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Sermon 128 – Comply or Die

When I was a young boy on a family camping trip, my brother stole my best friend to be his friend. I heard the voice … he’s mine not yours. It’s not fair. You already have friends. I don’t. I decided to pay him back by sticking chewing gum in his sleeping bag. Be sure your sin will find you out. My parents made me spend 2 hours cleaning the bag. I learnt a very important lesson … vengeance doesn’t pay.

You like him more than me

Everyone on the planet has heard the voice … you like him more than me. Obviously, this voice is not from the Holy Spirit, so it must be from Satan. It’s the voice of position and not humility. It’s the voice of envy (James 4:5). It therefore is the voice of Satan. Underneath every demonic voice you hear, lies the satanic voice … you like him more than me. Some people even speak it out. If you’ve spoken it out it should tell you what camp you’re snared in. If you’re snared in the camp of Satan then you’ll be plotting the demise of others so you can take their position. Hatred is the automatic side-effect of envy.

Why does everyone hear this voice?

Obviously, because there’s something outside our visual realm that can interact with us. Secondly, it’s interesting to note that it’s easier to hear evil than good, and it’s easier to act evil than good. You have to work at good; evil comes natural. That’s because Satan has our ear, and it takes a decision of death to hear the Lord’s voice above the din of evil. Thirdly, and most importantly, Satan hates Jesus because He’s more liked by the Father. So, when you choose to listen to the voice of … you like him more than me, you’ve linked yourself directly to the spirit of Satan, and speaking his words.

We’re better tuned to the voice of Satan than the voice of God. Voices are evidence of an unseen spirit world interacting with our spirits. No one’s seen Satan but everyone’s heard his voice. Similarly, you can’t see Jesus Christ but you can hear His voice if you want to.

Temptation is a voice

A genuine Christian is responsible to diagnose what voice is speaking and choose death to that temptation. It’s not God’s responsibility to keep you safe from temptation, it’s your responsibility to die so God can raise you up. If you haven’t trained yourself to stop and check whether the voice is God’s or Satan’s, you’ll automatically comply with the voice of evil. It won’t sound evil; it’ll sound fair and just and nice to your emotions, but it’s a lie in sheep’s clothing. It’s a trap to snare you against Christ. It’s a trap to trick you into plotting the demise of others. To God’s eyes, plotting is hatred, & hatred is murder (1 John 3:15), and that’s what Satan wants; to see you out of alignment with God.

The serious lesson from Christ

In Luke 4 we read Satan’s temptation to Jesus. Satan was trying to get Jesus to change his position from standing with the Father to get Him to stand with him instead. He effectively was bribing him to comply with his wishes by using food, position power, and the pride of proving your power. Jesus wouldn’t comply. Satan then simply changed into his true character and threatened Jesus with … comply or I’ll kill you. Jesus chose the path to die rather than the comply.

Fear of dying

Why is everyone afraid of dying? Aren’t we going to be with the Father in heaven? So, why the fear? Simply, because Satan doesn’t want us to die he wants us to comply, so he threatens death to put you in fear so you’ll comply. He intimidates you with a spirit of fear.

Jesus, Himself had to face this fear and then He had to choose the way of the cross and trust the outcome to His Father. Daniel had to face this fear and then choose the way of death instead of complying with the voices of temptation followed by the voices of threatening for not complying. No one said anything to Daniel. He knew what Satan was saying, and enticing to go the easy way, and then threatening if he didn’t bend to his comply. Satan was tempting Daniel to comply in the exact same way he was tempting Jesus. Through facing death, God raised him up above his enemies.

David was threatened by his father-in-law to comply or be killed. David fought the tempting voices of the easy way out and chose the path of die rather than comply. He chose to face death and in so doing God raised him up above his enemies.

Victory is only through death

Jesus didn’t die on the cross just to save us from our sins. His death was the example to His followers of how we must pass through death to earn eternal life with Christ, and also how to be lifted up above our spiritual enemies. You don’t buy your way to heaven but you have to pay the price of death to earn salvation (Luke 9:23,24) and position. He complied with His Father’s wishes and chose death to Satan’s temptations to comply. The consequence was life and position above His enemies (Philippians 2).

