HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
2 Timothy 3:13 - But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
The Bible tells us that Satan is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44–45 (AMP) - You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me [and continue in your unbelief].
Satan is the exact opposite of Jesus.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Right now, we all have a sense that we are being lied to about everything.
It is hard to trust almost anything that anyone says.
You and I are being lied to on a regular basis. In fact, our entire culture is riddled with deception.
We have governmental agencies like the (Food and Drug Administration) to oversee the ridiculous claims made by advertisers and retailers.
We have social media claiming to “monitor the truth” in our news so that we are not lied to as they manipulate what they want us to see and hear.
Our Government opened and closed what it called an office of truth that was so close to the Nazi’s ministry of truth that it could not hold up to the back lash it was so obviously wrong.
The Bible tells us that in the last days people lying and deceiving will grow worse and worse. That people will be deceiving others and being deceived themselves.
We are in those times.
The Bible tells us that in the last days even the very elect or God’s Chosen ones will be deceived if it is possible.
Matthew 24:24 - For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
That is a powerful statement. If possible. – The truth is that those who are walking in the Holy Spirit will have discernment. Most of God’s elect won’t be fooled. They will be lied to but will be able to see through the lies.
But some who are not paying attention and some who just don’t really want to know will be deceived.
Satan uses every sort of duplicity to lead people away from Truth and into the tangled and confusing realm of Deception. Truth has been outrageously violated in every area of society.
Deception is when you are lied to and you believe it.
Some other words that describe it – Misinformation, disinformation exaggeration, subterfuge, sleight of hand, fake news, distraction, counterfeit, camouflage.
2 Corinthians 11:14 - And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
The word deception could be defined as communication or behavior that is meant to leave others with a false impression.
Here are some ways that deception is being sown in our culture today:
• Disinformation: deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda.”
• Doublespeak: evasive, ambiguous language that is intended to deceive or confuse.
• Duplicity: deceitfulness in speech or conduct, as by speaking or acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter; double-dealing.
• Fabrication: to make up a story or facts for the purpose of deception.
• Falsehood: Contrary to fact or truth.
• Fraud: deceit [or] trickery… perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.
• Half-truth: a statement that fails to divulge the whole truth… or using a portion of truthful information to make a lie seem more trustworthy.
• Hypocrisy: a concealment of one’s real character or motives… a deceitful show of a good character, in morals or religion; a counterfeiting of religion.” Actor – To pretend to be something or someone that you are not.
• Lie: a falsehood uttered for the purpose of deception; an intentional violation of truth.
• Scam: a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
• Subterfuge: a cleverly disguised way or strategy used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, hide something. Deceit used in order to achieve one's goal.
Deception has become a part of our culture.
2 Timothy 3:7 - always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Lying has become so common place that we almost expect it and are shocked when people are actually honest.
Lying has become ubiquitous in our culture. We expect that every time a politician opens their mouth that they are lying.
When news is dispensed, we are confident that it is no longer being reported accurately but with the slant and stats manipulated to make them say what they want us to hear so that we will believe what they think is best.
Law has become so nuanced that no one really understands what a lawyer is saying except other lawyers.
The disciples asked Jesus what would be the sign of His coming and the end of the world and the first thing He told them was deception.
Matthew 24:3-5 - Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
Jesus gave many signs, but the first sign Jesus told them about contained a clear warning of a wide-scale deception that would emerge in the last part of the last days — and the need for people to prepare and guard against it. Jesus said, “…Take heed that no man deceives you.”
Take Heed – Pay attention, Live with your eyes wide open, have your Spirit in step with the Spirit of God. – Be decerning.
The word “deceive” is used to depict this period when it will look as if delusion is taking over the world.
It is the Greek word which means to lead astray or to wander off course. This word “deceive” could depict a single individual who has wandered far off course, or it could describe a whole nation or nations that have morally veered from the position once held to be true.
That describes today. – In many ways our world is delusional.
~ Someone said – “Human beings are willing to believe anything, as long as it caters to what they want.”
Satan understands this and has developed philosophies, religions and belief systems that sound so reasonable that they keep us from God because they tell us exactly what we want to hear.
2 Timothy 4:3 (AMP) - For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold,
We often think this just means religious teachers and pastors. This goes far beyond that. This includes actual educators (Children and Collegiate), entertainers and so-called experts.
