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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 101 – Born Again?

The Catholic religion believes that you become a Christian by being baptized as an infant. The Evangelical Churches teach that you become a Christian when you invite Jesus Christ into your heart to be your lord and saviour. The Catholic option is definitely not biblical, but what about the evangelical theory?

I was counselling two brothers who were constantly bickering with each other. Although nothing was being said, they vied for their father’s value and whenever one was corrected for their attitude or made a bad decision, the other promoted himself above him.

The blame exercise

I suggested an exercise. Each one was to write down “I’m blaming you for ….. ” and complete the sentence. They both came up with several justifiable blames against each other.

The purpose of this exercise was to expose them to the fact that they were Christians operating under Satan. In the Garden of Eden, Adam came under the power of Satan when he blamed Eve for causing him to fall. What he should have done was take the blame for his own sin, but because he wouldn’t he was separated from God.

The temptation to blame others for our hassles and failures, is inherent. It has been passed on as a sinful trait in the heart of every human being as a consequence of Eve’s sin. What you don’t realise when you get caught in the blame cycle is that you are making judgments against your neighbour and thus proving that you are proud and more concerned about yourself than your neighbour. You’ve unwittingly fractured the second great commandment and therefore it’s you that has sinned even though the other person started it.

Demons have power over you through the grievances you hold

As we talked they realised that they were both holding grievances against each other which was just causing division between them and they were using their energy resisting each other instead of working together. It was actually wearing them down physically. Knowing their family situation, I suggested that their sister-in-law despised them because they were more popular and more happy than her and their reactive bitterness towards her for her spitefulness unwittingly gave licence to the demonic power she was under to enter through this open door of hurt and initiate destruction against them whenever they took the bait of promoting their own self-value over each other.

There’s a difference between saying you’re wrong and faith

At this point they had the opportunity to take on guilt and feel bad for their behaviour which would just keep them bound to the power of Satan, or by faith give the issue and outcome and the fear of what people would think of them, to the Lord. They both chose the latter option.

Faith knows it is wrong and turns to the Lord. Pride can say it’s wrong when cornered, but it turns to itself and justifies its feelings. There are plenty of Christians who believe and try to do what’s right and are willing to admit they’re wrong when found out, but their selfishness holds the truth in unrighteousness. They will be exposed to God’s wrath, Romans 1:18.

Repentance

The average Christian thinks they repent but they don’t. Repentance is when you stop your blame and stop your guilt (which are just selfish ways of prolonging your mood) and by faith turn to the Lord and wait on Him. Adam could’ve said he was wrong but that would not have been good enough. He had to also give up his self-defense and turn to the Lord.

Victory

Satan’s purpose is to destroy and he can do it just as easily from within as from without. If you want to win against satanic forces, it’s not by taking them on, it’s not by shouting the Name of Jesus at them, it’s by dying to your will by faith in God’s plan. This is how Jesus won against Satan. Up till the time He died, he was vulnerable to Satan’s temptation. He withheld against it but in His humanity He was still vulnerable. The vulnerability ceased the moment He died. Once he was dead, Satan could no longer touch Christ; He’s future reign had been set in stone. It’s death to self by faith in Christ’s justice that gives you the victory and that’s the only way you can win.

What does this have to do with Born Again?

Everything. If you constantly fall to blame, it’s a sign that you’re not really born again.  You see, Satan is the one that manipulates humans to blame one another, whereas, Jesus died on the cross and copped the blame of the world on his spirit. If you are genuinely under the influence of the Holy Spirit, you will routinely cop the unfair blame and by faith, trust the Lord’s outcome.

Satan’s argument is based on fairness … “it’s not fair; I haven’t done anything wrong.” This is the argument he sold to mankind through Eve and all of mankind is vulnerable to this temptation. The only way you can defeat this temptation is by being Born Again. You won’t beat this human trait with your mind; you can’t be born again by making up your mind to follow Christ.

God’s argument is based on sin … “you did the wrong, as well as the other person.” But, humanity argues with God that they made me do it and in its pride refuses to agree with God’s view.