There’s no other pathway to victory, than through death. Any other pathway is a satanic deception to eternal death. Position should only be attained through death instead of complying with the satanic temptations or the threats to comply; any other pathway is a temptation to satanic life which ends in death.

Satan comes with sweetness and enticements and if you won’t take the bait and comply, he then threatens death. Joseph was enticed with the sweetness of adultery and when he wouldn’t comply he was threatened with the death of imprisonment. He chose to silently cop the evil and in due course, God raised him up above his enemies.

The irony

If you comply you’ll seem to save your life but you’ll die; whereas, if you choose death, you’ll live above the voices. In fact, the only way you can live above temptations is through death. You can’t beat temptation by complying and then making a decision to address your feelings and decide not to sin; that won’t work. Rather, you have to die first. Just like a seed has to die before it germinates, so our spirit has to die to the temptation to comply, before you can have real life. In fact, if you won’t die, you won’t fly.

Repentance

Repentance is complying and then realising you’ve sinned and then reversing your decision to not comply but rather die, by admitting that you complied and then giving up your position and having no position except trusting the Lord’s position. In the case of my brother, I had to die to my wants by giving up my friend and trusting God. Interestingly, my friend fell out with my brother and came back to me. However, I soon lost my friend because he chose to comply whereas, I chose to die, so we went our separate ways.

The lesson of death

Later in life, I learnt this important lesson in a deeper way. A member of my wife’s family hated me for no reason except the spirit in them conflicted with the Spirit in me. I initially tried to defend my position, but over the years learnt you couldn’t win. I turned to the Lord and chose to lose. Instead of living in fear of their insults, I chose to die and cop it. Before long, I found myself no longer entrapped by their fear and living above their satanic attacks. They had the money and they had the power, but I chose to die instead of comply with keeping them happy so I wouldn’t get emotionally injured. I chose to withdraw in love, like David, in order to survive. They hated me more, but God freed me even more, through death.

Every Christian who truly wants to walk with Christ, somewhere in their life has to choose the path of death or else submit to the threats and fears of losing if you don’t comply. You can’t be a disciple unless you forsake everything, take up your cross daily and follow Him. If you choose the wrong path, like Peter, there’s only one way back, and that’s die to your pride and repent. But, if you choose the easy evil path, like Judas, you’ll actually be a traitor against Christ and die anyway.

 

May God encourage His remnant to live above the temptation to have position, and live above the fear of death, so we learn not to comply and can trust Him with death.

 

Pastor Craig Kristianson

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Posted by on June 4, 2018 in Death, Voices

 

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Sermon 126 – Daniel in the Lion’s Den

In Daniel chapter 6, we read the well-known story of Daniel and his confrontation with lions. Although this is an historical event we need to see this story in the light of the Living Word of God and therefore, relevant to each of our spirits.

Everything in the Word of God is active, and alive, and personally relevant

The Word of God is Spirit. Always read God’s Word by asking the question … what is God trying to teach me? Let’s see how this event is recorded for our own personal relevance.

Firstly, perhaps the key issue in this chapter is … position

Darius was the king of the Medes and Persians. He held the No.1 position. What he says goes. Everyone wishes they had this power, or at least suck up to this power to get a better position above others.

Where there’s position, there’s always envy. The Bible says in James 4:5, that the spirit in us lusts to envy. We inherently envy anyone who is more successful, more important, more popular, more skilful, and more capable. If you want to know what spirit dwells within you, you can measure it by “envy”, and you can measure your envy by what you wish was yours. You won’t find the envy characteristic in the Holy Spirit, and you won’t find that characteristic in Daniel. Anyone who practices envy is definitely under the influence of a demonic spirit.

Sure enough, the princes of Persia hated Daniel because he was given position. They wanted it and they believed they deserved it. It should never have been given to a foreign slave (v.13). They looked for a way to destroy his integrity, but they couldn’t find one. Why? Because, Daniel wasn’t chasing position, so he wasn’t proud that he was in a more important position. Somehow, they realised they could only trap him by manipulating him against the laws of his God.

Flattery is just a manipulation of people to get preference and an advantage in their eyes ahead of others

They hatched a plan of flattery and manipulated Darius to sign into law a 30-day ruling against worshipping all gods except Darius.

