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Sermon 138 – Don’t build a relationship on the hatred of someone who’s hurt you

Every human being is created with a body, soul and spirit. Our soul and spirit are the elements that allow us to commune with God. The soul consists of the MIND, WILL and EMOTIONS. The most important element of our soul is our ‘WILL’.

Why?

The answer is found in Jesus’ prayer to His Father on the Mount of Olives. What was His prayer? ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless, not My will but Thine be done’ (Luke 22:42). Note, there are two parts to this prayer … the first part is a prayer to remove the trouble, the second part is a prayer of ‘will’ and surrender.

Salvation is a decision of our will in the face of distress; in the face of being aware that the decision will cost me distress.

Why does it have to be in the face of distress?

The Bible declares that if you are going to build a tower you should first count the cost (Luke 14:28). In other words, you can make a decision to follow Christ, but that decision isn’t verified unless, or until, circumstances dictate a cost. This is explained in the parable of the sower and the seed (Mark 4).

You see, the problem is, most so-called Christians don’t make a decision of ‘will’, they make a decision of ‘emotion’. That is, most people decide on the basis of their feelings, and usually those feelings are hurt ones. They decide to follow Christ in the hope He will remove the trouble.

You see, whenever you make judgments against someone for offending you or someone else, you effectively initiate retaliation against that person. Once you take the bait of hurt, and retaliate, you are no longer able to have control of your will. Once you lose control of your will you can’t surrender your will to the Father, and your will comes under the power of Satan. Your prayer will be … ‘remove this trouble from me’. If you hold this judgement for some time your heart will begin to harden and you’ll block your salvation. This is proven in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (KJV).

Once you choose ‘offense’, you unwittingly choose ‘hate’ and automatically lose your ability to surrender your will to His. Your whole focus will be on removing the trouble by striving to win the competition of who is the best. You see, if you continuously allow your hurt emotions to control your judgement, the truth is, your spirit revolves around the lust for IMAGE, not Christ.

Practical observation

I was observing a group of girls in our fellowship. One of the girls decided she was more special and started recruiting a best-friend. The other girl could sense that she was being used and manipulated so she formed a best-friend relationship with someone else. This polite and silent retaliation stirred up more secret hatred in the heart of the first girl so she went about trying to steal the friend from the second girl.

Hypocrisy is judging someone for doing something wrong, then practicing it yourself

Both girls played their parts with seemingly pure goodness. They’d learnt the art of pretense, perfectly. The truth is, God’s not after ‘good’; He’s after ‘will’. If your will isn’t surrendered to Him, then your ‘good’ is not good.

Mood = reacting to wounded emotions

If you allow an offence to hurt your emotions you won’t have power over your will and, sooner or later, spite will flow out of you.

The truth is, if the first girl tries to build her relationships on the foundation of her hurts, it will fail, and If the second girl builds her relationships on the foundation of retaliation and hate, it will fail, too. No wonder most relationships fail; they’re invariably built on spit and spite.

Spitefulness = trying to injure someone

When I finally challenged the original girl about her spitefulness, she couldn’t see that she had done anything wrong. As far as she was concerned, all she was doing was trying to find a friend and the other girl had given her the cold shoulder.

Until you own your sin and repent of it, you can’t free your will. You can decide to not keep doing it, but it’s all a waste of time because your will can’t perform its will whilst your hurt emotions rule your soul. You have to repent to free your will before you can truly see you are wrong. Contrary to the popular belief that ‘I have to see it before I can own it’, the truth is, you won’t see it until you own it, first.

It’s not fair

If you don’t pray the second half of what Christ prayed, you’ll simply be plotting how to escape your hassles on the ground of justified fairness, or if you do decide to pray it, it will be ineffective whilst ever your hurt emotions rule your soul.

The truth is, if you seek fairness in this world without living for the next, then you are not saved. This world is not fair … Jesus was crucified for doing good, Christians are being persecuted for simply loving Christ, people are being unjustly treated and unjustly suffering all over this planet, plus homosexuals demand equal rights, women who hate male authority demand equal rights, aboriginals who worship the serpent god demand equal rights … they’re all into fairness; Jesus wasn’t. Striving for fairness is an argument from Satan to justify that the cup be removed from me. True fairness is only under the Lordship of the Creator judge, Jesus.

Christians are not called to receive fairness; we’re called to serve and suffer for the name of Christ. The reason so few pray the full prayer is simply because we want the cup removed; we want the right to defend injustices against us; we don’t want to suffer for His name.

The healing of the lame man at the gate ‘Beautiful’

In Acts 4, Peter and John were arrested for performing this miracle. The religious tribunal demanded by what authority they had done this. They weren’t inspired by the miracle; they were offended with envy. Peter, under the power of the Holy Spirit stood his ground and preached Christ crucified.

Why don’t we see miracles in the western world, today?

In the modern Christian church, everyone wants the power of miracles for their own positional image, but to my understanding, God gives the power of His Spirit when you’re facing ‘fire’. Moses didn’t get the power till he faced Pharaoh. Elijah had to face Jezebel. Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego had to face the fiery furnace, for the miracle to be done.

In the same way, Peter and John would have had to weigh up the consequences of healing the lame man. They would have known there would most likely be a reaction against them that would cost them. It’s the cost that confirms where one’s will is placed … under Christ’s, or set doing and seeking what’s best for one’s self.

If you’re here for Christ, people will hate you. If you’re complaining about the hate, then you’re here for image. One has surrendered their will to be hurt by offenses, the other hasn’t. One is saved, the other isn’t.

 

May God open the eyes of His remnant,

 

Pastor Clive Douglas

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Posted by on July 14, 2019 in WILL

 

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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 13 – The CANCER of ENVY

In the Greek the meaning of envy is …

Envy = pain felt and malignity conceived at the sight of someone else’s excellence or happiness. Envy can degenerate into a desire to make war upon the beneficiary, and thus to trouble their good and diminish it.

James 4:5 tells us that the spirit in us lusts to envy. That is, we are born with the inherent trait to want the best for ourselves in preference to what’s best for others. God defines this inherent characteristic as pride, and regards it as the top level of sin. There’s nothing you can do about the fact that you are born with sin, but there is a solution to your sin. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Pride, Ten Commandments

 

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