The disciples weren’t born again until after Jesus rose from the dead (Luke 22:32) and came back and encouraged them to walk the true walk (John 21). Up till then they were of another spirit (Luke 9:54,55) even though the Holy Spirit operated through them. They first had to give up their personal intentions of what Jesus was going to get for them and give to them because they followed Him. The death of Christ was their stimulus of salvation because it shattered their personal agendas and hopes.

So what is ‘Born Again?’

Well, if you’re born again you obviously must have died and started life again (Luke 14:26,33). You’re only born again when you have died first. You die when you see your pride and unconditionally surrender to the will of God and by His faith, trust in His atoning blood for your sin. Unconditionally means that you now stand on the principles of the Word of God (the Bible) and not the popular lie of grace, and you know when you’re dead when you do not bite back.

The measurement

You measure your surrender by the principles of the Word of God. When the Word of God says do this or don’t do that (e.g. no work on Sabbath, no retailing on Sabbath, separate from those Christians who teach that gain is godliness (1Tim.6:5), and separate from those Christians who fornicate with the world, and separate from those Christians who call homosexuality a normal phenomenon instead of sin … Romans 1:27,28) and you use your modern religious thinking to routinely compromise His Word, then know that you’re not surrendered unconditionally and therefore, not born again.

You measure your surrender by whether you routinely fall to blame and judgment. You measure your surrender by waiting on God by faith in His outcome and final plan.

The fruit of unconditional surrender is being blamed

If you’re truly born again you’ll be hated (Mark 13:13) by those who are supposed to love you, you’ll be envied by those who are supposed to love you, and you’ll be cursed by those who are supposed to love you. You see, the price of born again is to be de-valued by your fellow-man, to be misunderstood by your relatives, and to be cursed for not doing the church-way. That’s why almost all western Christians believe in the grace theory and not the death theory. It’s easier that way.

Jesus Christ made Himself of no reputation and took on Him the form of a servant and trusted His Father’s plan … Philippians 2:7,8

 

Pastor Mike Clifford

 

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2016 in Blame

 

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Sermon 99 – Stop BLAMING everybody else & REPENT

I was counselling a young woman who was brought up by God-fearing parents. Her grandmother was quite domineering and blunt and sometimes her own mother showed some of the grandmother’s characteristics. As a young girl she made choices of resistance to her grandmother’s attitude that would affect her whole future life. Instead of accepting her parent’s minor faults and appreciating that they were trying to instruct her in God’s ways and provide for her every need, she made inner choices of resistance against their love.

Freedom

Eventually, as she grew up, she became her own woman. Freedom to her was no one was going to tell her what to do. She ran away from home and entered the path of fornication and became pregnant. In love, her parents said she was welcome back, but only on the grounds of repentance, so she chose the easy path of living with her grandfather (her grandmother had now passed away). The grandfather believed he was doing the right thing by his granddaughter, but in reality, he was caring for her in defiance of his son-in-law. The grandfather pretended to be a nice Christian person because popularity was important to him, but he actually hated his son-in-law for his Godly stand.

Incorrigible

I suggested to this young woman that she had chosen to defy her parents, and that she was the one who had chosen to feel sorry for herself. I pointed out that she had chosen to blame everyone for her hurt feelings, but hadn’t considered the hurt and embarrassment she had caused to her parents. I emphasised that she was the one who had chosen the pathway of moodiness and the path of belief that everyone else were idiots if they didn’t see it her way. I made it quite clear that she was the one who had chosen the path of fornication and the path of unrepentance, but sadly she refused to listen. She refused to carry any responsibility for her sinful attitude. Her path was set. From her perspective she was doing ok by herself; why should she think otherwise, her grandfather was giving her everything she needed, but she was blind to the truth that she was sick in her spirit.

She knew enough scripture to quote “fathers provoke not your children to wrath”, but conveniently chose to ignore the verses before that which state “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour your father and mother that it may be well with you,” Ephesians 6:1-3.

When I spoke with her parents they shared with me how the church had criticised them for their unloving attitude. I reassured them that their love was more genuine than the church. The modern church has chosen the path of least resistance; it doesn’t want a hassle or to look bad, thus it pretends to love by supporting the hurt, but pays no attention to the spirit behind the hurt. The grandfather had chosen the path of supporting his granddaughter’s evil and used it to prove that it was his son-in-law who was evil. He mocked his son-in-law’s moral ground. He had no idea that he had chosen the side of the demonic.

