditions began with the Holy God and ending with mother earth or better said New Age Wicca or witchcraft. The auctioneer just like that declares at the end of a sale: Going, going, gone! So have our traditional values been going and now are already gone. Not going, but gone are the principles of righteousness; not going, but are gone, the hope of glory.
Quite a thing—isn't it? A very accurate description of where we are in this world.

Now let's continue on here and see how this fits in exactly with Matthew 13:12—here is a living principle: "For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given… [Now what's the key to understanding? A good understanding have they who keep His commandments (Psa. 111:10).] …and he shall have an abundance…" Why? Because as we grow in grace and knowledge, we learn more and more and more—don't we? That's why! And it all comes from God, just like Jesus said, 'The words that I speak to you, these are not My words but the words that the Father commanded Me to speak.' And the things that we learn and learn of the Bible and the understanding that we have does not come because of any great intelligence on our part, but because of the mercy and love and grace and kindness of God as we yield to Him and are led by His Holy Spirit and keep His commandments.

Now notice what else happens. "…but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him…. [And that's exactly what's happening in the battle for Christmas now. What they thought they had that was Christian is being taken from them, and being exposed for what it really is.] ….For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand" (vs 12-13). And I couldn't help thinking of that when I was watching Tony Snow's face because they had the split screen showing the man bringing the things about mythology, and then Tony Snow's face over here and he was kind of glum and swallowing and anxious for him to get over, because what he thought he had this man was taking away from him by really bringing the truth of what it really was. I couldn't help thinking of that.

Verse 14: "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive… [Now why does God do this?] …for the heart of this people has grown fat…'" (vs 14-15)—because if you want your way, that's exactly what God is going to give you! And when that happens:

  • you're going to lose understanding
  • you're going to lose truth
  • you're going to lose conscience
  • you will go into the depths of Satanism and addiction in any one of these things that I have mentioned here

So the question is, as we are going through this: What are you addicted to? Let's ask another question: What are the secret sins that you may have that nobody else really knows except you and God? And be guaranteed, sooner or later someone else is going to know and find out because you don't live in a vacuum. Now which category do you fit into? Growing in grace and knowledge and having understanding, or do you fit into the other category: having your own way?

"'…their ears are dull of hearing… [so if you bring up 'Well, you shouldn't do this.' Well, now you just don't understand. You've got to be broadminded about this.] …and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them'" (v 15). You mean Christ doesn't want people converted? Have you ever thought of that? That's exactly what He is saying—isn't it? He doesn't want them converted!—at this time.

Now that's almost the same thing—isn't it?—when Adam and Eve sinned and were put out of the Garden of Eden? What did God do? He closed the way to the Tree of Life so they couldn't be converted—right? And set Cherubims at the east end of the Garden of Eden to preserve the way of the Tree of Life—right? And what was the sentence? 'If you want your way, you have it, but get out of here. And if you want your way, you are going to suffer in pain, and agony, and the sweat of your brow, because dust you are and to dust you will return, and you will die because I have cut off salvation from you.' That's pretty strong medicine, and people don't like to hear that because a lot of people think they are saved. But you don't know if you're really a Christian or not unless you compare it with the Bible and if your behavior compares with it and you know that you have repented and have been baptized and received God's Spirit, you know you are a true Christian. Otherwise, you are a fake Christian, or as the Greek says 'pseudo'—false Christian. You can't be addicted to these things and have very much of God's Spirit, if you have any at all. This is to say nothing of we used to make a great deal out of smoking, and let's add to this gambling.

Now notice what happens if you really believe God and the Truth. "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard" (vs 16-17). So all of it is a gift of grace from God—isn't it?

