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Sermon 127 – Silence is Golden

In Daniel chapter 6 we read the story of the lion’s den. Perhaps the two keys lessons for the remnant are … ‘position’ and ‘silence’.

Daniel was not into position; he was into serving God’s will. Whereas, the princes and presidents were, as was Darius. Pride always envies someone else’s position, or promotes its own position.

Pride is Satan’s gift

Darius was trapped by his pride and the princes were trapped by theirs. Pride always traps you. Pride is Satan’s gift; humility is Christ’s. Pride puts you under the control of Satan. Humility is God’s gift to stand against Satan. But, how do you learn humility when you’re born in pride? Like Nebuchadnezzar, your pride has to be broken off you.

Pride likes to defend itself. Pride likes to stand up for itself. Pride likes to promote and protect its reputation. Pride likes to retaliate. Pride likes to win. Pride doesn’t like being told what to do. Pride says … if you’re going to be nasty to me, then I have the right to be nasty to you.

If this is pride, then humility is the opposite. Humility is death to pride. But, to be humble requires you to see your pride and give it to God. Therefore, things have to go wrong on a regular basis so we begin to open our eyes to our own selfishness, instead of judging everyone else’s.

Fear is Satan’s tool to protect your pride. Faith is God’s tool to suppress your pride

A prince is a person in power. Princes envy anyone who threatens their power. Princes use fear to weaken your faith. If you submit to the fear, you will activate your pride. Pride protects itself from looking bad. But, faith is activated in the face of fear. If there is no fear then you don’t need faith. So, we learn to trust God through our fears.

Bad things don’t happen to good people

The story of Daniel in the lions’ den refutes the lie that good gets good, and bad gets bad. This story, like the story of David vs King Saul, the burning of Ziglag, Paul being bitten by a viper, and the three Jews thrown into the fiery furnace, proves this thinking is from the heart of Satan. Any inner voice that questions your relationship with God because something wrong or bad has occurred is the voice of evil and is designed to squash your faith.

And, any voice you agree with that forms a judgment against someone because something has gone bad for them, is a sign that the same satanic spirit operates through you as did the Pharisees hating Jesus, and the princes hating Daniel.  A voice you latch on to and run with, like … you deserved it, is not the voice of the Holy Spirit, but the voice of Satan, and confirmation that you are in the wrong camp.

Voices

We all hear voices. That’s temptation. But, pride gels with the voice, and if it gets caught, blames the voice, whereas, humility recognises the temptation and turns to the Lord for His truth. And, repentance is simply giving up our position of pride-protection after falling to the voice, to consent to the truth that we sinned by agreeing with the voice.

Darius did not consent to the truth of his pride, nor did any of the princes. The consequence of this pride-resistance is hell, whether you worship God or not.

Repentance

Repentance is giving up your position. Pride can say sorry but it’s not repentance because it won’t give up its position. Pride says sorry to get out of trouble so it doesn’t lose its position, and then it expects you to have to forgive them. Repentance is the humility of saying sorry by giving up its pride-of-position, facing the fears of looking bad, and accepting the consequences of having been tempted by the voice.

If you don’t start it, you don’t have to stop it

It takes a special spirit to have position without being proud. Daniel and Moses and Jesus were in this category, but Daniel and Moses would have had to learn to die to their pride before they were able to handle position, whereas, Jesus never ignited it. If you want to walk in the footsteps of Daniel, you have to die to your pride.

Silence is death to pride

Daniel knew about the plot against him. He knew the law had been signed and he knew the consequences, yet he kept to his routine of prayer. He didn’t let their pride put him in fear. Our pride is manipulated by spirits of fear, 2 Timothy 1:7. Fear stirs up our pride; pride stirs up our moodiness, and then we blame others for our hassles. Faith puts a holt to this old nature pattern, and, faith is stirred-up when we recognise the worst scenario of our fears, and give it all up to God. This breaks the power of Satan’s manipulation of our pride.

Daniel could have intervened; he was Number 2 in the kingdom. Why didn’t he say something to Darius? Why didn’t he try and defend his cause?

The answer is … pride & demons

Behind pride is always a demonic spirit. When someone’s pride rises up against you, your natural response is to defend yourself. This is our own pride rising up to our self-defence.  Our pride wants to put them in their place. Our pride wants to point out the injustice. Our pride wants them to be shown wrong and us right.

The problem is, we’re not arguing against them, we’re arguing against a demon. We’re not fighting flesh and blood, but evil principalities and evil powers. Pride can never win against these evil forces; even Jesus didn’t tackle them. So, when you defend yourself against their unjust attack you actually inflame your own pride and ignite your old nature, and Satan has authority over your old nature, so you just give him licence to manoeuvre you away from Christ.

