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Sermon 109 – Don’t Tell me what to do

In Luke 7 we read the story of the Roman centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus concluded the story with … I have not found so great faith, not in all Israel.

What was Jesus hinting at? What clue was He giving us about how to enter the kingdom of heaven?

Clearly, Jesus was telling us that faith and authority are very closely aligned. You can’t have one without the other. If you want faith you must be under authority.

Most people believe they are under authority. Most believe they are willing to be told what to do; but is that the real truth?

  1. You’re certainly not under authority if you won’t do what you’re told
  2. You can’t be under authority if you do what you’re told with a mood.
  3. You aren’t under authority if you do what you’re told with a defamatory questioning of the instructions.
  4. You are not under authority if you do what you’re told, your way (eg. King Saul).
  5. You are not willing to be told what to do if you do it with an expectation of gaining a benefit or reward.

The tree of life

All of us are actually born with the inherent defiance of resisting authority. You don’t have to teach a child to be defiant or to be proud; it’s already in them. That’s because Eve took the fruit against God’s instructions. The tree of life became the tree of death. It wasn’t Satan’s tree to offer it. Satan deceived her into thinking that when she ate the forbidden fruit she would become as god ie. no one would tell her what to do. She herself would know what was right and wrong (but only what’s right in her own eyes); she wouldn’t need God to tell her. But it was a trap of servitude to the evil one who himself won’t be told what to do, and all of humanity has inherited that trait. It has to be killed to be saved.

I’ve lost count of how many Christians I’ve met who at some point won’t be told they’re wrong yet they’re absolutely bound by what’s right (but only what’s right in their own eyes). That’s because Satan has sold everyone the lie of the fruit, so everyone thinks they know what’s right and wrong. The irony is, they do but they don’t. They’re under the influence of Satan who more often than not appears as an angel of right but in his heart is seriously defiant. Your rightness is a lie if you won’t be told it’s a lie.

You don’t understand

I recall talking with a Christian woman who can’t stand knowing anything negative about herself. Any time you hint that there is an unhealthy issue in her spirit she would just reply with “you don’t understand.” But what she’s really saying is … “you won’t tell me. I know me, not you.”

This woman uses silence and knowing right & wrong as her tool of displaying her Christianity, but it’s just a scam. In this case, silent rightness is a satanic technique to control anyone who might expose her inner fear and inFEARiority. Consequently, her goodness is fake. It’s really just a scam under the occupation of a spirit of fear and a spirit of lying. She actually lies to herself that she doesn’t have a problem with her spirit. Using your truth in order to refuse the see the truth, is demonic, not God. You’re simply munching on the fruit you were told not to.

Who do you think you are?

I also recall another woman who controlled others around her by using her fear to aggressively intimidate people who might challenge her inFEARiority, with, “who do you think you are”? She became a church leader on the back of using her self-trained knowledge of knowing right & wrong to counsel people. It gave her great self-value.

Signs of Satan

Rightness and goodness are not necessarily signs of God; Satan can perform the same degree of sweetness.  You can camouflage fear and pride with coolness, helps and silence, but it doesn’t mean you’re good or right or fearless. The thing that separates a fake from a genuine Christian is they’ll be told what to do because they love and trust the Father. This is exactly what Christ did. He made Himself of no reputation and took on Him the form of a servant and became obedient unto death and torture, simply because He loved and trusted the Father (Philippians 2:7). Your inner attitude to authority will define your Christianity.

Don’t tell me what to do are the words of Satan, not Jesus. Besides earthquakes, wars, famines and pestilence, the ultimate sign of Satan, is “don’t tell me what to do.” You’ll never hear Jesus say them, even against the Pharisees. Yes, He didn’t do what the Pharisees wanted but that’s because He loved the Father, not Himself.

What’s a Christian?

Simple. A true Christian is one who does what they’re told (without a mood, without defamatory questioning, and without expectation of reward) because they love and trust the Father. Without the love of the Father in you, all your goodness is a scam. It’s not someone who has just invited Jesus into their heart; it’s someone who’ll be told for Christ’s sake. If you’re not into the love of the Father, you’re not a Christian.

Why is this the definition of a Christian? Because Satan is the exact opposite.

How do you know if you have the love of the Father?

He’ll test you by asking you to do something you don’t want to do. Your moodiness or lack of it, will define your heart’s true condition.

I’m special

The tree of life only gives life through the death and blood of Jesus Christ; not through a fake gift from Satan, and certainly not from eating it. Eating it simply fills you with the idea that you are special and important.

If the basis of your Christianity is founded on the belief that you are special, or gifted, or important then you are not genuine. Just because your mother told you that you are, doesn’t mean she was telling the truth; she was more likely feeding her own pride as she encouraged yours. Your belief will be tested when you are told to do something you don’t want to and you have a mood. You’re simply munching on the fruit that Satan’s offered you from the tree. You need to spit it out.

The self-judgment of God

When someone says “don’t tell me what to do”, they’re actually telling the other person what to do. A good shepherd doesn’t tell people what to do, he advises them away from the direction of the wolf and the cliff. A righteous pastor isn’t telling you, he’s counselling you. When you say “don’t tell me”, you expose, not the counsellor, but yourself as the defiant tell person. You expose Satan in you.

