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Category Archives: Pride

Sermon 133 – Bi-Polar Narcissism

Recently, I was counselling a young man who was in torment over a corrective comment I made about his inappropriate behaviour. Months later he was still struggling to come to terms with my correction. One minute he was in agreement that he had done something wrong, and the next minute he was struggling to accept that he really had done anything bad. His mind would flip from one decision to the opposite analysis and he would convince himself that I had misunderstood his intentions, or explain that he hadn’t really done it, because it was only in his head so it hadn’t really happened.

My Bible says that if you’ve done it in your heart, then you’ve done it, but narcissism won’t accept that as the truth.

Ignorant Psychological Imbalance

Sadly, most of the Christians I’ve counselled over my 24 years of ministry have consistently displayed the psychological imbalance of bipolar narcissism.

Convinced that they are genuine Christians, they have no understanding whatsoever that their spirits are just white-washed sepulchers. You can talk to them and even convince them that they are mis-evaluating their spirit’s condition, but ultimately, they can’t accept your diagnosis, and therefore, they won’t take the medicine that would convert them.

Narcissism

Narcissism derives it’s meaning from Greek Mythology where a youth fell in love with his own reflection in a pond to such an extent that he pined away and died. Nothing else mattered than to have his self-image honored, and even worshiped and adored. Everything he did was to propagate his own self-image. Thus, he could never love anything. He just used everyone to manipulate them to love him, and he called this, love.

That’s why the Word of God declares in 1 Corinthians 13, that you can give all your money to the poor and even give your body to be burned but it avails nothing if it isn’t done because of your love for Christ. If you do anything to prove that you are good, or right, or loving, then you are doing it for yourself, and that’s narcissism.

Narcissistic Christian

In spiritual terms, a narcissistic Christian is simply someone who worships Jesus for the love of themselves. They believe they are so good that God would love them unreservedly and favour them. Their belief is … I love me so much, I can’t believe that you wouldn’t love me too, so if you challenge my thinking you must be wrong. They’re not a genuine Christian and they’re not saved from hell; they’re just using God to justify their own self-worship, and they’re committed to Jesus and do what He wants as long as it promotes their self-worth.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of a narcissistic Christian comes at the point of correction. Any suggestion that they made a mistake sets them in a spin. All they want to do is explain their thinking so you will understand why they did it. They’re so wrapped up in what people think of them they have to restore their self-image at any cost. In their heart they know you’re right, but their mind refuses to accept it a true, so they display bi-polar syndrome.

Narcissism is the fruit of no correction, or the fruit of defiance when you are corrected.

Bi-Polar Syndrome

Bi-Polar simply means being in two minds. It’s the modern term for schizophrenia. More than one personality dwelling in the same body. You see, if a person is above correction by explaining it away, then what they’re really saying is … you can’t tell me my own mind. Two personalities are really just the evidence of two spirits operating through you … you and a demon, and sometimes, Holy Spirit. If you can’t bring your mind consistently to faith in Jesus Christ when Satan tempts you with sweet voices like those of the mythological sirens, then Satan has you in his clutches through demonic occupation (2 Timothy 2;26) of your spirit, and you evaluate and analyse under the influence of this demon.

To a narcissist, their mind is correct, but to a righteous shepherd, if a narcissist’s mind can’t be brought to correction, then that person is spiritually bi-polar, like King Saul and the Pharisees.

The … Love doesn’t hurt my feelings Lie

Bi-Polar and Narcissism is really just a modern psychological way of describing “pride”. Nobody likes being told they’re proud, so they cover it with niceness, good works, generosity, skills, friendliness and any means that will hide their true self. A narcissist just can’t handle being told they’re wrong, but the real problem is that they’re just too proud to be told anything negative about themselves because it hurts their feelings and love doesn’t hurt feelings. To their mind, they’re infallible, and infallibility thinking is just  further proof that a narcissist doesn’t really believe that they need God; they can do it all themselves; they can even save themselves. A narcissist believes God needs them. But the cover-up actually blocks their salvation, because Jesus came to save you from your pride, so if you won’t expose it, He can’t save you. If correction doesn’t hurt your feelings, then it’s not correction.

Samson

In Judges 13 to 16, we read the story of a man who was given a powerful gift to use for God, but he decided he was the man and no one was going to tell him what to do, including his parents. God used Him for His purposes up to a point. He was so proud and full of his own self-image that even though he knew that the Philistines were laying in wait for him whilst he was committing fornication, he had full confidence in his self-ability to defeat them. He was totally narcissistic and bi-polar. Two different spirits operated through his body. The only way God could bring him to his senses and to his right mind was for him to lose his power and his eyes. How arrogant and stubborn that one has to lose their eyes before they’ll see.