Soldier for Christ or defender of your pride

The walk of the Spirit is to cease this self-defence and put the consequences in the hands of the Creator. It takes death to achieve it, and without this death there is no salvation, because salvation is through death … take up your cross daily and follow Me, & you cannot be a disciple unless you count the cost and forsake everything (Luke 9:26-33). None of us really knows what this cost is; you can only prepare for it by learning to be silent before your enemy by faith in Jesus Christ, which means, you have to face the fear of the cost and rest in God’s plan.

As Jesus was silent before his accusers, so was Daniel. There must be a serious lesson here.

But I say unto you, resist not evil, but whosoever will smite you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  Matthew 5:39. Why did Jesus give us this instruction? It all comes down to humility vs demons.

Humility isn’t just silence before your accusers (the world can do that), rather, it’s silence by faith in our God’s plan. You don’t defeat demons with words, you defeat them with silence … the silence of humility, and any words must only come from this silence.

When they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it will be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. For it is not you that speaks, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.  Matthew 10:19,20

There’s a time to defend righteousness with action, and there’s a time to defend righteousness with silence. If you haven’t learnt the silence-defence then you won’t have the Spirit to defend with action.

The real motive

The question is … are you defending righteousness or just defending your position? King Saul fought the Philistines to prove his position; David fought Goliath to defend God’s name.

Daniel was fully committed to the will of God, yet he didn’t try and convert the kings or the princes to his God; nor did he try and free his people from their captivity. Rather, he waited on God for His will to be done. No one waits any more, they’re too active proving what they can do, or they’re silent to protect their position.

Silent for Christ or silent for pride

In the whole book of Daniel, we only read about four Jewish men who were silent for God and faithfully served the anti-Christ kings. Where’s the rest of the Jewish men? Staying silent to protect their position. This silence is pride and fear; it’s not golden; it’s clay; it’s a mood of silence.

Everyone wants to be a Daniel so they can impress the people and promote their personal value; but, that’s not Daniel, that’s King Saul. To be a Daniel requires silence and faith in the living God when you stand before those who oppose God’s Truth.

The Anti-Christ

The lesson of Daniel is to encourage His followers to prepare themselves for the final week of history (chapter 9:7) before Christ returns. The anti-Christ’s regime will last for 7 years. His intention will be the satanic destruction of God’s remnant who are honouring the Ten Commandments (Revelation 12:17). He will therefore, come into power in Europe in spiritual league with Roman Catholicism, peaceably with flatteries, but, just like the princes of Persia, his agenda will be to change times and laws to trap God’s remnant.

If you haven’t prepared your heart to face fear by faith, you will succumb to the anti-Christ’s power and you will betray the remnant (Daniel 11:30). This is no joke; it’s serious. Set your course, face your fears by faith and stop activating your pride.

May God stir up His people to stop having moods of silence and start exercising God-silence when they stand for Him against those that oppose His faith.

 

Pastor Jonathan Faranze

 

 

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Posted by on May 26, 2018 in position

 

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Sermon 108 – Correct me but don’t TELL me what to do

Over the years I’ve counselled many Christians who end up saying to me … I’m happy for you to correct me but don’t tell me what to do. When I dig deeper, what they’re really saying is … if you tell me what to do, then you’re not giving me the right to make my own decisions. If you tell me what to do, then you are making me feel incapable or stupid. I want to make my own decisions.

When I hit this impasse I know I’ve hit a demonic resistance. This person is happy to be a Christian as long as they retain the right to make their own decisions. The irony is, the Holy Spirit already knows He has the right to His own decisions; He doesn’t have to insist on it. When someone insists on that right they are revealing they are under the influence of an un-holy spirit.

Under a lying spirit

In truth, such a person is lying. This person doesn’t really want to be corrected at all, because there is no such thing as being correctable and yet not being willing to be told what to do to correct the error of judgment. What they are really saying is … I want your counsel, but not your authority. With your counsel I can weigh up all my options, and with my own authority I will make the choices that I think are best.

The thinking process of the anti-christ

An anti-christ spirit insists on its rights … you can tell me I’ve made a mistake, but now leave it with me to sort it out. It’s not your business. I’m capable to sort out my own issues. I have the right to make my own decisions. This spirit demands you listen to their explanations of why they did what they did, and then classifies you as rude if you don’t. Effectively, they actually hate being corrected, because correction is the state of being devalued in the eyes of others, and the state of having to give up what you want. The Word of God declares that if you are un-correctable then you are a bastard, not a son (Hebrews 12:8).

It’s the opposite process under the Holy Spirit

If someone who walks under the influence of the Holy Spirit makes an error of judgement they may not like being corrected but they open their heart to being told. They surrender to the correction and the being told. David made some serious errors of judgment but when it came to the correction there was no resistance.

