Fred R. Coulter—May 7, 2011

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services. Today we're going to cover something that perhaps affects every single one of us in the room, regardless of our age, regardless of whether we're man or woman. And it has to do with how do you recover from traumatic events that are still lodged in your mind.

Let's come here to Luke 4, and let's see the purposes of the ministry of Jesus Christ. There are experiences that we all go through that may be very devastating and long-lasting. What do you do with those? Have you ever gone along and all of a sudden a bad memory comes back on you? Unfortunately, for people who have really been abused or hurt, it doesn't come back on you, it hardly ever goes away. And it can affect everything in your life, from

  • the way you think
  • to your health
  • to how you view the world
  • how you view other people

This is what Jesus was talking about here in Luke 4:16: "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and according to His custom, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath Day and stood up to read. And there was given Him the book of the prophet Isaiah; and when He had unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me...'" (vs 16-18).

What we are talking about is something that only be done with the Spirit of God. Not only the preaching, but what He's talking about which He talks about right afterwards.

 "...for this reason, He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal those who are brokenhearted... [There is a brokenhearted or broken-spirited healing that has to take place with us.] …to proclaim pardon to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind... [both physical and spiritual] send forth in deliverance those who have been crushed" (v 18). Those who have been crushed are those who have suffered terrible traumatic things and also along with physical things. We're going to talk about some things here that are important for us to understand. This was given as a prophecy in Isaiah.

Let's go back to Isaiah 61, and let's see what else it says, because it goes on a little bit further. And I would have to say that it is my observation within the Churches of God that because too many human ways were used to control the Church that they ended up destroying people's lives. That can happen

  • within a family
  • within a church
  • within groups of churches (congregation) in society
  • in your work
  • in your family
  • between you and another friend at a young age or an older age

These experiences lodge in our brains. By the same mechanism we remember, they've also discovered that the brain can forget. We're going to talk about how we handle those emotional, spiritual, and mental things that are in our mind that we must deal with. We can't go along and say, 'Oh, I shouldn't think of that!' No, it'll come back again on you. It is true you shouldn't think about it, but the question is: How do you get rid of it or erase it?

So Isaiah 61:1: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me because the LORD has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the broken hearted... [The heart is the seat of all your emotions and your mind is the memory.] proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound."

Have you ever watched any of these specials on those who are in prison? You can see it on National Geographic and you can see it on CNBC. You can see it with prisoners all the way from misdemeanors to hard-hearted criminals. And the only thing you can say is, it's a pitiful situation. This world is in just terrible shape. People are in terrible, terrible shape. When we come out of the world, we have to have all of that taken care of in time within the church and with our conversion.

Verse 2: "To preach the acceptable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God... [That's yet to come.] comfort all who mourn; To appoint to those who mourn in Zion, giving to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness..." (vs 2-3).

What happens when you have a big problem? You're weighted down emotionally; you're heavy. You haven't gained any weight, but your mind feels like it weighs fifty pounds. " that they might be called trees of righteousness... [conversion] ...the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified" (v 3). So that's the whole purpose. This is the key that we need to look at.

All right, let's ask some questions. How did we get in some of these problems anyway? We can look back at our childhood and growing up and there are many first-time experiences, including sexual encounters that you can probably still remember to this very day. The key on all of those things is this: you don't want the emotion to be carried forward with the memory. And you want to diminish the memory to a very little part of your mind. But here's how it starts out: How many kids want to go to Disneyland? 'Oh, yeah, let's go to Disneyland. Oh, yes, we're going to have fun there.' And the parents go, they're totally unaware they're being led into witchcraft. Because it's fun! Everybody's having a good time. But what does that set the stage for?

Matthew 24:10: "And then shall many be led into sin..." Want to focus on that phrase, because if you're never taught the Truth and you don't know what is right, it's easy to get led into sin. And it's easy to come to accept sin as something that you live with.

I can't help but think of those poor girls who have been kidnapped and kept in prison someplace for years and years and sexually abused. How can that kind of memory be mitigated? What do we do? How can we help them? And essentially, as what we're going to see, we can help to a certain point, but they have got to come to where they have to tackle the problem head on themselves regardless of their age. When they're younger, parents can help them do it. When they're older, especially if you're alone and neglected and abused and put aside, lots of times people just become sort of wasted human life going through the motions of living.

