DID JESUS TEACH MEN TO LOVE THEMSELVES?
- This will be one of the most important Bible truths you will ever learn -
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these TWO commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:37-40
On what “TWO commandments hang all the law and the prophets?" Can you re-read the above text and count the number of commands our LORD gave upon which the whole message of the Law and Prophets (whole Word of God) hang?
Jesus told us specifically that He gave “TWO commandments” here - not three.
1) “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God” (v37)
2) “Thou shalt love thy neighbour” (v39)
Does Jesus tell us to love ourselves here? If so, please show us where. Does God’s Word anywhere teach that men should learn to love themselves more?
Did you notice here in the words of Christ that there is the complete absence of any command for believers to love themselves? Since there is not even one hint of self-love taught in God’s Word, where do so many modern church leaders get the idea and authority that men are to learn to love themselves?
This week alone, I have heard 2 deluded leaders teaching people to love themselves. Sounds noble doesn’t it? But is it biblical? Did Jesus and His apostles teach men that they needed to learn to love themselves? With all the messages on loving self today, we must ask ourselves; Did our LORD teach self-love or self-denial?
"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross (implement of death) daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save (love) his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." Luke 9:23-24
Here the Son of God told us clearly that “any man” who would be His must “deny himself” not elevate or learn to love himself. To “deny” one’s self is to refuse to think upon or do anything that violates the holiness of God as defined by His Word. Self-love is certainly one of those things the LORD identifies as sin and condemns.
If the Almighty wanted us to believe that we are to love ourselves, why didn’t He just come out and tell us? If Jesus Christ, the apostles and prophets didn’t teach it, by what authority do we dare teach such?
Here is the single verse this love thyself (self-love) teaching is based upon:
To get to the point, there is NOT ONE supporting verse or text to this self-love message and this one above (Matthew 22:39) they clearly twist/pervert (2 Cor. 2:17). I think it should be more than obvious that Matthew 22:39 carries the same import as Matthew 7:12 (Golden Rule), when the Master instructed:
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12
The Pride of Lucifer
From where does any self-serving message originate? Who is the author of the self-love teaching and behind all false prophets who are teaching this message? The 5 “I”’s of Lucifer in Isaiah 14 should reveal the answer to this important question. Can you find the 5 “I’’’s?
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." Isaiah 14:12-15
The motto and pride anthem of Satan is I, I, I, I, I – and anyone who is not in the love of God. The self-love message is clearly Luciferian. As with Lucifer who became Satan and the devil in his state of eternal condemnation, hell will be the result of all who teach and buy into the self-love message that is being taught in "Christian" books, pulpits and media.
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments (self-serving thinking) of the world, and not after Christ...And ye are complete in him (Jesus Christ)..." Colossians 2:8-9
The age-old and classic message of the pied piper solicits saints to forsake the Savior for temporary, self-serving comforts and earthly gain. Concerning this prevalent love of self message, Oswald Chambers said:
“Self-realization is anti-Christian. All this is vigorous paganism, it is not Christianity. Jesus Christ’s attitude is always that of anti-self-realization. His purpose is not the development of man at all; His purpose is to make man exactly like Himself, and the characteristic of the Son of God is not self-realization but self-expenditure.”
Self-love is sinful pride. Since the Garden of Eden, self-love has caused every sin ever committed against the one and true holy God in 6,000 years of history. This doctrine of devils is now being taught on an epidemic level within the church world by men who are deceived and even claim that this diabolical message is a Bible doctrine. Astounding!
“Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” Proverbs 19:27
Conformed to His Holy Image
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29
This is an important verse to memorize. We are informed here of the very reason for which He as predestined us - “to be conformed to the image of His Son” who came to give His life - to be a giver and not a taker. Those who are born again are no longer their own. They are Christ’s - bought by His precious blood and called to serve Him not self.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price…” 1 Corinthians 6:19
There is no freedom or blessing in learning to love ourselves more. Such is blatant disobedience to the whole Word of God. We are finite, sinful, “desperately wicked”, and in utter need of God and His divine mercy, not more knowledge of ourselves (Jer. 17:9). The Almighty is infinite. The finite must seek the infinite not the finite (itself). The fallen creation must seek His perfect Creator who bled to give him reconciliation and restoration and set the example of serving others not self.
"Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah." Psalms 39:5
"Vain is the help of man." Psalms 60:11
"Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man (including self), and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD." Jeremiah 17:5
According to the words of our God in Jeremiah 17:5, all those who "trusteth in man (self)...depart from the LORD." This is what exactly what Lucifer did to become rejected of the Almighty and called Satan, and the Devil. “Depart” means leave - to go away from, to fall away. Men who trust in themselves or look within themselves for virtue and betterment will absolutely “depart from the LORD”, they will fall into a state of condemnation. Dismal Depravity, sinfulness and misery is all man can find within himself, apart from the living and true God. This is why Jesus came into the world - to save men from sin and self. In light of this truth, are we not astounded by the hoards of “Christian” false teachers who have risen up in our midst who teach this diabolical doctrine? Perhaps this truth will also bring a clearer focus upon 1 Timothy 3:6 where Paul is speaking about a young believer being put into a place of leadership before he has learned some things:
“Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3:6
The Holy Ghost warns us here that the “novice”, or believer who is not comprehensively seasoned in the Word, will be prone to “being lifted up with pride” like “the devil” was, and “fall into the” same condemnation as Satan - separated from a holy God through sin.
The mark of the many wolves in our midst is that they feed self-love instead of teaching men to deny or crucify the self life.
Christ taught those who would follow Him to "DENY...SELF, and take up his cross (implement of death) daily, and follow me." (Luke 9:23-24) Following Jesus means doing what He did - denial of self, complete trust in the Father, and serving others not self.
The false gospel of self-love, peddled by so many leaders today, is the antithesis of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who called us to laid down our lives.
The Gospel of our LORD is to learn to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment" and to "esteem others BETTER than ourselves. Look NOT every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus...(who) made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant...he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:3-8)
Friend, what reconciliation does this text (above) have with the satanic, self-love message we hear peddled today in “Christian” circles? Obviously, the two messages are completely opposite and originate from two opposing entities. One of the ways we know and discern who is truly behind a leader is by whose message that leader is peddling/promoting - God's or Satan's. Let’s contrast: Doesn't the satanic bible say "Do what thou wilt"? The Bible says “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) Remember, Love Gives, Lust Gets. God says to "deny thyself." Satan says "indulge, or, love thyself." Which of these two messages have you placed yourself under and internalized? Are you being called, through the messages you are hearing, to deny yourself or to indulge yourself?
Karen from West Virginia writes:
“Yes, in describing the evil of the last days, that is what the Scripture says in 2 Timothy 3:2 and 4. It says in verse 2, "for men will be "lovers of self"... verse 4 "RATHER THAN "lovers of God." The Bible doesn't ever imply or say that loving self is a good thing! The bottom line is that when Jesus said "love others as yourself", He meant to replace your stinking self-love with loving others. He meant when we love others RATHER than ourselves, we are being lovers of God rather than lovers of self. The Bible teaches us to love God first and love others second rather than ourselves! Now we have the full counsel of God when we put 2 Timothy 3:2-4 with Matthew 22:39 and the other Scriptures about loving others. Being lovers of self is just not a good thing! The world will tell you to love yourself and if you are having trouble, they will tell you to go get some Prozac, have a face lift, take a vacation, have a Starbucks, do something good for yourself rather than always for others! Dr. Phil and Oprah and others will tell you and encourage you to love yourself, but they aren’t speaking from the heart of God or teaching what the Holy Spirit would teach.”
Jesus came to be crucified. According to Holy Writ, the Christ-centered life is all about laying down our lives like Christ did for us, and living to bring His blessing to others, not ourselves. Let us consider what the Holy Spirit seeks to communicate to our hearts in these following words of Scripture, and may He grant us ears to hear what He is saying to us - that we might obey Him, be fully pleasing to the Savior, be kept from deception and evil, and be ready for the soon return of Christ.
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15
“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” 1 John 2:6
God’s Love Gives
“God so loved the world that he GAVE....” so that all men could have eternal life now and in Heaven and life more abundantly, right? (Jn. 3:16, 10:10).
