Article Based On A Sermon given June 2009

Fruit of The Spirit - Self Control

Jon Bowles


Even now, every time I travel to a swimming pool, my stomach starts getting in a knot. Basically, we had a pool at school where I used to attend. Of course if we were going to go for a swim, we'd go down the corridor and walk along and go for a swim in the pool. However, when we used to do competitions, then we would get into a coach and we would travel all the way to wherever the competition was, then we'd go into somebody else's pool; and the smell of the chlorine as you went through the doors! And even to this day, when I travel somewhere and I'm going for a swim in a chlorinated pool, my stomach starts getting butterflies as soon as I walk through the door. It's almost like a reaction to the competitions we used to have when I was a teenager.

But you know, when you are looking at people who are sportsmen - and I not saying I was a sportsman as such - but someone like Muhammad Ali, they had to be very careful when dealing with their bodies. The food that they would eat, the drink, they would avoid alcohol.

Regarding Muhammad Ali, I remember reading at one time that whenever he was in a hotel - the night, or a few nights before the actual match - he would hire guards to stand literally outside his door to make sure that absolutely nobody touched the door, rattled the door handle, knocked on the door, or did absolutely anything to disturb him. He was to have total and complete silence so that he could sleep.

There's obviously exercise as well. I know as far as swimming was concerned, at school the swimming pool was on one side of the changing room, and on the other side of the changing room was a line of hot baths. It was a boarding school, and that is where the boarders (I was a day boy) used to come and have their baths. There were also places that we could come in, and actually relax. We'd run a hot bath so that it was overflowing onto the floor, and then jump into the hot bath and wait until our pulse rate went down to a certain level. And then we'd go out and do more lengths, and this is how the training would work.

The training and exercise and food and drink and sleep; turn over to I Corinthians 9:24. Here we find Paul mentioning about the same kind of thing that used to happen in ancient Greece. He draws an analogy with this next characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit, which is temperance.

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain [we are in a race, and we are running to obtain a prize]. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things..." (I Corinthians 9:24-25)

Here is the same word that is used over in Galatians 5:23 and it " temperate in all things..." (I Corinthians 9:25). You think; well temperate means balanced but no, it doesn't. If you think about the Lord's Temperance Societies that they used to have over here - they were basically to stop the sailors from drinking. It literally means self control. The old English usage of temperance is self control, and this is how it is used here, I Corinthians 9:25:

"And every man that striveth for the mastery is [self controlled] in all things [he is watching his food, his drink, his sleep, the exercise he gets]. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (I Corinthians 9:25-27)

I Corinthians 10:1:

"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud [it was the One that became Jesus Christ that was in that cloud] and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual [food]; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the [age] are come." (I Corinthians 10:1-11)

So here are the areas of the temperance or the self control that we need, looking at the example that we find here. This is what Paul is saying. He is saying; "Look at the fact that in a race, that we need to be temperate, we need to be self controlled."

The word is 'egkratela', Strong's numbers 1466, and it comes from 1468. It comes from the word 'en' 1722 which is in, or at, or on, or by, or with; and 'krator' 2904 which is vigour, strength, dominion or power. So it is with power, it is controlled. It is with control, with vigour, with strength, with dominion with that sort of control. This is the word being used here. Every man that strives for mastery is controlled, with control, in all things. He watches the things that he eats and drinks. He watches his sleep and exercise to make sure that it is controlled, what it needs to be.

Today, I want to deal with this final characteristic of temperance in an old English sense, which in a modern English idiom would probably be self control which would be far better. I want to show you first of all that this willpower, this self control isn't actually 'self' control. It is certainly controlled, but is 'with' control, 'with' dominion, 'with' watching over, but it's not self. It has got to be controlled, but not coming from self. It has to be coming from the very Spirit of God. It is one of the characteristics of the very Spirit of God. The context in which it is given is; "...the works of the flesh are manifest..." (Galatians 5:19). That you can see; so what are you controlling? Well you are controlling these works of the flesh. It's interesting that if you group them, if you take all these works of the flesh and take one and say, "Ok, which commandment spiritually, would apply to this one?" You can group them into several commandments and today I want to talk about these six areas of the commandments and show how this subject of self control applies

Self Control, But Not From The Self (PLAY FROM 09:29)

Turn over to Romans chapter 8:1 and let's see what Paul says specifically about the self control that we have, and how we gain the control:

"There is therefore now [now having the Spirit of God, that is] no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [notice; you are walking after the Spirit, not after the flesh. Not going the way the flesh would normally, naturally go. The works of the flesh remember is what we are looking at]. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)