Why did Darius fall for this con?

Because Darius was full of his own importance. That’s what self-righteous position does to you. When he found out that his law had trapped his friend and head-president, he realised he had been a fool. So we ask the question… why didn’t Darius just reverse the law? I suggest because he didn’t want to look inferior to his princes. He was more worried about how he looked, than whether Daniel was saved; besides he could hear the voice … if his God is that great then surely, He will save him. Position is there to look good above others, so position will always hear voices that support your position to justify why you shouldn’t give it up. But, those voices are from Satan.

The irony

The irony is, Darius did eventually reverse the law, and penalised, with the same lion penalty, those who had tried to destroy Daniel. So, he did have the power to reverse it. So, why did he wait till he saw how Daniel went? I suggest because he no longer would look bad. It was pretty obvious that Daniel’s God was the most powerful; no one could argue the point, so it made political sense to change sides and stand with Daniel. It’s all about looks and position.

The other irony is, using our envy to chase position will always eventually bring us down, whether it’s on earth or in the after-life. When you strive for position you’ll eventually fall from position.

Daniel didn’t obey the country’s law

I’ve watched Christians argue that’s it’s wrong to take bibles into China because it’s against the country’s laws. It’s easy to pick a verse of Scripture and use it to support our guilts and fears. Here’s a very clear example where God stood with a man who wouldn’t do what the law of the land commanded. Wherever, the law of the land challenges the law of God and the sovereignty of God, a Christian has no alternative but to stand with God and cop the lions. I’ve met plenty of Christians who say they will stand with God, but I’ve met very few who will face the lions. The modern church systems are simply trying to accumulate numbers and money. They’re not training soldiers to die for what they believe.

Daniel doesn’t say anything

It’s important to note that Daniel doesn’t say anything to change the course of the ruling or to object to the injustice. He was the head-president; surely, he could have intervened and pointed out to Darius what was being done against him; but he kept silent. Was this folly or faith? Position will always intervene to protect itself; faith chooses God’s often irrational way.

Daniel didn’t change his course of action

Daniel knew that it was his God they were challenging. He held his course and maintained his pattern. He could have easily argued in his head that it’s ok to pray in your closet for 30 days, but in his heart, he knew that would be fear and compromise and surrender to evil. God honoured his faith.

Daniel’s faith changed the course of history

Darius life was confronted by the eternal God of Daniel, and that confrontation changed the god of the whole known world. You’re not going to change the spirit of a nation through politics, protests, or philanthropy; it requires a Daniel.

The story of Daniel is the story of Jesus

Like Daniel, Jesus was tempted to change His course and take the easy way out. He chose to hold His position and trust His Father. He remained silent before his enemies, copping the evil against Him without any self-defence, trusting the outcome to His Father, dying unjustly, and finally being elevated above His enemies. Jesus’ faith changed the course of history. When you die to position, the Lord will honour your position … Philippians 2:7-11.

The disciple’s path

This is the path of every surrendered disciple. Maybe not physically dying, but certainly dying to all self-wants because you love the Father. This love is implanted in you by His Spirit. If you don’t love the Father, then you haven’t got His Spirit.

If you want to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, like Daniel, then the envy in you of others’ position and the inherent want to be important in the eyes of others, has to be sacrificed, and the only way to achieve this is to give-up and sacrifice all self-valued position.

In the last days

In the last days (Revelations 12:17), under the power of the antichrist, the laws of God will be a measuring stick to try and destroy the disciples of Christ. Last-day-Daniels will be measured by their commitment to the law of God unto death. This confirms that the modern church systems are wrong when they devalue the ten commandments under the guise of grace.

 

May God raise up men of character and courage like Daniel and Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, so that the Spirit of God might return to His previous place of honour in our current hedonistic western societies, as we prepare for the onslaught of the final anti-Christ.

 

Pastor Jonathan Faranze

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2018 in position

 

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Sermon 121 – Consequences

This week Steve Smith was dismissed from the captaincy of the Australian Cricket team. He confessed to condoning the tampering of the ball by one of the other players during the third test against South Africa. The whole of Australia couldn’t believe we would cheat to win a sporting game. At his first interview, Steve admitted his mistake but expected to retain his position. He had not weighed up the consequences of his actions. He hadn’t considered that all Australians would be appalled and disheartened. That his young fans would be offended and disapprove in unbelief. That he would go from hero to villain. That the South Africans would boo him onto the field. That the media companies would withdraw their financial support. That the fans would boycott the future matches. That he would forever be remembered for his error of judgment. That he would lose his captaincy and be banned from playing for 12 months.

