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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 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 87 – Occupied by a Demon

Q. What’s a demon?

Nobody likes thinking about demons and nobody likes talking about demons, but the fact remains that if there is a Holy Spirit then there are unholy spirits, and if there are angels then there are demons. God calls them unclean spirits (Revelation 16:13). Nobody understands how the Holy Spirit can indwell the body of a Christian, but if that’s possible then it’s also possible for an evil spirit to do the same.

Examples of Demons

Demons seem to have different primary functions and can be single or multiple e.g. lying spirits (1 Kings 22:23), spirits of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), King Saul, the Gadarene (Mark 5:9), spirit of divination (Acts 16:16), Mary Magdalene, boy thrown into the fire, spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:11)

Church thinking

The church believes that if you are a Christian then you are occupied by the Holy Spirit and you can’t be occupied by a demon, but is that the case? Think about King Saul, Samson, Peter, Korah, and Baalim.

The church believes that if you are a non-Christian then you can’t be occupied by the Holy Spirit, but is that the case? Why should creator God be restricted to our thinking when He owns His creation, both good and bad? Both King Saul and Baalim suggest otherwise, as does Judas, Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:37), and Cyrus (king of the anti-christ kingdom of Persia, 2 Chron.36:22).

Everybody has been indoctrinated to think that we are born good and are inherently good; but the Word of God says the opposite. God flooded the whole earth because His creation had been contaminated from birth by the Evil One, Genesis 8:21. David confirms this in Psalm 51:5. The fact is, we’re all born under the power of the Evil one, and, from birth, God is fighting for you to be freed from Satan’s power over you; that’s why Jesus died. He’s just waiting for you to concede to His will.

Everybody thinks that demons are beings that inhabit people and cause them to rant and rave and froth at the mouth, but is that the case? The fact is that demons lay low until cornered. They don’t want to be cast out of the carrier. They hate exposure, but at the same time, like the spirit of divination in Acts 16, they like to promote their prowess. They come as wolves in sheep’s clothing, and angels of light. However, as society disintegrates into more sin, and the Holy Spirit backs-off His defence, demons will feel safe to come out of hiding and be more confrontational and aggressive because no one is spiritually capable of confronting them.

Characteristics of Satan (John 8:44)

In John 8:44, Jesus described the Pharisees as demons when He said that they were sons of Satan. They weren’t frothing at the mouth; they were practicing the rightness of religion and worshipping the same God as Christ. Yet, Christ could easily discern the façade. Secretively, they displayed the satanic characteristics of (1) Envy (2) Murder (3) Liar. These are the signs of a demon operating either in you or against you. The ultimate liar is someone who smiles to your face whilst plotting to stab a knife in your back.

A demon’s main objective

Demons are servants of Satan with the same characteristics but with different levels of power. The main objective of a demon is to kill you. When King Saul opened his heart to envy against David, his one and only objective in life was to kill David. That was the objective of Joseph’s brothers; that was the objective of Cain; that was the objective of the Pharisees against Christ; and whether you realise it or not, that’s the objective of any person who opens their heart to envy of their neighbour.

How does it work?

From birth, we are all under the influence of the demonic. Demons are able to speak into our minds; this is called temptation. The temptation is always to get us to elevate our position. God calls this ‘pride’, and in 2 Timothy 2:25 KJV, God calls it ‘opposing yourself‘, ie. you become your own worst enemy and thus in your blindness, your own pride starts to destroy you under the occupation of demonic spirits. Once we fall to our pride, demons have right of power over us (2 Timothy 2:26), and only repentance will resolve the problem. The opportunity for repentance will usually occur at a point of correction. If one resists this correction, then demons will take more ground and eventually the person will be possessed. King Saul became possessed because he was too proud to repent even though he said sorry, whereas David repented and was freed from his sin and the demonic influence that stirred him to commit murder and adultery.

The confusion of pride

Most people think pride is walking around with your nose in the air and acting pompous; but it’s much more subtle than that. Pride is exposed when I think I’m special; when I think you’re an idiot; when I think I’m better than you; when I murmur that I haven’t done anything wrong yet you are being mean to me; when I selfishly want something; when I can’t forgive or repent; when I wallow in rejection; when I have a mood because someone else is having a mood; when I have a mood because someone hurt my feelings; when I have a mood because I can’t get what I want; that is, basically whenever I regard myself higher or lower than my neighbour, or submit to my moodiness.

