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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : What is "sin"?

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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37913
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 What is "sin"?

I've been thinking about this for a couple of days. How is "sin" defined? I have always heard that sin=transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). But are there any other biblical definitions of sin?

I ran across this on the web and thought it would be an intresting topic to discuss.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/2/15 8:43Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: What is "sin"?

How is "sin" defined?

For starters:

SIN, n.

1. The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity.
Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not action only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God's commands or law. 1 John 3. Mat 15. James 4.

Sinner{s} neither enjoy the pleasures of nor the peace of piety. Among divines, sin is original or actual. Actual sin, above defined, is the act of a moral agent in violating a known rule of duty. Original sin, as generally understood, is native depravity of heart to the divine will, that corruption of nature of deterioration of the moral character of man, which is supposed to be the effect of Adam's apostasy; and which manifests itself in moral agents by positive act of disobedience to the divine will, or by the voluntary neglect to comply with the express commands of God, which require that we should love God with all the heart and soul and strength and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. This native depravity or alienation of affections from God and his law, is supposed to be what the apostle calls the carnal mind or mindedness, which is enmity against God, and is therefore denominated sin or sinfulness.
Unpardonable sin, or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, is supposed to be a malicious and obstinate rejection of Christ and the gospel plan of salvation, or a contemptuous resistance made to the influences and convictions of the Holy Spirit. Mat 12.

2. A sin-offering; an offering made to atone for sin. He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. 2 Cor 5.

3. A man enormously wicked. [Not in use.]

4. Sin differs from crime, not in nature, but in application. That which is a crime against society, is sin against God.

SIN, v.i.

1. To depart voluntarily from the path of duty prescribed by God {to} man; to violate the divine law in any particular, by actual transgression or by the neglect or non-observance of its injunctions; to violate any known rule of duty. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom 3. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned. Psa 51.

2. To offend against right, against men or society; to trespass. I an a man more sinn'd against than sinning. And who but wishes to invert the laws of order, sins against the' eternal cause.

SIN,for since, obsolete or vulgar.

Websters 1828 Dictionary

Mike Balog

 2004/2/15 9:47Profile

Joined: 2003/10/9
Posts: 172
Ex-England colony of Australia


If I'm dead I wouldn't know what sin is as I'm "alive" in it and would defend anything done as being just. My conscience would be fighting a futile existence with my carnality and a Magnum to my head. By dead I mean not being born again in Christ redeemed by His blood.
If I am alive in Christ I certainly would know what sin is as my conscience would bear witness through the law written in my heart. that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them);

The sinners story would be as a horror story, getting worse and worse believing all to be right, ending with a way of no return at death or if alive at judgement day.

Jouko Hakola

 2004/2/15 16:49Profile

Joined: 2003/10/9
Posts: 172
Ex-England colony of Australia


Would sin be something we do or could it be equal to something we don't do ?
Psa 10:11 He saith in his heart, God hath forgotten; He hideth his face; he will never see it.
Psa 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah
Psa 26:2 Examine me, O Jehovah, and prove me; Try my heart and my mind.

The below text was sent to me by somebody and I'll post it in its entirety.

"Guess our national leaders didn't expect this, hmm? On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful. They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript:

"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good &evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.

"I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy-it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. "I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is an historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes-He did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!

My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"

Do what the media did not - - let the nation hear this man's speech. Please send this out to everyone you can!!!"

Jouko Hakola

 2004/2/15 17:46Profile

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK


This is such a vital topic, which is why I began a thread on 'original sin' all those months ago.

my own personal definition is that sin, as an action of mind or body, is a clash of wills.

to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17

Synonyms for Sin.

See definition for amartia 266
See definition for amarthma 265
See definition for asebeia 763
See definition for parakoh 3876
See definition for anomia 458
See definition for paranomia 3892
See definition for parabasiv 3847
See definition for paraptwma 3900
See definition for agnohma 51
See definition for htthma 2275

amartia meant originally the missing of a mark. When applied to moral things the idea is imilar, it is missing the true end of life, and so it is used as a general term for sin. It means both the act of sinning and the result, the sin itself.

amarthma means only the sin itself, not the act, in its particular manifestations as separate deeds of disobedience to a divine law.

asebeia is ungodliness, positive and active irreligion, a condition of direct opposition to God.

parakoh is strictly failing to hear, or hearing carelessly and inattentively. The sin is in this failure to hear when God speaks, and also in the active disobedience which ordinarily follows.

anomia is lawlessness, contempt of law, a condition or action not simply without law, as the etymology might indicate, but contrary to law. The law is usually by implication the Mosaic law.

paranomia occurs only once, #2Pe 2:16, and is practically equivalent to anomia.

parabasiv is transgression, the passing beyond some assigned limit. It is the breaking of a distinctly recognized commandment. It
consequently means more than amartia.

paraptwma is used in different senses, sometimes in a milder sense, denoting an error, a mistake, a fault; and sometimes meaning a trespass, a willful sin.

agnohma occurs only once, #Heb 9:7. It indicates error, sin which to a certain extent is the result of ignorance.

htthma denotes being worsted, defeated. In an ethical sense it means a failure in duty, a fault.