Some time back a young man called me intolerant, but what he exposed was the fact that it was himself that was intolerant of people. You make judgement against people based on what is your rightness. If you think it’s right to just tolerate those you don’t like, then when you are corrected you’ll judge the authority as intolerant, but it’s actually your own judgment on your own head. Christ is always tolerant of people; the only thing he’s intolerant of is the demonic. There’s a time to be intolerant against evil, but general intolerance against people is Satanic.

I recall a man who said I was angry, but when I challenged him, he agreed that it was his anger he was feeling, not mine. Whenever he didn’t get what he wanted he got angry.

All of these judgment reactions against people are simply the fruit of “don’t tell me what to do.” It doesn’t look like it, but they are. It really means that you’re munching on the fruit Satan’s offered you.

Spare the rod and spoil the child

The modern world has outlawed corporal punishment. Under the influence of fake rightness the world contradicts the instructions of God to smack the child when they act defiant. The modern school systems endorse the belief that children should be allowed to learn for themselves without parental discipline. The only consequence of this policy is anarchy. You don’t stop paedophilia by removing discipline to the child; you stop it by not letting the child grow up to be a paedophile. You stop it by retaining disciple not removing it.

Warfare

We’re in a warfare against evil. Satan is selling the church a cheap ticket to self-importance. Will you keep blindly eating the fruit or will you stand up and own your sin and come under Christ’s authority and rule? The truth is, no one truly respects authority until they die to themselves because they love Christ who died for them.

 

Pastor Norm Wakefield

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Posted by on January 28, 2017 in Authority

 

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Sermon 108 – Correct me but don’t TELL me what to do

Over the years I’ve counselled many Christians who end up saying to me … I’m happy for you to correct me but don’t tell me what to do. When I dig deeper, what they’re really saying is … if you tell me what to do, then you’re not giving me the right to make my own decisions. If you tell me what to do, then you are making me feel incapable or stupid. I want to make my own decisions.

When I hit this impasse I know I’ve hit a demonic resistance. This person is happy to be a Christian as long as they retain the right to make their own decisions. The irony is, the Holy Spirit already knows He has the right to His own decisions; He doesn’t have to insist on it. When someone insists on that right they are revealing they are under the influence of an un-holy spirit.

Under a lying spirit

In truth, such a person is lying. This person doesn’t really want to be corrected at all, because there is no such thing as being correctable and yet not being willing to be told what to do to correct the error of judgment. What they are really saying is … I want your counsel, but not your authority. With your counsel I can weigh up all my options, and with my own authority I will make the choices that I think are best.

The thinking process of the anti-christ

An anti-christ spirit insists on its rights … you can tell me I’ve made a mistake, but now leave it with me to sort it out. It’s not your business. I’m capable to sort out my own issues. I have the right to make my own decisions. This spirit demands you listen to their explanations of why they did what they did, and then classifies you as rude if you don’t. Effectively, they actually hate being corrected, because correction is the state of being devalued in the eyes of others, and the state of having to give up what you want. The Word of God declares that if you are un-correctable then you are a bastard, not a son (Hebrews 12:8).

It’s the opposite process under the Holy Spirit

If someone who walks under the influence of the Holy Spirit makes an error of judgement they may not like being corrected but they open their heart to being told. They surrender to the correction and the being told. David made some serious errors of judgment but when it came to the correction there was no resistance.

Resistance to the correction is the measure of the spirit in you

Opposite to David’s response was King Saul in 1 Samuel 15. He resisted the correction, he explained and blamed, and when he saw he couldn’t get Samuel to back down, he pretended to be willing. It had nothing to do with serving God; it was all a scam.

Ultimately, any resistance to correction is the measure of your pride

A demonic spirit knows that your pride is its control point so it supports a person in preserving it; so a person has to act like they are willing to be corrected or they will expose their own pride, and pride can’t let this happen. Therefore, a resistant spirit must act willing to be corrected, but at the same time it has to retain its right to do what it wants, its own way. Whenever a Holy Spirit controlled person comes up against this resistance and demand for personal rights, he automatically knows he’s up against a spirit of anti-christ.

The sorry technique

Modern society believes that if you say sorry then the recipient has to forgive and reconcile. That’s not what happened between Jesus and Judas, nor between David and Saul. If you question a person’s sorry as genuine, a person under the influence of an anti-christ spirit will bite back with … I told you I was sorry, now stop pushing the point. I said I was wrong, now just get over it. It blames you for not accepting its apology and it tells you how to behave towards it; it won’t be told.

The diagnostic point

An anti-christ spirit will TELL you how you are to behave towards it, and that’s the diagnostic point; it actually doesn’t like being told, it only likes to TELL. That’s what pride is … TELL and not be told, but pretend to be willing to be told. So when someone in their spirit says correct me, but don’t tell me, they are declaring loud and clear what spirit it is that operates through them.

The modern thinking that exposes an anti-christ spirit

I have the right to my own thinking. Who says you know what’s right? My truth is just as valid as yours. If you’re being nasty to me then I have the right to be nasty to you. These are all the thoughts of Satan. The Holy Spirit does not think or speak that way. If you have any of these thoughts, you are of the spirit of anti-christ no matter how much you pretend to be of God.

Faith doesn’t have to see

I can’t see what you’re saying, and until I see it I can’t agree there is an issue. This is a statement of pride, not faith. The Bible declares that faith is the evidence of things not seen, Hebrews 11:1. If you are under the influence of the Holy Spirit, you know when the correction is true and you’ve done wrong. If you are under the influence of an anti-christ spirit, you will defend your right to see first.

