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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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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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