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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 100 – Satan gives men GIFTS

I was counselling 3 young men who each said they wanted to follow Christ but they couldn’t seem to get there. I asked them what the barrier was. They replied they didn’t know. So, I suggested that if your desire to know Christ couldn’t be fulfilled then there was something you didn’t want to give up. After a lengthy discussion, each one began to admit their secret belief. One said, he believed God had given him a ‘superior brain’ so he could think everything out. Another said, God had given him the gift of ‘coolness’ so he didn’t have to worry about anything, and the third said that God had given him the gift of ‘charisma’ so that everyone thought he was a great bloke.

Genesis 3

I opened my Bible to Genesis chapter 3 and showed them that right back in the beginning Satan said to Eve that God hadn’t done the right thing by them because He had withheld a special gift, and if they were to eat the fruit they could compete with Him as a god and also know what was good and evil like God, Himself (v.5). That sounded logical to her so she took the gift. The fact was, it wasn’t Satan’s gift at all, Satan simply gave her God’s gift, and used it to take power over her and power over all of future mankind. He contaminated the gift. In other words he used God’s gift to destroy them and separate them from God. That’s Satan’s secondary objective. His prime objective is to take over Jesus’ position. The secret gift he gave Eve was, envy. He wants the favour of the Father and moodily objects to the fact that Jesus has it. Any time you envy someone else’s higher position or better position, you prove you’re under the influence of Satan.

I pointed out that the gift they thought was from God was obviously from Satan. The evidence was loud and clear. If God gives you a gift it’s for the kingdom, not for you. It’s to help your fellowman find Christ or walk more faithfully with Christ, not to promote you above your fellowman.

The real reason they thought they had a God-gift was so they could believe they had the right to elevate themselves above their fellowman. It made them superior to their fellowman. This actually proved they were lying to themselves and deceiving themselves. Philippians 2:3 says … Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than yourself. They each actually believed they were someone of importance because they had special powers that no one else had. I couldn’t believe the arrogance of what I was hearing!

The test

When I suggested their thinking and attitude was evil, they were shocked. They couldn’t believe it and each started resisting my observations and politely objecting to such suggestions about them. To their mind it didn’t make any sense.

So, I asked them what does ‘correction‘ mean to them. They agreed that it meant … failure, bad, stupid, incapable and other such words of negativity. I suggested that at a very early age they had defied their parents when they were corrected and thus had contravened God’s instructions of respecting authority. They all agreed. So, I pointed out to them that although all correction is uncomfortable (it has to be if it’s God’s medicine), ‘correction’ just means you’re doing something wrong, or there’s something wrong with your thinking or your attitude and you need to stop it and go in a different direction. It doesn’t mean you’re stupid, and if you interpret it that way, you’re just making an excuse to defy the authority and give yourself the right to have a selfish mood because you’re not getting want you want, just like you did when you were a defiant kid. In other words, you’re just acting like a 2 year old and hiding it in an adult’s body. You’ve never grown up, spiritually.

I also asked them if they had ever called anyone an ‘idiot’ because they didn’t think the way they thought or do it the way they thought it should be done. They all agreed they had done that routinely. I showed them that the Word of God says in Matthew 5:22 that they’re on their way to hell unless they address this evil in their hearts and strongly declared to them that these two pieces of fruit (inner defying of correction and ‘idiot’) were all the evidence they needed to see they were in Satan’s camp, and if they wanted to truly walk with Christ they needed to stop listing all their so-called good points, see their pride, accept the Word of God delivered by the messenger, and repent. Thankfully, one did and the other two wanted to but wouldn’t.

The sad consistent reality

Over my life I’ve met many so-called Christians who appear to be ok on the outside, but when you make a corrective suggestion regarding their character, their demure changes and polite satanism exposes itself. I call it polite because they know that if they show anger it would expose them as the fake they are. The reality is they’ve never been told to stop their moodiness. As children they’ve been given free ‘reign’ to make up their own mind, and when a parent does that you’re just letting your child live for their own selfishness. Humanity always lives for its own selfishness. It’s an automatic reflex. Satan caused it and Jesus came to save us from it. Then as adults we cover this selfishness with niceness so we’re socially acceptable, but still live in the proud and selfish imaginations of our evil heart and are so blinded by the superiority belief of our Satanic giftings that our mind can’t compute there’s anything wrong with us. They’ve actually lost their right mind and don’t know it.

The truth

They couldn’t find Christ because they didn’t want to give up the gift, because giving up the gift meant giving up their position over others.

