The Following Message Has Been Transcribed And Edited For
Clarity, Continuity Of Thought, And Punctuation By
The LEM Transcribing & Editing Team.
If you teach something that will destroy someone spiritually, you will have to answer for it. What will be the answer for it? You will be destroyed. Eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. If you steal the truth from somebody that will result in their sliding backwards. You shall surely slide backwards if you commit yourself to teaching the truth, and you do not teach the truth without paying a very heavy price.
If you are committed to teach the truth in power, if you teach the truth that will bring salvation into people's lives, no matter what the persecution, you shall receive the truth. If your motive is truly to bring people into Christ, you shall be brought unto Christ. For every word that you say in spiritual truth in doctrine, you shall surely reap what you have sown. Do not set yourself up as a teacher unless you have the teacher inside of you, because if it is not the teacher teaching, there is no way you will ever teach a message that will bring people into salvation.
Every word that you teach that is not coming forth from the teacher within you will lead to nothing but death for that person. You shall surely die. Do not set yourself up as a teacher if you do not have the teacher. Jesus said, "Call no man master." If you look that up in the Greek, He is saying, "Call no man rabbi, call no man teacher." You have religious people floating around here saying, "Yes, I am a teacher because the teacher is teaching through me."
If you think you are not qualified to be a teacher, because if you do not have this revelation, the teacher is certainly not inside of you, you better shut down your school. Every man you make to stumble, you shall surely stumble.
We have a lot of work to do today, and, as I told you, I am recovering from a severe trial. Maybe of my life, I do not know. A lot of things happened to me. I stumbled, but I am standing up straight again. The message of the hour is salvation, the true salvation, not the false salvation that is being taught in the church today. Salvation and how to attain to it.
There is a lie circulating in the church today that says you have the power to say, "Jesus I give you permission to come into my life and save me." For you to even believe that, you are down in the pits of hell and you are staying there if you do not repent of pride. Because another Scripture says, "If the righteous scarcely be saved, where does the sinner appear?" What does that mean? Who is the righteous? The righteous are those in which the Righteous One is appearing. The Righteous One is appearing in me, and if I scarcely be saved by the skin of my teeth and by the mercy of the Lord Jesus, how is the one who really thinks he has the power to cause Jesus to come into his life or the power to keep Him out, how will such a proud man ever be saved? The answer is, he will not.
I have good news for you, I am reviving and have a lot of material for you today. Very exciting material, information on what our part is to not assist the Lord Jesus to save us. He does not need any assistance. He can do everything. There is something that is required for us to do. It is not acceptable to the Lord that we just lay there. In some circles, I do not know if you have ever heard this expression, "not lay there like a lox?" Which means a dead fish, and saying, "You do it." There is something for us to do. What we have to do is a condition of attitude, in the overriding quality of that attitude. What is it? What is the one thing that is going to get us through? What is it?
PASTOR VITALE: Confession of sin and repentance. Without it you will never get through. You will die on the vine like a dead fig or a dead grape. You are going to dry up like a piece of fruit that was still on the vine when the winter came in and you never matured. If you want to think that I do not know what I am talking about, you want to believe once saved always saved, be my guest. I am having enough trouble getting myself through.
Part of getting myself through is my faithfulness to the calling that the Lord has given me. That means preaching this message. You do not want to believe it, leave me alone. I have enough trouble in my life getting through myself. There was a question from a member of the congregation this morning which seems to fit into what I am preaching here. I am going to address it.
I looked through the whole chapter. I do not know whether or not the Lord will let me go through that whole chapter right now. If He does not, I would like to talk to you about it because it is exactly what you need to hear. Did you have a specific question, or did you just want me to take it from what you showed me?
COMMENT: First start out, when I meet someone, six people that meet one another. I did not know that just that little bit and what ever you wanted to go on.
PASTOR VITALE: I am just going to answer that question. I would like to talk to you about the rest of the chapter, maybe on the telephone or however we work it out. I think you have to hold it up. Everybody once again, please cooperate. If you have a question, surely someone listening to the tape has the same question. I am not just harassing you. It is your ministry to the body of Christ. Just cooperate. Let me but the name of the book on the tape, if anyone wants to read it. It appears to be an excellent book. It is available in the Christian bookstore here in Coram. If you would like to purchase it, it is called XXXX XXX XXX XXX XXXX, by XXXX XXXXX. It is available in the public library system here on Long Island. I think it came from the Longwood branch.
If you have a library card, anywhere here in Suffolk county. I do not know about Nassau County. Any one here in Suffolk County will be able to borrow this book through their cooperative system. XXXX XXXXX received an MA through the University of Arkansas College of medicine. Completed his Psychiatric residency at Duke University Medical School. He also received an MA in Biblical seminary. XXXX XXXX is the co-founder of the national chain of XXXX XXXXX clinics and is the author of more than thirty books. We have done quite a few tapes out of Psychiatric books here.
