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Sermon 131 – The Inherent Evil of every Human Soul before God owns it

1. ME
I think … I’m Special, I’m Important, I’m Clever, I’m Skilful, I’m Intelligent, I’m GOOD
The problem is … only God is Good. So, the more GOOD you think you are, the more you love yourself, and the more you are your own god.

2. I WANT
… Security, Position, Superiority, Value, Favour, Happiness, to look good in the eyes of others eg. King Saul
I hate INFERIORITY
I WANT to do it MY way. Don’t TELL me what to do.

3. ENVY
I WANT what you’ve got = I should have it, how come you’ve got it? = love ME above my neighbour = HATE my neighbour
I lust after SUPERIORITY. I lust after HAPPY
I HATE you because … you’re more HAPPY, more SUCCESSFUL, more LOVED, more POPULAR
Defined in James 4:5 as ‘malignant grief ‘ towards your neighbour eg. King Saul vs David, Pharisees vs Jesus
Associated in James 3:15 with the world, perversion, and demonic

4. MANIPULATE
Subtle or deliberate TACTICS to gain self-advantage over others, so that I’m ELEVATED above my neighbour, so I have the POWER and CONTROL.

TACTICS = ∗Intimidation eg. King Saul, ∗Lie, ∗Money eg. Ananias & Sapphira Acts 5, ∗Help, ∗Generosity, ∗Sad eg. Ahab, ∗Complain (have a MOOD) until you get it, ∗say Sorry & expect sorry back, ∗Spite, ∗Exclude, ∗Ignore, ∗Pay-back, ∗Sex eg. Jezebel, ∗use Friends = those who serve my expectations, ∗act Perfect = fake niceness / humility, ∗drive a man to Adultery eg. Potiphar’s wife, ∗Pimp on them so I look good and they look bad

5. EVIL DEDUCTIONS
If you make me feel INFERIOR, then you’re evil
If you hurt my FEELINGS, then I have the right to hurt yours = Revenge, Matthew 7:12
If CORRECTION hurts my feelings, then you’re wrong
If you make me feel REJECTED, then you’re bad
When things go positive = God is blessing me
When things go negative = It’s your fault = Blame eg. Eve & Adam
When others are put-down = I’m better than you = Mock
When others fall = I told you so = I’m right, you’re wrong
FRIENDS = those who treat me right
If you’ve got a problem with me, then you’re the problem. If I have a problem with you, then you’re also the problem.

6. CONSEQUENCES
If you routinely practice any one of these above qualities, know that you are under the banner of the spirit of Anti-Christ and therefore, not saved.
Demonic Occupation eg. King Saul = lose your right mind
Incorrigible = Bastard, Hebrews 12:8
Sow and Reap
Disrespect Authority / Hate men, Genesis 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:11,12
Fear, Faithless, Temporary Pleasure, Wrong JUDGEMENT, Confusion, Hell, Hypocrisy James 3:17
Do what’s right in your own eyes, Judges 21:25, and come under God’s judgment
BLINDNESS = we know people hurt us, but we can’t see us doing it to them

7. SOLUTION
Wake-up to your sin and REPENT of it = give up your “I Want”, and TRUST God’s plan instead of imposing and demanding yours. You don’t have to fix yourself, you have to SEE yourself.

Godly sorrow works repentance to salvation, 2 Cor.7:10
Repent and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, Acts 3:19
I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me, Galatians 2:20

Pastor Rick Ramsley

 

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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in Envy, Pride

 

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Sermon 130 – I think I’m a Good person

I observed a so-called Christian mother dominate her family, including her husband. She had the power of wealth, a sharp mind, and church position. You couldn’t argue any difference of opinion because her dictatorial nature would intimidate you. If she felt uncomfortable about anything then you were always the problem; It was futile to argue your defense. Over the years, the husband changed from soft-hearted to being callous. The elder daughter became domineering like the mother, and the youngest daughter withdrew into herself and lived in a fantasy-land where she hid from her pain. Everyone in that family firmly believed they were good and loved God, but the truth was, everyone was using their religion to hide their pride.

In her pain, the younger daughter appeared happy, carefree and nonchalant, but deep in the hurts of her heart, her pride was hiding from exposure. Satan had used the mother to trick her into preserving her pride and camouflaging it with fake happiness, but God used this daughter’s future husband to loving expose it, free her from it, and save her for eternity.

What % are you proud?

Most people think they’re not too bad and agree that they have some pride, but basically think they’re a good person.

If you were to draw a circle and place a line through it, where would you place the line relevant to the % of pride in your heart and the % of good? Most people think that they’re about 10-20% proud and therefore, 80-90% good, and that’s where everybody’s problem lies. That perspective is not what the Word of God teaches.

The lie … if you correct me, then I’m no good

Most people I counsel believe that if they’re corrected then they’re ‘no good’. But, what does that statement really mean? It actually means … you shouldn’t be correcting me like this because I think I’m a good person, and your correction makes me feel bad. They’re actually saying … I think I’m good, not bad, so I don’t agree with you, and I won’t take the correction, but I’ll pretend to and convince myself that I have submitted to your authority.

If that’s true, then we have a problem. In Hebrews 12:8, the Word of God declares … no correction, no salvation.

The Holy Spirit would not deduce, correction = I’m no good

So, what spirit is making that deduction in your heart? Obviously, it’s a Satanic voice that’s manipulating your pride to defend your position of unfairness.

