Spirit of Fire Evangelistic Ministries

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"Outline Notes on Bitterness"

 Bitterness Video Part One     Bitterness Video Part Two     Bitterness Audio


Arrogance, pride and idolatry

Deuteronomy 32:31-33

31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.

32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:

33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.  KJV

Jer 2:19

19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.  KJV

Jeremiah 4:17-18

17 As keepers of a field, are they against her round about; because she hath been rebellious against me, saith the LORD.

18 Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart.  KJV

Acts 8:22-23

22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.  KJV


pikria (pik-ree'-ah); from NT:4089; acridity (especially poison), literally or figuratively:

KJV - bitterness.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)


pikros (pik-ros'); perhaps from NT:4078 (through the idea of piercing); sharp (pungent), i.e. acrid (literally or figuratively):

KJV - bitter.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.) 

Heb 12:15

15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;  KJV

Defiled = contaminate



Ex 20:12

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.  KJV

Genesis 4:3-8

3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.  KJV

Naomi means Pleasant

Ruth 1:13

Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.  KJV

Ruth 1:20-21

20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: (bitter) for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.

21 I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?  KJV


Jonah 4:9

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.  KJV

Challenging children

Proverbs 17:25

25 A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.  KJV

Bible Examples of Bitterness

  • Women are bitter because they cannot have children, 1 Sam 1:10.
  • A foolish son is bitterness to his mother, Prov. 17:25.
  • Divine discipline (chastisement) of the Jewish people caused bitterness. This demonstrates the weakness and failure of the people. Bitterness destroyed the people's spiritual lives. The Jews brought on self-destruction by their bitterness.
    Lam. 1:4; Amos 8:10; Ezek. 27:30; Isa. 33:7; 2 Kings 14:26.
  • Slavery causes bitterness, Exo. 1:14.3.
  • Suffering causes bitterness to people who do not understand problem solving devices, principles, and give number one priority to relationship with God. Deut. 32:24.
  • Ridicule is a source of bitterness, Lam 3:14. The people ridiculed Jeremiah because of their bitterness toward him. When truth is taught, people react in bitterness.
  • Consummate human pride is a cause of bitterness, Acts 8:23.
  • Degeneracy is a source of bitterness, Rom. 3:14.
  • Cosmic involvement is a source of bitterness, Eph 4:31.
  • Husbands and wives are a source of bitterness toward each other, Col 3:19.

Guilt or bitterness

If we lie, we feel guilty.

If we lie about someone who has hurt us, that is bitterness.

Roots of bitterness has off shoots

  • Unforgiveness
  • Personal justification
  • Alienation
  • Self-pity
  • Selfish
  • Superior
  • Self -righteousness 
  • Inconsiderate
  • Prideful ambition
  • Un-teachable ness
  • Retaliation
  • Murder = including gossip
  • Reviling
  • Revenge
  • Poisonous speech/slander
  • Antagonism 
  • Malice
  • Cruelty
  • Violence
  • Anger
  • Hate
  • Resentment
  • Rage
  • Obsessions/evil thoughts over remarks and actions
  • Compulsions/ unbecoming behavior

Results are that you become like the one you have bitterness or judgment

Becoming the one you are bitter.

Biblical results of bitterness

·        Bitterness is antisocial. A bitter person is selfish, inconsiderate of others, withdrawn from society, indifferent or adverse to conformity with conventional standards of social behavior. Even strangers avoid bitter people, Prov. 14:10. No one is happy around bitter people.

·        Bitterness is a sign of the fragmented life, Jer. 2:19.

·        A bitter person rejects Bible teaching. James 3:14, "But if you have bitter jealousy and strife, stop being arrogant and lying against the truth."

  • Bitterness shows total lack of grace orientation. A bitter person does not understand the Plan of God, let alone how it affects individuals. In Job. 9:17-18, Job's complaint against God. "Why does God let this happen to me", is a statement of bitterness.
  • Bitterness accompanies the sin unto death, Job. 21:25.
  • Bitterness motivates complaining, Job 7:11, 10:1. People who habitually complain are bitter people; they have no self esteem.
  • Bitterness motivates gossip, Psalm 64:3
  • Bitterness fragments other peoples lives. Heb 12:15, "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it many be defiled.
  • Bitterness is self induced misery, and it produces chain sinning. Bitterness is misery to others in the periphery. But two wrongs never make a right. You cannot build your happiness on someone else's unhappiness.

Symptoms: behavior

  1. Obsessive detailed memories
  2. Critical
  3. Unwarranted attacks
  4. Making evil good
  5. Heart and mouth speak about it in obsessive way

Ministry of Christ to us

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  KJV

Colossians 2:13-14

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;  KJV

2 Corinthians 10:5-6

5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.


1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  KJV

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.  KJV

What we must do:

  1. Identify
  2. Confess
  3. Repent
  4. Renew the mind
  5. Reconcile if possible
  6. Make restitution when possible
  7. Forgive
  8. Depend on the Holy Spirit for strength
  9. Depend on the love of God towards you
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