April 15, 2005
"JEALOUSY, A DEADLY EVIL CAUSING DESTRUCTION IN THE CHURCH"
Creating a Clean Heart
by Rick Joyner
One major work of the flesh, in a study of Galatians 5:19-21, is "jealousy." This is a deadly and devastating evil that continues to cause much destruction in the world and in the church. As the Scripture also testifies, it is cruel and unrelenting, and destroys the one who has it just like it does its victims. The first murder was the result of jealousy, when Cain slew his brother Abel. We are told that Jesus was crucified because of jealousy (see Matthew 27:18).
Jealousy obviously should have no place in the Christian. We must learn to recognize even the seeds of jealousy and combat it every time it rises in our hearts, using it as an opportunity to grow in the opposite spirit, which is love of the brethren that does not seek its own, and the humility of the servanthood to which we are called.
A Powerful Testimony of Overcoming Jealousy
Robin McMillan has a powerful testimony of how he was able to recognize jealousy rising in his heart and how he was able to combat it. After being in business for a few years, he had returned to pastoring a small congregation and was driving an old beat-up car that he could barely afford to put gas in. When he saw me driving a brand new car, jealousy started to rise in his heart, but he resolved not to go that way and began to thank the Lord for blessing me with a new car. Within weeks the Lord had provided him with the same kind of brand new car that I was driving.
Robin was the pastor of a small, struggling, but wonderful little congregation. When we felt called to start a congregation, not only in the same city, but in the same part of the city, Robin did not become threatened, but came over and helped us. He encouraged his people to attend our special meetings and when some of the people in his congregation felt that they were supposed to be a part of our work, he blessed them.
It is one thing for large successful congregations to do this, but the church Robin pastored was small and struggling. They could not even afford to pay Robin enough to take care of the basic needs of his family. However, the Lord always provided all that he needed. Though Robin could not have known it at the time, when he helped us start our church in Charlotte, he was actually providing for his own future, because Robin is now the Senior Pastor of our congregation at H.I.M. That would have never happened if he had reacted in a wrong spirit toward us starting a church in the same part of town as his.
The Blessing in Blessing One Another
I have, likewise, marveled at the way other pastors and church leaders in Charlotte have responded to us. When I felt the Lord spoke to me about the calling to start a church in Charlotte, I dreaded it for a number of reasons. One was that I loved the church that I was a part of there and felt a special friendship with its pastor, Randall Worley. I dreaded telling him about the call that I felt, but when I did, I received one of the most wonderful surprises I have ever received from another Christian leader. His immediate reaction was not one of loss or being threatened, but his eyes lit up and he said, "We can send you fifty or sixty of our best people to help you get started." He was genuinely excited about helping another church get going, even though we would be almost next door to him. I almost cried.
To this day I consider Randall a great friend. He followed through on his word to help us in every way that he could. I did not want him to send us any of his good people, and I really did not want to take any from any other church. However, when some of his folks decided to come over, he always blessed them. When we needed a larger place to hold meetings, he offered his own facilities, which we used many times. His church was actually the birthplace of MorningStar Conferences.
Of course, there are some church leaders in Charlotte who do not like us. Some have publicly accused us of many things, most of which were not true, but some were true, and it helped us to see them. We try to meet with those people and resolve their concerns, but some do not want to be reconciled and are not even open to meeting with us. Some have been reconciled and become good friends. This is just the state of things at this time. However, one thing we have resolved to do as much as we can is to promote the other churches and ministries in the area. We try to find any good thing that we can say about them, and say it. We will never overcome evil with retaliation, but we are commanded to overcome evil with good.
Even so, we cannot help but to notice that accusations against us rise whenever something good happens to promote us in any way. If we get positive news, the accusations start to fly. If we have a book or something else that receives a lot of attention, the accusations rise. It is a very easy thing to discern the jealousy in many of the accusations, but so many do not. Why?
I am telling this like it is for your sake. We have learned that every time we are falsely accused, we will experience major growth. It is like free advertising for us. We also know that it will come to any who are truly advancing, and that when it stops it is often because we have. However, if we are the victim of jealousy, or we are honest enough to see it rising in our own hearts, fight the evil with the opposite, which is with good. It is the only way to ultimate victory over this deadly disease of jealousy. Now I would like to tell one more story.
Overcome Evil with Good
In the late eighties, the Kansas City Fellowship (KCF) was experiencing a remarkable visitation from God. Word quickly spread around the world about what was happening there, especially about the remarkable prophetic ministry that was there. People started coming from all over the world, and it was like a breath of fresh air to much of the body of Christ. Then a fellow pastor in Kansas City preached a message accusing KCF of many horrendous things. He circulated the tape more aggressively than anything I have still ever witnessed.