Pride blocks

Pride blocks you seeing the consequences. It can’t appreciate what it’s got, it can only see what it wants and what it isn’t getting. Pride doesn’t think it’s doing anything that bad. It questions any correction by an authority. It blames and TELLS you how to behave for its own benefit. It won’t really accept that it’s done anything that bad. It hates anyone higher or more successful than itself. It thinks it’s right. It refuses to lower its position.

Pride thinks there’ll be no consequences; only good thigs will happen to me. Pride thinks God loves me, so He’ll look after me and never let anything bad to happen to me. It doesn’t serve Christ for Christ’s sake, it expects Christ to serve them.

The old demonic trick of make them look bad so we don’t

Pride is designed to trap you into reacting against its stubborn resistance so that it spiritually controls you. Once you play ball with someone’s pride you are trapped in your own pride. I suspect the demonic spirit behind South Africa goaded the Australian vice-captain to retaliate to mocking taunts, so that he tempted the captain to coerce with his plan of ball-tampering so that the team would get caught in its own pride. I’ve seen and experienced many times where a demonic power working through someone, goads the person to react against it’s unfair injustice and once the person has reacted to the bait it then has the power to point the finger at your weakness and divert the attention off themselves. Demons take control over you by tempting you to fall to your pride.

The Pastor and the Painter

Journalist, Cindy Wockner, has written a book titled, the Pastor and the Painter. It tells the biography of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from the moment they were arrested for drug smuggling in Indonesia, to the moment they were executed for the crime some 10 years later. In a television interview, Cindy describes the initial character of the two offenders as arrogant and insolent and disrespectful, without any remorse for their behaviour and offence, and without any agreement that they’d done wrong. She then goes on to say that after being in jail for over 6 years they both came to accept they that had done wrong. It was that decision that changed them from within to become responsible and remorseful for what they had done. They both changed and became genuinely Christ-like in their behaviour.

The key was accepting that they were wrong instead of being flippant about their deeds. Even so, they paid the ultimate consequence for their insolence.

2 thieves on the cross

In Luke 23:39 we read the reactions of the malefactors on the crosses next to Christ. One thief was only concerned about getting out of his problem and TOLD Jesus how to behave and fix it for him. He objected to the consequences. Demonic spirits always TELL you and blame you for their problem even though it’s obvious they, themselves, created the problem. Notice that Jesus didn’t play ball with this thief. He wouldn’t let His Spirit get trapped into His pride by demonic temptation. The enemy was still working his temptations right up to the end.

The other thief stood up for Jesus and rebuked the arrogant thief. He lowered his pride, accepted that he deserved the punishment, opened his heart to Christ, and was immediately saved for eternity. Most people lie or say sorry to avoid the consequences. They’ll never find Christ. It’s lowering your pride that saves you; you’re not saved by being good.

How do you know whether your pride has been put in its place?

You’ll have your pride in its place when you take full responsibility for it as evidenced by not blaming someone else or defending your position. When you’re willing to take the consequences and punishment. Steve Smith humbled himself. The consequences opened up his eyes to his sin and caused him to lower his position and give up his pride. On the other hand, Barnaby Joyce (Australia’s ex-deputy Prime minister) refuses to accept the consequences. Mr. Joyce doesn’t think his private life is anyone else’s business. He’s wrong. When you’re in public office, everything is the public’s business. Let me ask … did Mr. Joyce deceive his wife by having an adulterous affair behind her back? The answer is obviously, yes. That means that Mr. Joyce is a deceiver. Now, if you are going to deceive your wife, then you are going to be deceptive in your parliamentary position and to the public in general. If you treat your marriage vows with deceit, then that’s how you’ll treat your parliamentary vows.

