MURDER IN OUR HEARTS
Priscilla Van Sutphin
June 4th, 2007
“In this essay I want to focus on murder (homicide), which is the tenth leading cause of death for males in the United States (much less common for females).”
The top 10 countries for homicide conviction in 2003 were:
TOP TEN COUNTRIES FOR HOMICIDE, 2003
COUNTRY PER 100,000
(1) Colombia 63
(2) South Africa 51
(3) Jamaica 32
(4) Venezuela 32
(5) Russia 19
(6) Mexico 13
(7) Lithuania 10
(8) Estonia 10
(9) Latvia 10
(10) Belarus 9
Global Report on Violence and Health
Even in 2002 the statistics gathering for world-wide homicide rates shows huge gaps. The 2002 WORLD REPORT ON VIOLENCE AND HEALTH published by the World Health Organization (WHO, Geneva) lists murder rates for 75 countries. Eight of the ten countries included in the 1970s Interpol list do not appear in the WHO list. Such huge countries as India, Pakistan and Indonesia are omitted -- as are all African countries. Jamaica appears in the list reporting a dubious 2 murders for 1991. Trinidad & Tobago are shown as having 11.4 murders per 100,000. I have extracted the ten worst countries for murder from the 75 listed by the WHO report
SELECTED WORST CITIES MURDER (LATE-1990s) EUROPE AND USA
(1) Washington, D.C., USA 69.3
(2) Philadelphia, USA 27.4
(3) Dallas, USA 24.8
(4) Los Angeles, USA 22.8
(5) Chicago, USA 20.5
(6) Phoenix, USA 19.1
(7) Moscow, Russia !!! 18.1
(8) Houston, USA 18.0
(9) New York City, USA 16.8
(10) Helsinki, Finland 12.5
(11) Lisbon, Portugal 9.7
(12) San Diego, USA 8.0
(13) Amsterdam, Netherlands 7.7
(14) Belfast, N.Ireland, UK 4.4
(15) Geneva, Switzerland 4.2
(16) Copenhagen, Denmark 4.0
(17) Berlin, Germany 3.8
(18) Paris, France 3.3
(19) Stockholm, Sweden 3.0
(20) Prague, Czechoslovakia 2.9
III. HOMICIDE RATES IN THE UNITED STATES
For the United States I have extracted the most & least dangerous States based on FBI Uniform Crime Reports for the year 2003:
TEN WORST STATES FOR MURDER, 2003
STATE PER 100,000
(1) Louisiana 13.0
(2) Maryland 9.5
(3) Mississippi 9.3
(4) Nevada 8.8
(5) Arizona 7.9
(6) Georgia 7.6
(7) South Carolina 7.2
(8) California 6.8
(9) Tennessee 6.8
(10) Alabama 6.6
TEN WORST LARGE CITIES FOR MURDER, 2002
CITY PER 100,000
(1) Washington, DC 45.8
(2) Detroit 42.0
(3) Baltimore 38.3
(4) Memphis 24.7
(5) Chicago 22.2
(6) Philadelphia 19.0
(7) Columbus 18.1
(8) Milwaukee 18.0
(9) Los Angeles 17.5
(10) Dallas 15.8
The chance of being murdered in Washington,DC in 1990 was 3 times greater than the chance of an American soldier being killed in the Gulf War. The average American city with a population of 250,000 or greater has a murder rate of about 20, whereas cities in the 100,000 to 250,000 range have a rate of about 12. About as many Americans were killed (over 54,000) in New York City between 1962 and 2002 as died in the Vietnam War, but the murder rate in 2002 was only about a quarter what it was in 1990, when there were a record 2,245 murders. Mayor Giuliani is credited with the transformation.
Today I talked to a friend of mine. During the conversation she mentioned that God had led her to go to a gym. At the spa in the gym, she meets a man with all these terrible surgery looking scars on his body so asks him how he came to have so many. He said he used to kill people for our government. That he had died twice but was brought back to life. He had gone someplace for a year to get “deprogrammed”. I can’t give any more information for obvious reasons, but this seemed like a good lead in to this topic. He is called to apostleship and had already been told that by someone else so she was able to give him resources for getting trained in Christ.