Contrasting Jesus Christ's and Satan's peddlers, the apostle Paul says:
"Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For MANY walk, of whom I have told you often (warned), and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly (self appetites), and whose glory is in their shame (they proudly teach what they should be ashamed of), who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." Philippians 3:17-21
Self-love is the cry of the deceivers who prey upon the unpurged lusts of men. The exploding “seeker-sensitive” movement which is a false form of Christianity and the path to building a “mega-church, is the epitome of this. The self-gratification messages of these smiling wolves cause their audiences to feed the flesh instead of crucifying it and therefore to live in sin against the holiness of Jesus, and self-focused and not God and others focused. Could this be the reason that there is so little evangelism and discipleship transpiring among those who call themselves Christians? The modern-day prophets of Balaam (false) are teaching people to seek self-gain in this fleeting life. These “many false prophets” in our midst arrogantly twist God’s Word, teaching those who listen to use His Word for selfish gain and the betterment of the depraved self. In fulfillment of last days prophetic warnings, this evil is working well on the multitudes who would rather indulge in temporal ease and earthly gratification than what is right in the sight of the One who made them and died to rescue them (1 Tim. 4:1-6; 2 Tim. 3:1-5). This is the ongoing test of life - whether we will serve God or self (Rom. 6:16). The fact we can observe is that these deceivers who are plentiful in the modern church abound only because the loyalty and money given by those who support them allows them to build their kingdoms larger and larger, reaching more and more people who financially embellish them to lead multitudes astray.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine (full-counsel Bible truth); but after their own (unpurged) lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. 2 Timothy 4:3
The Holy Spirit is saying through Paul here that many do not want to die to self but instead feed/serve self, so they place themselves under those who will tell them what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. God help us. Hell awaits all who die worshipping at the altar of self and not the LORD God Almighty - “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Ex. 20:3)
Esau forfeited his eternal reward due to self-idolatry. He consequently lost his birthright (Gen. 25; 27:36). The Holy Ghost warns us under the new covenant using Esau's fatal decision to love himself more than the LORD His Maker:
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." Hebrews 12:14-17
ME, ME, ME!!! This is the sin of pride-ridden selfishness that has caused mankind to violate the holiness of God from the beginning and is now being boldly taught from so-called "Christian" leaders. With brilliant detail, our Savior reveals in 2 Timothy the activities within the church-world that He foretold would be evidence of Christ’s soon return. He details the teachings and pride-driven characteristics of those leaders and their adherents who act as “Christians” and have a "form(ula) of godliness", yet deny the lordship and reign of Christ in their personal lives:
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves (self-love), covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy...heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power (rule; authority) thereof: from such turn away...evil men (false teachers who teach self-love) and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived...For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. 2 Timothy 3-4
While posing as God’s servants, these men serve themselves and teach others to do the same.
In light of this prophetic utterance of the Holy Ghost and the apostle Paul, should we be surprised at the onslaught of self-love being taught by so many leaders in the “Christian” world?
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves (self-love)...lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”
It’s real simple: False prophets are fulfilling these prophecies by teaching and feeding self-love, while leaders true to the LORD Jesus Christ declare what Christ did - that it is a necessity to deny one’s self, and to humble themselves, that God may exalt them when and how He wishes (Matt. 23:12; Lk. 9:23-24, etc.). Jesus calls His own to deny themselves, while the enemy of all souls is using his emissaries in our midst to lead people to worship at the altar of self.
Saint of God, be careful of the self-love message which comes in so many flavors to feed the carnal/sinful nature in us. At the root of this message is always "What's in it for ME?" and the betterment of self - apart from God and His clear Biblical revelation to us. Scripture is even twisted, taken out of context, and used to teach this. Self-love undergirds all psychology whether it claims to be "Christian" or not. Self-love is the root of the message of the false prophets of this late hour. Self-love is the core of the "favor of God" message taught by so many of the TV preachers who call God's people to worship at the altar of self. Modern-day deceivers speak from pulpits and books and TV of “the favor of the Lord” and the “anointing” as that which can obtain things for self, instead of the Biblical message of the LORD’s blessed favor, power, and anointing in our lives to accomplish His will in glorifying Him who alone is worthy (Acts 1:8; 6:27; 10:38, etc.). In His life on earth, Jesus didn’t use His Father’s power to make Himself famous for His own aggrandizement. He didn’t come to spend His life on earth for selfish gain, but instead to give it in crucifixion so that others could have life. The Son of God expended His life teaching His disciples to lay down their lives and ultimately laid down His own life to serve all of mankind who was and is guilty of sin before the One, true Holy God (Jn. 13:1-8).