I’m Special

Sadly, my experience with people is that most believe they are ‘special’ or they think they have an important job to do, when really, all it is that they are too proud to see their stubbornness and arrogant pride. Their parents have told them they are special and they like it; but the truth is, like Cain, Joseph’s brothers, and Esau, they’re just secretly envious of their sibling’s favour. Narcissism is just really someone being full of the hate of someone else being more favoured. Their envy feeds their wounded pride, and like King Saul, most get occupied by demons, but a few like Samson wake up in the face of trauma.

Wanting Nothing

James 1:4 declares that the trials of our faith are for patience so that we learn to trust God by faith and want nothing other than to serve His will. If this isn’t the heart’s true objective then, the consequence is double-mindedness (v.8), or in other words, bi-polar. If you really want something instead of nothing, then you are trying to hide your narcissism and bi-polarity with a lie.

Torment

Once you secretly hide behind niceness, spirits of lying and spirits of fear will torment you. 1 John 4:18 declares … there is no fear in love. Fear has torment. Instead of experiencing the peace of God which passes all understanding, you’ll suffer from the torment of spirits of fear. Instead of owning the truth about your wrong, a narcissist ultimately always comes up with an explanation that justifies their decision, but it’s never the real truth; it’s always a truthful lie. Instead of repenting, you’ll reinforce the occupation of your spirit by lying spirits that will stimulate your fears.

Great peace have they which love My law and nothing shall offend them, Psalm 119:165.  Instead of peace, you’ll be constantly offended at any suggestion that you may have done something wrong or offended at any defamatory comment, and you’ll suffer the torment of your fears, yet in your stubbornness of rightness you’ll explain it away as the corrector’s misunderstanding error.

It’s interesting to note that the Greek word for torment is also translated in Matthew 25:46 as everlasting punishment. When you’re tormented by your fears, God is giving you a taste of what hell feels like in the hope you’ll wake up and see.

Love the World

Why are so many so-called Christians, bipolar. My experience is, they want to serve God, but they also want the world, so, like Samson, they live in two camps, trapped by the fantasies of their narcissism, afraid of persecution, afraid to be thought less-of, and afraid to really commit in case they lose what the world offers, and therefore, the love of the Father is not in them. Everyone is bipolar until they commit to Jesus Christ. He’s the only solution.

 

May God open the eyes of His remnant before our service is all wasted like Samson.

 

Pastor Clyde Rudledge

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Posted by on October 7, 2018 in Mind, Pride

 

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Sermon 91 – Why did God create Satan?

Surely God knew that when He created Satan it would lead to a complete mess and men would go to hell; so why do it?

Finish this sentence …

If someone doesn’t agree with my thinking, I think they’re ……………….

The blindness of pride

Every human is born with the arrogance of thinking that everyone else is stupid when they hurt our feelings. We might be polite and say something like ‘you don’t understand’, or ‘I feel fragile’; but what we really mean is ‘you hurt my feelings, I feel stupid, so you’re stupid.’ Our whole life is really built around protecting our feelings and promoting ourselves because we think we’re the most important, and we go about our life proving it and at the same time resenting those who are above us or below us. This is the selfish pride that God tries to address in every human being. It has to be exposed in order to find salvation, but most people try with all their might to deflect attention from their pride, and inadvertently miss the call. Instead they opt for goodness as their valid excuse for a ticket to heaven, conveniently forgetting that the Word says ‘not by works lest any man should boast.’

The danger of thinking everyone is stupid

Regarding your neighbour as stupid simply because they don’t agree with your opinionated opinion is grounds for being convicted to go to hell, Matthew 5:22. The finger points back at us but we’re blind to it; that’s how stupid we, ourselves, really are!

The conversion of Saul, Acts 9

Saul thought he was the man. He was highly educated, legally correct and in his opinion he was on the side of right, but he couldn’t see that he was actually totally wrong. He was spiritually blind. God intersected with him, made him physically blind to see if he would permit his arrogance to be broken, and then opened his eyes to not only see physically but primarily his own stupidity. Saul could’ve said ‘how dare you treat me this way’, but he didn’t. If he had of done that, God would have chosen somebody else for the task, and Saul would have died in his pride.

Why did God allow Saul to murder His people?

So the persecuted could share in His glory and so Saul could be saved and thus save more.

Why were the disciples blind even though they were walking with Christ?

