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The Power of Letting Go

Eric Walsh

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Eric Walsh

Pastor and Physician

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  • December 28, 2019
    11:00 AM
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I'm a jump right into this and get to our scripture reading for the session our scripture reading from a session comes from Luke Chapter 23 starting at verse 34 Luke 23 starting at verse 34 which is read the one verse the Scripture says Then said Jesus Father forgive them for they know not what they do and they parted his Rayment cast lots Father forgive them for they know not. What they do our message this afternoon is entitled The Power of letting go the power of letting go forgiveness as an agent for healing Let us pray Father God Once again I ask in a special way today a day Lord when the entire world pauses to remember that you came to earth wrapped in the flesh of a human baby today Lord I ask in a special way that you be with us again Lord again I need not be seen or heard instead of father let us hear word from the throne move Grace this is our prayer in Jesus is precious and holy name Amen so we're going to start in the book of Genesis Chapter 51 of my favorite bible stories and let me let me come down again let me let me let me give the backdrop of this story this is one of the most troubling stories in all of the Bible in my opinion Joseph is Jacob's favorite son at the time and the reason for that is because his father had in a sense of violated really what God would have what God would have wanted him to do and had many wives. So. Joseph is the daughter of the son of Jacob's favorite wife so he got special treatment now if that wasn't bad enough when he had all the brothers he had Joseph was crazy enough that when he had a dream dad would predict that one day his brothers would bow to him Joseph was crazy enough to run down the stairs of his house sit at the breakfast table as they were having breakfast that morning some scrambled tofu a Ben. Joseph was crazy enough to actually say to his brothers the dream I think it was innocent some people say is all jewels of salt I don't think so but his brother's teacher for him grew so greatly that they intended to actually monitor their own brother that is powerful they wanted him dead which speaks to what they felt about their father right you got up and got put in context they were willing to hurt their father terribly because they were worried in the old Jewish system the older son usually got like a double portion of the inheritance everybody else would split the rest of it they were worried that because Joseph was the favorite he would get the lion's share of the inheritance there was a lot going on a lot of anger their mothers probably had a whisper in each of those brothers ears words against words against Rachel and against Joseph and and so you can imagine that the brothers were filled with each or it while they were out the father sends Joseph to look for them and when and where his beautiful Technicolor coat. And when he gets they see him coming they plot to kill him if it wasn't really for 2 of the brothers Reuben and Judah to some extent they would have killed Joseph but Apple he was due to sell his Instead you know why don't we make some money off of his God they took their brother and threw him in a pit as the Ishmael lights were coming by they sold their brother into slavery I want you to get this I want you to picture what it would have been like for Joseph as he was probably either walking or on the back of some sort of a cart being pulled away by the Ishmael lights as he looked back as his brothers get smaller and smaller in the distance can you imagine the heartbreak that ran through Joseph as he cried out I'm your brother how can you do this to me Can you imagine oh you screamed No no no I love you don't do this you imagine the pain that ran through Joseph as his brother's life that is their minds and eventually they disappeared against the horizon and when he gets to Egypt can you imagine the pain that he suffers when he has to stand on a slave block and is sold as a young fit handsome man sold to one of Pharaoh's high commanders and he sold into part of for his house can you imagine as he now has to learn all of the customs and the ways of the Egyptians in order to serve and part of his house how us to learn and in a completely new language they cut is here different they dress him different they probably gave him a new name you see when when you see black people come from North America the Caribbean South America. One thing that unites all of us is that pretty much every single one of us are the descendants of slaves and let me submit to you that that haunts us to this day that legacy in fact when Barack Obama was elected and everyone was saying we have a black president there are many black Americans that he does not represent us he does not descend from slaves his father is Kenyan and his mother is white he does not represent us slavery takes hold of you and I can imagine you have to become a completely different person but it didn't stop there Joseph is able to do good work in that house as he gets stronger as he becomes fluent I believe Jacob taught Joseph very well he homeschooled him very well back in Canaan and so he picked up the language quickly he had to learn every custom every tradition how to Egypt since eat where they lay their silverware everything had to be learned perfectly if you was going to serve but God had a purpose even and that eventually part of his wife comes after Joseph This is one of the weirdest twists in the whole story because there are a lot of people who would have said up fortune came to Joseph that the master's wife wanted him because Joseph going to try to parlay that into favor inside the house instead Joseph was raised to be so pure that rather than be defiled or to do some wickedness against God He slips out of his coat and like you saying bolt he goes flying out of that house she accuses him of being inappropriate towards her and guess what her husband finds out. And one of the hallmarks signs in the scripture that the husband actually still had some level of trust and belief in Joseph is that he sends him to prison rather than killing him this is the 2nd time Joseph avoids death his brothers could have killed him part of for easily could have killed them nobody would have questioned it instead he said to prison so he goes from being I hated rather in a pit to a slave to now a criminal in a prison and in those days they did not build prisons it's not like America today in America we have prisons everywhere we incarcerate more people than many of the regimes we claim are so terrible in the world the largest woman's prison in the world is in California I preach at the women's prison at least 2 times a year there weren't many prisons then so this was a unique place and really it was more for political reasons like the butler and a baker people are sent to the prison but one of the things the story tells us is that no matter how bad it don't miss this no matter how bad