When I first heard the tape, I was shocked because I personally knew of some of the incidents he described on the tape, and he was misconstruing them badly, to be generous. I felt that there was not a single thing on the tape that was actually true, but what got my attention was the way the pastor kept comparing his church to KCF in a way that was dripping with jealousy. I did not think anyone could hear this tape and not see that the spirit behind it was jealousy. I was shocked when I started getting calls from major Christian leaders asking me if the tape was true!
The accusing pastor then put out a book of more than 180 pages filled with accusations. I was with Mike Bickle, the pastor of KCF, when he received the book with the charges. We read much of it together, and it was hard for me to contain the anger I felt. Mike did not seem to be angry at all. Finally, out of the hundreds of false charges, Mike found a couple that he felt were true, and said he needed to publicly repent of those. I was shocked and asked him about all of the false charges -- if he was going to answer those. His response was that pride had gotten into their movement, and this was a great opportunity for them to humble themselves, and he did not want to miss it.
I greatly appreciated Mike's response to this persecution. He was forearmed, as they had been told prophetically that it was coming years before it did, and they were even told who it would come through. Mike's determination not to defend KCF, but rather to embrace the humility, was right for them. They were not doing everything perfectly, and they themselves were constantly revealing mistakes they had made in trying to shepherd some of the remarkable gifts that were in their midst. However, it is my opinion that the church in America missed a great visitation by not handling this thing right by defending KCF against the false charges.
I am saying this here for another reason as well. I know that just by bringing it up some will think that I am just stirring up old wounds which need to be covered and forgotten. I disagree. Wounds do not heal with time, but become infected if they are not treated right, and this terrible wound on the body of Christ in America was never treated right. I will continue to point to it for as long as it goes untreated, regardless of whom I irritate. The ones that I irritate the most are probably the ones I am trying to wake up to do their job. Jealousy was used to make this terrible wound, and it must be recognized and repented of, as well as the failure of the leaders to do their job of judging rightly, or we will just continue to be open to the same kinds of attacks, which do still continue.
Righteousness AND Justice Are the Foundation of God's Throne
We must never forget that righteousness and justice are the foundation of the Lord's throne. Paul the apostle wrote to the Corinthian church that it was to their shame that there were no judges among them (see I Corinthians 6:4-5). This has possibly cost the body of Christ more shame than any other thing. In the Old Testament, the elders sat in the gates as judges. The New Testament church government was taken from this model, yet it is hard to find a true elder in the church that is willing to judge matters in the church. We will not have true church government until this happens.
Because there is a void left, many who are not appointed to be judges appoint themselves to that position. The remarkable thing is that so much of the body of Christ will listen to them and not be able to see and feel the jealousy dripping from so many of their accusations. People who I would not allow to oversee a home group can now acquire the attention of thousands just by putting something on the Internet. Many Christians accept their false accusations as being true just because they are written.
This is truly revealing of the state of protection that the church now has from its shepherds and watchmen -- not much. Jealousy should be one of the easiest evils to discern, yet it parades itself without challenge through much of the church. This must change. If we are called to be shepherds or watchmen, and we do not warn the sheep of such blatant attacks by the accuser, then we have allowed the Lord's sheep to be freely attacked because of our negligence.
How We Can Recognize Jealousy Rising In Our Hearts and Combat It
If jealousy has a place in our hearts, it will do evil to others as well as ourselves. The reason we are studying each of these works of the flesh is so we can get free of them. The first thing we should do with each one is ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us any evil thing that is in our own hearts and honestly embrace what He shows us. Then repent by rejecting it and resolving to pray for and do good for any that we may have jealousy in our hearts toward. Like Robin experienced, this may be the path to your own promotion and blessing. We must start recognizing jealousy and not give it a place in our lives or the life of the church.
The Greek word translated "jealousy" in our text is dichostsis, which is also translated "division" and "sedition." As it is becoming obvious as we study them, these works of the flesh are all related and tend to overlap each other. About half of them that are listed here all work toward the same evil end -- the division of God's people from one another. We can count on righteous judges arising to expose, confront, and remove these deadly evils from the church before we will be able to fully accomplish our purpose in these times. The same is true for us individually. Don't miss your purpose -- look for any signs of jealousy in your heart, and then repent and get rid of it.
by Rick Joyner