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Sermon 128 – Comply or Die

When I was a young boy on a family camping trip, my brother stole my best friend to be his friend. I heard the voice … he’s mine not yours. It’s not fair. You already have friends. I don’t. I decided to pay him back by sticking chewing gum in his sleeping bag. Be sure your sin will find you out. My parents made me spend 2 hours cleaning the bag. I learnt a very important lesson … vengeance doesn’t pay.

You like him more than me

Everyone on the planet has heard the voice … you like him more than me. Obviously, this voice is not from the Holy Spirit, so it must be from Satan. It’s the voice of position and not humility. It’s the voice of envy (James 4:5). It therefore is the voice of Satan. Underneath every demonic voice you hear, lies the satanic voice … you like him more than me. Some people even speak it out. If you’ve spoken it out it should tell you what camp you’re snared in. If you’re snared in the camp of Satan then you’ll be plotting the demise of others so you can take their position. Hatred is the automatic side-effect of envy.

Why does everyone hear this voice?

Obviously, because there’s something outside our visual realm that can interact with us. Secondly, it’s interesting to note that it’s easier to hear evil than good, and it’s easier to act evil than good. You have to work at good; evil comes natural. That’s because Satan has our ear, and it takes a decision of death to hear the Lord’s voice above the din of evil. Thirdly, and most importantly, Satan hates Jesus because He’s more liked by the Father. So, when you choose to listen to the voice of … you like him more than me, you’ve linked yourself directly to the spirit of Satan, and speaking his words.

We’re better tuned to the voice of Satan than the voice of God. Voices are evidence of an unseen spirit world interacting with our spirits. No one’s seen Satan but everyone’s heard his voice. Similarly, you can’t see Jesus Christ but you can hear His voice if you want to.

Temptation is a voice

A genuine Christian is responsible to diagnose what voice is speaking and choose death to that temptation. It’s not God’s responsibility to keep you safe from temptation, it’s your responsibility to die so God can raise you up. If you haven’t trained yourself to stop and check whether the voice is God’s or Satan’s, you’ll automatically comply with the voice of evil. It won’t sound evil; it’ll sound fair and just and nice to your emotions, but it’s a lie in sheep’s clothing. It’s a trap to snare you against Christ. It’s a trap to trick you into plotting the demise of others. To God’s eyes, plotting is hatred, & hatred is murder (1 John 3:15), and that’s what Satan wants; to see you out of alignment with God.

The serious lesson from Christ

In Luke 4 we read Satan’s temptation to Jesus. Satan was trying to get Jesus to change his position from standing with the Father to get Him to stand with him instead. He effectively was bribing him to comply with his wishes by using food, position power, and the pride of proving your power. Jesus wouldn’t comply. Satan then simply changed into his true character and threatened Jesus with … comply or I’ll kill you. Jesus chose the path to die rather than the comply.

Fear of dying

Why is everyone afraid of dying? Aren’t we going to be with the Father in heaven? So, why the fear? Simply, because Satan doesn’t want us to die he wants us to comply, so he threatens death to put you in fear so you’ll comply. He intimidates you with a spirit of fear.

Jesus, Himself had to face this fear and then He had to choose the way of the cross and trust the outcome to His Father. Daniel had to face this fear and then choose the way of death instead of complying with the voices of temptation followed by the voices of threatening for not complying. No one said anything to Daniel. He knew what Satan was saying, and enticing to go the easy way, and then threatening if he didn’t bend to his comply. Satan was tempting Daniel to comply in the exact same way he was tempting Jesus. Through facing death, God raised him up above his enemies.

David was threatened by his father-in-law to comply or be killed. David fought the tempting voices of the easy way out and chose the path of die rather than comply. He chose to face death and in so doing God raised him up above his enemies.

Victory is only through death

Jesus didn’t die on the cross just to save us from our sins. His death was the example to His followers of how we must pass through death to earn eternal life with Christ, and also how to be lifted up above our spiritual enemies. You don’t buy your way to heaven but you have to pay the price of death to earn salvation (Luke 9:23,24) and position. He complied with His Father’s wishes and chose death to Satan’s temptations to comply. The consequence was life and position above His enemies (Philippians 2).

There’s no other pathway to victory, than through death. Any other pathway is a satanic deception to eternal death. Position should only be attained through death instead of complying with the satanic temptations or the threats to comply; any other pathway is a temptation to satanic life which ends in death.

Satan comes with sweetness and enticements and if you won’t take the bait and comply, he then threatens death. Joseph was enticed with the sweetness of adultery and when he wouldn’t comply he was threatened with the death of imprisonment. He chose to silently cop the evil and in due course, God raised him up above his enemies.