Eventually, the Holy Spirit will leave

Like King Saul and Samson, you can be under the influence of the Holy Spirit and under the influence of an anti-christ spirit at the same time, but if you insist on retaining your pride, eventually the Holy Spirit will depart and leave you to your fate. Eventually, the character of the person changes from being helpful to being defiant, and a defiant spirit won’t be told that this is happening to them. I’ve seen this multiple times in the decay of the modern church.

How to beat a demonic spirit

The Pentecostal church teaches its flock to stand up against Satan by directly confronting him with Biblical text. This is just the pathway of pride, not faith. Michael the archangel didn’t do this technique (Jude 1:9), and neither did Jesus. You can’t win against Satan by defying him, rather it’s important to respect his position and power that the Father has delegated to him. You can only win by dying. The way Jesus defeated Satan was via the cross, fulfilling the will of His Father. If you want to be free from Satan’s power over you, it’s not by willing yourself to be good, or prophetically challenging Satan, it’s by dying to yourself by surrendering to whatever God the Father’s plan is for you. The reason the church can’t find the narrow way is because it refuses to travel via the path of death to self. It says is, but it’s lying to itself.

Salvation is really simple

The church teaches that Jesus died and did it all for us, but that’s only half the truth. The Word of God also teaches that the servant is not above the master. Jesus led the way to show His disciples the path to follow. Eternal life is via the cross, not by holding your position against someone who’s being unkind to you. He teaches this in Matthew 5:39 & Luke 14:26,27. If you don’t come to Christ via the cross, then you’re not saved. You actually can’t repent of your sin without dying to yourself and giving up your defensive position; it isn’t just sorry. The cross is a heart that says … ok God, if You have placed this spiteful person or issue in my path I’ll trust Your plan, not what I want. It doesn’t take the person on for hurting your feelings, but trusts the Lord with the outcome and without any expectation of getting the victory or vengeance. From this death position God raises you up above the opposing spirit, Philippians 2:7-11.

The reason the majority can’t find this simple way is that they are too proud to be told different to what they already believe. In simplicity, their own pride has fostered an anti-christ spirit to delude them to not be told; their pride wants to do it their own way. Too proud to cop it; too proud to lose; too proud to repent; too proud to be told; too proud to trust; too proud to be a nobody. Paul said “I count all things loss that I may win Christ.”

 

May the remnant of Christ awake!

 

Pastor Norm Wakefield

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in Authority

 

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Sermon 107 – The Art of Christianity

Several years ago, a seemingly nice young man joined our fellowship. From all appearances he had everything … a well-paid job, a girlfriend, a nice car, plus our supportive fellowship. He attached himself to my family and we befriended him as a son. On the outside he appeared generous and helpful and appreciative, but there came a point where he didn’t like my judgment over a particular issue and a different spirit was revealed.

Over the years we had seen an old nature side to this young man that I often had to challenge. He often displayed envy towards my son. He regarded anyone who didn’t agree with his thinking as an idiot, and he was often casual and flippant with my instructions and ended up doing it his own way in his own time. On top of this, he had deduced that when I preached about bearing your cross, to him it meant having to tolerate the people God had put around him. These were the deductions of his youth and unfortunately, when they were exposed to him as sin, instead of repenting, he simply re-packaged them, and referred to them whenever he selected to. He had simply learnt the art of smoothness and coupled it together with the art of Christianity, and convinced himself that his generosity and helps proved he was a Christian.

In the course of time, his envy of my son, and his pompous intolerance of people, resulted in his heart lusting after the relationship I had with my son and family. From his position he didn’t think it was fair that I should love my son more than him. Eventually, he deduced that if he couldn’t have what my son had then he would copy my love and impose his control through his generosity onto another well-like family in our fellowship. Ultimately, God removed him and separated him from our fellowship.

As a pastor, I’ve seen this pattern of behaviour in so-called Christians far too often. I’m reminded of Ezekiel 33:31,32 … they come unto you as the people come and they 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. And lo, you are unto them a very lovely song of one that has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument, for they hear your words but they do them not.

Warning

As I often warn my fellowship, the envy that’s inherent in the heart of man must be killed by your unconditional surrender to the will of God. Otherwise, this envy in your heart will fester and then everything you build your thinking on, everything you think is good and right, will really be false and sinking sand. Envy turns your thinking against the righteous, and like Simon the sorcerer, it ends up trying to buy or copy what’s in the heart of a righteous man. On the foundation of envy, sorry is never repentance, but just a quick way to escape embarrassment.

Tolerate

Unrighteous tolerance towards people is bearing people’s nonsense with spite and belittlement in your heart. It’s evidence that your heart is evil. Unrighteous tolerance is really a pompous snub towards God’s human creation and the selfish opposite of willing to serve God wherever and with whoever. The Holy Spirit doesn’t tolerate people with spite in His heart; He serves the will of God. When you allow yourself the privilege of feeling untolerated by someone, you’re simply living in the lie of your own imagination built on the foundation of your spiteful intolerance towards everyone else, but cleverly camouflaged by your coolness or niceness which is really the symptom of your own intolerance.

The evil vineyard keeper

In Matthew 21:33, we read the story of the evil vineyard keeper. Instead of the vineyard keeper being ever grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord of the vineyard, he resented the fact that the Lord owned the vineyard and he had to work it. It wasn’t fair. When the son came to oversee the operation of the vineyard, instead of showing respect, they killed him with the stupid expectation of taking possession of the vineyard. But God isn’t gentle, meek and mild when it comes to justice and righteous vengeance. He kills the evil.