  • no purpose
  • no understanding
  • no relief
  • not knowing what to do

So people get led into sin. They get let into the sin of sex and of drugs, gangs. Of course, that's one of the first things that Proverbs talks about: don't get into gangs.

You get led into wrong religion. You get led into many different things—don't you? Then you also have things come along in a way of accidents. How many here have been in a traumatic accident? How many have suffered from violence? How about incest? How about rape? How about robbery? Today, in watching television, our emotions are calloused because we see these things as almost everyday occurrences on television—right? Yes! And our children play with digital games where killing just comes naturally, where snuffing out a life is a game. So they lose the feeling, they lose the emotion toward other people.

All of these things come along. Then you can talk about marriages; you can have good, bad and ugly marriages, abusive marriages; could be husband abuse or wife abuse. Then you have the problems of divorce and remarriage; have the problems of war. How many here have been in shooting war? Those things you don't forget. Then it edges into other things. It edges into demon influence. Demon influence is not demon possession. We'll talk about that, too.

Let's understand something concerning all of these things. Let's first of all go to Psalm 103. Here's a Psalm we all need to be aware of; the first four verses are what we need to look to:

Psalm 103:1: "Bless the LORD, O my soul and all that is within me... [That's the beginning of changing these things, right there. As we're going to see, it is your personal relationship with God.] ...bless His Holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases" (vs 1-3).

That's very interesting, the way it is. He doesn't say who heals all your diseases and forgives your iniquities, because you have to have your sins forgiven first. We are going to see that what we have in our minds, with these things that emotionally bother us, may have been instituted by someone else rather than you. But nevertheless it is still sin. A lot of the things that are sin are things that we see. And what did Jesus say about lust and adultery? How about music? How about rock stars? How about athletics? All of those are things you see and you do. "...heals all your diseases."

Having forgiveness of sin first and then being healed comes second. So, if you want these things in your mind healed, then you need to repent of the sins that caused them, even though you may have been led away by someone else.

Verse 4: "Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies." Let's look at God's promise here in the New Testament, and we will find out that, yes, Jesus is there. You can confess your sins to Him, confess them to the Father, and you will be forgiven. Then we will see what you need to do.

Matthew 12:31: "Because of this, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; that shall not be forgiven to men." That is rejecting the Spirit of God from the Father

  • with malice
  • with forethought
  • with vindictiveness
  • with hatefulness
  • with no repentance

When someone is worried that they've committed the unpardonable sin, the very worry tells you, you haven't, because those who commit the unpardonable sin won't worry about it.

Verse 32: "And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man... [Whether in a religious setting or whether in swearing and cursing.] shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age nor in the coming age."

The next verse tells us something very, very important. It shows there's part that God has to do. He's the One Who's going to forgive, but then we have the part we need to do. Because in forgiving sin for sickness, Jesus said what? 'Go and sin no more.'

Verse 33: "Either make three good... [That means we've got things in our lives to take care of.] ...and the fruit good... [the fruit of the Holy Spirit] ...or make the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt... [there's no middle ground] ...for a tree is known by its fruit." There are things we're going to have to do. Let's see there are things that come upon us that we may or may not have any responsibility for. It may have been the responsibility of the family.

Verse 43: "But when the unclean spirit has departed from a man... [Now a lot of these things are influenced by Satan the devil. We'll see that in just a minute. Some of it is by demon possession. Remember Jesus cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene.] goes through dry places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, 'I will return to my house, from which I came out.' And after coming, it finds it unoccupied, swept and set in order.... [That shows nothing was done to build and protect. Nothing was done to establish a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ.] ...Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Likewise shall it also be with this wicked generation'" (vs 43-45).

Isn't that what's happening in this world today? Look at how much more demonic and occult are the movies, the music, the sports. Look at all the basketball players, occult tattoos all over them and they know that they have this done so that spirit of this artwork will be with them to make them bigger, better, stronger, and faster, all into Satanism. I don't think we realize how much the young people and us as adults have been subjected to those kinds of influences. Here's something we also need to be aware of, to repent of, and also to avoid.