Resistance to the correction is the measure of the spirit in you

Opposite to David’s response was King Saul in 1 Samuel 15. He resisted the correction, he explained and blamed, and when he saw he couldn’t get Samuel to back down, he pretended to be willing. It had nothing to do with serving God; it was all a scam.

Ultimately, any resistance to correction is the measure of your pride

A demonic spirit knows that your pride is its control point so it supports a person in preserving it; so a person has to act like they are willing to be corrected or they will expose their own pride, and pride can’t let this happen. Therefore, a resistant spirit must act willing to be corrected, but at the same time it has to retain its right to do what it wants, its own way. Whenever a Holy Spirit controlled person comes up against this resistance and demand for personal rights, he automatically knows he’s up against a spirit of anti-christ.

The sorry technique

Modern society believes that if you say sorry then the recipient has to forgive and reconcile. That’s not what happened between Jesus and Judas, nor between David and Saul. If you question a person’s sorry as genuine, a person under the influence of an anti-christ spirit will bite back with … I told you I was sorry, now stop pushing the point. I said I was wrong, now just get over it. It blames you for not accepting its apology and it tells you how to behave towards it; it won’t be told.

The diagnostic point

An anti-christ spirit will TELL you how you are to behave towards it, and that’s the diagnostic point; it actually doesn’t like being told, it only likes to TELL. That’s what pride is … TELL and not be told, but pretend to be willing to be told. So when someone in their spirit says correct me, but don’t tell me, they are declaring loud and clear what spirit it is that operates through them.

The modern thinking that exposes an anti-christ spirit

I have the right to my own thinking. Who says you know what’s right? My truth is just as valid as yours. If you’re being nasty to me then I have the right to be nasty to you. These are all the thoughts of Satan. The Holy Spirit does not think or speak that way. If you have any of these thoughts, you are of the spirit of anti-christ no matter how much you pretend to be of God.

Faith doesn’t have to see

I can’t see what you’re saying, and until I see it I can’t agree there is an issue. This is a statement of pride, not faith. The Bible declares that faith is the evidence of things not seen, Hebrews 11:1. If you are under the influence of the Holy Spirit, you know when the correction is true and you’ve done wrong. If you are under the influence of an anti-christ spirit, you will defend your right to see first.

Eventually, the Holy Spirit will leave

Like King Saul and Samson, you can be under the influence of the Holy Spirit and under the influence of an anti-christ spirit at the same time, but if you insist on retaining your pride, eventually the Holy Spirit will depart and leave you to your fate. Eventually, the character of the person changes from being helpful to being defiant, and a defiant spirit won’t be told that this is happening to them. I’ve seen this multiple times in the decay of the modern church.

How to beat a demonic spirit

The Pentecostal church teaches its flock to stand up against Satan by directly confronting him with Biblical text. This is just the pathway of pride, not faith. Michael the archangel didn’t do this technique (Jude 1:9), and neither did Jesus. You can’t win against Satan by defying him, rather it’s important to respect his position and power that the Father has delegated to him. You can only win by dying. The way Jesus defeated Satan was via the cross, fulfilling the will of His Father. If you want to be free from Satan’s power over you, it’s not by willing yourself to be good, or prophetically challenging Satan, it’s by dying to yourself by surrendering to whatever God the Father’s plan is for you. The reason the church can’t find the narrow way is because it refuses to travel via the path of death to self. It says is, but it’s lying to itself.

Salvation is really simple

The church teaches that Jesus died and did it all for us, but that’s only half the truth. The Word of God also teaches that the servant is not above the master. Jesus led the way to show His disciples the path to follow. Eternal life is via the cross, not by holding your position against someone who’s being unkind to you. He teaches this in Matthew 5:39 & Luke 14:26,27. If you don’t come to Christ via the cross, then you’re not saved. You actually can’t repent of your sin without dying to yourself and giving up your defensive position; it isn’t just sorry. The cross is a heart that says … ok God, if You have placed this spiteful person or issue in my path I’ll trust Your plan, not what I want. It doesn’t take the person on for hurting your feelings, but trusts the Lord with the outcome and without any expectation of getting the victory or vengeance. From this death position God raises you up above the opposing spirit, Philippians 2:7-11.

The reason the majority can’t find this simple way is that they are too proud to be told different to what they already believe. In simplicity, their own pride has fostered an anti-christ spirit to delude them to not be told; their pride wants to do it their own way. Too proud to cop it; too proud to lose; too proud to repent; too proud to be told; too proud to trust; too proud to be a nobody. Paul said “I count all things loss that I may win Christ.”

 

May the remnant of Christ awake!

 

Pastor Norm Wakefield

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in Authority

 

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Sermon 106 – Gall of Bitterness

For the past decade I’ve had an intermittent dull ache under my rib cage on the right-hand side of my body. As a Natural Therapist I’m aware that such a symptom indicates liver/gall bladder dysfunction of some kind. I’ve learnt to restrict my diet and not eat fast foods, fatty foods, peanuts and dairy. They all upset my liver. I’ve been the medical examination route of ultrasound, blood tests for liver function, and x-rays with radioactive dyes, but they all showed negative results. Finally, my GP suggested surgical removal of my gall bladder.

