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Sermon 127 – Silence is Golden

In Daniel chapter 6 we read the story of the lion’s den. Perhaps the two keys lessons for the remnant are … ‘position’ and ‘silence’.

Daniel was not into position; he was into serving God’s will. Whereas, the princes and presidents were, as was Darius. Pride always envies someone else’s position, or promotes its own position.

Pride is Satan’s gift

Darius was trapped by his pride and the princes were trapped by theirs. Pride always traps you. Pride is Satan’s gift; humility is Christ’s. Pride puts you under the control of Satan. Humility is God’s gift to stand against Satan. But, how do you learn humility when you’re born in pride? Like Nebuchadnezzar, your pride has to be broken off you.

Pride likes to defend itself. Pride likes to stand up for itself. Pride likes to promote and protect its reputation. Pride likes to retaliate. Pride likes to win. Pride doesn’t like being told what to do. Pride says … if you’re going to be nasty to me, then I have the right to be nasty to you.

If this is pride, then humility is the opposite. Humility is death to pride. But, to be humble requires you to see your pride and give it to God. Therefore, things have to go wrong on a regular basis so we begin to open our eyes to our own selfishness, instead of judging everyone else’s.

Fear is Satan’s tool to protect your pride. Faith is God’s tool to suppress your pride

A prince is a person in power. Princes envy anyone who threatens their power. Princes use fear to weaken your faith. If you submit to the fear, you will activate your pride. Pride protects itself from looking bad. But, faith is activated in the face of fear. If there is no fear then you don’t need faith. So, we learn to trust God through our fears.

Bad things don’t happen to good people

The story of Daniel in the lions’ den refutes the lie that good gets good, and bad gets bad. This story, like the story of David vs King Saul, the burning of Ziglag, Paul being bitten by a viper, and the three Jews thrown into the fiery furnace, proves this thinking is from the heart of Satan. Any inner voice that questions your relationship with God because something wrong or bad has occurred is the voice of evil and is designed to squash your faith.

And, any voice you agree with that forms a judgment against someone because something has gone bad for them, is a sign that the same satanic spirit operates through you as did the Pharisees hating Jesus, and the princes hating Daniel.  A voice you latch on to and run with, like … you deserved it, is not the voice of the Holy Spirit, but the voice of Satan, and confirmation that you are in the wrong camp.

Voices

We all hear voices. That’s temptation. But, pride gels with the voice, and if it gets caught, blames the voice, whereas, humility recognises the temptation and turns to the Lord for His truth. And, repentance is simply giving up our position of pride-protection after falling to the voice, to consent to the truth that we sinned by agreeing with the voice.

Darius did not consent to the truth of his pride, nor did any of the princes. The consequence of this pride-resistance is hell, whether you worship God or not.

Repentance

Repentance is giving up your position. Pride can say sorry but it’s not repentance because it won’t give up its position. Pride says sorry to get out of trouble so it doesn’t lose its position, and then it expects you to have to forgive them. Repentance is the humility of saying sorry by giving up its pride-of-position, facing the fears of looking bad, and accepting the consequences of having been tempted by the voice.

If you don’t start it, you don’t have to stop it

It takes a special spirit to have position without being proud. Daniel and Moses and Jesus were in this category, but Daniel and Moses would have had to learn to die to their pride before they were able to handle position, whereas, Jesus never ignited it. If you want to walk in the footsteps of Daniel, you have to die to your pride.

Silence is death to pride

Daniel knew about the plot against him. He knew the law had been signed and he knew the consequences, yet he kept to his routine of prayer. He didn’t let their pride put him in fear. Our pride is manipulated by spirits of fear, 2 Timothy 1:7. Fear stirs up our pride; pride stirs up our moodiness, and then we blame others for our hassles. Faith puts a holt to this old nature pattern, and, faith is stirred-up when we recognise the worst scenario of our fears, and give it all up to God. This breaks the power of Satan’s manipulation of our pride.

Daniel could have intervened; he was Number 2 in the kingdom. Why didn’t he say something to Darius? Why didn’t he try and defend his cause?

The answer is … pride & demons

Behind pride is always a demonic spirit. When someone’s pride rises up against you, your natural response is to defend yourself. This is our own pride rising up to our self-defence.  Our pride wants to put them in their place. Our pride wants to point out the injustice. Our pride wants them to be shown wrong and us right.

