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Sermon 129 – Faith through Revilings

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

Whenever the demonic is active, there is division

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

What happens when someone has a go at you?

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

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

What’s really happening?

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

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

Without faith it’s impossible to please Him

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

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

The man born blind

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

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

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

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

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

Address your pride vs fix your feelings

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

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

 

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

 

Pastor Rick Ramsley

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Posted by on June 23, 2018 in Faith, Suffering

 

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Sermon 122 – Obedient Defiance

One young woman in our fellowship was struggling with her emotions because another young woman was more popular. The popular one was new to the fellowship, so from the first woman’s perspective, it wasn’t fair that she had been usurped.

This scenario happens time and time again amongst all groups of people. The point is, how is a Christian to address these feelings?

Separation is Biblical, 2 Thessalonians 3: 6,14

The problem was, the first woman’s jealousy was disturbing the whole fellowship. Something inside her was reacting to the unfairness and everyone could feel it. If you let envy fester it will turn to hatred. It may be hidden by obedience, but it’s really hatred and defiance under the guise of obedience. Therefore, according to Scripture, I instructed this woman to separate herself from the fellowship until she stopped her attitude, and at the same time, I asked her to answer several questions in the hope it would help her see her inappropriate attitude.

Questions

Do you think you’re special? Is she jealous that the other woman has taken her position? Is she having a mood? Is her attitude Holy Spirit or demonic? Is she doing what’s she’s told by me, without any defiance in her heart? She answered ‘yes’ to every question and even agreed that she was being manipulated by a demon.

The response that got my attention was the lie that she was being obedient to my instructions without any defiance. Now, if you are being demonically manipulated, and then to think you are being obedient, actually confirms that you are under the influence of a demon and lying to yourself. It’s a contradiction to know you are under a demon and to think you are obedient without any defiance.

Non-genuine obedience

All the people that I’ve pastored over the years considered themselves to be obedient to my pastoral instructions. Very few however, served the Lord without some expectation of benefit, meaning that their obedience is not true obedience. Obedience that’s not true always carries with it some form of defiance, and sooner or later, that defiance will expose itself in contradicting the authority.

The bottom line

The bottom line in every person’s heart is the belief that they have the right to their own opinion and no one is ultimately going to tell them what to do. This is the heart of Satan, not God. To them, their obedience is the evidence of their willingness to be told what to do, so no one can say that they are not a good person. Their argument is … ‘surely, I have the right to my own opinion and the right to figure it out myself.’ However, from God’s perspective, it’s not one’s right that’s the issue, it’s the bite of defiance that protects that right.

Example

During a discussion with one Christian young man, I suggested that he may have missed my point about him having a grievance with another man because his inappropriate behaviour resembled that of the man. He retorted … I didn’t miss your point. Now, it’s fine to have a difference of opinion. It’s not the difference of opinion that’s the issue; it’s the bite behind the opinion. It doesn’t matter how obedient you think you are to the authority’s instructions, a bite confirms that your heart is not obedient; on the contrary, it’s defiant.

Defiance is inherent. It has to be broken.

Every person on the planet is born defiant. It’s inherent in our spirit because of our link with Satan through our sin. When one truly surrenders to the will of God, a slow up-hill process begins whereby God changes our inherent defiant character into His self-less character. If you’re truly open to the correction of Christ, you will begin to see your inherent stubbornness and begin to sacrifice it to Him. The problem arises when one refuses to see it and ultimately turns their back on the process.

Every person is a King Saul, until they give up and become a David

In 1 Samuel 15 we read the story of the stubbornness of King Saul. From his perspective, he was doing what he was told, but from God’s perspective, he wasn’t. From God’s perspective, his behaviour was witchcraft and idolatry (v.23). That clearly means his heart was under the control of Satan at the same time as he was worshipping God (v.31) and thought he was being obedient (v.20). Whether you like this point or not, the truth is, everybody acts this way and believes this lie, until they unconditionally surrender to the will of God. Everyone is born under the control of Satan, no matter how obedient they may appear, and this control deepens until they sacrifice their pride to the will of God.

What was missing in King Saul’s obedience?