I have another message in psychiatry for you. I wanted something photocopied, maybe if you are around before you leave, you will do it for me. If not, it is okay. Before I return this book to the library...the Lord has been holding back because it appears to me He only lets me do a psychiatric message when we are really up to date on the Scriptural teachings. As I just told you, I have fallen behind on the Scriptural teachings. I feel Him telling me, "Not now." I will get these chapters photo copied when He lets me do it. I will teach you on it. You cannot separate psychological studies from Biblical studies. Why? Because Biblical studies have to do with men.
The whole Bible is God's message to fallen man. Why would we need a message? Because we are all messed up. We do not know what is right. We can not tell the difference between the dark and the light, or between righteous and sin, or between day and night.
We are utterly reprobate in our minds. Any truth we have, we have been taught. We are born in darkness. What is the Scripture? "Born in sin and shapen in inequity?" Did I get that right? Sometimes I get it backwards. Born in sin and shapen in inequity. Any righteousness in our mind, we are either taught or on a few rare occasions, Paul does speak about some men who have the Law of God written in their hearts. Anything that we just seem to know, it is coming forth from the dead Christ that is abiding in us. We are lost, we are lost in sin, and sin is stronger than we are.
The Scripture is clear about it. It is stronger that we are, even with God in our life. Why? Because our nature is sin, and God in our life is influencing that sinful nature. The truth is that every fallen man, every human being, with the exception of Jesus, is capable of every sin known to man, under the right set of variables. Jesus knows that, and that is why He does not condemn anybody of anything. Jesus says "Who are you to condemn another man's servant?" He is challenging us to minister the same mercy to the most reprobate person that He has shown us, which is typified by the account of the good Samaritan.
If you cannot do that, you need to confess the sin of pride and ask Him to help you do it, because when you judge anyone who is bleeding, you are going to find yourself bleeding, probably from the same kind of sin. Even the world knows that. I cannot tell you how many people...some people have better upbringing then others. Some people have parents that are more...I do not want to say intelligent, but wise in the ways of the world. Everything is not equal, brethren. I have heard from a lot of people that there are just people out there, and they were raised up with a father that had some wisdom. They know you better not judge someone whose shoes you have not walked in.
Atheists say that. Hindus say that. Buddhists say that. Mormons say that. Jehovah's Witnesses say that. The whole world knows that except the people who are utterly reprobate and lifted up in a Parasitical measure of pride. You better not judge where you have not walked. How did I even get into that?
I am going to try to answer your question. I was telling you about this book. This is an excellent book. I have at least fifty books on a list that I have not read yet. What I do is I glimpse through a lot of the book. I do not read it all. I get to it if the Lord wants me to read it. This looks like a really good one. I do not know if I will have time to read it or not. I am way behind on my reading right now.
This is the comment, I was asked to comment on. Whenever two people meet for the first time, six people actually meet. The two people as they see each other, the two people as they see themselves, and the two people as God sees them. Now, if we really wanted to know the truth what those two people are like inside and out, if you check out their conscious and their unconscious motives and their true value and significance as human beings, whose view would you take? It is no contest. "I would take God's opinion for sure," says the author.
I say this to a lot of people who come through here, until you start swinging with this spiritual ministry, until you start flowing, until you get in sync with the spiritual ministry that is moving here, you are likely to argue with me and get offended with me, when I tell you, "Please be quiet. I am not the least bit interested in what you have to say." You are probably going to say, "Who does she think she is, her opinion is valid and mine is not?" No, Christ's opinion is valid, and your carnal mind's opinion is not valid.
I am not interested in anybody's carnal mind, what it thinks or what it has to say. I am much too busy. It is not even a matter of being busy. The carnal mind is supposed to bow its knee to Christ. I am interested in everything you have to say that comes out of Christ Jesus in you. You all know that here. I have rebuked you for not giving me your opinions in Christ. Now you do not make up your mind for me. I want to hear what the Lord is saying through you.
I want to hear what you are thinking, when you are honestly submitted to Christ. I want to try the spirit. Is it Christ in you or is it your carnal mind?
I want to make a judgment whether the Lord has counseled me through you or not. He may do that, but I have to make the ultimate decision. You cannot force yourself or your opinions on me.
I want to hear everything you have to say that is maybe out of Christ. I am not interested in one word that I know is out of your carnal mind. I am not interested. It is not to your benefit for me to give any power to what you are thinking out of your carnal mind at all. Because if you think what you think with your carnal mind is equal to what Christ Jesus thinks in me, you are manifesting Jezebel.
Your carnal mind must bow its knee to Christ where ever He is appearing. Your carnal mind must bow its knee to Christ Jesus in your mind. He must bow his knee to Christ Jesus in my mind. If the day should ever come that Christ Jesus in your mind is stronger than the carnal mind in my mind, my carnal mind must bow its knee to your mind.
That is not likely. It does not happen very often. I must be the final judge if it is not you.