Joseph predicament gets he always remains tiny In fact the key to Joseph liberation is his kindness and part of the reason many people in the world cannot find liberation is because they have not found the key to being liberated which is to remain kind no matter how bad your circumstances are he so kind and when the butler and Baker comes after he's been in jail so long not knowing what's going to happen to him the scripture tells us he is concerned for their well being when he sees that they are destroyed. And hence he interprets the dreams he's able to tell the butler listen when you go back to Pharaoh please tell him about me I could imagine Joseph that the day when his all of the prophecy came true and the butler went back to Pharaoh I bet Joseph began to gather the few little things he had swept out his cell and sat there waiting for a book for him to be released in the next day or 2 was it a day or 2 instead he sat in the prison waiting to be released for how long to warriors I would argue that those were probably the 2 most difficult years of his entire ordeal waiting for God to finally vindicate him for the day comes he's been decayed he he's able to tell Pharaoh his dream he's able to then set up a plane in which to manage the famine that was coming and he goes from pit to slave in part of his house to prison or to Vice President I miss this thing and here's why God allowed all of that you see in part of his house he learned the ways and customs of the Egyptians the language of the Egyptians so that when he was in government he could function as a high class Egyptian while he was in prison the Spirit of Prophecy tells us he learned the laws and the ways of the justice system of Egypt so that when he was in government he could exact and understand how the judicial system in Egypt courts work which was a relatively sophisticated system every step of his of what he went through had lessons that he needed when he got to where God was sending him and let me tell you something about life no matter how terrible your life gets if you pay attention every day there are lessons that God is giving you so that you will later on be able to more completely satisfy your purpose. His brothers finally come you know the story they need food and when they get there they can recognize Joseph he was young when he left he's got to Egypt and here cut he's got only Gyptian clothes he speaks perfect Egypt with no accent so they do not recognize their brother any the Imp probably the most powerful part of the story is that Joseph tests them before he lets them in Finally he does and I go back and I get Jacob and you would think the story ends there everybody is going to live happily ever after but the fact that Joseph had gotten over what happened to him does not mean that his brothers got over what they did to him and that's where we land in the story Genesis Chapter 15 verse 15 when Joseph brother and saw that their father was dead they said Joseph will peradventure hate us and will certainly Requip us all the evil which we did unto him and they sent a messenger unto Joseph saying that father did command before he died the same so say so shall you say on to Joseph forgive I pray thee now the trespass of the brother and and their sin for they did evil unto the and now we pray thee forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of the I Father look at what do Joseph's responses the Bible says Joseph wept when they spoke to him so let's put this in context the brothers recognized that Jacob their father was like a buffer at least in their mind he was the buffer between Joseph and revenge when their father dies they are sure Joseph is now going to exact revenge and they beg Joseph to forgive them if that is the case why does Joseph cry. Joseph cries because he alone forgiven them and he wasn't hurt that his brothers after all they had all gone through that the brothers still were in a place they were still black at the pit they threw him in. Missing this thing the brothers had never left the side of the pit they had never left the animal they killed to put a blood on his coat to bring to Jacob the brothers were still in the act decades later Joseph wept because he realized his brothers did not have the kind of relationship with God that allowed them to let go of what happened and move on Baba goes on to verse 18 and says in His brother also went and fell down before his face and they said Behold we be thy servants and look at what you'll see is a look at 1st 19 this is important and Joseph said unto them fear not for an hour in the place of God It was a listen I'm not who you have to worry about I was working well tell you my testimony when I was the director and health officer for the city of Pasadena California I had. One of the groups I worked at was a nonprofit that worked with the Crips and the Bloods if you guys were the Crips and Bloods I was talking about the Crips and Bloods in Cape Town everybody knew I was talking about. They have and they told me they have a significant gang problem in some parts of the city so I was working with Crips and Bloods these guys a soldiers Street Soldiers and like yourself I was against this yesterday these are real born gangsters born into these gangs. But let me tell you something is power in the blood of Jesus Christ I was working with a 1st a church and a non-religious nonprofit non-religious nonprofit organised a nonprofit organization and together with the administers because we would open up our gym to play basketball and the Bloods and Crips as you know who are like in America we see the Hatfields and McCoys they were at war with each other I watched this the church our church was neutral territory so they could come into the church and play basketball and then they go to separate ways and they wouldn't fight the nonprofit began to give them job skills that Sunday church did the best work they actually began to give them Bible study and eventually baptized many of those young men and many of them came out of the gang life and were not deacons and ushers and serve and served in that church you got to get that back drop because when they called me one afternoon at like 6 pm I'm sitting at my desk the nonprofit called was a doctor was you need to get over here we have a problem I get in my car and I raced at a nonprofit office and when I get there there are about 8 of these young men and somebody doing a huge of a little you know what you learn in the streets of America is not a big dude you worry about is the little dude you are about the little ones that are killers because they've got something to prove. And they're all sitting around the table and I sat there and I said what's going on these men when they were crying I said what happened one of the guys we were working with who was coming out of the gang life former u.s. military interesting Lee enough the only one of them that any military experience had gone into Los Angeles with his girlfriend and their child and when he went into the city of l.a. somebody shot up the car they were in so mad he was retaliating for something or maybe happened a long time ago I don't know he was hit with 6 bullets. The