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Sermon 132 – The Love of Position

Good correction is an instruction that advises you that you’re doing something wrong. It’s an instruction designed to get you back on the right track when you’ve inadvertently stepped in the wrong direction with wrong analysis.

Pride, however, perceives and thus receives correction as a suggestion that “I’m bad”. Our pride turns correction into a ‘good and bad’ scenario, when it should be a ‘right and wrong’ issue.

Why does it do this?

Because pride is only interested in position, position, position. That’s all it ultimately cares about. You can camouflage your pride with as much exterior niceness as you like but underneath it all is the love of position, and this is the thing that Jesus came to save you from … the love of position. All pride is concerned about is … “I want to be above you”. Pride pretends to love its neighbour but in the depths of its heart it hates it when one’s neighbour gets an advantage over it.

Pride hates exposure, so it does anything it can to hide itself. The consequence of this hidden evil in us, is the solidifying of this evil by lying to ourselves that we are good, and thus the Evil One traps us in his web and manipulates us to unwittingly serve his will against God. Then, instead of breaking free from our sin at the point of correction, we reinforce the lie that we are good.

Lie to escape exposure

If correction is bad, why do we routinely lie to escape exposure of our wrong, and why do we routinely fear the embarrassment of the exposure? Obviously, because we’re too proud and selfish to let others think we are wrong. We don’t want to look bad, so we work our butt-off to show we are good, but our real objective is to avoid exposure of any bad, at all costs. We argue within ourselves that the more good we are the more the correction must be wrong. The ‘good-er’ we are the further from salvation we unknowingly wander, believing our own lie that our goodness is evidence of God in us. But, it’s all our own deception fuelled by our own evil pride.

Don’t tell me what to do

When you argue ‘good vs bad’ it’s simply an indicator of your pride. This means that the real underlying issue is the selfish belief … “I’m good, so don’t tell me I’m bad”. But, what this really means is … “you won’t tell me what’s right or wrong, I’ll decide, and you won’t tell me what to do; I’ll fix the issue myself, my way. Mind your own business”. It’s only at the point of correction that this spirit is exposed, and it’s at that point that one’s pride can be loosed from the demonic. Sadly, few surrender; most defend their pride. They still serve and worship God their way, but they’re not saved.

Pride doesn’t think it’s proud

Because pride can’t see its pride, it needs correction to expose it. The problem is, it’s so focussed on looking good, it sees any correction as rejection and a put-down, thus it constantly misses the door of salvation that God places before it.

Fake Goodness is Satanism

Pride won’t be told it’s wrong. In fact, pride won’t be told. Thus, pride is the practice of disrespect of authority, and the practice of incorrigibility. Thus, your pride protects you from being correctible, and thus pride is the root cause of fakeness and de-salvation.

Pride is always trying to show and re-affirm its goodness. Pride thinks it’s good, so it can’t handle any suggestion that it’s done anything wrong, because it hates feeling bad and looking bad. What pride doesn’t realise is that the more good you think you are, or the more you act that you are good, the more demonic influence Satan has over you. It’s really the spirit of Satan operating through you. The practice of pride is really the practice of Satanism. That’s why God hates it. That’s why it’s so hard to eliminate it from your spirit. This lying deception was inherited from Satan via Eve’s and Adam’s sin and refusal to repent. Pride is a direct inheritance from Satan. Retain your pride and serve God as much as you like. It will all be a waste of time and effort, just like Judas.

Fake Goodness (F.G.) retaliates

Fake goodness retaliates with blame for not letting them explain why they did what they did. F.G. shifts the responsibility so its own bad is not exposed. F.G. is focussed on what you think of me and can’t handle being thought less of. F.G. is just camouflaged pride. As I’ve already said, the more good you think you are, the more proud you are, and the more fake you are.

Only God is good, Luke 18:19

The rich young ruler indirectly asked Jesus to confirm to him that he was good. Doing good was his recipe for looking good in the eyes of his peers. Jesus made it clear; the answer is give up your position. Like most people it was too much to ask. So, if you think you are good then the truth is you’re just full of yourself, not God, and that’s what pride is. Consequently, pride judges others’ badness in the light of one’s own assumed goodness. This judgment actually verifies that you are not good (James 4:11), but pride can’t see it, so it bacterially flourishes and continues to be practiced indiscriminately.

Like the rich young ruler, once you find something that gives you value and supports your position in the eyes of others, it’s even more difficult to let your pride go and find God. The support becomes too valuable to you.

Feelings

Pride makes its judgments on its feelings. Pride believes if you make me feel bad, then you’re the baddie. Pride is always trying to show its goodness. Position by any means is all it cares about.