The one who thought he had a superior brain was really declaring that everyone else was an idiot if they didn’t think the way he thought. He was so bound, he would go away and have to think about everything and make up his own conclusions and always come to a harmonious deduction, because harmony was his favourite characteristic that he was so proud of. The real truth behind all this sham was, he didn’t want to be told. Thus it always comes down to an authority issue; the authority says one thing and your brain says another, and it’s that voice inside you that gives you away. That’s the voice of an anti-Christ spirit that’s dictating your mind.

The one who said he had the gift of ‘cool’ was really saying that he didn’t give ‘a stuff’ about anything. ‘Cool’ meant … my feelings are frozen so I don’t feel any pain, so you can’t touch me. ‘Cool’ was actually a characteristic that stirred his fellowman to envy him and although he hated their envy he gloated on it. It clearly was satanic because you couldn’t tell him otherwise.

The third man used his charisma to win popularity and status. Everything seemed to fall into his lap, so to him it proved his theory that God was his santa because he was such a great guy, and besides, everyone told him so. However, if anyone crossed his thinking he would use his specific knowledge to challenge them and put them in their place below him, and if anyone was positioned above him, he would silently hate them and at the same time pretend to respect them, but it was all a sham. God was on his case though, and when things began to crumble around him he was forced to face the reality of his pride. He admitted he had never seen it. He always thought he was so fantastic. His mind was under a lying spirit.

The measurement

The Word of God declares in James 3:17 that God’s wisdom is easy to be entreated, without partiality and without hypocrisy, and neither of these lads displayed these characteristics when confronted with the truth. The real truth was they lived for envy. Therefore, I knew I was talking to demon spirits because v.14 &15 declare that where envy operates then this sort of wisdom is earthly, sensual and demonic.

The measurement of the true character of a person’s spirit is the Word of God, not what a person thinks they are.

Know this ….

Jesus did the opposite. He was under God’s authority and thus He knew his enemy’s evil trickery. 

Philippians 2:7 … He made Himself of no reputation and took on Him the form of a servant and humbled Himself even to the death of the cross.

If you think you’re a person of some worth because you believe you have a special something then you are the one who is the real ‘fool’ and you are the one who has been duped by Satan to personally and ignorantly be an opponent to the kingdom of God and a means of destruction to your fellow-man.

 

Pastor Craig McWilliam

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2016 in Correction, Pride, Special

 

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Sermon 98 – Lot pitched his tent towards Sodom

I was counselling a woman about her selfishness when she declared two things … (1) I’m waiting till I feel repentant before I can repent, and (2) I thought I was permitted to do anything I wanted because I was a Christian.

You won’t find either of these statements in the Word of God; they’ve been made up by her own selfishness. Statement 1 is really a declaration that I won’t repent because I don’t think I’ve really done anything that bad, and Statement 2 is a declaration that ultimately no one’s going to tell her what she can and can’t do, and Christianity is just a tool or insurance policy for that purpose. Both statements actually confirm that she is not a Christian at all. The Bible calls these people ‘tares’.

When I pointed out to her the Word of God declares that you are wrong, she shrugged it off. What she wanted, was more important than facing the responsibility for her sin. She pitched her tent towards Sodom.

Lot

In Genesis 13 we read the story of Lot. Instead of showing his gratitude for being rescued by Abram from his kidnappers and offering Abram the best, his eyes fell for what was best for him. He’s selfish. He couldn’t see the wicked heart of the people of the plain because his heart lusted after what he wanted. Lot was wealthy; I believe he thought he was important, and I reckon he thought he could handle whatever, and he talked himself into the best deal for himself.

It’s this inherent selfishness that exposes who we really are. It’s this selfishness that has to be offered to the Lord; it’s this selfishness that has to be sacrificed to Him because it’s our real person inside. We can hide it with generosity, helps, niceness, popularity, money, churchiosity etc. but it’s still there.

Prosperity at any cost

Lot saw what he could get and turned a blind eye to the people’s immorality. Modern Christian society votes for the political party that will give them the best prosperity. In all modern elections, the economy is the most important issue. It’s money before morality. All political persuasions have softened their resistance to homosexuality, condoned abortions and opened free trade agreements with China, conveniently ignoring their abuse of human rights, just to sustain fake prosperity for the benefit of more votes for the purpose of power and control.

It won’t work. History shows that any nation that chooses money over morality, eventually collapses.

Abraham’s faith saved Lot, Genesis 19:29

Lot is not Abraham; they have different spirits and different levels of faith. Lot will never be Abraham, but he obviously envied Abraham’s heart, because when you pitch your tent towards Sodom, that’s what happens. I suggest the reason the men of their camps were fighting was because Lot was envious in his heart of Abraham’s relationship with his people and with God. Lot knew in his heart that Abraham had a special relationship with God, and humanity always envies when it pitches its tent towards Sodom, and once you choose that path you’re headed for destruction.