King Saul had let his humility turn to pride of position. He loved being No.1. From his pride’s perspective, he was doing what he was told, his way. When you’re ready to blame others for your misdeeds, you clearly show you’re being deceptive about your obedience. When your prime concern is what others think of you (v.30), you clearly show that your obedience is a camouflage for your defiance. What you don’t realise is that you are reinforcing Satan’s grip on your spirit. You can act obedient as much as you like, but if the Spirit of God is missing, you’re lying to yourself and others, and you’re under the power of a demon. In 2 Timothy 2: 25,26 God describes this as “opposing yourself” and under the snare of the devil and controlled at the devil’s will.

Which camp?

Now, if Samuel is standing with God and Saul conflicts with his opinion of what’s right and wrong, then clearly Saul is not standing with God. You’re either in God’s camp or you’re in the camp of Satan, and any middle ground is the same as not standing with God. If, by the Spirit of God, you declare that a person is not being obedient, but they contradict and demand they are, then immediately they have exposed their defiance and exposed what spirit they are really of. Defiance is simply contradicting the Spirit of God. Arguing the point against God’s representative, is defiance, and thus, demonic.

The bottom line

What was the underlying problem that stirred Saul to defy Samuel’s opinion? The answer is, he fed his heart with the pride of his position and defended that position when challenged he was wrong. Later on, he reinforced that pride by envying David’s threat to that position. Once he decided to solidify this defence of his pride, he was on his way to hell. There was nothing more Samuel could do to save him from his pride. Once you harden your heart and turn your back at the intersection of the challenge of your pride, it’s virtually impossible to find your way to God.

The real issue is Holy Spirit vs Satan

Beneath all the appearance of goodness, there’s a spiritual war going on (Ephesians 6). You either stand on God’s side or Satan’s. Pretending with niceness or obedience in middle ground is the same as neither hot nor cold, and therefore satanic. Obedience with defiance is actually hatred and demonic. It’s not God’s responsibility to fix this problem, it’s yours. If you refuse to address your pride when it’s exposed and humble yourself to the mind of Christ, don’t blame God when you miss heaven.

May God stir the hearts of his remnant to oppose their pride, not themselves, so that Satan is bound, not them.

 

Pastor Jonathan Wright

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2018 in defiance

 

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Sermon 116 – I want something you’ve got & I’ve never had

Joash

In 2 Chronicles 22:10 – 24:27, we read the story of Joash. Queen Athaliah was evil through and through, but King Joash looked good and acted good. Athaliah had taken the throne by killing all the king’s seed but Joash escaped thanks to the actions of his aunt. He was hidden for 7 years in the temple with the family of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada was a Godly man. After 7 years, he initiated the coronation of Joash and oversaw the destruction and death of wicked Athaliah. Whilst Joash acted respectful of the authority of Jehoiada the priest, he behaved Godly and righteous.

However, his true heart was exposed when he listened to the flattery of demonised voices (24:17). He had become KING. Position had stolen his head and heart. He lost his appreciation for being saved from death. All that was required was a bit of flattery and he was gone. He turned against God and worshipped other gods. He was challenged by the new priest Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, with whom he has spent his childhood. His response was … how dare you tell me what to do, and he had Zechariah stoned to death.

Knowing the heart of man, I suggest he envied the son’s relationship with his father, something he had never had himself. He had everything but he wasn’t satisfied. He wanted what he’d never had and couldn’t seem to get. He wanted what the son had, and besides it’s a good thing to seek, he told himself. His actions flowed from this hidden envy. You can seem to get away with envy because it’s a hidden emotion, but eventually it will be exposed.

How did Joash express his appreciation to Jehoida?

Joash showed his appreciation for being saved from death by Jehoida by killing his son. That’s not love and it’s surely not an expression of any appreciation. His actions in the beginning may have seemed good, but I suggest he was just trying to impress Jehoiada. The envy of his heart fed the desire for position and puffed him up. If you allow your heart to be envious you’ll strive to position yourself above those you envy and you’ll lose your soul.

You can separate yourself from this story and say I wouldn’t do that, but the truth is, the moment you judge your fellowman, you have done it. You can’t say you love God and put yourself up above your fellowman. That’s not love. In fact, God calls it murder (1 John 3:15).

God is love (1 John 4:8)

You can only have a relationship with God on the basis of love. Without faith, which works by love, it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and whatever is not of love is sin (Romans 14:23).

