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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 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 84 – The Lie of HAPPY FAMILY

Q. What’s your expectation about God?

Most Christians believe that if you do good then God will do good back to you. They believe that the closer you get to God the more God will protect you and supply all your needs, and make you happy, and free you from all bad feelings. Most Christians believe that the evidence that God is on your side is good health, financial success, happy family relationships, and good feelings all the time. But what about the song we sing from Habakkuk 3:17 …’though the fig tree doesn’t blossom’.

The truth is, most Christians have a relationship with God so they can get a better deal; they’re just not honest enough to want to see it. Most Christian’s I’ve met serve God on their terms and conditions, not His.

Reality is that the closer you move to God the heavier the battle against you.

Biblical Picture

Tell me somebody in the bible who had a happy deal because he was godly? You won’t find it in Samuel’s family, or David’s family, or Jesus’ family, or Noah’s family, or Adam’s family, or Moses’ family, or Jacob’s family, or Hannah’s family, or the prodigal’s family. You won’t find it in Paul’s life, nor any of the disciples or prophets. Daniel wasn’t happy, he was content in God.

Why?

It’s simple. Because of Eve’s sin, we’re all born selfish, self-righteous and envious, under the influence of Satan, and Holy Spirit fights for us to be saved from Satan. But that salvation does not occur until we concede to the will of Holy Spirit. The reality is that most people concede for their convenience, they don’t unconditionally surrender; thus it’s fake concession and therefore they remain under the influence of Satan thinking that they are under the influence of Holy Spirit. They worship Holy Spirit, but like the Jews they love the things of the world and they love the right to their own thinking (Mark 7:6).

In every family there is always some who will not bend their will to Holy Spirit, and the demonic influence over them will directly conflict with the other family members whether they are under the influence of the demonic or Holy Spirit, but specifically against you if you are under the influence of Holy Spirit.

Demons like being No.1, so they fight amongst themselves for that position, and they hate Holy Spirit. So how could family ever be happy unless all members are under the Holy Spirit, and even though that is God’s heart, in reality that does not happen because the human spirit is selfish and full of envy.

Why is a prophet without honour in his own family? Mark 6:4

Because everybody is born envious of everyone else’s position until they die and let that person have the honour God decreed. ‘Envy’ is Satan’s strategy to put you in conflict with God’s will. Like Joseph and David, it’s family that thinks you’re of no Godly value, because they selfishly think that they are the one that’s of value in God’s eyes.

Is God into happy family?

The simple answer is yes, but the reality is that it has been abducted by Satan, and won’t be a reality until heaven. In fact, Jesus said that if you put your hand up for Him then Satan will make sure your family opposes you; so the only way you can have happy family is to not be a genuine Christian and then Satan will leave you alone. But, even that strategy doesn’t work; Satan’s got control of all families, and in this modern western culture, the family model is disintegrating before our eyes.

Don’t tell me that Satan isn’t in control. Yes, God is the ultimate control, but God takes His hand away when His people concede to the world’s way; and Satan is taking full advantage.

And you shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. Luke 21:16

The most effective way that Satan can try and discourage and hurt the remnant is to get the family to oppose them.

Why do people want happy family anyhow?

So they can control their circumstances, look good in the eyes of others, have no hassles, have good feelings all the time, and get back what they lost in their childhood.

Suppose you that I come to bring peace on earth? I tell you NO, but rather division: from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against the daughter in law, and the daughter in law against the mother in law. Luke 12:51-53

Jesus said ‘division’; Satan preaches ‘happy’. Anything that you believe which is opposite the Word of God, is obviously anti-Christ. Happy family is not biblical; it’s a Satanic lie that both, Christians and the world aim for without any thought as to why. Who says that happy family is proof of God? As I’ve already reiterated, the truth is, happy family is really so I don’t have any hassles, and so we look better than other families, and so I can get what I lost as a kid in my unhappy family. It’s all about self-promotion and selfishness and control. The person with the power puts fear on everyone else in the family to toe the family line and from the outside everything looks happy but the reality is, the family is too afraid to be unhappy.

Under a spirit of fear

In almost all instances, if there is the appearance of a happy family, then that family is operated and controlled by a spirit of fear, and is cleverly demonically inspired, and not godly. Today, no doubt there are some rare families that are happy in Christ, not happy. But this will only occur by the grace of God because the father is righteous and the family respect his relationship with God.