Let me just say something here that's very important to understand, especially viewed from children within the Church. You see your parents wanting to grow and change and overcome. Perhaps you may view it from the point of view, 'Oh, they're getting so 'religious.' They're really not 'hip'; with it.' Let me tell you something. Do you think that there is ever a time that you can overdo your relationship with God? No! But you can take the Word of God by the letter of the law and use it as a club against your family and children and God doesn't want that, because that's not based on love. The more that you love God with all your heart and mind and soul and being, the more that you'll be able to understand what I'm talking about and put these things out of your lives.

Now I remember dealing in a situation with a woman who was in the grips of the spirit of fear, spirit of torment. And in praying for her, I asked God to cast out the spirit of fear—and we'll see the source where that comes—the spirit of torment, the spirit of doubt, the spirit of resentment and hatred. All of that does not come from God. Here's where it comes from.

Ephesians 2:1: "Now you were dead in trespasses and sins, In which you walked in times past according to the course of this world... [Just part of the world. Let me tell you something, today there is a great division between the Truth of God and the way the world lives, more than ever before.] ...according to the prince of the power of the air... [That's Satan the devil and he can put thoughts into the minds of people. He can lead great athletes. He can lead great musicians, politicians, whatever it may be.] ...the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience" (vs 1-2).

If you live a life wanting to go against God, you're a child of disobedience. Now remember, all sins can be forgiven men. These things can be forgiven, but if we're not aware of them and we don't act upon them and we don't repent of them, then those things can take us down, sometimes the rest of our lives. And we ought not let that happen.

Notice, Paul includes himself in this, v 3: "Among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world. But God, Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, has made us alive together with Christ. (For you have been saved by grace.)" (vs 3-5).

This is where we need to come, brethren. Have you ever had a bundle of wire? Have you seen how some ranchers take bailing wire, they open the bales of hay and they take the wire and they wrap it and they wrap it. Pretty soon you get a big bundle of wire. Well, you take a strand of that out of there, then compare with the wire before it was put on the bale and then ask the question: Can you make this wire as straight as it originally was? The answer is—not by human effort! But if we likened that to our lives, yes, by the Spirit of God. Yes, by repentance and serving God.

Now some of these things, because of this, we have to use the spiritual tools of God. Let's see what Jesus said. Here's where the disciples could not cast the demon out of this young boy, and it was a pitiful case. So, the father came up to Jesus when He came down off the mountain to the crowd there. Mark 9: "Then one from the multitude said, 'Master, I brought my son who has a dumb spirit to You; for wherever it seizes him it dashes him down; and he foams and gnashes his teeth, and is withering away….'" (vs 17-18).

You can have this, you can have trauma. There are some people who just are so traumatized they stare off into space, same kind of thing. You can have trauma that you don't want to talk to anybody else. You can feel so violated inside by what someone has done that you really don't want to be around anyone else the rest of your life. It can get that serious. Here, this poor boy, it came on him ever since he was a child.

"'…And I spoke to Your disciples, in order that they might cast it out, but they did not have the power.' And He answered him, saying, 'O faithless generation!.… [He was talking to His disciples.] ...How long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.' Then they brought him to Him. But when the spirit saw Him, it immediately threw him into convulsions; and he fell down on the ground and began rolling about and foaming at the mouth" (vs 18-20).

What do you do in cases like that? Today, a lot of that can happen with drugs. Your kids can go out to have a good time and someone says, 'Oh, here, take this. This will make you feel real happy.' Can destroy their whole life. BANG! Just like that. That can happen with all kinds of drugs. That can happen even with smoking marijuana. Oh, you know the Republican presidential candidate from New Mexico, Johnson I think his name is, he wants to legalize marijuana. Well, he doesn't even know what he's talking about because you can have the un-hybrid type of marijuana can be overcome more easily in the system than the hybrid that they have with all the strong seeds that they smoke. And those seeds can get so strong, that a person can smoke those seeds the first time and they become psychotic, because it goes directly to the brain, affects the way that they think.

