Sermon for September 20, 2020

The Power of the WRONG Spirit

2 Timothy 3:1-9

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

(2 Timothy 3:1-9 ESV)

To really understand this passage, we really need to investigate for some more information about Jannes and Jambres.

  • Thank God for the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran in 1947!  Because of them, this ancient library had documents that were alive and well in the days of Paul and other Christ followers.
  • Jannes and Jambres are names recorded in these scrolls as being the magicians of Pharaoh to do the same miracles that Moses was doing in the time of plagues.[1]
  • If this is the case, and this makes sense, then let’s go back to that story.

Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. For each man cast down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Still Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

(Exodus 7:8-13 ESV)

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water. Stand on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that turned into a serpent. And you shall say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness.” But so far, you have not obeyed. Thus says the LORD, “By this you shall know that I am the LORD: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood. The fish in the Nile shall die, and the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will grow weary of drinking water from the Nile.”’” And the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, so that they may become blood, and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’” Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood. And the fish in the Nile died, and the Nile stank, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts. So Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

(Exodus 7:14-22 ESV)

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats in all the land of Egypt.’” And they did so. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats in all the land of Egypt. The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

(Exodus 8:16-19 ESV)

  • Jannes and Jambres were indeed powerful magicians to replicate the first three plagues, but they got lost at the smallest bug, the gnat.
  • They therefore did miracles in the eyes of those who witnessed them.  Indeed, they certainly had a following, especially among the main leader, Pharaoh.
  • You could say that these two were powerful and spiritual people, but the issue is the wrong spirit.
  • This is not the first time Paul has dealt with this issue in a church setting.

When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus (He claimed to be the son of Jesus). He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

(Acts 13:6-12 ESV)

The POWER of the WRONG Spirit

  • The WRONG spirit divides
  • The WRONG spirit is close minded
  • The WRONG spirit is selfish
  • The WRONG spirit does not know true love
  • The WRONG spirit does not know God

In 2 Timothy, Paul repeats himself in what he told the church in Galatia:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

(Galatians 5:16-21 ESV)

  • When people act in these ways, the Bible calls this Godlessness.
  • This means that the things we are doing, we are subtracting God from our actions.
  • YOU minus God equals Godlessness
  • If you are Godless, that means you lack His Holy Spirit
  • So, if we do powerful things without God, by what spirit do we do it?
  • Are we using dark powers?
  • Are we allowing our fallen desires call the shots?
  • What does a God-full person look like? (The right Spirit)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

(Galatians 5:22-26 ESV)

A pastor is not the savior of a church, only Jesus is Savior is.  When we focus on the talents and giftedness of a person, that is not evidence of their relationship with God.  A person’s educational and philosophical intelligence in not proof of a person’s relationship with God.  What reveals the presence of God are these attributes that are ALWAYS practiced!

Love AND Joy AND Peace AND Patience AND Kindness AND Goodness AND Faithfulness AND Gentleness AND Self-control EQUALS THE HOLY SPIRITS INFLUENCE! 

You must have all of them.  If you lack ONE or MANY of them, Jesus will help you!  These are what Jesus came to give us because we needed SAVED from our harden hearts and divisive attitudes! 

This is what the world has always needed.  Look around, now it is more than ever in our country!

___________________

[1] Jamieson-Fausset-Brown


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