Separation is the pathway to happiness

To find the real happiness of God you have to be willing to walk the path of unhappiness.

There is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake and the gospel’s, But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters and mothers, and children and lands, with PERSECUTION, and in the world to come eternal life. Mark 10:29,30

This is the true will of the Father

If any man come to me, and doesn’t submit to my will in preference to the will of his parents, wife, children, and siblings, and even himself, then he cannot be my disciple. If he is fair-dinkum then he must bear his cross, count the cost, and forsake everything in order to be a disciple. Luke 14:26-33

Salvation is death to self; it’s copping the crap thrown against you by faith in God’s will for your life and purpose; and resting in His plan. Quite often the attack is from family to force you back under their control.

The issue is faithfulness, not happiness

If you’re chasing happiness, then you’re not of God, you’re of Satan. Satan offers happiness, God offers death, and He allows Satan to use the family to achieve your salvation by surrendering in faith to Him and His plan, through opposition and persecution.

Righteous expectation

Don’t expect anything from God except His perfect will and perfect plan.

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence. Psalm 62:5,6

Conclusion

Whether you understand it or not, you won’t find God until you give up your family … the generational spirit is too strong.

Whether you understand it or not, the Word of God aligns happiness with death, not with get.

Everybody is born thinking they are a ‘somebody’, but you won’t find the true God till you wake up and realise you’re a ‘nobody’.

Pastor Jim Desmond

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2015 in Happy

 

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Sermon 83 – The LIE of “GOOD”

In Mark chapter 3, verses 1-6, we read the story of the man with the withered hand.

The Pharisees were there to see whether Jesus would break their interpretation of God’s laws. Their eyes were blind to the healing; their whole perspective was focussed on right and wrongness.

The real issue in their heart wasn’t a concern for the sick man, but a self-protected concern for their position. Jesus’ popularity and miraculous power was threatening their position with the people. If it carried on for much longer their church system would collapse and their valued position would be shattered. They had to come up with a plan to destroy Jesus.

Jesus’ righteousness was challenging their self-promoted authority. They hated Him because He was more respected and more capable, and they lived in the fear of losing favour and position. Don’t kid yourself … any time you challenge authority because you are self-elevated and are afraid of looking bad in the eyes of others, you’re under the influence of the same demonic spirit that the Pharisees were under.

They came face-to-face with the Christ but their goodness blocked their salvation.

The Pharisees genuinely thought they were good. They really believed it. They were blind to their pompousness. Their good was exposed as fake at the intersection of someone else looking better than them. It’s that intersection where you can truly evaluate your relationship with Christ. It’s that intersection that can save you by opening your eyes to your pompousness long enough to recognise that your goodness is just fake and plain selfishness.

The rich young ruler

The rich young ruler thought he was good because he did the right things and kept the commandments. He expected Jesus to reinforce that perspective to those who were watching. Jesus started with the comment that there is ‘none good except God’. He was hitting the heart of the matter. Jesus was saying that if you think you are good then you think you are god whether you can see that or not, and you are simply being good like the Pharisees to impress those around you and promote your self-worth.

In fact, if you think you are good, then you are evil and of Satan. A genuine Christian doesn’t think he’s good; he’s dead.

The Pharisees measured themselves by themselves.

Selfishness sets its own measuring standards. It thinks it’s comparing itself to the standards of God but it’s out of sync with the Word of God and simply manoeuvres God’s standards to fit with its own selfishness.

How do you measure ‘good’?

Most Christians measure it exactly the same as the world … being nice, friendly, not cheating, being polite, helping, doing good deeds. But, as pointed out by the 2nd great commandment, God measures good by your attitude to your neighbour, such as … envy, bitterness, superiority, judgemental, narcissism. If these attitudes dwell within your heart, then your niceness is just fake selfishness so you look good in the eyes of others, and you’re not good, you’re evil.

Don’t ever call yourself ‘good’ if you have a grievance or judgement against your neighbour, or think you’re better than your neighbour.

A genuine Christian’s heart is not based on right and wrong, it’s based on what’s best for my neighbour.