Why? Because I am the head of this ministry. If you do not like it, I am sorry. You have to submit, or there is no help for you here at all. These psychiatry books they are good because the message of the Bible is written to fallen man who needs help desperately, some more than others. As a whole, we need help desperately because of wrong thinking. Wrong thinking is a curse in your mind. Wrong judgment is a curse in your mind. Therefore, anything any disciple that deals with the common problems known by wisdom throughout the world to be the basic problem of humankind is valid in our study in our Christian studies.
A lot of Christians would rebuke me for saying this, but they are wrong. Hinduism has a holy book. I cannot remember the name of it. It has a holy book, it is all questions. I have read the book. It is an excellent exposition. That means explanation on the common problems or the basic human problems common to all men. The Hindu holy book is an excellent exposition. They wrote it out line-by-line on what the basic problems of man are.
There are no answers in the book. They just ask the questions. These are called rhetorical questions. I have used that word before. Who knows what it means? What is a rhetorical question? What?
PASTOR VITALE: No. A rhetorical question is a question that I am asking, and I know that you do not know the answer. What is the purpose of me asking you a question when I know very well you do not know the answer? Anybody? Why would I ask you a question when I know you do not know the answer?
COMMENT: To make us think.
PASTOR VITALE: Absolutely. Let us get your brain going, brethren. Do not walk around in the sewer for the rest of your life. Do not walk around with a dead brain. Do not let your mind be a stagnant pool. Start stirring it up by thinking. Why? Because when you think, you begin to ask your own rhetorical questions. A spiritual being will come and answer you. It depends who you are committed to.
If you are committed to the spirit of this world, you may get some right answers. You run the risk of getting some very wrong answers. If you are committed to Jesus Christ, you are going to start getting some really good answers. You may not know. If you are really new in your relationship with Jesus, you may really think that it is your own mind thinking all these things. I am telling you it is not. Because there are only two kinds of wisdom in this world. There is the wisdom that comes from Christ Jesus, and there is the wisdom that James speaks about. What does James call this other kind of wisdom? Anybody?
PASTOR VITALE: No, no. The other kind of wisdom. The negative wisdom.
COMMENT: The wisdom of this world?
PASTOR VITALE: No. He called it Devilish wisdom. It is true that it is the wisdom of this world. The answer that I wanted...there is either Devilish wisdom or the wisdom that comes from above. There are only two kinds of wisdom. When you start stirring up the stagnant pool of your own carnal mind by asking questions, if you direct those questions to the Lord Jesus, He is going to answer you.
He may not answer you on the minute. I have told the Lord one of my biggest frustrations with having a close intimate relationship with a spirit or a spiritual man is that it is not like a human man. If I am sitting here having a conversation with you, and I ask you a question that you know the answer to, you are going to come right back and answer me. Jesus does not necessarily do that. He does do it sometimes, really not that often. You have to wait for the answer. You have to ask the question and some times it comes in five minutes, a half an hour, in an hour, in a day, in a week, in a month, sometimes even in a year. It has been my experience the only reason you have to wait a year for the answer is that at that moment, you are not capable of understanding the answer.
He has to teach you some other things before you truly understand. I want to start you thinking. A rhetorical question is to stir up the stagnant pool of your carnal mind. Start it working. Our mind is paralyzed. There are people in the Scripture whose legs do not work. We are in a spiritual wheel chair. I want your mind to start to work. This is physical therapy for your mind. Let us see you wiggle your toe, brethren. Move your feet. Maybe you will even stand up. We are crippled. Start asking me questions. Make sure they are directed towards Jesus.
You may receive the answer in your own mind, you may receive it from me, or you may receive it from a heathen. Your antennae has to be up. Sometimes God speaks through heathens. That may sound strange to you because the immature Christian would like to believe every piece of information or knowledge that we need is going to be supernaturally manifested out of the realm of the spirit through a dead mind that has no connection with that knowledge whatsoever.
I am here today to tell you that God can do that if He wants to. He can give you a dream, He can give you a prophesy, you could speak words that you think, "Where did that information come from?" He can do whatever He wants to. He is not likely to do it. It is not His first choice. You do not like that? Argue with Him. He is most likely to give you information that you want through somebody who has a conscious understanding of the information.
When it comes to spiritual things, if you think He is speaking to you through some heathen person who read the Bible once. He can do that too, but it is not likely. When it comes to spiritual matters, He is most likely to answer your questions through a Christian, through a seasoned Christian. Someone who has been in the church for a while...years. Most likely through a Christian in which He has established a teaching ministry.
Most likely if that person exists, He is most likely to answer your question through a Christian who is seasoned, who has a teaching ministry and has also had first-hand experience with this problem. When you ask a question, the Lord starts with His ideal. See, He is up there in outer space. He looks upon the whole earth and upon the whole church. He can see, He looks at His inventory, He looks at His herds of cattle, which we are.