Biblical warnings

Of course, this is a parable of Satan’s grievance with God for not recognising him equal to or above Jesus His son. But it’s more than that. Anyone who wants what the Son has, is born of Satan, not God. Anyone who wants what the Son can give him is of the spirit of anti-christ. Anyone who wants what anyone else has, is an anti-christ. John warns us about such spirits. Jude seriously warns us about such spirits. James warns us about such spirits. Peter warns us about such spirits, and Paul warns us about such spirits. In fact, most of the bible, both old and new testaments are actually warnings about falling into league with Satan’s spies in the church. The warnings are real and even more pertinent for the remnant today.

Too many so-called Christians are working the Lord’s vineyard with resentment in their spirits and for the purpose of being recognised and acknowledged and valued. They’re instruments of Satan, not Christ. Too many Christians are practicing the art of Christianity without the heart of Christ. They’re not converted and they’re not saved. They’re enemies of Christ and their purpose is to divide, conquer and ultimately destroy and take over what you have. It’s tricky because they’re in sheep’s clothing.

Do you honestly think that Satan wouldn’t strike the heart of God’s people just as effectively within the church as outside it? Guerrilla warfare is far more effective than a direct frontal assault.

The two characters of a demonic spirit

One side of a demonic spirit can be generous, helpful and cooperative. That’s just a smoke screen. The true side of a spirit is seen when it eventually gets puffed up, expects to be valued, then unexpectantly gets corrected or put in its place for its inappropriate attitude. Like Samuel vs King Saul, you’ll know when you’re up against a spirit when it resists your correction, starts telling you how you are supposed to behave towards it, and wants to retain its position in the eyes of the people. Eventually, if you hold a righteous position in Christ, the scam is exposed and the true spirit gets revealed.

The battleground

Ephesians 6 teaches us that we are not fighting flesh and blood but demonic principalities and evil powers. The church teaches that these forces are external, but that’s the secondary battleground. The primary battleground is within us. It’s the battle between the forces of righteousness and the forces of unrighteousness. Once we concede to the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh or the pride of life, then the force of righteousness is choked (Mark 4:19) and is only restored through sincere repentance.

The fight has intensified. Not a day goes by without hearing of some disaster or an increase in moral decay, suggesting that the end is nearer than we imagine, Matthew 24:7.

Hold firm your position in Christ and don’t worry about the world, nor lean on the world.

 

May God strengthen His remnant for His plan and purposes.

 

Pastor Norm Wakefield

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2016 in Deception

 

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Sermon 106 – Gall of Bitterness

For the past decade I’ve had an intermittent dull ache under my rib cage on the right-hand side of my body. As a Natural Therapist I’m aware that such a symptom indicates liver/gall bladder dysfunction of some kind. I’ve learnt to restrict my diet and not eat fast foods, fatty foods, peanuts and dairy. They all upset my liver. I’ve been the medical examination route of ultrasound, blood tests for liver function, and x-rays with radioactive dyes, but they all showed negative results. Finally, my GP suggested surgical removal of my gall bladder.

I’ve learnt that removal of the gallbladder often doesn’t solve the problem but rather creates alternate problems. I wasn’t interested in such a radical solution. I finally decided to attempt a gallbladder cleanse using apple juice, Epsom salts and olive oil. I was very hesitant and cautious about the effectiveness of the process but I decided I had no other alternative. The symptoms were getting worse. To my utter astonishment I passed more than 100 stones. I was elated at the prospect of restored health.

Neurological connections between emotions and organs

When you get scared, your body reacts with what medicine calls the ‘fear/ flight’ syndrome. Your muscles and organs tense for running from whatever it is that causing the fear.

I know as a natural therapist that the gallbladder is neurologically affected by the mental emotion of bitterness, and the liver is affected by the emotion of anger. There’s no way that persistent bitterness and anger will not have negative effects on your biological system. You will not be aware of the side-effect of such emotions but your body has to absorb them somehow. My gallstones could either mean I was full of bitterness myself or that I was bearing the burden of others’ bitterness against me.

Simon, the sorcerer

The whole exercise reminded me of Simon, in Acts chapter 8. He used sorcery to make himself look great in the eyes of others, v.9.

By God’s grace, when Philip preached, the bewitching power over the people’s minds was broken. They switched allegiance and this stirred Simon to switch with them. Simon was looking for the trick that Philip used to cause the people to switch, so he hung around Philip to try and pick up the clues. Further analysis shows that his motive for becoming a Christian was for personal gain. He was really just looking for whatever way he could to retain his superiority and control over others.

Peter and John turned up and laid hands on those who had converted to Christ. Obviously, they responded to the Holy Spirit’s anointing by most probably speaking in foreign languages. Simon was desperate to have the equivalent power, so he tried to purchase it with money, v.20. He was immediately exposed as a fraud.

Peter challenged Simon to repent of the thought of his heart and declared that Simon was caught up in the gall of bitterness.

What does this mean to us?

  1. If you allow yourself to get caught up in the desire to be great in the eyes of others, you’ll end up with spiritual gallstones.
  2. If you envy others for having more power or position than you, you’ll end up with spiritual gallstones.
  3. Eventually, either on earth, or before the Lord, you’ll be exposed as a fraud.

