The Murderous Religious Spirit
[that nailed Jesus to the cross]
Aug 24th, 2008
Priscilla Van Sutphin   Radio Show Archives

Matt 2:7-8 NKJV Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also." ….
Matt 2:12   Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way….
Matt 2:16   Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

Where ever the Lord is birthed, there is opposition to it through the enemy of God.  Whenever the Holy Spirit in this hour wants to pour out His spirit, there will be opposition.
For many years, we have been waiting the true end times awakening and harvest which is begun in many parts of the world, because there is a trickle already of amazing signs and wonders being done and many more coming to Christ than ever in history.  But the Lord speaks of a time, when there will be a tremendous gathering of souls, with reaper angels sent into the earth.  Many of us have had dreams and visions of the Lord exploding on the scene.  For me, the Lord indicated that it would come but the cost would be great, and there would almost immediately begin great persecution of the saints, fitting well with the history of visitations from God, like the great Armenian revival.

We tend to expect the Herods of the earth to oppose, because after all they are not  walking like true believers.  But what we don’t often understand is the nature of the religious spirits that oppose the movements of the Holy Spirit in the earth.  There are a plethora of examples in the gospels of pharisees opposing the manifestation of God’s Kingdom on earth.   This spirit opposes anyone other than them being in control, or getting any of the support of the people.  This spirit hates, and we know that Jesus said,

Matt 5:21-25  NKJV               Murder Begins in the Heart              (Luke 12:57-59)
21 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.'  22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire.  23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,  24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

So even if we are just angry, or calling someone a fool, Jesus sees it as murder in our hearts.  He says we MUST forgive, and resolve to forgive in all such situations, as He indicated to Peter when Peter asked him how often must I forgive ?  Jesus told him 70 times 7.  7 being the number of completion, He meant that no matter what we are to forgive completely in our hearts.  That is a process, but it is one we must embrace.

The Pharisees often were plotting to kill Jesus out of their fear and jealousies.
Luke 22:2 NKJV And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.
Jesus said:
Matt 5:38-39 NKJV  "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'   39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

This is the standard, and it is a difficult one, though it IS the plumbline of holiness.  God does not want us to take vengeance.  He wants us to talk through things and to be kind when we try to resolve issues.  He wants us to walk in humility and peace as much as it depends on us as it says in Romans.  He calls us to confront, but to do it in love.  There are some people that no matter how much you try to confront in love, out of rejection they will not see it as love, but as an attack.  It wouldn’t matter how much you love them and want to resolve it in your heart, all they can see is “red”, so to speak, so this is why, it says in Romans  12:18 NKJV   If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. And in James 3:18 NKJV  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Jesus taught in Luke 6:27-29   "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
It continues  Luke 6:35-36 NKJV   But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.  36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

AGAIN, this is the standard of love, that you LOVE your enemies, and do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  This is the epitomy of love which most of us fall so short of day to day.  The Pharisees were especially challenged in this area.

If we were honest we would admit that there has always been in us a bit of the Pharisee, for even in the apostles, there was this tendency throughout their walk.  Jesus had to admonish them when they wanted to call down fire from heaven, saying “ You don’t know what spirit you are of.”  He said that because they had MURDER in their hearts.

Peter was admonished by Paul in Acts for being prejudiced against the gentile believers, and hanging out with mostly the Jewish believers, and demanding ritual circumcision.  Prejudice is anything but love.  And Paul took aim, seeing the hypocrisy that had come over him being around the religious.

When the woman was caught in the act of adultery, the first thing they all wanted to do was stone her , and they were within the boundaries of the LAW.  And this was BEFORE Jesus went to the cross so technically some would say, they could have stoned her.  But JESUS in taking his stand when asked what they should do said this: HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN, CAST THE FIRST STONE.  It seems no matter how much we go through so often we want a piece of vengeance of our own when we see someone being unfair or cruel to someone else.  It is hard to have the FATHER’s EYES without the Father’s HEART !

Jesus said it wasn’t a matter of washing the hands, but what comes out of the HEART that defiles a man.  For within our hearts we really often WANT to be judge and jury for matters that touch our heart’s sense of justice.  We hate to see injustice and cruelty and we entertain ideas of how we would handle things, and pretty soon, we are thinking in terms of judging for ourselves what should be done without FIRST taking it to the LORD to ask His opinion.

Murder is bound up in the heart of UNFORGIVENESS.  Thus anything we don’t NAIL to the CROSS, that we don’t forgive will turn to hatred and bitterness.  Hatred is nothing more than murder, and “murder is the highest form of WITCHCRAFT” as the Lord once spoke to me.  So if we have murder in our hearts for a brother who falls from grace, then we better take a look at what else is in our hearts, that we haven’t forgiven.  We need to REPENT from any murder and vengeance in our hearts.

Just as the Pharisees, got irritated with Jesus and his miracles, due to territoriality and covetousness, and plotted then to murder the Lord of Glory, we can also fall to that same hatred and murder in our hearts when we seek to be judge and jury for others.  And sometimes we get angry at others NOT extracting that piece of flesh we want to destroy, as if they are not acting appropriately if they don’t do what WE WANT TO DO, even when our heart is full of anger and pride.

THIS IS often the reason the world has no interest in coming to church, because the church is so hard on their own, that they are NOT treated as family, even though we are supposed to be family.  Remember how Jesus told them when his mother and brothers came to see Him, that anyone who obeys Him is His brother, sister, or mother?  We are sons and daughters of the Living God.  We are to be like family, and to treat each other like family.  Granted, there are times when things won’t be resolved, because like with some family, there is stubbornness, unwillingness to bend through pride.  

But we are to try to reason and act with one another as if we were brothers and sisters, and as if we were going to share space in heaven together some day.  Remember also that anyone made in the image and likeness of God is our brother on this earth.  He may not be a “son of God” yet, but they are flesh and bone, spirit and soul, and the only way they can become “human” is to receive the Love of JESUS into their hearts, and we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, who are His AMBASSADORS on this earth of what He is supposed to be like.  Yes we mess up a lot, but we are LIVING EPISTLES, and as such His representatives to the world.