Now let's also come back to 2-Timothy, the third chapter, and let's see why these things are happening. And these things go in cycles, because human beings are given to cycles starting out fresh with zeal just like the pilgrims did when they came to America, and now, as he brought out, we are right at the botch of corruption.
2-Timothy 3:1: "Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come… [Now, key that to 2-Chron. 35 about Manasseh and what happened when he gave all of Judah over to worshipping other gods and witchcraft and passing the children through the fire. It became criminal; innocent blood was shed. So that exemplifies the cycle.] …for men will be lovers of self… [and that's where all addiction comes] …lovers of money, braggarts, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, despisers of those who are good, betrayers, reckless, egotistical, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God… [and there you have a perfect description of the whole world—don't you?] …having an outward appearance of Godliness, but denying the power of true Godliness" (vs 1-5). Isn't that something? Eighty percent-plusof Americans profess a belief in God, and as James said, 'Don't think that's any big deal, folks, the demons do and tremble.'

"…But as for you, turn away from all these. For from men such as these come those who are worming their way into houses, and are gaining control over empty-headed gullible women given over to various sins, being driven by all kinds of lust. They are always learning but are never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth. Now just as Jannes and Jambres stood against Moses, in the same manner also these are brazenly standing against the Truth; they are men of depraved minds, reprobate in respect to the faith" (vs 5-8). Quite a thing—isn't it?

Now come down here v 13: "But wicked men and imposters shall become worse and worse, deceiving others and being deceived themselves." And there is where we are. That's how we have all of this, that's how these things come about.

Now, let's look at some of the addictions, especially sex addiction, which this whole nation is given over to a whole spirit of whoredoms. Let's come to Jeremiah, the sixth chapter. And the reason I am bringing this is because there are a good number who are in the Church, or who have been in the Church who are currently deceiving themselves—who are hooked on porn, hooked on drugs, hooked on alcohol, destroying their marriages, destroying their lives—and they know better, but are unwilling to listen because they are caught up in the times.

Jeremiah 6:13: "For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one deals falsely…. [That's exactly what he wrote in this book. And in doing so, all of these things are a step-by-step-by-step process to sear the conscience, to make it almost impossible to repent. So we'll talk a little later about how you recover from that.] …They have healed also the hurt of thedaughter of My people slightly, saying, 'Peace, peace' when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abominations? No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush. Therefore, they shall fall among them that fall. At the time that I visit them they shall be cast down,' says the LORD. Thus says the LORD, 'Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein… [that's talking about God's way] …and you shall find rest for your souls…'" (vs 13-16). If there is any one thing that an addict does not have it is rest and peace of mind.

"'…But they said, 'We will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, "Listen to the sound of the trumpet."…. [Disaster is coming!] …But they said, "We will not hearken." Therefore, hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth, behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto My words, nor to My law, but rejected it'" (vs 17-19). That's to say nothing of pornography and things like that.

Now let me read to you from the book The Marketing of Evil. What occupies your mind? Because a lot of people may not be addicted to drugs, or addicted to sex or to pornography, but a lot of people are addicted to music. And if you want to know if you are addicted or not concerning music, try this: Turn off the radio. Turn off the TV. See if you can think, because most people have their minds occupied by other people's words and other people's ideas, which come straight from Satan the devil through music right into your life and into your mind and into your heart.

Now let me read this. This was sent to me here. We learn how things go into your mind, because everything that you do is registered. And what did Jesus say? In the judgment day we're going to what? Give account for what? Every idle word. That's why repentance is important, that that can be wiped out and forgotten. But everything you learn: 1% you learn through taste; 1.5% through touch unless you are blind, then you learn more; 3.5% through smell; 11% through hearing; 83% through sight. And people are glued to television—right? Try this with your kids. Turn off the TV, take away the cartoons and sit down and see if you can carry on a little mini-conversation with your kids.

Now the things we remember: 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 80% of what we say, and 90% of what we say as we do a thing. Very interesting—isn't it? What happens when we come to church and we bring our Bibles, and we open them up and we go from Scripture to Scripture—what is happening? You are seeing, you are hearing, you are reading and you are understanding at the same time. That's why Sabbath services become so very important. And I dare say this; none of us would survive very long without the Sabbath. Let me ask you a question: How many people who have given up the Sabbath, have really survived? They haven't! They have gone back where? Into the world, and they don't want to be bothered—do they? Now this happens because they've been programmed and we've seen it even happen within the Church. It's called a paradigm shift. Have you heard that before? Yes! 'Oh, we've got to get rid of the old paradigm.' God says go back to the old paradigm there in Jer. 6, but people don't want that.

