No flesh escaped this teaching unscathed! The prelude was Arthur’s opening prayer when he asked the Father to help us overcome every issue that hinders us in our spiritual walk. This Teaching was designed to break the yokes of bondage from itchy ears, from flattery, and to recognize the various ways they could manifest in our lives.
The chief element in all hindrances is our flesh/carnal man. The flesh man took a beating today! The Outline for the Teaching was:
- Itching ears will determine who you will listen to.
- When flattery kills.
- Flattery can be a dangerous thing.
- Your enemies will flatter you.
- Beware of leaders who need compliments all the time.
- Why do people flatter?
Arthur started by saying, “Father’s people have always had a problem with Him.” The people want to be their own masters, so they asked the prophets to stop talking or refused to listen to them. The people have even went as far as to kill many of them. These are the same people that were delivered many times by the mighty hand of the Almighty!
All people are constantly pulled towards the carnality of life because the flesh man has power until we can subdue him with our spirit man. Flattery and itchy ears are two hallmarks of carnality. They are also companions; itching ears seek flattery. Arthur elaborated on how the carnal man is always looking for ways to take your spirit man hostage. He even said the flesh man will try to keep your spirit man down with no hope of recovery.
The only way that a man escapes the clutches of evil is to surrender completely to Elohim. Arthur made quite clear that the way to do this was to feed the spirit man more than we feed the flesh man. That requires time in the Word of Elohim. The more we feed the spirit man, the more he grows. The fruits of the spirit will manifest in our lives because our spirit man is only interested in pleasing the Father. Our spiritual fruit will grow and the fleshly fruit will wither. However, make no mistake, the fleshly man will try to resurrect, that is why we have to stay constantly in tune with the Holy Spirit in all our thoughts, words, deeds and associations.
Here is a sure way to deny the flesh:
Fasting for Power (DVD)
Arthur discussed many of the manifestations of flattery. Some are obvious and others can be cloaked. Thankfully, Father will let you discern men’s thoughts and motives. Our omniscient Father will show you what you need to know in order to avoid the traps of flattery that lead to deceit. When we devote ourselves to the Father, He will show us whether the motives of others are righteous.
Everyone has motives. Motives can be righteous or evil. People with unrighteous motives will say whatever they need to say to get what they want. Arthur warned that we must discern if others motives are right before we let them operate in our lives because their words can get into our spirit and cause us to think things we should not entertain. As Apostle Paul instructs, mark and avoid those persons, which cause division or offenses. This means that it is imperative that we know those that labor amongst us. Avoid someone who tries to undermine your morals or gives compliments for no reason. If we don’t, we allow the attitudes, the actions, and the opinions of others to change who we are.
Arthur has often said to me, “I count the cost.” This means that before you leap into a situation; consider the matter from the beginning to the end, which includes discerning the possible outcomes, before you make a decision. This includes assessing your own motives.
We all need Commandment reminders:
Tzitzits and Micro Tallits
When we realize and live by the fact that reaping and sowing are always in operation in the Father’s Kingdom, our job is to stay humble. Make sure your motives coincide with Elohim’s Will.
As Arthur said, “Without the Holy Spirit, this is a fleshly walk! If the Holy Spirit is not in it, then why am I?”
Sharon’s Reflections on the Teaching
This teaching led me to rethink some of my motives in the area of flattery.
Before I leave the house, I always ask Floyd, “How is my Hair?” I am not looking for flattery. I want to avoid being a distraction to others who may start to wonder about my hair, or lack thereof, instead of focusing on my conversation. I maybe a bit self-conscious while I am looking in the mirror, but when I leave that mirror, I rarely think of my hair unless I pass another mirror and I can see the “spot” at a glance.
I am in a hair regrowth phase. A thinning spot is starting to fill back in with hair. (HalleluYAH for that!) Floyd will tell me if the “spot” is covered. Sometimes his comments send me back to redo the comb-over while looking backwards in the mirror. In times past, he might had said, “Well, I guess that is the best you can do with what you have to work with.” Here recently, I have been able to do a pretty good job of the comb-over so that it looks like I have naturally growing hair in the “spot”.
Sometimes I just don’t have the incentive to do a concentrated procedure on my hair, so I just leave it be when I am around the house. Zoe, my teen daughter (who dresses nicely every day and combs her hair every day) will sometimes say things like, “So I see you just don’t care about your hair today.” Or, “Hmmm, I see we are not doing our hair today.”
This IS leading somewhere.
One Friday, I was working at home and working in the garden. It was a “no dress-up” day for me. About mid-morning, I walked pass a mirror and nearly jumped when I saw my reflection! The hair on both sides of my head has sticking up and out with the “spot” clearly visible. Think of the stereotypic circus clown that is bald in the middle but has a fluff of hair on both sides. I stomp into the kitchen where Floyd and Zoe are standing and demand to know why no one told me how I was looking. Floyd turned and removed himself from the conflict arena. Zoe stood her ground and just looked at me and cracked a cynical smile. She didn’t say anything, but her look said, “Now hold up a minute! How are we to know the difference between when your hair is “jacked-up” because you are unaware, or it is “jacked-up” because you don’t care?”
With this background, I felt confident that I was not a seeker of flattery.
However the teaching made me reconsider whether or not I was a seeker of flattery. I got ready to say “No”, when the Holy Spirit brought to my mind one of my recent Facebook posts. It was a photo of me and my dentist showing off my new dental bridge. I didn’t think about wanting and attracting flattery when I posted the photo, but when Ireallythought about it, I was soliciting flattering comments. That was a wakeup call.
I took down the post and resolved to be more discerning about what I post and to consider what kind of responses I am inviting people to make by asking for a “Like”.
Until next time… Blessings to You and Yours,