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The Earth was Corrupt - Pastor Stacey Shiflett

The Earth was Corrupt

Genesis 6:11, 12

11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

 

Intro: The Bible has a lot to say about this matter of corruption. Nearly direct 100 references in the Bible to this subject.

·        Corrupt: 31 verses

·        Corruption: 21 verses

·        Corrupted: 14 verses

·        Corruptible: 7 verses

And a few other uses; corrupters, corruptly, corrupting, corrupteth, etc.

 

We live in a corrupt world.

·        The political realm has been completely corrupted.

·        The medical field has become corrupted.

·        The educational system has become corrupt.

·        The science field has been corrupted.

·        The media and news industry are corrupt.

·        The business world is corrupt.

·        Law enforcement, judges, courts and the whole judicial system is corrupt.

·        The social media platforms are unbelievably corrupt.

·        The religious world, including preachers, churches, Bible seminaries and colleges are corrupt.

 

This message has a two-fold purpose:

·        To help God’s people in their PERCEPTION of corruption and in their PROTECTION from corruption.

·        To be able to RECOGNIZE corruption and to be able to RESIST corruption.

·        The church of the living God needs to be able to ASCERTAIN corruption and ABSTAIN from corruption.

 

I. The Descriptions of Corruption

 

There are multiple uses of the word CORRUPTION in the Bible.

The word does not always mean the same thing

For example:

 

               A. The word Corruption is used to describe EARTHLY POSSESSIONS

The Bible uses the word CORRUPTION to address a variety of issues.

One of them is simply meaning that it is temporal as opposed to eternal.

 

1. EARTHLY RICHES are corruptible.

Most Christians spend their entire life accumulating things that will rust and decay.

Instead of focusing on the eternal, they are completely infatuated with the temporal.

Their entire Christian life is spent pursuing the CORRUPTIBLE things of this world.

They expend all their energy and years of health chasing things that will not last.

Jesus strongly cautioned the church to prioritize the eternal over the temporal.

 

Matthew 6

·        19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

·        20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

 

Luke 12

·        33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

·        34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

James 5

·        1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

·        2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

·        3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

 

·        1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

 

2. EARTHLY REWARDS are corruptible

1 Corinthians 9

·        24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

·        25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

 

Many of God’s people will work harder to win an earthly award than they ever will to win an eternal reward!

 

The other uses of the word CORRUPTION is a much more devious and devilish kind of corruption.

This is the corruption that I want to deal with this morning.

It is the kind of corruption that is first found in Genesis 6.

 

               B. The word Corruption is used to describe EVIL PERVERSION

Old Testament:

CORRUPT: שׁחת shachath shaw-khath’ (NOUN) to destroy, corrupt, go to ruin, decay, to be marred, be spoiled, be corrupted, be corrupt, be injured, be ruined, be rotted, to spoil, ruin, to pervert, corrupt, deal corruptly

 

CORRUPT: (VERB) to cause to vanish away, to destroy, consume; to deprive of lustre, render unsightly; to disfigure

 

NOTE: Corrupt is both a NOUN and a VERB:

Corrupt can be what a person IS as well as what a person DOES.

Just one illustration of this is found in God’s judgment of Israel in Isaiah 1.

  • 4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.

  • 5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

  • 6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

 

In all actuality, the nation of Israel was both corrupt and actively involved in the act of corrupting.

This describes many people today.

They are not content to be corrupt themselves; they have now undertaken the business of becoming “corrupters.”

 

We will look at this element of corruption later, but in the New Testament, look at the meaning of the word CORRUPT.


New Testament:

CORRUPT: φθείρω phtheiro fthi’-ro to corrupt, to destroy, in the opinion of the Jews, the temple was corrupted or "destroyed" when anyone defiled or in the slightest degree damaged anything in it, or if its guardians neglected their duties, to lead away a Christian church from that state of knowledge and holiness in which it ought to abide, to be destroyed, to perish, in an ethical sense, to corrupt, deprave

 

This is a far greater and weightier kind of corruption than just the decaying and deteriorating of temporal things.

Flowers fade. Grass dries up and dies. Trees rot and fall over. Clothes decay.

The corruption we are preaching about today is a much more serious issue than the natural ruin of certain elements.

This corruption is devious, devilish and intentionally destructive.

It is literally a perversion and ruining of something that was once clean and whole and perfect.

No less than 6 times in Genesis 1, the Bible says “…and it was good.”

 

II. The Demonstration of Corruption

 

First Mention Principle: Genesis 6:11, 12

  • 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

  • 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

 

Facts about corruption that we find in this First Mention:

1. God sees it – vs. 5 “And God saw…” vs. 12 “…and God looked upon the earth…”

2. God hates it – vs. 6 “…it grieved him at his heart.”

3. God regrets it – vs. 5; 13 “…it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth…”

The reason is simple: Corruption spreads and ruins everything it touches.

  • Vs. 11 “…and the earth was filled with violence.”

  • Vs. 12 “…for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”

  • Vs. 13 “…the earth is filled with violence through them…”

 

4. The righteous can escape it.

In a world that was completely corrupted, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

God saw the corruption – but He also saw Noah!!

Noah was a just man and perfect in his generation.

·        JUST: just, lawful, righteous

·        PERFECT: whole, sound, healthful, complete, entire, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity

The Bible is very clear – Noah walked with God!!

 

It doesn’t matter how bad our world gets – you and I can walk with God!

We can live in an ungodly, corrupt world and remain unscathed!

·        Philippians 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

 

Conclusion: The unsaved person is called CORRUPT in the Scriptures.