girlfriend was hit with one the baby fortunately was missed the one bullet that hit the girlfriend killed her immediately died right there on the spot in the car he was taken to the hospitals in critical condition the baby was fine praise the Lord when I when I sat down at the table with these guys what do you think was supposed to happen next is revenge is retaliation in fact this isn't even a discussion this is the code of the street the laws of the concrete jungle you can allow somebody to do that to your home boy you cannot allow your road dog to get shot up like that Rick kill his baby mama and risk the life of his child somebody's got to pay I sat there and the guy says to be the guy who's the guy who works for the nonprofit says to me Dr Walsh you've got to say something because if you don't there's going to be blood in the street and I'm saying what in the world am I supposed to do. I just live work. And I sat there and I said Lord speak through me I don't know what to say and all the 1st words out of my eyes these men are crying many of them thinking how they're going to retaliate the 1st words out of my mouth was a Bible verse and out I opened my mouth and what came out was vengeance saying is mine saith the Lord I shall repay and then this verse is what comes after I said to them if you go after them to get revenge you are saying you sit in the place of God knows St soldiers began to cry and weep profusely and guess what no one ever went to get revenge. We cried we prayed we talked I stayed with him for a while and nobody ever went to get revenge the young man made a full recovery 6 bullets in him I actually had to get him into a mental health. Program for therapy but I was able he was able to get back on his feet physically and mentally and take and get a job and take care of his child the problem with revenge is this the problem with revenge is you start to say I take the place of God and let me tell you so much for an old pressed people this still applies doesn't matter how horribly you were treated you must remember that if you think that by getting revenge you'll make things right all you will do is spiritually flip it and the oppressed will become the oppressor Joseph goes on as a verse 20 but as for you you thought evil against me but God did what I meant it until good Joseph recognized that at every phase of his trial and tribulation he was absorbing information skills and talents tightening his relationship with God all of it she would need one day to basically save the known world and you get Miss he learned every step so that one day when he was standing in front of Pharaoh he was in a position to properly lead a nation through a famine if you if he was focused on revenge he would never have been there if you have sat in that jail stewing on how he will get revenge on his brothers if you ever saw them again storming on how he would get part of his wife's back story on how you get part of a back or Ishmael lights back if you are sat in the jail constantly thinking about how am I going to hurt the people who hurt me Joseph would never have been able to do what God told him to do will come back to this. You thought evil against me but God meant it good to bring to pass as it is this day to save much people alive he says now therefore fear you not just listen you have nothing to worry about look at the opposite of what you would expect and every Christian in Africa needs to understand this white black or any other color you can put on a spectrum this must be understood he says now therefore fear you not instead of revenge I'm going to nourish you not only you I'm going to take care of your children and he comforted them and spake kindly to them that you get that Josephs revenge is kindness and my so much of this back down here so many raise that up not a word to get cut off on this side so maybe get lower to scream over here says we Martin Luther King Jr famous for the civil rights movement in the United States a Baptist minister the civil rights movement in America was born out of the church in fact although we give all the credit to men like Martin Luther King and and Abernathy and all these other guys the reality is that the civil rights movement was a grass roots movement of poor people in urban still urban South in America who decided that they would change the world by the methods of Jesus Christ they would turn the other cheek they would carry the coat an extra mile they would walk to work to boycott the bus rather than turn the bus over and set it on fire you get what I'm saying they would they denounced the violence completely and that is the reason the entire world sympathized with black America and came to our aid had we started a revolution and riot had we burned everything down we are simply been annihilated by the military force of the country we were in. Dr King says this We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive he who is devoid of the power to forgive is the void of the power to love there is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us when we discover this we are less prone to hate our enemies So lesson number one about 5 lessons I think on this one the 1st lesson is this one forgiveness takes strength what we are told especially as people who have been oppressed which are often told is you are weak if you don't retaliate for what has been done to you I want to submit to you that the reason the civil rights movement is literally the benchmark of all social change movements in the last 200 years is because we use in America the method of Jesus Christ rather than the then the Art of War by sense to you get what I'm saying we use a peaceful method to try and change the world and I believe that that took more strings that if they had taken up arms forgiveness takes strength this is not just the forgiveness of big political issues it's the forgiveness of your parents because they didn't do you right or be a step parent because they abused you this is the forgiveness that comes from the ex that you had the ex husband ex wife ex boyfriend his girlfriend who treated you terribly This takes strength it's easy to stay mad i told you my father left when I was 2 years old my older brother 7 years old and I don't know that he ever fully until baby was older he never fully forgave him and I believe it hurt him for much of his life I am telling you that if you learn to forgive and I one day at a look my father in the face and forgive him for being an absent neglectful father because watch this I refuse to carry his sin into my future life Mahatma Gandhi's a little picture of him back there he said this. The we can never forgive the giving This is the attribute of the strong and you remember what he did he brought the mighty British Empire down nonviolently to India India was the crown jewel of the British Empire and yet the British had to give back India and the Indians never raise up to fight this is from the Sabbath school less than a little over a year ago last December and I'll give you this hint about the Sabbath school lesson if you really want to Joy enjoy the Sabbath school lesson always get the teacher's comment and read them I have found the