Other relatives could see that the parents were genuine people so they stayed neutral, but when the parents declined to attend family weddings if the young woman attended because they held to their Godly instructions, the family chose the young woman to attend in preference to the parents.

These are the two options of the false modern church; either sit in the middle when someone makes a moral Christ-like stand, or judge them for being harsh and unloving. Either position is earthly, sensual and demonic … James 3:15.

The issue is always authority

The prodigal’s father waited patiently for his son to wake up to his selfishness; he didn’t chase after him and persuade him to return to safety. He knew that one can’t live with defiance; the sinner has to repent and come under authority. The issue is always authority … like in the animal kingdom, the authority’s position is challenged by another’s position.

This woman’s grandfather had actually failed her by protecting her sin instead of letting God deal with it through failure and remorse.

The truth 

The truth is, this young woman said she was hurting and she used it to make everyone feel sad for her, but what she was really expressing was hatred towards authority, and those who have never seen their own disrespect of authority, fall for it.

Because of Adam and Eve’s defiance to God’s instruction, everyone is born with a spirit of defiance to authority. This defiance becomes our personal responsibility when we decide to be defiant to our parents. Everyone builds their life’s habits and beliefs around this defiance. We cover it with good deeds and convince ourselves we’re good, but fail to realise our inner self that God wants to save, is defiant.

Everyone I talk with has defied their parents either silently or openly. God lets this defiance run its course. A few people will wake up and see their sin and call out to God for His mercy and gain access to heaven. Most will remain defiant till they die, even if they see it, because the heart of man doesn’t like to be corrected and told it’s wrong, and it justifies and explains away any wrong by its self-assessed goodness. The truth is, the grandfather had never repented of his defiance to his own parents, and thus he carried his defiance into his relationship with his son-in-law, but it only exposed itself when his son-in-law stood up for God’s principles and it unbalanced and exposed the flaw in his own.

Adam and Eve show you what happens if you will look

What the human heart fails to understand is that standing up for your own rights with a heart of defiance puts you at the mercy of Satan’s control. You think you’re the one in control, but the truth is, like Adam and Eve, you’re ignorantly under the control of Satan. He’s pulling your chain and you just think you’re being unfairly treated. But the truth is, your heart is sick and you need a saviour.

Another example

I was also counselling a young man who had never done anything wrong, at least from his perspective. When an authority questioned him he simply and silently wrote off the authority as stupid. I asked him to recall an incident in his early childhood where he had defied his parents. He recalled being disciplined by his mother and in his heart saying “I will do what you say but you’re stupid and your rules are stupid”. The  young man agreed that correction hurt his feelings and he couldn’t understand it because he couldn’t agree with it. The truth was, he had chosen to hate authority without even knowing it because Satan had manipulated his feelings and thinking against authority. Without ever realising it, he had built his whole life on defiance and had covered it with good deeds and coolness so that he didn’t care what anyone else thought. What he didn’t realise was that he was under the influence of the demonic. He wasn’t in control like he thought he was. He was deceiving himself. In his heart of hearts though, he knew something was wrong, and when I exposed him to his defiance and his anti-Christ attitude of heart he owned his sin and repented. The demon lost its power.

Humanism

Why do you think modern education and modern society is teaching young people to stand up to authority and don’t let anyone tell you what to do. Humanism easily indoctrinates you to make up your own mind what’s right and wrong; sin likes that theory. Why is it teaching 5 year olds about sex? Why is it encouraging 7 year olds to have a sex change? Without a doubt, it’s to destroy Christ’s earth and Christ’s people. It’s to destroy the family and its Satan’s intent that if he’s going to hell then he’s going to take as many unwary people as possible with him. Satan is alive and well on planet earth and the church is letting it happen.

Until a person wakes up to their defiance they can never be saved no matter how much good they pour over it, because Jesus didn’t come to save you for being good, He came to save you for being a defiant sinner and set you free from Satan’s power that Satan initiated in the Garden over Adam and Eve and over all those that want to be their own god.