Just looking at the subject as purely sin and death - you sin and therefore the death penalty applies. No, there are scriptures that apply where you have the actual sacrifice of Christ that covers the sin. And then the life of Christ allows us to live from this point forward, obedient to God's Law. Romans 8:3:

"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:" (Romans 8:3)

Why? Because He actually obeyed; but it is how He obeyed. How did Christ obey the Law? What was the technique? You will find that the obedience of the Law was to do with the very Spirit of God that was in Him. Romans 8:4:

"That the righteousness of the law might be [filled to the very brim] in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit [not going down the route of the works of the flesh, but after the Spirit, being led by the very Spirit of God]. For they that are after the flesh do [set their minds after] the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit." (Romans 8:4-5)

This is the difference. Here is the difference between the two groups. When we are looking at the Fruit of the Spirit, and the characteristic of self control, the way in which the control is done is through the very Spirit of God. It is the setting of the mind on things which are spiritual. Romans 8:6:

"For to be carnally minded is death [it leads to death]; but to be spiritually minded is life and [also] peace [it gives a tranquillity]. Because the carnal mind is enmity [hostile] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God [because that's where God's expression is, through His Law, His Torah, His Way, but the carnal mind is not subject to that way, that expression], neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit [in attitude], if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (Romans 8:6-9)

So we are not a Christian unless that Spirit is there, and that Spirit has got to be active. This self control therefore, doesn't come from self. It comes from the Spirit of God. This self control is not something where we set our wills to control ourselves, but it is a matter of conversion. It is converting our entire being, our entire will to being a God being's entire being and will. It is that conversion that is necessary. Romans 8:10:

"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness [the old man dies, but then it lives because the Spirit of Christ is in us, and Christ obeyed the Law in this same way, through the very Spirit that was in Him]. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you [we are looking forward into the future now]. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (Romans 8:10-13)

If you put these works of the flesh to death, done through the Spirit - we'll come on and read a little more in Galatians 5 about that, then you shall live. Romans 8:14:

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of [sonship, making of a son (Gk)], whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Romans 8:14-17)

So that's the section I wanted to read from Romans 8, but I want you to notice how the way in which he says that the righteousness of the law is filled to the brim in us, that walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. It is those that are led by the Spirit of God that are the sons of God. It is the Spirit of Christ that dwells in us, and then leads us and gives us something to follow. That allows our mind to be converted. Turn back to Galatians 5:16 and see what it says:

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16)

So if we have these characteristics, if we have the Spirit of God there, these characteristics are coming, or should be coming to the fore. Remember Christ was filled with the Spirit of God without measure, that was given to Him as it says over in John 3:34. But as far as we are concerned, to the degree we have that Spirit flowing into us, and then out in obedience to God, obedience to His Law, no longer hostile to the Law of God, in the ways of God, then you don't fulfil the lusts of the flesh. These lusts of the flesh and the works of the flesh that are mentioned here; this is how they are overcome. This is how you have self control to stop going in that direction. This is how we gain the self control, by having the Spirit of God fully flowing through us, by keeping that contact with God. By making sure we are on our knees, by making sure our nose is in this Book, by making sure that we meditate on it, that we fast when we find ourselves drifting, and that is how we overcome. That is how the self control is accomplished. Galatians 5:17:

"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." (Galatians 5:17-18)

You don't have the penalty of the law hanging over you at every turn. Why? Because you are walking in the same mindset as God goes in. If we walk in the same mindset as God, then as we are progressively converted, we will not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. Those things will be left to one side. It is that contact that is necessary.

I want to quote a little bit from an article, from the 'Good News' of March 1979, which I have quoted from before on 'What Is A Liberal?.' Certainly by all means go and have a look at the article and read it. This was written by Mr Armstrong, and he mentions here:

"What is God’s ATTITUDE? Does God really want to sin, but, because He has power of resistance, He uses willpower and does not ALLOW Himself to sin? Can you realize that SIN is absolutely ABHORRENT to God? [to the Spirit of God and to somebody led by the Spirit of God, it is also abhorrent obviously] God DOES NOT WANT TO SIN! He has no such desire! He HATES sin! He is not tempted to sin!"

And we've got to become the sons and daughters of God, with the same mind and character of God. It goes on:

"God loves and desires righteousness and holiness. That’s what He LOVES, DESIRES AND DOES! "Listen, my children in the living Christ! Do you really WANT to smoke – want to have birthday parties – want to go along with this world in its ways? Is that what you really want to do? Do you have to use self-resistance, self-discipline and willpower to prevent going along in this world’s ways? If so, you have not yet been really CONQUERED by the all-loving GOD!"