I’ve learnt that removal of the gallbladder often doesn’t solve the problem but rather creates alternate problems. I wasn’t interested in such a radical solution. I finally decided to attempt a gallbladder cleanse using apple juice, Epsom salts and olive oil. I was very hesitant and cautious about the effectiveness of the process but I decided I had no other alternative. The symptoms were getting worse. To my utter astonishment I passed more than 100 stones. I was elated at the prospect of restored health.

Neurological connections between emotions and organs

When you get scared, your body reacts with what medicine calls the ‘fear/ flight’ syndrome. Your muscles and organs tense for running from whatever it is that causing the fear.

I know as a natural therapist that the gallbladder is neurologically affected by the mental emotion of bitterness, and the liver is affected by the emotion of anger. There’s no way that persistent bitterness and anger will not have negative effects on your biological system. You will not be aware of the side-effect of such emotions but your body has to absorb them somehow. My gallstones could either mean I was full of bitterness myself or that I was bearing the burden of others’ bitterness against me.

Simon, the sorcerer

The whole exercise reminded me of Simon, in Acts chapter 8. He used sorcery to make himself look great in the eyes of others, v.9.

By God’s grace, when Philip preached, the bewitching power over the people’s minds was broken. They switched allegiance and this stirred Simon to switch with them. Simon was looking for the trick that Philip used to cause the people to switch, so he hung around Philip to try and pick up the clues. Further analysis shows that his motive for becoming a Christian was for personal gain. He was really just looking for whatever way he could to retain his superiority and control over others.

Peter and John turned up and laid hands on those who had converted to Christ. Obviously, they responded to the Holy Spirit’s anointing by most probably speaking in foreign languages. Simon was desperate to have the equivalent power, so he tried to purchase it with money, v.20. He was immediately exposed as a fraud.

Peter challenged Simon to repent of the thought of his heart and declared that Simon was caught up in the gall of bitterness.

What does this mean to us?

  1. If you allow yourself to get caught up in the desire to be great in the eyes of others, you’ll end up with spiritual gallstones.
  2. If you envy others for having more power or position than you, you’ll end up with spiritual gallstones.
  3. Eventually, either on earth, or before the Lord, you’ll be exposed as a fraud.

Sadly, my pastoral experience has confirmed that most modern-day Christians are fraudulent, just like Simon. Most are into Christianity for their own selfish gain. The power of the demonic is becoming more and more openly exposed. Most, like Simon, are serving God under the power of demonic spirits for their own gain.

Spiritual gallstones

The liver produces bile salts which are stored in the gall bladder and automatically ejected into the duodenum whenever you eat fatty food. The bile salts help break down the fats. Bile salts are made up of cholesterol. When your liver malfunctions due to chronic stress or disease, the gallbladder gets congested with bile salts and gradually these salts harden into stones of varying sizes. Gallbladder removal in this modern generation is now extremely common. There’s a lot of bitter people out there.

Besides the stones, and besides the liver struggling to perform its blood cleansing process, the serious problem is the cholesterol. Bad cholesterol will clog arteries and consequently contribute to heart attacks and strokes. It’s dangerous to be bitter.

In the same way, if you let bitterness into your heart, you invariably won’t know, but it will be subtly killing you.

Test

You can test yourself by honestly observing your emotions when someone else gets the accolades; when someone else gets the better deal; when someone else gets greater happiness or money or relationships. Any sense of a feeling of unfairness is a sure sign of spiritual gallstones.

Example

I was counselling a young man who said he was a Christian, but his single-parent mother was struggling with his defiance and bad attitude. When I suggested that he repay the money he had sponged off her, and put his head down and work to his ability at school, he ran off in one big mood saying “it’s all too hard”. Right there and then, he had the opportunity to break free from demonic spirits, but his selfishness was too strong.

His philosophy was … if you’re bad you can’t tell me to be good; and if you’re bad, I have the right to be bad too. This is just blaming others so you can make excuses for your own evil behaviour. Why doesn’t he have the philosophy of … if you’re bad, I’m going to be good. Obviously, he prefers to be bad, and he’s looking for any excuse to achieve it.

Knowing of his background, I could see that his behaviour was simply built on the envy that his brother was more liked by his father. Instead of being grateful for what had been done for him and given to him, he had chosen the path of envy and had started practicing mind control over people in order to get his way. He had inadvertently surrendered to Satan. He was silently producing spiritual gallstones which would one day kill him.