God has made a way for every one of us to escape the corruption and be saved.

·        2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

 

God would love to help you escape the corruption that is in this world and through His power this morning, you could become a partaker of the divine nature!

Jesus Christ can start all over and make you a new creature.

Isaiah the Prophet said it like this:

·        Isaiah 38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

 

God through his great love for your soul can deliver you from the PIT OF CORRUPTION and cast all your sin behind His back!


Part 2

 

III. The Dissemination of Corruption

 

               A. Corruption can be the result of a PURPOSEFUL DESIGN

In Malachi chapter 2, we find a Divine Thesaurus of words to describe this ungodly agenda.

·        8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. (corrupted: Hebrew - shachath shaw-khath’)

·        9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

·        10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

·        11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

 

Malachi used a variety of words and phrases to illustrate the magnitude of this corruption:

·        Departed out of the way – vs. 8

·        Caused many to stumble – vs. 8

·        Corrupted the covenant of Levi – vs. 8

·        Deal treacherously every man against his brother – vs. 10

·        Profaning the covenant of our fathers – vs. 10

·        Judah hath dealt treacherously – vs. 11

·        An abomination is committed – vs. 11

·        Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord – vs. 11

 

This kind of corruption is not accidental, and it is not unintentional.

It is deliberate and it is damnable.

God’s response is swift and final. Notice verse 12

·        12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this,

 

               B. Corruption can be the result of a PERSONAL DESIRE

Corruption is often self-inflicted. vs. 12 “…all flesh had corrupted his way…”

God didn’t say that it was all done by others; much of it was willful.

Notice these verses:

·        Deuteronomy 4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

·        Deuteronomy 4:25 When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger:

·        Deuteronomy 31:29 For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

·        Deuteronomy 32:5 They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.

·        Judges 2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.

·        Hosea 9:9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.

·        Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

 

There are far too many verses throughout the Scriptures that expose this type of corruption.

It is one thing to be corrupted by someone with an agenda.

It is another thing when a person endeavors to deliberately corrupt yourself.

This is one of the most ungodly and damnable deeds found in the Scriptures.

 

IV. The Degradation of Corruption

 

A. The Mind can be Corrupted

We are in a series on Wednesday nights about The Mind of Christ, so I won’t labor this point.

I just want you to know that a person’s mind can be defiled and corrupted; even the minds of believers.


·        2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

·        1 Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

·        2 Timothy 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

 

B. The Mouth can be Corrupt

·        Psalms 73:8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.

·        Daniel 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

·        Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.


C. The Manners can be Corrupted

·        1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

 

We are living in a society where manners are corrupt and it is being accepted as normal behavior.

MANNERS: custom, usage, morals, character

 

The results of evil communication is the corrupting of good manners.

Outside influences infiltrate and corrupt something that is pure and wholesome.

 

D. The Ministry can be Corrupted

Corruption has infiltrated and influenced what God set up.

 

One of the greatest displays of God’s anger was when Jesus cleansed the Temple.

His words in Luke 19:46 were “…My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

They had corrupted; perverted the house of prayer into a den of thieves.

 

Justice and Judgment

I am appalled at the lack of justice and judgment in churches today!

The Bible says that JUDGMENT MUST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD! (1 Peter 4:17)

Many churches have become like the nation of Israel in Isaiah 59. (Turn there.)

  • 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

  • 3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

  • 4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

  • 7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.

  • 8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

  • 9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.

  • 11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.

  • 13 In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

  • 14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.

  • 15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.


Modern day corruption and bribery is when pastors are greedy of filthy lucre and won’t preach the truth.

  • Proverbs 17:23 A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.


1 Samuel 8

  • 1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

  • 2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.

  • 3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

 

The Scriptures

  • 2 Corinthians 2:17 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.

  • Jeremiah 23:36 … for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.

 

The Pulpit

  • Acts 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 

  • 2 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;

 

The Gospel

Galatians 1

  • 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

·        7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

 

KEY TRUTH: The Righteous will not be corrupted, nor will they corrupt others.

 

Jesus talked about the Indication of the Righteous

Jesus said in Matthew 7

  • 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

  • 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.


Paul talked about the Integrity of the Righteous

·        2 Corinthians 7:2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.

 

The righteous man and the godly man will not participate in the corruption of the society around him.

Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself...


Isaiah 33

·        15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

·        16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

·        17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

 

V. The Destruction of Corruption

 

One of the key truths about corruption is this - God will destroy it.

·        Genesis 6:7 “…I will destroy man…from the face of the earth…”

God doesn’t attempt to fix it.

When you study out the kind of corruption that I’m talking about in Genesis 6, you do not find very many cases where God attempts to fix it or clean it up.

He simply annihilates it. He destroys it and starts over.

 

The whole world has been corrupted. The heavens have been corrupted.

ILLUSTRATION: Total mass of all space objects in Earth orbit is more than 12,400 tons!

·        6,640 rocket launches since the start of the space age in 1957 - (excluding failures)

·        18,400 satellites these rocket launches have placed into Earth orbit

·        12,540 of these still in space

This garbage is transmitting filth and smut throughout space and to the inhabitants of the earth.

God will destroy the heavens and make a new heaven and a new earth.

 

God promised never to destroy the earth again with water.

But make no mistake – God is going to destroy the world and the atmosphere around it one day.

2 Peter 3

·        10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

·        11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

·        12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

·        13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

 

God will destroy the corrupt. His Word is clear.

And God will preserve the righteous. That is also very clear.

I love the way God addresses this in 2 Peter 2:4-9

·        4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

·        5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

·        6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

·        7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

·        8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

·        9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

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