Those are strong words, but that is what he says. If that's what we want to do, but we're using our willpower, our self control, to force ourselves in a way that we don't really want to go, we haven't been conquered by God:

"If so, you do not yet have the mind of Christ or His attitude or approach to problems or questions! IF so, you’d better begin TREMBLING at the Word of God! Or, do you really hunger and thirst for God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS? You can’t have both attitudes! You have one or the other! Which is it?"

Remember what it says here; "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Galatians 5:17). You can't be going hot and cold. You've got to go one way, or you go the other, that's what God is saying. He goes down to the bottom of this article and says:

" Balaam–like Satan–the liberal wants to see how close he can come to the precipice without falling and losing his eternal life. Like Mother Eve, they use HUMAN REASON to justify straying partly away from the SPIRIT of God’s LAW. They want to keep the law in the strict letter, but not in the spirit! In his heart, the liberal would like to 'go along' at least part way with this world. But God says, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:" (Philippians 2:5). What is the mind of Christ? What is His attitude–His approach to viewing and deciding all activities?"

Just to interject, it's not just His approach now, as a fully functioning Spirit Being. It was His approach when He was here on this earth as well. This is why I say when you are coming into the subject of self control, we need to make sure, it's not really self control, it's self control by the Spirit of God through the Spirit of God through the conversion of what we are into God's mindset. That's what we're talking about. So he says:

"What is the mind of Christ? What is His attitude–His approach to viewing and deciding all activities? Does He, as I asked before, really WANT TO sin, to think and act contrary to His Law, but because of His super power, restrain Himself? We know He has never sinned. But why? Is He sinless because He has such supernatural POWER to restrain Himself?

"A THOUSAND TIMES, NO! [Yet we still tend to think that sometimes] The living Christ has never sinned because He does not want to sin! What is His MIND, that should be also in us? It is a mind that HATES sin, that LOVES righteousness. It’s a matter of ATTITUDE! The liberal is not hungering and thirsting after RIGHTEOUSNESS! He WANTS to ease off a little on God’s Law, He wants to do only as much as he has to, to receive the reward of eternal life. He has not yet fully gotten rid of the GET attitude, and come into the GIVE attitude."

There are two divergent ways. As it says; "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Galatians 5:17). That you used to be able to do. You can't go in that way. Mr Armstrong continues:

"It is Satan who deceives and puts into many human minds the desire to go as far into this world as he thinks God will allow–and into its ways of VANITY and INTELLECTUALISM (carnal, secular)–vanity of mind. Having the ATTITUDE of the 'SPIRIT OF THE LAW' is the attitude of the mind of CHRIST!" ('What Is A Liberal?.')

Why? Because He was the Anointed One. What does the word Christ mean? The Anointed One. Anointed with what? Anointed with His Spirit.

I go on and on about it and Mr Armstrong used to go on and on and on about it, about the Two Trees, the two different divergent ways of life. One is following the very Spirit of God, a Tree of Life, of real life. The other is the knowledge of good and evil, that we take to ourselves, going down Satan's way to whatever degree we choose for ourselves.

So when we look at this subject and we look at these areas here in Galatians 5, after saying all this about the two divergent approaches, he says these are contrary one towards another. But if you are led be the Spirit, you are not under the law. It is not a case of constantly worrying about being under the Law, because your mind is going in God's direction. If you are going in God's direction, (A) you think like God thinks, and (B) you will not go down a direction which is against God's Law. You will not go along the route of adultery, fornication, uncleanness, and lasciviousness. We won't go down that route. The problem is, we are not close enough to God that is the problem. That's why we have fasting, so we see the relationship. We get our relationship right and we get in contact with God and ask Him to give us His Mind, His Approach.

No Other Gods Before Me (PLAY FROM 24:41)

Now let's look at the subject "no gods before me". I presume everybody - at least those with a television - realises that Michael Jackson died yesterday. It's interesting how people mourn and weep and wail and so on. It reminds me about; "...women weeping for Tammuz." (Ezekiel 8:14). Look at what happened at the death of Princess Diana, and people were weeping for her. They had never met her and had no real concept about her at all, but they saw this media image. It does remind you of this frame of mind that we find today.

Turn to II Timothy 3:1. There is a problem today and certainly Michael Jackson and the media, generally tend to show this problem to some degree:

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come [there will be times of stress and the reason for it is:]. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, [and it also goes on in verse 4:] Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;" (II Timothy 3:1-4)

So you are looking at a time when pleasure is going to be everything; trying to gain everything for the moment. Certainly when we are looking at 'no gods before me', you look at drunkenness and revelry that we find today. All you have to do is look at the British streets, after dark, in fact, before dark at this time of year anyway. The streets are overtaken by youngsters that are in the clubs and all the bars. The revelry; 'the drunkards of Ephraim certainly does fit.' (Isaiah 28) I was reading an article the other day. I'll just read it to you. It says:

"Sonny Granger, age 12 is described as a one boy wave of terror. He's been expelled from three schools. He has tormented the lives of his neighbours. To his mother however, Sonny's problem is not discipline. She says "Sonny is suffering from Oppositional Defiant Disorder, ODD, which causes him to be hostile to authority figures."