Shift the blame

When your feelings are offended at a point of correction, then know that you’re full of pride, not 20%, but 100%. The feelings of objection and offense are the expression of your pride. The pride of a person’s inner heart TELLs the corrector that they are not fair and not right. They shift the blame and thus never face the responsibility of their pride. This is the same tactic as Satan vs God, so it’s obvious where its origin lies, and it’s obvious that shifting blame only reinforces Satan’s hold over you.

The person who uses the feeling of “no good” to protect their pride from being exposed, is unwittingly submitting themselves to the control of a lying spirit. Consequently, it may be an unconscious disrespect of authority, but ultimately, it’s pride that gets offended when it’s corrected. It’s one’s pride that deduces that … I’m a good person …, but that deduction is satanic.

Frustrated that I can’t stop it

Frustration is pride, not love. Pride gets frustrated that it can’t stop one’s mood. Pride gets offended that it‘s corrected. Pride thinks it knows better. People get annoyed and irritated that they’re always being corrected. To their thinking, correction is just another failure. This thinking is really just more evidence of the depth of one’s pride. Their pride is offended that they are corrected. It’s just pride to think that you should be corrected once, and never again for the same issue, and it’s because of that pride that the correction is repetitive. But, pride thinks it should be capable of stopping it, and that’s the problem … pride on pride.

The irony of pride

Pride doesn’t like to be corrected. It doesn’t like to be told it’s wrong. It doesn’t like to be put-down. It doesn’t like to be made to feel inferior. It wants to feel good about itself. It wants to feel superior, and there’s the exposure of the real problem … pride wants to feel above its neighbour. The irony is, that pride sits in pride telling everyone else how to stop their pride. It can’t see its own pride, it just sits in judgement of other’s pride. Thus, our pride becomes our own judgment against us, Matthew 7.

Humility

Humility doesn’t use the other person’s pride to make it feel better that it fell to its own pride. Humility doesn’t look to a 50:50 solution to resolve its wrong; it doesn’t say it’s wrong if you agree you’re wrong too. Humility owns 100% of its wrong and leaves the injustice to the Creator.

Only God is good

Jesus said Himself, that only God is good, Matthew 19:17. If you deduce that you are 80% good then you are really saying that you are God and directly contradicting the true God. Clearly, any belief that we are in any way good is just us proving that we are bad.

The purpose of correction, is to put you back in your place

People argue that they’re willing to be corrected by righteous authority but not by unrighteous authority. But, that’s just pride speaking. That’s the argument of the spirit of fairness, not the Word of God. The Word of God says the opposite.

1 Peter 3 :21 & 22 states … it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well-doing than for evil doing, just like Jesus. This is reinforced in many places throughout the Bible, like 1 Peter 2:19 -23, and Matthew 5:10-12.

Unrighteous authority is of God

God owns everything and controls everything (Ephesians 1:21). Things go bad because of sin, but they can also go wrong because we love God. Satan hates the remnant and is out to destroy us. God uses both righteous and unrighteous authority to challenge and break your pride. No one likes correction, especially if it’s unjust, but that’s how it is if you want to be saved. When your feelings are offended at a point of unrighteous correction, then know that your feelings are telling you that you are full of pride, not 20%, but 100%.

We can see a bit of our pride, but like an iceberg, most of our pride lies hidden below the surface. If you’re going to be saved, you need both righteous and unrighteous authority to break your pride.  The daughter, in the family I mentioned, needed her unjust mother so God could eventually break through her unconscious hidden pride. Until you stop and trust God with correction, both just and unjust, you’re expressing trust in your own pride rather than in God’s plan.

The moment you tell any authority, righteous or unrighteous, to …  mind your own business or, you’re an idiot, you defy the 5th commandment and unwittingly put yourself under demonic power. The more you practice that defiance the more power the demonic gains over you. President Trump may be wrong, but the people of America and Britain are exposing their rebellious disrespect. It will come back to roost. You won’t find Daniel practicing defiance against Nebuchadnezzar.

You see, the authority God places us under in families, school, workplace, government, church etc. is His planned pattern to shake up our pride. Our pride must be exposed for us to be saved, because pride is Satan’s territory and Satan’s door to our self-destruction, but it’s also God’s door to our salvation.

 Salvation requires you to let go and trust God with injustices against us

Until you let go and trust Him with injustices, you’ll never know the peace of God or His saving grace.

Joseph was unfairly corrected by his brothers and Potiphar. David was unfairly corrected by his brothers and King Saul. Daniel didn’t do anything wrong, but still had to suffer the injustice of evil against him. Samson was so full of himself he needed his eyes removed to see his pride. Even Jesus was unfairly corrected by his brothers and the Roman court. Jesus suffered to show us the way to break one’s pride. Position in Christ is always through the door of injustices; the door of bearing your cross. There’s no other pathway that God has ordained to break one’s pride.

Do vs die

The modern religious systems have taught the people to do good deeds. So, people do good to feel good about themselves and to look good to others. But, in 1 Corinthians 13, the Word of God says it’s a waste of time if it’s built on pride.

People ask me what do I do to stop my pride? I reply … the thief on the cross. There was nothing he could do. Do = fix the problem myself. That’s just pride trying to fix my pride. It can’t work. When you’re on a cross you’re either going to object and tell God to fix it, or give-in and ask God for His mercy. But before you can ask God for his mercy, you first have to see that you’re a thief. You have to see that you are not 20% proud and 80% good, but that your pride runs through every vein in your spirit. You have to see that you are 100% proud. Jesus didn’t come to save you from 20% pride, He came to save you from 100% of it. If you only offer Him 20% then you won’t be saved.