The Marketing of Evil, pg. 185-186—section: Media Matrix: Don't think for a minute that this dynamic of being programmed by others occurs only in far off lands. It goes right here in the good old USA in your state, in your town—perhaps in your home. Of course, for most of us, particularly in America, the pressures are usually less obvious than they are for those living under horrendous "isms" like Communism or radical Islamism. But the principles are exactly the same. Pick a behavior—say, body piercing…. [or we could say tattooing] …Do you really think millions of people independently arrived at the idea that it's a great thing to bore holes in multiple parts of their bodies (and I'm not talking about earrings) and imbed metal objects there? Obviously, people do this because they see others doing it… [remember what I just read here?] …yet somehow they still believe it's their own idea! No one likes to think he or she has a weak mind or is acting out of the suggestions of other people!"
So what do they say? It's my choice. I want to express my freedom.

But here is the key point about being influenced and shaped by peer pressure:

Now we're going to talk about that in just a little bit because the Bible talks about peer pressure.

If you are unwilling to recognize that something is wrong with your programming, with the way you think and act and feel, that means you're firmly in its grip.
In other words, you're deceived, self-deluded.

But if you are more self-aware—if you're introspective and sincere enough to recognize that there is something wrong with the way you are living—then you can break out the peer-pressure matrix….

And we'll talk about that a little later: How do you break out of addiction?

…God rewards honest people, those who are willing to give up the lie, no matter how painful that is, or how damaging to our pride.

But since we all seem to have this part in our nature that is somehow more inclined to believe flattering con men than prophets telling us painful truths, it's essential that our nation's culture revolve around reality.
However we have a ready-made deceived reality.

That's what true civilization is. A culture that affirms good as good and evil as evil acts as a mirror of sorts, helping each of us keep a firm grip on public and private morality.

Then he quoted Isaiah 5:20: "Woe to them who call evil good and good evil, put darkness for light and light for darkness, bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" Another four-letter acronym for that is ACLU.

Indeed, this book is about how evil is packaged and perfumed to look good—and good made to appear evil.
'Why, you wouldn't want to read the Bible! You must be nuts!'

Unfortunately, today's establishment press, the primary filter through which we receive most of our information about the world, does not revolve about reality. As a matter of fact, over the past few decades no institution has been more culpable for making evil appear good and good appear evil than the media.

So we are in the age of evil. So what is your addiction? What do you need to overcome? Let's look at some of these things. Let's go to Deuteronomy 30, because here's what God sets before everyone. You cannot change this proposition. Everyone has to choose. Everyone has to know what is right and wrong; no one is going to have an excuse. Even Paul Harvey and Zig Zieglar made the comment concerning the Ten Commandments when people say, 'They're hard to understand.' Well no, the Ten Commandments are very easy to understand, but people don't want to understand them because it infringes upon their sins and makes them uncomfortable, and they don't want to change. God made it simple.

In reading this I want you to think about how many Bibles there are in the world. Billions! Translated into how many languages? Probably pretty close to 500 by now, and the New Testament in over 1,800 languages, and the Book of Mark in probably 2,500 languages. So it's not hidden, and I dare say every home must have a Bible in it some where. So that means God made sure it was there. It's a witness against them, for them and to them, and if they don't read it, that's not God's fault.

Deuteronomy 30:11: "For this commandment which I command you this day, is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it down to us that we may hear it and do it?'…. [Just think of the billions that men would spend if that were the case. 'Oh we've got to go up and do it!' No!] …Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us that we may hear it and do it?' But the word is very near unto you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it" (vs 11-14). And this is telling you not that God's laws are in your heart and in your mouth, but the language that you speak is in your heart and in your mouth and so if you read the Word of God, you can hear it and do it. That's what it's saying here.