If you stand for Jesus, your enemies will be the authorities in the church + your own family

Evil, was the secret heart of the Pharisees. Their goodness was a sham; their real heart was filled with pre-meditated murder. Like Christ, if you’re a genuine Christian you’ll be able to tell from the hatred towards you from the church, John 16:1-3. If you’re a genuine Christian you will not allow envy against your brother to be harboured in your heart, 1 John 3:15, and you can measure that envy by your attitude when your brother is blessed and you are not; when your brother prospers and you do not.

This whole healing scenario happened in the church, not in the street.

Rules

The Pharisees measured their goodness by how much they kept the rules. In Mark 7 they found fault with Jesus because He didn’t wash before He ate. Washing hands is right, but if your heart is hard, you’re wrong even if you’re right. If you judge someone for not doing it right and you can’t face it that you are wrong, then your heart is hard.

Whereas, like Jesus, if you don’t wash your hands, you are wrong according to the law, but if your heart is soft, you are right, even if what you’ve done is wrong. Pharisaical rightness can’t understand love!

It’s a constant fight between old nature and new nature

I’ve met many people who believe they’re good and because they believe they’re good they believe they’re a Christian. If a genuine Christian senses his old nature trying to rise up he commits it to God and fights it until he has the victory over it. A fake Christian justifies his old nature by ignoring it because he believes he’s good.

Evil measures your goodness by your anger

Evil looks for ways to find fault with the righteous. Evil deduces that if you get angry, you’re the one that’s wrong. It can’t see why you’re angry. It’s measuring you by how it reacts. Jesus got angry because He was grieved by their hard-heartedness. It’s right to be angry against evil, if your heart is soft. Righteousness gets grieved at people’s hard-heartedness.

I’ve met many people who are very capable at not being angry. I have come to recognise that the demonic in people is capable of enabling a person to fake goodness and control their temper so that the demon is not recognised and exposed. Often times the only way you can recognise demonic activity in a person is by God exposing to you their hidden reaction of envy and bitterness towards their neighbour, even though it is still camouflaged by their smile and niceness.

Hard vs Soft

Jesus didn’t classify the attitude of the Pharisees as ‘bad’; He classified their attitude as ‘evil’ and ‘murderous’ (v.4). Any time you put yourself above your neighbour, your heart is inadvertently practising the same hardness; yet, in your self-deception, you still believe you’re good.

The Pharisees had the opportunity to have their eyes opened. It was right in front of their faces. Why couldn’t they see their arrogance and pride? I suggest they were more worried what the other Pharisees would think of them if one of them was to suggest that perhaps Jesus was real. Who’s going to suggest that Jesus might be right? You’d be knocked down in flames, but your heart would be changed.

Jesus came to open the eyes of the spiritually blind, but the majority were too stiff-necked to see and too hard-hearted to bend. What the Pharisees couldn’t see was that it was their own heart that had the problem, not Jesus.

Hard-heartedness actually can’t see right and wrong. It can’t see the truth even when it’s in your face, and it can’t be told it’s hard.

Be careful what you judge

If I’m doing ‘good’ by the hand of God and it doesn’t fit your box of ‘right’, and you judge it as evil, then you’re on the side of evil, even though you think you are good.

Thankfully, God can soften hard hearts (Mark 6:52), if you’ll own your hardness.

Pastor Jim Desmond


 
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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Goodness

 

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Sermon 82 – WHICH GROUP?

We recognise that David was on the side of the Israelites and that his enemy were the Philistines, but we fail to see that David’s group was also divided into two groups … those that were with him and those that envied and hated him.

The Israelites represent God’s people, the Church; yet we fail to see that the church has always been divided into two groups. The church at Corinth and the church at Laodicea and Pergamos are just three examples. Even Christ’s own disciples were divided and Judas exposed himself as a traitor.

Group 1 … The TELL group

The largest group of people in the church are those that see God as their Father and thus believe that God is responsible to protect them and supply all their needs and perform for them what they need from Him. This group believes they are a child of God and thus have the right to TELL the Father how He is supposed to perform towards them. This group murmurs when God doesn’t do it according to their expectations. They murmur if God takes longer than they expect.