All these different words may occasionally but not usually be used simply to describe the same act from different points of view. The fundamental meanings of these words may well be summed up in the language of Trench:

Sin "may be regarded as the missing of a mark or aim: it is then amartia or amarthma;
the overpassing or transgressing of a line: it is then parabasiv;

the disobedience to a voice: in which case it is parakoh; the falling where one should have stood upright: this will be paraptwma;

ignorance of what one ought to have known: this will be agnohma;

diminishing of that which should have been rendered in full measure, which is

non-observance of a law, which is anomia or

Ron Bailey

 2004/2/16 1:54Profile

Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2779
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: What is "sin"?

The nature of sin is not immorality and wrongdoing, but the nature of self-realization which leads us to say, "I am my own god."

Sin is a fundamental relationship - it is not wrong [i]doing[/i], but wrong [i]being[/i] - it is deliberate and determined independence from God. The Christian faith bases everything on the extreme, self-confident nature of sin. Other faiths deals with [i]sins[/i] - the Bible alone deals with [i]sin[/i].

-Oswald Chambers from [i]My Utmost for His Highest[/i]

Ron Halverson

 2004/2/16 6:09Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA


InTheLight wrote:

The nature of sin is not immorality and wrongdoing, but the nature of self-realization which leads us to say, "I am my own god."

Had been pondering this equation:
Sin = Self

[b]"The Lie, Enmity, And Death Annulled In Christ[/b]

But this implies or postulates that the threefold result and mark of the broken union is absolutely ruled out and non-existent in Christ. Or to put it round the other way, Christ is the opposite and the negation of the lie, the enmity, and death. So it is that the most spiritual and heavenly revelation of Christ, as given in John's Gospel, is in terms of life, light, and love. Light and truth are interchangeable names. In this record Christ makes these things far more than abstractions, He makes them personal, and says, 'I am these.' There is no darkness, shadow, lie, or lack of absolute transparency in Him. There is no enmity, strife, schism, or warfare in His nature, nor in His attitude or relationship toward men AS MEN (only with evil in the world and in men). In Him there is no separation from the Fountain of life. He can say, "I am the resurrection and the life" (John 11:25). All this negation of the results of broken union with God was because there was [b]no self in Him.[/b] It can be easily seen that the whole effort of the Devil - in its many forms - was to get Him to act on some line of self. Self-interest, self-realization, self-defence, self-preservation, self-pity, self-independence, self-resource, etc., etc. To have succeeded in this matter at any point would have been to drive a wedge between God and Man anew, and to have defeated the whole plan of redemption. But the pure ground of utter selflessness was maintained at greatest cost and through most fiery trial, and the prince of the world was helpless. The union remained intact. Life, light, love are triumphant because self is utterly negatived. But this is all as to Himself, and thus far it remains His uniqueness. He abides alone if it stays there."


Almosted hated to steal this snippet out of this, the whole of it being well worth reading.

Mike Balog

 2004/2/16 6:23Profile

Joined: 2003/11/10
Posts: 202
Oak Ridge, Tennessee


What Is Sin, REALLY?

I was born in 1948, and as an over-50 person, I have found that sometimes I think I understand something when I really don’t. I don’t understand how electricity works, how anything as big as a jumbo jet can fly, or how to use a remote control to change channels on my TV. Over 25 years ago, I got BORN AGAIN in a great fundamental, INDEPENDENT Bible-Believing Baptist Church. Because of my life experiences of over 20 years in the military, several years as a police officer and truck driver, I thought that I had a pretty good handle on what sin is. I knew how to identify it and HOW to do it WELL, but I lacked understanding. Recently, I was introduced to a biblical teaching that helped me gain insight into a subject that I thought I understood completely. This scripturally-based teaching that I received at Pleasant Valley Church in Thomaston, Georgia, made me aware that sin isn’t exactly what I perceived it to be. Webster’s Dictionary defines sin as: (a) to break a religious law or moral principle. (b) TO DO WRONG! In Romans 14:23, the Bible says that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” So, what is sin anyway? Is it something that we can quantify, put a label on, and say is absolute? Or is it a changing entity based upon the circumstance? I sincerely believe that the Bible has a great deal of relevance on this subject. It offers an explanation of where the concept of sin came from, what it is and who the originator of it was. But most importantly, it explains what sin does TO us. That’s where I want to go with this teaching. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” Many good folks are sick and dying prematurely. They have mistakenly believed that their disease came from some physical source; whether it was inherited or ingested by some means into their body. While we know that ALL the ailments we have are not due to spiritual causes, in Pastor Henry Wright’s book, A More Excellent Way, he states that 80% of all INCURABLE disease is spiritually rooted. That is the basis of this teaching.