Called to Serve not Be Served
Jesus told His 12 and all of us, that He came to serve and not be served. This is fundamental to the Christian faith. When some of His disciples attempted to elevate themselves, Jesus corrected them and told them they were to serve others and not themselves. Do our leaders not read their Bibles? Why don’t they know this elementary truth and command?
“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28
The Bible says that love "seeketh not her own." (1 Cor. 13:5) True godly leaders teach the Bible - which instructs believers to mortify and crucify and put to death the deeds of the body (Ezekiel 44:23; Rom. 6). In contrast, false teachers incite the lusts of the flesh through messages of covetousness (2 Peter 2-3). God calls His own to serve Him and not self. “No man can serve two masters.” (Matt. 6:24)
"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
"And they that are Christ’s have (settled issue) crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Galatians 5:24
God is calling those who will be His to the Christ of the Bible and Biblical Christianity and to forsake all deceivers who lead us from His holy truth that preserves us to the end. Any writer or leader in any medium who does not teach the original Gospel given us - including self-crucifixion - is a false teacher, “accursed”, and to be rejected and marked (Gal. 1:6-9; Rom. 16:17-18). Because of the end-time deceptions which were to come, Paul cries with tears for 3 years and warns God's people:
"And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified." Acts 20:32
When Paul was warned by many in the church that when he went to Jerusalem (which is where he was headed), that “bonds and afflictions” awaited him. Did he change his course? No. What was his response to this great harm that lay ahead of him? Here is what he declared:
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24
If we are to “finish” the “course” of final salvation and fruitfulness in His kingdom, we must like Paul, count or consider not our lives dear unto ourselves.
The Holy Spirit simply never led any writer of the Scriptures to instruct men to love themselves. He had 66 books to do so and simply didn’t. Did the Almighty forget to tell us something we needed to know? Did He lie to us by telling us that everything and all things that pertain to life and godliness are in His Word (2 Pet. 2:3-4)? Not only did the Apostle Paul nor any other writer of the Bible teach Christians to love themselves, but he, in his own life said “neither count I my life dear unto myself.”
Andrew Murray stated:
“The great secret of abiding in Christ is the deep conviction that we are nothing, and He is everything.” Abide In Christ, p. 160
If we still hold out a vestige of hope for preserving ourselves (self-love) in this life, we are not truly dead to self and released to the LORD.
If we still hold out a vestige of hope for preserving ourselves (self-love) in this life, we are not truly dead to self and released to the LORD.
“The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:24-26
Could the words of our LORD be any clearer? The self-life must be lost in order for that person to be found in Christ. This happens when we begin to love our Savior more than ourselves and freely and volitionally ask Him to increase as we decrease (Jn. 3:30). There can be no hold out. There can be no self-preservation. Without a clear and outright death to self and commending our spirit into the hands of the Almighty who loves us, there can be no resurrection to the life of Jesus.
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12
Those who argue to justify loving self, have not yet honestly and diligently studied God’s Word and do not yet understand the life and mission of Jesus Christ. He came to die that we might have life and instructed all who would truly be His to do crucify the self-life that He might reign in us and that others might have the blessing of eternal life.
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps…Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” 1 Peter 2:21; 4:1-2
The following excerpt is taken from the PyschoHeresy Awareness Letter (PAL) which is highly recommended:
"...men shall be lovers of their own selves..."
So . . . what do you think Jesus would say to pop singer Madonna? While former reporter and atheist, now assistant pastor at Willow Creek Community Church Lee Strobel admits he’s "not pretending to have divine revelation from God on what Jesus would say," his book title, What Jesus Would Say, gives the impression he has a pretty good idea about what Jesus would say. But, we have to wonder what Jesus he’s talking about, because his Jesus sounds more like a pop-psych-pastor than God the Son. Strobel’s Jesus identifies Madonna’s problem as a self-esteem issue. Self-esteem? That’s because it’s easier to get someone to come to church if you identify one’s problem as low self-esteem instead of sin. And, contrary to what so many pastors-turned-pop-psychologist like Strobel would have you believe, the Bible says: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves. . ." (2 Timothy 3:1,2).