So because of this, v 15: "See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil… [that's before every human being, and everyone has to choose. Now God wants you to choose the right thing. And we are also going to see the answer to addiction begins right here]: …In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply. And the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it. But if your heart turn away… [and that's exactly what both of these men in both of these books are talking about: a national turning away.] …so that you will not hear…" (vs 15-17).

Wouldn't it be interesting if all of those advocates of Christmas on Fox News and elsewhere really understood about it? I wonder, since they say they want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth—do they really? Or do they really want the truth the way they view the truth and want to enforce upon other people? Bill O'Reilly also had someone tell him about Christmas, that it's pagan and saturnalia and everything, and he just kind of flipped it off. Now 'if you will not hear'—that's important.

"…but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them; I denounce to you this day, that you shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days upon the land, where you go over Jordan to possess it" (17-18).

Now as I mentioned before, I'll mention again: What is the leading cause of premature death today? Drug addicts reaching the old age of between forty and fifty-five. Did they prolong their days? Think about all the teenagers that died when they got in a car and had their drunken graduation parties, etc. Did they prolong their days? No! You can add on many more here.

Now v 19 to give the reality, and lot's of times it's good to have a reality check—isn't it?—whether you believe God or not. Because everyone can do this, they can go outside and stand on terra firma, the earth, and they can look up and see the heavens, and every time you do, you affirm this verse whether you agree with it or not.

(go to the next track)

Now this next verse is a witness to everyone in the world, because every human being in the world is on the earth—right? They know about the earth, they know about the world—don't they? They can look up and see the sky and see the heavens—can't they? So God makes it simple.

"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you…" (v 19). If you don't believe a man, if you don't believe the Word of God, the heaven and the earth have already witnessed against you—it's very existence. And what did Jesus say of His words? He said, 'Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.' You can't run and hide! Where are you going to go? As long as you're on the earth or in the heavens, if you're shot out on a rocket, God is witnessing to you that He is Creator, that He has given laws, commandments, statutes, judgments, and that He has commanded you to love Him. As we're going through this, I want you to ask the questions:

  • What occupies my mind?
  • What am I addicted to?

Any one of the things we have covered here? And then we will see the solution, what to do about it; probably have to wait until the next sermon. "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing…." (v 19).

Human nature is perverse, because human nature, the carnal mind, is enmity against God; deceives itself. It wants to live in a state of sin and to receive all the blessings of God. That's an impossibility! There is a deception in it that begins at first when you are sinning which is this: There's 'pleasure in sin for a season,' and then reality hits you; the circumstances around you hit you.

I recall Dolores read an article about a man who was a cocaine addict, and he had been to many different twelve-step programs to overcome his addiction. But all of those overcoming-addiction programs do not work unless you choose to quit being addicted! And he had just gotten out of the rehab center and was on his way to buy some cocaine. Reality struck him and he remembered his kids, remembered his wife. Turned his car around, went back home and stopped everything from that instant on because he made up his mind and chose to do so.

That's what God is telling us here. What we are talking about is your own personal responsibility. You are responsible for your own life. "…set before you life and death, blessing and cursing…. [What does God want you to do? You have to choose!] …Therefore, choose life, that both you and your seed [descendents] may live. That you may love the LORD your God that you may obey His voice, and that you may cleave to Him…" (vs 19-20). That's what God wants. Every blessing will come from God because of that; even eternal life.

Now here is what most people don't realize. Everyone thinks that he or she, because of independent free choice that God has given them, that it's 'my choice to make and it's my life to live.' That is true! However, you have this witness against you. Now God says, "…for He is your life, and the length of your days…." (v 20). What makes you keep breathing? God originally breathed into Adam the breath of life—didn't He? What makes you keep breathing? You hardly ever think about it—do you? How many thousands of times a day do you breathe, hundreds of thousands of times a day, and figure your whole life long. Times that by 70-years, 80-years, and even some people live up to be 120 maximum. But the only way you reach whatever age you reach is because you breathe. God put it in you, in your system to do so, and it's automatic, it's involuntary. We are all breathing right now while we are listening and speaking—right? God gave that to you. You live and exist because of God.