The problem is, we’re not arguing against them, we’re arguing against a demon. We’re not fighting flesh and blood, but evil principalities and evil powers. Pride can never win against these evil forces; even Jesus didn’t tackle them. So, when you defend yourself against their unjust attack you actually inflame your own pride and ignite your old nature, and Satan has authority over your old nature, so you just give him licence to manoeuvre you away from Christ.

Soldier for Christ or defender of your pride

The walk of the Spirit is to cease this self-defence and put the consequences in the hands of the Creator. It takes death to achieve it, and without this death there is no salvation, because salvation is through death … take up your cross daily and follow Me, & you cannot be a disciple unless you count the cost and forsake everything (Luke 9:26-33). None of us really knows what this cost is; you can only prepare for it by learning to be silent before your enemy by faith in Jesus Christ, which means, you have to face the fear of the cost and rest in God’s plan.

As Jesus was silent before his accusers, so was Daniel. There must be a serious lesson here.

But I say unto you, resist not evil, but whosoever will smite you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  Matthew 5:39. Why did Jesus give us this instruction? It all comes down to humility vs demons.

Humility isn’t just silence before your accusers (the world can do that), rather, it’s silence by faith in our God’s plan. You don’t defeat demons with words, you defeat them with silence … the silence of humility, and any words must only come from this silence.

When they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it will be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. For it is not you that speaks, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.  Matthew 10:19,20

There’s a time to defend righteousness with action, and there’s a time to defend righteousness with silence. If you haven’t learnt the silence-defence then you won’t have the Spirit to defend with action.

The real motive

The question is … are you defending righteousness or just defending your position? King Saul fought the Philistines to prove his position; David fought Goliath to defend God’s name.

Daniel was fully committed to the will of God, yet he didn’t try and convert the kings or the princes to his God; nor did he try and free his people from their captivity. Rather, he waited on God for His will to be done. No one waits any more, they’re too active proving what they can do, or they’re silent to protect their position.

Silent for Christ or silent for pride

In the whole book of Daniel, we only read about four Jewish men who were silent for God and faithfully served the anti-Christ kings. Where’s the rest of the Jewish men? Staying silent to protect their position. This silence is pride and fear; it’s not golden; it’s clay; it’s a mood of silence.

Everyone wants to be a Daniel so they can impress the people and promote their personal value; but, that’s not Daniel, that’s King Saul. To be a Daniel requires silence and faith in the living God when you stand before those who oppose God’s Truth.

The Anti-Christ

The lesson of Daniel is to encourage His followers to prepare themselves for the final week of history (chapter 9:7) before Christ returns. The anti-Christ’s regime will last for 7 years. His intention will be the satanic destruction of God’s remnant who are honouring the Ten Commandments (Revelation 12:17). He will therefore, come into power in Europe in spiritual league with Roman Catholicism, peaceably with flatteries, but, just like the princes of Persia, his agenda will be to change times and laws to trap God’s remnant.

If you haven’t prepared your heart to face fear by faith, you will succumb to the anti-Christ’s power and you will betray the remnant (Daniel 11:30). This is no joke; it’s serious. Set your course, face your fears by faith and stop activating your pride.

May God stir up His people to stop having moods of silence and start exercising God-silence when they stand for Him against those that oppose His faith.

 

Pastor Jonathan Faranze

 

 

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Posted by on May 26, 2018 in position

 

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Sermon 125 – The NEB Syndrome

In Daniel chapter 2, 3 and 4 we read the story of Nebuchadnezzar and his interactions with Daniel and Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego. The Neb Syndrome is based on the behaviour pattern of King Nebuchadnezzar. Everybody has this syndrome inherent in their sinful nature. Everyone’s born a Neb at some level depending on one’s social position, family position, wealth and education. You can pretend to hide it but sooner or later it will be exposed when you don’t get what you want. If you truly want salvation, the Neb in you has to be killed.

Nebs put you up and then pull you down.

In Chapter 2:49, Nebuchadnezzar promoted Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, but when they wouldn’t comply with his demands, he tore them down; no discussion, no enquiry, just intimidation. The inherent Neb in us hates people who won’t do it our way. Nebs will promote you if it’s to their own advantage, like making you a special friend, or puffing you up to create envy against a more popular opponent, but they’re always ready to pull you down when you offend or challenge their self-worth.