The pride of the disciples blinded them from the Christ they walked with. They confirmed this when they argued over who was the most important, Luke 22:24. They couldn’t understand Jesus’ intentions because they were too proud and even though they had the power to do miracles, Luke 10:17, they weren’t saved until they gave up everything that gave them personal status, Matthew 7:21-23 & Philippians 3:7-10.

Why did God allow His disciples to be blind?

So that they could be saved and thus save more. What was the thing that saved the disciples? … the sifting of Satan, Luke 22:31. Their whole life changed and their purpose in life changed and their thinking and vision changed, but only after Satan misused them and this exposed their pride and they could see. Their life was no longer their own and thus they willingly suffered for the name of Christ; not for the reward and benefit, but rather, in gratitude for His love. Sadly, the majority are too proud to be stupid.

Envy repels; it only attracts evil to itself

After weeks of consultation with a fellow Christian I still hadn’t been able to discover why his family had suddenly become dysfunctional. That was until the man used the word ‘distant’ to describe his feelings about a friend. Now … the word ‘distant’ seems harmless enough but if you stop for a second and think about it, ‘distant’ really means the friend is leaving me out of things, and ultimately the man is saying that the friend likes someone more than me. And there we have it all over again; the envy of the human spirit when allowed to fester will always over-ride the new nature of God in you.

The trap of offence

What caused this old nature reaction and the side-effects to infect his family’s dynamics? The answer is, he got offended with a woman who was having a big paddy because his wife had exposed her evil to the church authorities. This woman had attacked his wife for pimping on her an had called her stupid, and he had automatically defended his wife against her. The problem was that his wife had also got offended at the unjust blame and the husband was inadvertently defending a demonic spirit operating through his wife. The evidence of this was that his wife was now telling her husband what he wasn’t doing right. She had usurped his authority.

What the husband should have done was support his wife but not defend her offence. In other words, he should have told his wife that she was right but that he would not support her case until she forgave the person for the offence.

The purpose of this trap is to snare you into the devil’s power and thus to disintegrate your family, and separate you from God.

The snare of the Devil

Judgment against a bitter moody woman who had hurt his wife’s feelings was fuelled by the wife telling her husband that he was responsible to defend her. This led to husband and wife disharmony, which then led to envy of a friend’s relationship with someone else, which led to the wife befriending their child instead of the husband, which led to the child being the authority in the house, and thus you have family dysfunction, reversal of headship and eventually satanic destruction unless it is addressed with repentance.

Judgments against people put you above them and results in you acting just like them, Matthew 7:1-5, and binds you in the snare of the devil, Matthew 18:34. Falling for the emotional trap to defend your wife or child will put you in the same snare. Instead, trust God in the offence and refuse to let your wife or child have their own reactive manipulative mood.

Why was this Christian’s family in a mess?

So that they could be saved by the exposure of their selfish pride and thus save others, but only if they wanted to see it. If you don’t want to see, you’ll blindly stay under the power of the devil and be absolutely convinced you aren’t, and just blame everybody else for your hassles.

The currency in the kingdom of heaven is blood and faith

The currency in heaven is not goodness. Our heart secretly does good things to avoid being corrected, to feel good about ourselves and to look good in the eyes of others. Man can’t do righteous good except by God in him because only God is good. If you want to enter heaven it’s only by repentance (= washed in His blood), and by His faith implanted in you. In order to meet these requirements a person must have their pride exposed to themselves, for it is only by the repentance of one’s pride that results in the washing of His blood and the implantation of His faith. There’s no other door.

It’s only after God is in you that you can do good, and it’s only this God good that verifies your faith, James 2, and this good is not by deeds but by repentance of pride.

So, why did God create Satan?

  1. Because man is made in the image of God, and like God he has to choose between good and evil. If there is no evil then there is no evidence of a person’s genuine goodness and commitment. Evil exposes good and differentiates what good is.
  2. Because evil is the thing that God has designed to actually save the remnant and at the same time destroy the wicked and self-righteous. You need evil to fuel faith to drive you to the Lord and trust His will and plan. Faith is inactive when you’re surrounded by comfort and no hassles. You need evil to waken you to yourself; therefore, God places around you, people who offend you and thus expose your own pride. You’re saved from evil (the Lord’s Prayer), not from good, so if God is to save you, evil must exist, and you must be personally exposed as evil if you’re ever going to be good.
  3. To demonstrate the power of God, Romans 9:17
  4. If you want to know Christ you will be sifted by Satan, like Peter (Luke 22:331-34), till you are humbled and all the struts you rely on for your self-reliance are dismantled. Pride closes your understanding (Luke 9:44,45), exposure of your pride opens your understanding.
  5. You have to share His suffering to share His glory, Romans 8:17, Philippians 3:10. In the Eastern world, suffering is generally physical; in the Western world, suffering is generally emotional eg. misjudged, mocked, separated, criticised, made to feel stupid and inferior. Eventually suffering will be physical in both hemispheres, Revelation 13:7. All that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, 2 Timothy 3:12.

