A Root Of Bitterness Defiles Many

Hebrews 12:14-15 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

As I study and learn more and more of what the Bible says for myself I am amazed at how often New Testament scriptures are parroting the Old Testament. Here Paul is warning of allowing “bitterness” instead of “peace and holiness” to motivate our hearts and the chain reaction that occurs if it’s chosen. It’s OT counterpart is here,

Deuteronomy 29:18-19  so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood; 19 and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart’—as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.

Paul and Moses are warning that choosing to not walk in God’s ways and having the attitude that I can do it and get away with it and it won’t affect anyone else either is wrong thinking.

Moses’ warning was basically prophesying when he spoke the following words to Israel at the end of their 40 years of wandering in the desert waiting for the last of the over 20 crowd to die off.

Deuteronomy 29:22-28  so that the coming generation of your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a far land, would say, when they see the plagues of that land and the sicknesses which the Lord has laid on it:

23 ‘The whole land is brimstone, salt, and burning; it is not sown, nor does it bear, nor does any grass grow there, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and His wrath.’ 24 All nations would say, ‘Why has the Lord done so to this land? What does the heat of this great anger mean?’ 25 Then people would say: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt; 26 for they went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods that they did not know and that He had not given to them. 27 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against this land, to bring on it every curse that is written in this book. 28 And the Lord uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’

We know from history that around 70 ad Israel ended being a nation and the remaining Jews were dispersed throughout the world as they fled persecution. God uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land,” But what about the land? Did it become the wasteland where grass wouldn’t even grow as Moses said? This is what Mark Twain said when he visited the Holy Land in 1867.  In his book “The Innocents Abroad”, he described Palestine, the as follows:

“….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” (The Innocents Abroad, p. 361-362)

The 1917 Balfour Declaration set in motion the way for Israel to again become the homeland of the Jews and be again named the land of Israel. Over these hundred years technology has vastly increased just as Daniel said it would in the “last days.” In 1920, the British Government’s Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine stated that there were hardly 700,000 people living in Palestine: There are now in the whole of Palestine hardly 700,000 people, a population much less than that of the province of Gallilee alone in the time of Christ.

Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

With that “increase in knowledge” came exponential changes in travel, “running to and fro,” health care advances and technology that are undeniable. The land that was able to sustain the lives of the few (700,000) people that lived there before the Balfour Declaration began to be implemented now feeds many in Europe and the 9 million population of Israel’s land. According to scripture, when Israel and those in it’s land decide to walk in God’s ways, God Himself will see to it that the arid desert land of Israel will be lush with vegetation and fruitful.

Deuteronomy 11:10-17  For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; 11 but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, 12 a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.

13 ‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. 15 And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’ 16 Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, 17 lest the Lord’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you.

Honestly Israel is not “taking heed of God’s Commandments” any better than the United States of America is today. They promote every vice offensive to God that America does and yet God has brought them back to the land is is allowing them to prosper. That’s a clear picture of God’s lovingkindness and longsuffering to everyone of every skin color as He waits for the day they would choose to repent and seek Him wholeheartedly,

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

In the meantime God has allowed “knowledge to increase” exponentially and with that Israel has made huge advances in ways to make the desert land of Israel fruitful as this video says,

While mankind has used the increases in technology to change his world in many arenas, for bad and good, it has still failed miserably on a world wide level at learning to love their neighbors as themselves. The effect of the “root of bitterness defiling many” is still evident in the world today, especially as we see it happening today. Unpeaceful protest, lawlessness, and a call to even abolish the police in general are the fruit of a “root of bitterness” coming to maturity.

In a family or in a nation the effects of sin will bear it’s fruit given enough time. When a person or a nation reject to walk in God’s ways Moses prophetic words, God’s Word actually, will come to past. Moses in Deuteronomy 29 made a statement that applies today and is the remedy to what ails mankind in the “loving your neighbor” department.

Deuteronomy 29:4  Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day. 