He says, "Now is there a human being down there who has a teaching ministry, who has maturity in the church, who is a Scriptural teacher that I raised up and also had personal experience with this problem." If the answer is yes, He gets you in touch with the person that can answer your question. If the answer is "No," He starts going down the line. There is a person who has a teaching ministry that I raised up, who has been in the church for years, who fits all the criteria, who does not have personal experience with that problem." I am telling you He will take that person and give them an experience which will give them the information you need. You are wondering why it is taking you a year to get the answer? Because He is sacrificing His Son out there to have an experience which will mix together with His knowledge of the Scripture to answer your question.
He goes down the line. If there is no Son of God out there, If there is no one with a teaching ministry, He will go to the heathen. The most likely circumstances in which the Lord goes to the heathen is when it comes to the knowledge of this world, scientific knowledge, financial knowledge.
God could have the most Holy teacher out there living an absolutely blameless life teaching from the Scripture who has absolutely no knowledge whatsoever about an accounting problem that you need an answer to. The Lord is not likely to supernaturally give that person an answer to your question. He is much more likely to look for an accountant in the church. If there is not accountant in the church, He might go to an accountant or someone with a knowledge of taxes that is not even a Christian. Get rid of your religious junk in that stagnant pool of your mind. Religious spirits and religious thoughts are going to kill you. God is very practical.
Books written by psychiatrists are very valid because they deal with the human problems. In many instances they have a better grasp of the common problems of all human beings than the church. It is not at all uncommon to find that. I do not always agree with their answers. Their solutions are humanistic. I do not know about you, but it helps me to clarify the problem in my mind.
The person who asked this question said, "I never knew there were six of me. I never knew that this was a problem. I never knew that when I met somebody I had to deal with asking myself a rhetorical question.
Am I seeing that person with my eyes, am I seeing the person with their eyes, am I seeing that person with God's eyes?" Well, if you know to ask that question, it is going to help you to find out who that person really is. One of the problems I go through here all the time is that people come in here, and they look at me through a memory of a past relationship. They do not see me. They see my motive as being the same motives as their mother or their father or someone who did them dirty out there in the world. They do not see me. It is a big problem. There is a name for it. What is the name for it? We talked about it a lot.
COMMENT: Wrong identification?
PASTOR VITALE: The psychiatric term or the term we have used here is projection. Either you are projecting the personality or the character traits of some other person upon this present person in your life. In other occasions, the true meaning of projection is that you are really projecting your own personality onto that person. In other words you knew...let us say you had an opportunity to cheat somebody out of some money. You knew someone well enough to know that if you were in my position or that other person's position, you would take that money and run saying, "Tough on you."
Well then, if you are a fallen man, you are going to believe that, that other person would do that. There is not anything that is going to make you change your mind and tell you that, that person has a measure of character, that you yourself would have because you would steal the money. The truth is that they would not. That is hard until you start moving in this kind of training that we are doing in this ministry. All of us go through that stage when we have that problem.
One of the things we are learning here is that you are not me, and I am not you. I may do what you would do in the same situation, I may not. How do you find out the truth about me? Somebody?
COMMENT: By walking in your shoes.
PASTOR VITALE: Well even more than that, you have to ask Jesus and to say, "Lord who is this person? Is this relationship really of you? What must I know about them so that I am not foolish? Help me not to be a fool in trusting them blindly. Also help me not to be a fool by denying the good things that are in them, which you have given to me a gift because I think they are like this person that did me dirty."
In other words my prayer, "Let me see them as?" Who? As you see them. Let me have the mind of Christ. Let me see the truth about them. Can I trust them? Can I trust them across the board? In what areas do I trust them? In what areas do I not trust them? What is their overall motive towards me. Even if their overall motives towards me are Godly, we have to ask the Lord who this person is.
Even if their motives are as fine and as high and as heroic as a human being's motives could be, that person is still fallen. You can find a weakness in them. What happens...what is it called when somebody thinks when somebody looks at a fallen human being and makes a decision that every motive they have, every word that they have must be of God. What is this called? Idolatry.
Look, this is grow up time children. If you fall into this category, I am not insulting you. If you hear yourself in this, what it means is you have to ask the Lord to mature you out of it. It is an error to think that people are all good or all evil. That is what children do. They idolize their pastors and people in the ministry. You will surely fall if you idolize an imperfect man no matter how fine they are. Idolatry is sin.
What is the judgment for idolatry in the church? Now I am not talking about the Satanic, the unconscious part of the carnal mind, judgment. We all know that is death. What is God's judgment for idolatry on a Son that He is maturing? He will let that person fail you. You cannot be idolizing anybody except Jesus. He will show you error in that person. Then He will challenge you.
He will say, "Now what are you going to do? Are your going to do what a child does? Are you going to cast that person out with every good thing they have to offer you, or are you going to grow up? Are you going to be a man, a spiritual adult? Are you going to love them anyway? What are you going to do? Are you going to sink or swim? Are you going to stay a little boy, or are you going to become a man and love people with their imperfections?"
Now do not let them hurt you. You do not follow imperfect advice. Are you going to love them with their imperfections or cast them out because they have disappointed you? Well then, there would be not one marriage standing in this world if every man or woman cast their mate out because of the revelation of one imperfection or fifty imperfections in their mate.
