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Senior Pastor Phil Roland


Pastor Ray Scott


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          Ten years ago this Fall, on October 2, 2006, Charlie Roberts burst into a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania with a handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun, a rifle, cans of black powder, a stun gun, two knives, a toolbox and restraint devices. Roberts ordered a teacher, a teacher’s aide and the boys to leave, then bound 10 young schoolgirls and lined them up against the blackboard.

          He boarded the windows, apparently preparing for a long siege, but as police surrounded the schoolhouse, Roberts shot all 10 girls before killing himself. Five girls died; the others were severely wounded.

          The gentle, quiet man who had a wife and children was now a mass murderer who was guilty of unfathomable evil. Charles Carl Roberts IV took hostages and shot eight out of ten girls (aged 6–13), killing five, before committing suicide in the schoolhouse. 

          Afterwards, the Lancaster County's Amish community reached out to Roberts' wife and three children with forgiveness and reconciliation in their response. They took food to the family, bought groceries for them, and stayed on constant contact with them. The Amish families who lost children loved Roberts' family and blest them. The national media was astounded. They had never seen real Christianity up close before.

          A Satanic Bruise that can lead to bitterness occurs in any area of an individual's life that has been repetitively hammered by Satan from early childhood to the present.


18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.   Luke 4:18-19 (KJV)

          Jesus has come to heal Satanic Bruises and set them free with God's kind of liberty. Today's sermon explores setting people free from the Bruise of Bitterness.      Pastor Phil  <><<


May 22, 2016 - Sheepfold Ministries,

Pastor Phil Roland



EXODUS 15:22-27

"Bitterness is the greatest tool at the enemy's disposal.  With bitterness Satan can divide and destroy Christians, families, churches and even communities. Only Jesus heals the bruised."         Pastor Phil Roland   <><<


"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."   Hebrews 12:15

37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.     Luke 6:37 (NIV)



          A. Bitterness comes from unhealed hurts and wounds

                        1. Pain from Parent/Child Relationship

                        2. Pain from the Husband/Wife Relationship

                        3. The Deepest Hurts Come from those Closest to us

            B. Bitterness Pollutes the Entire Christian Person

                        1. Evident in a person's SPEECH

                        2. Evident in a person's ACTIONS

                        3. Evident in a person's ATTITUDES

            C. Bitterness Pollutes Others

                        1. Others react to our Attitude

                        2. Others react to our Speech

            D. Bitterness Builds Walls of Isolation

                        1. Fear of Further Hurt or Pain

                        2. Fear and Distrust of People

                        3. Fear of Inner Hurts and Weaknesses Being Exposed

                        4. Loneliness, Cut off from God and Man

            E. Bitterness always Results in Broken Relationships

                        1. Repeated Flight and Withdrawal Patterns of                                                             Interpersonal Relationships

                        2. Critical, Judgmental Attitudes Toward Others



          A. Broken Relationships cause us to Be Blinded - 1 Jn. 2:9-12

                9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until

              now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause

              for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and

              walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the

              darkness has blinded his eyes. 12 I write to you, little children, Because

              your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.

                        1. We become Blinded to Acting Wisely

                        2. We become Blinded to Seeing Ourselves



                        3. We become Blinded to Seeing Others as They Are - Mark 8:24

                                24 And he looked up and said, "I see men like trees, walking."

                        4. We become Blinded to Seeing God as Love - 1 John 4:7,8

                                7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone

                          who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love

                          does not know God, for God is love.

            B. Broken Relationships Cause Insensitivity to Others

                        1. The human heart becomes calloused/hardened

                        2. How do you stop loving? Your heart was born to love.

                        3. There is no regard to the Needs of Others

          C. Broken Relationships cause Immaturity

                        1. Emotional Growth stops at the Time of Injury (Trauma)

                            (Arrested Development)

                        2. Emotional Growth resumes when Healing and Release come



23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.