Pastor Mike Clifford


 
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Posted by on April 23, 2016 in Authority

 

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Sermon 97 – I don’t want to be a NOBODY

I was talking with a young Christian man about his feelings when all of a sudden he spurted out of his mouth … “I’m sick of being treated like a 3 year old; I want to be a somebody”. These words or similar words are being touted more and more regularly. The humanistic teaching to the younger generation is twisting the minds of the youth to believe they are someone special and thus can achieve anything they set their mind to. Sounds ok, but it’s a satanic trap.

The syndrome of superiority vs. inferiority

Why does everyone want to be a somebody? Why can’t people be happy with their lot in life? Why is everyone comparing themselves to their neighbour as to whether they’re above them or below them? Most people might not bring it to their conscious mind, but just below the surface everyone knows within their circle of friends and family, who’s more superior and more liked and more happy, and who’s inferior.

Once Eve disobeyed God and fell to the temptation of being a somebody, every human being thereafter has inherited the same desire in their DNA. Wanting to be a somebody is a temptation that if you fall for, it will put you under the power and control of Satan. It’s a trap designed to ultimately separate you from creator God.

You can’t find God by being a somebody; you have to become a nobody

Philippians 2:7 states that Jesus made Himself of no reputation and took on Himself the form of a servant. To prove this, He was born in a stable and He died a cruel death. The Pentecostal church teaches that because He suffered you don’t have to; He did it all for you. But is that the truth? No it’s not, because v5 states let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus; which means, we are to have the same fixed mind of servanthood as Christ did. He didn’t do it so we wouldn’t have to; He did it to show us how to.

The real reason

The real reason why everyone is competing against each other to be a somebody is because we’re selfish; we want to look good in the eyes of others, we want to be better than the other person, we want to be happy, we want no hassles. This secret attitude just confirms what God already knows, and if we will look, confirms that we haven’t found God at all; we’ve just tacked Him onto our selfishness.

The church says it follows the law of God, but it’s lying. When you want to be a somebody, you’ll keep the laws of God up to a point, but when it comes to the crunch you’ll come up with your own laws and run by them.

If you judge people for not doing it the way you would have, you operate under your own law that says …” if you don’t do it my way, you’re an idiot”.

If, like the man I was counselling, you have a mood because someone bosses you and you don’t like it, you operate under your own law that states … “if you’re not nice to me, then I don’t have to be nice to you”, or “if you hurt my feelings them I have the right to have a mood”, or “if you tell me what to do you make me feel stupid.”

Everyone has hundreds of secret laws which are considered acceptable because everyone has them and they’re regarded as the norm, but the truth is, our personal self-protective laws come from the heart of Satan.

The reason we keep our own secret laws is because we don’t want to be put-down, we don’t want to be told what to do … we want to be our own boss. In other words, without us even waking up to the fact, we are actually the god of our own kingdom and if we run by our own laws we are always right and can’t be wrong and we can blame everyone else for our pain and hurt feelings.

Some of us express this blame as “you don’t understand” (which just simply means if you won’t agree with my opinion, you’re ignorant), or “I will be nice to you so you can’t tell me I’m bad”. They’re simply just techniques we’ve learnt that help us not feel inferior because we don’t want to be told we’re wrong. They have nothing to do with God; it’s just plain selfishness.

The King Saul phenomenon

We analyse and then justify why the person that’s hurt us is wrong, then explain away why they are wrong, then resist being told that we may be the one that’s wrong, and then refuse to see it. The consequence of this selective selfish blindness is demonic possession and ultimately, hell, and all the time we’re the ones who think we’re badly done by.

I felt the temptation but I dealt with it

Most Christians I come across argue that when they were tempted to blame or feel hurt that they dealt with the temptation, but they fail to see that their mood reaction confirms they’re lying to themselves. Why do we have to believe that we’ve dealt with it? Because we’re selfish and we don’t want to feel a failure, nor look bad to others, nor be counselled that we haven’t; we don’t want to be told we’re selfish. We’d rather argue that we have dealt with the temptation. Generally, the real truth is that we live under the fear of being corrected or rejected, which is just the fruit of our selfishness, and we hide behind our self-righteous laws and shift the blame to the other party so we don’t get hurt. Selfishness always surrounds itself with fear and blame so it can’t be told it’s wrong.

