Misc. Leadership Principles – Part Two


But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6: 33


Idolatry is putting ‘anything’ before God.  It could be your girlfriend or boyfriend, your hobby, your car, your career or as I stated ‘anything’.  Of course, the world will make it very easy for you to do this.  Of so many negative results due to idolatry, lately I learned that idolatry leads to sexual immorality where a person cannot control their thoughts and their actions.  They have no self-discipline in this area and it dominates their life.  That is all they seem to think of is sex and it’s really a terrible way to live, since there is so much to enjoy in this life IF we are not idolatrous.  [That’s Advanced material].  And I will put it to you straight.  If you have been working the Word with me, rightly divided, you know by now that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and not God himself.  People, who believe Jesus Christ is God, and there are millions of them, are practicing idolatry in their lives and, in turn, sexual immorality.  Have you ever heard anything like that in the news – especially concerning so-called clergy?


Now let’s go back to the gospel of Matthew, still in Chapter Five (5), and study an interesting parable put forth by Jesus Christ regarding idolatry but mainly how to overcome it.  Some of what Jesus Christ says may seem quite difficult to actually carry out in your life.  However, Jesus Christ always did the Father’s Will so what he said was what God inspired him to say.  He spoke the true God’s Words.  We, by our own free will must carry them out.  Never argue with God.  He created life – I believe He knows the best way to live it.


And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it  from thee:  for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that  thy whole body should be cast into hell. – Matthew 5: 29


The ‘RIGHT EYE' referred to implies the MOST HIGHLY PRIZED POSSESSION.  If it is stopping you from moving with God, GET RID OF IT or it will ruin every part of your life.  Let’s say your job is keeping you from keeping God first.  GET RID OF IT!  You will be much better off in the long run.  I told you it takes guts, integrity and believing to stand for God in this present age.  Jesus Christ is offering you the solution.


Why did God inspire Jesus Christ to teach this leadership principle?  It is right in the verse.  It is better that one member of your body perish (i.e. one part of your life perish), than your whole body be cast into hell – as a result of your idolatrous lifestyle.


Matthew 5: 29 uses two (2) figures of speech referred to as hypocatastasis and hyperbole if you are interested in the field of Figures of Speech.  Remember, they mark the most important Scriptures.  Let’s work the Word here some more by examining a few other translations, although our main translation used is the King James version.  Do you remember why?  Because words added by the translators are in italics.


If your right eye should cause you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of your members, and not have all your body fall into hell. – Matthew 5: 29  …… The Aramaic of the PeshittaLamsa


After the word “you” above, Lamsa has an interesting footnote that says Aramaic Idiom;  stop envying.  How do we envy others?  First, with our eyes, and then envy festers in our minds.  Yes, envy can be a form of idolatry.


I think the main point should be clearly brought forth at this point.  If there is anything, anything at all, that is hindering you and keeping you from moving God’s Word and keeping Him first, YOU MUST GET RID OF IT no matter how difficult it may seem.  God will help you because He honors your efforts to draw closer to Him.  Many times the most difficult part of getting set free is to make the first move.  Then it all just seems to lose its power of resistance.


Submit [addict] yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4: 7


Many times this does not happen immediately, but just keep resisting and eventually the devil will run.  You must obey God if you want to get set free.  There is no other way.  Make up your mind by your own free will.  God’s way is the best way or why would I be doing this.  You’ve got to work the Word until you are convinced by your own free will that it is the truth.  So then let’s look at one more translation, which I find intriguing, because of the way part of it is worded.


If your right eye is your undoing, tear it out and fling it away; it is better for you to lose one part of your body than for the whole of it to be thrown into hell. --  Matthew 5: 29  …… The New English Bible


How about that?  Tear it out – fling it away!  Don’t waste time thinking about it.  Do it.  Take that object or thing or part of your life that is hindering you from keeping God first, and tear yourself away from it.  It’s a trick of Satan.  Tear it apart and fling it away.  That part of your life is your undoing.  Surely, in your heart, you want to get rid of it.  Quit thinking.  Get it done.