The Pentecostal Church has flourished on the back of this group’s selfish expectation, to the point where it preaches that if you don’t get what you want from God then you don’t have faith. Like a bacterial infection, this belief has spread like wild-fire through fake churches that promote the worldly lie that you can be whatever you want and have whatever you want, just believe. This group simply expect God to perform their wishes and have a MOOD when He doesn’t. Like a two-year old child, the purpose of a mood is to get the authority to change their mind and give you what you want; and that’s the underlying behaviour of this group. This group is envious of what someone else is achieving or has a better deal.

Example

I was counselling a young so-called Christian who admitted he was wrong but that the punishment he received of being grounded was over-the-top. He was defending that he hadn’t done anything that bad, but was blinded to the real issue that he couldn’t be told. He couldn’t see that it was the resistance that was being addressed, not the act.

If you stop and look at that reaction, what does it tell you? Clearly, it’s telling you that the young man is TELLING the authority what’s right and wrong. He’s more interested in not looking bad than in being corrected. It’s revealing to you that the young man is questioning the authority, and really declaring that he is not that wrong, but that the authority is the one that’s wrong. This is an incorrectable, unrepentant spirit, and as such is really a spirit of anti-christ. Holy Spirit would not react this way! A genuine Christian would admit that he was wrong, full-stop, no BUT.

The angel of light

This group is often perfectly good, not because it flows from God, but because if you’re good you can’t get told you’re bad, and if you’re good you get rewards. Thus goodness is simply a tool to get. In fact, this artificial goodness flows from Satan. Anyone who thinks they’re good is actually declaring that they are not of God. Jesus Himself said in Luke 18:19 that there is no one good except God; so if you think you are good then you’ve been deceived by Satan into being your own god, and thus see yourself as above others. If you think you are good then you are contradicting the Word of God that says you’re not. This is the spirit of anti-christ, and definitely not the Holy Spirit.

We fail to comprehend that Satan can come as an angel of light. Right from the beginning Satan has employed two key tactics … attack and destroy, and infiltrate and soften. He uses these in the church because he has the power over the church. Contrary to Pentecostal mis-conception, Satan’s power has not been diminished and won’t be until he is cast into the bottomless pit. He’s just as powerful now as he’s ever been. Only God is more powerful. But the church tells you that you can put Satan in his place because you’re a child of God and heir to the throne. It’s blind to its arrogance. Like the fake church in Communist China, it’s simply the world camouflaged as the church.

Good + TELL

Goodness and Tell are key signs of the spirit of the anti-christ. Despite its apparent goodness, eventually this spirit will expose itself by TELLing the authority what is right and wrong. Eventually this group will display its control with superiority, intimidation, and obligation. It will use the scriptures to try and control you especially by using the 5th commandment to respect their authority, whilst all the time blindly mis-using the 7th, 9th and 10th commandments.

This group won’t be told even though they act like they will; in their heart they resist instruction as a put-down. They simply have a mood till they get what they want, even a silent mood of goodness (like the rich young ruler); yet they can’t see that they’re being defiant and simply refusing to repent because they believe that they’re not bad and that if you are saying they are, then you’ve got the problem, not them.

Hatred of men is a sign of anti-christ

Embedded in this group are many women who have a hidden hatred of men. They hate the fact that men have authority over them. They secretively don’t like being under authority and being told what to do. They think they’re better than men. They TELL men how they’re supposed to behave towards them. This is the spirit of anti-christ. You can clearly see this spirit flooding the world today, and this worldly spirit is clearly in the church. God decreed in Genesis 3:16 that man would have authority over the woman and anyone who objects to that is clearly against God.

This group is full of their own importance … “I think I’m special or have a special call”

Many men, both in the church and in the world, are under this female spirit. Self-decoration of ear-rings and tattoos, and homosexuality and cross-dressing are just signs of feminism. Many men have been told by their mothers that they can do anything or be anything. Like Eve vs Adam, their mothers have been used of Satan to fill their sons with their own importance. This is the spirit of ant-christ and its purpose is to subtly destroy. Christ said in Luke 14:26 that unless you hate yourself you cannot be my disciple; the opposite to what the world and the church teaches.