most substantive material in the Sabbath school lesson is tucked away in the teacher's comments and I know this because my wife teaches school and she makes me read it and I find jewels in pearls and near that I don't find in a regular lesson you can do it do whatever you want just a little hint as to how you can better enjoy the Sabbath school lesson the Sabbath school lesson author says this forgiveness involves a conscious choice to give up feelings of resentment toward another person and consequently it also removes any right it removes any right to seek revenge for what he or she has done Forgiveness does not require you to be the guilty party or imply that the other person deserves forgiveness rather forgiveness root out anger and bitterness from our own lives helps heal wounds and look at this and it builds a basis for restoring relationships Forgiveness does not mean excusing wrong behavior or removing any consequences that might result from the behavior true forgiveness recognizes the seriousness of the offense but chooses the path of healing God forgave humans even though we were undeserving of his forgiveness but divine forgiveness did not undermine the seriousness of sin or remove all the consequences of sin and indeed look at this indeed Jesus took the ultimate consequence of sin suffering death on our behalf. If God treated us like we want to treat our enemies where would we be because many of us by our sin have become the very enemies of God and like says it like this spirit of prophecy in the 1st testimonies page 602 the real greatness and nobility of the man is measured by the power of the feelings that he subdues not by the power of the feelings that subdue him the strongest man is he who while sensitive to abuse will yet restrain passion and forgive his enemies watch what Sister White says she says such men are true heroes Such men are true heroes to make a point the Bible includes this story Peter runs the Jesus says how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him and Peter says till 7 times now you know Jesus a Peter was always trying to secure the position of the vice president in the new kingdom he was always thinking of going Jesus with some great idea selling Jesus an idea trying to figure out a way if you could get a position over everybody else and this time he thought he had something you see in the Jewish economy the number of times you had to forgive was 3 so Peter says listen will out listen Jesus said I think of somebody 7 times that's more than twice 3 and it's a perfect number just enough I say unto you not 7 times but what 70 times 7490 is the literal number the very prophecy that tells you the time of the death of the Messiah is that the. This exact same number for 90 is the number of the prophecy we use that the wise men even knew as would today be in the world the world calls Christmas Day The wise men knew when to go because of that prophecy and really in the Jewish economy when you multiply 7 times 70 like this what he's really saying is there's no limit to how often you want to forgive. Let me let me stick this intimate talk about why forgiveness is good for your health but I want to stick this in you see I speak to this from many levels there's a familial level I can talk about what my father did his absence is the Glock the fact that he didn't want to financially support us all of the pain that came from that it was terrible but I had to forgive my father I wouldn't be the man I am today if I stayed stewing and upset with him but there were other people I had to forgive when I went to high school in Miami when we moved from Connecticut to Miami the 1st I went to class I didn't know my mother didn't know this when she enrolled us in the school but the school was full of neo nazis in Miami Florida the 1st day I went to school painted on the wall of the bathroom was a picture of an ape with a noose around its neck and it said and words go back to Africa that was my introduction to my new school they were an incredibly racist contingency at the school fortunately my best friend actually still was a white kid he was really really cool and he like reggae music so we got along real good they built a synagogue across the street and they went and they put stickers on it they sprayed swastikas with the schools about 40 percent Jewish it was a horrendous 2 and a half years I tell people all the time if every time they call me The n word they've given me $5.00 I'm going to pay for college cash. Constant nonstop teachers students I remember when Doug Williams a black quarterback was going to play for the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl there was a debate in one of my classes as to whether or not black people are smart enough to play the position of quarterback in American football and this is not that long ago of course God is good Doug Williams went in there and shattered every Super Bowl record ever made and this is why you don't need to get revenge God will do what he needs to do to make his point but what that did to me I want you to get this because I just left from south and spent a weekend in South Africa and I can see that the shadow of apartheid is still upon the country that there is talks of revenge in fact when I talked about this a prayer meeting about forgiveness a prayer meeting in Johannesburg a week ago one week ago today one of the elders of the church came to me and said we need this message in South Africa and he started to show me the comments on a prayer list of pastors and elders speaking some pretty troubling things against white South Africans and then and there was a few if not at least one white South African pastor on this chat group I go What's that trapped chat group who came off because of the disparaging comments that were being made by men of God that is troubling because you know the Bible says about the church we talk about the remnant all the things that point out who the remnant are you know one of the signs that you are actually in the right place with God as a group he says by this will men know that you are my disciples how will they know that we are who we say we are because we have love what one for another we have the thing that love is not qualified by because they treated us good 1st we love you no matter how we were treated. Or you are misunderstanding that Jesus had the stance we have when he got to Earth and saw the mess that man made of the planet he gave them Jesus would just wipe everyone out in fact when Peter cuts off the high priest here Malpass his errors chopped off and it falls to the ground Jesus could have said good it's time to fight did he say that Jesus reaches over picks up his ear and the last miracle is Jesus works before he dies on the cross is to replace the severed deer and then he tells his disciples don't you understand if necessary I could call 10000 angels. When Hezekiah prayed to God about the Assyrians how many angels were sent and how many people were killed 185000 soldiers Jesus said he could have called 10000 angels and yet he went to the cross and forgave everybody for what they did because as I started to follow I started to study things Toyama 4 generations