In Deuteronomy 28 God laid out a plan for His people. If they followed His instructions, then many blessings followed - physical, financial and spiritual. However, if they chose not to follow His instructions, then there were many curses that would befall them. Among them is every sickness and disease known to mankind. An understanding of Blood Covenant is helpful to gain further insight into God’s reasoning for all this. I’ll not go there, except to say that the entire 66 books of the Bible were written to an Oriental mindset that understood and lived under Blood Covenants. The Western mind doesn’t do well grasping this concept.

In Proverbs 26:2, God said, “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.” It’s important to know what sin is and be able to identify it so that we may guard our physical and mental health. Certainly if you are already in poor health, realizing and applying the truths that I’m going to give you will help you to begin to recover your health. We’re to be DOERS of the Word, not hearers only (James 1:22). Along with this teaching, there are some spiritual concepts that we need to know. These are important to learn because understanding them will help us deal with the sin we find, and we’ll gain further knowledge about who we really are:

1. We ARE a spirit.
2. We possess a soul (our mind, will and emotions).
3. We live in a body, (the visible flesh and all its parts).

If you’ll continue to read on, I want to show you that sin is not just things that we do or don’t do, but that its presence causes us to be physically sick, broke financially, and bankrupt in our personal relationships. In the book of Ezekiel chapter 28:12-19 there is a historical account of Satans’ fall. In vs. 15 we see that he was a perfectly CREATED BEING, and remained in that pristine condition until “iniquity” was found in him. In vs.17 the Bible shows us that “pride” was the first sin Satan committed, then he was cast from the third heaven to the earth, and that’s when SIN first came to this planet. In vs.18 it relates that pride was only the beginning of iniquity, because Satans’ sin had started to multiply and began to be measured in multitude, which probably is a reference to the angels that followed him. I want you to realize and understand that sin is a wicked spirit BEING that uses other wicked spirit beings to destroy YOU by whatever means necessary. Read on.

In Chapter 12 of the book of Revelations, God tells about a great battle that took place in Heaven. The battle was between two archangels and their charges, Michael and his angelic host and Lucifer and his angelic army (which comprised one-third of the angels in Heaven). The result of this battle was that Lucifer and his angels lost the battle and were kicked out of Heaven. Not only did Lucifer and his army lose their home in the third Heaven where the true and living God, Jehovah, resides; but Lucifer’s name was changed to Satan and his troops were no longer called angels, but demons. These created beings also lost the angelic bodies that they had once possessed and were reduced to being only a spirit. The Biblical evidence of that is that every time demons manifest in the Bible, it’s always through a person or an animal. The 104 or so times that angels appeared to men, they showed up in the form of an angelic body.

In Luke 10:18, the Word of God refers to the day that Lucifer and his gang got the left foot of fellowship from Heaven. Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven.” That’s a fast foot! Not only that, but also a large number of fallen angels known as demons went with him. The exact number is unknown, but it could be as many as a third of the stars which God created. The Bible often refers to angels and stars in conjunction with one another. (Job 38:7, Psalms148:1-3, Revelation 9:1-2; 12:3, 4:7-9). To give you an idea of how many angels God may have created; one of the first missions that the Hubble telescope was given, was to look into a tiny piece of the most uninhabited outer space and then focus on a section of that space which was about the size of one grain of sand and see what was out there. The pictures of that area revealed that in that portion of space where man had previously been unable to see, there were millions of galaxies. So, if God created as many angels as He did stars, then there are possibly a gazillion (more than one behind every bush) of these fallen angelic beings. (Mark 5:9).