Do

The real reason we do things is to prove our self-worth in the eyes of others, and that’s why we can’t give up what’s of value to us, because these skills, or money, or successes, or popularity are the proof of our value. Instead of sacrificing them, we compromise to keep them and unwittingly instead, sacrifice the precious gift of salvation.

It’s not DO. It’s not FIX. Rather, it’s DIE to your pride. That means, openly expose you’re wrong and face the fear and the temptation to lie and blame. That’s the only way to free yourself from Satan’s evil spirits.

Good doesn’t cut it

The woman caught in adultery wasn’t good. Rahab wasn’t good. Samson wasn’t good. The thief on the cross wasn’t good. David wasn’t good; he murdered. Prostitutes are not good. The five foolish virgins were good. Good is not the requirement; exposing your pride is the requirement.

Jesus didn’t write-off the thief on the cross for being bad; He invited him into His kingdom at the point of his confession of wrong to a loving Saviour. He knew he was bad. He couldn’t fix the bad or the wrong, but he could face his embarrassment and give up his charade of toughness and lower his resistant position.

Pharisee and Tax Collector

In Luke 18:9, Jesus shares a parable about those who trust in their own goodness, yet at the same time, hate. The Pharisee spoke to his own mind about how good he was, whereas, the publican simply exposed his wrong and was saved. The Pharisee proved his goodness was a lie by passing judgment on the publican, in the light of his own goodness, and immediately confirmed his arrogant pride.

Good is always in your own mind

Good is never in the mind of a Christian. Like Christ, a Christian’s focus is serving the will of his Master, not in justifying why the Master should love him or do his bidding.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t pride Himself in His own goodness; He serves the will of the Father. The goodness that flows from a Christian should be Christ, not one’s own self-manufactured ability and fake purity. Fake purity is just piety, not love.

Pride vs. Humility

In simplicity, pride is calling someone a fool; whereas, humility comes via repentance, and repentance is seeing that you’re the fool. If you’ve never really seen your own folly, then your salvation is in vain. “Sorry” is an arrangement of convenient escape, but “repentance” is when you see your own folly, and without that revelation your pride is not broken. All that’s happened is, like Eve, you’ve talked yourself into believing in your own wisdom being right. But, clearly Eve’s wisdom wasn’t right, or she would’ve seen she was wrong.

Why does God advise against pride?

Pride is the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden. Pride tastes good, and pride looks good. It never looks bad. That’s so Satan can use it to manipulate you into thinking that you’re right (Genesis 3:5,6). But, the reason God advises against it is because pride will always end up hurting you. That’s why Satan sells it to you; to hurt you.

Everyone is either a Pharisee or a Publican or a Publican Pharisee

This parable is not just a story; it’s an evaluation of the human spirit. You can have different levels of Pharisee or Publican, but everyone exists in these two categories at some level. Everyone is born arrogant. Everyone is born fearful. Everyone is born a liar. You can either protect these qualities and reinforce you link your Satan, or you can expose them. What you choose to do at the point of correction will either lead you to salvation or to hell.

Salvation is simple

All you have to do is expose yourself. All you have to do is own up that you were wrong. All you have to do is face the fear of looking bad in the eyes of others. God does the rest. The problem is, almost everyone resists their conscience by explaining away their sin by blaming the other person, or justifying why they really didn’t do anything that bad, and so the opportunity for salvation is lost and sacrificed to protect one’s pride. You have to sacrifice your pride to be saved. You have to sacrifice your pride to be freed from Satan.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it’s not an issue of right or wrong, or good or bad. It’s an issue of … will you stop your pride and take the correction and admit you were wrong, no blame and no excuses.

No exposure, no salvation

Behold I stand at the door and knock (Rev.3:20). When Jesus is knocking on your door, Satan is also standing there whispering fears and lies into your mind. If you truly want to be saved you will always have to face the fear of embarrassment or the fear of persecution, and the temptation to lie, and the temptation to blame to protect yourself. It’s actually the temptation from Satan to fear and lie, that confirms that Christ is the one addressing your conscience. The fear is the sign of Christ’s presence, not from Him, but from the enemy trying to manipulate you away from Him. In fact, if you don’t face fear at a point of salvation, then it’s not Jesus that’s knocking. Yes, like Samuel, you can be saved as a child, and like Peter, you can walk with Christ and think you’re saved, but, somewhere along the walk you will have to face the fear of your convictions in order to seal your salvation (Luke 22:32). All you have to do is open the door and let your sin be exposed and you’ll realize that the fear was a Satanic inhibitor to block you from being free.

 

Pastor Rick McCauley

 

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Posted by on September 15, 2018 in Pride

 

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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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