Warning

In this modern world that is becoming more and more worldly and less and less moral and less and less respectful of authority, stay true to the Word of God, even if you’re alone, or the empowerment of demonic spirits will latch onto your bitterness and lead you on the broad way to destruction.

 

May God strengthen his remnant to stay true to His call.

 

Pastor James McNaughton

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2016 in Bitterness

 

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Sermon 105 – Demons love a Sugar Fix

Humans love sugar … chocolate, ice cream, coca cola, cakes, biscuits etc.

Sugar makes you feel good.

The problem is that when you eat too much sugar, the sugar is converted by your liver into fats. It’s the sugar that causing the western world’s obesity epidemic.

Demons love sugar too. They crave it. They manoeuvre wherever they can to get it. They fight over each other for it.

I’m not talking about the natural carbohydrate; I’m talking about “pride”. Pride is the sugar fix that demons get off on. Without pride, demons are lost. They might kill you like they did Jesus, but they can’t win. They can only have power over you through the door of your pride. This is the very reason why Jesus said in Luke 14 that a true disciple must die to themselves. Spiritual death really means that you have surrendered everything to the will of the Father, like Christ, and thus when you’re tempted to think you are special, or capable, or intelligent, or better or envious of your fellow-man, the Holy Spirit gives you the power to resist the selfish temptation to fall to your pride so that demons don’t have the upper hand in the battle against the kingdom of God.

Satanic currency

Satan hated the fact that Jesus was more favoured by the Father; thus he instigated the currency of pride. He sold this currency to humankind when he tempted Eve to reach for pride. She took it and it tasted like sugar, but it actually turned to fat. Once man fell to pride he inherently practiced fear, lying, blame and murder. Adam and Eve attacked each other with their words and Cain killed Abel. We’re all born under this satanic infection of sin and it’s a fight for our salvation to escape this disease of pride.

Jesus only

There’s only one escape from this disease and it’s only through the door of the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus said … I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but by Me (John 14:6); not Mary, not Mohammed, not Allah, only Jesus Christ. And that door can only be opened when you fully surrender to the will of the Father, not by words but by actions.

Jezebel

In 1 Kings 21 we read the story of King Ahab envying the vineyard of Naboth. Instead of being grateful for the garden he had, he wanted better. He inherited this disease from Eve who obviously did the same thing. He then went and had a big mood which was designed to manipulate others to feel sorry for him and to give him what he wanted. Sound familiar?

Jezebel, his wife, came to the rescue, and plotted a plan of perjury that resulted in Naboth being unjustly stoned. Ahab got what he wanted. But it backfired. Eventually God raised up Jehu who killed the sons of the king and finally Jezebel despite her attempts to woo him with her cosmetic face paint. Then Jehu also lost his way because he let his pride fill him with his own importance. Behind all this, demons were actively destroying God’s special human creation by simply activating their pride.

Satan hates God’s authority

Like Eve in the Garden and Jezebel in Jezreel, once a woman chooses pride she will be used by Satan to envy other women and destroy males. Generally, they’re not doing this deliberately or knowingly, they unwittingly become instruments of Satan even though they’re outwardly covered in goodness. Satan hates authority, so deep in the inherent spirit of a woman is the hatred of man’s position over them. The only way this hatred is retained in its proper box is if the man stands for righteousness on the principles of God’s commandments. If he falters to his pride he will also falter to the woman’s wishes instead of God’s will, and the woman will take the man to hell, just like Adam who was separated from God and the Garden.

It was the spirit behind Jezebel that stirred up Ahab (1Kings 21:25). Consequently, because Ahab chose pride he was subject to Jezebelic demons even though from his perspective nothing could touch him because he was the king. But that’s what pride does; it tricks you into your own deception of being your own king.

You only have to look at society, tattoos, nose rings and earrings, sex change operations, lesbianism, and sport to see that men are becoming woman and woman are becoming men. The Word of God declares that if men compromise the principles of the Word, then woman and children will rule over them (Isaiah 3:4,12). All Satan’s interested in is opposing God’s creative plan, reversing it and ultimately destroying it. Satan is winning, and he’s winning because the church is sick.

Faith levels

Obviously, God grants us different levels of faith, so some of us are able to address our pride better than others, but from my years of observation of people, most don’t even try; they don’t even know that they’re vulnerable to demons; they’re too busy coping with trying to look good in the eyes of others. Like Saul, they worship the true God but their real heart’s interest is in their own well-being and their position on the totem pole of the society they move amongst.

When you devalue the Ten Commandments you prosper pride and the demonic

You can’t stop the progression of pride without God’s Ten Commandments retaining the top shelf of respect. Respect for the Ten Commandments is the first bulwark against the enemy’s manoeuvring. Sadly, the modern church has fallen for the lie that the God of the Old Testament was hard and cruel, but the God of the New Testament is meek and gentle. Consequently, modern Christians have been duped into believing the grace lie that they can interpret God’s commandments according to how they feel at the time because the Commandments are implanted in their hearts when you become a Christian. The Word of God states that God is the same yesterday, today and forever; He never changes (Hebrews 12:8). So this teaching is just a lie designed to make the church look more acceptable to the world, and if you believe this lie then you are not a Christian; you’re a tare.