~ Rick Renner – People in the last days will become supernaturally hoodwinked — that is, they will be ensnared by an unparalleled period of deception on every front. This period of deceitfulness will be so intense that people will believe what is false over what is obviously true, even denying facts and truths that are common sense and that nature itself teaches. It will mark a time when wrong belief and delusion will pervade every realm of society. This is the clear teaching of prophetic Scripture about developments that will occur at the conclusion of this age.
I believe that Christians should be the most discerning, wise and aware people in the world.
Why? Because we are people of the Word and people of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Wisdom and discernment.
If anyone can spot and know the difference between the truth and a lie it will be a Christian who walks in the Spirit and who lives by Faith.
This month we are going to unpack this in a big way.
Continue to walk and live in the Truth. You will be of those who know the difference and do not walk in description, Spiritual or otherwise.
Remember you are dearly Loved,
Pastor Marvin and Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT) - “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
The issue of forgiveness is at the forefront of all that the Bible teaches.
The entire reason that Jesus came was so that the forgiveness of sins is possible.
Forgiveness, according to the Bible, is understood as God's promise not to count our sins against us. Biblical forgiveness requires repentance on our part (turning away from our old life of sin) and faith in Jesus Christ.
Forgiveness is defined - as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. To release someone from a debt that they owe you. To lay down anger and hatred and refuse to hold the wrong and hurt that someone caused you against them.
It is a difficult thing many times to forgive those that have wronged us. The truth is that many people have been hurt deeply by others. Many have had abusive parents or an abusive spouse.
People have had unspeakable and unthinkable things done to them and yet Jesus still calls us to forgive.
Matthew 5:44 - But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
This past month there was a story circulated on the internet about a pastor who had a heart attack and went to hell. He was shocked at how horrible everything was. But most of all he was angry at God that He was there.
Here is what happened. - "I rose up out of hell and God spoke to me. He said, 'You were secretly angry with people who harmed you and you hoped I would punish them. These are not your people. They are My people. I just want you to focus on the task I have given you.' "A man who cannot forgive is a man who forgot that He was forgiven,"
Forgiveness does not come easily or naturally to any of us. It is not supposed to.
Forgiveness is something that is to be chosen and it is to be learned.
Truly forgiving someone who has hurt, wronged, shamed or used us is a process that we work through with God.
It is a choice and a decision, but it is not a light or trivial thing and it is not supposed to be.
Forgiveness causes us to look at what someone has done to us and honestly and intelligently deal with the fact of how it has affected our life. You can’t effectively heal unless you address the places of woundedness.
It is remarkable how unforgiveness can turn an otherwise nice, kind and caring person into a bitter, angry and fearful individual.
Hebrews 12:15 (NIV) - See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
(AMP) - See to it that no one falls short of God’s grace; that no root of resentment springs up and causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
The word resentment comes from two Latin words that mean to “cut again and again”.
Every time we rehearse a hurt or injustice, or the devil brings up pain or we dwell on our anger and frustration about what was done to us, we are getting cut and reinjured all over again.
This is why the devil loves his tool of unforgiveness. It allows the hurt and pain to feel fresh and new all the time. –
Unforgiveness is not justice, it is torture. It is also murder because each time we feel the pain it reminds us of how we would like the person who hurt us to suffer.
This is why Jesus honestly reminds Peter that forgiveness is not a onetime event. Forgiveness is a process that we must work through until the hurt and pain no longer have an effect on us.
Matthew 18:21-22 - Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Our job is to forgive. It is Jesus’ job to do the healing in our lives.
So, every time we feel the hurt, pain and woundedness return we must make a conscious effort to forgive. For some of us, depending on our personality and the level of the hurt it may take a while. It may take 490 times a day for a little while until the work of forgiveness is complete.
Someone needs to hear this – forgiveness is not effortless. Just remember that the effort is not pointless, it will be rewarded.
This month as we celebrate the Resurrection let’s take time to remember how God has forgiven us. Let’s also take the time to forgive those that have hurt us. Let’s release them from their sin and place them into the hands of God. Take time to allow God to heal any areas of your life that have been affected by hurt. The Bible that “He who the Son set’s free is free indeed.
I believe this is going to be a powerful month of forgiveness, healing and redemption.
Remember You are dearly loved.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn
HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Proverbs 10:12 - Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.
~ Martin Luther King JR. – Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
1 John 3:15 - Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
1 John 4:19-20 - We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
For many people what is shocking, and disheartening is the rudeness, lack of courtesy, violence, general disinterests in kindness and basic morality and a lack of civility in our conversations.