God’s counsel = repent first, forgive second

Instead of supporting the man’s feelings by pointing out the wrong of the person who had offended him, I said to this Christian man … did you do anything wrong? Once he admitted that his mood was just a selfish reaction, I told him that God’s law says “repent”. Once he repented, he was able to forgive.

People believe that freedom = no one telling me what to do. But that’s just the deception of my own fake selfish laws. Freedom is obeying God’s laws, because that’s the only way to disconnect yourself from Satan’s power.

If you want to be free you have to look at yourself in the light of God’s laws, not your own selfish laws. Your own laws will always support your case; God’s laws will expose your selfishness.

The grace lie

The reason the modern church says we’re under grace and people who respect God’s laws are legalistic is really so we can be free to operate under our own legal system and thus retain one’s selfishness. Why do I know this? Because His grace in only given to the humble; He resists the proud, and you’re definitely not humble if you think you’re a somebody. The evidence that we’re outside His grace is the decay of the land and the decay of the morals of society. The church is meant to be the salt but it’s lost its saltiness.

God’s grace is not there so you can be safe from the consequences of your sin; it’s in place to delay addressing your sin whilst He waits to see if you will own your sin and repent. If you fail to see your selfishness and repent, eventually He will punish your selfishness.

You have to be bitten to learn not to bite

If you want to face your selfishness, you can’t face it by everything working out to your own satisfaction. Things have to go wrong to expose your moodiness. If you open your eyes to your moodiness you will see your selfishness and if you repent you will be saved for heaven. Therefore, it’s God’s grace that you be bitten.

Motivation

If your motivation is for God, living under God’s laws is simple. If your motivation is for yourself, it’s impossible.

Pastor Jim Desmond

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2016 in Elevation, Pride

 

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Sermon 96 – The BLAME Game

I was recently counselling a young Christian man who had been diagnosed with terminally ill cancer. His closest friend and Christian business partner had reacted to his illness with anger and blamed him for being sick because it meant that the responsibilities of the business were now to be his burden. Understandably, this ill man was shocked and hurt and automatically held bitterness against his partner. To this man’s thinking, he hadn’t done anything wrong; in fact, he was in a dark place. Rightly so, he expected a friend to support him in his hour of need, not to blame him or attack him.

It was some years later that the pain of this issue surfaced. Both men had put it under the carpet and pretended that everything was ok between them. The young man had survived his cancer but the hurt was starting to show in his attitude and reactions to his wife. I called both men together to resolve the silent stand-off. The Christian partner admitted that he had done abominably and apologised, and the young sick man who had been offended tried to forgive him. But, was the matter really resolved?

What’s the difference between an apology and repentance?

An apology is saying sorry because you’ve been caught out and you feel embarrassed and don’t want to look bad. The dictionary defines ‘apology’ as ‘defence’. Surreptitiously, we apologise to get out of trouble, and thus defend ourselves against looking bad and somehow excuse away our wrongness. An apology expects the party that we have offended to accept our apology, to forget about the hurt and reconcile the relationship, and gets offended if you don’t comply. Apology is saying sorry but still holding some level of blame; it’s a sorry with a ‘but’ attached. An apology is really just a cheats way to save face and avoid the punishment.

Repentance, on the other hand, is completely the opposite. You say sorry without any expectation or obligation on the other party. You say sorry without any blame apportioned against the one you have hurt. You say sorry with full expectation of the deserved punishment.

Satan’s most lethal weapon

Perhaps Satan’s most lethal weapon is ‘blame’. The temptation to react to being blamed, especially when it’s unjustified, is immense. Human nature has been infected with the automatic response of defending oneself from the attack of blame. Instead of taking full responsibility for his own actions, Adam protected himself by shifting the blame to Eve, and Eve simply shifted the blame to Satan. The consequence of shifting responsibility was separation from God. Consequently, Satan’s lethal weapon worked, and he uses it all the time to destroy man’s relationship with God.

In the case of the two Christian businessmen, the one who had said sorry was really blaming his partner for holding a grudge, and also blaming his wife for driving him to act the way he did. He was really just doing an ‘Adam’ and shifting the blame so he didn’t look bad. And, the partner who had been sick was really blaming his friend for acting so unchristian towards him in his hour of need. They were both caught in Satan’s blame game web. Unknowingly, when you’re caught in the blame game web you are inadvertently being manipulated by demonic powers just like Adam and Eve became servants of Satan to do his will.