"…for He is your life and length of days that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them" (v 20). Brethren, that's why we're here in good old USA, because of the blessing of God. Isn't that something? Even to the wicked, God does not take away the right to breathe, they may live shorter lives because of their sins, but God hasn't taken it away. So what all of this tells us is another thing and we can sum it up this way, when we realize that Satan is 'the god of this world': You are either under the authority of God, or you're under the authority of Satan, and a lot of people would like to choose the middle ground, but there is no middle ground.

So as we go through this ask yourself: What addiction am I hooked on?

  • is it alcohol?
  • is it drugs?
  • is it pornography?
  • is it sex?
  • is it video games?
  • is it television?
  • is it music?
  • is it witchcraft?
  • is it fun and daring?
  • is it sports?
  • what drives and motivates your life?

And we'll see how we can look at it. So you are either under the authority of God or under the authority of Satan because he is the 'god of this world.' And as Paul wrote, 'There are spirits and principalities at work in high places'—which sets the agenda for Satan's way. And you read Rev. 12:9, he's got the whole world deceived—right? The whole world!

Now let's look at some things concerning how we think and how we act and how we behave. Let's come to Proverbs 14:12. Now in what we're covering, we have to go through some basic Scriptures, but these are fundamental—aren't they? This is a Scripture to learn and never, never forget. Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." It seems right, natural, good, fun, exciting, thrilling, exhilarating! Ends in death.

Let's look at another Proverb. We're going to spend some time in the Book of Proverbs here because the truth is, the Book of Proverbs is perhaps the most important book for anyone who has led a criminal life, been addicted to whatever addiction, to get your life straightened around, because the only way you can recover is to understand there are absolute truths: right and wrong, good and evil. And the Book of Proverbs tells you in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Now we obviously can't read the whole Book of Proverbs.

Let's come to Proverbs 23:7, a very interesting verse. "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…."

  • What's in your heart?
  • What occupies your mind?
  • What are you addicted to?
  • Who is your god?
  • Where are you going?
  • How are you going to end up?

Especially if you are in the Church and baptized, and you have any of these problems, I tell you in the name of Jesus Christ, you are on dangerous ground. Now we will cover on how you can get out of it, because God is there to help. But God is not going to help you unless you repent and understand the weaknesses that are involved.
Now, let's come back here to Proverbs 4. So whatever your addiction is, whatever your secret sins are, God knows and He wants you to get rid of them, but you have to choose to get rid of them. You have to choose to want God's way. This is easy to understand, you know, this is not complicated. Because God wants us to live His way and wants us to avoid the evil, He tells us how.

Proverbs 4:14: "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of wicked men…. [Now, that's the way of transgressing the laws of God, the commandments of God.] …Avoid it… [don't dabble in it] …pass not by it… [in other words, don't go that way] …turn from it, and pass away…. [Because all the marketers of evil, the purveyors of evil that want to ensnare you in satanic culture and drugs and addiction and sex and pornography and gambling and all the other addictions that I have mentioned.] …For they sleep not, except they have done mischief…" (vs 14-16). And that's exactly what David Kupelian brings out in the book, The Marketing of Evil.

  • they plan it
  • they plan the response
  • they plan the television
  • they plan the movies

All of these things are scripted for a response from you! Every ad you see or hear is scripted for a response! Every song, every word in those songs is scripted for a response! That's why—v 16: "…they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall." They would lose sleep if they started losing numbers. And I tell every teenager: Do not get involved in MTV. Do not enter into it; don't turn on the channel, don't go that way, avoid it, pass by it.