Nebs have a golden image of themselves

In Daniel 3, Nebuchadnezzar built a huge golden image to himself and demanded everyone bow when he played the music. Similarly, in their deceived mind, Nebs think they’re special, or important, or gifted, or educated. They appear to worship God, but they love themselves and expect others to treat them with the respect they believe they deserve whenever they play their music. They think they are good, making themselves equal with God, and thinking themselves blessed if things work out to their advantage, and look for others to blame if they don’t. Nebs believe that if they’re in trouble, it’s everyone else’s fault.

They live by their feelings. Their selfish belief is … I’m good and special, so if you hurt my feelings, you’re bad, so I’ll wait till you change your mind and you realise I’m right and you’re wrong.

Nebs blame you for upsetting them, or not listening to them, or not respecting their opinion. Everything’s based on how they feel and how someone makes them feel. It’s MY feelings first, God second.

Nebs think they should have the No.1 position

Nebs want the limelight. If you seem to be above them, Nebs try to pull you down, and if you seem to be below them, Nebs try to keep you down there. Nebs envy anyone who threatens their position. Nebs hate people who are positioned above them. They live for their own happiness and despise anyone who’s more happy, or more popular, or more successful than themselves, or more intimate with God.

Nebs love power and control

Neb’s are so self-important they can’t believe you won’t agree with their point of view. Nebs hate you if you won’t comply with their thinking. If they had the ultimate power like Nebuchadnezzar himself, they would kill you for not complying, and throw you into their furnace. They eventually object to any rules that put controls on them … as far as they’re concerned, they’re the one who should be in control; they’re the one who has the right to control what they want and how others should behave towards them.

Nebs are bi-polar

One minute they’re nice, and the next they’re unexpectantly intimidating. One minute everything seems to be ok and co-operative, and the next they’re demanding you dance to their music and bow to their thinking. You never know where you stand with a Neb. Nebs have one foot in the world and one foot in God. Thus, as in James 1:8, Nebs are double-minded and unstable in their heart.

Nebs can’t afford to be wrong, so they believe everything they do is somehow always right. So, when they’re corrected, they are flabbergasted at the suggestion that you would think them bad; besides, they think they’re always good, so you must be wrong.

Nebs think that they’re so good, God will obviously save them, bless them and protect them. Their ingenuine goodness is just a manipulation to get God to be good back to them. Their pride puts them in fear of being thought of as bad, or a failure.

Nebs often use obedience or generosity to obligate you to conform to their wishes or ignore their short-comings, when all the time, in their heart, they’re resistant and defiant of your authority.

Nebs can act religious, even think they keep the commandments by not practicing adultery or murder or steal, but they always fail the God first test, the bear false witness test, and the covet test.

Nebs are anti-Christ’s

They may agree they’re wrong so you can’t argue their defiance, but they won’t change their position. They can appear to be in sheep’s clothing, but ultimately, they’re wolves, controlled by Satan, and anti- the Holy Spirit.

Nebs think they’re good, but … Ezekiel 33:31

They come unto you and sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness.

It’s important to note, that Nebuchadnezzar was not good. He didn’t find God based on his goodness, but rather, when he killed his own self-image and replaced it with God’s Spirit.

The bottom line

Nebs won’t be told; rather, they tell others what’s right and wrong.

On the other hand …

SMA’s = full of the Spirit that inhabited Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego

SMA’s are not full of their own importance. They don’t chase position, or value, or human recognition, but leave position to God. Any position is attributed to God, not self. Self-position has been shattered. They serve God because they love Him; not for a deal.

They don’t think they’re good. They know that only God is good and they’re thankful for God’s grace towards their bad.

Like Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, in Daniel 3:17 & 18, SMA’s don’t demand or expect God to fix their problems. Rather, they trust God’s outcome and rest in His plan.

Probably the most defining factor about SMA’s is that they are envied by Nebs, and sooner or later are confronted by Nebs so their faith is tested.

SMA’s are called and chosen.

SMA’s don’t bow to intimidation when challenged to change gods.

Neb to SMA

Everyone has an image of themselves to worship themselves. If you want to be an SMA your image has to be shattered, broken and destroyed. You can’t serve God and worship your own image at the same time; it’s contradictory and satanic.