There are going to be people like that. How many people smoke marijuana here in California? Remember the smoke-in they had up in San Francisco when they were pushing to legalize marijuana, and guess who was financing that? Anybody know who was financing that? George Soros! Showed thousands of people out at the park, all smoking, and here's this huge cloud of marijuana smoke rising up out of it. God is going call some people who have had experiences like that. What are we to do? We are to help them! We are to show them how they can get their lives in right order with God. There are also some health things they need to do. We can tell them those things as well. So we're talking about some difficult things, just like this here.

Verse 21: "And He asked his father, 'How long a time has this demon been with him?' And he said, 'From childhood.... [That could happen.] ...For it often throws him both into the fire and into the water, that it might destroy him. But if You have the power to do anything, have compassion on us and help us. And Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe, all things are possible to the one who believes'.... [This is where a lot of us are today. We read these things and say, 'Yes, that's true.' We read this over here and we say, 'Yes, that is true.'] ...And the father of the little child cried out at once, saying with tears, 'Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief'" (vs 21-24).

You can't do these things that are instigated by Satan, nor these traumatic things that affect your life, that many people continue to ruin and destroy their lives with the emotional feelings that they still have within them, because they are not able to overcome it by themselves. How do you overcome it? We'll see, part of the answer is here.

So then Jesus cast him out after the multitude came, and so forth. Jesus took him up. Everyone said he was dead, but he was fine. What I want to get to is here, v 28: "And when He came into a house, His disciples asked Him apart, 'Why were we not able to cast it out?' Then He said to them, 'This kind cannot be made to go out by anything except prayer and fasting'" (vs 28-29).

Those are the spiritual tools! God has used prayers that I have prayed to cast out demons. It doesn't make me anything. Every minister should be able to do that. But it also takes faith on our part and it takes the faith that we know that God has given us the authority over every sickness, over every disease, over every bodily weakness, and over the demons.

So some of these problems need to be approached from this point of view, right here. Those things need to be taken care of to cast them out and to relieve the mind from the fear, from the wrong thinking. Sometimes we get so mixed up in this world that our brains actually become 'mis-wired.' Wrong thinking will form the synapses of the brain in a different way; same way with music. Music can form your brain in a wrong way. That's why it takes away from morality. We need to understand that.

Let's look at some of the things that we need to do with this. It has to do with changing the brain through the power of God's Spirit! Eph. 5 is talking about Christ, what He's doing to the Church. This is why, brethren, that our relationship with God is so important. That's why John wrote in the first chapter of the Epistle of John that 'our fellowship is with God the Father and Jesus Christ.' That's where everything comes from. That's the center of everything.

Christ is with us and in us and for us, with our children, and with those that He's working with to call. But here is the goal that He wants done.

  • How is He going to heal the brokenhearted?
  • How is He going to heal those who have been captive and all that they have gone through?

Ephesians 5:26: "So that He might sanctify it..." The Church, because He gave Himself for the Church.

Verse 25, says: ...Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; So that He might sanctify it..." [sanctify means to make it Holy, which means taking that which is unholy, convert it and make it Holy by this process]: ...having cleansed it... [We'll talk about cleansing. That comes with repentance.] ...having cleansed it with the washing of water by the Word" (vs 25-26).

Now the water is the Spirit of God. God is the source of ever-living water. God is the source of His Spirit. So this is the washing of the water by the Word. It takes

  • prayer
  • repentance
  • the Word of God
  • the Spirit of God

and then the action of the washing of the water by the Word. Let's see how that works.

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First thing you need to do is you need to repent for your sins and your part, because whatever the difficulty is, even though you were lead away, many times along the way you could have said 'no,' or could have turned back; some cases you cannot. But nevertheless, it's like they have in the world, you're an accomplice, so you're guilty to a certain degree.

So that's why you need to repent. Just like if Satan influences your life and you don't know it, be it through music, be it through friends, be it through your work, be it through movies, be it through television, whatever, you still have your part in it because you went along with it. Some cases you didn't know. Some cases a friend who is taking drugs says, 'Here try this, you'll have a good Friday night. Boy, this will really make you feel good. Try it.' You choose to do it, so you have to repent of it.

So here is the prayer of repentance. This prayer was prayed by David after he had the whole affair with Bathsheba and killing her husband Uriah the Hittite. That was a gigantic sin, built up over a long period of time—wasn't it? Yes! Notice how he approached God with his repentance and notice what he asked for, and notice how closely that ties in with Eph. 5.

