SermonPast Hauntings
An all-creatures Bible Message

Past Hauntings
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
12 May 2019
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

John 10:22-30
Acts 9:18-35
Revelation 6:1-17

Past hauntings are those ungodly things from our past that we have trouble letting go of, and that can bother us to this very day, and mostly because we wish we hadnít committed such acts or said what we said, or perhaps didnít say some things that we should have.
 
And past hauntings could also be the ungodly things we did that other people wonít forgive us for.
 
Jesus taught us that if we confess our sins in a repentant manner, He is faithful to forgive us, and that we are to forgive others in the same way.
 
The problem arises when we cannot forgive ourselves or others for our ungodly acts.
 
Past hauntings can also be the traditions of human beings that are not from God and may even oppose the heavenly will of God, but unfortunately many people hang on to these traditions instead of seeing the hand of God at work in their presence.
 
In John 10:22-30, we have the example of how these past hauntings kept people from truly believing in Jesus as their messiah.

22. At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem;
 
23. it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.
 
24. The Jews therefore gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, "How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly."

This is an example of the attitude of many people who are caught up in the hauntings of their past traditions, which Jesus well understood and respondedÖ

25. Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these bear witness of Me.
 
26. "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.
 
27. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
 
28. and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.
 
29. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
 
30. "I and the Father are one."

The unfortunate problem is that most Christians, as well as other people in the world, do not really live in the heavenly will of God, which Jesus taught us about; they still live in many of the ways of this world, such as the exploitation and killing of other living beings.
 
However, at the same time, these Christians claim to understand and follow what Jesus is telling us in this passage, but they fail to realize that they also must be true followers who live in our heavenly Fatherís will here on earth as it is in heaven, which Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:10.
 
We are all to be the peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will here on earth as witnesses to the world around us, and we cannot do this with one foot in the world and one foot in heaven; we must be totally committed to the Lord.
 
We have to stop letting our past hauntings and traditions get in the way of living as Jesus taught us to live.
 
Letís now go on and look at Acts 9:18-35, and observe how past hauntings affected Paulís life even after his conversion.

18. And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he arose and was baptized;
 
19. and he took food and was strengthened.
Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus,

This is the final part of Paulís conversion, but some others would not let go of who Paul was before his rebirth, which was his past hauntings.

20. and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God."
 
21. And all those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, "Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?"

These people were seeing the change in Paul, but his past life remained in front of other people, which is a perfect example of how our past hauntings can continue to affect our present day ministry and life, even though we no longer do these things.

22. But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.

And we should be continuing to do the same thing despite any past hauntings we may have.

23. And when many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him,

Sometimes other people cannot let go of their past hauntings, which is particularly true with people of the world, whom these Jews appear to be.

24. but their plot became known to Saul. And they were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death;
 
25. but his disciples took him by night, and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket.

And sometimes our past hauntings get so bad that we need the help of others, as did Paul (Saul).

26. And when he had come to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.

Our past life doesnít just get forgotten, it most often hangs on, and as Paul was experiencing, his past hauntings were still with him no matter where he was.

27. But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.

And sometimes, someone like Barnabas, whom we should be like, sees beyond our past hauntings to the person that we have become, and speaks out for us as a witness to those who doubt and canít let go of their past hauntings.
 
And if such an intervention is successful, as it was with Paul, we can go on with our ministry, as Paul did.

28. And he was with them moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord.
 
29. And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death.

As we should be able to see here, these Hellenistic Jews could not let go of Paulís past hauntings, and even went so far as wanting to kill him, which shows their own ungodly nature.

30. But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.

Personally, we donít like to run away or retreat from a confrontational situation, but in this case it was probably the best thing to do.
 
Then this narrative changes emphasis to focus on the church and Peterís ministry.

31. So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and, going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.
 
32. Now it came about that as Peter was traveling through all those parts, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.
 
33. And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years, for he was paralyzed.
 
34. And Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; arise, and make your bed." And immediately he arose.
 
35. And all who lived at Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
NASB

When people focus upon the Lord and His heavenly will, the church grows as it should, but unfortunately today, most churches seem to be caught up in a watered down Christianity and cheap grace, which to us is just as bad as holding on to our past hauntings.
 
Letís conclude our discussion for today by looking at Revelation 6:1-17, and think about the message contained within the message and why God is doing what He is doing, as John saw in his vision of the future.

1. And I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come."

When people do something for political reasons, it most often indicates that they are not presenting the whole truth; such as in this case where the Bible translation says ďliving creatures,Ē because the original Greek says ďliving animals.Ē
 
To us this is a deliberate attempt to camouflage the truth because of the meat eating culture of most of the world, for we believe that if more people knew that there were animals in heaven, they wouldnít raise or eat them or otherwise exploit them.
 
The animal exploitation and meat eating cultures are past hauntings that are continually presented in the churches to hide the fact that animals were created by God to be our companions and not our ďfood.Ē

2. And I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer.

Note carefully that there is no mention of there being any arrows, which we believe is an indication that there should be no killing for what is being conquered is the evil in the world.
 
And we need to remember that evil and ungodly acts are really past hauntings that have plagued us to this very day.

3. And when He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come."

And again in the Greek we see that this living creature is really a living animal.

4. And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men should slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.

All forms of violence are past hauntings that we are suffering from to this very day.
 
Also note that the rider with the sword is not the one who is doing any of the killing, but by removing peace from the earth, the violence that plagues this world will lead people to kill one another.

5. And when He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.

Like above, this living creature is really a living animal.

6. And I heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine."
 
7. And when He broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come."

These living creatures are really living animals that speak in a language that John could understand, and we believe that in heaven all living beings talk to one another.

8. And I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
 
9. And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
 
10. and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"

Again we see the reference to the past hauntings of violence that continually plague us here on earth.

11. And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.

We have talked before about God protecting us, and in this case we can see that He also allows some of us to die, but in either case, as children of God,  we shall be with the Lord in heaven forever and ever.

12. And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
 
13. and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
 
14. And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

This is what will happen to this earth in the end times, and when this happens, we will most likely lose all our earthly possessions; so, we are to enjoy them while we can but not covet them.

15. And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;
 
16. and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
 
17. for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?" 
NASB

These people fear the Lord but donít reverence Him.
 
They donít see the glorious days to come for they are filled with their past hauntings.
 
This is why we keep encouraging people to be the peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will here on earth as it is in heaven.
 
Amen?
 
Amen.

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