Interesting, I was in Nob Hill the other night and I couldn't resist. Here is a mother exasperated with her teenage daughter gawking and looking at these women's magazines. Now when you go through the checkout counter, and I have mentioned this before, every magazine is geared to women to keep them deceived and locked into the way of the world and sin and divorce and promiscuity and envy and jealousy and lust. Now I will have to give Nob Hill credit, they had at the bottom, almost could hardly see it, a picture on a man's magazine with a muscle man on the front; only time I've ever seen it. And so here is this mother, and I looked at the teenaged girl, and she was looking at these and I said, 'Hey, you need to be careful, these things are designed to make you do wrong, to keep your mind on evil.' And her mother is sitting over there nodding her head like this. And I said, 'You would do well not to pay any attention to them.' And the mother is nodding her head—yes, yes, yes, yes.
Now here is their agenda, v 17: "For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence…" To see how many people they can ensnare in it; to see how many teenage minds they can blow and corrupt. Do yourself a favor some time, when high school gets out, go park the car and watch all of the sad teenagers pass by hooked with their music blasting in their ears, talking on their cell phones to their friends, knowing that they are going home to a home devoid of mother and father because Satan has created a world where mother and father must work and they cannot do what they need to do to take care of the family. And the kids are left to their own and swamped and deluded into all kinds of evil. beginning with sex education in the third grade, maybe even kindergarten, so what do you suppose they are going to do when they get home? Caught! Hooked! Addicted!

Verse 19: "The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble." They have problems, they have difficulties; they don't know what to do. They can't find any answers. Their lives are a wreck; their emotions are a wreck. They have given the most precious thing that they have in sin: their lives, their minds, their bodies. And they wonder what's wrong.

Let's come over here to Proverbs 1 because Proverbs 1:1 starts out and tells you how you can avoid this. Here is the very first thing. "The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel… [Now a lot of these are David's proverbs that Solomon put out. But Solomon, as we have covered, is an example of going against everything that he taught, so why should we be surprised if people in the church become like people in the world? Solomon did—didn't he? and led the way.] …to know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding… [and, of course, that's what everyone wants—isn't it? To be smart, to be intelligent, to be wise] …justice, and judgment, and equity; to give subtlety to the simple… [In other words, to give you the thinking capacity to understand right and wrong, good and evil, blessing and cursing.] …to the young man… [young woman] …knowledge and discretion…. [Now let's see if you're smart or not. It doesn't matter what your age is.] …A wise man will hear, and will increase in learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels" (vs 1-5). Doesn't that sound an awful lot like Matt. 13 that we just read? Yes, indeed! What you need to understand is this: the Word of God agrees with itself over and over and over again; it doesn't contradict itself.

Verse 6: "To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings…. [Here is how you begin life]: …The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…." (vs 6-7). Now what does that mean? That is to give you a conscience and a sense of right and wrong. So it begins with the fear of the Lord. Now we'll talk about this in a little bit here.

Proverbs 9:10: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…. [It doesn't matter what your IQ may say on an SAT test, because many wise men are fools when it comes to understanding God's way.] …And the knowledge of the Holy is understanding." In other words, to understand the Word of God gives you understanding so you can live and cope in this world and not be drugged down, and that's not in the way of a pun, but to be dragged into things because you do not have the will power to resist. So you have to have the will power to resist and the beginning of that will power is the fear of the Lord. And everything that Satan does is to whittle away at your conscience; to drag you further, and further, and further down into the cesspool of sin to where you have no conscience at all! Then he's got you! Have you ever talked to a person who has no conscience? It is difficult, indeed! Pitiful! Sorrowful! But the only way that they can come out of it, is to begin to know right and wrong. Start at the beginning again. That's why it says here, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…."

Now come back to Proverbs 1:7 "…but fools despise wisdom and instruction…. [What are you? A fool? or Wise? Notice how the Proverbs make it righteousness or sin, goodness or evil, all the way through.] …My son, hear the instruction of your father… [this is how we know that this is from David to Solomon] …and forsake not the law of your mother" (vs 7-8). What's the first thing that teenagers are known to do? Reject the instruction of their parents, and rebel against them. Isn't that true? Yes, indeed! And I know, and you know, and every person alive knows that when you were a teenager and you got out on your own that you did things that your mom and dad never knew about and you never told them. Hopefully, you have been able to repent of them. That's the pull of human nature. And the way that you overcome the pull of human nature is to understand that God gave you fathers and mothers to teach you the right way. Today, there are very few that teach the right way, for they themselves have been compromised in the generation preceding you.