What’s the opposite to pride?

The answer is Faith; that is, trusting God’s outcome, rather than having a mood that it isn’t working out to your expected outcome. It’s this walking by faith that God calls HUMILITY.

James 4:5 “The spirit in us lusts to envy”.

When God talks about lust, He’s talking about envy. Envy then leads to all sorts of immoral behaviour. The Greek word for envy is Phthonos (*5355) = pain felt and malignity conceived at the sight of someone else’s excellence or someone else’s happiness. In other words, to us the English word ‘envy’ just means we are simply jealous. We all think of it as a ‘soft sin’. It doesn’t sound that bad, nor does envy feel bad, but in the Greek it means that I’m so unhappy with you having more happiness than me that I will kill you.

Anyone who practices envy is practicing murder from their heart whether they know it or not. Thus God clearly states in 1 John 3:15 that if you hate your brother you’re a murderer and you will not access heaven; but to even clarify it further, if you envy your brother then you don’t love him, you hate him and wish evil upon him. Thus your true hidden murderous heart is exposed by your relationship to your brother.

People think jealousy is just a normal characteristic of humanity. Everybody does it so it’s ignored as acceptable normal behaviour. What people don’t realise is that when they practice envy against their neighbour they’re actually operating under demonic power and wishing their neighbour dead. Envy is anti-Holy Spirit and the practice of demonism whether you want to know it or not. If envy is routinely practiced in your heart; if you desire the No.1 position, if you believe you are special to God, if you believe you have a special spiritual call, then know you are not saved; that’s the heart of Satan and you are under his demonic power. Like Isaiah, Peter and Moses, anyone called of God knows they’re not special or worthy.

Goodness isn’t the measurement

When you practice envy against your neighbour, you are demonstrating that you are under the influence of Satan and not Holy Spirit. Be as good as you like, e.g. the rich young ruler, it won’t save you. Envy is the sign that you are not under the Holy Spirit because it contradicts the law of ‘loving your neighbour as yourself’.

Signs of a demon

Genesis 3 spells out the side-effects that Satan has over you when you concede to his temptations, viz. envy, fear, blame, lie, bossing, sickness (in some instances). These were all exposed in Genesis 3 when Satan conned Eve, and Eve changed character as a consequence. The human spirit was made in the likeness of God. Envy was not a characteristic of Adam and Eve until they were tempted into it by Satan. From that point on, man inherited satanic characteristics.

1. Blame is the fruit of defending your envy. Blame is expressed by accusations against your neighbour e.g. if you make me feel bad, then you’re the baddie, you made me do it, it’s your fault I’m in trouble, it’s your fault I’m not getting what I want.

2. Searching for happiness is another fruit of your envy.

‘Demon’ in the Greek = daimon. ‘Happy’ in the Greek =eu-daimon. In other words, the Greeks believed that if you got lucky you were happy because the demon gods looked well on you. Seeking happiness is of the Devil; it’s not of God.                          

3. Bossing and hating to be bossed is another fruit of your envy.Demons love to boss, tell everybody what to do and tell everybody what’s right and wrong. They think they’re special and they don’t like being told what to do; they certainly don’t like being corrected or put in their place.

4. Moodiness because it won’t work out the way I want.

Demons don’t love each other; they can’t, they can only hate. They hate other demons for being higher than them. They only link together for the purpose of hate, and if you open your heart to envy they impart this hate into your heart.

Demons hate your happiness. They want the No.1 position.

Demons are happy when you’re helping them, but they’ll hate you when you’re not or when you’re higher than them. Thus if a sibling hates their brother for being more liked by a parent or friend, that sibling, in every single case, will plot to kill their brother. It may not be with a knife or gun, but it will be in their heart, even to the point of putting cancer on them. They’ll wish evil on their brother; anything that will remove him from the top position so they can replace them. Joseph is not an isolated case; his brothers are an example of the spirit of evil that lurks in the heart of every human being.