          A. There is a Progress of Bitterness

                        1. Resentment becomes bitterness

                        2. Blame becomes hatred

                        3. Deception becomes perversion

            B. Moses and Israel at the Waters of Marah - Exodus 15:22-27

                        1. It wasn't just the waters of Marah that were bitter

                                    a. The people murmured against Moses - v.24

                                                24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, "What

                                      shall we drink?"
                                    b. Moses cast a tree into the water - v. 25

                                                25 So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a

                                      tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made                                          sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them.

                                      And there He tested them,
                                    c. The Tree sweetened the water

                                    d. Only the Tree of Calvary can sweeten the bitter water                                        of the rebellious, bitter human heart.

                        2. Moses gives us a remedy for Bitterness - v. 26

                          "He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God                            and do  what  is  right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his

                          commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of

                          the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who

                          heals you." 

                                    a. Listen to the voice of the Lord

                                    b. Do what is right in His Eyes

                                    c. Pay attention to His Commands

                                    d. Keep His Decrees

                        3. Jesus has a remedy for Human Bitterness - John 20:21-23




                        "Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I

                         am sending you." "And with that he breathed on them and said,

                        "Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are

                          forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."


                                    a. Allow Calvary's Tree to be cast into your Bitter Heart

                                    b. Welcome Him into your heart

                                    c. Receive His Peace in place of the former turmoil

                                    d. Allow the breath of Jesus' Holy Spirit to sweeten you

                                    e. Pay it Forward - (Pass it on!)



Pastor Phil Roland   <><<




Alice was a member of my Grief Support Group more than 10 years ago at the Funeral Home where I am a chaplain. She attended my group to aid her in the loss of her husband. This was a special grief support group that had several members who lost a child. After a few support group sessions, Alice felt comfortable enough with us to share her grief story with the group concerning the loss of her 22 year-old daughter some 32 years previous. Her daughter had just completed her nursing degree. She was married to a young man who lived to “party.” He was in his early 20’s and already displaying signs of severe alcoholism.

The young alcoholic husband was driving under the influence of alcohol and apprehended by police. The officer took him to the local jail to sober up. The young drunk had a big mouth. He bragged about the naivety of his young wife. A predatory inmate heard the boasts. He was a true criminal and took advantage of the information.

When the predator was released from jail early the next day, he called Alice’ daughter and told her that he and her alcoholic husband were in a restaurant and wanted her to pick him up. She believed the liar and immediately came to the restaurant. The “animal” then lied again that her husband was in the men’s room. He’d go get her husband if she would start up the car and wait at the front of the restaurant. From there it was easy for the deceiver to force himself into her car and drive her away to her death.

It was over a week before authorities found the young woman’s strangled body. The murderer stole her ID and picked up another woman on his way to the Canadian border. He was apprehended when he tried to use the murdered woman’s stolen credit card. Ironically, he was never tried for the crime. He was incarcerated for 25 years on other charges and eventually died a painful cancer death while in prison.




ALICE Story, p. 2

Alice was inconsolable in her grief. She underwent two years of psychiatric ECT. (Electro-Convulsive Therapy, “Shock Treatments”) She still had no desire to live. She told the group, “I simply had to FORGIVE HIM. I had to do it for myself in order to be able to grieve the loss of my daughter. My personal trauma and pain was so severe I couldn’t cry. I HAD to forgive him so I could grieve my daughter’s death!”

This type of forgiveness is a process, but eventually she forgave both her 22 year-old daughter’s murderer and the alcoholic son-in-law who betrayed her to the murderer.


  1. 1.   All unresolved grief is cumulative. If you do not resolve past injustices through forgiveness and acceptance, your next crisis will find you with an increasing inability to release and resolve the pent-up feelings of sorrow and loss. Think of a snowball on a mountaintop becoming an avalanche at the bottom of the mountain.
  2. 2.   Bitterness and hardness of heart through un-forgiveness

cannot be resolved through psychiatric treatment.

  1. 3.   Only Jesus heals the broken-hearted. Only through His

love can we find forgiveness, healing and peace.



Pastor Phil Roland   <><<