Romans 5:12 tells how sin entered into the world. When Adam ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge in disobedience to God’s instructions, he not only committed high treason against God, but he turned over the title deed to the earth to God’s enemy, Satan. The devil then became the god of this world, to include mankind, allowing him and his demons access to the earth. They brought to what had previously been a perfect environment their demonic natures, which are unbelief, rebellion, lying, unforgiveness, fear (the opposite of faith), bitterness and a long list of other spirit beings that manifest themselves through HUMAN beings. These spirit beings/natures are known as SIN, and are arrayed under a ruling demon (called a principality), which is similar to the chain of command in an army. Some more demonic spirits that the Bible names are Spirit of Jealousy (Numbers 5:14), Lying Spirit (I Kings 22:23), Spirits of Whoredoms/Idolatry
(Hosea 4:12), Spirit of Heaviness/Depression (Isaiah 61:3), Unclean spirit (Mark 5:8), Deaf and Dumb Spirit (Mark 9:5), Spirit of Infirmity (Luke13:11-13), Spirit of Fear
(II Timothy1:7). It should be clear at this point that sin is not simply missing a mark, falling short of God’s best, a perverse thought, or any other action /inaction that we might partake in.

When God created us in His image, He gave us a free will. Dr. Art Mathias points out in his book, Biblical Foundations of Freedom, that because we have this free will, we can exercise choices such as unbelief over faith, bitterness over forgiveness, rebellion over obedience, etc. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” When these forces that we’re up against are allowed to have dominion in our soul, they manifest themselves in all manner of disease, both physical and mental. I believe the Bible clearly teaches that they dwell inside of us, but are NOT us, (Romans 7). God knew us as perfect before the earth was created and as God’s children, we need to see ourselves and others as God sees us. So how does He see us? God always sees us as being worthy of the Father’s love, separate from the SIN BEING that He hates and which manifests itself through us. The Holy Spirit is there for blessing, but the spirit of sin is a curse, undesirable baggage that needs to be removed.

In times past while attempting to understand God’s standard of holiness, I wondered how the Holy Spirit and an evil being could occupy the same body of flesh simultaneously. This is still a mystery to me, but I prove it true daily as I live out my life as a born again believer. Nonetheless, I’ve been in pretty good company along those lines. The Apostle Paul in Romans 7 lamented his inability to do the things that he knew God wanted him to do. Even though the Apostle himself was in total agreement with God and had great desire to do His will, he was not able to resolve his sin problem.

To help understand how this can work, the word flesh is used two different ways in scripture. One way it’s used is a description of our temporal, physical bodies. The other way it’s used in Romans 6:6 describes the body of sin, which is the old man, the old nature, or the Adamic nature. In II Corinthians 5: 17 God’s Word says when we become BORN AGAIN that all the old things about us are passed away or removed and ALL things become new. This includes the old sin nature which is replaced with the Holy Spirit. But wait, the war is not over. In Matthew12 and Luke 11, Jesus describes what happens to us spiritually when a person gets saved and the evil one is cast out. The devil returns after a time and brings others with him. That’s why Baptism in the Holy Spirit is so important and why we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit,
(Ephesians 5:18). The more our souls are filled with the Spirit of God there is less room available for the devil to enter in.

An important thing to understand is what Paul said in Romans 7:17-20; he separated HIMSELF from his sin. In other words, we as humans may DO evil, but we are NOT evil. The old man or the sin nature was NOT part of our original creation and that’s how God sees his sons and daughters. We were created in the image of God and God DOES NOT have a sin nature. This is how we must see OURSELVES and OTHERS if we’re to live in victory over Satan, his demons and the evil that they manifest through us. By seeing every human being in the light of this truth, that’s the only way that we can really bless our (human) enemies and pray for those who would do harm to us. I’ll be blunt, it’s hard for me to pray for Osama Ben Laden and others who Satan is using to steal, kill and destroy, but we have to separate the sinner from his sin. We have to understand that it’s an EVIL BEING that dwells within a person causing them to manifest that nature. It’s time to get some spiritual discernment, knowledge, and wisdom and then focus on who the REAL culprit is.

There is one reason Satan and his thugs have a right to access a born again believer’s soul and body. That reason is that WE allow him to be there. Someone who is not born again has NO alternative; their spirit man is dead ( from separated from God) they can’t expel an evil spirit ,even if they wanted to. Often, Christians, even Spirit filled Christians allow Satan to rule their lives because of ignorance. After all, ignorance IS a form of knowledge. In Hosea 4:6, God said that His people are destroyed for LACK of knowledge. We Christians ignorantly carry these beings around inside of us as excess BAGGAGE and they manifest themselves as overt sin or physical and mental disease. We DON’T have to do THAT! Sin is a being whose name is Satan and who has been defeated by Jesus, the anointed one of Nazareth. In Mark the 16th Chapter, Jesus charged His disciples to go throughout the world and preach the gospel. HE also said in verse 17, “And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall CAST OUT devils……” DO YOU BELIEVE? If you do and you’d like to be rid of that thing inside of you that has caused such disease, pain and suffering, I’d like to share with you a method which God honors to make that happen. In Pastor Wright’s teaching at Pleasant Valley Church, he espouses “8 R’s to Freedom.” I have listed them below.