So that's the reason why he has got this problem!

"ODD is said to affect up to sixteen percent of children. The treatment includes anger management, and teaching of social skills. But some argue the real problem is these youngsters have never been taught how to think of others or how to make sense of their own emotions."

Very true, very true, they have never been taught, that's the problem. It goes on:

"What is lacking in many other cases, what many schools fail to prioritise is the acquisition of grit, self discipline, and a sense of self awareness. Evidence from around the world shows that these skills contribute to as much success in work and life as IQ. They appear unable to exercise self discipline or delay gratification."

That's the problem. There is no delay in gratification in society and in the world today. As it says here; "For men shall be lovers of their own selves... Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;" (II Timothy 3:2,4). They will go for whatever pleasure happens to be there at that particular time. If we go over to II Timothy 3:13 here, it says:

"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;" (II Timothy 3:13-14)

In other words, you go and you get back to basics. You get back on track. You put the things of God first. If we were walking in the Spirit, if we are being led by the Spirit of God, it will always put the things of God first. It will put the things of God first in balance, but it will put them first. If we are walking, and being led by the Spirit of God, then drunkenness and revelry will not be there. They won't be put as gods before the true God. II Timothy 3:15:

"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine [or is God Breathed, comes from the very Spirit of God], for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect [mature], thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (II Timothy 3:15-17)

Ready to take the position necessary in the future, following the Spirit of God, following the mind of God. Having the same kind of mind as our Father, and our elder Brother. That's what it's all about. So when we are looking at self control, it will certainly be there. What will be controlled? The self will be going in the direction of God, as a God Being, as Christ was on this earth. There will be therefore a difference from what we were in previous times. You can't go ahead and do the same things, and live the same way that we used to. Here in I Peter 4:3 it says:

"For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:" (I Peter 4:3-4)

We can't go down that route again. We can't go in that direction. There is a change in overall direction that is necessary as I will point out as we go on and look at some of the other areas. That change in direction has got to happen early. If you know that some people are throwing a party and you know from previous experience, that at that party there are drugs and alcohol that goes way beyond what it ought to. It's not a case of going to the party and then saying, "No". You don't go out for a date with some married woman - even in the church - and then expect to retrieve the situation after that. That's not the way it works. You stop the problem early. It's this drunkenness and revelry. It says; "Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:" (I Peter 4:4). You draw the line early. Turn over to II Peter 2:12:

"But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;" (II Peter 2:12-13)

The indication is here, that this was a problem within the church. And where does it come from? II Peter 2:14:

"Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water..." (II Peter 2:14-17)

In other words, the Spirit of God isn't there, it is not yet in evidence. You are looking at the carnal mind being there, and yet they were in the church, giving problems within the Church. We have seen this, and we probably haven't seen the last of it either. II Peter 2:17:

"...clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever [that kind of mindset will never, ever surface in the Kingdom of God]. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." (II Peter2:17-19)

We've seen it. We've seen it in the antinomian attitudes of mind that are in the Church, that came into the Church. The idea that God's Law is Old Covenant, therefore we can disregard it. That's a load of nonsense. The New Covenant is that that Law is now written in the heart, that's the New Covenant. It's the same Spiritual Law that has always been. It is the same way that God has lived - from eternity - expressed in ten words, ten phrases, through the Ten Commandments. II Peter 2:20:

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, [Note - the WAY of righteousness] than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." (II Peter 2:20-22)

Going back to the Protestant way, where they think Christ's blood covers all sin and saves you. Christ's blood doesn't save us. It is the life of Christ that saves us. Christ's blood reconciles us to the Father. It reconciles us so that the life of Christ can then save us from that point forward. (Romans 5:10) That life is the life of Christ, the Anointed One, the Spirit of God, the same mindset that God has, and that mindset is how we have self control. It is the control that comes from a mindset that is converted. A mindset that is going in God's direction. That is the difference. So you are not into drunkenness and revelry, you are not putting a god before the true God. The true God will always come first in a mindset like that. As Mr Armstrong said:

"Does [Christ] really WANT TO sin, to think and act contrary to His Law, but because of His super power, restrain Himself? We know He has never sinned. But why? Is He sinless because He has such supernatural POWER to restrain Himself? A THOUSAND TIMES, NO! The living Christ has never sinned because He does not want to sin!" ('What Is A Liberal?.')