of an Adventist because of this I began to want to believe something different that the hatred let me say what hatred is it's contagious and the hatred of the oppressor if you do not covered in the blood of the Lamb the hatred of the oppressor you will come you will literally catch it like a virus and you will literally begin to spew the very hatred you are supposed to be against the genetic make up of the widest Northern European or the darkest Africa is actually miniscule the genetic difference we are really the same people but I start to study what the Rastafarians. And the dreads would teach you some crazy stuff I was a Bob Marley's houses there by myself my nieces Bob Marley's my little cousin is Bob on his 1st nice so I'd be at his house and I remember one of the dreads telling me that Haley Selassie former emperor of Ethiopia was coming back to get them in a spaceship I said I didn't know Ethiopia had a space program I started studying with the Nation of Islam the 5 Percent Nation of Islam you know the 5 Percent Nation of Islam teaches it teaches that the black man is God and the white man is the devil and my question to them whenever they try and convert me was if the black man is God How come he can't get a job. Out of that anger I begin to listen to groups like Public Enemy black who we talked about music yesterday and the music of these revolutionary ideologies began to corrupt me and here's what it does begin to separate me from church when I go to church I couldn't stand being in church because of what was preached the love of God was being preached forgiveness was being preached I couldn't stand to hear someone say that Jesus said turn the other cheek that was taught not hated the most but I was prepared to leave the 7 am in a church if I could just find something I could leave that made sense and guess what I could never find anything that made sense in fact I began you all here ever heard of a guy named Louis Farrakhan I got in with the Nation of Islam I never joined any other religion I remain minister whole time Praise the Lord I don't know what would happen to me I actually left and I remember. Going to hear Farah Khan speak one Sabbath afternoon I left after Sabbath lunch and went to the Miami arena I was in medical school there Louis Farrakhan speak I was in with them so good today would have special seating for me I was on there is national stop the violence committee and I wanted to hear Farrakhan speak and there were a lot of what they call Garvey ites because a lot of West Indians in Miami and some of you heard of Marcus Garvey. And he wanted all black people to go back to Africa it's interesting he wanted that yet he never made it to Africa himself he went to England many times and never got to Africa and all these Garvey I sit here and Farrakhan says the black man is the original man which is what the Hebrew Israel likes now say in fact here is where lights are coming after our young people in our churches in America the black churches saying that you are actually descendants of the tribes of Israel and that is that happened here yet and they say look if you're from Jamaica you're from the tribe of Dan what does that even make a logical sense anyway so Farah Khan is speaking in Farah Khan says the black man is the original man and I said Ok I've heard this a 1000000 times keep talking even evolutionists say the black man is there that you know that even evolution is want to put stuff in Africa you know why because evolution is racist because if you have all if you had a 1st one is the last one more complex as I don't believe in up one of the reason I don't believe in evolution it's inherently racist anyway Fergus is the black man is the original man and I'm saying Ok I've heard this before he says and I can prove it was a set up in my seat I'm a scientist not a degree in biology and chemistry I'm in medical school I sit up I want to prove he says I can prove it he says 66 trillion years ago I said trillion with a t.. Even evolution is only say billions without b. he said 66 trillion years ago he said he said a black man blew the moon also to earth with dynamite. But I said the Chinese invented dynamite 3000 years ago how did they have it 66 trillion years ago people started to applaud this is when I began to get afraid. Then he says and I can prove it and now it's that way up in my seat I am on the edge of my seat dying to hear his proof he says You see when the astronauts in the u.s. astronauts went to the moon they could still smell the dynamite. If you were on the moon and you smell anything you are dead and. You can smell mood here it's not a cartoon The only thing you spent on the moon is what you brought with you from Houston Texas are you getting what I'm saying I want to get serious I sat in my seat and I repented right on the spot I sat and I said Lord God has my finger cause me to sit and be seduced by the doctrines of devils say tannic doctrine that he limits the need for Jesus because if you're already the original man and a black man is God You don't need a savior and all of a sudden all the teaching all the truth rushed back to me and I repented because I realized in that moment as I prayed many Adventists who are of course and Zulu and what is the group there in Twanna I don't think it's as much here as it is south of here in South Africa but if you are advertised white or black and you allow hatred in fact Professor vied outlined it perfectly last night. A false doctrine in Calvinism allowed the system to perpetuate in the 1st place you don't think the devil is going to raise up false doctrine to now flip the thing do you think the devil cares who kills who do you really think it cares which group attacks which group. Roger Marino in his book a tribute to the supernatural when he was worshipping the beam with the demon priests told him that when man goes to war and they're killing each other on the battlefield he said the demons stand around the battlefield and they are I have and I want to say this to those who are of the remnant to notice truth do not to be the agent through which the demons get a life because one of the things that this thing will do to you is that if you can hold on to it it will make you sick physically ill black people in America die sicker and sooner than everyone else and part of the reason when you study the research is because we carry a burden of stress tied to racism real and perceived when you learn to forgive you have better health in fact this is one of the things missing in my opinion from my health message the idea that you must forgive if you have are going to have good health people say you know what this admin is a well all their lives and they still died early some of them were holding on to resentment and hatred and guilt and shame and that killed them as I'm sure you want to 2nd give you better mental health less anxiety stress and hostility lower blood pressure fewer symptoms of depression a stronger immune system improves heart health improved self esteem if you hate your enemy so much you remain in the position he wanted you in that if you don't want to be the lowest class in a society as someone else tried