Psalm 51:1: "Have mercy upon me, O God... [We do need mercy, not judgment, not justice, we need mercy and release, just like Jesus said.] ...according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion, blot out my transgressions." Confess them to God, name them, spell it out.

Verse 2: "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin... [Washing of the water by the Word. God wants the inside clean. That's what He told the Pharisees and the scribes, that 'you cleanse the outside, but God wants the inside clean. If the inside is clean, then everything outside is also clean.'] ...for I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me" (vs 2-3).

Think of that! You have something so traumatic in your life that it's right there in the forefront of your mind all the time. That's a tough one to get rid of. And we will see there is a second step that needs to take place with this. But this is the first step: You need forgiveness from God. And that forgiveness can only come through prayer and your personal prayers to God. God will hear, regardless of the circumstances that have taken place. If you truly repent to God,

  • you want to get rid of this thing
  • you want your life to change
  • you want your mind to change
  • you want your heart and your feelings and circumstances to change

—then you come to God 100%. Ask Him to cleanse you.

Verse 4, because here's the key: "Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done evil in Your sight... [All laws of right and wrong, good and evil, come from God. When we're dealing with these severe spiritual problems, it is a sin against God. Whether you have been lead away into it or whether you deliberately did it, you still have your part in it.] ...and done evil in Your sight, that You might be justified when You speak and be in the right when You judge."

Here's the thing that is something we all need to understand and he talks about human nature that we're born with. And with the human nature that we're born with, we have the law of sin and death within us. That's another way of explaining human nature. But human nature needs to be converted and that's the whole process that we're talking about here through repentance.

He said: "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (v 5). Here's what God wants. How do you overcome sin? Remember, what is the thing concerning the Feast of Unleavened Bread? You put away leaven before the Passover and the Feast—right? That means you recognize the sin, but it's just like we read with the demon cast out and it's still cleansed and nothing is put in there, it's going to come back and it's going to be worse.

So, what you need to do is replace. You repent and you replace with the washing of the water by the Word, by God's Spirit. You replace in your mind the evil with His Word. That comes through prayer and study.

Because here's what God wants, v 6: "Behold, You desire Truth in the inward parts..." Inside! Everybody can see the outside. God sees the inside:

  • He knows the mind!
  • He knows the heart!
  • He knows the thought!
  • He knows everything!

Verse 6: "...and in the hidden part You shall make me to know wisdom…. [That's what we need. We need the wisdom of God to change, to grow, to overcome.] …Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (vs 6-7). God can take away every single one of these things. I'm no different than anybody else. I've had to go to God and say, 'God, forgive me, cleanse my mind with the washing of the water by the Word.'

Now then we have to go to the second step when it involves other people. There's another step you need to take and this is the hardest one. It becomes important for us to realize how these things take place and why prayer is so important and the missing ingredient in most prayers.

Jesus cursed the fig tree and it dried up. When they came back the next day, Mark 11:21: "Then Peter remembered and said to Him, 'Look, Master! The fig tree that You cursed has dried up.'.... [This also can become part of our prayer. Remember where we read in Mark 9, 'I believe, but Lord help my unbelief.' Okay, here's part of it, right here.] ...And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Have faith from God'" (vs 21-22). That's the closest we could get to—the Greek implies faith of God or from God. You can't have God's faith as God has faith, but we can have faith from God. How big is your problem? How great is the difficulty? How burdensome is the mental drag?

Verse 23: "For truly I say to you, whoever shall say to this mountain, 'Be taken away and be cast into the sea,' and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he said will take place, he shall have whatever he shall say." Things lodged in our minds and emotional trauma, and lack of forgiveness for those who are perpetrators causes these things to stay in our minds and it continues to be sin within. It can be

  • bitterness
  • anger
  • hatred
  • rage
  • rebellion
  • pornography
  • swearing
  • cursing

It can be any of these things that go on in your mind in the hidden part that only God knows. You need to repent of those. That's harder than moving a mountain, even without any prayer. You can use dynamite and trucks.