When it comes to the crunch, by far the majority of Christians practice family first at the cost of compromising the principles of God. If you say you love God, then obviously His principles over-rule all else, but the modern church displays its hypocrisy by being openly submitted to divorce and re-marriage, openly retailing with the world and sporting like the world on God’s holy day, openly endorsing women in the pulpit, not separating from wilful Christian sinners but rather falsely loving them in their sin (1 Corinthians 5:11-13), and turning a blind eye to the sin of homosexuality (Romans 1). The church is sick and dying.

Once you mix your Christian principles with the world

People have been so duped by their self-evaluated goodness they don’t even know what pride is. To most it’s a feeling of superiority which they believe they don’t experience. The truth is, pride is believing I’m special; pride is being jealous of what your neighbour has; pride is believing it’s not fair when you hurt my feelings; pride is taking on someone when they’ve said or done something unfairly offensive; pride is wanting a better deal and failing to see the garden God’s placed you in. It’s pride because it’s all about me and my feelings. It’s not faith in God’s will and plan. Pride is simply turning to myself instead of stopping the mood reaction and instead turning to the Father for His will in the matter.

Never take on a demon in your own strength

If you take on someone for hurting your feelings, or if you envy someone for having a better deal, you’ll unwittingly take on demons and you’ll end up with the same consequences of decay as that person (Matthew 7:1,2). We’re not fighting flesh and blood but principalities and powers, and the rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). We’re up against gorilla warfare demons, not people. The demons use people to trick you into their snare. It’s pride to take on a demon in your own strength especially by using the Name of Jesus with your own self-elevated self-worthiness. Like Christ, who let Satan kill Him, demons are only submissive to the will of the Father. You’re wiser to wait on God and leave the outcome to God.

 

May God grant the strength of character for some men and women to stand against the swell.

 

Dr. Samuel Gourdone

 

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2016 in Pride

 

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Sermon 104 – The Rain Falls on the Just and the Unjust

ABC news radio recently announced the past discovery in the National Gallery of Australia of a stolen statue known as the dancing Shiva idol belonging to the Sripuranthan tribe in southern India.  Two years ago the Australian government had returned the idol to the Indian authorities but it was being held in police custody as evidence of the crime. The tribes people were now expressing their frustrations to the authorities. They wanted the idol returned to their temple because they believed that the idol brought them good luck. To their thinking, when the idol was with them the rains came and their crops prospered and life was happy.

It reminds me of the Jews burning incense to the queen of heaven, Jeremiah 44:16-19. They worshipped the Lord God and at the same time made cakes to the queen of heaven. They adopted whatever technique gave them the most apparent prosperity. Life was based on getting the best deal; it wasn’t based on trusting God. Consequently, their thinking was the fruit of their contaminated spirits and their behaviour was irrational, but not to them.

What’s idol worship?

Obviously, bowing to a statue is clearly idol worship, but does western society practice idol worship without recognising their contradictory behaviour?  ISIS thinks so.

There’s a difference between thinking that you’re good because things are going good and being thankful when things are going well. One is the love of self and the other is the love of God. If you say you’re a Christian, then one is using God as your idol for your own well-being and the other is serving God whatever the circumstances. They’re miles apart. Sadly, most Christians have been indoctrinated by our humanistic society to believe that they are worshiping God when in fact they’re just using Him for their own self-value.

David was thankful for things working out well, but if you read the Psalms & the Book of Samuel you’ll quickly recognise that most of his life was surviving the satanic hassles fired against him. Think about Saul’s hatred, Absalom’s rebellion, and the loss of Ziglag. Despite the conflicts, he retained a God confidence attitude, and fought his own selfishness. Everything was based on trusting God’s plan, not chasing the best for himself.

If you give self an inch, it will take a mile

The current motto supporting homosexuality is … Love is Love.

In other words, their argument is that any type of good feelings is love. As if sin is going to feel bad! Everyone knows that sin is not love, whether it feels good or not. Once you give sin licence, of course it won’t be able to stop itself, so evil just calls the sin ‘love’ so it can justify it. What rubbish! Humanism can talk itself into anything, because self is its idol. Homosexuality is just an excuse for more self-idol worship and anti-christ resistance to the will of God.

Christians are losing the war

Everyone is born under satanic influence with the desire to worship themselves.  It’s the pride of thinking that we are of importance. It’s heavily promoted by our humanistic society. In fact, in modern society no one’s allowed to fail; no one’s allowed to feel bad. But the truth is, our children are being manipulated into thinking of themselves first; to protect their rights; to love themselves first before their neighbour. The whole process of modern society is to devalue Christianity and negate God and His rules from inhibiting our selfish passions.