You never get rid of pride

You never get rid of your pride, so don’t try. Rather, a Christian takes responsibility for his pride and learns to daily die to pride through repentance, so the consequences of our sin remains covered by the precious saving blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s Him that saves and keeps us, not us.

Our hurt feelings are an expression of our pride, but instead of seeing our pride, Satan blinds us to our pride so that we concentrate on fixing our hurt feelings, and fail to repent of our pride. If you think you’ve been treated unfairly, and submit to the voice of blaming the offender, or submit to the voice of “I may have done wrong but so have you”, you can’t repent, and if you don’t think you’re all that proud you’re not going to repent anyway. And if you don’t repent, then your salvation is in vain.

It’s mistreatment that gets you to heaven, not your goodness.

 

Pastor Rick Ramsley

 

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2018 in Pride

 

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Sermon 129 – Faith through Revilings

My wife and I were casually walking through the local markets when all of a sudden, a woman stood next to us and demanded that we shop on the other side of the street. We somehow ignored her intimidation and moved on. Later that day a man confronted my wife with swearing when she politely asked if he could move to let her pass. Then later-on, an incidental incident happened that resulted in us being distant from each other.

Whenever the demonic is active, there is division

I stopped what we were doing and suggested that the demonic was taking advantage of us. Now, my wife trusts me, but still defended herself by saying that she couldn’t recall any incident that had offended her. I suggested her defence was further evidence that the demonic was active. She reluctantly agreed, and then began the search for where pride had entered and made her susceptible to the demonic.

What happens when someone has a go at you?

Demons very often use people to stir your emotions. The defensive feelings such as fear, guilt, and being bossed or manipulated, start taking over. We then try to solve our feelings so we feel ok again, and once we do that we’re caught in Satan’s snare.

Before any feeling, there’s always a voice … something like … you’re an idiot, or, you’re rude, if you don’t do what I say. The voice is always designed to get you to react in fear so you do what it wants. We usually don’t hear the voice because we’re absorbed with our emotions; so, we fail to realise that we respond to the voice with something like … don’t tell me what to do. In other words, we speak self-defensively to the voice, yet often in fear we end up doing what the voice wants. Why? Because, we don’t like looking bad.

What’s really happening?

What we’re really doing is defending our pride by protecting our reputation. Jesus said you can’t be a disciple unless you die to yourself. Perhaps the best way to understand dying is to look at the opposite to dying; and that is … to defend your reputation. If you’re always looking to defend your reputation, then you’ll never find death, and thus, Satan will keep you from heaven. Salvation is via death to self, and access to hell is via preservation of one’s reputation.

That’s the very reason that we read in Philippians 2 that Jesus made Himself of no reputation. He set the example. In fact, if you open your heart to death-to-self, you’ll begin to see that the whole of the Word of God teaches this truth. The modern religious system is into life and happiness through grace, but grace is just the easy path that avoids the revilings for standing up for God and His principles and His Ten Commandments when everyone else is compromising them and tolerating people’s sin and falsely calling it love.

Without faith it’s impossible to please Him

God plants the seed of faith, but it’s the disciple’s responsibility to water it. Faith doesn’t grow through the comforts of wealth and prosperity and things always working out; it grows through revilings. Jesus said, woe to you when everyone thinks well of you (Luke 6:26), but blessed are you when men revile you for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven (Matthew 5: 11 & 12).

Jesus isn’t preaching this lightly. It’s not just an instruction to try and honour; beside, you can’t do it without faith. He’s actually teaching you the path to salvation.

The man born blind

In John 9 we read the story of the man born blind. Jesus healed the man on the sabbath by spitting in the dirt and making clay and putting it on the man’s eyes. In envy, the Pharisees are offended. The Pharisees refused to believe he was really blind so they questioned the parents. In fear, the parents said he was blind but their son was old enough, so confirm it with him. The Pharisees take on the man whose sight is restored and threaten him with being an idiot.

In this story, Jesus is reviled, the blind man is reviled, and the parents are threatened with being reviled. Jesus suffered their reviling. The blind man suffered their reviling, but the parents protected their reputation and passed the buck.

The point is, the blind man could have gained his sight by interacting with Jesus, but he would not have gained his salvation without the reviling. It was the reviling that forced him to decide whether he would believe in and walk the way of Christ, or simply take the gift of sight and be cooperative with the demonic-inspired Pharisees.

Reviling is God’s way to strengthen your faith. Reviling is God’s way to save you. If you’re not being reviled then you’re comfortable with protecting your reputation and you’re not saved, no matter how much you pray, no matter how much you give, no matter how much you help. This is confirmed in 1 Corinthians 13.

The other point is, it’s more likely that the ones who have the problems will seek out Christ. The son had the problem. He needed Christ. The parents and the Pharisees didn’t need Christ, they were only interested in protecting their reputation. Problems from Satan are a gift from God.

Address your pride vs fix your feelings

Most people get hurt and try to fix their feelings, but Christians should use both their hurt feelings and their puffed-up feelings to put their pride on trial.

If you want to grow in faith, then take a pen and write down your feelings when someone offends you. You need to write it down otherwise your feelings will over-ride your spirit. Then write down what they’re really saying to you. Then, write down what you’re saying back to them. Ask yourself … is my reply, Holy Spirit or am I protecting my pride? Then repent, by transferring you trust to Christ with … ok, God, if they call me stupid, I’ll trust you. This is how you reinforce your faith. If you don’t practice faith, you’ll lose it. It doesn’t work by technique alone; it requires God’s faith, but God’s faith will grow if you water it, by trusting Him in the face of revilings.