1. RECOGNIZE: You have to be able to identify what the problem is, and where it’s coming from (who it is). Is it a Spirit of________________? Isaiah 5:13-14; Hosea 4:6; Hebrews 5:14; 4:13; Jeremiah 3:15.

2. RESPONSIBILITY: The Buck Stops Here! Taking responsibility means NOT making excuses. Sometimes, particularly in the case of generational curses, you will have no memory of the open doors that allowed the enemy access to YOU. Just come out of agreement with the devil that you’ve discerned. Psalms 51:3-4; II Corinthians 3:18.

3. REPENT: Using the Bible as a tool, find the blueprint and remember where you fell short of God’s plan for your life. Find that reference point and from there move in the right direction. Acts 3:19; Revelation 2:5, 16, 21, 22; 3:3, 19.

4. RENOUNCE: Develop a perfect hatred for the sin, which means you separate the person from their sin. Love the sinner (particularly if it’s you). Remember the Apostle Paul in Romans 7; I Corinthians 10:20; I Samuel 15:22; Hosea 4:6.

5. REMOVE: Get rid of the being that’s manifesting sin, sickness and disease in your life. Pray something like this: Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Father, I REPENT and RENOUNCE the spirit of ____________________ within me. I take responsibility not only for myself, but for my generations for ________________. I ask your forgiveness, Father, and that the curse would be broken”.

Then speak something similar to: “In the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I take authority over and break the power of the spirit of _______________. In the name of Jesus, I cast out _______________________. Read Psalm91 if the spirit will not go. Ezekiel 18:30-32.

6. RESIST! DO NOT RUN! Ask God to take away the memories. Undo the programming by breaking the power of the memories. Luke 11:24-26; James 1:14-15.

7. REJOICE: Maintain an optimistic viewpoint and thank God for each and every victory. Isaiah 35:1-10.

8. RESTORE: Sow blessing into the lives of others by sharing with them what God has done in your life. Psalms 51:12; Isaiah 58:10-12: 42:12.

1. A More Excellent Way by Pastor Henry Wright
Pleasant Valley Church, Thomaston, Ga.30286, 1-800-453-5775


First, to my wife, Judy, for helping me reduce the volume of material on this subject and putting it in logical order. Her expertise in proofreading and editing this booklet was invaluable.

The contents of this teaching were taken from three primary sources:

The book, A More Excellent Way by Pastor Henry Wright of Pleasant Valley Church (PVC), Thomaston, Ga., and the classroom teaching that I received at Pleasant Valley Church in the For Your Life (FYL) and For Their Life (FTL) weeks of training. I thank Pastor Wright for his instruction and for allowing me to continue participating at PVC in the FYL and FTL classes as a group manager on ministry days.

Thanks to Dr. Art Mathias for allowing me to reference his book, Biblical Foundations of Freedom. Thanks also to his associate, Pastor Ish Payne, for his advice and expertise as I put this booklet together.

A special thank you to Pastor Phillip Fields of Pleasant Valley Church, who took a serious personal interest in me, and made meaningful suggestions to improve the content of this teaching.

All scripture is taken from the 1611 Version of the King James Bible.

Clutch :-)

Howard McNeill

 2004/2/16 15:26Profile

Joined: 2003/12/30
Posts: 297
Connecticut, USA

 Re: What is Sin; (Who is Victory?)

“And from Miletus Paul sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house ….. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.] Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Acts 20:17-20, 26-31)

The following excerpt is taken from
by Chip Brogden


"Thanks be to God, Who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus
Christ" (I Corinthians 15:57).

“People are looking for a technique or method by which they may work out a victory on behalf of Christ. Not surprisingly everyone has their own way of waging warfare. Some emphasize intercessory prayer, and believe the secret is in getting hundreds of people praying for the same thing. Others lean towards praise and worship. Some stress binding and loosing. Others believe the key is in locating and naming certain spirits which supposedly control different parts of the world. Still others think there must be some prophetic act to be performed or declaration to be made.

“Here is the problem with virtually all of these things: they are just that - THINGS - methods, techniques, teachings, strategies, but they are not Christ. Victory is not this, that, or the other. It is not some spiritual thing. Victory is a God-Man. The one in Christ is seated with Him in the heavenly places. If we see ourselves in Him then we cannot help but understand that since the battle is already won, and Victory is ours, then we do not need a method or a technique designed to "get" a victory which we already possess.