Confusion (James 3:16)

Wherever there is bitter envy there is confusion, and demonic, and every evil work.

Most Christians have split personalities. Consistently, one moment they’re really nice to you and the next time you meet them they’re sharp and bitey. This is confusing and thus it’s a sign that something else is going on in them that you can’t see. If you’re confused about someone’s inconsistent behaviour and you’re not sure whether they’ll bite you or be kind and considerate towards you, then know that you’re talking to two different spirit personalities in the one body.

Demons often tell the truth

It’s also confusing because demons often tell the truth, but it’s always selective and designed to manipulate and divert you from your course, or to hide them from exposing their course. Satan told Eve she wouldn’t die and it was the truth; well, almost. The spirit of divination in Acts 16 told the truth about Paul, and demons often worshipped Christ with the truth.

Voices

If you listen with your spirit, you can hear demons talk to you. These are the voices of temptation and they include feelings of guilt, fear, lies, intimidation and presumptions. You can diagnose these voices by comparing them to what the Holy Spirit would say to you.

The rise of demonism

Murder is on the increase; immorality is on the increase; drug abuse is on the increase; homosexuality is on the increase; the disintegration of the family is on the increase; divorce is on the increase. This is all due to the church’s de-valuing of the Ten Commandments which were written as life’s boundaries to inhibit the growth of evil. The church has lost its saltiness; it doesn’t deal with sin by separation, as instructed in 1 Corinthians 5, it accepts sin under the lie of love, and thus evil is propagating like an infection.

Death to self

Self likes the glory; death-to-self gives Him the glory. If you’re the axe and you tell the axeman what to do, know you’re under a demonic power (Isaiah 10:15).

To become a Christian, these satanic characteristics that indwell the heart of man, must be killed. You either die to your demonic character by letting God have His way with you, or you will die eternally. Man can’t do this by his own ability and will-power. Only the Holy Spirit can do it for us, and He does this when you fully surrender to His will = death-to-self. Even before you were born, God’s been fighting to free you from the power of demonic spirits we are all born under. If you could do it yourself, you could save yourself. You can’t; it’s only by His grace (Ephesians 2:8,9).

Pastor Mike Stanford

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Demons

 

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Sermon 85 – I’M SPECIAL

Recently I was counselling a woman who has fallen out with her husband and was struggling to keep a handle on controlling her teenage kids. From the outside the family appeared to be stable, well-adjusted and happy; but the truth was it was all a façade. The façade often cracks when the kids hit the teenage years and start being defiant.

In the course of our discussion she revealed that this was all a bit of a shock because she had always thought that she was someone very special to God and that God would naturally give her the life she deserved. Her childhood was strained by parental control and injustices, and it always seemed that her siblings got the better deal. From her perspective, she was the one that was good, so it wasn’t fair that she always seemed to be left out and mistreated.

I’ve heard this story many times. Certainly there are circumstances where children need to be rescued from evil parents, but why is it that where children have had a reasonable upbringing, they still want a better deal than they got?

The final price of “I’m special” is separation from God

The truth is that Eve took the fruit because she was tempted by Satan to get a better deal for herself. She wasn’t satisfied with the deal God had given her. From that point on, everybody is born with the selfish desire to get more for themselves. If we fail to recognise this temptation then we will simply fall to the same trap as Eve and, like Eve, the consequences will be to blame our husband that he didn’t protect me, blame our wife that she made me do it, live in fear, pretend we don’t know what God is talking about, act like everything is fine by being good, and lose our children to envy, just like Cain and Abel.

“I’m special” is just a mood

From the moment we’re born we demand attention. We learn that if we cry loud enough then our parents will give us what we want. We set a pattern of moodiness and we learn techniques that manipulate people to do what we want, and if we don’t get it we have a big mood and huff, and if a sibling seems to be liked more or get a better deal, we let our feelings get hurt and it fuels our envy.

We learn to allow our feelings to dictate our desires, so when we feel bad we have a mood until we get something that makes us feel good again. We live for feeling good, and we’re taught that if you’re good you get good from Santa, but if you’re bad you don’t get it, so we learn to be good so that we get it. We’re not good for God’s sake; we’re good for our sake.