If you’re not an SMA then somewhere in the crevices of your heart lies a Neb. SMA’s are few and far between. Most of the so-called Christians I’ve met in my life are really just Nebs in some form of nice disguise. The good news is, Saul became a Paul, so anyone can be changed. You can change if you want to, but you can’t because you won’t. To a Neb, ‘ME’ is too important, and what people think is more real than what an imaginary God thinks; besides, a Neb doesn’t really think it needs to change because it’s already basically good.

If you want to be an SMA it requires God to put you on a cross and embarrass your self-image and shatter all your self-plans. No wonder there’s hardly any SMA’s. God is looking for an empty vessel; not one that’s already full of its own importance.

The salvation test

I’ve lost count how many Nebs I’ve encountered who believe they are a good Christian. They’re deceived. Salvation is not just being a Christian, but also sacrificing your Neb position and having it tested by fire. In fact, where there’s no fire test, there’s no salvation … all that live Godly in Christ will suffer persecution … 2 Timothy 3:12. Also, your reaction to a Neb will reveal what god you really serve.  SMA’s don’t compromise to keep the majority happy; they stand on God’s Word, for God, and cop the defaming consequences. The modern church systems are not training soldiers to die for Christ, they’re collecting numbers for money.

Demons use Nebs

As confirmed in Ephesians 6, we’re not fighting flesh and blood, but principalities and powers. It’s important for an SMA to know how demonic spirits operate against them. A Neb is under the influence of demonic spirits and ultimately their design is to attack and discredit, or discourage, or kill SMA’s. SMA’s should be encouraged that a demonic attack is a positive process to strengthen their faith in Almighty God.

Thankyou God, that even though heavily outnumbered, You live through your called and chosen humble SMA’s, and that Your plan is higher than Satan’s.

 

Pastor Jonathan Faranze

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2018 in arrogance

 

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Sermon 107 – The Art of Christianity

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

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

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

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

Warning

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

Tolerate

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

The evil vineyard keeper

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

Biblical warnings

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

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

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

The two characters of a demonic spirit

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

The battleground

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

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

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

 

May God strengthen His remnant for His plan and purposes.

 

Pastor Norm Wakefield

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2016 in Deception

 

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Sermon 105 – Demons love a Sugar Fix

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

Sugar makes you feel good.

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

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

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

Satanic currency

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

Jesus only

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

Jezebel

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

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

Satan hates God’s authority

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

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

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

Faith levels

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

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

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

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

Once you mix your Christian principles with the world

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

Never take on a demon in your own strength

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

 

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

 

Dr. Samuel Gourdone

 

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2016 in Pride

 

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Sermon 102 – The SEE-SAW Christian

 

[A see-saw is an English term for a plank with a central fulcrum with a person on either end who each extends their legs alternately to make the plank go up and down.]

I’ve met so many people who say they are Christian because they think they are good, yet are actually not; it’s overwhelming.

I was counselling a young Christian woman who had rejected the approaches of a Christian man. They had been courting for some months so I asked her why she had rejected him and her response was ‘he wanted to kiss me’. Now, in our modern society, one would generally misinterpret her information as the male doing the wrong thing, but knowing the man and her own family history, I dug deeper. The truth was she didn’t like the man telling her what to do so she made it sound like he was abusing her. She was lying so she could get her own way.

What was really happening?

The young woman had decided that she was ‘good’, not because she put Christ first, but, on the basis that her sister had run away from a committed Christian man who was challenging her willingness to be a help-mate rather than a potential wife who wouldn’t be told. The young woman had watched and criticised her sister for not being submissive like she herself would have been.

Her deduction was … I’m good because I would not have done what you did.

So many Christian people judge their goodness on the basis of someone else’s errors of judgment. It’s the see-saw principle …. When you’re down, I’m up. If you judge your goodness on the basis of comparing yourself to someone else’s error, the Bible says your good is bad (2 Corinthians 10:12; Galatians 6:4). It is never the love of God to ever think you are better than someone because they are in error themselves. The Pharisee judged himself as good because he compared himself to the publican, but Jesus rejected his deduction (Luke 18:9).