We’re all subjected to the temptation of thinking we’re pretty good when something goes our way, but it’s temptation, and if you’re saved you have to wake up to the trick and resist Satan, not by telling Satan to rack-off, but rather by not giving ground to your pride.

Whatever is not of faith, is sin, Romans 14:23

It’s this inherent satanic inspired self-love that has to die daily, by surrendering in faith to the will of God. You can camouflage this pride with good works or happy attitudes, but if it’s not of faith then the good works are just a smoke screen to get into the good books of others, to protect your self-value to be liked and not dis-liked.

Why does the rain fall on the just and the unjust? Matthew 5:45

So why does the rain fall on the unjust too? Because, if it just fell on the just, everyone would swap sides so they could get the deal, so how would you know who was fair-dinkum? Plus, the just would be full of their own importance over the unjust, and thus get lost in their selfishness.

The rain falls on the just and the unjust. So, if you think you’re just because it rains on your life, how does that prove that you are just? Thinking that you’re just actually suggests that you are full of your own importance, like the Pharisee vs the Publican in Luke 18:10, and therefore you’ve either fallen into the pit of self-elevation, or you are actually one of the unjust.

The just walk by faith, Galatians 3:11

The unjust think they deserve God’s goodness on them, but the just don’t think they deserve anything, they’re just grateful when it rains on them; they don’t bemoan when it rains on the unjust more; and they trust God when it doesn’t rain on them. Any other pattern in your behaviour and attitude is contrary to faith, and therefore is evidence of using God for your idol worship. We all face the temptation to have a mood when it doesn’t work to our advantage, but that’s the tempter’s strategy to trick us into our pride. Love doesn’t fall to pride, and if it does it repents.

Think of it this way … the unjust have 70 or so years; the just have eternity. There’s no need for envy.

Why resist the temptation to think we’re something?

That’s simple … we’re all born in sin and therefore fully susceptible to demonic influence. Our pride opens the door to these familiar spirits (Isaiah 8:19) that will work against you and against the will of God.

I’ve lost count of the character changes I’ve observed when people open their heart to their pride. Recently, I was counselling a Christian man who felt the pride of his daughter’s achievements. I could sense there was pride in his picture because the outward manner of his children, including the daughter, began to show signs of superior self-value and say and do things that were out of character. I drew his attention to the fact that his children were showing the same unhealthy characteristics of their self-centered grandfather.  I pointed out to this man that his pride had opened the door to the spirits operating behind his family chain. When he looked he thankfully could see what I was pointing out to him. He recognised his healthy joy had turned to unhealthy pride. Instead of being thankful for the Lord’s rain, he had succumbed to the pride that he was the one who had done it for his daughter. He repented and his children’s attitude reverted back to normal behaviour.

We’re not fighting flesh and blood but principalities and powers, Ephesians 6

Demons attack and tempt in order to activate your pride. Don’t worry about the demons, rather, keep a check on your pride. It’s the thing that will kill you.

God doesn’t stop your pride; you’re responsible to do it.

 

Pastor Greg Saunders

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2016 in Pride, Thankfulness

 

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Sermon 101 – Born Again?

The Catholic religion believes that you become a Christian by being baptized as an infant. The Evangelical Churches teach that you become a Christian when you invite Jesus Christ into your heart to be your lord and saviour. The Catholic option is definitely not biblical, but what about the evangelical theory?

I was counselling two brothers who were constantly bickering with each other. Although nothing was being said, they vied for their father’s value and whenever one was corrected for their attitude or made a bad decision, the other promoted himself above him.

The blame exercise

I suggested an exercise. Each one was to write down “I’m blaming you for ….. ” and complete the sentence. They both came up with several justifiable blames against each other.

The purpose of this exercise was to expose them to the fact that they were Christians operating under Satan. In the Garden of Eden, Adam came under the power of Satan when he blamed Eve for causing him to fall. What he should have done was take the blame for his own sin, but because he wouldn’t he was separated from God.

The temptation to blame others for our hassles and failures, is inherent. It has been passed on as a sinful trait in the heart of every human being as a consequence of Eve’s sin. What you don’t realise when you get caught in the blame cycle is that you are making judgments against your neighbour and thus proving that you are proud and more concerned about yourself than your neighbour. You’ve unwittingly fractured the second great commandment and therefore it’s you that has sinned even though the other person started it.

Demons have power over you through the grievances you hold

As we talked they realised that they were both holding grievances against each other which was just causing division between them and they were using their energy resisting each other instead of working together. It was actually wearing them down physically. Knowing their family situation, I suggested that their sister-in-law despised them because they were more popular and more happy than her and their reactive bitterness towards her for her spitefulness unwittingly gave licence to the demonic power she was under to enter through this open door of hurt and initiate destruction against them whenever they took the bait of promoting their own self-value over each other.