 

May God strengthen our faith by helping us to be willing to suffer for His sake.

 

Pastor Rick Ramsley

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2018 in Faith, Suffering

 

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Sermon 128 – Comply or Die

When I was a young boy on a family camping trip, my brother stole my best friend to be his friend. I heard the voice … he’s mine not yours. It’s not fair. You already have friends. I don’t. I decided to pay him back by sticking chewing gum in his sleeping bag. Be sure your sin will find you out. My parents made me spend 2 hours cleaning the bag. I learnt a very important lesson … vengeance doesn’t pay.

You like him more than me

Everyone on the planet has heard the voice … you like him more than me. Obviously, this voice is not from the Holy Spirit, so it must be from Satan. It’s the voice of position and not humility. It’s the voice of envy (James 4:5). It therefore is the voice of Satan. Underneath every demonic voice you hear, lies the satanic voice … you like him more than me. Some people even speak it out. If you’ve spoken it out it should tell you what camp you’re snared in. If you’re snared in the camp of Satan then you’ll be plotting the demise of others so you can take their position. Hatred is the automatic side-effect of envy.

Why does everyone hear this voice?

Obviously, because there’s something outside our visual realm that can interact with us. Secondly, it’s interesting to note that it’s easier to hear evil than good, and it’s easier to act evil than good. You have to work at good; evil comes natural. That’s because Satan has our ear, and it takes a decision of death to hear the Lord’s voice above the din of evil. Thirdly, and most importantly, Satan hates Jesus because He’s more liked by the Father. So, when you choose to listen to the voice of … you like him more than me, you’ve linked yourself directly to the spirit of Satan, and speaking his words.

We’re better tuned to the voice of Satan than the voice of God. Voices are evidence of an unseen spirit world interacting with our spirits. No one’s seen Satan but everyone’s heard his voice. Similarly, you can’t see Jesus Christ but you can hear His voice if you want to.

Temptation is a voice

A genuine Christian is responsible to diagnose what voice is speaking and choose death to that temptation. It’s not God’s responsibility to keep you safe from temptation, it’s your responsibility to die so God can raise you up. If you haven’t trained yourself to stop and check whether the voice is God’s or Satan’s, you’ll automatically comply with the voice of evil. It won’t sound evil; it’ll sound fair and just and nice to your emotions, but it’s a lie in sheep’s clothing. It’s a trap to snare you against Christ. It’s a trap to trick you into plotting the demise of others. To God’s eyes, plotting is hatred, & hatred is murder (1 John 3:15), and that’s what Satan wants; to see you out of alignment with God.

The serious lesson from Christ

In Luke 4 we read Satan’s temptation to Jesus. Satan was trying to get Jesus to change his position from standing with the Father to get Him to stand with him instead. He effectively was bribing him to comply with his wishes by using food, position power, and the pride of proving your power. Jesus wouldn’t comply. Satan then simply changed into his true character and threatened Jesus with … comply or I’ll kill you. Jesus chose the path to die rather than the comply.

Fear of dying

Why is everyone afraid of dying? Aren’t we going to be with the Father in heaven? So, why the fear? Simply, because Satan doesn’t want us to die he wants us to comply, so he threatens death to put you in fear so you’ll comply. He intimidates you with a spirit of fear.

Jesus, Himself had to face this fear and then He had to choose the way of the cross and trust the outcome to His Father. Daniel had to face this fear and then choose the way of death instead of complying with the voices of temptation followed by the voices of threatening for not complying. No one said anything to Daniel. He knew what Satan was saying, and enticing to go the easy way, and then threatening if he didn’t bend to his comply. Satan was tempting Daniel to comply in the exact same way he was tempting Jesus. Through facing death, God raised him up above his enemies.

David was threatened by his father-in-law to comply or be killed. David fought the tempting voices of the easy way out and chose the path of die rather than comply. He chose to face death and in so doing God raised him up above his enemies.

Victory is only through death

Jesus didn’t die on the cross just to save us from our sins. His death was the example to His followers of how we must pass through death to earn eternal life with Christ, and also how to be lifted up above our spiritual enemies. You don’t buy your way to heaven but you have to pay the price of death to earn salvation (Luke 9:23,24) and position. He complied with His Father’s wishes and chose death to Satan’s temptations to comply. The consequence was life and position above His enemies (Philippians 2).

There’s no other pathway to victory, than through death. Any other pathway is a satanic deception to eternal death. Position should only be attained through death instead of complying with the satanic temptations or the threats to comply; any other pathway is a temptation to satanic life which ends in death.

Satan comes with sweetness and enticements and if you won’t take the bait and comply, he then threatens death. Joseph was enticed with the sweetness of adultery and when he wouldn’t comply he was threatened with the death of imprisonment. He chose to silently cop the evil and in due course, God raised him up above his enemies.

The irony

If you comply you’ll seem to save your life but you’ll die; whereas, if you choose death, you’ll live above the voices. In fact, the only way you can live above temptations is through death. You can’t beat temptation by complying and then making a decision to address your feelings and decide not to sin; that won’t work. Rather, you have to die first. Just like a seed has to die before it germinates, so our spirit has to die to the temptation to comply, before you can have real life. In fact, if you won’t die, you won’t fly.