to make you forgive them and you are liberated from ever being in that class continue to hate them and you will remain forever in that position going to want to reason why African-Americans do so well in a country that has been against us for 400 years because collectively during the civil rights movement many of us just let it go. It's coming back now unfortunately hatred is coming back in organized form of black America and I'm afraid even some of our administrators are going out and marching on the Sabbath against this and that and I'm afraid that we are trying to fix America rather than prepare our people for the soon coming of our Lord in a new study in The Journal of Health Psychology researchers analyzed the mental and physical health of 148 young adults as one might expect a correlation was found between high stress levels and more health problems we'll talk more about that in a 2nd but the study also indicated watch this that in the cases where people showed forgiveness of both themselves and others the connection between stress and mental illness practically disappeared. Hating other people being mad at other people not forgiving other people will drive you crazy and Dr King said that he said if I hold it against those who have oppressed me it will not cause them any problem instead it will kill me paraphrase that while you're hating the other person your blood pressure is going up they've gone on with their lives about a piece of carbon once and she was so mad she was she was she wanted medication because she was so upset and what had happened to her and she said look I need again I need drugs because I'm upset about this this and that and I said what's really bothering you she said My ex-husband is on a cruise right now in the Caribbean with another woman. I said oh that's. Horrible How long have you been divorced 12 years. I said lady his blood pressure right now is going down down down down he's in right now got his feet up bathing in the sun and you sitting here in a clinic driving yourself mad you see what I'm saying about not forgiving people. She's sick in the clinic and he's on a boat with his feet up probably eating chicken in pizza and she'll die 1st even though he's eating food that will kill him there is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed says Karen Swartz emptied the director of the Mood Disorders adult consultation clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital it is believed that chronic anger look at this it is believed that chronic anger puts an individual into a mode of fight or flight resulting in numerous changes in heart rate blood pressure and the immune system those changes in turn increase the risk for conditions like depression heart disease and diabetes but it seems forgiveness can help to mitigate those stress levels get this when you won't forgive people you stay in a state of fight or flight you stay stressed out and I'm about give this to you real quick and I will move on just so what is stress stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize In other words stress equals demands minus resources I use a lot of my messages what I've learned as a Christian is that God has given me all the resources I need no matter what the demand a lot of times we pray for God to remove the demand when what he wants us to do is to incorporate heavenly resources in our lives Forgiveness is one of them see what happens when you're constantly mad at someone is using your cortisol your adrenaline all of the stress hormones are released into your system your heart rate goes up your blood pressure goes up your liver goes into Gluco Neil Genesis starts making sugar which over time develops insulin resistance or you get what I'm saying your pupils dilate. And what happens is you begin to be in a constant chronic ball of stress and that weight kills you the constant elevated blood pressure to get blood to your brain to deal with the stress causes strokes damages the lining of the blood vessels in your body and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke I could go on and on the fact that your immune system drops your body has only but so much energy so if you're all stressed out all your energy is bent and built in being burned up and being mad at someone who did you wrong guess what happens is not enough energy left to run your immune system so you immune system drops and you know how you get cancer you know everybody gets mutated cells that can become cancer if you eat right the antioxidants and blueberries and watermelon they help to fight that but you still need a healthy immune system there there is there are there are certain types of cells that will go around and eliminate those mutated cells in your body if you are always angry or mad at someone who did you something years ago it is your immune system that won't function right that's why he said Well how did this person get cancer they ate this way they did this but their muses that was shot because they weren't using heavenly resources the 3rd key forgiveness is key to experiencing God's love forgiveness is key to experiencing God's love if you do not learn to forgive other people you will never experience God's love Matthew 6 says and forgive us our debts to x. 12 and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors for if you forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you verse 15 but if you forgive not mend their trespasses Nyquil your father forgive your trespasses. That is a painful passage of Scripture if you've been sexually molested if you have been beaten and abused if you suffered under a terrible regime this varies is hard because it tells you that in fact forgiveness is a currency and unless you are willing to spend the currency of forgiveness on those who have harmed you you cannot expect God to spend the same currency on forgiving you so it isn't just that not forgiving people will make you sick it will study me your salvation this is why the devil wants whole groups of people to convince are all you know group home other groups of people to stay angry and not forgive he can sweep countless people into hell because they have a on paper they have an actual right to be angry and not forgive right they truly been hurt I'm not dismissing that wrongs have happened but if you're not willing to forgive the person it is your salvation that's put in jeopardy Amplified Bible I actually like the for the Amplified Bible when I'm studying for sermons it's a little cheat sheet to get little extra words and there were 12 of Matthew says and forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors and look at the brackets it says letting go of both the wrong and the resentment for if you forgive others their trespasses you have been fired by will add to this their reckless and willful sins you have any father will also forgive you but if you do not forgive others look at this bracket but if you do not forgive others nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God then your father will not forgive your trespasses if you hold onto anger and hatred for the person who harmed do they become your god. Luke $747.00 where for us into the persons