The solution

The solution to pride is found in Philippians 2:3 “don’t do anything for vain glory but esteem others better than yourself.”

That just simply means … always start by considering others’ opinion better than your own. This is the 2nd Great Commandment, but, you won’t be able to do this until you’ve been exposed and like Saul you kneel to His will and see that you’re the one who is actually stupid.

I repeat; you won’t be able to do this until you see that you’re the one that’s blind and stupid.

Once you surrender, you’ll not need to be offended that someone disagrees with your opinion; your confidence will be in God, not your pride; and then the irony will be that you will humbly see that everyone is stupid who fails to see.

Pastor Rick Mathews

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2015 in Pride

 

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Sermon 90 – What Demons don’t want you to Know

Recently, a young man asked my opinion regarding the set-out of an accounting spreadsheet that he had done. As I was making several suggestions that he needed to fix, I began to sense that I had offended him. After I had finished with my suggestions, I decided to face the uncomfortable atmosphere and ask him what the issue was. Both he and I knew that something wasn’t right. Even though nothing was being said with our mouths, it was certainly being said with his spirit. I could feel the blame and guilt. When I feel that, I go to God and ask Him what just went down, check my spirit that I haven’t been proud myself, and from that position I realise that I’m up against a demonic spirit.

On the outside, this young man presents as courteous, helpful, respectful, sporty and well-balanced in his character. However, I discovered in the course of the conversation that he has developed these qualities for the specific purpose of being liked and well thought of by his fellow humans. These outside characteristics are learned behaviour for selfish reasons. His true inner character is hidden until you bring a correction or an opinion that opposes his, and all of a sudden he feels inferior or stupid, and starts blaming the other person for upsetting his feelings.

Value and favour

Over the years I’ve learnt that behind everyone’s façade is a striving for personal value and favour so that they feel worthwhile amongst their peers and other humans around them. Value is defined as worth and importance, and favour means ‘luck falling my way’. From favour we get the word favourite and favouritism. In our human makeup, everyone wants to be the favourite and feel valued, and everyone dislikes and envies anyone who is more favoured than themselves. This is the pride of our inner hearts that was inherited from the Garden of Eden, and along with that inheritance is the automatic blame we shift onto anyone that hurts our feelings or makes us feel bad.

We strive for this value and favour by being more educated, more successful, more sporty and whatever we can do that will put us higher up the totem pole than our competitors. Sadly, what pride doesn’t realise is that personal value is actually valueless, and what pride doesn’t realise is that pride is a serious fracture of the heart; it just regards it as a minor issue that everyone suffers and it’s not that significant if you’re good.

In reality, this young man had really come to me to present his spreadsheet for the purpose of being accoladed for his work. He had presented it expecting to be told he was clever and when it became clear that his work had several flaws, his spirit began to argue with me and declare that “you don’t understand”. Instead of being able to appreciate my suggestions, he became defensive with explanations as to why he had done it a certain way.

His defensiveness was really just bossing and telling me how I was supposed to behave in order to make him feel valued, and that’s also what everyone will ignorantly and blindly do to God if they approach His throne of Grace without their pride exposed.

Coupled with this defensiveness will be their argument for fairness (‘you’re not being fair to me’) followed by reactionary moodiness, and thus will be exposed the real motive of a person’s spirit.

What was really happening?

The real spiritual thing that was taking place was that God was giving this young man an opportunity to see his pride and the demon that was occupying him because of it. When you’re super good and defensive of your feelings, and you’re too proud to feel silly, you can’t find God until you see your pride, and what you fail to appreciate is that pride is the channel that gives demons licence over you. Be as good as you like, it won’t solve the demonic occupation.

That’s why God instructs us to forgive and repent. It’s o so we feel better with ourselves; it to break the stronghold of demons over us, Matthew 18:21-35.

Dumped on

I asked him how was he dealing with the bad feelings he was having? He said he put them under the carpet and pretended they weren’t there, but I informed him that what he was really doing was dumping his emotions on me. If you let your feelings get hurt you’ll always blame the person who hurt you, and you’ll dump these feelings on the person you’re blaming, so you don’t feel bad.