Sadly, my pastoral experience has confirmed that most modern-day Christians are fraudulent, just like Simon. Most are into Christianity for their own selfish gain. The power of the demonic is becoming more and more openly exposed. Most, like Simon, are serving God under the power of demonic spirits for their own gain.

Spiritual gallstones

The liver produces bile salts which are stored in the gall bladder and automatically ejected into the duodenum whenever you eat fatty food. The bile salts help break down the fats. Bile salts are made up of cholesterol. When your liver malfunctions due to chronic stress or disease, the gallbladder gets congested with bile salts and gradually these salts harden into stones of varying sizes. Gallbladder removal in this modern generation is now extremely common. There’s a lot of bitter people out there.

Besides the stones, and besides the liver struggling to perform its blood cleansing process, the serious problem is the cholesterol. Bad cholesterol will clog arteries and consequently contribute to heart attacks and strokes. It’s dangerous to be bitter.

In the same way, if you let bitterness into your heart, you invariably won’t know, but it will be subtly killing you.

Test

You can test yourself by honestly observing your emotions when someone else gets the accolades; when someone else gets the better deal; when someone else gets greater happiness or money or relationships. Any sense of a feeling of unfairness is a sure sign of spiritual gallstones.

Example

I was counselling a young man who said he was a Christian, but his single-parent mother was struggling with his defiance and bad attitude. When I suggested that he repay the money he had sponged off her, and put his head down and work to his ability at school, he ran off in one big mood saying “it’s all too hard”. Right there and then, he had the opportunity to break free from demonic spirits, but his selfishness was too strong.

His philosophy was … if you’re bad you can’t tell me to be good; and if you’re bad, I have the right to be bad too. This is just blaming others so you can make excuses for your own evil behaviour. Why doesn’t he have the philosophy of … if you’re bad, I’m going to be good. Obviously, he prefers to be bad, and he’s looking for any excuse to achieve it.

Knowing of his background, I could see that his behaviour was simply built on the envy that his brother was more liked by his father. Instead of being grateful for what had been done for him and given to him, he had chosen the path of envy and had started practicing mind control over people in order to get his way. He had inadvertently surrendered to Satan. He was silently producing spiritual gallstones which would one day kill him.

Warning

In this modern world that is becoming more and more worldly and less and less moral and less and less respectful of authority, stay true to the Word of God, even if you’re alone, or the empowerment of demonic spirits will latch onto your bitterness and lead you on the broad way to destruction.

 

May God strengthen his remnant to stay true to His call.

 

Pastor James McNaughton

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2016 in Bitterness

 

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Sermon 105 – Demons love a Sugar Fix

Humans love sugar … chocolate, ice cream, coca cola, cakes, biscuits etc.

Sugar makes you feel good.

The problem is that when you eat too much sugar, the sugar is converted by your liver into fats. It’s the sugar that causing the western world’s obesity epidemic.

Demons love sugar too. They crave it. They manoeuvre wherever they can to get it. They fight over each other for it.

I’m not talking about the natural carbohydrate; I’m talking about “pride”. Pride is the sugar fix that demons get off on. Without pride, demons are lost. They might kill you like they did Jesus, but they can’t win. They can only have power over you through the door of your pride. This is the very reason why Jesus said in Luke 14 that a true disciple must die to themselves. Spiritual death really means that you have surrendered everything to the will of the Father, like Christ, and thus when you’re tempted to think you are special, or capable, or intelligent, or better or envious of your fellow-man, the Holy Spirit gives you the power to resist the selfish temptation to fall to your pride so that demons don’t have the upper hand in the battle against the kingdom of God.

Satanic currency

Satan hated the fact that Jesus was more favoured by the Father; thus he instigated the currency of pride. He sold this currency to humankind when he tempted Eve to reach for pride. She took it and it tasted like sugar, but it actually turned to fat. Once man fell to pride he inherently practiced fear, lying, blame and murder. Adam and Eve attacked each other with their words and Cain killed Abel. We’re all born under this satanic infection of sin and it’s a fight for our salvation to escape this disease of pride.

Jesus only

There’s only one escape from this disease and it’s only through the door of the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus said … I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but by Me (John 14:6); not Mary, not Mohammed, not Allah, only Jesus Christ. And that door can only be opened when you fully surrender to the will of the Father, not by words but by actions.

Jezebel

In 1 Kings 21 we read the story of King Ahab envying the vineyard of Naboth. Instead of being grateful for the garden he had, he wanted better. He inherited this disease from Eve who obviously did the same thing. He then went and had a big mood which was designed to manipulate others to feel sorry for him and to give him what he wanted. Sound familiar?

Jezebel, his wife, came to the rescue, and plotted a plan of perjury that resulted in Naboth being unjustly stoned. Ahab got what he wanted. But it backfired. Eventually God raised up Jehu who killed the sons of the king and finally Jezebel despite her attempts to woo him with her cosmetic face paint. Then Jehu also lost his way because he let his pride fill him with his own importance. Behind all this, demons were actively destroying God’s special human creation by simply activating their pride.

Satan hates God’s authority

Like Eve in the Garden and Jezebel in Jezreel, once a woman chooses pride she will be used by Satan to envy other women and destroy males. Generally, they’re not doing this deliberately or knowingly, they unwittingly become instruments of Satan even though they’re outwardly covered in goodness. Satan hates authority, so deep in the inherent spirit of a woman is the hatred of man’s position over them. The only way this hatred is retained in its proper box is if the man stands for righteousness on the principles of God’s commandments. If he falters to his pride he will also falter to the woman’s wishes instead of God’s will, and the woman will take the man to hell, just like Adam who was separated from God and the Garden.