Matt 5:21-24 NIV "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder , and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Now if I only expound on this scripture it should be enough. There is a lot said in this statement of the Word. First Jesus says, that there is a higher level principle of His Kingdom He wanted to teach than what they had heard. In the old testament it was an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. But here He says, ANYONE ANGRY WITH HIS BROTHER IS SUBJECT TO JUDGMENT.
Now if you say, you’ve never been angry, for me it would be hard to believe.
I’ve been subject to alot of violence in my life, but not nearly as much as many others. I’ve also been the perpetrator of anger and rage. We have all sinned and ARE FALLING SHORT as the Greek says. We are told to be angry but do not sin in another scripture. So it’s not the feeling alone that makes us guilty. It is GIVING IN TO THE FEELINGS, and ruminating on them, and entertaining sins like vengeance, resentment, murder, hatred. The Word says be angry but SIN NOT. So you can get angry and have a pity party and get out your anger to GOD, but it is NOT ok to stay angry, give in to those emotions devouring you and everyone else around you. You have to purge your heart of the offense, and confess your pain, and sins, because anger most often comes from PAIN endured which led then to anger. Emotional healing takes time but it is possible to be free through the work of the Holy Spirit.
I endured sexual, physical and emotional abuse as a toddler from my stepfather OTO Freemasons, and abandonment from my mother which happened over and over again, so for years and I had "anger issues". I had rage in my heart and even to this day, I struggle sometimes to not over-react to injustice done to children or myself from time to time. I had alot of demonic infestation till I was able to confess the pain and face the situations that made me so hurt, and forgive those who hurt me.
It may come from rejection commonly. In which case you also have to repent of giving in to thoughts of rejection also, not just the anger, hatred,& rage. As that is not biblical or what God thinks of you. You are precious treasure in HIS SIGHT. We are to BELIEVE His WORD, and not the lies. So You have to work through the emotions with God, and then forgive that person who caused the offense from the HEART, not just your MIND, and WILL. Oftentimes the heart takes longer, so the first two are good to start with, and as you pray, HE will bring the rest [ your heart ] to fullness of forgiveness.
Surface forgiveness is NOT ENOUGH. It has to come all the way out. When I say work through the emotions with God, I mean you can yell at HIM, ask HIM why He allowed it, punch a pillow or scream in His presence. It’s ok cause HE knows you are angry. He knows ALL your feeings and thoughts, and so does Satan. But Satan doesn’t want you getting it out to GOD. He wants to permeate your armor and cause a stronghold to develop of hatred, rage, anger, murder that consumes you and takes you away from God and His presence.
How do you know it’s all the way out ? If you can pray for that person and send love to them in the spirit, then you have overcome. If you can hear their name without bristling, that’s another good test. If you don’t go through all this process of forgiveness, resentment sets in and then bitterness causing defilement.
Apathy about the person is not the same as forgiveness. In fact it runs closer to murder. If you don't care for them at all, then you don't care if they live or die.
Jesus next goes further and tells them that even calling your brother a FOOL can earn you HELL ! WHOA ! How many of us could get convicted for doing this. One of the hallmarks of perfectionism is pride in thinking you know better than everyone else, impatience with others, and frustration and intolerance of other’s opinions, thoughts, ideas, actions/behavior. That impatience and intolerance is rampant in today’s society all over the world. Jesus is calling us to be like HIM. To come higher in the area of LOVE. In another scripture He tells us to LOVE our ENEMIES, to be good to those who hate us, to pray for those who spitefully use us. We have ALL been spitefully used one way or anothers. But it is showing love to those who don’t deserve it, that is one of the Savior’s most endearing qualities, that He wants to work into us.
When the Pennsylvania Amish forgave the murderer of their children, THAT was and exemplification of what He meant. It was starkly in contrast to most of what you see on the news, even from some Christians, so it stood out to all of us. Perhaps their set-apartness actually has done them more good than all our sanctimonious pretense ? Discipline to love is the WHOLE of Christian learning. We must learn to throw off the old man and all his ways of thinking and embrace the unthinkable paradigm JESUS set for us.