Goodness is not necessarily love

Love is not expressed by good deeds or generosity. Anyone can fake that. It has to flow from deep appreciation first, without envy. You can’t get the Father’s love by trying to be good enough; that’s selfish.

Love flows from your deep appreciation for what God did when he sacrificed His only Son for your salvation. This love is expressed by your appreciation for his sacrifice. From this appreciation flows generosity and good deeds. Without the appreciation your good deeds are bad, not good.

The heart of man wants position and value

Ever since the Garden of Eden, the heart of man is born in sin. It’s born under the influence of Satan. This heart has to be replaced with a new heart of love, not goodness. You can fake goodness. If Joash truly loved God he would never have turned against Him and worshipped other gods, nor killed the son of the man who saved him. In the same manner, if you truly love God you will never allow your heart to envy your fellowman. You have to daily fight yourself to do this otherwise the voices will deceive you into evil.

Voices

Like Joash, we’re all susceptible to the demonic voices of guilt and flattery. Listening to demonic voices will turn your heart. You can act loving, but sooner or later demonic voices will expose your true heart.

Most people measure themselves by their good

Most people think that their goodness is love. The problem is, most good is selfish and therefore evil. Most people do good so they feel valued in themselves and valued in the eyes of others. They do good so they will be liked for their goodness. They do good so you will be good to them. They do good because it’s the right thing to do. They do good so they won’t be punished for doing bad. Their goodness is manipulated by fear, pride and greed. Their good is rarely motivated by appreciation, and if it is, it’s usually contaminated with self-value.

You don’t do good to get good things in return. That’s not good; that’s greed. That’s why Santa Claus is a lie. You do good as an expression of appreciation for God’s sacrifice.

So how do we know if our good is love based or selfish based?

1 Corinthians 13: 3, 4

Love is not envious. Love is not puffed-up. Love does not vaunt itself. Love is not measured by helps and generosity (v.3); it’s measured by how you view your fellowman.

Jesus gave up His position to save you and me. He suffered an unjustified death for you and me, and if you love Him for doing that then there’s no need to envy. Envy proves you are faking it.

How do you express your appreciation?

If you love God, you love to do what He instructs. You can’t say you love God and envy your fellowman; that’s opposite His instructions. You can’t say you love God and puff yourself up with your own importance. You can’t say you love God and seek position. You can’t say you love God and disrespect authority. You can’t say you appreciate everything He’s done for you and abuse His sabbath or commit adultery in your heart.

If you truly love God, you won’t let your heart lust after its own selfishness.

Love follows the character of Christ. He humbled Himself and became a servant and obedient unto death (Philippians 2). If you practice goodness with a hidden agenda of position, then you’re opposite to Christ and not of Christ.

Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself.

Your expression of appreciation for God’s love towards you is measured by your judgment of your fellowman. Why? If you love God then you will automatically value and respect His creation, your fellowman. That means you won’t envy your fellowman. You won’t want what he has or who he is, or how high up the ladder he becomes. If you do good to your fellowman without the love of God, it’s not good; it’s actually selfishness.

If you’re a true pastor you have to be willing to suffer like Jehoiada and Zechariah

Time and time again, as a pastor, like Jehoiada, I have shown the love of God to many people. As a general rule, these people show their appreciation with helps and generosity; that is until I challenge them about their true heart.

On many occasions, I’ve invited people into my family to save their spirit. In time, I’ve had these same people say to my face … if you’re my pastor then I expect you to treat me with the same love and value as you love and value your daughter. This is not a sign of loving appreciation, but demonic control.

You can’t say you honour the pastor but then behind his back you envy his love for his son and want it for yourself. You can’t say you respect the pastor and then behind his back you envy the love he has for his wife and want it for yourself. You can’t say you cherish the pastor and at the same time wish you were loved the same as he loves his daughter, and in the same way, you can’t say to God that you love Him and behind His back envy His love towards someone else.

Love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t puff itself up. Love shows its appreciation by thanking God for blessing other people and not expecting it for myself.

Satan wants Jesus’ position so he can take God, the Father’s, position. When you do the same you show your true heart is with Satan. Anyone who practices love with envy is under the control of a demonic lying spirit … looks good on the outside, but rotten within.

James 3: 14-18

James 3 declares that where bitter envy exists there is lying and demonic, confusion and every evil work. Eventually, like Joash, the true heart of a fake Christian will be exposed at a point of correction and they will no longer be easily entreated, but resistant to correction and thus be exposed as a bastard (half in the family and half out).