That's what our mind also needs to become like. It needs to be led by the same Spirit that was in Christ. The same Spirit that is in the Father, the same direction that emanates from the Father. It is that we are baptized into that one Spirit. Therefore, the Fruit of the Spirit are these characteristics. One of which is this word 'temperance' which is self control. It expresses itself in a self control against drunkenness and revelry that you would find within society today. There is a distinction between those that have that mindset and those that don't. Turn over to Philippians 3:17:

"Brethren, be followers together of me [Paul had that mindset, he was wanting to go and run in the Way of God], and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, 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, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)" (Philippians 3:17-19)

Who set their mind on earthly things as it says; "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit." (Romans 8:5). That is not some kind of airy, fairy nonsense. It is just that it is going in a direction which is a Godly direction. In fact, Christ came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. Before Christ came we didn't have life, there was no life there. The real true abundant life comes from this mindset. That's the kind of life that we will enjoy for eternity. Philippians 3:20:

"For our [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ [that elder Brother, that One who has already gone through the process, we look and wait for Him so that we can then be with Him, with the same mindset, led by that same Spirit, having that same Spirit]: 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 3:20-21)

But that will not happen unless the mind is converted. Converted from being human, to being a God mind, the mind of the Eternal God, the same mind that God has. And such a mindset will not go down a way of drunkenness and revelry, a way that is away from God. Yes, it will have a drink, but it will not go down the way of drunkenness. Yes, it will enjoy getting together and having fellowship, but it will not be revelry in the way the world does. There is a difference.

Idolatry (PLAY FROM 39:39)

So, coming on the third point; idolatry. That includes idolatry, witchcraft, seditions, and heresies, because when you are looking at; "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image..." (Exodus 20:4) and worship a graven image, what you are looking at is different from having 'no other gods before me'. Having no other gods before me, is putting something before the true God. Not having a graven image is the way in which we go ahead and worship that true God. How do we worship that true God? It's not with idolatry, or witchcraft or seditions or heresies. It is not with a false religion, in other words.

The only reason why we can open this book, the Bible and we can understand the things that are in here is that these things have been revealed at this time - this juncture of history - when many will run to and fro, and knowledge will be increased. I was reading a book the other day and it mentioned that from the time of the Wright Brothers to the time Neil Armstrong landed on the moon- do you know how many years that was? - 66 years. Just a mere 66 years. And in that time, an individual appeared on the earth that proclaimed the gospel of the Kingdom, which is the meaning of human life, and gave what this Bible actually says, going back to the basics. It says here in Matthew 17:10:

"And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that [Elijah] must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, [Elijah] truly shall first come, [he will in the future, and by that time John the Baptist was dead. So He is not talking about John the Baptist. An individual would come within Israel, within the nations of Israel and it says;] and restore all things." (Matthew 17:10-11)

One of the things that has been restored - the truth that has been revealed at this time - that we walk in that Way that has been revealed. The only reason we can open this Book and we can understand it in the way that we do, is because of God's spirit and the revelation given tothat individual. Therefore it is imperative that we hold onto that.

Turn over to Revelation 3:10. I know we read it over and over and sometimes we can forget what it really says:

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of [trial], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth [so there is patience that is going to be necessary for this group of individuals]. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast [the truth revealed through the Holy Spirit is very much part of that], that no man take thy crown." (Revelation 3:10-11) It's the lack of the love of the truth, as mentioned over in II Thessalonians 2:10.

False religion, this idolatry, the witchcraft, the sedations, the heresies, the Spirit of the Law is to do with how we worship God; what we do, how we understand this particular Book. Turn over to II Corinthians 2:17, we find here about Paul, as their apostle to the Corinthian Church:

"For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ." (II Corinthians 2:17)

"As in Christ". In other words, the words coming to the people in Corinth were coming from somebody who was recognizing that they were speaking on behalf of Christ. As if Christ were actually dwelling in the individual speaking. They do not therefore corrupt the Word of God, but are in sincerity, as of God, as if God was actually speaking. In the sight of God. Recognizing that God knows exactly what is going on. He can see what is being said today, right now as I am speaking. Therefore, we have to be in sincerity, in truth, as in the sight of God. We speak as if in Christ. II Corinthians 4:2:

"But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." (II Corinthians 4:2)

We don't twist the Word of God. It's not taking the Word of God and deceitfully using it, but using it as what it actually says. When you look at it, as what it actually says, it is to do with God's ways and God's lifestyle. It is to do with the fact of what God is, His character. That word is faithfully applied. This is why when he comes to II Corinthians 11:1 he is able to say what he does, and he therefore starts becoming very sarcastic to them when he says:

"Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted [shrivelled or ruined, Strong's 5351] from the simplicity that is in Christ [you've got something but you've got it all twisted]. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. For I suppose I was not a [little tiny part behind these super-duper] apostles." (II Corinthians 11:1-5)

These 'wonderful apostles', that you seem to be worshipping. These people, that are coming to them as if sent. He then goes on and describes what they're like in II Corinthians 11:10:

"As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia [that's the region of Corinth where they were]. Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth. But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off [the opportunity] from them which desire occasion [or opportunity]; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." (II Corinthians 11:10-15)

We find it today, we've found it in the Church. Therefore if you want to combat this false religion, combat the idolatry, the witchcraft, the seditions and the heresies... But if you were to say; "What do you mean witchcraft?"...then you've never been down to Nigeria! Because in Nigeria, the Church went into witchcraft. God's Church descended into that. So it is not to be taken lightly! But if you want to get rid of the idolatry, the seditions, the heresies, this mixed-up position the Church finds itself in now, we have to get back to basics. We have to get back to the truth. We have to recognize that that truth comes through the Holy Spirit.

It is a certain approach, it is a Way, the Two Trees, the two ways of life - the way of give and the way of get. It says; "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils." (I Corinthians 10:21). You cannot mix one with the other. You can't go in two directions at the same time. Yet it does prophesy; "And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;" (Matthew 24:49). Going down in the Protestant direction, the idolatry that is there within the Church. And how do we combat that? How do make sure we get over it? We make sure we have the self control. We make sure we are on track. We do this by going back to basics. We go back to the Spirit of God. We get on our knees.

People write to me and they say; "Who shall I fellowship with? How do I know what is right? How can I sort this mess out that's in the Church?" I write back and invariably I reply; "You can't. You cannot sort out this mess. The only thing you can do is to go to God, get on your knees and you ask Him for guidance. And He will lead you, if you are in contact, if you accept that sacrifice of Christ, and you accept the Way in which God will lead you. He will sort it out for you." There is no other way of doing it. If anybody is hearing my voice on the internet right now and is in a quandary at the moment, you will not sort it out yourself. You have got to go to God about it. It's the same with all these kinds of heresies; idolatry, witchcraft and all the rest of it. You can't sort it out. The way to sort it out is to take it to God in the right kind of frame of mind. Isaiah 66 talks about the right kind of frame of mind.

Murder (PLAY FROM 49:36)

Another area that we can look at, is murder; "Thou shalt not kill." (Exodus 20:13). It is a very simple commandment, but you find clearly that Christ expanded that commandment a great deal. And the areas that He covered would be hatred, variance, which means to be at odds with somebody, wrath, strife, murders, murdering people in your mind, murdering people with the tongue particularly, as we will go on and see. Matthew 5:21:

"Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of [Ghenna]." (Matthew 5:21-22)

The way in which we use our tongue is vital, that is what it's talking about here, tongue control; "...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matthew 12:34). Because here we are looking at self control, and looking at the control that comes from having the Spirit of God dwelling in us, the same mind of Christ within us. Notice in Matthew 12:33:

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." (Matthew 12:33)

Two trees, okay? Two trees, and the tree is known by its fruit. It is either the tree of life, or it's the tree of death. It's the tree of knowledge of good and evil which we take to ourselves; or it's the tree of life which God defines and God determines. One is the Spirit of God, and the other is the spirit of the world. One is the way of give, the other is the way of get. You; "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt..." (Matthew 12:33). Part of the fruit of the very Spirit of God is self control. But it is a type of self control that is not just forcing yourself to go against your will. It's allowing God's very mind to be there so that we go in God's Way, in God's direction. Matthew 12:34:

"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? [we are looking at this murder, hatred, variance, wrath, and strife that comes out of our heart, because this is where it starts, if the core of us is evil, then we have to get that straight first] for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:34-37)

So when we look at these works of the flesh in this area of murder, hatred, variance, wrath and strife, a large degree of it starts in the heart, it goes out in the tongue, and you murder people with the tongue. That is what we do. So very often that is the way it actually happens. Turn over to Matthew 15:10:

"And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. [Verse 17] Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man." (Matthew 15:10-11,17-20)

You might get a runny tummy, but it's not going to defile you inside out. Turn over to James 1:16, James goes into this subject a great deal, and here he says:

"Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:16-17)

His Way, is His Way, is His Way. It is an outgoing Way, it is the Way of the Creator, our Loving Creator. And even when He corrects us, it is in a loving way, in a loving direction. James 1:18:

"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth [coming from God], that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God [we are looking at, hatred, variance, wrath, murder, and strife; the wrath of man doesn't work the righteousness of God]. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and [overflowing of evil], and receive with meekness the engrafted word [the implanted Word, the Word that has been given to us, coming from God, from the very Spirit of God], which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: [Verse 25] But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work [the work of that Word is what is being talked about], this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain." (James 1:18-23,25-26)

It actually means, fruitless. So if the tongue isn't bridled, then it's fruitless. Go to James 2:10:

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:10-12)

He's not talking about literally killing, He's talking about how we speak. Do we kill one another with our tongues? "So speak ye, and so do..." (James 2:12). Even though we might not commit adultery, or lean in that direction; but if we kill, if our words stab somebody else in the back, then we are breaking the law and becoming a transgressor. "So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." (James 2:12). Because as it says here in James 3:2:

"For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." (James 3:2)

Why? Because it comes out of the heart. Make the tree good, and then the fruit will be good, the fruit of self control. If you are to be self controlled in this area of the voice, the tongue, and murdering and not stabbing people in the back, then it has got to get right from the core. We have got to get the spirit right. We have got to get our relationship with God on track for that to be the case. Notice what it says in James 3:8.

"But the tongue can no man tame..." (James 3:8)

Notice that? You and I cannot control our tongues. Why? Well, because it's out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. The heart has got to be changed. The heart has got to be converted and there is your self control. There is the control as a fruit of the very Spirit of God of a converted heart. This expresses itself in the area of murder, in the area of tongue control. Notice James 3:9:

"Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh." (James 3:9-12)

In other words; it is a problem with the source, the problem with the actual fountain itself, with the spirit that is there, the spirit has got to get sorted out. James 3:14:

"But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish [we can't do what we will, we can't do what we had been doing before, we can't go down that route, we have got to have a converted approach, a converted mindset]. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated [approachable], full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:14-18)

James 4:1:

"From whence come wars and fightings among you?... [What is the solution to this? The solution it says in verse 6] ...resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded [not trying to go in two different directions at once, so you are single minded, and it's again self control because the Spirit of God is there]. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." (James 4:1,6-10)

You get the core put right and the rest will then follow, the rest will then proceed as it needs to proceed.

Adultery (PLAY FROM 1:01:02)

Again there are various areas of sexual immorality that we can look at: adultery, fornication, uncleanness and lasciviousness that are mentioned over in Galatians 5:19. There are three examples that I want to look at briefly. First of all ancient Israel. Let's turn over to Numbers 25:1. Here we find ancient Israel which did not have the Spirit of God... there was nothing there. It was there as an example for us, not to lust after evil things:

"And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the [Eternal] was kindled against Israel. [Verse 16] And the [Eternal] spake unto Moses, saying, Vex the Midianites, and smite them: For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor's sake." (Numbers 25:1-3,16-18)

If you notice just at the end of Numbers 24:25:

"And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way." (Numbers 24:25)

The Midianites had got advice from Balaam who had directly disobeyed God, who had directly gone away from God. He knew he couldn't curse Israel, but he gave Balak the one way to strike against Israel, which was to make them sin against God.

When we are looking at immorality, we see Israel and the subject of fornication dealt with here; and the reason for it is they had no Spirit of God. They were not going in God's way at all. They acted like animals basically in the way that they behaved. That was how that Balaam and Balak and Midianites were able to go ahead and do what they did. That was their weak spot and they were able to therefore corrupt them. Phinehas and others had a different approach. I Samuel 16:13, let's just remind ourselves here:

"Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed [David] in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the [Eternal] came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah." (I Samuel 16:13)

From the time of I Samuel 16:13, we see the Spirit of God was working with David. And if we look in Psalm 51:1 where he writes the Psalm specifically after his adultery with Bathsheba he brings this out:

"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. [Verse 10] Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me." (Psalm 51:1-2,10-11)

That's the solution. So he sinned, but the solution was to go ahead and restore that Spirit. To go back to the same mindset that he'd had. To make sure as far as immorality was concerned, that the mindset would be changed.

Another one where we see somebody who did it correctly and that was Joseph. I want you to notice what actually happened. Notice in Genesis 41:38:

"And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?" (Genesis 41:38)

So there is a very good chance that even at that stage, Joseph had the Spirit of God working with him. Certainly God - the One that became Jesus Christ - was working with him. Every indication is that Joseph will be there in the Kingdom of God. I want you to notice in Genesis 39:7 what led up to this:

"And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? [His entire view was right, he was sinning against God, and he is making sure that the steps that he took were early] And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her." (Genesis 39:7-10)

He wouldn't come and lie and sit with her, nor even be with her. I don't know how many of you have actually driven a tractor and a trailer. A tractor and trailer by itself is no problem, but it can be when you put a load of hay or silage on the back of the trailer. When my parents had the land opposite us, we had a hay field which was right at the top of the land. There was a narrow, rather tortuous track that used to go down from the hay field, down to the buildings at the bottom of the valley where we would cross the ford and come to my own buildings where we stored the hay.