Repentance

Repentance is complying and then realising you’ve sinned and then reversing your decision to not comply but rather die, by admitting that you complied and then giving up your position and having no position except trusting the Lord’s position. In the case of my brother, I had to die to my wants by giving up my friend and trusting God. Interestingly, my friend fell out with my brother and came back to me. However, I soon lost my friend because he chose to comply whereas, I chose to die, so we went our separate ways.

The lesson of death

Later in life, I learnt this important lesson in a deeper way. A member of my wife’s family hated me for no reason except the spirit in them conflicted with the Spirit in me. I initially tried to defend my position, but over the years learnt you couldn’t win. I turned to the Lord and chose to lose. Instead of living in fear of their insults, I chose to die and cop it. Before long, I found myself no longer entrapped by their fear and living above their satanic attacks. They had the money and they had the power, but I chose to die instead of comply with keeping them happy so I wouldn’t get emotionally injured. I chose to withdraw in love, like David, in order to survive. They hated me more, but God freed me even more, through death.

Every Christian who truly wants to walk with Christ, somewhere in their life has to choose the path of death or else submit to the threats and fears of losing if you don’t comply. You can’t be a disciple unless you forsake everything, take up your cross daily and follow Him. If you choose the wrong path, like Peter, there’s only one way back, and that’s die to your pride and repent. But, if you choose the easy evil path, like Judas, you’ll actually be a traitor against Christ and die anyway.

 

May God encourage His remnant to live above the temptation to have position, and live above the fear of death, so we learn not to comply and can trust Him with death.

 

Pastor Craig Kristianson

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2018 in Death, Voices

 

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Sermon 127 – Silence is Golden

In Daniel chapter 6 we read the story of the lion’s den. Perhaps the two keys lessons for the remnant are … ‘position’ and ‘silence’.

Daniel was not into position; he was into serving God’s will. Whereas, the princes and presidents were, as was Darius. Pride always envies someone else’s position, or promotes its own position.

Pride is Satan’s gift

Darius was trapped by his pride and the princes were trapped by theirs. Pride always traps you. Pride is Satan’s gift; humility is Christ’s. Pride puts you under the control of Satan. Humility is God’s gift to stand against Satan. But, how do you learn humility when you’re born in pride? Like Nebuchadnezzar, your pride has to be broken off you.

Pride likes to defend itself. Pride likes to stand up for itself. Pride likes to promote and protect its reputation. Pride likes to retaliate. Pride likes to win. Pride doesn’t like being told what to do. Pride says … if you’re going to be nasty to me, then I have the right to be nasty to you.

If this is pride, then humility is the opposite. Humility is death to pride. But, to be humble requires you to see your pride and give it to God. Therefore, things have to go wrong on a regular basis so we begin to open our eyes to our own selfishness, instead of judging everyone else’s.

Fear is Satan’s tool to protect your pride. Faith is God’s tool to suppress your pride

A prince is a person in power. Princes envy anyone who threatens their power. Princes use fear to weaken your faith. If you submit to the fear, you will activate your pride. Pride protects itself from looking bad. But, faith is activated in the face of fear. If there is no fear then you don’t need faith. So, we learn to trust God through our fears.

Bad things don’t happen to good people

The story of Daniel in the lions’ den refutes the lie that good gets good, and bad gets bad. This story, like the story of David vs King Saul, the burning of Ziglag, Paul being bitten by a viper, and the three Jews thrown into the fiery furnace, proves this thinking is from the heart of Satan. Any inner voice that questions your relationship with God because something wrong or bad has occurred is the voice of evil and is designed to squash your faith.

And, any voice you agree with that forms a judgment against someone because something has gone bad for them, is a sign that the same satanic spirit operates through you as did the Pharisees hating Jesus, and the princes hating Daniel.  A voice you latch on to and run with, like … you deserved it, is not the voice of the Holy Spirit, but the voice of Satan, and confirmation that you are in the wrong camp.

Voices

We all hear voices. That’s temptation. But, pride gels with the voice, and if it gets caught, blames the voice, whereas, humility recognises the temptation and turns to the Lord for His truth. And, repentance is simply giving up our position of pride-protection after falling to the voice, to consent to the truth that we sinned by agreeing with the voice.

Darius did not consent to the truth of his pride, nor did any of the princes. The consequence of this pride-resistance is hell, whether you worship God or not.

Repentance

Repentance is giving up your position. Pride can say sorry but it’s not repentance because it won’t give up its position. Pride says sorry to get out of trouble so it doesn’t lose its position, and then it expects you to have to forgive them. Repentance is the humility of saying sorry by giving up its pride-of-position, facing the fears of looking bad, and accepting the consequences of having been tempted by the voice.

If you don’t start it, you don’t have to stop it

It takes a special spirit to have position without being proud. Daniel and Moses and Jesus were in this category, but Daniel and Moses would have had to learn to die to their pride before they were able to handle position, whereas, Jesus never ignited it. If you want to walk in the footsteps of Daniel, you have to die to your pride.

Silence is death to pride

Daniel knew about the plot against him. He knew the law had been signed and he knew the consequences, yet he kept to his routine of prayer. He didn’t let their pride put him in fear. Our pride is manipulated by spirits of fear, 2 Timothy 1:7. Fear stirs up our pride; pride stirs up our moodiness, and then we blame others for our hassles. Faith puts a holt to this old nature pattern, and, faith is stirred-up when we recognise the worst scenario of our fears, and give it all up to God. This breaks the power of Satan’s manipulation of our pride.