No repentance, no salvation

If you can’t repent, you can’t get saved because salvation requires you to repent of your sin. If it’s your habit to shift responsibility with an apology, you won’t find salvation no matter how much you act like a Christian, because your sin isn’t covered with just an apology. Sorry has to be from the heart before it’s repentance and covered by His blood. You can know if you’ve repented if you want to know; if you don’t know whether you’ve repented or not then the truth is you don’t really want to repent; the truth is that you don’t really want to swallow your pride, and thus you retain a small element of justification that it’s not all your fault; your pride has caught you in the blame game!

Why is blame, sin?

When you blame, you’re just being selfish. You’re simply thinking more of your own self than you are of your neighbour; you’re really just afraid for yourself. Consequently, you are fracturing the second greatest commandment.

Blame is not a characteristic of the Holy Spirit

You won’t find Jesus holding a grievance against those who hurt His feelings. If you go to John 21, you’ll read the story of Jesus instructing the disciples to cast their net on the other side of the boat. They were in a state of dejection after the unjust murder of their Master and had decided to cope by going fishing. They had fished all night and wasted their time when someone on the shore yelled out to try the other side of the boat. For some reason they complied and the net was so full they couldn’t cope with the catch. Ultimately, the catch, the net and the boat were all sacrificed and wasted for Christ.

Jesus used this interaction to challenge Peter to face his sin of the denial of Christ. If anyone deserves to hold a grievance against their friend, Jesus did. Peter mouthed-off that he would never deny Christ, but he failed miserably. He didn’t stand up for the Master when he was in most need; he deserted Him. Jesus held no grievance, but Peter had to face his responsibility for his failure and repent, not really for the failure but for the pride of his selfish arrogance. God used the failure to save him through repentance of his pride. Without this failure Peter could not have seen his pride, would not have repented, and would never have been the man called of God to lead the church.

Where did his pride come from?

He was born with it; it’s an inherent human trait. The real question is … how did he feed on it? It’s interesting to note that Peter was the first person called to follow Christ. In his humanity he would have seen that he was first and he would have fed on this selfishness when he envied that Jesus appeared to love John the most (v.7). This is the pride in every one of us that has to be exposed and repented of if we are ever to find Christ and serve Him faithfully. Peter’s denial experience was a gift from God to save him. He’s now got the choice to desert and wallow in his moodiness or own it and repent. Repentance will save him, desertion will kill him.

This story of Peter is not just a story; it’s Spirit and it’s the common path that every genuine Christian must walk to find salvation. If you want to find salvation, your pride has to be exposed and repented of; an apology for doing something wrong won’t do it.

The young Christian with the cancer had full justification to blame his friend for his behaviour, but, through his cancer and this hurtful incident, God was actually giving him the chance to see his own pride and repent and be saved. The whole thing was a gift if he would just open his eyes and see it. He could feed on the hurt and die, or forgive, repent of his own pride reaction, and live.

If you can’t forgive someone for hurting your feelings, then the reality is that you’re blaming them, you’re proud, you don’t trust God to work all things for good, you’ll come under the influence of Satan (Matthew 18:34), and you’ll never find salvation until you repent.

May the Lord open the eyes of His remnant to their own pride and stop pointing the finger at other’s pride and blaming them.

Pastor Jerome Saunders

 
 

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Sermon 92 – Witch Christian are you?

The Word of God is Spirit and not just writings in a book. When we read the story of David we need to realise and appreciate that it is not just a record of historical fact but primarily a spiritual expression of the heart of all of mankind.

There’s two types of Christians

There’s two types of Christians; those who are Davids and those who are Sauls. We see this reinforced in the parable of the 10 virgins. They both start-off with Holy Spirit (the oil), but half of them lose Him. If you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, then you’re a Christian, but that doesn’t mean you’re saved. The same evidence is endorsed in the parable of the sower and the Seed. The Seed (Jesus) falls into 3 types of ground and grows, but only one type of ground produces fruit. Judas had the Holy Spirit and so did Samson; they both lost the Holy Spirit, but the outcome was different for Samson.