What are you going to be a man or a little boy? What are you going to be a woman or a little girl? If you choose to be a man or a grown up woman and that imperfection is revealed, what do you do? You help them overcome it. If you condemn them for it, it makes you a child. Do you help them to overcome it? Do you love them enough to help them overcome it? That makes you an adult.
I have told you here many times that nobody, nobody, nobody ever born of a woman is going to be a Son of God, walking in high spiritual places while they are an emotional child. A Son of God is a man spirit, spiritual man and in your humanity, you are also a mature adult.
Do not think you are going to be doing signs and wonders while condemning someone who you said you loved at the first revelation of sin in them. Because you are in deception.
A Son of God is a spiritually mature person on every level, spirit, soul and body. Do not either believe that a 10 year old is going to be a Son of God because that is not true.
I have been in services where the Lord has spoken to the pastor and says, "Let the children pray." He called the 10 year old children up. No, no the spiritual children, let them pray. We are all spiritual children. A Son of God will be mature spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
Do not believe anything else. It is a lie. I was in a church once, the pastor needed a lot of natural help . He gave a whole big speech on it. I was standing right there, and he asked a woman "What would you like to do in the fellowship?" Her answer was, "Well, I want to cast out demons and heal the sick."
No. What are you going to do physically to make this fellowship work? What are you going to do without getting paid? Are you going to clean up? Are you going to duplicate the tapes? What are you going to do to make this organization, that is blessing you, work? We have a church, a Pentecostal church filled with people who can prophesy, who can speak in tongues, who can expound on the Bible, who can pray deliverance, who can pray healing. They cannot make a commitment to be in the church once a week to do what they promised to do.
You are a profitless servant. Let your yea's be yea's and your nay's be nay's. You said you were going to do it. Do it. Out there in the world if you are getting paid, you do it. If you know you are going to get paid for it, you are there, right on time. Are you going to be there right on time when there is no money exchanged?
You see, if that is the case you are ignorant because you do not understand that there is pay for everything that you do, but the pay is spiritual increase. You just cannot see it because you are spiritually immature. You are ignorant of the ways of God. Every commitment that you make, that you execute faithfully, you are paid for with spiritual increase or a spiritual chastisement.
What is the spiritual chastisement? You are going to get hit by a car? Going to get your arm broken? No. If your yea's are not yea's and your nay's are not nay's, if you are not aware of it and praying about it, repenting, working on it, you lose the promised spiritual increase.
Take your natural example. If I tell you I am going to pay you if you show up and you do not show up, you lose the $10. Well, if you make a commitment to do something without financial recompense, and you do not show up, you lose the promised spiritual pay.
The problem is you did not understand you were getting paid in the first place because you are ignorant of God's ways. Have I just insulted you? No, I have told you the truth. You are ignorant. Get smart. It pays to be mature. It pays to obey God's word. Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay. It pays to be a responsible person. It pays to be a mature person. It pays.
God can send fifty people to wash that toilet bowl in the church, but you are going to get something out of it if you do it. You are going to grow up to be a spiritual man. You will have all the recompense associated with it.
What I am expounding on is this concept that when we meet somebody or when we relate to somebody, we need to be aware that sometimes we look at that person through eye glasses. The world has a saying "I am looking at you through rose colored eye glasses." That means I am idolizing you. I am not seeing you as you are. I think the one thing to really be avoided in our basic principle here is to be looking at people based on a past experience. That is total destruction.
The person will never be the person you want them to be. If you are looking at them ideally, they will never be what you expect them to be. The time of their disappointment of you is coming already at you. If you are not emotionally equipped, it will destroy your relationship completely. To be looking at somebody based on a past relationship must be avoided and overcome at all costs. What do you do? You ask the Lord if you are doing that, and if you are it has to be stamped out, or all of your relationships are going to deteriorate before your very eyes.
Then we have two choices of looking at people and seeing who they are. Seeing all their faults. One more aspect of that is, do you emphasize the negative or do you emphasize the positive? A lot of people have an emotional problem which is also associated with immaturity. They emphasize the negative. I cannot live with that. This person grinds their teeth, and I just cannot stand it. I am giving up this whole relationship because I cannot stand it.
I know a young couple that, today they are married. Just before the marriage, I know the man really hurt the woman. I am not saying what he said was wrong or right. He told her that he could not marry someone who smokes. He hurt her. I do not know, maybe he is just being honest. She said "You do not love me enough to marry me if I smoke? You are giving me a condition."
She decided to go the extra mile...they were not Christian. She went to a hypnotist, she stopped smoking, and they got married. Guess what? She started smoking again. It wore off. Now they are married, what are you going to do sonny? Are you going to divorce her? She broke your marriage contract. That was the condition and here she is telling you, "I tried."