Over the years, I’ve become aware that most people think they’re special, to the point that they sincerely believe that if you have a problem with them then you are the problem, and if they have a problem with you then you are still the problem. They sincerely believe that they have a special call on their life and that God values them higher than others. The simple truth is that they feel so inferior and wounded they have to live in the fantasy of their own puffed-up self-importance. Sadly, the church is just copying the world by indoctrinating people with this false positive thinking instead of teaching the flock to die to self so that God reigns in you. The spirit of anti-christ is alive and well convincing people of their self-importance in direct contradiction to the Word of God which declares that God loves a contrite heart.

A spirit of FEAR

This group is like King Saul. It is occupied by a spirit of fear and thus uses intimidation to try and control people to do its will and put you under its fear.

Ezekiel 33:31 … they come unto you and sit before you as my people and hear your words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness.

Group 2 … The ‘willing to be told’ group

The second group are like David. They don’t think they are good; it doesn’t enter their thinking. They don’t think they deserve anything from God. They serve God because they appreciate His love for them. They don’t serve to get a reward. They don’t serve Him to get to heaven, but like Moses who was willing to go to hell for the people of Israel, they serve God with a grateful heart. This group doesn’t expect anything from God, they’re just grateful for being considered His child.

This group doesn’t TELL God what He’s to do for them; they ask Him what He wants them to do for Him. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they ask Him for His protection but leave the outcome to His discretion. This group doesn’t envy what they’re neighbour has, but rather they’re grateful that God has blessed them. This group doesn’t think it’s special, but rather is amazed that God might consider them worthy to serve Him. Moses’ response to God was “who am I?” David’s response to Saul re marrying his daughter was, “who am I?”

This group makes judgments based on their heart relationship with God (it talks it over with God and waits on Him), and not just on whether a person has done good or bad.

FEAR

This group has to face fear from the first group. Like the Pharisees who intimidated the parents of the man born blind in John 9, the first group uses its power to keep you in its group, and if you want to be in the second group you will have to face the fear of what the 1st group thinks.

This second group takes correction when it’s wrong, and doesn’t stand defiantly when it’s mis-judged for doing wrong when it didn’t. It takes its concerns to God; it doesn’t react with a mood.

Conclusion

  • If you love God you serve Him. If you love yourself you get God to serve you by being good.
  • If you love being important then you’re in the first group.
  • If you judge people based on right or wrong/ good & bad, you’re in the 1st group.
  • If you worry whether someone is doing it right or wrong, then you’re under the influence of the spirit of anti-christ.
  • If you disrespect or question your husband, father or pastor then you’re in the first group.
  • If you think you are good, then you are god, and you’ve taken the bait of self-importance from the spirit of anti-christ.
  • If you think you are special, then you’ve taken the bait of the spirit of anti-christ.
  • If you have a mood because it’s not working out the way you want then you are under the influence of the spirit of Satan. Holy Spirit does NOT react that way.
  • The real reason you’re in the first group is that you’re too arrogant/stubborn and too fearful to change.
  • Everyone’s born to be a somebody, but you won’t find God till you’re a nobody. 

You can change groups. In fact, it’s essential that you do. The first group will never find salvation no matter how much they learn about Christ; they’re the tares. Everyone is born in love with themselves; that’s the influence of Satan, but you have to wake up to yourself if you want to change groups. It just takes a revelation that you are the one who is acting and trapped in group one, and the courage to face your fears of what people might think, and swap groups.

May God open the eyes of His remnant.

Pastor Jim Desmond

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Special

 

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Sermon 76 – Back to Basics

A young lady in our fellowship was clearly promoting herself and people were beginning to distance themselves from her. I spoke with her and asked her if she could see that she was being proud. She acknowledged that she knew she was. I suggested that it would be wise to stop it. She agreed. The next time I saw her she was working harder and more committed and trying as best she could to be “gooder”.

I shared with her that her strategy for removing her pride was actually cementing her pride because the motive for working harder was really to be liked again by everyone who was struggling with her pride, and also trying to avoid getting into more trouble. She wasn’t addressing her selfishness, she was reinforcing it.
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Posted by on November 8, 2014 in Selfishness

 

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Sermon 65 – I FEEL SAD

Some time ago I was confronted by a relative who blamed me for making her sad. I began to observe and learn from that and many other experiences that most people don’t take responsibility for their feelings, but rather automatically blame someone else for making them feel bad. This means that these people live their whole life based on how someone else makes them feel and they live for happy feelings. If your mummy made you feel good when you were moody, then as an adult you’ll expect Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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