Abram’s heart was set on the Rock of Ages. Although he fell to fear and compromised the prophecy of a son, his heart was toward God. It didn’t matter if he ended up in the desert, he never allowed his heart to envy his nephew’s lush-green environment; he trusted God.

Lot was fortunate, not because of himself, but because of Abraham. There are some people with a little faith who will get to heaven in the slipstream of the faithful. Aaron and Miriam are two other examples. Thankfully by God’s grace, Lot retained enough faith to get caught in the slipstream of Abraham’s faith, but he lost everything else in the process. It was Abraham’s faith that God honoured, not Lot’s. Lot couldn’t even do what was instructed in the midst of a potential disaster; he still wanted his own way (Genesis 19:18). Lot needed Abraham in order to reach heaven but Abraham didn’t need Lot; he served God. Lot served himself.

Coolness looks back?

Was it so bad for Lot’s wife to look back? Coolness is a casual respect of authority; it’s doing enough to keep the authority happy but all the time really just doing what one wants their own way. It looks calm and collected and the quality is envied by most people, but it’s a camouflage for secretly doing it my way, and not yours unless it suits me. It interacts with God the same way.

It wasn’t the looking back that was so wrong; it was because of the coolness of her heart to the instructions of the angels that she wasn’t able to resist the temptation of a small peak. She was her own person and she had followed with Lot, so what was the problem … surely, one peak couldn’t hurt. She had turned her heart toward Sodom and couldn’t see the compromise that had vexed her spirit.

Coolness argues its rightness against authority and still pretends to respect it. Coolness is just another expression of selfishness.

Example

I was giving some instruction to a Christian young man who was envied by his peers because of his coolness of character. Nothing seemed to ruffle him. He looked like a model Christian. However, to him, the instruction was a correction, and before my eyes his character shifted into shock. He couldn’t believe that he had a character fault and his feelings were hurt that I would suggest so. His response was to have a silent mood of heaviness and to do penance by sacrificing something of value. From that point on, it didn’t matter what my argument was, everything I said was explained away as incorrect.

I asked him to do an exercise … “I’m wrong, but

He wrote …

I’m wrong, but …. your rules are stupid

I’m wrong, but …. it doesn’t matter because I don’t care and you’re an idiot

I’m wrong, but …. your knowledge is useless and I don’t need it anyway

I’m wrong, but …. it’s not as bad as you’re making it out to be

I’m wrong, but …. I don’t understand what you’re talking about so I’ll just ignore it

I’m wrong, but …. I’m too lazy to do anything about it

What he’s really saying is, “I’m not wrong, you are, I’ll just let you think you’re right”.

Like David when corrected by Nathan, Holy Spirit would not add these buts to “I’m wrong”. To repent, you have to take full responsibility for your selfishness, and not add a ‘but’. A ‘but’ just means you’re shifting a percentage of the responsibility from yourself to someone or something else, and you can’t repent unless you own you’re wrong without adding their wrong in your picture of defence.

Clearly, this exercise revealed the hidden depth of his selfishness, but his conscious mind did not want to know it; from previous experiences it hurt too much.

‘but’

Whenever you qualify your statement with a ‘but’, you’re declaring you don’t really agree with the corrector, and proving your resistance to authority, and verifying your own selfishness. This selfishness mocks when you’re proven wrong, because it proves to itself that it was right all along.

What the young man didn’t realise was that his heart was under the control of Satan and he was actually in torment because he only pretended to forgive someone who had hurt him and had told himself he had forgiven them (Matthew 18). His coolness had deceived his own self. He’d pitched his tent towards Sodom. It was more important to look good and get your way and blame others than to be a loser for Christ, and the envy he felt from his peers was actually driven by his own ‘nose in the air’ manner.

His answers didn’t surprise me. I’ve discovered that this is the secret heart of most Christians. Modern Christianity isn’t training people to die to themselves for the sake of Christ (Luke 14:26,33), it’s training them to live for themselves and pretend it’s for the sake of Christ. It’s really just the world parading as the church.

When the young man finally owned up to his deceitfulness, it came out that the reason he acted cool was because of fear of what people think. He’s character was driven by fear, not faith. It was all a sham. I encouraged him to repent of his selfishness and forgive the person that had hurt him, if he was ever to find the true Christ.

May the Lord open the eyes of His remnant to see their own selfish deception and escape the shadow of the spirit of fear, and turn to the living God for His grace for salvation, instead of turning to oneself in order to explain away why I’m right and they’re wrong.

For by grace you are saved through faith; not of yourself it’s the gift of God, not by works lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2: 8,9

Pastor Jim Desmond

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2016 in Authority, Correction, Selfishness

 

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Sermon 96 – The BLAME Game

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

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

What’s the difference between an apology and repentance?