This requires attention to detail. Like I spoke of in the article on suspicion, forgiveness and sanctification is PROCESS. We must EAT THE SCROLL, and keep on eating it as if it were like our physical food need. We need the WORD of LIFE to cleanse our mind daily. We have to ruminate on it, just like our food has to be digested, we have to digest and think upon the Word.
Joshua 1:8 NKJV This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Ex 20:13 "You shall not murder . NIV
Ex 20:13 "You shall not murder. NKJV
Now in the old testament there was place given for those who killed in self defense. So there is much rationalization for war, and killing. It’s not that war or killing people is right. It’s that God knew the violence in our hearts, and how many would NOT follow His ways, and provided for those who defended themselves against atrocities.
When Jesus came, there were many times they tried to kill him, but he escaped through supernatural means until it was HIS TIME to die. Until it was His time, he was protected. The same is true for us. So we have nothing to FEAR. God will NOT allow those who are in relationship with HIM, or for whom HE has a call on their life to die before their time. We must be confident in this.
Years back when I was living in the first apartment near the front gate, I befriended a woman who was Jewish, and from Florida. Her boyfriend was and ex mafia hitman, Marty. Marty was usually stoned on heroin. He had some pretty powerful demons on him. I can remember battling with some of the sexual ones. He was about 6 ft 2 in. and a very handsome but jaded man. I invited some friends over once to talk with me to him and he broke down recognizing the peace we all had in us, and said HE WANTED THAT.
So we prayed with him and later he was baptized in the pool. So was his girlfriend who’d just had a baby with him. So they named him “Matthew” which means gift of God. When we prayed for him after the baptism, he said he felt electricity like power going through his body when I laid hands on him. It was so awesome to have had the privilege to lead them to Jesus.
Sometime later, he fell back into heroin and was out on the street, and she had gone home to Florida, after her briss for the baby. I have to say, I was not totally unafraid in ministering to Marty.
But God provided friends to help, and it taught me so much about the grace of GOD to have been involved with them. His girlfriend was a former prostitute and had two other children by other men. She did cling to the Lord and stayed with Him. Turned out Marty was a cousin to my doctor’s husband so once in a while I ask her if they’ve heard from him, hoping to hear something positive. But nothing yet. It’s been years, so I don’t know where he is, but hoping he is back walking with the LORD by now. Haven’t heard from her, lost track, and she never communicated after a while. But I know they are in HIS HANDS.
Matt 15:18-20 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder , adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.'"
Here Jesus says out of the HEART come evil thoughts, like murder, etc. So we don’t only need demons around, but our flesh is also prone to do evil by nature. It is the FLESH we are trying to subdue. It is constantly at war with the spirit living inside of us, and our discipline to seek the presence of GOD must be foremost, to gain the grace to OBEY.
One time we were in a small group from Harvest Rock and praying for CHINA when I had a vision of mothers killing their children. Then GOD told me that “murder was the highest form of witchcraft !” I had not thought of it that way before. But rebellion is as witchcraft it says in 1 Samuel, and murder is the end of rebellion, or what a spirit of rebellion tries to lead us to. That is the enemy’s goal. Rejection Satan wants to use to cause you to commit suicide, to think you are worthless so you will kill yourself.
One of the biggest mistakes I have made in my own walk is to be obedient to forgive, but to not take time with the Lord to work through the EMOTIONS. There is process to healing those emotions and we cannot bypass the process. You must get out the emotions and put away the old man, laying all your rights at the cross of Jesus CHRIST.
I find if I don’t work through the emotions, and deal with my feelings, I still hold on to the unforgiveness in part. So we cannot just smooth it over and as many teach, oh just put it behind you. That is saying stuff it down inside you. That is not the same as putting it behind you or laying it at the cross. To successfully put it behind you, you need to completely forgive from the heart, not just the mind and will. YOUR WHOLE SOUL need healing, not just a part of it ! If we don’t, it leaves unfinished business in our hearts that God still has to touch to be completely free.
For example in wound healing [ having been a nurse for 20 yrs ] if there is an infection in a wound and you just sew it up, and close the wound, but the infection is still in there, later it has potential as I’ve seen for the wound to grow more infected from within and it burst the stitches, and caused the wound to gape open. So then we would have to irrigate the infected wound with peroxide [ oxygen heals] to debride the wound, then give antibiotics to by IV to kill the infection and cover the wound with dressings off and on, till it healed up from the inside out ! Then later they could sew it up again once the infection was under control.