The see-saw Christian

The see-saw Christian loves being up, hates being down, and envies those who are up. These people are not genuine Christians, they’re fake wheat (tares). They look like they’re Christian and act like they’re Christian, but they routinely elevate themselves above others when others are down. They hide it well and won’t let you see it, but if you are spiritual you will eventually sense its pattern. Tares draw nigh unto God with their mouth and honour God with their lips, but their heart is far from Him (Matthew 15:8).

Demons win when you’re self-centred

What the young woman was ignorant of was the spiritual fact that putting yourself up above your neighbour actually results in your spirit being dictated over by a demon. Once you are under the power of a demon you’re blinded to the truth and can only see your own truth. To this woman, her sister was wrong so that made her superior to her sister. The real truth was that she wasn’t good at all, she was simply bloated with her own fake goodness, and having an inflated mood. People hate deflated feelings so they selfishly strive for inflated feelings at the cost of others.

Why do we automatically think we’re good or better, when others are corrected or proved wrong?

The real truth behind it all is that the human spirit doesn’t want others to tell it what to do. It loves to tell others what to do because it thinks it knows what’s right; it hates being told. That’s because we inherited this evil trait from Adam and Eve. The corrupted gift that Satan sold to Eve was simply … ‘you will know what’s right, so don’t let others tell you what to do.’ That’s what Satan believes and that’s what he wants you to believe.

The human spirit can’t handle being down; it absolutely envies anyone else that is up and secretly wants for their position, and when it is up it boasts of it upness over you.

The real issue is ‘control’

I’m good, actually equals … ‘you can’t tell me what to do because you have your own errors.’ The Lord said there is none good but God, so the moment you deduce you’re good, you made yourself god, and that’s exactly what Satan wants you to think.

You succumb to the same error as the one you judge

The moment the young woman judged her sister’s error, she came under the influence of the demonic and eventually ended up doing the same thing as her sister. The satanic kingdom was laughing.

More bad deductions follow bloated upness

In her bloated upness, this woman deduced from my counsel that she had taken on the bad character of her sister and that it wasn’t really her that had the problem and therefore all she had to do was repent and everything would be back to normal; but, she was wrong again. Everyone’s own old nature is evil; it’s stubborn, it’s selfish, it’s arrogant, it’s envious, and it loves to see others down so it is up.

When she acted like her sister, it wasn’t because she had become her sister, but rather that she had opened up her old nature and Satan’s common characteristics were exposed. Our old nature is under the control of Satan; our new nature is under the control of the Holy Spirit. It’s not our nature that’s new, it’s His in us, and the only way you can operate in new nature is through the death of your old. It’s simply your choice … you first or God first.

How to break the power of the demonic

If the Holy Spirit indwells you, your envy of others will not routinely over-power you, and the temptation to be up will not routinely over-power you. You will be willing to be a nobody for the sake of Jesus Christ, and once you’re willing to be a nobody and don’t have to be special or prove your goodness over others, the demonic will lose its power over you. That’s why Jesus advised us to love our neighbour as ourselves and why Christ died on the cross, not only to offer us salvation for our sin, but also to show us the pattern of freedom from the power of the demonic.

Down wins

See-saws only work when the two people help each other and work together. The fact of the matter is that the person on the down side has power over the person on the up side.  The person on the down side can stop the see-saw; the person on the up side, can’t. The up person is really at the mercy of the down person. Once you choose to be a nobody by unconditional surrender to the will of God, you actually gain the power and that’s the only way Satan can’t touch you (1 John 5:18).

The up woman

The will of God declares that the man is to rule over the woman (Genesis 3:16). Modern Christianity rejects this law because it believes what the world believes. The church is the world parading as fake goodness. The demonic is setting the course for the church and the world and the church is not fighting back because it’s lost its saltiness. The church is just being adaptable to the world’s standards and calling it love and understanding, because we are all under grace. No woman will ever be free from the demonic while ever her heart tells her husband he is not the boss of her, and if the man doesn’t righteously stand against women’s resistance to man, the woman will take him to hell, just like Eve opened the door for Adam to be separated from God.

 

We’re not fighting flesh and blood but principalities and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places … Ephesians 6:12, and the fight starts within before its ever external. You can only ever beat the demonic when your spirit is first dead to your selfishness by faith in Jesus Christ alone.

 

Pastor Raymond Whitney

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2016 in Elevation, Pride

 

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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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