Now, here is what's going to happen. You want everything to go right in your life as a young person? Then listen to the instruction of your father, and the law of your mother, v 9: "For they shall be an ornament of grace about your head, and chains… [of decoration and honor] …about your neck." And that means it's going to give you strength. It's going to give you the ability to say, 'no!' It is going to give you the ability to not get involved in transgressing the laws of God, to get involved in drugs, or sex, or music.
Now then, let's talk about friends and peer pressure because all teenagers, young people have been made to believe through the educational system through television, through movies, through everything else that they have to conform to the teenagers, and have something made special for them, because after all, 'we're different'! And of course, your parents don't know what it's like to be a teen, never thinking that their parents were young once. But you know when you grow up in a family, you look at your father and mother, they're already grown up—right? You don't think of them as being little one time. So this is how Satan has divided it, 'Oh don't listen to your parents; they're old fashioned. We have new modern things. You need this; you need that; you need the other thing. Listen to this music; watch that video program; get involved in this video game.' And most video games are, what, almost pure Satanism and occultism. Have your own cell phone so you can talk to your friends. Get your music and blast it into your ears—so Satan can totally occupy your mind all the time—and have friends that agree with you.

Verse 10: "My son, if sinners entice you, consent not… [It's your choice! Same way if you are an adult and you're addicted to pornography and you go online and turn it on, and you sneak around and don't let your wife know, don't let anyone else know until your life is already captured and nearly destroyed! Same way with women. There are 30-million women hooked on porn—online porn—and probably that many men or more. So we are dealing with close to a third of the population of America, hooked on porn one way or the other, then comes drugs, then comes gambling, then comes all of these other things.

Verse 11: "If they say, 'Come with us… [Let's form a club. That goes clear up into adult life—doesn't it? Don't they have secret societies? Secret clubs? Yes!] …let us lay in wait for blood… [this is gang related. Do we have problems with gangs? Yes!] …let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause…. [Do they have crimes in the cities based on that? Yes, indeed!] …let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit. We shall find all precious substance, we will fill our houses with spoil; cast in your lot among us: let us all have one purse'" (vs 11-14).

Now in the good little old wonderful town of Hollister, California, they just recently broke up a crime ring, organized by two adult women. And they had teenagers that would go out and in the daytime break into homes and steal things: steal cars, drive around and watch where a car is running, let one of them out, jump in the car and drive away POOF! your car is gone! Go in the house and steal things, and then they had the audacity—they shouldn't have done this because when they did this, they really got the people upset—they went into a house and guess what they found, nine [corrected] Labrador blonde puppies worth hundreds of dollars, so they stole them. That got them! They were still nursing from their mother and they were about five to six weeks old. That's how they got caught, peddling this, and they went into the house, and they found the house full of all these stolen goods that the police in Hollister had been chasing down all of these things for months! That's to say nothing of the other thing: There was even a gang shooting in Hollister!

But what does God say: 'your choice.' Peer pressure: 'Oh, you aren't macho if you don't join us.' Or like girls, and there are girl gangs and girl things, too, yes! Verse 15: "My son, walk you not in the way with them; refrain your foot from their path." Don't go with them.

You have to ask the question: Are you willing to stand alone for the Truth of God and to obey God? or To go along with sinners because you need friends? And are they your friends if they lead you into sin? That's what you need to ask. And we live in a respectable neighborhood. A respectable neighborhood today is no longer respectable. Dolores told me this morning—I didn't hear it because I went to bed early—that there was a fist fight and a possible shooting across the street in front of our house. Good thing I was asleep. So it's reaching down you see that's what we read there in Jer. 6—didn't we? Everyone is given over to evil! Amazing thing!

Verse 16: "For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed innocent blood…. [Now that's quoted in Rom. 3—right? Yes!] …Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood…. [Sooner or later it's going to come back on them after they have done evil to other people, of course.] …They lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of everyone that is greedy of gain; which takes away the life of the owners thereof" (vs 16-19). You can take and apply that to anything, and if you are involved in addiction, then you are involved in this way.