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

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

Satan’s most lethal weapon

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

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

No repentance, no salvation

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

Why is blame, sin?

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

Blame is not a characteristic of the Holy Spirit

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

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

Where did his pride come from?

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

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

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

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

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

Pastor Jerome Saunders

 
 

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Sermon 95 – I’m RIGHT, you’re WRONG

Every human being judges people for not doing it the way they think is right. Why?

The answer is in Genesis 3. Satan offered Eve the ability to discern good and evil, or in other words, the ability to know right and wrong. God had withheld man from this characteristic because he knew he wasn’t capable of handling the responsibility of using this gift with righteous discernment. It was beyond his spiritual make-up. The problem was that the gift was now contaminated with human pride because Eve took the fruit against God’s instructions and fell to the temptation to elevate her position. From that point on, humans analyse behaviour based on the belief that their emotions are the thing that tells them they are right and they’re badly done-by.

Consequently, because every human being knows what’s right and wrong to themselves, they will automatically fall to the sin of judging people for not doing it right according to their own selfish rightness. Every human being will eventually argue that they are right and the other person is wrong. It’s inbuilt and you won’t be able to stop yourself unless you’re dead.

Old nature characteristics

Once we make a judgement based on our inherent spirit of envy, James 4:5, we elevate ourselves above our neighbour and start operating in the unique characteristics of our old nature, instead of being in His new nature. We then lie to ourselves that what we’re doing is right, and then start telling everybody what’s right and wrong. Telling is the defining measurement, not rightness. The discerning factor that exposes a person’s old nature is the fact that they’re happy to tell but they won’t be told.

In their inner heart, a person who believes they’re right will label you as “stupid, or nasty and mean, or you don’t understand me” whenever you indicate your disagreement with their rightness. Satan uses this labelling to make you feel guilty or offended and if you take the bait you too will fall to your own old nature of rightness in self-defence. In our old nature we unwittingly make our judgements based on whether someone has hurt our feelings, or promoted our feelings, or manipulated our feelings; our feelings are our measurement; whereas, a saved Christian will make his judgement by in faith in Christ’s Word.

In other words, immaturity or fakeness analyses what’s right based on hurt feelings; but a saved Christian holds back his feelings and uses his senses to trust the Lord and analyse a person’s behaviour by faith in Christ; his foundation is faith in Christ, not hurt feelings.

Spirits of Fear and Lying

The problem is, if you allow your feelings to be your compass of what’s right, you will unwittingly live under the influence of a spirit of fear and a spirit of lying. Fear of what people think will drive your analysis and you will automatically lie to protect your self-value. This was the side-effect of Adam’s and Eve’s downfall and it’s automatically inherent in every human unless you’re dead to your self by faith alone in Christ’s rightness.

Jesus didn’t have to argue His point of view

He knew he was right because the Father told Him. At the inquisition before Pilate, He said nothing. At the conversation with the rich young ruler, He didn’t continue the conversation; He let the man go and allowed him to keep his own perspective. In the Garden of Eden, God didn’t argue with Adam and Eve that He was right and they were wrong. They argued their point of view with Him (they’d never done that before) but He didn’t argue with them. He already knew He was right and they were wrong.

Jesus didn’t have to try to prove He was God

All of us have to try to prove we are somebody special. It’s because we are linked with Eve and the fall to this temptation. Jesus didn’t have to try to prove He was God; He knew He was. If people didn’t believe Him, it wasn’t His job to persuade them. It was His job to obey the Father, John 6:38. He actually told people that He had helped not to tell people about Him. He was the Word of God and He simply stood up for that Word. In the same manner, because our rightness is inherently selfish, when you’re falsely accused, God’s instructions are to be silent unless He tells you what to say, Matthew 10:19, but it’s inherently not possible to achieve this instruction unless you’re dead.

When we argue our point of view, we’re simply revealing our humanity instead of God’s heart. When you’re defensive of your view, you’re arguing on the basis of fairness. When you argue from God’s point of view, you argue on the basis of God’s righteousness and authority. The temptation to explain your point of view is the evidence that Satan is manipulating your pride.

Forbidden fruit of right and wrong

In Genesis 3, Satan manoeuvred Eve to eat the forbidden fruit by making God look bad for withholding something from her that would enable her to know good and evil. Once she took and ate the fruit, she initiated the curse on all of humanity … the curse of knowing what’s right and wrong. Satan said … take the fruit because it will tell you that you are right. The problem is that our knowledge of right and wrong is contaminated with pride because Eve ate for the sole purpose of elevating her position above what God had decreed. Consequently, we all see right and wrong from our pride’s perspective and not from God’s. Thus we judge people on the basis of what we see as right and wrong. This is the very reason why God says not to judge your brother through your own eyes, because as soon as you do you actually judge yourself, Matthew 7.