Notice carefully, v 25: "But when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive... [That's what needs to be done.] that your Father Who is in heaven may forgive you your offenses." Caveat—right? You can't say, 'God, I love you. God, forgive me. God, forgive my sins, but I'll never forgive that person over here.' Your prayer just fell to the ground. What if you really don't like that individual? Did God qualify it? No! He didn't say forgive the ones you like! The ones you like you're most likely to forgive—isn't that true?

Think back in your life. Now here we're dealing with another problem, but it's still a trauma and still a sin within in the hidden part. Because we can all come to church and when we meet each other everything's nice and hunky-dory and hand shaking, 'How are you today,' but it's still in the brain—right? Yes! The hidden part God knows, and you know.

If it's a person, regardless of who it is, if it's someone that you really offended and they're still offended at you, then you also have to go to that person and make up with them. Do you want to be forgiven? Then you've got to do these things—right?

What if it's something that you know you need to do and you don't quite have enough in you or the person is far away and you can't go to them and say, 'I'm sorry, forgive me. I forgive you for what you did.' The least you can do is write a letter and then see if you can make some contact after that.

What if the person is already dead? Ask yourself a question: If the person is already dead and you still have part of your mind—think about this for a minute: How does God want us to love Him? With all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul—that's our whole being—with all our strength. If you have a corner of your brain reserved for hatred for a certain person and because they did a certain thing you hold something against them, or because you were expecting them to behave in a different way than they did and you became offended.

I even know people who said, 'Well, someone didn't shake hands with me at church, I'll never forgive them for that.' How petty do we get? You don't want that. What if you're confronted with the thing that they're no longer living? You can't go to them. If you have something against your mother and father, you go out and stand on the grave and say, 'I forgive you for this.' They can't hear anything; the dead know nothing. But you can repent of that part of your mind that you hold that sin and let it live in your mind.

You've got to put to death all of those strongholds in the mind. You've got to forgive that person. I know someone who hated his dad, absolutely hated his dad. Then his dad died, but he still couldn't get over it until he repented of hating his father. Maybe his father was really abusive to him. Maybe he beat him up. Maybe almost killed him. But what did Jesus say to those who were killing Him? 'Forgive them, Father, for they don't know what they're doing.'

The long and the short was, when he forgave his father for what he did that caused the hate, and asked God to forgive him for the hate that was in his brain—causing him trouble and trauma to this day—when that was taken care of he began to be released from it through the washing of the water by the Word and continuous repentance and continuous yielding to God and asking God to continually cleanse, because these are things you just don't get rid of at the snap of the finger.

If the trauma is so terrible, such as being raped, ask God to cleanse your mind from it. Only God can do that; or if it's incest. Those are difficult propositions to face, but those are very much more common in the world than we would even like to entertain the thought that it is. And in some countries it's the normal practice.

God said He came to heal the brokenhearted. Are you a captive to your own sin because of lack of repentance? and lack of forgiveness? You have to ask that yourself. I'll let that be something you can judge yourself on. You know what's in here [the mind] and God knows what's in here, so you confess to God.

If you need to confess to the person, go to the person. I've known cases where once that is done, you talk about a real repenting and sobbing session of release, of joy, of gratitude when that burden is lifted. We need to do that within the Church, brethren. I know someone was commenting to me, why, why within seventh-day keeping people there is so much in-fighting and self-righteousness? Because of the lack of what I'm talking about today, that's why!

I know a big high mucky-muck minister, who to this day says he's mellowed, but he still harbors hate and that has incapacitated him. These things affect our emotions; they affect our health. I know people that have been oppressed within the Church and I even know one man personally and I feel the way he was treated within the Church of God caused him to die of cancer, because of the trauma.

  • You can't reserve in your mind trauma
  • You can't dwell on those things
  • You must put them behind
  • You must put them back

Paul talks about that—doesn't he? Philip. 3—here's what we are to do. That's why there has to be

  • repentance on our part
  • forgiveness toward the individual to God
  • and ask God to release it out of your mind.

Let's look at it physically this way. What if you saw someone who had a belt around their waste and a big chain on it and they had an anchor. Everywhere they went that anchor drug behind them—Clank! Clank! Everyone would look because it's outside, they would look and see, 'That's kind of stupid. What kind of person would do that, drag an anchor behind him?'