That in itself is the cure to the “root of bitterness that defiles many.” The problem is that unless a person sincerely repents of their own personal sins, God isn’t giving them a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear.” It just isn’t happening but people will still adopt the attitude that says,

19 and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart’—as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.

Jesus said except a man be born again he can’t see the kingdom of God. Romans 5:5 says, “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

If your aren’t “Born Again with God’s Spirit” you don’t have the Holy Ghost or the “Love of God” in your heart no matter how hard you try to drum it up. The root of bitterness will raise it’s ugly head at the most opportune moment to reveal that you don’t have the Love of God established in your heart ruling and reigning.

Do Christians slip and fail to express the Love of God? Sure they do in a moment of not listening to God’s Spirit but they won’t continue in that attitude. They will do the proper thing and make things right in God’s eyes who they know is watching it all. A true Christian has the Holy Spirit to teach, lead and guide them through life’s situations and when they don’t will rebuke them. God’s Holy Spirit is a “Revealing” Spirit for everything we go through in life. He warns and prepares obedient Christians of trials to come and gives directions through them. That brings me to another link between the Old and New Testament.

Deuteronomy 29:29  “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

It’s just as I said. God’s Spirit “reveals secret things” to our understanding so that we can walk in His way to live a life that pleases Him instead of ourselves. Jesus taught this principle on more than one occasion.

After explaining the parable of the sower in Mark chapter 4 Jesus said this,

Mark 4:21-25  Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? 22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

So who’s voice are we listening to when we want to get even for a wrong done to us or to stroke our flesh in ways we know are wrong. It surely isn’t God’s Holy Spirit. If we refuse to listen long enough to the unctions of the Holy Spirit they will come far less often because of grieving Him.

In Matthew chapter 10 the 12 apostles are named and Jesus sends them out to “8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Jesus tells them how to respond if they are met with resistance to the favor of God they are trying to bring into people’s lives,

12 And when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.

Just Walk Away!!! Don’t get even, throw a hissy fit or argue and fight. You can’t talk someone into having an attitude of gratitude towards God. Only the Holy Spirit can “shed the Love of God abroad” into a person’s heart when they decide to sincerely seek it. Jesus goes on to tell them about the persecutions to expect then says this,

27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.

All Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit expects from us is to release, speak the things revealed to us. How it’s received is not our business, That’s the Holy Spirit’s business.

Too many people around the world have rejected God’s ways. Anyone that rejects walking the the “Light that’s Revealed” to them has made a choice to walk in darkness. Jesus said in Matthew 6:23, 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!

Jesus told us that He Is The Light of the world. We get to choose how much of His Light we want to walk in. Any willful turning from it is sin. It’s that simple. All Christians sin at some point but true Christians don’t desire to stay there. They obey the conscience the Holy Spirit gives them and listens to the voice spoken into their inner ear. When we sin, we have every right to repent from it, walk in the light He revealed to us and restore fellowship with God’s Holy Spirit to it’s full level.

1 John 1:5-7   This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; 7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Amos 3:1-3,  Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying:
2 “You only have I known of all the families of the earth;
Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”
3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?

6 If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid?
If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?
7 Surely the Lord God does nothing,
Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

The turmoil the world’s in is NOT the problem. It’s ONLY a symptom of the problem. The world has rejected God on every level in almost every country, America included. Our laws make that very clear. A version of Deuteronomy 29:19 ends the warning of what will become a people that rejects God with these words,

Deuteronomy 29:19  one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.’ This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike.

Many “Born Again with God’s Spirit” Christians have determined that before it’s gets too bad here on earth we will be raptured out of here. “When the bombs come down, we go up!” Only then will all hell break loose and times of real hardship come. I think Jesus was referencing this scripture of the OT when He had been delivered up by Pilate to be crucified.