The rest of the chapter is really quite an important one because God has not left this world without the knowledge of basic right and wrong. He is not calling the world, but He has not left them without the basic knowledge of right and wrong, otherwise God could not hold they accountable for their behavior—correct? Because 'where there is no law there is no sin,' but there is law; therefore, there is sin.

So he says, v 20: "Wisdom cries out; she utters her voice in the streets. She cries in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates; in the city she utters her words, saying, 'How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?'…. [Now that means stupidones. Will you love stupidity? I think in the Greek it is 'idiotes.' I don't know what it is in the Hebrew. But that's where we get the word idiot today. The Spanish Bible says, they are mocking what is right and thinking that nothing wrong will come upon them.] …And the scorners delight in their scorning, and the fools hate knowledge?" (vs 20-22).

Now every time you do something wrong, you have a chance to change. You don't have to be hooked in it. Just like this cocaine addict was on his way to the man who sold it to him, the dealer, and it finally dawned on him that he better quit. So he turned and stopped. Every time that evil comes along, you have a chance to turn and stop.

Verse 23: "Turn you at My reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you." Everybody has a chance. Now if you don't, which is what this world is coming to, let me ask this: What are you going to do with your next chance to change and repent? What are you going to do the next time you want to take a drink? or The next time you take a drug? or The next time you go into a casino? or You go to online porn? or To online gambling? What are you going to do? What are you going to do the next time you want to commit adultery with your neighbor's wife or husband? What are you going to do when all the kids want you to go with them? What is your choice?

When you reject God you reject choice, you refuse Truth, and then God says this, v 24: "Because I have called, and you refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but you have set at nought all My counsel… [you counted it as nothing] …and would none of My reproof…" (vs 24-25). You don't want any correction; you don't want anyone telling you what to do. When you reach that point, that you have no conscience; you have no sense of right and wrong; you have no sense of good and evil; you have completely seared your conscience—that you don't care for anyone but yourself and your addiction—and whatever it is that runs your life, whether you are young, whether you are old, whether you are in between, all of those things are there.

Verse 26: "I also will laugh at your calamity… [You're going to have a lot of trouble and it's coming! Happens in the way of accidents, bankruptcy, lying, cheating, stealing, sexually transmitted diseases, of which there are probably over a hundred different varieties.] …I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear comes; when your fear comes as desolation, and your destruction comes as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish come upon you…. [And you sit there and say, 'Why?'] …Then they shall call upon Me, but I will not answer… [And that's one place you never want to get in your life, that you have disregarded God so much and have scorned everything of God so badly, that when you are in the deep pit of your troubles, God is not going to hear you because you won't repent.] …They shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me. For they hated knowledge, and they chose not the fear of the LORD. They would none of My counsel… [that is they would not have any of My counsel] …they despised all my reproof. Therefore… [your life is going to come upon you the way you laid it out.] …Therefore, shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of the fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkens unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil" (vs 26-33).

Now we'll have to continue on next time because there is an awful lot to cover. But the Book of Proverbs gives you the foundation where you can begin to sort out

  • right and wrong
  • good and evil
  • truth and knowledge
  • understanding

—and the way of God so you can get your life squared around. But you have to choose, and you have to choose God's way.

Old Testament Scriptures from the King James Version
New Testament Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 13:10-17
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-8, 13
  • Jeremiah 6:13-19
  • Isaiah 5:20
  • Deuteronomy 30:11-20
  • Proverbs 14:12
  • Proverbs 23:7
  • Proverbs 4:14-17, 19
  • Proverbs 1:1-7
  • Proverbs 9:10
  • Proverbs 1: 7-33

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Jeremiah 23
  • Psalm 111:10
  • 2 Chronicles 35
  • Revelation 12:9
  • Romans 3

Also referenced: Books:

  • Brokenness, the Forgotten Factor of Prayer by Mickey Bonner
  • War Over Christmas by Juan Williams
  • Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian

Transcribed: 11/5/06
Re-formatted—bo: 12-20-09