And he just says, 'Well, it's my burden to bear.' The thing is: Christ takes all of our burdens—right? Yes, He does! He says, 'Take My burden.' And that burden is the lifting of this. Mentally and spiritually, do you have any chains and anchors that are holding you back? You alone know, so you need to repent.

Now another good thing about it is this. When you do, you have forgiveness. The other person has been forgiven by you, and now God can deal with you directly and you can love God more. You can serve Him more. You don't have to have the depression of carrying this burden mentally. Here's what you do. You have to do this, just like I said. The part of the brain that remembers is also the part that forgets. So you ask God for forgetfulness in the washing of the water by the Word. Here's what we do.

Philippians 3:8: "But then truly, I count all things... [That is all the supposedly good things in the world that he had done when he was with Judaism, and so forth.] ...I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as dung; that I may gain Christ."

Is that anchor in your brain or in your soul or in your emotion? Is that like a little pile of manure sitting back there rotting and festering that is always there? You know how a manure pile does? It lets off odor and it lets off heat and lets off steam. It's a wonderful place for maggots; flies love it. Do you have a place like that in your mind that you need cleansed out? Maybe in some of the cleansing you better ask God for a little backhoe, get some of this stuff out. Count it all but loss!

  • What good does it do to be mad at someone who's dead?
  • What good does it do to be mad at someone because you have hurt feelings

—and now your whole health and your whole mind and your body and your emotions are affected by it?

Verse 8: "...count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as dung... [the Greek there is 'skubala'] ...that I may gain Christ."

Listen, do you want to gain Christ? or Do you want to hold onto these things? What is it that you want in your life? That's what we have to ask ourselves. I've had to ask myself. We've all had plenty of experiences where we can be mad and angry and indignant—and righteously so. But maybe God had another purpose in it than we thought.

I know the things that Dolores and I have gone through and our children have gone through. I remember one night, and one of the things you can do to try and drown this, but it won't drown it, you can have a little libation. A little scotch would do just good, two or three or four would do even better. That makes it lovely—huh? And then you go to bed and you get this big hangover. And I woke up at two in the morning, because it was a very low, traumatic time in our lives. I mean, the very, very lowest. And I sat up in bed at two o'clock in the morning and said, 'They can't do this!' And I sat there and thought to myself, but they did. When you have something like that, it'll take you a while to get over being angry, but you have to go and ask for the washing of the water by the Word. 'Take it away, O God, forgive them for what they've done. You deal with them the way You want to deal with them.' Put it all in God's hands.

Here's what it needs to be for us—gain Christ, v 9: "And may be found in Him, not having my own righteousness..." [Which includes what? All of your hatred and bitterness and anger and resentment and jealousy—right? Because you think you're right in it, so it's your righteousness—correct? 'I deserve to be angry at this person, look what he did to me.'

"...which is derived from law... [Or that is just from carnal ways.] ...but that righteousness which is by the faith of Christ—the righteousness of God that is based on faith. That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings... [Notice the change of his heart and mind.] ...being conformed to His death; If by any means I may attain unto the resurrection of the dead; not as though I have already received, or have already been perfected; but I am striving..." (vs 9-12).

This is what we need to do, brethren, and what I'm talking about here. Some of these are long-term problems. You may know people that I don't even know of that need to have this information, that need to understand what this is. Ask them if they would please watch this video or if they would please listen to the CD that we're going to send out.

  • Think about what you're thinking!
  • Think about how it's dragging you down!
  • Think about how it's destroying your life!
  • What do you want to do with your life?
  • Can you live the rest of your life the way you're going now?
  • What is going to happen?

Some of these things are that serious.

But here's what we do, v 12: "...but I am striving, so that I may also lay hold on that for which I also was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren... [Here's what we need to do.] ...I do not count myself as having attained; but this one thing I do... [Now notice carefully:] ...forgetting the things that are behind..." (vs 12-13). Look what Paul had to forget—beatings, chaining, persecution, killings—all at the behest of the priests. 'He was right, he gave me the orders, that was the perfect thing to do.' Really? No, it was hatred and against God!