Up to the forbidden fruit incident, they fellowshipped with God, but once they ate the fruit they argued with God what was right because from their perspective they now knew what was right; but their right was wrong because it was contaminated with pride, and because they refused to back-away from their right they were separated from God.

The second great commandment

The second greatest commandment is … love your neighbour as yourself. If you love yourself then you will judge your neighbour as not being as good as yourself and thus you will bring down your own judgment on yourself. In other words, the irony is that if you say you love your neighbour as yourself and you want to judge your neighbour then you must also want yourself to be judged at the same time.

If you truly want to fulfil the 2nd greatest commandment then you must fulfil the 1st commandment, first. In fact, your judgment of your neighbour will reveal your true attitude towards God. You actually can’t love your neighbour unless you first love God. Without God 1st, any apparent good you do towards your neighbour is really because you love yourself.

This is the very reason why Jesus said you have to die to yourself to love God. So. If you truly want to be a genuine disciple then you have to hate yourself, not love yourself, Luke 14:26-33, otherwise your own judgment will destroy you.

What’s the role of a judge?

When I ask people that question, they invariably say … to pass judgment. I find people say this when they’re hurting from someone’s unjust attack. They want the person punished. But passing sentence is not a judge’s main role.

The prime role of a judge is to discern whether someone has done right or wrong by the law. From a spiritual perspective, Jesus said that only He was entitled to perform that role because He alone is impartial. If you are going to stand in the position of judge then you are telling Jesus that you know what’s right more than He does, and the law of God will judge you, because that’s the law of the spirit kingdom.

The serious side-effect

The real problem is that once you decide (whether you realise it or not) to be the judge, unless you wake up to your selfishness and repent, you will end up separated from God, like Eve and Adam. Thus, the bait that Satan used to trap Eve is the same bait that he uses to trap each one of us away from God, unless we repent. You can’t make up your mind not to judge, you have to die.

The two truths of judge

There’s a time not to judge, but there’s also a time to make a judgment, John 7:24. There’s a difference between making a judgment about someone and making a judgment against someone. The difference is whether you’re judging from the false gift that Satan offered Eve, or whether you’re judging from God’s heart. The only way a human can make a righteous judgment is when they look at something through God’s eyes and not their own, and the only way that’s possible is if one is dead to their own thinking and self-defence and alive to God’s righteous heart; and the only way that’s possible is to suffer the misjudgements that Christ suffered till you are dead to your proud inherited human rightness.

You can only judge righteously through meekness, 2 Timothy 2:24-26

If you are to judge righteously, you must analyse someone through the window of your own weaknesses and mistakes and not through theirs. If you know you have your own weaknesses and are grateful for God’s mercy, then you have a better chance at judging righteously. A righteous judge will give a person the benefit of the doubt, eg. the woman in adultery; whereas, an unrighteous judge will love to punish.

A righteous judge will interpret the person’s heart by the spirit that’s influencing the person; whereas, an unrighteous judge will interpret the person’s wrongness by the way the person hurts their feelings.

A human example

Some time ago I was challenging a young ten year old girl about the attitude of her heart. She was telling everybody how they were to behave towards her. On the outside, her school work was impeccable and her helpfulness was unquestionable, but something was clearly wrong in her heart. When I challenged her she agreed but defended herself with her outer goodness. Once somebody does that you know you’re up against a demonic spirit.

The spirit in her is telling me what’s right and that I’m treating her unfairly, and the Spirit in me is telling her what’s right. It’s a silent argument of who’s right. She’s arguing she’s right and it’s not fair because that’s the contaminated gift of knowledge that Satan gave to humanity via Eve, and I’m arguing that I’m right and she’s wrong and disrespectful.

Now, if my arguing is on the basis of the contaminated gift, then even if I’m right, I’m wrong, because whatever is not of faith, is sin, Romans 14:23. The only way I can be truly right is if I’m arguing with God’s eyes and not mine; if I’m not doing it for my value but for God’s.

I suspect I’m fighting a demonic spirit, so I test the spirit by asking her to rub out her perfect work and do it again. Her negative reaction tells me I’m up against a spirit of defiance, so I hold my position on God’s Word and pray that God will intervene and loose this girl from Satan’s bind. The test verifies the spirit in the child and proves the outward appearance is fakeness. I’ve made a righteous judgment against a spirit and stood up for God’s Word. It’s the only path that has the potential to save that child’s soul.