Promise Keepers also promote self-esteem and self-love. The following is from Promise Keepers Newsletter, Winter, 1993:
Many Christian single men have fought the battle to build their own self-worth, self-esteem, and self-love. They have learned that it is impossible to have a healthy relationship with others while having an unhealthy relationship with one’s self. Jesus recognized this when He challenged us to love our neighbor as we would love ourself (Mark 12:31).
In their eagerness to embrace psychological teachings of the world, Promise Keepers shift the thrust of the verse and make it sound as if we are commanded to love ourselves. But Jesus gave two commandments: to love God and to love neighbor. Loving self was not a commandment, but rather the manner in which to follow the second commandment. In other words, loving self is the natural human propensity. The very statement of Jesus is built on the fact that people already love themselves (see also Ephesians 5:28,29).
Christianity is about a loving relationship with the Lord and about loving one another. Christ did not teach his disciples to love themselves, but rather assumed that they already did when he said: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself" (Luke 10:27). Just as we naturally care for ourselves and want what is good for ourselves, we are to care for others and want what is good for them.
An individual wrote to us and asked how Proverbs 19:8; Proverbs 8:35,36; and Proverbs 15:32 might relate to the idea that "we already love ourselves" and "don’t hate ourselves."
Here is what we understand these verses to mean and how they do or do not relate to self-love and self-hatred. "He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good" (Proverbs 19:8). While everyone already loves himself, not all people are wise. While they may love to indulge themselves in foolishness, they do not care for their soul, their spiritual life; therefore the encouragement is to get wisdom and keep understanding. An analogy might be that we must eat to live, but those who eat unwisely do not properly care for their bodies. This verse does not refute "we already love ourselves." Proverbs 8:35 continues that same theme regarding wisdom: "For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD." These Proverbs offer two options:(1) finding God’s wisdom and thereby living a good or godly life, or (2) refusing God’s wisdom and losing the possibility for living a good life.
The next two verses speak warnings to those who choose option 2. "But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death" (Proverbs 8:36). Those of whom the verse speaks love themselves more than they love God, but in the long run they will destroy themselves. It is not that they actively "love death" or that they hate themselves.
It is that the arrogant self-indulgence of hating God and going one’s own way is spiritual death. The same is true for Proverbs 15:32, "He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding." It is not active self-hatred here but rather a warning that one’s soul is in jeopardy if one refuses the Lord’s instruction. The contrast is that those who "heareth reproof getteth understanding."
The following is from our book Prophets of PsychoHeresy II regarding self-hatred:
Now we are not saying that there are no individuals who genuinely think that they hate themselves. However, what they generally hate is something about themselves or their circumstances. They exhibit actual love for themselves in that they continue to spend most of their time concerned about themselves, even if it is with unhappy thoughts. They generally get to the point where they are unhappy about themselves because a discrepancy exists between their aspirations or desires and their performance or condition. This intensive hate is evidence of high self-interest.
The problem is always the self-focus with people who think they hate themselves or think they need to love themselves more.
In his book Life in the Spirit, Martyn Lloyd-Jones says:
The real cause of failure,ultimately, in marriage is always self and the various manifestations of self. Of course that is the cause of trouble everywhere and in every realm. Self and selfishness are the greatest disrupting forces in the world. All the major problems confronting the world, whether you look at the matter from the standpoint of nations and statesmen, or from the standpoint of industry and social conditions, or from any other standpoint—all these troubles ultimately come back to self, to ‘my rights,’ to ‘what I want,’ and to ‘who is he?’ or ‘who is she?’ Self, with its horrid manifestations, always leads to trouble, because if two ‘selfs’ come into opposition there is bound to be a clash. Self always wants everything for it-self. That is true of my self, but it is equally true of your self. You at once have two autonomous powers, each deriving from self, and a clash is inevitable. Such clashes occur at every level, from two people right up to great communities and empires and nations.
Self-esteem teachings distort the Bible, reflect the world, and appeal to the natural man. The Bible teaches believers to esteem others better than self, to love one another as we already love ourselves, and to deny self daily. (From PAL V3N2)
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11
Speaking prophetically of overcomers, the Bible says that they “LOVED NOT” their own lives even unto there own death in this fleeting world system. If this isn’t a nail in the coffin of the self-love message, then what is it? Those who overcome will be those who “love not their lives unto the death.” This is the Bible. This is the opposite of learning to love self - “they loved NOT their lives unto the death.” This is God’s Word. Self-love is the antithesis of the message of the Gospel of our LORD. Self-love is antichrist. Only the overcomers are promised eternal life in Heaven and only those who love not their own lives even unto death are overcomers and will be in Heaven (Rev. 2-3).