It should not come as a surprise that a nation that has killed over 63 million babies through abortion since 1973 is now seeing people walk into schools and shopping malls and murdering our children. Many of these shootings are done by other children and teenagers or those in their early 20’s.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT) - You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
What a list!
This describes people today. What sticks out to me the most is that people are self-absorbed, prideful, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God and they consider NOTHING sacred or holy.
The last days will be marked by people who love things, ideas, and certain ideologies but they do not really care for people, especially those who are different than them or who do not agree with them.
We see this in the world among people who do not know Jesus.
Unfortunately, we are seeing this even among the people of God.
As Christians we are going to have to deal with hate and understand what the Bible says about hate.
The Bible tells us that hate stirs up all kinds of trouble and problems. – We see this all around us.
It also tells us that you can’t claim to love God and hate other people. You can dislike people and what they do but we are not to hate them.
Hate is not a new thing that we are dealing with.
Jesus spoke about love to a religious world that valued rules more than it valued relationships.
When Jesus confronted the religious people of His day about their hypocrisy, they hated Him for it and tried to kill Him. They eventually had Him crucified.
Today we are told that we are to hate sin and to love the sinner, yet very few of us get this correct. Much of the time we wind up hating the person instead of helping a person deal with their sin in love.
Hate is what happens when there is a vacuum of love.
What starts out as righteous indignation turns into judgment that causes us to be the jury and the executioner.
Hate feeds off itself. – It will eat you alive. It will begin to consume every thought, action and words.
Someone who was once positive, loving understanding and compassionate about the lost is now angry, suspicious of everyone and everything and poisons even good relationships and conversations.
Hate is nothing new. Cain grew Jealous of Able and hated him. This led to the first murder.
The Bible says that whoever hates a brother, or a sister is a murderer.
That is a powerful statement. Hate at its highest point will lead to physical murder. But hate truly believes that the world would be a better place without certain kinds of people in it.
Now understand the Bible does recommend the death penalty for crimes like rape, incest, and murder. – This is not what we are talking about. That is a cry for justice.
Hate – To despise, intense dislike, to detest, loathe, abhor, to shrink back in horror. To find nothing good in. It is placing no value at all in someone or something.
I find it necessary to remind people that the opposite of love is not hate it is selfishness.
The opposite of hate is worship. –
To worship - is to adore, cherish, be drawn to, to honor and reverence. It is devotion, commitment and loyalty. It is to put someone in the highest place in our life.
The reality is that we live in a world where we must coexist with evil.
People believe and do unspeakably evil and wicked things.
We will be called to speak the truth.
We are called to compassionately help those impacted by this evil.
We are to be light in the darkness.
When we are confronted with hatred, we must continue to do good and to speak the truth in love.
Romans 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.
We are to overflow with Good words, good fruit and good deeds.
Many Christians are being overcome with the same spirit that is in the world.
We must remember that – GREATER is HE that is in us than he that is in the world.
As Christians we are overcomers. We are not to be overcome and overwhelmed with hate. We are called to overwhelm hate with Good.
By responding and living like Christ we don’t add to the problems, we disarm principalities and powers. This includes Satan’s weapon of hate. To win the world to Jesus we can’t fight battles the same way they do with the same weapons and think we will win.
Our weapons to defeat hatred are not carnal fleshly, feel-good things, they are mighty for pulling down the strongholds in people and in society.
Hear me – Hatred is a stronghold. – Make no mistake about it. But it is only a stronghold where it is permitted.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 - For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
I love this… We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
Teaching happens through our words AND our example.
You can’t do that if you try to fight hate with hate. - You do that with truth, love and compassion and an unyielding commitment to holiness both – personal holiness and holiness in thought and belief.
We must respond to hate by making sure we do not give more attention to the hate than we do the harvest.
Ultimately it is God’s job to take care of the evil in the world.
Matthew 13:24-30 - Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”
In the process of trying to tear up what is bad many well-meaning Christians have uprooted and hurt many good people. That looked like weeds but were actually full of Good fruit.
Sometimes wheat and weeds look a lot alike in the early and developing stages.
I want to remind you that the majority of our time is not to be spent dealing with the weeds but to be nourishing the seeds and cultivating a harvest of good things.
The enemy is all about destruction and he wants to get us in on the process. God is all about life.
I love the response – let them grow and we will sort it all out at the end.
This is great wisdom. Dealing with Hate.
Know that You are dearly loved,
Pastor Marvin & Dawn