Every spirit is born under the influence of Satan

You don’t have to teach someone to be bad or selfish; they already know what it is from birth. What you have to do is to teach them to die to their badness; not by being good, but by being dead. Everyone knows how to be good or bad; they don’t know how to be dead. In every single case, if you want to save someone’s soul, you have to win the battle against a demonic spirit by getting the person to admit, surrender and repent. That’s why God tells us we aren’t in a fight against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and wickedness. Jesus knew who would surrender, so He didn’t waste His words with those who wouldn’t. Similarly, in most cases, keeping quiet instead of arguing your point against a spirit is far more righteous that arguing with something that refuses to bend. It’s not our job to save; it’s our job to stand on God’s Word, and leave the saving to the Holy Spirit.

Every argument comes down to my right versus your right

Every argument and every negative feeling comes down to my right versus your right. That’s because every human being has inherited the contaminated gift of knowing what they think is right and wrong.

My experience is that most people think they’re good and special, so when you contradict their good they get offended and in their offence they argue their rightness and thus will never be saved.

There are only two alternatives in life … God or selfishness

If it’s not of God; it’s automatically selfish no matter how good and right it looks.

May God open the eyes of His remnant to see the satanic trick of our own rightness judging.

Pastor Michael Craige


 
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Posted by on January 30, 2016 in Judging

 

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Sermon 94 – IN Christ or OUT of Christ

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine; no more can you except you abide in Me …. John 15:4

You can measure whether you’re in Christ by observing the signs.

If you’re in Christ, you’ll …..

  1. be seeking no reputation, like Christ, because God will be 1st; not family or friends Philippians 2:7
  2. be seeking to be a servant, like Christ Philippians 2:7
  3. be hated, like Christ John 7:7
  4. be only interested in the Father’s will, not yours John 6:38
  5. be unsettled on this earth John 12:25
  6. respect your neighbour’s opinion more than your own Philippians 2:3,4
  7. be tolerant of others’ weaknesses because you know you have your own, and thus be forgiving
  8. repent when you do wrong
  9. make judgments based on God’s Word, which will put you at odds with family, friends & the world Matthew 10:36
  10. have faith in God’s ability and plan

If you’re out of Christ, you’ll ….

  1. be seeking popularity and value in the eyes of men John 12:42,43
  2. be doing whatever suits me, even if it looks like I care for others Philippians 2:21
  3. make judgments against people for being stupid, or for hurting your feelings
  4. be moody and murmur about your circumstances Philippians 2:14
  5. envy your neighbour’s better deal James 4:5
  6. be too proud to repent
  7. be too proud to forgive
  8. mix Christ with the world James 4:4
  9. tell God how it’s supposed to be
  10. blame others for your circumstances
  11. live in the fear of loss
  12. believe that you are special and have a special calling, and worthy of God’s special blessing

Christ in you, but you not in Christ

Christ can be in you, but that doesn’t mean that you’re in Christ. King Saul had the Holy Spirit but eventually his unrepentant envy saw him cut off from the vine. Peter had the Holy Spirit, but he denied Christ and spoke Satanic words. Christ was in him, but he wasn’t in Christ until his embarrassment and failure exposed his elevated self-value, and he finally saw his pride and repented. It’s not the ‘do’ that counts, it’s the motive of the heart.

Judging is the defining line

You can be as good as you like and do as much good as you can to make yourself feel like you’re in Christ, but it’s JUDGING others for their stupidity or hurt towards you that ultimately defines your position in Christ. What we fail to realise is that this type of judgment is only Christ’s prerogative, so when we judge we are acting as god. You can make your own errors of judgment; that’s between you and Christ, but when you judge someone else for their errors of judgment, it’s now between you and them, and God will bring their judgment on your head.

Judgment of others’ faults is the evidence of your own self-righteous elevated pride. Judging should alert you to your own pride and scare you into repentance; but sadly, no one seems to care; they’re too proud and too full of their own importance; which is why they judge in the first place. Thus, even though Christ may be in you, judging others without coming to repentance, will eventually see you separated from the vine because Christ will not let your arrogance perpetually mix with His blood.

When you judge someone out of your wounded pride, God says that you are actually speaking evil, not only against the person, but also against God’s law, James 4:11. No one likes to see that because their pride is too important to them, and it blinds them.