The irony

If you comply you’ll seem to save your life but you’ll die; whereas, if you choose death, you’ll live above the voices. In fact, the only way you can live above temptations is through death. You can’t beat temptation by complying and then making a decision to address your feelings and decide not to sin; that won’t work. Rather, you have to die first. Just like a seed has to die before it germinates, so our spirit has to die to the temptation to comply, before you can have real life. In fact, if you won’t die, you won’t fly.

Repentance

Repentance is complying and then realising you’ve sinned and then reversing your decision to not comply but rather die, by admitting that you complied and then giving up your position and having no position except trusting the Lord’s position. In the case of my brother, I had to die to my wants by giving up my friend and trusting God. Interestingly, my friend fell out with my brother and came back to me. However, I soon lost my friend because he chose to comply whereas, I chose to die, so we went our separate ways.

The lesson of death

Later in life, I learnt this important lesson in a deeper way. A member of my wife’s family hated me for no reason except the spirit in them conflicted with the Spirit in me. I initially tried to defend my position, but over the years learnt you couldn’t win. I turned to the Lord and chose to lose. Instead of living in fear of their insults, I chose to die and cop it. Before long, I found myself no longer entrapped by their fear and living above their satanic attacks. They had the money and they had the power, but I chose to die instead of comply with keeping them happy so I wouldn’t get emotionally injured. I chose to withdraw in love, like David, in order to survive. They hated me more, but God freed me even more, through death.

Every Christian who truly wants to walk with Christ, somewhere in their life has to choose the path of death or else submit to the threats and fears of losing if you don’t comply. You can’t be a disciple unless you forsake everything, take up your cross daily and follow Him. If you choose the wrong path, like Peter, there’s only one way back, and that’s die to your pride and repent. But, if you choose the easy evil path, like Judas, you’ll actually be a traitor against Christ and die anyway.

 

May God encourage His remnant to live above the temptation to have position, and live above the fear of death, so we learn not to comply and can trust Him with death.

 

Pastor Craig Kristianson

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Posted by on June 4, 2018 in Death, Voices

 

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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 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 99 – Stop BLAMING everybody else & REPENT

I was counselling a young woman who was brought up by God-fearing parents. Her grandmother was quite domineering and blunt and sometimes her own mother showed some of the grandmother’s characteristics. As a young girl she made choices of resistance to her grandmother’s attitude that would affect her whole future life. Instead of accepting her parent’s minor faults and appreciating that they were trying to instruct her in God’s ways and provide for her every need, she made inner choices of resistance against their love.

Freedom

Eventually, as she grew up, she became her own woman. Freedom to her was no one was going to tell her what to do. She ran away from home and entered the path of fornication and became pregnant. In love, her parents said she was welcome back, but only on the grounds of repentance, so she chose the easy path of living with her grandfather (her grandmother had now passed away). The grandfather believed he was doing the right thing by his granddaughter, but in reality, he was caring for her in defiance of his son-in-law. The grandfather pretended to be a nice Christian person because popularity was important to him, but he actually hated his son-in-law for his Godly stand.

Incorrigible

I suggested to this young woman that she had chosen to defy her parents, and that she was the one who had chosen to feel sorry for herself. I pointed out that she had chosen to blame everyone for her hurt feelings, but hadn’t considered the hurt and embarrassment she had caused to her parents. I emphasised that she was the one who had chosen the pathway of moodiness and the path of belief that everyone else were idiots if they didn’t see it her way. I made it quite clear that she was the one who had chosen the path of fornication and the path of unrepentance, but sadly she refused to listen. She refused to carry any responsibility for her sinful attitude. Her path was set. From her perspective she was doing ok by herself; why should she think otherwise, her grandfather was giving her everything she needed, but she was blind to the truth that she was sick in her spirit.

She knew enough scripture to quote “fathers provoke not your children to wrath”, but conveniently chose to ignore the verses before that which state “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour your father and mother that it may be well with you,” Ephesians 6:1-3.

When I spoke with her parents they shared with me how the church had criticised them for their unloving attitude. I reassured them that their love was more genuine than the church. The modern church has chosen the path of least resistance; it doesn’t want a hassle or to look bad, thus it pretends to love by supporting the hurt, but pays no attention to the spirit behind the hurt. The grandfather had chosen the path of supporting his granddaughter’s evil and used it to prove that it was his son-in-law who was evil. He mocked his son-in-law’s moral ground. He had no idea that he had chosen the side of the demonic.

Other relatives could see that the parents were genuine people so they stayed neutral, but when the parents declined to attend family weddings if the young woman attended because they held to their Godly instructions, the family chose the young woman to attend in preference to the parents.