Love doesn’t practice envy; it’s too engrossed in gratitude to consider it. But, the irony is, when you practice God’s love, your fellowman will hate you because you’ll have something that they want and haven’t got.

For God’s sake, God’s remnant must learn to suffer the envy and hypocrisy of fake love from so-called Christians under the influence of Satan. That’s His secret plan.

 

Pastor John Cormack

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2018 in Love

 

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Sermon 112 – Obey is better than Sacrifice

Limited sacrifice

Most Christians I engage with would consider themselves willing to sacrifice. They would be willing to give up things (time, money, things) if they had to. At the same time, most of these people would also act sacrificial. They would put on sadness or heaviness as a display of penance when they had been found out for doing something wrong. Do acts of penance expose a flaw in our sacrifice? God calls us to unlimited sacrifice (Luke 14:33) but, generally speaking, most Christians have a limit to their sacrifice. Why?

Is our sacrifice genuine or reflective of something wrong in our spirit?

The Word of God in 1 Corinthians 13 declares that you can give your body to be burned but it could prosper you nothing. That’s a pretty big sacrifice to no avail. Why does God describe love in the light of sacrifice? I guess we think that sacrifice is an expression of love, but God stresses that love is firstly based on obedience before sacrifice, and without obedience our sacrifice is a wasteful exercise. If your sacrifice is for any personal benefit or reward, then you sacrifice is fake.

Christ’s disciples

Initially, the disciples followed Christ for the benefits and the popularity. It wasn’t until they willingly sacrificed everything did they see and grasp what it was all about. They gave up their job source and their popularity to gain nothing but Christ. A 70% commitment like most Christians is not discipleship. To follow Christ requires 100% sacrifice; no reliance on Egypt, career or family, but only Jesus Christ.  This doesn’t mean you can’t have a career etc.; it means there should be no reliance on any source except Christ.  Most Christians think they do this but when it comes to the crunch, they falter.

What about obedience?

All Christians would say they were obedient. I’ve met many Christians who live by rightness. From their perspective they live good and upright lives always trying to do what’s right and do what they’re told (but generally only if they think it’s right). So if you suggest that there seems to be something wrong with their attitude and thus in their spirit, there’s always a reaction of defensive offence. They can’t believe it, because their goodness in comparison to others is what they measure themselves by. It comes as a complete shock that there may be something wrong with themselves. Reaction to correction of wrong, is where the true inner spirit’s character is exposed. Anyone can fake the exterior, but sooner or later, disobedience will show as a mood.

Why does God say that obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22)?

Recently I experienced 3 separate situations where supportive members of my fellowship challenged my authority when I addressed something wrong in their behaviour. There mood was showing. Now, it’s ok to respectfully challenge the pastor’s authority when he is out of alignment with the Word of God, but it’s evil to challenge his authority when your own heart is out of spiritual alignment. In these 3 cases, the manner in which I was challenged was aggressive and disrespectful. I knew I was being challenged by a demonic spirit; Christian or no Christian. I knew they were silently telling me that I wasn’t being fair and understanding, and that I had no right to make them feel bad, or to tell them what was right or wrong. Having experienced this many times, I turned to the Lord, stood righteously and quietly but firmly re-challenged their challenge.

Fortunately, each of these persons respected me enough to stop and re-look at their behaviour and concede that I was right and that something was wrong in their heart. Once they had decided to concede to my authority, in each case they revealed a circumstance where they had secretively done something contrary to my advice and instructions. Each situation seemed minor to their thinking, but when they looked at it with open eyes they could each see that they had been disobedient, and they repented.

If you’re a Samuel, there’ll always be a Saul who questions you

Satan always questions righteous authority. He hates the righteous. He’s purpose is to destroy anyone who puts up their hand for the living God, and he usually uses family or friends to try and pull down the righteous.

A 4th person, whom I considered a friend, rose up against my authority. When I challenged him, he confessed to his pornography. I had previously helped him remove his wifi so that he wouldn’t be tempted, but he had deceptively defied my instructions. He refused to repent and his disobedience separated him from the Garden. Sadly, he opened his heart to the world through the lust of the flesh and spiritually suicided. He had no power to fight it. The spirit of God had left.