What you practice is who you are

Why are most people afraid to kill someone? I suggest, because they are afraid of the consequences. If God considers that envy and hatred is murder (1 John 3:15), then why are Christians casual about practicing it? I suggest, because they are not afraid of the consequences. They don’t think it can been seen so they deduce they can get away with it; besides everyone else is doing it. If you have little concern of God’s punishment, then you’ll be flippant about your pride.

Casual about the consequences, casual about Christ.

Modern society has banished corporal punishment. The problem with this philosophy is that when you remove discipline you teach the child that there are no serious consequences for doing wrong. Eventually, you breed defiance, rebellion and anarchy. Young people today won’t be told, and laws are changed to suit the casual wants.

One of the fruits of our modern society is casual divorce. The law gives you the legal right to disrespect your vows. These vows are made before God, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, till death us do part. There’s only two grounds for righteous divorce, and that’s adultery or death. Now if the country gives you the right to divorce because you don’t like your spouse anymore, then that country is defying the Word of God and encouraging you to be a vow-breaker. Therefore, that parliament itself, is a vow-breaker. No wonder no one trusts a politician; they just don’t realise that you vote into power what you are yourself.

Christians make a vow to God

You show what character of person you really are by how much you honour your marriage vows to Christ. If you’re casual about your marriage vows you’ll walk away from your relationship based on your moodiness and pride, and Satan wins. If you’re prepared to walk away from your marriage and defy your vows to God, then you’ll do the same with your vow to God to serve him as a Christian. A Christian makes a vow to God, his husband, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part; but fake Christians object when things are worse or poor or sick. They’re not really committed to the vows; they’re truce-breakers; they’re liars, easily deceived by the enemy and deserters of the army, and unfortunately, our modern churches breed them in multiple numbers, by pretence and the prosperity lies.

The Ten Commandments stand behind your marriage vows to Christ

The fake modern church is casual about the ten commandments. They casually practice envy, hate and coveting; they lie to protect themselves; they shop, restaurant and sport on God’s sabbath; they merchandise their music; they practice immoral sex; they practice divorce; they practice adultery; they disrespect authority; they think themselves, special; they worship God and love the things of the world at the same time.

If you’re casual about His commandments, you’re casual about your vows and casual about your love for Christ. You can act committed like Mr. Joyce, but it’s all a lie. What you fail to realise is that the consequence of this casualness is hell, not heaven. If you’re casual about your vows then you’re not married to Christ. The relationship was never consummated.

I keep His commandments because I love Him, not because I fear Him; but I fear Him because I love Him.

 

Pastor Nick Clarence

 

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2018 in Pride

 

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Sermon 119 – The Hatred of Feel-Good

Time and time again I’ve watched Christians chase the god of “feel good”. The priority of their life is to feel good, and to feel happy. The church has told the people that God makes you feel good; He makes you happy, so people come to church looking for the happiness because their life is empty. They want some value, some love, some warmth, some purpose, something that will fill the void, and the church promises it in Jesus, but the people can’t find it.

The world is chasing the same mirage

Everyone is looking for the good feelings. So, if you’re doing the same then you’re of the world, not of Christ. You may not be into drugs, sex, and alcohol, but if you’re chasing it through acceptable Christian means such as friends, success, money, or position, then it’s the same outcome of vanity.

God says … love not the world nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world then the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world (lust of the flesh and eyes and pride of life) is not of the Father, but is the world. The world passes away and the lusts thereof, but he that does the will of God shall abide forever … 1 John 2:15-17

If God’s good, then surely He wants me to be happy

Godless Christians conveniently assume that God’s into good feelings and thus selfishly expect that getting good feelings is God’s way for them. Thus, they judge others by whether they make them feel good or bad, and they make deductions based on whether it feels good or not.

Use the happy lie to control others

Ultimately, this deduction process gives selfishness the right to always feel good and consequently these people control everyone and everything around them so that their objective of feeling good is always achieved. They end up convincing themselves that they’re always good and always right. In reality, this person does whatever they want as long as it makes them feel good. Thus, when they’re corrected and put in their place, they object to the correction because it doesn’t gel with their feel-good rights. They assume they’re correctable, but at the intersection of correction they object. Thus, they fail to take responsibility for their sin; preferring to excuse away their wrong by conversely judging the corrector as wrong because he made them feel bad. They then look for faults in the corrector to justify their often polite but resistant defiance.