"The problem with a spiritual warfare "method" is it deceives us into thinking we have something with which we may overcome the enemy. We do not. If yours is a "method", then the method will fail. There are no methods for Salvation, for Christ is Way. He does not show us the way, He is Way. Similarly, Christ is not present with us in order to show us a way to victory. He is Victory. If we have any hope of overcoming by taking a little piece of Christ and incorporating it into our spiritual warfare program then we have failed before we have begun. ….

“God does not give us victory, God places us into Christ as our Victory. Since we are one with Him, it is nevermore a question of our ability, gifts, talents, or power. Everything we ARE is swallowed up and eclipsed and surpassed by everything HE IS. Today, in Christ, I overcome: but not because I am anything. On the contrary I am nothing. But since I am in Christ, Who is God's Everything, His overcoming is my overcoming. If the Head overcomes, so does the Body which is joined to the Head. If the Vine overcomes, so do the branches which are joined to the Vine. Can you see this? Take the weakest member and put it in union with the Head and they will go the way the Head goes. Take the weakest branch and put it in union with the Vine and it will go the way the Vine goes.

“When we begin looking to the Son as the Sum of All Things then we are giving Christ the preeminence. We are entering into the very heart, mind, thought, intent, purpose, and plan of God - that Christ Himself would fill all things, that His glory would be reflected in all things. If our way is a method, then the method gets the attention, and the man who created the method gets the credit, and the people who put the method into practice get the glory. But if my "method" is Christ, then Christ gets all the attention, Christ gets all the credit, and Christ gets all the glory. In this way Christ is magnified, the heart of God is satisfied, and we ourselves are attuned to His Will in Christ.”

Brogden’s paper may be found at:

Roger P.

 2004/2/16 18:34Profile

Joined: 2003/11/10
Posts: 202
Oak Ridge, Tennessee



Has any one ever done something to you that you resented and haven’t forgiven them for? How about something that made you so angry that you have purposed and vowed to get even? Did you ever dwell on an offense done to you and thought something to the effect that there is not enough room in this building, town, or even on this planet for the two of you to coexist? Have you taken, or did you consider taking, physical action against the one that’s offended you? When you think of that person, do you dream of eliminating them physically, or do you assassinate their character? If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, CONGRATULATIONS! You passed the test! It’s one hundred percent guaranteed that you have a spirit of bitterness. Now read on to see what you’ve won.

In a previous teaching titled “ What Is Sin, Really?”, I explained, and gave Biblical evidence that there are spiritual beings called demons that actually reside in us (Romans 7), and negatively influence our personal relationships, finances, even our physical and mental health. These demons are organized and have a chain of command similar to that in an army. Each level of command supports the other, from the least “powers” to the greatest “principalities” (Ephesians 6:12). The Spirit of Bitterness is a principality/strong man that has seven demons of lesser rank under its command. This Spirit of Bitterness does not act on its own, but establishes dominion by causing the seven others to act inside your soul (mind, will, and emotions), and physical body. These underling spirits are listed by rank from lesser to greater: Unforgiveness, Resentment, Retaliation, Anger/Wrath, Hatred, Violence, and Murder.

Pastor Henry Wright of Pleasant Valley Church in Thomaston, Georgia has done extensive research for over 20 years into the effects of these spirit beings relative to our health and well being. He has written a book titled “A More Excellent Way”, which I have liberally borrowed from for this teaching. Also, I have borrowed from a book written by Dr. Art Mathias of Wellspring Ministries of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska, titled “Biblical Foundations of Freedom”. Based upon years of research and experience, both of these gentlemen agree that at least 80% of all incurable disease has a spiritual root. They also agree that if you have a particular spirit that is under the Spirit of Bitterness, for example, anger/wrath, all the lesser demons that are under that spirit in rank will also be present.