Demonic occupation of our spirits

It was the disobedience that had exposed these four to demonic occupation and under that occupation they became defiant to authority when questioned about their spirits. Subtle disobedience exposes the fact that our spirits want to do what we want to do. We don’t want to be told. God calls this want “rebellion, stubbornness and witchcraft” (1 Samuel 15:23). We want to be obedient but we, like Eve, lose the power of this healthy want the moment we fall to disobedience.

Disobedience takes you out of the blood covering and only genuine repentance can correct the problem. Sacrifice is something we do usually for others or something we do to look good or make ourselves feel good, but disobedience is a choice of often unintentional defiance against authority. It exposes the “I won’t be told what to do” of our inherent selfish spirit. It carries much more spiritual consequences.

Disobedience is way different to sacrifice. You don’t come under demonic influence for sacrificing, but you do when you disobey, either wilfully or unintentionally.

Disobedience was the issue that caused Adam and Eve to bring the whole human race under the influence of Satan. Disobedience without repentance was the whole issue that caused them to be expelled from the Garden, and disobedience was the issue that eventually saw the death of Shimei, and the satanic possession of King Saul.

The strategy of Satan is the same as in the Garden

Namely, promote subtle defiance so that the church is annihilated. The children of our modern western society are deliberately being taught to have their own mind for the sole purpose of undermining parental authority so that families are fractured and Christianity is wiped off the face of the earth.

Rightness thinking, fake sacrifice

Once you justify disobedience you lose your clear thinking and start thinking evil against the righteous. Once you choose to disobey by surrendering to the subtle sweet voice of Satan, you start telling yourself that there’s nothing wrong with your decision and you shift your conscience from righteousness to rightness.  Once you do that you are automatically in opposition to the righteous, and eventually you will challenge the authority of the righteous. Satan’s got you where he wants you.

The fact is, that those who live for rightness are actually being disobedient, somewhere in the privacy of their inner heart, to the righteousness of God.

Shimei (I Kings 2)

From Shimei’s point of view it was a justifiable minor infraction to go and get back his run-away servants. Surely it was fair and right! But Solomon didn’t judge him for his actions, he judged his heart via his actions. Shimei was killed, not because he had disobeyed, but because of what was privy in his heart (1 Kings 2:44). Solomon knew that Shimei was silently telling him that he wasn’t fair and just and that he had the right to make his own decisions. When you disobey, it’s not the action that’s the problem, it’s what’s privy in your heart.

King Saul (1 Samuel 15)

From King Saul’s point of view, it was sensible not to waste good animals but to bring back the livestock to sacrifice to God. He wasn’t judged for the deed, but by the deed. The disobedience exposed what was privy in his heart. Samuel knew that the real underlying issue was the fact that Saul was questioning his authority. Unlike David who sinned far worse, Saul wouldn’t repent in his heart, but only on the surface for the benefit of looking good to the people. The consequences of this fake repentance was demonic possession.

The issue is always authority

From Satan’s perspective the issue is always, “who’s the boss”. When you disobey you come under the same thinking. Unrepentant disobedience, no matter how minor, will cause you to lose your right mind, and result in defiant resistance to righteous authority. You won’t be able to stop it because Satan will be pulling your chain whether you know it or not.

 

May God stir the hearts of the righteous to own up to disobedience before it’s too late and Satan takes your God-given authority for himself.

Pastor Gordon Maynor

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2017 in Authority

 

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

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

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

Under a lying spirit

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

The thinking process of the anti-christ

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

It’s the opposite process under the Holy Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

The sorry technique

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

The diagnostic point

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

The modern thinking that exposes an anti-christ spirit

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

Faith doesn’t have to see

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

Eventually, the Holy Spirit will leave

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

How to beat a demonic spirit

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

Salvation is really simple

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

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

 

May the remnant of Christ awake!

 

Pastor Norm Wakefield

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in Authority

 

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Sermon 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 103 – He must increase, I must decrease

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

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

So how does this teach us what love is?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The measurement of love

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

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

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

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

What’s the purpose of angels?

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

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

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

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

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

What’s the measurement of truth?

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

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

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

What was happening?

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

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

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

The goal of every genuine believer

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

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

 

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

 

Pastor Jim Stratton

 

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2016 in Love

 

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