Luke 23:28-31  But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

America’s Christians have led a sheltered life living in a “land flowing with milk and honey.” Only in it’s recent history has American courts ruled so often against Christians for not abandoning their morals and Biblical standards to go with what society wants to be accepted. Through ancient and recent history Christians have suffered, been persecuted and been killed just for trying to live out a Christian lifestyle. That was the main reason the settlers from Europe came to start a new nation, religious persecution. The “Root of Bitterness” will bear its fruit and defile many, even innocent Christians that love God and do their best to walk in His ways. It rains on the just and the unjust.

But Christians have a Great Hope that the non Christians don’t have,

2 Corinthians 5:5-10  Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7  For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

The Judgment Seat of Christ
9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

A Root of Bitterness Or Wormwood

Deuteronomy 29:18-19  so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood;

The word “Wormwood” occurs 9 times in scripture. 9 in scripture is often related to judgment by God. Jesus died on the cross at the 9th hour. The Biblical numerology of number 9 is the finality or the judgement. It is generally when at the time of judging a person and his works. Also, number 9 is used to define the perfect movement of God. The biblical number 9 is [also] a number of patience.

I notice that in the Bible that 19 sometimes represents the beginning or closing of a season of time of judgment. The combining of 10 (perfection) and 9, usually denotes God’s perfect order in regard to his judgment in the Bible.

The story of Sodom & Gomorrah is in Genesis 19. A very similar account of wickedness is in Judges 19.  2 Kings 25:8 says that Nebuchadnezzar burned down the city of Jerusalem in the 19th year of his reign. Jeremiah 52:12 is another discussion of Nebuchadnezzar burning down Jerusalem, again mentioning that it was the 19th year of his reign.

Jesus made a statement in the Book of Revelation that made a link between “stars and angels.”

Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

Later in Revelation the apostle John sees a star fall from heaven named “Wormwood” and it is connected to “bitterness.”

Revelation 8:10-11  Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.

Then again in Revelation chapter 9 a “star” is then called a “him.”

Revelation 9:1  Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit.

If you can follow my thinking that an angel of satan is casted upon the earth whose name is Wormwood could this have more than one fulfillment. Could the first level of it’s fulfillment be that this evil spirit pours out a spirit of bitterness on the inhabitants of the earth that don’t follow God’s ways? Relating “waters” to people is told to us in the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 17:15  Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 

The Book of Revelation seems to tell us that as some point a “spirit of wormwood/bitterness” is poured out on the earth. The bitterness is rooted in an attitude that says,

Deuteronomy 29:18-19  so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood; 19 and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart’—as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.

This evil spirit will lead people across the earth to turn away from God’s commandments and yet believe, ‘I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart.’

Not only in the world but in the church of God we have been hearing that “we are not under the law” taken out of context. They refuse to acknowledge that true Christians are under the “Law of the Spirit” to be taught and lead by the Holy Spirit. Lawlessness isn’t only in the world, it’s in the church of God too. The apostle Paul told us that the time would come when widespread cries to have No Law and even No police would come. He said it would be brought about by an unclean spirit of satan.

2 Thessalonians 2:5-12  Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The power of the spirit of lawlessness has been at work since Paul’s days and is only getting worst. Is the “strong delusion” God sends an intensification of the wormwood spirit.

Though this lawlessness has been around for a long time and we are warned that it’s power will only get stronger in the last days don’t lose heart or be fearful. The Word of God has told us what to do when we get to “bitter (marah) waters” corrupted by a root of bitterness. Just Keep Your Eyes On Jesus and The Cross

Exodus 15:2225  So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.

God once taught me a lesson on Keeping My Eyes On Jesus And The Cross in a way He knew I couldn’t miss. God knows at times I’m hard of hearing and sometimes my eyes are dull at seeing so He does some wonderful things to get my attention. Maybe God knew (He did) that I would give Him all the Glory by telling the world what He taught me.

Keep Your Eyes On Jesus & The Cross, https://intheword.blog/2019/03/25/keep-your-eyes/


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