It was the spirit behind Jezebel that stirred up Ahab (1Kings 21:25). Consequently, because Ahab chose pride he was subject to Jezebelic demons even though from his perspective nothing could touch him because he was the king. But that’s what pride does; it tricks you into your own deception of being your own king.

You only have to look at society, tattoos, nose rings and earrings, sex change operations, lesbianism, and sport to see that men are becoming woman and woman are becoming men. The Word of God declares that if men compromise the principles of the Word, then woman and children will rule over them (Isaiah 3:4,12). All Satan’s interested in is opposing God’s creative plan, reversing it and ultimately destroying it. Satan is winning, and he’s winning because the church is sick.

Faith levels

Obviously, God grants us different levels of faith, so some of us are able to address our pride better than others, but from my years of observation of people, most don’t even try; they don’t even know that they’re vulnerable to demons; they’re too busy coping with trying to look good in the eyes of others. Like Saul, they worship the true God but their real heart’s interest is in their own well-being and their position on the totem pole of the society they move amongst.

When you devalue the Ten Commandments you prosper pride and the demonic

You can’t stop the progression of pride without God’s Ten Commandments retaining the top shelf of respect. Respect for the Ten Commandments is the first bulwark against the enemy’s manoeuvring. Sadly, the modern church has fallen for the lie that the God of the Old Testament was hard and cruel, but the God of the New Testament is meek and gentle. Consequently, modern Christians have been duped into believing the grace lie that they can interpret God’s commandments according to how they feel at the time because the Commandments are implanted in their hearts when you become a Christian. The Word of God states that God is the same yesterday, today and forever; He never changes (Hebrews 12:8). So this teaching is just a lie designed to make the church look more acceptable to the world, and if you believe this lie then you are not a Christian; you’re a tare.

When it comes to the crunch, by far the majority of Christians practice family first at the cost of compromising the principles of God. If you say you love God, then obviously His principles over-rule all else, but the modern church displays its hypocrisy by being openly submitted to divorce and re-marriage, openly retailing with the world and sporting like the world on God’s holy day, openly endorsing women in the pulpit, not separating from wilful Christian sinners but rather falsely loving them in their sin (1 Corinthians 5:11-13), and turning a blind eye to the sin of homosexuality (Romans 1). The church is sick and dying.

Once you mix your Christian principles with the world

People have been so duped by their self-evaluated goodness they don’t even know what pride is. To most it’s a feeling of superiority which they believe they don’t experience. The truth is, pride is believing I’m special; pride is being jealous of what your neighbour has; pride is believing it’s not fair when you hurt my feelings; pride is taking on someone when they’ve said or done something unfairly offensive; pride is wanting a better deal and failing to see the garden God’s placed you in. It’s pride because it’s all about me and my feelings. It’s not faith in God’s will and plan. Pride is simply turning to myself instead of stopping the mood reaction and instead turning to the Father for His will in the matter.

Never take on a demon in your own strength

If you take on someone for hurting your feelings, or if you envy someone for having a better deal, you’ll unwittingly take on demons and you’ll end up with the same consequences of decay as that person (Matthew 7:1,2). We’re not fighting flesh and blood but principalities and powers, and the rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). We’re up against gorilla warfare demons, not people. The demons use people to trick you into their snare. It’s pride to take on a demon in your own strength especially by using the Name of Jesus with your own self-elevated self-worthiness. Like Christ, who let Satan kill Him, demons are only submissive to the will of the Father. You’re wiser to wait on God and leave the outcome to God.

 

May God grant the strength of character for some men and women to stand against the swell.

 

Dr. Samuel Gourdone

 

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2016 in Pride

 

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Sermon 104 – The Rain Falls on the Just and the Unjust

ABC news radio recently announced the past discovery in the National Gallery of Australia of a stolen statue known as the dancing Shiva idol belonging to the Sripuranthan tribe in southern India.  Two years ago the Australian government had returned the idol to the Indian authorities but it was being held in police custody as evidence of the crime. The tribes people were now expressing their frustrations to the authorities. They wanted the idol returned to their temple because they believed that the idol brought them good luck. To their thinking, when the idol was with them the rains came and their crops prospered and life was happy.

It reminds me of the Jews burning incense to the queen of heaven, Jeremiah 44:16-19. They worshipped the Lord God and at the same time made cakes to the queen of heaven. They adopted whatever technique gave them the most apparent prosperity. Life was based on getting the best deal; it wasn’t based on trusting God. Consequently, their thinking was the fruit of their contaminated spirits and their behaviour was irrational, but not to them.

What’s idol worship?

Obviously, bowing to a statue is clearly idol worship, but does western society practice idol worship without recognising their contradictory behaviour?  ISIS thinks so.

There’s a difference between thinking that you’re good because things are going good and being thankful when things are going well. One is the love of self and the other is the love of God. If you say you’re a Christian, then one is using God as your idol for your own well-being and the other is serving God whatever the circumstances. They’re miles apart. Sadly, most Christians have been indoctrinated by our humanistic society to believe that they are worshiping God when in fact they’re just using Him for their own self-value.

David was thankful for things working out well, but if you read the Psalms & the Book of Samuel you’ll quickly recognise that most of his life was surviving the satanic hassles fired against him. Think about Saul’s hatred, Absalom’s rebellion, and the loss of Ziglag. Despite the conflicts, he retained a God confidence attitude, and fought his own selfishness. Everything was based on trusting God’s plan, not chasing the best for himself.