Demons take advantage

God instructs us not to judge because …

  1. it’s Christ’s job, not yours. King Saul decided to step in and do the sacrifice himself instead of waiting for Samuel. His arrogance had persuaded him to usurp his position. He had put himself above his position and ultimately became demon-possessed.
  2. it’s sin
  3. it exposes us to demonic influence
  4. it leads to separation from the vine

Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy is more than judging someone for doing something that you wouldn’t do but yet you do it yourself. Hypocrisy is built on the envy that I am more important, more intelligent, more skilful, or more knowledgeable than you, or the envy that these qualities are in you more than in me. Hypocrisy is really believing that you’re someone who has the right to tell someone else that they’re not who they think they are. Hypocrisy is the door that Satan enters through to take control of your spirit. In James 3:13-17, we read that hypocrisy is a sign of demonic activity in you. This is reinforced in Matthew 18, where we read the story of the servant who was forgiven much but refused to forgive little. The consequences were demonic torment and separation from the Lord until he repented.

Judge not that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete it shall be measured back to you. And why behold the mote in your brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, let me pull the mote out of your eye when there is a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite; FIRST pull the beam out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye …. Matthew 7:1-6

If you’re ever going to stay in Christ then you must overcome the evil desire to make judgments against people for not doing it according to your thinking. You must open your eyes to your envy-pride and seek God’s repentance. It’s your responsibility to cease judging (it’s not God’s responsibility to change you), and only after you sincerely face this pride in you will God step in and change your old nature into His nature.

May God open the eyes of our selfish hearts, for without having our blindness removed we will never see Christ even though we believe we’re living for Him.

Pastor Phil McNaughton

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2016 in Judging

 

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Sermon 92 – Witch Christian are you?

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

There’s two types of Christians

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

The camp of David

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

The cross

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

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

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

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

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

The camp of Saul

Sauls can’t handle David being more popular.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The trigger

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

What’s the problem with being a Saul?

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

Jonathans

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

Why stay in the camp of Saul?

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

Santa Claus

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

Can you change camps?

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

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

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

Why join the camp of David?

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

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

Suggestion

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

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

Pastor Ray Simmonds

    

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

 

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Sermon 87 – Occupied by a Demon

Q. What’s a demon?

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

Examples of Demons

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

Church thinking

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

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

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

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

Characteristics of Satan (John 8:44)

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

A demon’s main objective

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

How does it work?

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

The confusion of pride

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

What’s the opposite to pride?

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

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

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

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

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

Goodness isn’t the measurement

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

Signs of a demon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confusion (James 3:16)

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

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

Demons often tell the truth

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

Voices

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

The rise of demonism

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

Death to self

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

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

Pastor Mike Stanford

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Demons

 

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Sermon 86 – The LIE of “HAPPY”

In western society everybody lives for the pursuit of happiness; men crave no hassles and women crave fashion and friends. Even the Declaration of Independence states that every person has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Underneath all our goals and ambitions is the desire to feel happy. We do everything for this feeling and we do everything to avoid the bad feelings; no one wants to feel sad, worthless, or inferior. We all want to feel happy and we believe it’s our right.

Is this God’s perspective or man’s?

Humans try to find happiness through a spouse and kids, through sport, occupation, education, skills, friends, retail therapy, tv, money, travel, cars, hobbies, sex, through achieving some sort of importance etc. and if they can’t find enough of it they turn to drugs, food, alcohol, pets and sexual perversion to dull the pain, or simply somehow block their feelings so they feel no hurt pain.

There’s a popular song that says that ‘happiness is the truth’. It declares that happiness is the solution to all of life’s problems, and it’s popular because it’s inclusive for everyone; no one should be exempt from being happy … everybody’s into the drug of happiness.

I deserve to be happy because my parents and siblings made me feel unhappy

I was counselling a woman who shared that because her childhood was so unhappy, she had set her goal to be happy as an adult. No one was going to ever stop her having happiness. Nothing was ever going to make her unhappy again. She was going to act happy, be happy and expect happiness from family, people and God, and if they didn’t give it to her then she had the right to put them in their place. Anybody that made her unhappy was wrong, bad and her enemy; and anybody that made her happy was good and her friend. She fantasized that she was a princess and everything was diagnosed on the basis of what made her happy, and she learnt to block out those emotions that made her feel unhappy so she had no pain.

She hated Samuel’s mother, Hannah, because she was more loved than Peninnah, even though Hannah was barren, and she set her heart to be a Ruth because despite her pain in life, she got the love of Boaz. This is a very selfish wounded spirit, yet believes she’s a Christian.

She believed that if God was her father as he declared, then He was responsible to make her feel happy, so, of course He would give her whatever she wanted and needed. I’ve seen this person in the church many times over.

The problem was, her whole goal was selfish; it had nothing to do with the will of God, and it had nothing to do with the love of God; it was all about the love of ME. It was all built on her wounded pride and her grief at not getting what she believed she deserved. On the outside she looked very together, but on the inside, whenever she saw people that appeared happy she would despise them and even set her course to destroy their happiness because she didn’t have it.