God’s formula for your feelings

God doesn’t promise happy feelings here on earth. That’s part of His heavenly kingdom. He promises life through pain which is why people chasing happy can’t find Him, and that’s why it’s called the narrow way, because few want to travel that path.

If any man will follow Me, let him DENY himself, take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me. Luke 9:23

God is the judge, not you

God doesn’t judge you for your sin, because the wages for sin is already hell. He judges you for your repentance, so He can save you from this hell judgment. It’s His blood that cleanses the repentant sinner, not your apology or penance. He does punish you for sin to wake you to righteousness. He punished David for his sin but saved him for eternity because of his repentance, whereas, God let the sin of King Saul drift and saw him miss heaven, for hell.

No correction; no salvation

Correction is a painful experience, Hebrew 12:6. It has to be or it isn’t correction. It’s painful because it’s hurting your pride. If you’re into feel-good, you’re going to diffuse the correction with excuses and thus you’ll fall for the satanic tactic of feel-good so you’re blocked from heaven. Instead of addressing your pride you’ll reinforce it.

If at the point of righteous correction, you fail to bend your spirit to own your sin, you lose the right to stay on the Vine. Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden, not because they sinned, but because they chose to blame rather than bend. The same is true of King Saul, whereas, David repented.

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as a son. If you are without chastening, then you’re a bastard and not a son, Hebrews 12:7,8.

The search for life and value is only found when the vanity of feelings is sacrificed for His will.

Envy

The world and the false church can’t help being envious of those that have found the “good”. Eventually, their envy and anger will be exposed against those who have a real relationship with Christ, simply because others seem to have got the ‘good’, and they haven’t and can’t seem to get it. In their heart they hate those who have the heart of the Father. God calls this murder, and thus they inadvertently pronounce hell judgment on their own head.

If you’re in Christ, you don’t have to say anything, the godless church will hate you because they envy the peace of Christ in your heart, irrespective of the circumstances around you. It’s exactly what they’re looking for but can’t find it because they’re not really looking for Christ but rather they’re chasing the good-feel.

I’m always right, so if you think I’m not, you’re the one that’s wrong

I recall a young Christian who seemed to have all the facets of being genuine, including generosity and helps. In time, however, correction exposed the falseness of his spirit. He pretended to be a Christian but he wasn’t. The problem was he had convinced himself about his own goodness to the point that he honestly believed he was never wrong; everyone else was.  Thus, he could never hear the truth about himself; he could only see the fakeness in everyone else. This is a satanic imagination that blocks the correction which would get you back onto the right path, so you continue on the path to hell; and unfortunately, it’s all too common.

Fake goodness is always to gain self-value; never for Christ.

Hated because you love Christ

A genuine Christian doesn’t have to chase the feeling of good and happiness. They know they’re in- Christ and the feelings are irrelevant. Their spirit is content in the knowledge of His grace upon them and learns to rest in His abiding love.  The spirit of the world is satanic; thus, the world and the fake church will automatically hate them just like they hated the Master. This hatred is designed to put you in fear and force you to give up the fight, but if you face the temptation to go the easy path, this hatred is actually the confirmation of the genuineness of the connection between the true servant and His Lord.

The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God; and if children, then joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be glorified with Him.  Romans 8:16

Hatred is the gel that connects you to Christ

Goodness is not the sign of Christ. Non-Christians can act good. Hatred is the sign. If you want to walk with Christ you have to accept the hatred that will be fired at you. You can’t do this if you’re chasing good feelings. The good-feelers will often be the ones that throw the hatred. The purpose of being hated is to see if you will suffer with Christ or defend yourself against the injustice by throwing the hatred back. Hatred for Christ is the blessing Jesus talks about in Matthew 5. It’s the common denominator with Christ and the evidence of your love for Him and His love for you.

 

May the remnant sense His presence no matter the pain and burden of the attacks against their spirit.

 

Pastor Nick Clarence

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2018 in Correction, Happy

 

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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 115 – I’m Special vs I’m Dead

I was counselling a fellowship member who was struggling with a grievance against someone who had used her. I asked her to write down the definition of “grievance”. She defined it as ‘hurt feelings when someone does something to offend you.’