Daniel could have intervened; he was Number 2 in the kingdom. Why didn’t he say something to Darius? Why didn’t he try and defend his cause?

The answer is … pride & demons

Behind pride is always a demonic spirit. When someone’s pride rises up against you, your natural response is to defend yourself. This is our own pride rising up to our self-defence.  Our pride wants to put them in their place. Our pride wants to point out the injustice. Our pride wants them to be shown wrong and us right.

The problem is, we’re not arguing against them, we’re arguing against a demon. We’re not fighting flesh and blood, but evil principalities and evil powers. Pride can never win against these evil forces; even Jesus didn’t tackle them. So, when you defend yourself against their unjust attack you actually inflame your own pride and ignite your old nature, and Satan has authority over your old nature, so you just give him licence to manoeuvre you away from Christ.

Soldier for Christ or defender of your pride

The walk of the Spirit is to cease this self-defence and put the consequences in the hands of the Creator. It takes death to achieve it, and without this death there is no salvation, because salvation is through death … take up your cross daily and follow Me, & you cannot be a disciple unless you count the cost and forsake everything (Luke 9:26-33). None of us really knows what this cost is; you can only prepare for it by learning to be silent before your enemy by faith in Jesus Christ, which means, you have to face the fear of the cost and rest in God’s plan.

As Jesus was silent before his accusers, so was Daniel. There must be a serious lesson here.

But I say unto you, resist not evil, but whosoever will smite you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  Matthew 5:39. Why did Jesus give us this instruction? It all comes down to humility vs demons.

Humility isn’t just silence before your accusers (the world can do that), rather, it’s silence by faith in our God’s plan. You don’t defeat demons with words, you defeat them with silence … the silence of humility, and any words must only come from this silence.

When they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it will be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. For it is not you that speaks, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.  Matthew 10:19,20

There’s a time to defend righteousness with action, and there’s a time to defend righteousness with silence. If you haven’t learnt the silence-defence then you won’t have the Spirit to defend with action.

The real motive

The question is … are you defending righteousness or just defending your position? King Saul fought the Philistines to prove his position; David fought Goliath to defend God’s name.

Daniel was fully committed to the will of God, yet he didn’t try and convert the kings or the princes to his God; nor did he try and free his people from their captivity. Rather, he waited on God for His will to be done. No one waits any more, they’re too active proving what they can do, or they’re silent to protect their position.

Silent for Christ or silent for pride

In the whole book of Daniel, we only read about four Jewish men who were silent for God and faithfully served the anti-Christ kings. Where’s the rest of the Jewish men? Staying silent to protect their position. This silence is pride and fear; it’s not golden; it’s clay; it’s a mood of silence.

Everyone wants to be a Daniel so they can impress the people and promote their personal value; but, that’s not Daniel, that’s King Saul. To be a Daniel requires silence and faith in the living God when you stand before those who oppose God’s Truth.

The Anti-Christ

The lesson of Daniel is to encourage His followers to prepare themselves for the final week of history (chapter 9:7) before Christ returns. The anti-Christ’s regime will last for 7 years. His intention will be the satanic destruction of God’s remnant who are honouring the Ten Commandments (Revelation 12:17). He will therefore, come into power in Europe in spiritual league with Roman Catholicism, peaceably with flatteries, but, just like the princes of Persia, his agenda will be to change times and laws to trap God’s remnant.

If you haven’t prepared your heart to face fear by faith, you will succumb to the anti-Christ’s power and you will betray the remnant (Daniel 11:30). This is no joke; it’s serious. Set your course, face your fears by faith and stop activating your pride.

May God stir up His people to stop having moods of silence and start exercising God-silence when they stand for Him against those that oppose His faith.

 

Pastor Jonathan Faranze

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2018 in position

 

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Sermon 126 – Daniel in the Lion’s Den

In Daniel chapter 6, we read the well-known story of Daniel and his confrontation with lions. Although this is an historical event we need to see this story in the light of the Living Word of God and therefore, relevant to each of our spirits.

Everything in the Word of God is active, and alive, and personally relevant

The Word of God is Spirit. Always read God’s Word by asking the question … what is God trying to teach me? Let’s see how this event is recorded for our own personal relevance.

Firstly, perhaps the key issue in this chapter is … position

Darius was the king of the Medes and Persians. He held the No.1 position. What he says goes. Everyone wishes they had this power, or at least suck up to this power to get a better position above others.

Where there’s position, there’s always envy. The Bible says in James 4:5, that the spirit in us lusts to envy. We inherently envy anyone who is more successful, more important, more popular, more skilful, and more capable. If you want to know what spirit dwells within you, you can measure it by “envy”, and you can measure your envy by what you wish was yours. You won’t find the envy characteristic in the Holy Spirit, and you won’t find that characteristic in Daniel. Anyone who practices envy is definitely under the influence of a demonic spirit.

Sure enough, the princes of Persia hated Daniel because he was given position. They wanted it and they believed they deserved it. It should never have been given to a foreign slave (v.13). They looked for a way to destroy his integrity, but they couldn’t find one. Why? Because, Daniel wasn’t chasing position, so he wasn’t proud that he was in a more important position. Somehow, they realised they could only trap him by manipulating him against the laws of his God.

Flattery is just a manipulation of people to get preference and an advantage in their eyes ahead of others

They hatched a plan of flattery and manipulated Darius to sign into law a 30-day ruling against worshipping all gods except Darius.