Perhaps you think, “It’s no big deal that I have these spiritual natures inside me”. Maybe you think, well……… God just made me this way. WRONG! Do you think having cancer might be a big deal? Would having cancer be a blessing or a curse? Proverbs 26:2 says that “the curse causeless shall not come”. Pastor Wright says, “A cause for cancer is that a person is in long term bitterness. The body builds up toxins which are produced because of bitterness. When the toxins reach a high enough level, they will destroy one or both of the paired anti-oncogenes. These are the guards of the immune system which are inside our cells that protect us from cancer.” Several years ago long before I heard of Pastor Wright and his ministry, my mother died of Pancreatic Cancer of which there is no cure. Anyone that knew my mother would tell you at least two things about her: #1, She was a very loving person and had many wonderful Christian qualities about her. #2, She carried grudges. I saw her act in unforgiveness just a few weeks before she died to someone who had unknowingly offended her years before. This person came to visit her when she was bedridden, but conscious and alert. Although my mother received and saw several others that day, she refused to see that one person. The person never knew WHAT they had done to have caused such a reaction. According to Pastor Wright, bitterness against others is a spiritual root that can manifest as that form of cancer (Pancreatic). I believe that it possibly did in her. She also had arthritis for many years and that also is rooted in bitterness. In my own personal life for over 20 years, I had been taking some kind of pain medication for joint pain and swelling due to arthritis. For the past three months, I’ve not even taken an aspirin. I believe because I received what Pleasant Valley Church has taught me and applied it, that God is healing my arthritis.

As I mentioned earlier, there are seven demons arrayed under the spiritual principality of Bitterness. Let’s take a look at each one individually, beginning with the least according to rank, and in order of their rank through all seven:

1. Unforgiveness: Says that I am not willing to forgive the offense done to me and I will remember what was done to me. Unforgiveness entertains the next six spirits and is serious business with God. In Matthew 6, as Jesus taught His disciples the model prayer, He said we’re to ask for forgiveness from the Father in the same way that we forgive others. Further in verses 14-15, He said that if we forgive others, that we will be forgiven; but if not, then God will not forgive us. He said the same thing in Mark
11:25-26. Jesus is the example that we’re to pattern ourselves after in regard to forgiveness. In Luke 23:24, as he was hanging on the cross being mocked, unjustly beaten and condemned, He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” We’re to forgive whether someone deserves it or not.

2. Resentment: When we allow Unforgiveness into our lives, the spirit of Resentment has an open door to enter into our soul. These two devils complement each other’s work and silently operate inside us. As Resentment flames up, it causes Unforgiveness to grow larger. This causes Resentment to blaze higher and Unforgiveness continues to grow until these two demons create an open door for another demon.

3. Retaliation: Manifests itself as an attitude that says, “I don’t get mad, I just get even”. The spirit of retaliation is a liar because even while we’re just dreaming and purposing our revenge, this opens a door for a greater demon to enter.

4. Anger/Wrath: While Unforgiveness, Resentment, and Retaliation are silent demonic forces, Anger/Wrath gives them a face and a voice. Anger/Wrath will not manifest without the first three spirits being present. It is the physical outward expression of Bitterness and is another layer of protection the strongman uses to fortify his position inside our soul. Manifestations of Anger and Wrath usher in the next greater spirit which is:

5. Hatred: This spirit tells the person who has offended you that you are taking action and will do whatever is necessary to get even. The demon spirit of Hatred establishes the portal for the next worse devil.

6. Violence: When Anger and Hatred have manifested themselves, they become the wheels on the train of Bitterness. Violence is the physical action that produces swinging fists, cursing, and unguided missiles being launched from our hands. Violence is the locomotive; when its energy and mass are placed into motion, it drives the train of Bitterness to its logical destination ………Murder.

7. Murder: The very first murderer was Satan, and according to scripture (John 8:4; I John 3:12), he introduced that spirit into the world through Cain. In Genesis 4:1-9 is found the familiar story of Cain and Abel. By reading this story, you can see how quickly Cain went from unforgiveness, to resentment, to retaliation, to anger, to hatred, to violence, and finally to murdering his brother, Abel.

But there is more to the spirit of murder than just taking the physical life from a human being. The highest level of the spirit of bitterness is eliminating someone altogether as a person. Murder begins in the heart (our spirit man), and the Bible teaches us that we can murder someone with our words. In I John 3:15 it says, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” Speaking to His disciples, who I presume were saved, Jesus said in Mark
11: 25-26 – “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if ye don’t forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” That’s pretty plain speaking, and taken literally (which I do), it’s hard for this Baptist boy who believed “once saved always saved”, to not take this warning into consideration. For when you take these verses along with the 90 other scriptural references in God’s Word that indicate we CAN “lose it”, I’ve come to the painful conclusion, and realize and accept the fact that having a spirit of bitterness can cancel your ticket to The Kingdom of God; not only in this world for healing and blessing but also in the one hereafter. Are you still Saved? In Philippians 2:12, we’re told to work out our own salvation with fear (reverence and awe) and trembling.