A personal definition

I suggested a different definition … ‘I think I’m special and you’re making me feel unspecial.’ Suddenly her eyes were opened and she realised that, although she had tried to repent of her feelings and to forgive the perpetrator, she still wasn’t free because the issue was not her feelings but her pride.

You can’t repent of your mood or ungodly reaction, without forgiving, and you can’t forgive whilst still holding a grievance. Most Christians live in a vacuum of false forgiveness, still holding onto the unfairness of their treatment, but, with time, settle their feelings so they think it’s all resolved.

Every Christian should look at their definition of “guilt” and “envy” in the same light. The personal definition for guilt is … ‘I think I’m a good person but you’re making me feel bad.’ And of envy … “I’m special, how come you got it and not me.”

Whenever pride is in the picture, blame and envy are the fruit

In Exodus 32 we read the story of the golden calf. The people were frustrated that Moses had not returned from meeting with God, so they persuaded Aaron to create a new god for them. Aaron didn’t even seem to baulk. He gathered their gold pieces together and threw them into the furnace and out came a golden calf, and they worshipped the Lord by sacrificing to the calf. How crazy is that? Not only that, but Aaron got them to be naked.

How could Aaron be so far out of alignment?

The answer is … I think I’m special, too, Moses. He had allowed the voice of temptation to infiltrate his spirit, and behind the scenes he had envied Moses’ miraculous ability. Aaron was on his way to hell. The only thing that stopped him from falling into hell was the prayer of Moses (Deuteronomy 9:20). God changed His mind about the destruction of the people and Aaron simply because Moses didn’t think he was special.

You won’t find the Holy Spirit thinking He is special

In Mark 3 we read a contrasting story about Jesus healing the man with the withered hand. The Pharisees were watching Him to see if He would heal on the Sabbath. Jesus angrily rebuked them and then healed the man’s hand. The Pharisees’ response was to go to the Romans and jointly plot Jesus’ death.

In other words, the church joined with the world for the destruction of the Creator. Why? Simply because Jesus could do things that they couldn’t, so they had to get rid of Him.

Jesus’ response was not … I think I’m special, so you have no right to tell Me what’s right or wrong. Rather, His response was … just keep doing what the Father wants. How was He able to turn off the hurt of their offense? Simple … He was dead to Himself.

How do we die to ourselves?

First of all, open your eyes to your human envy, and when you see it, repent of your sin. Any blame, any mood, any envy is simply the fruit of … I think I’m special. Whilst you think you’re special you will never access heaven. Like Aaron and the Pharisees, you can be in an important position in the church system, but your blindness to your envy will prosper the work of demons in you and you will fall into hell. Sooner or later, like Aaron, immorality will creep into your heart, and eventually, like the Pharisees, your envy will turn against Christ’s remnant with the blasphemy of thinking that the spirit in them is Beelzebub (Mark 3:22-30).

If you’re dead, there’s no mood or blame or envy, but only if you’re dead. If you’re dead, the Spirit of God protects your hurts and feelings because your faith and trust is wholly in Him.

Salvation isn’t by works or position

Salvation is only via death. To be reborn you have to die to yourself. Unless you die you can never be reborn. This principle is seen in a seed. For a seed to produce a tree it first has to die before it can germinate. This is the picture of Jesus the Seed of the Word of God. He died that all who die with Him could live.

In Luke 14:26 we read that … to be a disciple you actually have to hate yourself (not love yourself) and take up your cross (die to your selfishness) daily. This means that your self is of no value when it comes to servitude for Christ. He only is my life, not me.

That’s why Paul wrote … I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me, and the life that I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.

You can only access heaven through death, not works. In John 15, Jesus said … the world will hate you because it hated Me. The world will persecute you because it persecuted Me. A follower of Christ is not exempt from being hated; rather, if he is not hated then he is not a follower of Christ … for all that live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). Why? Because the church and the world will hate the different Spirit in you.

One clear piece of evidence that you are reborn is …

I’m no longer special, the only thing I’m interested in is knowing Him and serving Him.

 

May God open the eyes of His remnant to not be deceived by the false blessing philosophy that a Christian is a son who gets the deal.

 

Pastor Paul Justica

 

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2017 in Death

 

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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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