The camp of David

Everybody wants to be a David, but they don’t want the hassle pathway that David had to take. The point of the Word of God is that to be a David you have to walk the same path, and to be a saved Christian you have to walk the same path of suffering as Christ; the path of being misjudged for doing the right thing, the path of separation from those who oppose the truth, the path of being hated for doing good, or the path of having to give up your position. If you read the Psalms, they’re all about the worship of God and thankfulness towards Him, or they’re about enemies, both within his camp and without, who are trying to destroy him.

The cross

Jesus is of the lineage of David. This is not just a heritage thing; it’s primarily a spiritual issue. He didn’t choose his lineage just because he was a king, otherwise Jesus would not have been born in a manger. By deliberately choosing to be of the lineage of David, Jesus was signifying that the spiritual path of opposition to David is the same spiritual pathway of opposition to Christ and the same spiritual pathway of opposition for all those who want to follow Christ.

Salvation is only via the cross. The pathway of the master is the pathway of the servant. The servant is not above his master. Every Christian is in the camp of Saul until they come to the cross. You can’t just make up your mind to swap camps; it’s only at the cross; whether it’s the pain of being misjudged for doing the right thing, being blamed for having done nothing wrong, or being held in contempt for following your Christ-like conscience.

You can have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (He’s not restricted by your lack of faith or even your false faith), but you’re not saved until you come to the cross of self-death (just like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress). You’re not saved by inviting Jesus into your heart; rather you’re saved when you die to what you want and only live for what the Master wants.

Every Christian thinks they’ve done this, but the proof is in the pudding. Only when you’re faced with sacrificing what you truly do want (which generally you don’t know till God brings you face-to-face with it) can you move to the plane of salvation via your cross.

What this means is that your will has to be constantly and unconditionally surrendered to God’s will. Until you bend your will to God’s will, you’re not saved. The opposite of giving up your will is to retain the right to do it your way, and Satan will bombard you with temptations to fear God’s will.

The camp of Saul

Sauls can’t handle David being more popular.

Sauls need compliments and can’t handle contradictions, criticisms or corrections against their opinion. They have to look good in the eyes of the people. They may start off meek but they soon warm to the elevated position and surreptitiously their heart turns to themselves and away from God. They often live by rules and what’s right, even the Ten Commandments, but can’t be told they’re wrong and can’t take correction. Correction is equated as rejection. Consequently, their heart actually deceives itself and becomes stubborn and rebellious, and they come under the spirit of lying and practice subtle deception and ignorantly believe in superstition (if I do this, I will get that) and ultimately, witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23).

Sauls are stubborn-minded and stubborn-willed. Sauls have to do it their own way; they don’t like to be told; they like to figure it out for themselves. They argue that they have the right to figure it out for themselves; but, really what they’re saying is, don’t tell me what to do; I’ll do it my way.

Sauls are swelled up with the importance of their own position, so when Samuel suggests that they’ve done it the wrong way, Sauls defend themselves by blaming others and by justifying that what they’ve done is right. Instead of respecting the prophet’s authority, Sauls have deduced that if you don’t agree with my thinking then you’re the fool, you’re the one who’s ignorant, you’re the one who’s blind, not me.

Sauls believe that if you hurt me, I have the right to hurt you back; and Sauls believe that if you hurt my feelings then you’re bad, and you’re wrong. Thus, Sauls have moods whenever you upset their feelings; but the real purpose of the mood is to make you feel bad so you will surrender to their demands.

Sauls act by their own judgment; they do not walk by faith, but rather by what they think is right. Even though Sauls may act generous, may appear happy and may enjoy being helpful, the truth is, Sauls are too proud to be corrected, too proud to forgive, bossy, and too stubborn to be told they’re wrong.

The camp of Saul is the camp of self-righteousness, whereas the camp of David is the camp of God’s righteousness. That is, God’s rightness, God’s ability and God’s goodness, not mine. Davids know that it’s nothing to do with me; it’s all Him.

The trigger

The trigger that stirs Saul spirits to change from meekness, is envy. Sauls can’t handle someone else being accoladed more than them.

What’s the problem with being a Saul?