Why did Darius fall for this con?

Because Darius was full of his own importance. That’s what self-righteous position does to you. When he found out that his law had trapped his friend and head-president, he realised he had been a fool. So we ask the question… why didn’t Darius just reverse the law? I suggest because he didn’t want to look inferior to his princes. He was more worried about how he looked, than whether Daniel was saved; besides he could hear the voice … if his God is that great then surely, He will save him. Position is there to look good above others, so position will always hear voices that support your position to justify why you shouldn’t give it up. But, those voices are from Satan.

The irony

The irony is, Darius did eventually reverse the law, and penalised, with the same lion penalty, those who had tried to destroy Daniel. So, he did have the power to reverse it. So, why did he wait till he saw how Daniel went? I suggest because he no longer would look bad. It was pretty obvious that Daniel’s God was the most powerful; no one could argue the point, so it made political sense to change sides and stand with Daniel. It’s all about looks and position.

The other irony is, using our envy to chase position will always eventually bring us down, whether it’s on earth or in the after-life. When you strive for position you’ll eventually fall from position.

Daniel didn’t obey the country’s law

I’ve watched Christians argue that’s it’s wrong to take bibles into China because it’s against the country’s laws. It’s easy to pick a verse of Scripture and use it to support our guilts and fears. Here’s a very clear example where God stood with a man who wouldn’t do what the law of the land commanded. Wherever, the law of the land challenges the law of God and the sovereignty of God, a Christian has no alternative but to stand with God and cop the lions. I’ve met plenty of Christians who say they will stand with God, but I’ve met very few who will face the lions. The modern church systems are simply trying to accumulate numbers and money. They’re not training soldiers to die for what they believe.

Daniel doesn’t say anything

It’s important to note that Daniel doesn’t say anything to change the course of the ruling or to object to the injustice. He was the head-president; surely, he could have intervened and pointed out to Darius what was being done against him; but he kept silent. Was this folly or faith? Position will always intervene to protect itself; faith chooses God’s often irrational way.

Daniel didn’t change his course of action

Daniel knew that it was his God they were challenging. He held his course and maintained his pattern. He could have easily argued in his head that it’s ok to pray in your closet for 30 days, but in his heart, he knew that would be fear and compromise and surrender to evil. God honoured his faith.

Daniel’s faith changed the course of history

Darius life was confronted by the eternal God of Daniel, and that confrontation changed the god of the whole known world. You’re not going to change the spirit of a nation through politics, protests, or philanthropy; it requires a Daniel.

The story of Daniel is the story of Jesus

Like Daniel, Jesus was tempted to change His course and take the easy way out. He chose to hold His position and trust His Father. He remained silent before his enemies, copping the evil against Him without any self-defence, trusting the outcome to His Father, dying unjustly, and finally being elevated above His enemies. Jesus’ faith changed the course of history. When you die to position, the Lord will honour your position … Philippians 2:7-11.

The disciple’s path

This is the path of every surrendered disciple. Maybe not physically dying, but certainly dying to all self-wants because you love the Father. This love is implanted in you by His Spirit. If you don’t love the Father, then you haven’t got His Spirit.

If you want to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, like Daniel, then the envy in you of others’ position and the inherent want to be important in the eyes of others, has to be sacrificed, and the only way to achieve this is to give-up and sacrifice all self-valued position.

In the last days

In the last days (Revelations 12:17), under the power of the antichrist, the laws of God will be a measuring stick to try and destroy the disciples of Christ. Last-day-Daniels will be measured by their commitment to the law of God unto death. This confirms that the modern church systems are wrong when they devalue the ten commandments under the guise of grace.

 

May God raise up men of character and courage like Daniel and Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, so that the Spirit of God might return to His previous place of honour in our current hedonistic western societies, as we prepare for the onslaught of the final anti-Christ.

 

Pastor Jonathan Faranze

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2018 in position

 

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Sermon 125 – The NEB Syndrome

In Daniel chapter 2, 3 and 4 we read the story of Nebuchadnezzar and his interactions with Daniel and Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego. The Neb Syndrome is based on the behaviour pattern of King Nebuchadnezzar. Everybody has this syndrome inherent in their sinful nature. Everyone’s born a Neb at some level depending on one’s social position, family position, wealth and education. You can pretend to hide it but sooner or later it will be exposed when you don’t get what you want. If you truly want salvation, the Neb in you has to be killed.

Nebs put you up and then pull you down.

In Chapter 2:49, Nebuchadnezzar promoted Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, but when they wouldn’t comply with his demands, he tore them down; no discussion, no enquiry, just intimidation. The inherent Neb in us hates people who won’t do it our way. Nebs will promote you if it’s to their own advantage, like making you a special friend, or puffing you up to create envy against a more popular opponent, but they’re always ready to pull you down when you offend or challenge their self-worth.

Nebs have a golden image of themselves

In Daniel 3, Nebuchadnezzar built a huge golden image to himself and demanded everyone bow when he played the music. Similarly, in their deceived mind, Nebs think they’re special, or important, or gifted, or educated. They appear to worship God, but they love themselves and expect others to treat them with the respect they believe they deserve whenever they play their music. They think they are good, making themselves equal with God, and thinking themselves blessed if things work out to their advantage, and look for others to blame if they don’t. Nebs believe that if they’re in trouble, it’s everyone else’s fault.