Jesus Christ made his point again with a similar Scripture in Matthew 5: 30.  Remember, when God wants to establish a point, He repeats His Word twice.  (See Genesis 41: 32)


Now we need to move on to that which is not only a very important leadership principle, but a very important principle overall.  We will look at two (2) sections of Scripture where it is mentioned – the gospel of Matthew and the Book of James.  You may realize that renewing the mind is a struggle, at times, but the benefits greatly outweigh the effort expended.  It’s so easy for many of us to violate this principle every day, so as we obviate it, it will set you free just to be aware of it.  To adhere to God’s Word in this area is really very easy if we remember it.  God can make promises, but we should not swear by anything or make an oath.  Let’s go to God’s Word and then you will understand why.


But I swear unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne;  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool:  neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay:  for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. – Matthew 5: 34-37


But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath:  but let your yea be yea; and your  nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. -- James 5: 12 


Isn’t this an amazing principle – so simple and so effective.  How often does someone ask us a question and we answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and THEN we get into a horrendous explanation usually making a promise or an oath?  Example:  Someone who maybe likes to find fault with people says to you;  Didn’t you put on  some weight?”  And you say:  “Yes, but I am going to lose it and never gain weight again.” We leave ourselves open to be judged as a hypocrite.  All you need to say is “YES”.  Then I would politely excuse myself and get away from that person.


You see, you cannot make a promise like that or any promise because in simpler terms – you most likely will make a jerk out of yourself.  If you said only “Yes” to the ‘gain weight’ person and walked away, that person would be probably stunned and it would diffuse them from ever asking you aggravating or personal questions again.  But if they hear you making a feeble attempt to explain yourself and then making promises that, oftentimes, we do not keep, you add more fuel to the situation.


Do you see it?  Do you see why Jesus Christ taught this principle?  Many people violate this principle every day.  I had a hard time renewing my mind to it because it was so simple.  It is the small details in this life that make the major difference as to whether we come out on top.  Attention to detail is the difference between success and failure.  Answer a question with a simple Yes or No and watch what happens.


Let’s review:  Jesus Christ stressed that you MUST NOT SWEAR by anything.  You are not to make any vows or oaths at any time.  This way you don't make emotional assertions that you can't live up to.  Jesus Christ said to simply say YES or NO.  JESUS CHRIST TAUGHT THAT WHATSOEVER IS MORE THAN THESE COMETH OF EVIL.  Now that is an important point not brought up above.  ANSWER QUESTIONS WITH A YES OR A NO AND THEN SHUT UP. This is a simple renewed mind principle that you must focus on and master.  Do not swear by anything anymore and answer questions with a simple “Yes” or a “No”.  Don’t take this principle too lightly.  It is the Word of God and when you renew your mind to it and apply it in your life – it increases the power in your walk.  [You may also answer a question with a question as Jesus Christ often did.  This strategy works well when witnessing God’s Word.]


I am now going to handle one of the most difficult principles taught by Jesus Christ and backed up also in the Church Epistles.  If you are one that’s been able to master this, you are one of few.  It is tricky to apply correctly due to the many gray areas that can only be learned with much renewing of the mind.  Let me put it this way:  There is a Scripture in Proverbs that says ‘If you try to do good to those that despise you, they will hate you even more’.


Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee;  rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. – Proverbs 9: 8


If you don’t have a green light from God to help a person with serious issues, be careful.  That person will hate you even more than they already do.  You’ve got to walk by revelation:  word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and discerning of spirits.  These are three (3) of the manifestations of Holy Spirit that are the eyes and ears of the Church of the Body of Christ.  These three manifestations allow you to receive information that you cannot know by the five senses. 


