Animal Appetite

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The Beginning of the Werewolf Legend 1591

 The legend of the Werewolf (wolfman) began long before Universals movie, The Wolf Man (December 12, 1941). The first recorded Werewolf sighting took place around the countryside of the German town of Cologne and Bedburg in 1591. A few people cornered a large wolf and set their dogs upon it. They started to pierce it with sharp sticks and spears. Surprisingly the ferocious wolf turned out to be a middle-aged man, Peter Stubbe, from the same village. Stubbe was put on a torture wheel where he confessed to sixteen murders including two pregnant women and thirteen children.

The words of Stubbe’s trial and execution spread across the lands in no time. His brutality, and savagery were beyond human comprehension and was related with the behavior of a wolf. People started to believe that such individuals with the shadow of wolves were living among them. They named them Werewolves.

The Beast Within Us All   Proverbs 25:28, James 1:13-15

  Stubbe’s downfall began at age 12 when he began playing with the occult. His growing fascination with evil and his lack of exercising self-control over his fantasy life led to his uncontrolled actions. Stubbe was never a “wolfman”, he was a man who lost control of his mind because he never exercised self-control. When we allow God to govern our actions He constrains the beast within us. Without God, we too are capable of unspeakable evil.

Proverbs compares a man without self-control to the broken down walls of a city. Ancient cites were both walled and fortified. Without walls a city had no protection from its enemies. In the same way, when we do not exercise self-control we have no protection from the evil desires which wage war on our soul. None of us can blame the full moon, wolf bane, or even a “hairy situation” for our beastly (sinful) actions. The Bible is clear in its letter from James when it says “each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” When we entertain our evil desires (exercising no self-control) that is when they give birth to sin. Passing thoughts will come and go, but entertaining them is what stirs up the beast within.

Animal Appetite   2 Corinthians 10:3-6, 1 Peter 2:11-12,16-17, Ephesians 5:13-17, 6:10-13a, 2 Timothy 3:1-5

There is no way to kill your animal appetite for sin without exerting self-control, but if you will recall our first lesson in this series (The Beast Within and Without) on Romans 7:24-25, there is a constant struggle with our sin nature. This is why we need to give our self to God. Now it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me! (Galatians 2:20) God-Control is better than self-control!

 As we draw close to God, He draws closer to us. We become “free men” from our animal instincts. With super-natural help we can take our thoughts captive as The Holy Spirit directs us. And the conviction of His Holy Spirit punishes those wrong thoughts inside of our mind before they creep out. Therefore, our active relationship with God keeps the beast within us caged. When we are actively pursuing God we abstain from sinful desires. When we use our freedom in Christ as a covering for our sin (“well, nobody’s perfect.”) we are in very dangerous territory. Ephesians 5:15-16

We live in a time where monsters roam free. Many wear a mask of godliness but do not exercise God-control. God’s word says to” Have nothing to do with these people” or we are bound to fall with them. After all, You wouldn’t hang out with a werewolf would you?

Vampires

Vampires

It’s not a myth. They are among us — in book stores, on movie screens, TV sets and billboards, in graphic novels and video games all across the land. Vampire stories have been with us since Dr. John Polidori’s The Vampyre,1819, followed by Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel,  Dracula. Vampire stories have always seemed to interest the public in an off and on sort of way but in the past 15 years the trend has blown up into a pop culture phenomenon.  It was the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series that began this trend in 1997-2001, but vampires are everywhere today.  The Twilight series sold a reported 70 million copies followed by the super-hit Twilight movie. The CW Network release of The Vampire Diaries, based on the young adult books of L. J. Smith has blown up and a ‘vampire’ Google click yields almost 18 million sites!  If pop culture is any indication of a societies mental, emotional, physical and spiritual state (and it is) then why is there all this blood sucking romance in the entertainment media?  Perhaps it is because of the fact that so many of the things that we are falling in love with today are literally sucking the life out of us.  It may also very well be the fact that so many of us have become blood sucking vampires ourselves; that is we have become people who are so self serving that we are no earthly good at all.

Licking the Blade 1 Peter 5:8-11                                                                                There is the brutal tale of hunters in the Alaskan tundra that coat a long sharp knife with the fresh blood of their previous kill. As the blood freezes they cover it again and again until it thickly coats the blade. Once the steal is thoroughly covered, the hunter buries the handle of the knife into the snow and pounds the ice tightly around it. The covered knife, now protruding through the snow like a bright red popsicle catches the scent of the hungry wolf. The hunter watches slyly under cover as the wolf inspects the curious sight. He senses danger as he darts about the unusual object, but then he takes a quick lick. It is absolutely delicious to the beast and he takes another. Soon, he is devouring the object while the icy cold of the treat is numbing his mouth. In a short time the layers of blood expose the blade of the knife. Soon it is no longer the taste of the kill that he enjoys but his own life’s blood that he swallows. He licks faster and harder in his wild and ravenous rapture until at last he weakens and falls dead as the hunter’s easy prize.

Like the wolf, we can easily be fooled by the wiles of the tasty sin that the devil coats death with. When we devour such things it is our own life that we consume.  Ravenous for sin we become numb to the effects and even to the warnings around us.  We must be sober minded and resist the devil and those things which God’s word tells us to avoid.  We must hold onto faith and take heart in knowing that we do not resist these things alone.  Every brother and sister (Christian) in the world does the same.