If you give self an inch, it will take a mile

The current motto supporting homosexuality is … Love is Love.

In other words, their argument is that any type of good feelings is love. As if sin is going to feel bad! Everyone knows that sin is not love, whether it feels good or not. Once you give sin licence, of course it won’t be able to stop itself, so evil just calls the sin ‘love’ so it can justify it. What rubbish! Humanism can talk itself into anything, because self is its idol. Homosexuality is just an excuse for more self-idol worship and anti-christ resistance to the will of God.

Christians are losing the war

Everyone is born under satanic influence with the desire to worship themselves.  It’s the pride of thinking that we are of importance. It’s heavily promoted by our humanistic society. In fact, in modern society no one’s allowed to fail; no one’s allowed to feel bad. But the truth is, our children are being manipulated into thinking of themselves first; to protect their rights; to love themselves first before their neighbour. The whole process of modern society is to devalue Christianity and negate God and His rules from inhibiting our selfish passions.

We’re all subjected to the temptation of thinking we’re pretty good when something goes our way, but it’s temptation, and if you’re saved you have to wake up to the trick and resist Satan, not by telling Satan to rack-off, but rather by not giving ground to your pride.

Whatever is not of faith, is sin, Romans 14:23

It’s this inherent satanic inspired self-love that has to die daily, by surrendering in faith to the will of God. You can camouflage this pride with good works or happy attitudes, but if it’s not of faith then the good works are just a smoke screen to get into the good books of others, to protect your self-value to be liked and not dis-liked.

Why does the rain fall on the just and the unjust? Matthew 5:45

So why does the rain fall on the unjust too? Because, if it just fell on the just, everyone would swap sides so they could get the deal, so how would you know who was fair-dinkum? Plus, the just would be full of their own importance over the unjust, and thus get lost in their selfishness.

The rain falls on the just and the unjust. So, if you think you’re just because it rains on your life, how does that prove that you are just? Thinking that you’re just actually suggests that you are full of your own importance, like the Pharisee vs the Publican in Luke 18:10, and therefore you’ve either fallen into the pit of self-elevation, or you are actually one of the unjust.

The just walk by faith, Galatians 3:11

The unjust think they deserve God’s goodness on them, but the just don’t think they deserve anything, they’re just grateful when it rains on them; they don’t bemoan when it rains on the unjust more; and they trust God when it doesn’t rain on them. Any other pattern in your behaviour and attitude is contrary to faith, and therefore is evidence of using God for your idol worship. We all face the temptation to have a mood when it doesn’t work to our advantage, but that’s the tempter’s strategy to trick us into our pride. Love doesn’t fall to pride, and if it does it repents.

Think of it this way … the unjust have 70 or so years; the just have eternity. There’s no need for envy.

Why resist the temptation to think we’re something?

That’s simple … we’re all born in sin and therefore fully susceptible to demonic influence. Our pride opens the door to these familiar spirits (Isaiah 8:19) that will work against you and against the will of God.

I’ve lost count of the character changes I’ve observed when people open their heart to their pride. Recently, I was counselling a Christian man who felt the pride of his daughter’s achievements. I could sense there was pride in his picture because the outward manner of his children, including the daughter, began to show signs of superior self-value and say and do things that were out of character. I drew his attention to the fact that his children were showing the same unhealthy characteristics of their self-centered grandfather.  I pointed out to this man that his pride had opened the door to the spirits operating behind his family chain. When he looked he thankfully could see what I was pointing out to him. He recognised his healthy joy had turned to unhealthy pride. Instead of being thankful for the Lord’s rain, he had succumbed to the pride that he was the one who had done it for his daughter. He repented and his children’s attitude reverted back to normal behaviour.

We’re not fighting flesh and blood but principalities and powers, Ephesians 6

Demons attack and tempt in order to activate your pride. Don’t worry about the demons, rather, keep a check on your pride. It’s the thing that will kill you.

God doesn’t stop your pride; you’re responsible to do it.

 

Pastor Greg Saunders

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2016 in Pride, Thankfulness

 

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Sermon 103 – He must increase, I must decrease

John the Baptist had to face the loss of his disciples to a man that he testified to as the Christ. To promote Jesus, cost John his position. John was older than Jesus, his cousin. He was the one that started the discipleship program. He could have easily got jealous that Jesus was more popular, but instead he testified that ‘He must increase, I must decrease’, John 3:30.

I’ve met so many Christians that say that Christ must increase, but I’ve discovered that they’re just pretending. What they really mean is … Christ must increase and I must increase with Him. That’s not what John said. When it comes to popularity and self-value, the temptation for position repetitively wins the day, and a fake Christian’s inherent envy simply will justify their decision.

So how does this teach us what love is?

We have many definitions of love, but underneath it all, it’s pretty much … ‘you be nice to me, I’ll be nice to you.’

Both the church and the world are into this model of love. Both spread the same message of love because both of them are on the same path. For example, if you agree with the right to divorce and re-marry (contrary to the Word of God in Matthew 19:9), you’re the same as the world. If you are supportive of the right to be a homosexual (contrary to the Word of God in Romans 1), then you’re the same as the world. If you support the right for women to be equal with men (contrary to the Word of God in 1 Timothy 2:12), you’re the same as the world. If you say sorry and expect that person to say sorry back to you (contrary to the Word of God in Matthew 5:40), you’re the same as the world. If you practice retail shopping on God’s Sabbath (contrary to the Word of God in Nehemiah 10:31), you’re the same as the world.