The problem is, that this pattern of goodness doesn’t satisfy us. Somehow we still feel the wounds of rejection, left-out, misjudged, unfairness, cruel words, bullying, and envy. Thus, we either rebel against the authority or strive to be even gooder. But still it doesn’t satisfy, so in order to feel of value, we fantasize that we are special and live in a bubble of false belief about our superior value and purpose in society. We add education and skills to our portfolio so we can promote ourselves above our neighbour and prove we are more special than our neighbour.

We then find out about God and decide that if we follow Christ then He will prosper me, keep me from hassles, protect me and elevate me above those that have hurt me. We now incorporate God into our fantasy, believing that we are very special to Him, and because God is so sweet and kind He will give me whatever I want and do for me whatever I ask, and the Pentecostal church teaches that, so I must be right. We then begin to believe that we are pretty much always right and everyone who disagrees with us is wrong.

We become the person we hate, and dictate our selfishness over those below us

We then intimidate and control people and family with hyper-authoritarianism so that our environment is controlled to our personal liking and well-being with no hassles, and without even seeing what we’re doing, we’ve actually turned into the person we hated for hurting us in the very beginning. But, so we don’t look bad or feel bad we do enough good things to prove to ourselves and others that we are basically good.

We can’t see how arrogant we are

When our heart silently declares … I’m special, how could you correct ME? I’m special, how could you reject ME? I’m special, I deserve the best. I’m special; you can’t tell me what to do. I’m special; you can’t tell me I’m wrong. I’m special, I know more than you … then we’re blindly and arrogantly declaring that I’m the centre of attention, not Christ.

What we fail to see is that we haven’t found God at all. All that’s happened is that Satan has manoeuvred us further away from the truth by feeding us with the thoughts and feelings we want that gets us what we believe is what we deserve. The truth is we’ve fallen for the Santa Claus fantasy. You might think you’re in touch with God, but, like Adam and Eve, if you envy a better deal, you’ll be separated from God until you repent of your selfishness.

God’s into nobody’s

The belief that you’re special isn’t planted there by God; it’s planted there by Satan. Everyone’s born thinking that they are a somebody, but you won’t find the true God until you wake up to the trap and realise you’re a nobody.

God searches the heart. He’s looking for the nobody’s not the somebody’s. That’s why He’s coming back for the prostitutes and sinners, not the self-righteous. That’s why He invited the down and outs to the wedding banquet; the self-righteous were too busy fantasizing in their self-value. That’s why the thief on the cross was saved and not Pilate. They both came face to face with Christ but Pilate was too proud to stop the crucifixion for fear of what the church thought, and the second thief was too full of his own value to humble himself before the Christ.

The Word of God says in Luke 14:26, 27 & 33 that until a man considers himself of zero value before Christ he cannot be a disciple.

What’s really happened?

Our fantasy is simply the fruit of our wounds. It’s not born of God, it’s born of Satan and fed by self.

Evidence

If you really stop and think about it …

  • A person who wallows in their wounds is just being selfish.
  • A person that believes they’re the special one is just wallowing in their wounds and looking for something to make themselves feel good and to give themselves self-value.
  • A person that holds onto a prophecy to build their self-worth is a liar, not a Christian.
  • “I’m special” becomes a competition against your neighbour as to who is the most special. This proves it’s not of God.
  • The average Christian can’t handle the criticism. They want the truth but not the truth about themselves; it’s too much of a put-down and it hurts their feelings. This proves their fakeness.
  • “I’m special” is just a selfish way of blocking your hurt feelings.
  • “I’m special” is just a selfish way of saying “I’m No.1”. The bible says the first will be last, Mark 10:31. This proves it’s not of God.
  • A person who thinks that you’re the problem if you make them feel bad is living in the lie of their goodness and is under the influence of a demonic spirit, not Christ.
  • A person who thinks that you’re wrong if you have a problem with them, is obviously puffed up with their own rightness and can’t be told they’re the one that’s wrong.
  • “I’m special” eventually exposes itself by TELLING people what’s right and wrong. It doesn’t like to be told; it loves to tell.