They live by their feelings. Their selfish belief is … I’m good and special, so if you hurt my feelings, you’re bad, so I’ll wait till you change your mind and you realise I’m right and you’re wrong.

Nebs blame you for upsetting them, or not listening to them, or not respecting their opinion. Everything’s based on how they feel and how someone makes them feel. It’s MY feelings first, God second.

Nebs think they should have the No.1 position

Nebs want the limelight. If you seem to be above them, Nebs try to pull you down, and if you seem to be below them, Nebs try to keep you down there. Nebs envy anyone who threatens their position. Nebs hate people who are positioned above them. They live for their own happiness and despise anyone who’s more happy, or more popular, or more successful than themselves, or more intimate with God.

Nebs love power and control

Neb’s are so self-important they can’t believe you won’t agree with their point of view. Nebs hate you if you won’t comply with their thinking. If they had the ultimate power like Nebuchadnezzar himself, they would kill you for not complying, and throw you into their furnace. They eventually object to any rules that put controls on them … as far as they’re concerned, they’re the one who should be in control; they’re the one who has the right to control what they want and how others should behave towards them.

Nebs are bi-polar

One minute they’re nice, and the next they’re unexpectantly intimidating. One minute everything seems to be ok and co-operative, and the next they’re demanding you dance to their music and bow to their thinking. You never know where you stand with a Neb. Nebs have one foot in the world and one foot in God. Thus, as in James 1:8, Nebs are double-minded and unstable in their heart.

Nebs can’t afford to be wrong, so they believe everything they do is somehow always right. So, when they’re corrected, they are flabbergasted at the suggestion that you would think them bad; besides, they think they’re always good, so you must be wrong.

Nebs think that they’re so good, God will obviously save them, bless them and protect them. Their ingenuine goodness is just a manipulation to get God to be good back to them. Their pride puts them in fear of being thought of as bad, or a failure.

Nebs often use obedience or generosity to obligate you to conform to their wishes or ignore their short-comings, when all the time, in their heart, they’re resistant and defiant of your authority.

Nebs can act religious, even think they keep the commandments by not practicing adultery or murder or steal, but they always fail the God first test, the bear false witness test, and the covet test.

Nebs are anti-Christ’s

They may agree they’re wrong so you can’t argue their defiance, but they won’t change their position. They can appear to be in sheep’s clothing, but ultimately, they’re wolves, controlled by Satan, and anti- the Holy Spirit.

Nebs think they’re good, but … Ezekiel 33:31

They come unto you and sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness.

It’s important to note, that Nebuchadnezzar was not good. He didn’t find God based on his goodness, but rather, when he killed his own self-image and replaced it with God’s Spirit.

The bottom line

Nebs won’t be told; rather, they tell others what’s right and wrong.

On the other hand …

SMA’s = full of the Spirit that inhabited Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego

SMA’s are not full of their own importance. They don’t chase position, or value, or human recognition, but leave position to God. Any position is attributed to God, not self. Self-position has been shattered. They serve God because they love Him; not for a deal.

They don’t think they’re good. They know that only God is good and they’re thankful for God’s grace towards their bad.

Like Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, in Daniel 3:17 & 18, SMA’s don’t demand or expect God to fix their problems. Rather, they trust God’s outcome and rest in His plan.

Probably the most defining factor about SMA’s is that they are envied by Nebs, and sooner or later are confronted by Nebs so their faith is tested.

SMA’s are called and chosen.

SMA’s don’t bow to intimidation when challenged to change gods.

Neb to SMA

Everyone has an image of themselves to worship themselves. If you want to be an SMA your image has to be shattered, broken and destroyed. You can’t serve God and worship your own image at the same time; it’s contradictory and satanic.

If you’re not an SMA then somewhere in the crevices of your heart lies a Neb. SMA’s are few and far between. Most of the so-called Christians I’ve met in my life are really just Nebs in some form of nice disguise. The good news is, Saul became a Paul, so anyone can be changed. You can change if you want to, but you can’t because you won’t. To a Neb, ‘ME’ is too important, and what people think is more real than what an imaginary God thinks; besides, a Neb doesn’t really think it needs to change because it’s already basically good.

If you want to be an SMA it requires God to put you on a cross and embarrass your self-image and shatter all your self-plans. No wonder there’s hardly any SMA’s. God is looking for an empty vessel; not one that’s already full of its own importance.

The salvation test

I’ve lost count how many Nebs I’ve encountered who believe they are a good Christian. They’re deceived. Salvation is not just being a Christian, but also sacrificing your Neb position and having it tested by fire. In fact, where there’s no fire test, there’s no salvation … all that live Godly in Christ will suffer persecution … 2 Timothy 3:12. Also, your reaction to a Neb will reveal what god you really serve.  SMA’s don’t compromise to keep the majority happy; they stand on God’s Word, for God, and cop the defaming consequences. The modern church systems are not training soldiers to die for Christ, they’re collecting numbers for money.

Demons use Nebs

As confirmed in Ephesians 6, we’re not fighting flesh and blood, but principalities and powers. It’s important for an SMA to know how demonic spirits operate against them. A Neb is under the influence of demonic spirits and ultimately their design is to attack and discredit, or discourage, or kill SMA’s. SMA’s should be encouraged that a demonic attack is a positive process to strengthen their faith in Almighty God.

Thankyou God, that even though heavily outnumbered, You live through your called and chosen humble SMA’s, and that Your plan is higher than Satan’s.

 

Pastor Jonathan Faranze

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2018 in arrogance

 

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