Likewise, anything that you have. You can't justify having it—can you? He'll forgive all of our iniquities provided we repent and provided that we forgive. Then with the washing of the water by the Word we can begin to forget. We can begin to put away the emotion of the experience. We learn the lesson, so it doesn't happen again, but we put away the emotion of the experience and replace that with

  • the love of God
  • the joy of God
  • the Word of God

That way when you meet people you can truly look them right in the eye and you can love them, be thankful for them, regardless of what they've gone through.

God doesn't call us by merit badges—does He? 'Oh, this one's been pretty good over there. Oh, that's almost an Eagle Scout, I'll choose him. He has all those merit badges.' No! He looks down and says, 'Oh, here's this one in great trouble. I'll call him. I'll call her.' God is the Expert Converter and Repairer. He can convert and repair the mind with your active participation! You have got to put forth the repentance and the forgiveness and the understanding of how to run your mind and control your thoughts.

That's what it means back there in 2-Cor. 10 to 'bring down every vain imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ.'

  • Does hatred to that? Yes!
  • Does jealousy do that? Yes!
  • Does bitterness do that? Yes!
  • Does demonism do that? Yes!
  • Living in the world the way the world is, does that do that? Yes!

All of it together. So we've got a huge plate set before us—don't we? Now notice what he does: "...forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth to the things that are ahead" (v 13).

Randy and I were talking one day and he was saying, 'The kingdom.' So I thought, yes, that's what we need. So how many did I do on the kingdom? Twenty-one half-hour programs on the kingdom. That's what we need to be focused on. And there are ten ways to enter into the Kingdom of God. So if you haven't heard that one and you don't go online, it'll be coming one of these days. But we're up to 142 and we've done 160 and I think we're up to about 72 on the CD's with this coming mailing.

"...forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth to the things that are ahead" (v 13). That's what we're to do. All of this

  • cleanses the mind
  • lifts the burden
  • relieves the depression
  • gets rid of the anger
  • gives you clear vision to understand what you need to do.

Verse 14: "I press... [He says, I press. That's the work that needs to be done.] ...toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.... [here's a promise]: ...So then, let as many as be perfect be of this mind. And if in anything you are otherwise minded, God will reveal even this to you" (vs 14-15). Isn't that a blessing? You be of this mind and God will help you see other things you need to repent of, too! That's a tremendous blessing—isn't it? Yes!

Now look, we're on the road to perfection through Christ, but all of us are a walking bundle of mistakes, otherwise we wouldn't be here. Isn't that true? Yes! God has called what?

  • He's called the weak!
  • He's called the foolish!
  • He's called the low-born!

But He has a great surprise for all the elite of the world. They're all going to become unemployed and we're going to take their places when Christ returns. So, we have a lot to look forward to. Let's remember this.

Verse 15: "...otherwise minded, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, in regard to that which we have attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren, be imitators together of me, and bear in mind those who walk in this way, as you have us for an example" (vs 15-17).

Brethren, a lot of us who have been in the Church a long time, we have varying degrees of baggage that we need to get rid of. If we've had trauma or circumstances that are very long-lasting in our lives, we need to ask God to help us

  • repent
  • forgive
  • overcome

You will see it will work miracles in your mind and the way that you think.

It will help you in your relationship to God in prayer and in study and in loving God and serving Him. It will clean away. For those of you have glasses—have you ever had glasses so fogged over and you get used to them and you think your eyes are going bad. So you go to the optometrist and he takes a look at your eyes. He doesn't tell you that, 'Well, they're just fine, but I noticed your glasses are dirty. Let's clean them up.' Then you say, 'Oh, what a relief that is.'

Let's see if we can do that with this, with the washing of the water by the Word!

Scriptural References:

  1. Luke 4:16-18
  2. Isaiah 61:1-3
  3. Matthew 24:10
  4. Psalm 103:1-4
  5. Matthew 12:31-33, 43-45
  6. Ephesians 2:1-5
  7. Mark 9:17-24, 28-29
  8. Ephesians 5:26, 25-26
  9. Psalm 51:1-7
  10. Mark 11:21-23, 25
  11. Philippians 3:8-17

Scripture referenced, not quoted: 2-Corinthians 10

Also referenced: Sermon Series:

  • Washing of the Water by the Word
  • Kingdom of God (

Transcribed: 5-18-11
Formatted: bo—5-19-11