These are the two options of the false modern church; either sit in the middle when someone makes a moral Christ-like stand, or judge them for being harsh and unloving. Either position is earthly, sensual and demonic … James 3:15.

The issue is always authority

The prodigal’s father waited patiently for his son to wake up to his selfishness; he didn’t chase after him and persuade him to return to safety. He knew that one can’t live with defiance; the sinner has to repent and come under authority. The issue is always authority … like in the animal kingdom, the authority’s position is challenged by another’s position.

This woman’s grandfather had actually failed her by protecting her sin instead of letting God deal with it through failure and remorse.

The truth 

The truth is, this young woman said she was hurting and she used it to make everyone feel sad for her, but what she was really expressing was hatred towards authority, and those who have never seen their own disrespect of authority, fall for it.

Because of Adam and Eve’s defiance to God’s instruction, everyone is born with a spirit of defiance to authority. This defiance becomes our personal responsibility when we decide to be defiant to our parents. Everyone builds their life’s habits and beliefs around this defiance. We cover it with good deeds and convince ourselves we’re good, but fail to realise our inner self that God wants to save, is defiant.

Everyone I talk with has defied their parents either silently or openly. God lets this defiance run its course. A few people will wake up and see their sin and call out to God for His mercy and gain access to heaven. Most will remain defiant till they die, even if they see it, because the heart of man doesn’t like to be corrected and told it’s wrong, and it justifies and explains away any wrong by its self-assessed goodness. The truth is, the grandfather had never repented of his defiance to his own parents, and thus he carried his defiance into his relationship with his son-in-law, but it only exposed itself when his son-in-law stood up for God’s principles and it unbalanced and exposed the flaw in his own.

Adam and Eve show you what happens if you will look

What the human heart fails to understand is that standing up for your own rights with a heart of defiance puts you at the mercy of Satan’s control. You think you’re the one in control, but the truth is, like Adam and Eve, you’re ignorantly under the control of Satan. He’s pulling your chain and you just think you’re being unfairly treated. But the truth is, your heart is sick and you need a saviour.

Another example

I was also counselling a young man who had never done anything wrong, at least from his perspective. When an authority questioned him he simply and silently wrote off the authority as stupid. I asked him to recall an incident in his early childhood where he had defied his parents. He recalled being disciplined by his mother and in his heart saying “I will do what you say but you’re stupid and your rules are stupid”. The  young man agreed that correction hurt his feelings and he couldn’t understand it because he couldn’t agree with it. The truth was, he had chosen to hate authority without even knowing it because Satan had manipulated his feelings and thinking against authority. Without ever realising it, he had built his whole life on defiance and had covered it with good deeds and coolness so that he didn’t care what anyone else thought. What he didn’t realise was that he was under the influence of the demonic. He wasn’t in control like he thought he was. He was deceiving himself. In his heart of hearts though, he knew something was wrong, and when I exposed him to his defiance and his anti-Christ attitude of heart he owned his sin and repented. The demon lost its power.

Humanism

Why do you think modern education and modern society is teaching young people to stand up to authority and don’t let anyone tell you what to do. Humanism easily indoctrinates you to make up your own mind what’s right and wrong; sin likes that theory. Why is it teaching 5 year olds about sex? Why is it encouraging 7 year olds to have a sex change? Without a doubt, it’s to destroy Christ’s earth and Christ’s people. It’s to destroy the family and its Satan’s intent that if he’s going to hell then he’s going to take as many unwary people as possible with him. Satan is alive and well on planet earth and the church is letting it happen.

Until a person wakes up to their defiance they can never be saved no matter how much good they pour over it, because Jesus didn’t come to save you for being good, He came to save you for being a defiant sinner and set you free from Satan’s power that Satan initiated in the Garden over Adam and Eve and over all those that want to be their own god.

Pastor Mike Clifford


 
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Posted by on April 23, 2016 in Authority

 

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Sermon 96 – The BLAME Game

I was recently counselling a young Christian man who had been diagnosed with terminally ill cancer. His closest friend and Christian business partner had reacted to his illness with anger and blamed him for being sick because it meant that the responsibilities of the business were now to be his burden. Understandably, this ill man was shocked and hurt and automatically held bitterness against his partner. To this man’s thinking, he hadn’t done anything wrong; in fact, he was in a dark place. Rightly so, he expected a friend to support him in his hour of need, not to blame him or attack him.

It was some years later that the pain of this issue surfaced. Both men had put it under the carpet and pretended that everything was ok between them. The young man had survived his cancer but the hurt was starting to show in his attitude and reactions to his wife. I called both men together to resolve the silent stand-off. The Christian partner admitted that he had done abominably and apologised, and the young sick man who had been offended tried to forgive him. But, was the matter really resolved?