which are many are what forgiven Jesus talking about Mary Magdalene for she loved much but to whom little is forgiven the same what love is a little if you don't forgive other people you don't receive God's love if you don't you don't receive God's forgiveness if you don't experience God forgiveness it will hinder your ability to love God the way he wants to be loved and or White says we are not forgiven because we forgive but as we forgive the ground of all forgiveness is found in the unmerited love of God but by our attitude toward others we show whether we have made that love our own wherefore Christ says with what judgment you judge each shall be judged and with what measure you meet it shall be measured to you again this is a great story ask it most of the store and get to the last verse of it here but it's the story of the 2 servants one of them told the guy some people of estimated is the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars maybe even a 1000000 dollars and he goes to the guy cries and he's forgiven by his lord but the 2nd guy who only owes this guy like $10.00 and he said listen you pay me everything you have or I'm going to mess you up I'm a do this and that to you and a guy you know messed them up some of his friends here and run back to the 1st guy and said Listen look what he did to him then his Lord after that called him and said of them Oh you wicked servant I forgave you all that debt because you desired me should you not also have that compassion and I thought I was serving even as I had pity on you and as Lord was wrought and delivered him to his tormentors to me should pay all that was due to him look at his last verse so likewise my Heavenly Father do also unto you if you from your heart forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses. What you told God is infinitely more than anybody owes you Ellen White in letter 388 November 1970 s. comfort your heart my brother by believing that the Lord want you to be saved and that you are his child do not think that your mind must be in a certain state of feeling or else you are not accepted of God your faith must rely not on feeling but on the promises of God walk by faith and of the say of the Lord rest your case with the Lord and believe His word believe the Word of the Lord and walk by faith not by sight consecrate just off a new To God be loyal and true to a verse a of the Lord and stand fast in the Liberty wherewith Christ of make you free that point of that is do not go by feeling because let me tell you something wanting revenge feels good to stand on God's promises last couple ones request and confess confess your false one to another and pray one for another that you may be healed effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man does what a veil of much one of the processes of forgiveness is sometimes we've got to go to people and be like forgive me I was wrong and even in our marriages where my one thing I'm quick to say I'm sorry. I kind of messed up a bit sometimes the but I have learned that if you allow ego and pride into your marriage you're not willing to say you know what that's my fault you'll destroy your marriage. You'll destroy any relationship that is worth having so the Bible's a lot you've got to confess your fault even the other people l l o y says like this one of Christ last commands to the cycles was love one another as I have loved you John 1334 do we obey this command or or are we indulging sharp un-Christ like traits of character if we have in any way if we have in any way grieved or wounded others it is our duty could to confess our fault and seek for reconciliation this is an essential preparation that we may come before God in faith to ask his blessing did you get that if you're not willing to tell people listen I made a mistake I'm sorry people you may have injured in church with a word at board meeting or business meeting if you're not willing to go back and say look I'm sorry forgive me that was my fault it will cause you not to get the blessings God had stored up for you the last lesson is this one you gotta learn to forgive yourself with those but this one thing I do forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth on to those things which are before Philippians 3 in verse 13 I put this here not because I believe you could be a logically forgive yourself you can't atone for your own sins but you also can't carry a sin on your back the rest of your life some 51 is the Greek text that tells you that David basically tells godless I messed up I said I was born in sin shaped iniquity goes to the whole thing but at the end he says will restore the joy of my salvation he says and one sound converted Lord I will tell sinners of you let me tell you something I know some of you made some mistakes in your life you spent time in the no tell motel when you shouldn't have. You've been with people and places and in things you had no business doing and you even when you knew better you still messed up but I challenge you to believe the power of God in the blood of Jesus Christ that the blood still washes away sin why I'm a Christian one reason I'm a Christian is this simply that when God deals with you a sin he forgets it he says I would take your sin and cast it into the depths of the sea and I will remember your sin no more when he talks about David in certain places after the death of David in the Old Testament he does not even raise the Bible doesn't even record or say the sin that David committed with Bathsheba her husband and you say well how wait a minute he says David was perfectly upright the fall of the law did he say that because God forgot it and here's the thing if God forgot the mess that you did and he cast it into the bottom of the ocean but you know man has been to the moon we've never been to the bottom of the ocean that's what a Bible says is going to put their God could've said and I put a sign on the moon but he knew one day man would get to the moon man will never get to the bottom of the ocean so it's symbolically saying his your sin has been put when no man can get to it don't miss this church so if God is taking your sin and put it where no man can get it why are you going out and buying scuba gear and getting on a deep sea fishing boat so you can go out and try and find the mess God already forgave you for or you get not do not let your past Listen you were talking about success and mentors earlier today you will never be successful on any level in this life especially in your spiritual life if you sit and you weigh yourself down with what you did wrong years ago months ago or days ago you've got to let go of it and you've got to say you know what I'm going forward in God pressing forward as Paul says. And the wife says it like this he says the temper stands by to accuse them this is why you gotta let go of it of that sin as he stood by to resist Joshua he points to their fealty garments their defective characters he presents their weakness and folly their sins of ingratitude their unlikeness to Christ which is the sign of their Redeemer the devil will really try and remind you of your sins He is the accuser that would say it means he