But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you; and persecute you; -- Matthew 5: 44


How do you love the unlovable?!  How do you do good unto someone who hates you?!  The praying part is not so bad, right?  We can do that.  Well, I’ll tell you how I handle this situation and at times, it’s like walking on eggshells and you better not break any.  But, remember, God covers for our mistakes and you will make mistakes in this area of the Word.  All our life the world has taught us to get even and to seek revenge and now Jesus Christ says that we must practically do the opposite.  This is why I always stressed that the renewing of the mind was a difficult and continuous process.  But the overall results are tremendous – ‘Behold, all things are become new’.  The Word of God is life in the fast lane – a great challenge with a surprise around every corner.


How do you love your enemies?  This is one way.  Keep away from them!  They don’t like you so do them that courtesy.  That’s what I do often.  In fact, I’ve made it into an art and an art takes time to develop.  This is the way I keep my peace to go on teaching.  I do nice things for them when they are not looking and they have no idea.


The other side of this relates to a record most familiar in the gospels.  How do you think Judas felt when Christ showed love towards him?  If Christ acted any other way, the enemy would have won (i. e. accomplished his purpose).  You remember the old commercial – don’t let them see you sweat.  DON’T REACT TO WHAT THE ADVERSARY THROWS AT YOU.  Example:  If you find yourself in a difficult position and someone says to you….  “Oh! That’s an ugly coat you have on.”  Find something they are wearing – anything – that you like, and tell them “Gee, I really like those running shoes – where did you get them?”  And mean it.  And watch what happens!  The love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation will melt their heart and they learn something, for a change, that is productive.


Be not overcome of evil, but overcome of evil with good. – Romans 12: 21


Remember the gospels are really part of the Old Testament because they came before the Day of Pentecost.  They are written for our learning and not directly to us, as are the Church Epistles.  In the first Church Epistle of Romans, here is the same principle that Jesus Christ taught.  That means it still applies to us today because it has not been changed in the New Testament.  Let’s look at Philippians.


And in nothing terrified by your adversaries:  which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. – Philippians 1: 28


So if someone does evil to you, when do you act and how?  God must tell you.  Soon, I will do a teaching on Countering The Adversary.  He’ll love that.  Remember there is Preventive Believing which is preparing for something that hasn’t even happened yet.  Then there is the teaching Self Defense Is A Biblical Concept.  The word ‘good’ in Romans 12: 21 is a relative concept.  Are you doing good by helping a scorner when Proverbs says he will hate you even more?  I am the only one I know of who confronted an obvious alcoholic, a thorn in my flesh, and told him in front of others that he was an alcoholic.  It was for his own good – no one else would tell him.  Man, talk about hate.  This guy would give anything to get at me so I must watch him often.  You see, in his mind, he thinks he might win against the Christ in me.  Sorry, can’t happen.


Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them [every devil spirit in the universe]:  because greater is he that is in you, [CHRIST IN YOU] than he [the devil] that is in the world. – I John 4: 4


Do you believe it?  That’s all that matters.


This is how I apply the above principle of overcoming evil with good:


If a person is doing something wrong in their life, but may not realize it, help them.  Reach out with the arms of Christ and lift them up.  It could be the smallest act of kindness that could change their life.  Remember, if people do not know the Word of God, they are not responsible for what they do.  But we do not have that excuse.  It is our obligation to God to share the Word of God with them either by words or our example.  However, Proverbs says something like ‘help someone when you have the opportunity to do so, because you may never get that chance again.’ Think about - it’s so true.  It’s beautiful, really.


Now I am going to use a Figure of Speech here:  If someone is holding a 5 inch barrel 45 caliber to your face, it may be time to shut up.  Got it?  The goats will never hear the Word, but unless you’re in the prior situation, AND GOD GIVES YOU THE GREEN LIGHT, you would be surprised what the love of God can accomplish.  You can help any unbeliever.  Jesus Christ did many times.  It is the sick people that need attending to, not those that are healthy.