If you think the Ten Commandments are now irrelevant Old Testament rules because we’re in the age of grace (contrary to the Word of God in Matthew 5:17-19), then you’ve been conned by the world in the church. [Note: ‘fulfil’ means to fully satisfy; it doesn’t mean ‘to cancel’ as verified by v.18].

But, if you’re fair dinkum for Christ, your path will diverge from the world and the church. Why? Because if you follow the same pattern as the world, you’re really an enemy of Christ (James 4:4).

Ultimately, love is a relationship with God, the Father, through the unconditional surrender of one’s will and wants to the will of Christ, and displayed by one’s attitude to the instructions of Christ through His Word, the Bible. Persecution by the world and the church simply because you stand on the Word of God, will verify your love, because the world and the church don’t want to be told they’re wrong.

The love of Christ is contrary to the world and will suffer the contempt of the world.

The measurement of love

1 Corinthians 13 clearly defines what real love is, and without it we are just a noise. Love is not measured by your good deeds, your warm attitude, your hard work or skills, or your courteous behaviour.

The real measurement of love is envy (v.4), and the real measurement of love is not vaunting itself or seeking its own. You see, love is not measured by what you do to your neighbour, it’s measured by your inner attitude towards your neighbour. You can give away all your money and even die for your neighbour, but if it isn’t love then it’s all a waste of time. You can be as nice to your neighbour as you like but if your heart envies your neighbour’s good fortune then your goodness is just a pretence for your own selfishness.

I’ve discovered that most Christians are just nice so you’ll be nice to them so they enjoy the pleasures of life without the hassles of life. Their real inner heart secretly envies their neighbour’s good fortune, believes that it’s special, and hates being below one’s neighbour. It’s not the love of God; it’s satanic.

So now we’ve mentioned Satan, let’s talk about angels for a second.

What’s the purpose of angels?

Most people seem to think angels are there to protect them, but, because people are basically selfish, what they really mean is … angels are there to keep my life happy. It’s one of the reasons why people become Christians.

Perhaps it’s better to ask what’s the purpose of demons?

Well, if everything is made by Christ for Christ (Colossians 1:16), then demons are there to save you or to destroy you. If you’re a genuine Christian, then you’ll be attacked by demons regularly and consistently, as outlined in Ephesians 6:12, just like Paul’s thorn (2 Corinthians 12:7). Under this constant barrage you’ll be forced to turn to yourself or turn to Christ. God’s taken a risk, but that’s what freedom of choice is, and once you learn to accept your weakness instead of trying to prove your greatness, then you will find His strength and His rest (2 Cor.12:10).

I think the purpose of an angel is, under God’s direction, to inhibit the power of a demon against you, and thus it is for protection, but not for your happiness, but for His glory.

So, in the light of this, let’s talk about truth.

What’s the measurement of truth?

Most people measure truth by how they feel. If you make me feel good, you’re nice, but if you make me feel bad, you’re not nice. On this basis of evaluation, my truth is my feelings. But, they’re deceiving themselves. Feelings will always deceive you when you live to protect your feelings, but, on the other hand, feelings always expose the truth when I live for His increase and my decrease.

I was counselling a young woman who, like most women, was heavy into feelings. If someone hurt her feelings or she observed someone else‘s feelings being hurt, she would immediately make a judgment against the offender, rather than turn to the Lord by faith and seek His wisdom over what she had observed. When I asked her how she felt about a certain offence she gave me a description of what the offender had done and why it was bad. She actually hadn’t answered what I asked; I asked her for a feeling, yet even though she was a feeling person, she wasn’t able to give me her feelings. Instead of feeling, I got logic.

I’ve learnt that when a person clearly misinterprets the question, you’re talking to someone under the influence of a demon.

What was happening?

This woman was circumventing her feelings because in her heart she knew her feelings were leading her to her own sin of judgment and thus would expose her selfishness. She lived in the fear of feeling stupid, so she automatically judged people for making her or others feel stupid. Because of the pain of feeling stupid, she subconsciously but also deliberately ignored her feelings, and unwittingly, she had succumbed to demonic influence. When she eventually shared with me her feeling of ‘anger’, she quickly admitted that she was in sin and the Spirit of God set her free from the demonic.

When you use logic to hide your feelings, you’re blocking the truth that’s being exposed by your feelings, and unwittingly reinforcing the demonic power over you.

John the Baptist could easily have allowed himself to be sad that Jesus was absconding with his disciples, but instead, he chose to be faithful. He used his logic to over-rule his feelings so that he would be faithful. Faith works by love (Galatians 5:6) and love is … ‘He must increase, I must decrease’. Consequently, he was attacked by demons to get him to relinquish his commitment to Christ, but yet, by faith, he was free from their power over his spirit and saved to eternity with Christ.

The goal of every genuine believer

What things were gain to me, I count loss for Christ. I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them dung that I might win Christ. Found in him not having my own righteousness by trying to keep the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. Philippians 3:7-10

Everybody says they want Christ to increase, but what they really want is to protect themselves from their own decrease. Like the seed sown among thorns, these will never know the resurrection to eternal life.

 

May God strengthen your heart’s purpose to decrease for Christ by His Spirit.

 

Pastor Jim Stratton

 

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2016 in Love

 

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