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2
Our thinking must be “transformed” to that which we witness in the Word that we might be fully pleasing to the One we claim to be serving. He tells us here to present our bodies a “living sacrifice.” Nothing can be left alive - all must be laid down (sacrificed) and died. The LORD desires that His “great power” and resurrection life would abide in His children (Jn. 11:25; Acts 4:33; Rom. 8:11).
Knowing God personally, living in the Spirit instead of the flesh, and devouring and obeying His Precepts, is the only safeguard against the deception and sinful desires of self-idolatry being taught by so many in leadership today in these apostate, Laodicean last days (Jn. 17:3; Rom. 8:29; Rev. 3:14-21). Jesus told us that the road was narrow and only a “few” will enter into the “narrow gate” that leads to eternal life - Heaven. As foretold by the Son of God, so very “many” are being swept away in this tidal wave of self-indulgence and deception, designed to lead men to eternal perdition (Matt. 7:13-15).
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:13-15
Ever notice in the above passage how that Christ warned that only a “few” would ultimately be in Heaven and warned that we are to “beware of false prophets” who come to us dressed like sheep and yet they are “ravening wolves.” The term Jesus used here, “ravening wolves”, means that these leaders have spiritual rabies and have come to inject the sheep of the LORD and destroy them.
Any person who, after reading numerous Scripture and finding not one verse in the Bible that teaches men to love themselves, and yet still argues to justify self-love, has been well trained under the tutelage of Satan’s emissaries.
It is when we cry out to the LORD that He cleanses us and that we then have His love and joy in our hearts and have the sense of well-being as He desires.
Look here at the first 13 verses of Psalms 51 and note the progression. It seems that when the believer calls upon the LORD in repentance (because of his sins) for His mercy and the heart is cleansed, the joy of the LORD is restored and evangelism is one of the results. This is the fulness the LORD intends for us and not the sham and propping up of sinful, depraved self by some kind of self-love that He never intended
1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways (evangelize others); and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
The Savior will make us to “hear joy and gladness” and “restore” to us “the joy of” His “salvation” when we cease leaning to our own understanding and acknowledge Him in all our ways, doing things the way His Word clearly prescribes (Prov. 3:5-6).
“Charity out of a pure heart” is the chief design of the Word of God (1 Tim. 1:5). He wants to first purge our hearts of self-love, as we fully trust Him (justifying faith) so that His love may fill us and be “spread abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.” (Rom. 5:1,5)
The “More Blessed” Life
God promises to bless us with all needs met as we seek Him first and place Him as our Supreme Master as we go forth exalting His name and Gospel and building up His holy saints. (Matt. 6:33; Phil. 4:19, etc.) Christ can only reign in the hearts of those who deny themselves. He can never reign in the heart that is full of the pride of self-love.
"I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is MORE blessed to GIVE than to receive." Acts 20:35
The “MORE blessed” life is found in giving, not in taking honor unto ourselves. It is a futile endeavor to feed the self life. Most importantly, it is utter disobedience to the LORD we claim to be serving. He is holy and commands us “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16)
Ready OR Not - Jesus Is Coming,
PRAYER of Repentance: Dear heavenly Father, I come to You by the blood of Jesus Christ and the divine grace which I do not deserve. I now repent of the sin of self-love and denounce such a lie and the disobedience which I have exercised myself in by ever espousing such. LORD, please forgive me for buying into this pride-based message. Deliver me now Jesus! I love You alone and ask You to grant me a heart of pure love, as revealed in Your Holy Word - to serve You alone and others, elevating them above myself. I am this moment crucified with Christ - to live unto Jesus and not my self desires. I now go forth to love and to serve You my LORD and Your saints and those lost souls who need to be born again. Amen.
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Essentials of False Leaders
Finding a Good Fellowship
Open Letter to all who Lead/Follow
True & False Authority
Power of Life & Death
Characteristics of Pharisees
What about the False Teachers?
Where Is Jesus In All This Noise?
Belly of the Matter
The Original Gospel
God of All Comfort
Biblical Case Against Naivety
Who Should I Believe?