Are we going to emphasize the negative. I am not even telling you what the answer should be. Once you are married to the woman, you do not divorce her because she smokes. What you are supposed to do is support her, encourage her, help her to stop. What she is doing that you do not like is not even good for her. I am not going to get into that right now. Do you emphasize the negative or do you emphasize the positive. I know there are many immature people who will emphasize the negative. The slightest little irritation people do are so prominent to them that they ignore some very fine basic qualities in the person.
What we are dealing with is a spirit of perfection. They are really looking for perfection. The question is what can you tolerate, and what can you not tolerate. Just by way of example. I am not even talking about smoking, that is just the example that came up.
This woman that you love, that love you, did everything she could to give up the smoking and she failed. Do you cast her out. I do not think so. You help her, encourage her, and you support her. After all, if you marry a prostitute who is giving up the lifestyle, after you marry her you find out she is out there prostituting, do you live with it? No. Do you live with your wife being a prostitute? No.
If you have married a homosexual that has given up the lifestyle, and you find out they are slipping back into it, do you stay married to them? No. You help them, you offer to go to counseling, you go to a certain point to try to help them. If they will not give it up, no you do not stay married to them. We see that there is no black and white in some areas. In some areas it is black and white.
You do not live with a practicing prostitute. You do not stay married to a practicing homosexual. There is a gray area where we must live with people's imperfections and not condemn then for it. Support them and love them unconditionally. This is called maturity. It is called adulthood. It is called growing up. People are not perfect. Everyone will disappoint you. Can you deal with that disappointment and still love them?
If you cannot, you need to be matured. I do not condemn them, and I do not condemn you. Nobody is perfect. We all, as adult human beings, have to make evaluations of relationships in our lives. What does that mean? You have to ask a question. This woman is a practicing prostitute. Do I stay or do I go? Make you decision. This woman said she would stop smoking, and she did not keep her word. Will I stay or will I go? Make your decision.
You have to evaluate the pros and the cons of the relationships and make a choice. Live with the negative...if you choose to stay. Everyone is going to have negative qualities you have to live with. The negative qualities diminish then in your mind as much as possible, rather than to help them. That does not mean to harass them or torment them to give up that which, at the moment, they are not capable of giving up.
Concentrate on the good. Love them exceedingly above and beyond, continuously, increasingly that which you were able to love them when the relationship first started. Because love increases, it builds. Every trial you overcome builds the foundation of your relationship. Young people feel fluttering in their hearts. They say, " I am in love, I am in love." That is not love, brethren. Love is an over comer. You do not know if you are in love until you come through your first battle and your first challenge to forgive, to go on.
You do not know if you love that person until they hurt you. That is not love. That is baby games. Love is an over comer. Do you still love them when they fall? Do you still love them when they hurt you? Do you still love them when they have a malicious moment, and they willfully hurt you? Do you still love them?
Love increases as you overcome problems together. That is why the older a marriage is, the more years put into a marriage, not only a marriage, a friendship, any kind of relationship you have the more you have been through together. The more you have overcome together, the more you have forgiven each other, the stronger the relationship.
You look at a 20-year marriage that falls apart and you say, "Now Pastor Vitale, what are you talking about?" They may have been married for 20 years, but they have not forgiven one another. Maybe they have been holding...maybe they have not taken the victory. Maybe they have not overcome. They just stayed together physically, and then it falls apart after 20 years.
Then you are really taking the victory and seeing the person as they are, that relationship is getting stronger, and stronger, and stronger and harder and harder to break by any outside force or circumstance.
The last aspect of this question is, should we see the person as God sees them? Let me make this clearer for you. What I am saying is the question he is asking, is do we see the person as we see them, as they see themselves, or as God sees them? Let me talk about as they see themselves.
People do not always see themselves accurately. I mean you should try sitting in this seat for awhile. Not to long ago I had somebody actually tell me that they were easy to get along with. I just sat there with my mouth open. In the calmest voice I can, because this is my job to show people their sins, I said to them, "You think you are easy to get along with? You are the hardest person to get along with I have even met in my life. You fight with everybody. Including God, Himself."
People do not see themselves accurately. Most people will not tell you the truth. They will let you believe your own lie. A true friend, someone who really loves you, will tell you the truth. Have you seen that advertisement on TV about bad breath. Only someone who truly loves you will tell you the truth, that you are deceiving yourself, that you are lying to yourself, that I do not see you as you see you.
What if you are seeing them incorrectly. Simply, you are telling them in a matter-of-fact tone, without hostility, that you do not see them as they see themselves. Hopefully, we will stir up their stagnant pool and get them to start thinking. Or at least have them ask the Lord what the truth is.
The bottom line is that if we want our relationships to prosper and grow, be the best that they can be, we really must call upon the Lord to give us the ability to see people and see ourselves as God sees us. How does God see us? God sees us on two levels. God sees us the way we are now and they way He intends us to be. God sees us with a spirit of truth, He sees all over our sins. We are truly naked before Him. He sees us as we are. He also sees us as He would have us to be.
