Are We Living For Promise Or For Prosperity?
“Mind Manipulation Inside The Matrix (Part 3)”
Start with a recap of the last lesson
Matthew 6:19-24 King James Version (KJV)
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Before we get started, I feel I need to explain why I am covering this topic now. I happened to be in a moment where I was meditating on Acts 2. I am still amazed about the way the Holy Spirit revealed himself in the upper room, but what is more amazing to me is what happened to the people who made up the beginning of the church. Let me start with the first part.
Acts 2 King James Version (KJV)
2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
So, put a marker there and now let’s go further in the chapter which reads like this:
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly[LM1] in the apostles' doctrine [LM2] and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
I began to think and consider, does the church of today reflect this same kind of communal existence? As believers, do we have all things in common? What should those things reflect? Are we prone to share with others who have need (and I am not just talking about the homeless)? Do we appreciate even the small things in Christ with gladness and singleness of heart?
It is into this; I am addressing our subject comparing the world’s prosperity to GOD’s promise. It is into this; I am addressing mind manipulation? We talked about 7 principles:
Life Without Understanding; (2) Realization You Are Unfulfilled; (3) Seeking Truth; (4) Rebirth and Cleansing; (5) Training & Discipleship; (6) Adversity & Conflict; (7) Victory.
Last week we addressed the first two themes using Neo from the original Matrix movie as a guide. We addressed being in a state of ignorance, living life and just going through the motions to come to the realization that something is missing. As I shared last week, I know what it feels like to feel unfulfilled…to know there is a greater meaning to life than the creature comforts we can obtain with the world’s power and wealth. We are now going to go to the third theme Seeking Truth. Let’s go to Philippians 4:8-9:
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report[LM3] ; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
We all have our version of the truth, and then there is The Truth from GOD’s perspective. Are we willing to release our finite mental processes to experience GOD’s truth? Many things simply don’t make sense to man but work perfectly from GOD’s perspective. Quick aside, I stopped getting into endless exchanges with nonbelievers about the things of GOD because most of the time, they are not interested in your valid points related to HIM; they simply want to spout their own agendas that tend to be anti-Christ. The truth goes back to what we shared last week about the wise being confounded by the foolish. What we call apologetics (meaning defending the faith) is only relevant if the conflicting party is at least willing to listen to a Christian point of view, and be open-minded about it. And that Christian point of view must be on point with scripture, otherwise those with conflicting view will tear your beliefs apart.
In our movie, The Matrix we talked about a choice between a blue pill and red pill. What I did not share last week is the red pill had a promise to go down the rabbit-hole (which is an Alice in Wonderland reference) and see the true nature of the world, and I would argue, the true nature of GOD. Taking the blue pill means the hope of truth ends and you return to a world that is programmed.
So, let’s talk about Truth and Mind Manipulation. We must understand in real time; the world is The Matrix. It reflects, encourages and celebrates a superficial way of living, where we are taught to be self-reliant, self-empowering, self-motivated. Depending on the era you grew up in, there is a version of the song The Greatest Love Of All…I grew up with George Benson’s version, maybe you grew up with Whitney Houston’s. Let me recite a portion of the lyrics for your hearing:
I decided long ago never to walk in anyone's shadow.
If I fail, if I succeed, at least I lived as I believe.
No matter what they take from me,
They can't take away my dignity.
Because the greatest love of all is happening to me.
I found the greatest love of all inside of me.
The greatest love of all is easy to achieve.
Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.
And if by chance that special place that you've been dreaming of
Lead you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love
Is this a lyric that reflects our total dependency on Christ, or does it direct the listener to rely on themselves? Here is another one from Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie, We Are The World:
Send them your heart so they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
And so we all must lend a helping hand
We are the world,
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So, let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
Did you hear what I just said? GOD turning stone to bread? Does this sound familiar? Let’s look at Matthew 4:1-4
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He [a]then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
See how Satan takes scripture and perverts it for his purposes? If he did this to Jesus, what makes you think he wouldn’t do it to you? The Truth will make you free! The red pill promises a journey down a rabbit hole where no one human can know the ending. Many may pervert that as being satanic, but only GOD is infinite. His truth is everlasting.
We must know that we are in a time where GOD has allowed for Satan to have authority of the air. Meditate on these following scriptures:
1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Be sober-minded[LM4] ; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, [LM5] to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Revelation 12:9 ESV
And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Ephesians 2:2 ESV
In which you once walked, following the course of this world, following[LM6] the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
John 16:11 ESV
Concerning judgment, because[LM7] the ruler of this world is judged.
John 14:30 ESV
I will no longer talk much with you, for[LM8] the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,
John 12:31 ESV
Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
Isaiah 14:12-15 ESV
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! [LM9] How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I[LM10] will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol[LM11] , to the far reaches of the pit.
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but[LM12] against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
In closing, we are to walk in a life of Truth, which reflects our fellowship with Christ. John 8:31-32
31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
And lastly, the Apostle Paul shared this from Philippians 3:7-16
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss [c]in view of the surpassing value of [d]knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, [e]for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and [f]the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;11 [g]in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on [h]so that I may lay hold of that [i]for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are [j]perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep [k]living by that same standard to which we have attained.
[LM1]First, "to continue steadfastly," means to LIVE IN. It means to seek the Truth, discuss the Truth, find the Truth, and practice the Truth. In other words, these folks adjusted their lives in accordance with their new life in Jesus Christ. The apostles were instructing them along those lines. This is what they CONTINUED in. By David A. DePra
[LM2]Today, we have the apostles’ doctrine. It is the Bible. The entire New Testament was written by an apostle, or a close associate. All the authors of the NT were personal eye-witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What does the term, "apostles’ doctrine" mean? It means the teachings of the apostles; of those who had walked and talked with Jesus, and had been called for this special purpose. The apostles had been given great revelation from God. They passed it on to the church. By David A. DePra
[LM3]The world offers negative news; the Bible is the Good News of Jesus Christ.
[LM4]Not mind controlled
[LM5]Those who are spiritually dying
[LM6]Satan is the price of the air, those who follow him are sons of disobedience.
[LM7]Satan is the ruler of this world
[LM8]Satan is the ruler of this world
[LM10]Satan rebels against GOD and aspires to GOD’s Power and Authority
[LM11]She'ol, in the Hebrew Bible, is a place of darkness to which all the dead go, both the righteous and the unrighteous, regardless of the moral choices made in life, a place of stillness and darkness cut off from life and from God.
[LM12]Satan and his followers represent these rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, state of darkness and spiritual forces of evil.