To get the tractor off the hayfield you had to put it in gear, in low gear, at the very top of the hayfield. If you were merrily going along in top gear at the top of the hayfield and you kept it in top gear and you just took off down the hill, you could end up dead - and people do. All the time here in Wales people are killed because tractors roll over, because they didn't select the gear high enough up the hill. You can't suddenly decide to change your mind half way down the hill, because the brakes aren't going to hold you - especially when you have a load of hay or silage in the back of you. You will just get steadily faster and faster and faster until you turn over and end up dead. The gear has got to be chosen at the top of a hill, at the beginning.

This was why the college rule was, no male or female who were not married were not to be in offices without the door open. Mr Armstrong drew the line as far as necking was concerned. You don't neck. Now when you get engaged, you might kiss your wife-to-be, but you don't neck. You draw the line far enough back; because he knew it was all part of the very sex act itself. You don't wait until the very last minute and then think "I'm not going to have sex with that woman." That's a load of absolute nonsense as far as immorality is concerned.

Self control is the way in which our mind has got to go. The way in which Joseph's mind went was along the line of God's mind. He could see. He said; " then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9). Psalms 119:32, David said:

" I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart." (Psalm 119:32)

Get the heart right and we will run God's Way. Get our relationship with God right, and we will go in God's direction, that is how we have self control. It is part of the very Fruit of the Spirit of God, part of having the Spirit of God within us, being led by that Spirit, having the Spirit of Christ, the same mindset that Christ had. We will therefore not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. We will not go in that direction and we will draw the line early enough. The Words of God will come to us early enough so that we don't go down that route.

Covetousness (PLAY FROM 1:10:02)

Covetousness, emulations, envious rivalry and envyings. You can see it many times within scripture. Joseph's brothers were a case in point, they envied Joseph. You see how Cain hated Abel. If you turn over to Isaiah 14:12, here is a classic one which is where the very spirit and mind of this world, that becomes human nature actually comes from:

"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 [he wanted to be equal to God]. Yet thou shalt be brought down to [Sheol], to the sides of the pit." (Isaiah 14:12-15)

Actually locked away in the bottomless pit and kept from the nations. Eventually he will be in a place of restraint for eternity, never, ever again to influence with that attitude of mind, within the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God cannot have that frame of mind which is trying to get something for themselves that doesn't belong to them. It is not the way of God. It is not the mindset of God. It is self-centeredness. The opposite of covetousness really, is contentment, having a contentment. Turn to Hebrews 13:5 and notice:

"Let your [conduct] be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)

You don't have to worry and fret, and stew, and fight with emulations and envy. That's not necessary. If we are plugged into the vine, if we have that Spirit of God, if we are being led by that Spirit, if we are going in that direction and our mind is allowing the mind of Christ to actually be in us. Hebrews 13:6:

"So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me [this area of being content with what you have, it goes on beyond even just physical things, notice]. Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their [conduct]. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with [food or diets], which have not profited them that have been occupied therein." (Hebrews 13:6-9)

So often we can go ahead and not be content with what we have doctrinally as well. We want to go in a different direction. It is God who determines doctrine within His Church. If we go down a different way, if we are led by a different spirit, if we are led by a different high priest, we are no longer in the Church of God. If we remain in the Church of God, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. If we turn over to Philippians 4:6 it says:

"Be careful [don't become over anxious, don't become unglued] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

We are not going to be continuously covetous, emulating, envying, wanting what's not ours. This will therefore give us a certain degree of peace, a peace that Christ Himself had. Philippians 4:8:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8)

Get your mind on these things. In other words, the Fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith and this temperance, get your mind on these kind of things, and you won't fulfil those of the flesh, that's what it says. Philippians 4:9:

"Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you [it's a way of life which is following the very Spirit of God]. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:9-13)

Again in Romans 8; the Spirit of Christ which dwells in us. We are led by that Spirit and we are able therefore to have contentment. The self control to have that contentment because it's coming from the very Spirit of God. You are not going to be emulating and envying people. You are not going to have envious rivalry with individuals. Galatians 5:22 again:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance [or this self control, it's not exactly self control, but this control is a way to fulfil the Way of God rather than the way of Satan]: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

As it says in Galatians 5:16:

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and [if you do that] ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16)