Biblical Picture

God can use any vessel for His sovereign purpose, but if you’re going to be used of God and survive for heaven without being puffed-up in your own self-righteousness, you first of all have to be broken. This was the pathway for Moses, Noah, Abram, Joseph, David and even Jesus. There’s no other pathway. Samson learnt it the hard way, but King Saul was too stubborn to learn it.

If you truly are special to Christ, then you won’t think you are. If you truly do have a purpose for Christ then you’ll only find it via the pathway of put-downs, separation and persecution. Like Christ before us, this is the only pathway that makes you worthy.

‘All that want to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution’ 2 Timothy 3:12

Conclusion

  • If you think you are special, then you’re under the influence of a demon, not God
  • If you think you’re better than your neighbour, then you’re into satanic envy, not good
  • If you think you deserve to get the best deal; you’re selfish, not godly
  • If you believe that God will punish people that hurt your feelings then you’re under the influence of the spirit of anti-christ, not God
  • If you believe that you have the right to hurt back those that have hurt you, then you’re not a Christian; full-stop. The Word of God says ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’, Matthew 7:12.
  • If you think you’re worth more to God than your neighbour, you’re contradicting the 2nd great commandment, and therefore living in your own deception.

“I’m special” is just plain vanity and the fruit of a wounded spirit which vows justice for its pain.

Thankfully, the woman I was counselling was willing to be told that the pattern of her life was selfish. Enough had gone wrong for her to see that she had used God to feed her selfish specialness.

God uses dead people, not people who think they’re special

A true Christian doesn’t fall for the selfish trick that they’re special. It’s not relevant; they’re dead to themselves. It was the woman that put in the two mites that God valued, not the self-righteous wealthy. It was the centurion that said “I am not worthy” that impressed Jesus, not the Pharisees.

If any man desires to be first, the same must be last of all and servant of all, Mark 9:35. Any other means of thinking you’re first and special is from Satan, not God.

Pastor Jim Desmond

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2015 in Special

 

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Sermon 84 – The Lie of HAPPY FAMILY

Q. What’s your expectation about God?

Most Christians believe that if you do good then God will do good back to you. They believe that the closer you get to God the more God will protect you and supply all your needs, and make you happy, and free you from all bad feelings. Most Christians believe that the evidence that God is on your side is good health, financial success, happy family relationships, and good feelings all the time. But what about the song we sing from Habakkuk 3:17 …’though the fig tree doesn’t blossom’.

The truth is, most Christians have a relationship with God so they can get a better deal; they’re just not honest enough to want to see it. Most Christian’s I’ve met serve God on their terms and conditions, not His.

Reality is that the closer you move to God the heavier the battle against you.

Biblical Picture

Tell me somebody in the bible who had a happy deal because he was godly? You won’t find it in Samuel’s family, or David’s family, or Jesus’ family, or Noah’s family, or Adam’s family, or Moses’ family, or Jacob’s family, or Hannah’s family, or the prodigal’s family. You won’t find it in Paul’s life, nor any of the disciples or prophets. Daniel wasn’t happy, he was content in God.

Why?

It’s simple. Because of Eve’s sin, we’re all born selfish, self-righteous and envious, under the influence of Satan, and Holy Spirit fights for us to be saved from Satan. But that salvation does not occur until we concede to the will of Holy Spirit. The reality is that most people concede for their convenience, they don’t unconditionally surrender; thus it’s fake concession and therefore they remain under the influence of Satan thinking that they are under the influence of Holy Spirit. They worship Holy Spirit, but like the Jews they love the things of the world and they love the right to their own thinking (Mark 7:6).

In every family there is always some who will not bend their will to Holy Spirit, and the demonic influence over them will directly conflict with the other family members whether they are under the influence of the demonic or Holy Spirit, but specifically against you if you are under the influence of Holy Spirit.

Demons like being No.1, so they fight amongst themselves for that position, and they hate Holy Spirit. So how could family ever be happy unless all members are under the Holy Spirit, and even though that is God’s heart, in reality that does not happen because the human spirit is selfish and full of envy.