This ability of God to see us as He would have us to be, when God sees us as He would have us to be, it is a creative thought. When God sees us as prefect. Let me start that over. When I see you as perfect, and you are not perfect, it is idolatry. When God sees you as perfect, and you are not perfect, God has a creative thought. When God sees you as perfect, it is just a matter of time until you become perfect.
The only problem is that you are like a broken leg that has been set wrong. I have a vision, you see, that your leg is going to be set right. For that vision to come to pass, I have to break your leg. Break the wrong setting and put you back together again. This experience in God is called what? The breaking of your leg, what is it called? It is called judgment.
The judgments of God are merciful. Painful, yes, but for your good, yes. Because you cannot live in that condition. You cannot walk with a crippled leg that has been has been put together wrong. The love of God is going to break your leg, and He is going to put it back together right. It is going to be very painful, but the end is that you are going to walk.
God sees us on two levels. He sees us completely, accurately, without condemnation. He sees us in the present, and He sees us after He is finished with us. The spirit of truth is operating on both levels because God can see us as we are right now not. His thought is creative, because His thought has the power to make us into what He sees us.
We ask God for His mind. We ask God to let us see the truth about that person. Then we have to deal with any lies in our own mind, confess that as sin if we are looking at somebody and accusing them of a motive that they do not have, or believing that they are perfect when they are not. It is idolatry. We have to confess that sin.
Then we have to deal with the person as they see themselves, because if the other person sees themselves as good, or righteous, or perfect they are cutting our heart out if they think they are right. They are in complete denial about their contribution to a problem in the relationship. That is the breaking down of what? What breaks down if you are trying to solve a problem? Communication. It completely breaks down the communication if one part or both cannot see what they are doing to contribute to the problem. There is really no hope of solving the problem at all. We have to deal with our mis-perceptions. We know how to do it, we turn to Jesus confess our sins and repent. We have to deal with the other person's mis-perceptions. You are limited when you are dealing with other people. You can tell them the facts as you see them and give them the opportunity to transfer over into reality.
If you are a son of God, you might pray for them and rebuke their denial. There is only so much you can do if they choose to cleave unto their denial, or if they choose to cleave unto their sin. Then you seek the Lord weather to end this relationship, because you cannot carry the ball for the both of you. A relationship takes two people.
Two people communicating, two people confessing their sins, two people forgiving, two people loving, and two people willing to change if they are wrong. Two people willing to submit the relationship and themselves to God. Takes two people. Co-dependant people have a tendency to think that they can carry the ball for both the people. It is a lie in your mind. It cannot. It takes two people.
We see, our best bet is to petition the Lord to look and see, to love, understand with His eyes and His mind. Submit everything up to prayer, our own emotions, our own perceptions. Submit the relationship up to God, and if He ends it completely, accept it. If He does not end it completely, if He modifies it, accept it. Surrender to God. You are to sacrifice everything to the Lord.
If He gives it back to us, He gives it back to us. If He does not, He will give us something in its place. He is perfect, He is perfection, He is the only one that can make our relationships successful. Christ Jesus is the only way that we can hope to have Godly, loving, prospering, rewarding, peace-giving relationship. Everything you hear about love, brethren, let me tell you love is not the end of it. Peace is the end of it. We are called to peace. If you do not have peace, love is not operating. What you think is love is not love. Of course, there is a period of transition where there is love, but the carnal mind, the devil, has to be operating too. If your peace is stolen continuously the devil is still present. At least in one of you, most likely both of you, because nobody is perfect.
Relationships need to be worked at continuously. Why? Because the devil operates in emotions. You could be the most calmest, rational person in the world. You get involved in a relationship with somebody, especially between men and women, your emotions are all stirred up, you find yourself feeling things and doing things that you cannot believe you are feeling and doing.
Especially marriages and relationship between men and women, they must be submitted to Christ. They must be. They must line up with His laws if you want Him present in them and controlling them. It is your only hope. Christ Jesus is you only hope in marriages and friendships. Not only marriages. Family situations can be emotional too. Brothers, sisters, parents, children, if Christ Jesus is not controlling, you will have continuous turmoil. These emotions are killing us. The devil's playground, the devil's territory, the devil's world is in our emotions. That is where she has power.
I hope I have shed some light. Did I answer your question? Did I? Well that is what the Lord gave me for you. What number are we on over there? I just may make a tape out of this. It was pretty good. Are there any questions or comments on this exhortation this morning? Anybody? You have a question? Is this a different issue?
Let me make one more comment. Just in closing when we meet someone or attempt to have a relationship with somebody, there must be a continuous questioning of how we are viewing them, and how they are viewing themselves, and a continuous petitioning of the Lord for the ability to see them and the whole future of the relationship in God's eyes. Amen. We have another question this morning?
COMMENT: I am not exactly sure how to phrase it. An addictive relationship that is harmful to both parties. Is that something that is supposed to be pursued?