God calls this bearing your cross. If you genuinely follow Christ, you’ll suffer like Christ; obviously not to the same extent but certainly in the same manner. Jesus was crucified and everybody dumped all their guff on Him. He was totally innocent and by God’s will and plan, got the sin of everyone dumped on Him. This is what Paul means when he says, I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me, Galatians 2:20. Importantly, it’s not faith in; it’s faith “of“.

The favour chase

I find it no coincidence that the modern church is also chasing and promoting God’s favour; it’s made up of people who believe in value and favour. The modern church system has decided to call this period in history the age of grace. Grace means unmerited and unearned favour from God. The modern Christian expects God to pour out His blessings on me because I’m special and He loves me and will give me what I need and want.

No one’s calling out for His mercy; everyone simply believes they’re good and deserving of His favour. The problem is you can’t get His favour without first getting His mercy and you can’t get His mercy without first seeing your pride.

The Pharisee and the tax-collector

In Luke 18:9, Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the tax-collector. The Pharisee is just like this young man. Doing everything right and thinks he’s a Christian, but can’t see that he’s full of himself and actually just praying to himself and desperately in need of God’s mercy. On the other hand, the publican can see it and cries out for it and consequently, comes under God’s grace.

What’s the difference between Mercy and Grace?

Mercy is different to grace. Mercy means diminished punishment. It means God won’t punish me as much as I deserve. Mercy refers to punishment, grace refers to blessings. This young man couldn’t see that he deserved any punishment; he could only see that his goodness warranted God’s blessings. So many Christians today are in the same boat. Adam and Eve didn’t cry out to God for His mercy, they’d got used to His favour, were too afraid to expose their pride; in fact, too proud to say they were wrong, and consequently, missed the boat.

The bottom line

This young man secretly lived to be his brother. From his selfish point of view, his brother was more favoured, more liked and had it all. The foundation for his whole life was covetousness and until he comes face-to-face with his pride of covetousness and his fracture of the 10th commandment and sees his real inner sin like the tax-collector, he’ll continue to use his goodness to protect his pride. I suggested to him that God can’t find you if you are your brother; He’s looking for you.

This man desperately needs God’s mercy, but he’s solely focussed on chasing His grace. He wants the favour to prove he’s better than his brother. This is the Cain syndrome.

The Cain syndrome

Cain hated his brother, Abel, because God favoured him more. I suspect he felt that Adam favoured Abel more, too. He didn’t seek mercy for his sin; rather, he told God that he needed more protection and favour. His pride caused him to miss the boat even though he talked with God. He was focussed on favour and missed the mercy, because the underlying reason was covetousness.

The two thieves on the cross are clear examples of mercy and grace. One thief challenged Christ and told Him what He should do to solve his problem. He was demanding Jesus’ favour and missed the boat even though he was face-to-face with Christ. The other thief simply said ‘remember me when you come into Your kingdom’. He saw his sin and sought God’s mercy and thus accessed the heavenly kingdom.

If you’re serious above God then He will remove anything that is propping up your pride so you get every chance to find Him. If you really want to find God eventually you’ll have to sacrifice anything that props up your pride; whether that be your career, money, or worldly position. There’s a price for salvation, and although it’s free because you can’t earn it or deserve it, it’s not free.


 Pastor Greg Hayworth

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2015 in Pride

 

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Sermon 72 – The Key Character of God that differentiates Him from His Creation

The one characteristic that differentiates God from man is ‘selfishness’. God has zero selfishness, whereas man is fully selfish. Man loves himself more than he loves God or his neighbour, whereas God has none of this character in Him; He is pure love, 1 John 1:5.

If you want the character of God then you have to
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Posted by on June 10, 2014 in Pride

 

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Sermon 64 – I’M GOOD

Q. What is good?

Q. Do you think of yourself as good?

Q. What % of good are you?

Q. What % of good confirms you are a Christian?

Q. What % do you place on your fellowman thinking that you are good?

Q. Why are you trying to be good?

Q. Is good a measurement of salvation?
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Posted by on November 16, 2013 in Elevation, Pride

 

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Sermon 61 – RESPONSIBILITY is a DIRTY WORD

When I was a young boy my older brother used to tease me incessantly. He’d run away from me on the way to school and leave me sitting in the gutter crying. He’d never let me play with his friends and he’d wrestle with me and pin my arms to the ground with his knees until I cried for mercy. He’d go out of his way to make sure
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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Pride

 

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Sermon 60 – SUBMISSION is a DIRTY WORD

To this modern generation, the thought of submission is a no no. Submission is a dirty word because everyone is into position. The modern thinking is equality and fairness and standing up for what you believe and defending your rights. But, is this the way of the cross?
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Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Pride

 

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