Why is a prophet without honour in his own family? Mark 6:4

Because everybody is born envious of everyone else’s position until they die and let that person have the honour God decreed. ‘Envy’ is Satan’s strategy to put you in conflict with God’s will. Like Joseph and David, it’s family that thinks you’re of no Godly value, because they selfishly think that they are the one that’s of value in God’s eyes.

Is God into happy family?

The simple answer is yes, but the reality is that it has been abducted by Satan, and won’t be a reality until heaven. In fact, Jesus said that if you put your hand up for Him then Satan will make sure your family opposes you; so the only way you can have happy family is to not be a genuine Christian and then Satan will leave you alone. But, even that strategy doesn’t work; Satan’s got control of all families, and in this modern western culture, the family model is disintegrating before our eyes.

Don’t tell me that Satan isn’t in control. Yes, God is the ultimate control, but God takes His hand away when His people concede to the world’s way; and Satan is taking full advantage.

And you shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. Luke 21:16

The most effective way that Satan can try and discourage and hurt the remnant is to get the family to oppose them.

Why do people want happy family anyhow?

So they can control their circumstances, look good in the eyes of others, have no hassles, have good feelings all the time, and get back what they lost in their childhood.

Suppose you that I come to bring peace on earth? I tell you NO, but rather division: from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against the daughter in law, and the daughter in law against the mother in law. Luke 12:51-53

Jesus said ‘division’; Satan preaches ‘happy’. Anything that you believe which is opposite the Word of God, is obviously anti-Christ. Happy family is not biblical; it’s a Satanic lie that both, Christians and the world aim for without any thought as to why. Who says that happy family is proof of God? As I’ve already reiterated, the truth is, happy family is really so I don’t have any hassles, and so we look better than other families, and so I can get what I lost as a kid in my unhappy family. It’s all about self-promotion and selfishness and control. The person with the power puts fear on everyone else in the family to toe the family line and from the outside everything looks happy but the reality is, the family is too afraid to be unhappy.

Under a spirit of fear

In almost all instances, if there is the appearance of a happy family, then that family is operated and controlled by a spirit of fear, and is cleverly demonically inspired, and not godly. Today, no doubt there are some rare families that are happy in Christ, not happy. But this will only occur by the grace of God because the father is righteous and the family respect his relationship with God.

Separation is the pathway to happiness

To find the real happiness of God you have to be willing to walk the path of unhappiness.

There is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake and the gospel’s, But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters and mothers, and children and lands, with PERSECUTION, and in the world to come eternal life. Mark 10:29,30

This is the true will of the Father

If any man come to me, and doesn’t submit to my will in preference to the will of his parents, wife, children, and siblings, and even himself, then he cannot be my disciple. If he is fair-dinkum then he must bear his cross, count the cost, and forsake everything in order to be a disciple. Luke 14:26-33

Salvation is death to self; it’s copping the crap thrown against you by faith in God’s will for your life and purpose; and resting in His plan. Quite often the attack is from family to force you back under their control.

The issue is faithfulness, not happiness

If you’re chasing happiness, then you’re not of God, you’re of Satan. Satan offers happiness, God offers death, and He allows Satan to use the family to achieve your salvation by surrendering in faith to Him and His plan, through opposition and persecution.

Righteous expectation

Don’t expect anything from God except His perfect will and perfect plan.

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence. Psalm 62:5,6

Conclusion

Whether you understand it or not, you won’t find God until you give up your family … the generational spirit is too strong.

Whether you understand it or not, the Word of God aligns happiness with death, not with get.

Everybody is born thinking they are a ‘somebody’, but you won’t find the true God till you wake up and realise you’re a ‘nobody’.

Pastor Jim Desmond

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2015 in Happy

 

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Sermon 12 – The COVENANTS of God

With the current economic condition of the European Union, is it possible that the EU will be forced to cull those nations that are weighing it down, and reduce its number of member nations to ten, and thus precipitate the timing for the anti-Christ?

If you want to buy and sell in the time of the anti-Christ you will need to get the ‘mark of the beast’ put on your forehead or right hand, Revelation 13:16, 14:9, 20:4.

Q. Why has the anti-Christ chosen these two locations? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Ten Commandments

 

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