Has God revealed to you that you may be harboring a spirit of bitterness? When a certain person’s name is mentioned, does it trigger a negative emotional response ranging from unforgiveness for a wrong committed against you , to out and out malice against someone’s very existence? If so, using # 5 in the 8 Rs’ to freedom found in “What Is Sin, Really? and “A More Excellent Way” by Pastor Henry Wright, pray something like this:

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus. Father, I REPENT and RENOUNCE the spirit of BITTERNESS within me. I take RESPONSIBILITY not only for myself, but for my generations for BITTERNESS. I ask Your forgiveness, Father, and that the curse would be broken.” Then speak something like this: “In the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I take authority over and break the power of the spirit of BITTERNESS.
When you have discerned the level of bitterness that you’re hosting, begin with unforgiveness and pray a similar prayer as shown above substituting UNFORGIVENESS for BITTERNESS. Then speak something like: “In the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I take authority over and break the power of the spirit of UNFORGIVENESS. In the name of Jesus, I cast out UNFORGIVENESS.

Continue up the chain and repeat against resentment, retaliation, etc. to the highest level of bitterness you’re entertaining. If you’re not sure about the level, it won’t hurt to go all the way up, dealing with every demon under BITTERNESS in succession from UNFORGIVENESS to MURDER. Cast them ALL out! Then go back to the principality of BITTERNESS and cast him out in the name of Jesus. Hallelujah!

Very often, it’s easier to forgive someone else than it is to forgive ourselves. Maybe something we’ve said, done or identified ourselves with haunts us and we can’t forgive ourselves. That is sin and needs to be dealt with in the same manner as bitterness against others.

Many people are angry at God, for whatever reason. The spirit of BITTERNESS causes pain, suffering and disease by separating us in three ways. It separates us from others, separates us from ourselves and separates us from God. In Matthew 22:36-40, we received the Great Commandment. That commandment is to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…., then love thy neighbor as thyself. How can we love God who we have not seen, when we don’t love our neighbor who we have seen? And how can we love others if we don’t love ourselves?

Bitterness against ourselves, others or God manifests itself in almost every form of cancer, diabetes, arthritis and all other maladies caused by the white corpuscles attacking the body and destroying the immune system. When the immune system is sufficiently weakened, it allows disease to enter our physical bodies. Bitterness is the most common spiritual principality harbored by people. Unless God in His sovereignty decides otherwise and performs a miracle, there can be NO HEALING until THIS demonic force is effectively dealt with. Begin now to identify and remove every bitter root that the EVIL ONE has placed within you by applying the 8 Rs’ to freedom:

1. Recognize: Identify the problem. Is it a Spirit of___________? Isaiah 5:13-14; Hosea 4:6; Hebrews 5:14; 4:13; Jeremiah 3:15.

2. Responsibility: NO EXCUSES! Take responsibility for yourself and your generations. Then come out of agreement with the devil. Psalms 51:3-4; II Corinthians 3:18.

3. Repent: Do an about face, which is a 180 degree turn or totally opposite direction change. For example, turn unforgiveness into forgiveness. Acts 3:19; Revelation 2:5,16,21,22; 3:3,19 .

4. Renounce: Separate the sinner from the sin (particularly if it’s you who is the sinner). Romans 7; I Corinthians 10:20; I Samuel 15:22; Hosea 4:6.

5. Remove: See the appropriate previous Paragraph for Instruction: Read Psalm 91 if the spirit will not go. Ezekiel 18:30-32.

6. Resist: Ask God to take away the memories. Luke 11:24-26; James 1:14-15.

7. Rejoice: Thank God for every victory. Isaiah 35:10.

8. Restore: Share with others what God has done in your life. Psalms 51:12: Isaiah 58:10-12; 42:12.


1. A More Excellent Way by Pastor Henry Wright
Pleasant Valley Church, Thomaston, Ga.30286, 1-800-453-5775


First, to my wife, Judy, for helping me reduce the volume of material on this subject and putting it in logical order. Her expertise in proofreading and editing this booklet was invaluable.

The contents of this teaching were taken from three primary sources:

The book, A More Excellent Way by Pastor Henry Wright of Pleasant Valley Church (PVC), Thomaston, Ga., and the classroom teaching that I received at Pleasant Valley Church in the For Your Life (FYL) and For Their Life (FTL) weeks of training. I thank Pastor Wright for his instruction and for allowing me to continue participating at PVC in the FYL and FTL classes as a group manager on ministry days.

Thanks to Dr. Art Mathias for allowing me to reference his book, Biblical Foundations of Freedom.

All scripture is taken from the 1611 Version of the King James Bible.
Clutch :-)

1 ¶ Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Romans 14:1-5

27 ¶ And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.
28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
Matthew 9:27-29

Howard McNeill

 2004/2/16 18:48Profile

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