Envy (1 Samuel 18:8) drives a Saul away from God and into the camp of witchcraft and then under the influence and control of a demon, then you’ll lose your right mind, and ultimately find yourself in hell. The stubbornness of Saul separates Saul from God (1 Samuel 16:14). This pattern started in the Garden of Eden, and nothing’s changed. If you allow envy into your heart and refuse to own it with repentance, you will not find heaven; it will take you to hell; and that’s the plan of Satan … self-destruction by self-rightness.

Jonathans

Jonathans agree and even support David but they prefer to stay in the camp of Saul. Saul’s camp is bigger and safer and more acceptable. David’s camp is outside the acceptable religious structure. Jonathans choose to stay with their father’s belief even though they know it’s wrong, because they need their father’s approval.

Why stay in the camp of Saul?

  1. Safety in numbers. The Orthodox churches considered the Pentecostal church, a cult, but when it increased in numbers it became an acceptable religion. Homosexuality was considered illegal, but now that it has publically increased in numbers it’s become an acceptable normal sexuality. People’s judgment is controlled by numbers and money. Where numbers and money dictate people’s decision, they have simply defaulted to the control of the spirit of the anti-christ. “He loved me, but not enough” is the catch-cry in Sense and Sensibility. Willoughby gave up his love for position and money. The comforts of his lifestyle and the temptation to look good in the eyes of others were too appealing, and thus he showed that he really loved himself . Like Willoughby, Sauls say and act loving but when it comes to the crunch they choose position over love for God.
  2. Social interaction. Humans are social beings and the church has been traditionally considered a safe place to interact with other humans; but that’s no longer the case … paedophilia and homosexuality, divorce and fornication are intertwined into the fabric of every religion and every church.
  3. More chance of being elevated to a higher position and recognised by more people.
  4. Scared to change camps. Religion controls people through their fears. People are too lazy to search the Scriptures for themselves. I believe because they don’t really want to find the hard way. They like the status quo; it suits their lifestyle, and any deviation from the status quo would make me look bad in the eyes of others.
  5. Indoctrinated by parents to believe in self-value
  6. Using the church as a hospital for all my hurts and expecting people to listen to me and be understanding of my needs.

Santa Claus

It’s no coincidence that Santa is the most valued figure at Christmas time. He’s the one with the goodies. Most Christians live in the Santa Claus syndrome believing if they’re good then God will give them nice things and remove all the hassles from their path. Most Christians believe that good gets rewarded with good. The whole focus is on what’s the deal for me and every deed is manipulated around that self-focus. They live in the belief that their goodness will save them because God is a nice God and surely He wouldn’t possibly reject ME. These are the Sauls. They’re not focussed on Christ; they’re focussed on what God can do for me. God is worshipped for the feelings, benefits and rewards. Their life is a pretence, full of envy of anyone else’s higher favouritism and anyone else’s happiness.

Can you change camps?

If you want to survive you have to leave the camp of Saul. Even Samuel had to leave Saul. You can’t stay in the camp of Saul and pretend you are a David; it’s a contradiction.

To change camps you have to give up what links you to Saul; what benefits you get by being in Sauls’ camp. They have to be put on the altar. There’s a price to change camps; it’s not for free. You can’t buy your way in with money or good deeds, but you do have to give your whole heart.

To change camps you have to forgive like a child, trust like a child, and be corrected like a child. Like the thief on the cross, you can’t swap camps by being good, but only via the bridge of repentance for your self-righteousness.

Why join the camp of David?

The people who joined themselves to David were the inferior ones … distressed, in debt, and discontent (1 Samuel 22:2). You can join yourself to David’s camp because you’re lost and lonely and David offers stability and responsibility, but if you don’t humble yourself by faith in the Lord Jesus you’re just using David for you and you will still miss out. You have to be a David, not just be in David’s camp, like Judas was in Jesus’ camp.

You can only become a David by giving up the fight to protect and promote you.

Suggestion

Stop worrying about you & think about God instead. If He is the creator of the universe with an earth that spins around the sun at exactly the right angle and speed; the creator of infinitely different-faced persons; and the manufacturer of infinitely different snowflakes, surely it makes sense to trust His plan. Stop operating your own back-up sub-plan in case God doesn’t come through, and commit your will to His; if you don’t it will be fatal.

May God help you take the plunge for your own sake,

Pastor Ray Simmonds

    

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2015 in Fake Christian, Uncategorized

 

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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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