In James 3:14-16, the Word of God describes this kind of behaviour as demonic, because it’s lying, bitter, envious, earthly, sensual and devilish.

Happiness seems like it’s of God, and the word ‘happy’ is used throughout the scriptures, but it’s an English word that’s been incorrectly placed in our modern versions.

The origin of ‘happy’

‘Happy’ comes from the Old English word ‘hap’ which means someone who’s had good luck. The world’s promoted the feeling that if you’re lucky, you’ll be happy, and that’s what we’re all chasing. We all want to get the good luck and the feeling.

In the Bible however, both the Hebrew word ‘esher’ and the Geek words ‘makarizo’ and ‘makarios’ have been interpreted as ‘happy’, incorrectly. The truth is, you won’t find the word ‘happy’ in the bible. The real meaning of these words is ‘blessed’.

‘Blessed’

‘Blessed’ isn’t what you’ve been trained to think it is. We all think it’s getting something from God and getting the good deal. However, In the scriptures this word ‘blessed’ actually means ‘indwelt by God and thus fully satisfied’ [ref. #3106, #3107 Lexical aides in the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, KJV]. This word relates only to those who are saved vessels. In other words, it’s only genuine Christians that can ever find true happiness; though the world will try and trick you otherwise. A genuine Christian never chases happiness nor seeks the feelings of happy. They are indwelt by God and that’s all that counts. Thus, it doesn’t affect their inner core mood if they have things work out or not. They don’t base life on what they have or have not got. They don’t envy their neighbour because of what he has and they don’t laugh at their neighbour because of what he doesn’t have. Their outward emotions are based on the inner confidence that the Spirit of God dwells within.

Happy is a state of the heart, not a state of the emotions

The beatitudes in Matthew 5 clearly spell out that inner ‘happy’ only flows from being poor, being sad, being meek, being merciful, being pure, being a peace-maker and being persecuted for righteousness. In fact, in verse 12, the greatest level of happiness and the highest level of reward are found through persecution, not through fun and frivolity.

In John 13:17, happiness is the fruit of being a servant and washing people’s dirty feet. In Proverbs 29:18 … ‘happy is he that keeps the ten commandments of God.’ In Psalm 128:1,2 … happiness is the fruit of fearing the Lord. These happinesses are all because one is saved by grace through faith, not because it’s one’s right or motive, and not because one keeps the ten commandments or washes people’s feet. It’s not the act that makes you happy; it’s what’s in you that stirs you to the act.

Is it wrong to be happy?

Of course not, but if that is what you’re chasing them it’s of Satan and you’ve been conned. Genuine happiness can only come as the consequence of a relationship with the Spirit of God; every other means is fake and deception.

Of course God designed everyone to be happy, but Satan stole that right from us, and although the churches teach you that happiness is part of the package you deserve when you become a Christian, the right to happiness will not flow to you until you’re saved. You need to realise that if you’re chasing happiness as your right, then you haven’t found God, and you’re not saved; you’ve just been conned by Satan. Genuine Christians don’t tell God what their rights are; they’re dead to themselves and alive to His will and purpose, and that’s their source of happiness.

A lot of people simply go to church because they’re looking for something to make them happy. We’ve all been told that church is supposed to be happy, but that’s because the church is not the church. You’ll only find the real church when it’s suffering the flames of persecution, and in western society, the church is going all out to make sure it adapts to the world’s wishes and attitudes so it never suffers persecution. Therefore, its projected aura of happiness is a sales pitch for more numbers and money; it’s not God.

Happiness built on sand

You either have happiness built on sand where you live for yourself to be happy and serve God with the expectation of Him giving it to you, or you have happiness built on the rock where your happiness is simply in the privilege of serving Him without any expectation of reward or benefit.

Control

Eventually, people chasing ‘happy’ will expose what spirit they’re really of by controlling you for their own happiness. If you want to be happy the world’s way, you will have to control your environment to get it. Thus a fake happy will intimidate, blame, lie, be generous or whatever, to retain their position so they keep their feeling of happy.

The woman I was counselling fantasized, in her belief system, that she was a princess and was very special to God and thus had the right and position to tell everyone what to do and to question and challenge anyone who made her feel unhappy; plus, being a princess obviously meant that she should never be a maid or servant because that would degrade her position of importance. Until she comes to her senses and repents she’ll never be able to wash people’s feet (even if she does the act) and thus she’ll never be indwelt by Holy Spirit, and thus she’ll never be satisfied and thus she’ll never find happiness. Like a mirage, it will always escape her.

You have to be dead to yourself to be happy; anything else is self-deception and a lie.

May God touch your spirit to repent so He can indwell your dead spirit and bring it to life.

Pastor Keith Raymond

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2015 in Happy, Lie

 

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