Charity never faileth:……………………………………. – I Corinthians 13: 8


God, that’s beautiful. The love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation NEVER fails.  (Take a look at the other attributes of the love of God (charity) listed in I Corinthians Chapter 13)


In conclusion of this point, which can go on forever, remember that the renewed mind must always be BALANCED.  You need to ask God to help you in this area.  When do you avoid fellowshipping with darkness?  Always.  When do you exercise self-defense, which is a Biblical concept?  What type of situation warrants helping someone doing evil and you overcoming it with good?  When do you get away ASAP and never look back?  I know of a group of believers who were running an important Bible fellowship in a rented home.  The owner decided to put the home up for sale.  These believers got together and prayed with their whole strength that the owner would not find a buyer  - - - - and he didn’t!  Right or wrong?  RIGHT!  Due to circumstances not mentioned, it was not a need financially or otherwise that the owner sold the home he was renting.  But it was essential that the fellowship continued uninterrupted and it did.


Heading toward a conclusion of this Part Two of Miscellaneous Leadership Principles of Jesus Christ, let’s tie in this conclusion with the above principle since they are related.  Now, this principle can also be difficult for many believers to apply.  In the first place, you need to be able to discern the difference between vengeance and self-defense.   The latter is a Biblical concept, but the former is sin – broken fellowship.  I need to go to Romans where this principle is spelled out and then elaborated on by Jesus Christ in the gospel of Matthew.


Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather  give place unto wrath [the wrath of God]:  for it is written, Vengeance is  mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. – Romans 12: 19


It is always wrong to seek revenge.  There are many other more effective ways to deal with the adversary such as preventive believing, self-defense, not reacting, and even more.  It is God’s job to seek vengeance for you and believe me, He will.  God knows the exact right time to make His move.  He allows  the enemy to do his dirty work because He is just even to him.  I recently had someone make up a story about me that resulted in serious consequences for me.  There are  people that practice witchcraft today.  She now walks around partially paralyzed.

Christ taught us to love our enemies and to bless them that curse you.  Pray for them that persecute and use you.  Yes, it is difficult at times but don't waste your time and energy disliking people that hate you.  That's when you lose and your personal adversary accomplishes his purpose.  When he moves, you must be very careful how and when you move.  Back him down every chance you get - it makes life interesting.  Always be on guard with the Word of God -- never let your guard down.  NEVER. 

Jesus Christ taught that if a person wants to do evil to you, don’t counter it with evil also.  Let him or her dig their own grave.  The goats are always going to hate you.  Why should you care?  They're from the world and the world is from the devil and he is from hell.  If someone wants to think evil of you and it has no effect on your walk with God, then let him.  Let him put a noose around his or her neck and every time they think evil of you, the rope gets tighter and they shut off their own air.  You are not to seek vengeance - that God's job. Don't stoop so low but don't confuse what Jesus Christ is saying regarding holding the adversary at bay also.  If he's making an attempt to hinder your walk with God, you are to go for his throat.  Remember this Scripture from earlier in the teaching:


Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them [every devil spirit in the universe]:  because greater is he that is in you, [CHRIST IN YOU] than he [the devil] that is in the world. – I John 4: 4


Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:  the devils also believe and tremble. – James 2: 19

Remember, greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.  USE THE POWER THAT GOD GAVE YOU.  Try to remember one thing and try to never forget it. 


You only get hurt when you allow yourself to be hurt.


Think about it.  The renewed mind is your key to power, which means you must study God’s Word or you will be defeated on every hand.  Of course, I pray that you understand everything written in this and every teaching, but you will not accomplish that unless you STUDY to show yourself approved unto God.  Then God will open up the doors of your understanding.


Then Peter opened his  mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: -- Acts 10: 34


God respects CONDITIONS and not who you are.  It is a condition of the Word of God that you STUDY – and don’t forget to APPLY what you learn from the Bible in your everyday life.


Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -- II Timothy 2: 15