endeavors to affright the soul with the thought that their case is hopeless that the stain of their defilement will never be washed away that's what the devil wants to do to you he's done it to me at times I tell you something I wake up in the middle of night and the devil trying to convince me that I'm still were who I used to be he holds to so destroy their faith that they will yield to his temptations turn from their allegiance to God and watch this and receive the mark of the beast Ellen why Connex your inability to accept the fact that God has forgiven you to you receiving the mark of the beast the last light is this one Lose be speed says to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you there's 2 stories I usually tell at the end of this talk one of them is from Rwanda I won't do that one because you guys probably know it better than I do and that was of a pastor's wife who went to the Rwandan genocide and ended up adopting as her own son the young man who killed her husband during the genocide powerful story Mark Foley actually went to her house and everything powerful story but more recently there was a story in the United States that I'll use a white police officer a woman at work 14 hours. Shift she lived in an apartment complex and according to her she thought she was going into her apartment not it was plenty of evidence that the door it was a Redman from the door she was going into There was no red mat in front of her door she walks into she out of the house to get it maybe the door was open she goes into somebody else's apartment what happens to be a young black man of Caribbean descent money the Caribbean is that he's actually in the United States as an immigrant from one of the small Caribbean Islands she walks in as he is sitting on a couch eating ice cream watching television she stinks he's an intruder and she shoots and kills him right there he's in his early twenties black America is in flames as you can imagine people want revenge there's a whole thing about the police killing black people in America here's the funny statistic the police in America actually kill more white people than they do black people proportionately just more black people but nobody talks about that as. She goes in and she kills him when she does he called 911 she says look I thought it was my apartment my mistake in America there's a tradition there's very few white police officers going back all the years of the United States history that ever been convicted for killing a black person very few so this was a high profile case she went to court the judge was black the victim was black she went in there and they made a case for her that she thought it was what was in her apartment she wept she was seen sorrowful she seem remorseful she was convicted of murder everyone applauded justice has been done she was sentenced to 10 years in prison obviously that's not enough. Hold on that's not the good part of the story or the bad part of you look at it what's interesting is that when the young man who she kills family comes up from the island they are devout Christians. They love the Lord Jesus Christ with all their heart one them young man who was murdered when his brother takes the stand to speak at the sentencing hearing he says to her I love you and I forgive you his allies words to her on national television in the United States of America are and I pray that you come to know Jesus Christ as your savior the judge comes off the bench and hugs or and gives her a Bible to take to prison with her you would think everybody would be happy what an ending like America was furious that this young man forgave her and at the judge hard during gave her a Bible but you know what really happened in that scenario as terrible as that tragedy was on c.n.n. where he will never speak positively to positively of our Lord in general and on m.s.n. b.c. and all the networks of America in one moment the Christianity of that young man and that judge told America and reminded America again that the power that is in Jesus Christ when that boy said that and c.n.n. That's like some of the pundits couldn't even make sense of it because you show a God who in this world makes no sense it doesn't make sense to forgive the person who hurt you Christianity is not all logical to me because man wants to save himself let me challenge you I don't know who hurt you it might have been your parents might have been a sibling might have been an excellent for an ex-husband ex-wife may have been a child may be a child of yours a best friend an old boss maybe you were abused by the police or soldiers I don't know what you've been through. But I will tell you that if you hold on to that anger and that hatred and if you don't forgive even those who have harmed you it will not kill them it will kill you physically and spiritually and I want to say this last night I told you yesterday I told you when I spoke with a calling is on Africa to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world but the devil will he will he will paralyze and cripple that effort if we are more focused on revenge than we are on going home to be with Jesus I don't know what you've been through in your life but if you want to let go of whatever it is that's been holding you back there's something in your life and I stand again I forgive my father returns I get the something or someone in your life that you need to let go of and ask God to help you to forgive I want you to just stand where you are as we pray realize close Father God we thank you Lord for the power of forgiveness we thank you Lord that by the power of your Holy Spirit even when we have been harmed in ways that are almost unspeakable more to me being abused. More than we've been molested Lord when we've been oppressed and trampled upon the Lord and that which was rightfully ours has been taken you still require us to forgive the Father God today for those in this room and those who hear this later on I pray that we get the courage to be forgiving as a Father God we would not hold on to past hate angry anger or resentment that we would let go and allow God to fill the void of that pain Lord some of us have heard others and we need to go to them and ask for forgiveness Lord I pray for that we would have the courage to ask forgiveness. And then Father God I pray for healing in the 7th Day Adventist Church I can't finish this talk without saying that out loud Lord I pray that it doesn't matter what tribe color what creed what what what what what creed Lord even if people come together and become 7 Day Adventists if we believe the truth of this Bible lot I am asking today that we would be unified under the banner of Jesus Christ that that blood stain better would be our flag our citizenship would be in heaven and that our God would be our leader brought up pray for peace and order would be no pretense in the streets if there is no peace in our hearts bless your children especially in this room in church on this mighty mighty continent. That by the love we have for one another many would come to know Jesus this is our prayer in Jesus precious and holy day. 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