Don’t be a vampire by developing a taste for sin. You will drain the life out of you and become easy prey to the devil.

Blood Suckers Philippians 2:3-18                                                                   Vampires are blood suckers, they live off of the life blood of their victims. Are you a metaphorical vampire?

From creation we were never made to get something for nothing. Even before the fall Adam worked (Geneses 2:15).  All human relationships are ordained by God to be reciprocal and even the relationship we have with God is to be that way too.  He loves us and we are to love others. (1 John 4:19)  He forgives us and we are to forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15).  Refusing to do so even results in being unforgiven ourselves.  God’s word also instructs that if we do not work we should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10-11), and that all of God’s people should bring the full tithe into the house of the Lord (Malachi 3:7-9) and stop robbing God.  Still, there are vampires in the Church. Those who regularly benefit from gifts that others give while they give nothing of themselves at all. There are vampires in America…those who take from tax payers and give nothing of themselves to the nation or its people in return. In fact, many of the people that suck up America’s resources are also those who do crime against her people and her land. There are vampires everywhere among us and it is not wrong to confront them. It may be politically incorrect but who cares! It is our blood they are sucking!

God instructs all of us to loose our bloodthirsty lust for sin and to stop sucking the life out of others and get over our selfishness by truly following His lead. We are to be lights in this dark world of selfishness, and if the time should ever come that you yourself should need a transfusion. God will certainly provide you with the help that you need. In fact He has already bled out on your behalf.

Letting go of Dead Parts

Letting go of Dead Parts

In Mary Shelley’s classic book Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein sought to destroy his creation gone bad. Mankind’s Creator provided a remedy in Jesus Christ. Just as Adam brought sin and death, Jesus came that we might have life by believing in Him. We who were once dead in our own choice to sin, and live in opposition to our creator, can now be born again to a new hope. We can be saved! (Romans 6:10-11,16-18 ,23, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

Like the monster in Shelley’s book, we cannot live with dead parts attached to us. Sin is death and it has no place with God’s plan for His new creation. If you are not a follower of Christ then the Bible says you are dead; however, many of us Christians are holding on to dead parts still. If the monster within you keeps raising his ugly head in your life then ask yourselves these questions:

  1. What dead habits are you holding onto?
  2. What dead friends or family members are you associating with                   You can love the dying without getting into the coffin with them.
  3. What dead things are you entertaining yourself with?

(i.e. books, movies, music, the internet, television, clubs, bars, etc.)

 

Like sin, carbon monoxide will slowly kill you if you breathe it in. You might even be totally unaware that it is slowly cutting off your air supply. The remedy for its effects on you is to simply breathe in pure oxygen for an extended period of time. As we draw closer to God (pure oxygen/ the creative breath of life) He will draw closer to us. Just as you breathe in pure air after sucking in carbon monoxide your body and soul will begin to feel more alive. Life will be sweeter as you shake of the chains of death and sin. If you want to kill the monster within you then you must first acknowledge your true creator and the sin of not glorifying Him with your life. Then try these wonderful “breathing exercises” and watch the CHANGE!

 

  1. Hang out with God’s people each week at church
  2. Read God’s Word (the Bible) Join a Bible Study group
  3. Give some of your time to God’s work (volunteer)                                           There is nothing like living to keep death away from your door!                                             
  4.  Talk to God daily……Unlike Dr. Frankenstein, your creator loves you! (John 3:16)

Killing the Monster Within

“He’s such a cute lil’ monster”… It wasn’t cute when you were a little kid and it’s even uglier now that you are grown up.  I’m talking about the beast that rages inside.  That side of us that surfaces under pressure, when we don’t get our way or when we are around certain people or indulge in certain things.  In this weird season where monsters and the macabre are celebrated, allow me to introduce you to the truth about the worst side of us all, but let’s do something about it!  Let us learn how to defeat that beast within us through Christ and kill the monster once and for all.  Join us at The Gathering each Sunday throughout  October at 10AM at 22427 Norwalk Blvd., Hawaiian Gardens for my Killing The Monster series.  A truly roarsome experience.

Mere Acquaintances and even some close associates would never believe that there could be a monster within you or me, but those closest to us have certainly witnessed some sightings. Perhaps they have even been wounded by our behavior. Still some are monsters in denial; believing their monstrous behavior is normal and excusable. They refuse to believe what the eyewitnesses say about their brutal behavior. They refuse to believe that there is a monster inside, but the Bible clearly says that there is… Asaph, was a man of God who wrote about how he became a brute beast. His trigger was in desiring material wealth. He envied the wicked who prospered and almost lost his way as a result of that stinking thinking. Fortunately, Asaph (Psalm 73:1-28) was Biblically grounded (verses 25-26) and continued fellowship in the “house of God” (verses 15-17). Those two things saved him from self-destruction.   We must not ever be so foolish as to deny the fact that we have a brute beast within us. Only Christ can save us from that “wretched man (person) that I am” (Romans 7:24-25a)   We must avoid stinking thinking and stay  single-minded (James 4:7-8and focused on Christ or we will indeed become a monster.