There’s a difference between saying you’re wrong and faith

At this point they had the opportunity to take on guilt and feel bad for their behaviour which would just keep them bound to the power of Satan, or by faith give the issue and outcome and the fear of what people would think of them, to the Lord. They both chose the latter option.

Faith knows it is wrong and turns to the Lord. Pride can say it’s wrong when cornered, but it turns to itself and justifies its feelings. There are plenty of Christians who believe and try to do what’s right and are willing to admit they’re wrong when found out, but their selfishness holds the truth in unrighteousness. They will be exposed to God’s wrath, Romans 1:18.

Repentance

The average Christian thinks they repent but they don’t. Repentance is when you stop your blame and stop your guilt (which are just selfish ways of prolonging your mood) and by faith turn to the Lord and wait on Him. Adam could’ve said he was wrong but that would not have been good enough. He had to also give up his self-defense and turn to the Lord.

Victory

Satan’s purpose is to destroy and he can do it just as easily from within as from without. If you want to win against satanic forces, it’s not by taking them on, it’s not by shouting the Name of Jesus at them, it’s by dying to your will by faith in God’s plan. This is how Jesus won against Satan. Up till the time He died, he was vulnerable to Satan’s temptation. He withheld against it but in His humanity He was still vulnerable. The vulnerability ceased the moment He died. Once he was dead, Satan could no longer touch Christ; He’s future reign had been set in stone. It’s death to self by faith in Christ’s justice that gives you the victory and that’s the only way you can win.

What does this have to do with Born Again?

Everything. If you constantly fall to blame, it’s a sign that you’re not really born again.  You see, Satan is the one that manipulates humans to blame one another, whereas, Jesus died on the cross and copped the blame of the world on his spirit. If you are genuinely under the influence of the Holy Spirit, you will routinely cop the unfair blame and by faith, trust the Lord’s outcome.

Satan’s argument is based on fairness … “it’s not fair; I haven’t done anything wrong.” This is the argument he sold to mankind through Eve and all of mankind is vulnerable to this temptation. The only way you can defeat this temptation is by being Born Again. You won’t beat this human trait with your mind; you can’t be born again by making up your mind to follow Christ.

God’s argument is based on sin … “you did the wrong, as well as the other person.” But, humanity argues with God that they made me do it and in its pride refuses to agree with God’s view.

The disciples weren’t born again until after Jesus rose from the dead (Luke 22:32) and came back and encouraged them to walk the true walk (John 21). Up till then they were of another spirit (Luke 9:54,55) even though the Holy Spirit operated through them. They first had to give up their personal intentions of what Jesus was going to get for them and give to them because they followed Him. The death of Christ was their stimulus of salvation because it shattered their personal agendas and hopes.

So what is ‘Born Again?’

Well, if you’re born again you obviously must have died and started life again (Luke 14:26,33). You’re only born again when you have died first. You die when you see your pride and unconditionally surrender to the will of God and by His faith, trust in His atoning blood for your sin. Unconditionally means that you now stand on the principles of the Word of God (the Bible) and not the popular lie of grace, and you know when you’re dead when you do not bite back.

The measurement

You measure your surrender by the principles of the Word of God. When the Word of God says do this or don’t do that (e.g. no work on Sabbath, no retailing on Sabbath, separate from those Christians who teach that gain is godliness (1Tim.6:5), and separate from those Christians who fornicate with the world, and separate from those Christians who call homosexuality a normal phenomenon instead of sin … Romans 1:27,28) and you use your modern religious thinking to routinely compromise His Word, then know that you’re not surrendered unconditionally and therefore, not born again.

You measure your surrender by whether you routinely fall to blame and judgment. You measure your surrender by waiting on God by faith in His outcome and final plan.

The fruit of unconditional surrender is being blamed

If you’re truly born again you’ll be hated (Mark 13:13) by those who are supposed to love you, you’ll be envied by those who are supposed to love you, and you’ll be cursed by those who are supposed to love you. You see, the price of born again is to be de-valued by your fellow-man, to be misunderstood by your relatives, and to be cursed for not doing the church-way. That’s why almost all western Christians believe in the grace theory and not the death theory. It’s easier that way.

Jesus Christ made Himself of no reputation and took on Him the form of a servant and trusted His Father’s plan … Philippians 2:7,8

 

Pastor Mike Clifford

 

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2016 in Blame

 

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Sermon 100 – Satan gives men GIFTS

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

Genesis 3

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

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

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

The test

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

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

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

The sad consistent reality

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

The truth

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

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

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

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

The measurement

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

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

Know this ….

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

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

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

 

Pastor Craig McWilliam

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

 

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