It takes almost 2 years for any wound to completely heal the matrix of tissues that have to come together and be reorganized to fill in that gap.
Now if that is true in the physical, what does that say about the spiritual ?
If a surgeon leaves in an instrument on the inside of the patient, it can cause further delay of healing a surgical wound. It’s like having a thorn in your foot, it seems like such a small thing, yet it can cause great pain and discomfort. The same is true with emotional wounds. They must be treated with LOTS OF LOVE and affection and ALL the infection must be taken out to be totally healed. It takes time to overcome the distrust and fears that come from abuse. Much of the lack of healing in many people leads to abberant behavior and thinking because doors are open wide to the enemy to come in, and then they are prone to do things they would not ordinarily do.
Mark 10:18-21 NIV "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good-except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: 'Do not murder , do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'" 20 "Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy." 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
Only Jesus was good. We like to think of ourselves as good. You see it all the time when Kirk Cameron interviews people asking if they think they are a good person and almost always they say YES. The thing is GOD made us for relationship with HIM, so we have an instinct in our conscience to do what is right and good, but it gets overridden sometimes, and we tend to rationalize our hearts, not wanting to admit we do bad things. We are sinners saved by grace. To the lost this seems stupid and they mock, but it is truth. We think evil thoughts, we think to do bad things, but the older we get in HIM, the less we give into them, as we grow stronger in the knowledge of Him and His love. But the world and the church expect perfection even when they can’t do it themselves. That is the nature of hypocrisy.
Have you ever gotten so angry at your spouse that you had hate in your heart, or a moment of lapse where you lost control and gave in to saying things you didn’t mean, just to get back for some perceived insult or wound ? Have you ever been impatient with your children or gotten out of control with driveness that you slight your family members, not recognizing that you have neglected them for work, or the things that keep you so busy ? Have you held hatred in your heart for those that hurt you to the point it festered into resentment. SO many of us grew up in pain and neglect and abandonment, and abuse that it has robbed and stolen from us for years. God wants to heal ALL of our heart.
We don’t have to stuff it all down and pretend it never happened. We MUST face it and ask HIM to heal the memories, and places in our heart where we have had ought against anyone…ANYONE. Even HIM, for not doing what you thought He would have done by now. We must accept HIS SOVEREIGNTY, His LORDSHIP, HIS KINGSHIP in our lives. He is our ADONAI. OUR LORD AND MASTER. There is nothing HE cannot redeem.
And sometimes we get healed at one level of our memory and then He might bring it up again when we can handle better the deeper aspects of healing and forgiveness and clean it all out.
It's sort of like what my foster mom used to say about "spot cleaning".
There is a spot cleaning which is like surface clean. But then there is spring cleaning where you take even the furniture off the carpet, and clean the carpet and all behind it, and every nook and corner.
And we all have those places in our hearts, some lesser and some more in degree, and God is exposing them and in His perfect love bringing them to the surface now because He wants to pour out His glory. He once told me the future would be a recapitulation of fulfilled prophecies. I think it was Praying Hyde who saw an apostolic age in the end times. Many others also have seen it coming. I pray we will ask God for the grace to examine our hearts, and that He will show us everything and anything that stands in the way that we might receive all that He has for us, that the nations might come to KNOW HIM. It is HIS light in you that drives out the darkness.
God bless you and heal you and may HE make HIS PRESENCE, HIS PERSON the object of all your affection that you may know His love, and the power of His resurrection, the blood shed for you. May He overshadow you with His presence and His PEACE, and pour in LOVE, LOVE, LOVE till you become a living flame of fire !
James 2:11-13 For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder ." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder , you have become a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! NIV
Matt 10:28-29 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. NKJV
Matt 23:34-36 NKJV
John 7:18-20 NKJV
John 8:37-41 NKJV
John 10:10-12 NKJV
Rev 2:20-23 NKJV Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
Rev 6:4 Rev 6:8 Rev 9:3-6 NKJV
Rev 9:14-20 NKJV So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed — by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm. 20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. NKJV
see also Rev 11:7-10 NKJV