PASTOR VITALE: No, I would not say so. The question is are you taking about a marriage or something that...if people are married and they are found out to have a destructive relationship, I will tell you my same response to adultery, or any form of serious sin in a marriage. The answer is this. You are not an adulterer for one act of adultery. It is repetitious, non-repenting condition of adultery that makes you an adulterer. If you came to me and said, "My wife or my husband committed one act of adultery, I now, according to the New Testament, have grounds for a divorce from them," I would never agree to that divorce.
What about the commandment to forgive and to go on? If the man or woman refuses to change, polluting the whole marriage and family life with their sin, then you have grounds for a divorce. My answer is the same thing for a destructive relationship. Everything has to be put before the Lord. The relationship has to be examined for the overall growth or deterioration. Is there any fruit in the relationship at all, is there emotional growth at all? Look, let me put it to you this way.
Some people...a lot of people today are very immature. If you are a very immature woman, you are not about to wind up dating or married to an extremely mature man. It is just not likely. Some people say, "In the world, water seeks its own level." If you are very immature and very destructive, you are going to be attracted to an immature, destructive person. If you are only attracted to immature, destructive people, and all immature destructive relationships should be avoided, you will not have any relationships.
What does that mean? That is not the answer. The bottom line is that you have to be in the relationship that Jesus allows for you. You examine your relationship, you see the destruction in it, but you have to ask yourself if there is fruit coming forth from it, and is there maturity coming forth from it? If there is, then maybe the Lord is allowing it as you grow up out of it. There is no pat answer to your question. Do you understand what I am saying?
COMMENT: In a relationship where one person continuously tries to force their own belief about any situation whether it be in the world or any minor thing in the world. They do not let you have your own opinion about it. A real control situation. I am not talking about a husband and a wife relationship. Do you have the right if they insist on forcing their opinion on you to just say, "This is not a healthy relationship."
PASTOR VITALE: You see, with these types of questions there is no simple answer. It depends on the condition of the parties in the relationship. If you are in a spiritual condition where you are equipped, you were taught by the Lord or some psychology background to deal with this person and be a benefit to them, if you are emotionally equipped to say, "Look, I do not want to end this friendship but you are continuously dominating me and not letting me talk when I want to talk, not letting me have an opinion. I cannot function in this relationship."
If you are equipped to deal with that person, without condemnation, to make them aware of this problem that you are having, help them to overcome, God may want you in the relationship. If you are not equipped to do that, if the person is swallowing you up, falling into sin, if you are being chewed up and destroyed, you should not be there.
The bottom line is the maturity...two bottom lines. The maturity of the people in the relationship, and I should have put this first, the will of the Lord for the relationship.
COMMENT: I was really thinking the person who is strong enough to bear the relationship, I was wondering if the other person would be a help to that person or a hindrance?
PASTOR VITALE: Has Jesus put you in the relationship or not? It is not an issue of whether or not you can bear the relationship. The issue is, are you capable of not being destroyed by it, but of helping that other person to see their problem and over come it?
We are not about a status quo, where you stay in the relationship so the person cannot destroy you. Neither is any good coming out of it. I know the ministry of the Son, because I am in these relationships. I have been in them for years.
To be honest with you I am in rebellion right now, I do not want it anymore. It is very difficult. I know God is not taking me out. It is rebellion in me. It is a very difficult, painful relationship to be in with someone who is continuously trying to dominate you and God requiring you to respond in a Godly manner that will result in their maturity. Very few people can do it.
When we talk about relationships, it depends on who you are. Are you talking about a marriage, are you talking about a friendship, are you talking about a Son of God? Every relationship has to be put before the Lord.
Basically, if you are speaking about two people who are in the world, that are not married, there is no high calling on their life...well, you see, even if you are involved with someone who is trying to dominate you so badly, you have to ask yourself how come you got involved with someone like that? There had to be something in you that attracted you to such a relationship in the first place, which means if you break it off with that person, you will form another friendship like that. In the world, maybe you need a psychiatrist if all your relationships end up with these severely dominating people. I cannot give you a yes or no.
COMMENT: I was talking about friends, family, and neighbors who are just there. Not something that you seek out. They are just there.
PASTOR VITALE: Listen, I can not spend anymore time on it. This is my last comment on it. If you are a Christian, if you are a Son of God you have to ask the Lord weather or not He wants you in this relationship or not, then you have to pray every step of the way. Pray for that person when they sin against you, because it is witchcraft to not let someone have their own opinion. Then you have to examine your responses.
You cannot be responding in witchcraft, because then it is sin in you. That is, if you are a Christian. If you are not a Christian, once again you look at the fruit of the relationship. Is there any emotional or spiritual growth, are you learning anything as you struggle with this person, hurting one another, forgiving one another, is there growth? Maybe you are supposed to be there. Are you going down? Have you started to drink? Are you drugging? Are you in adultery? Are you spiraling downwards? Run for the hills. That is all I can tell you. I cannot give you a pat answer.
COMMENT: I was just disturbed at their anger towards me.
PASTOR VITALE: XXXX I cannot take this any further. I will be happy to talk to you further on the telephone about a particular person or situation, however you want to do it but not in a Sunday morning service.