What’s the difference between an apology and repentance?

An apology is saying sorry because you’ve been caught out and you feel embarrassed and don’t want to look bad. The dictionary defines ‘apology’ as ‘defence’. Surreptitiously, we apologise to get out of trouble, and thus defend ourselves against looking bad and somehow excuse away our wrongness. An apology expects the party that we have offended to accept our apology, to forget about the hurt and reconcile the relationship, and gets offended if you don’t comply. Apology is saying sorry but still holding some level of blame; it’s a sorry with a ‘but’ attached. An apology is really just a cheats way to save face and avoid the punishment.

Repentance, on the other hand, is completely the opposite. You say sorry without any expectation or obligation on the other party. You say sorry without any blame apportioned against the one you have hurt. You say sorry with full expectation of the deserved punishment.

Satan’s most lethal weapon

Perhaps Satan’s most lethal weapon is ‘blame’. The temptation to react to being blamed, especially when it’s unjustified, is immense. Human nature has been infected with the automatic response of defending oneself from the attack of blame. Instead of taking full responsibility for his own actions, Adam protected himself by shifting the blame to Eve, and Eve simply shifted the blame to Satan. The consequence of shifting responsibility was separation from God. Consequently, Satan’s lethal weapon worked, and he uses it all the time to destroy man’s relationship with God.

In the case of the two Christian businessmen, the one who had said sorry was really blaming his partner for holding a grudge, and also blaming his wife for driving him to act the way he did. He was really just doing an ‘Adam’ and shifting the blame so he didn’t look bad. And, the partner who had been sick was really blaming his friend for acting so unchristian towards him in his hour of need. They were both caught in Satan’s blame game web. Unknowingly, when you’re caught in the blame game web you are inadvertently being manipulated by demonic powers just like Adam and Eve became servants of Satan to do his will.

No repentance, no salvation

If you can’t repent, you can’t get saved because salvation requires you to repent of your sin. If it’s your habit to shift responsibility with an apology, you won’t find salvation no matter how much you act like a Christian, because your sin isn’t covered with just an apology. Sorry has to be from the heart before it’s repentance and covered by His blood. You can know if you’ve repented if you want to know; if you don’t know whether you’ve repented or not then the truth is you don’t really want to repent; the truth is that you don’t really want to swallow your pride, and thus you retain a small element of justification that it’s not all your fault; your pride has caught you in the blame game!

Why is blame, sin?

When you blame, you’re just being selfish. You’re simply thinking more of your own self than you are of your neighbour; you’re really just afraid for yourself. Consequently, you are fracturing the second greatest commandment.

Blame is not a characteristic of the Holy Spirit

You won’t find Jesus holding a grievance against those who hurt His feelings. If you go to John 21, you’ll read the story of Jesus instructing the disciples to cast their net on the other side of the boat. They were in a state of dejection after the unjust murder of their Master and had decided to cope by going fishing. They had fished all night and wasted their time when someone on the shore yelled out to try the other side of the boat. For some reason they complied and the net was so full they couldn’t cope with the catch. Ultimately, the catch, the net and the boat were all sacrificed and wasted for Christ.

Jesus used this interaction to challenge Peter to face his sin of the denial of Christ. If anyone deserves to hold a grievance against their friend, Jesus did. Peter mouthed-off that he would never deny Christ, but he failed miserably. He didn’t stand up for the Master when he was in most need; he deserted Him. Jesus held no grievance, but Peter had to face his responsibility for his failure and repent, not really for the failure but for the pride of his selfish arrogance. God used the failure to save him through repentance of his pride. Without this failure Peter could not have seen his pride, would not have repented, and would never have been the man called of God to lead the church.

Where did his pride come from?

He was born with it; it’s an inherent human trait. The real question is … how did he feed on it? It’s interesting to note that Peter was the first person called to follow Christ. In his humanity he would have seen that he was first and he would have fed on this selfishness when he envied that Jesus appeared to love John the most (v.7). This is the pride in every one of us that has to be exposed and repented of if we are ever to find Christ and serve Him faithfully. Peter’s denial experience was a gift from God to save him. He’s now got the choice to desert and wallow in his moodiness or own it and repent. Repentance will save him, desertion will kill him.

This story of Peter is not just a story; it’s Spirit and it’s the common path that every genuine Christian must walk to find salvation. If you want to find salvation, your pride has to be exposed and repented of; an apology for doing something wrong won’t do it.

The young Christian with the cancer had full justification to blame his friend for his behaviour, but, through his cancer and this hurtful incident, God was actually giving him the chance to see his own pride and repent and be saved. The whole thing was a gift if he would just open his eyes and see it. He could feed on the hurt and die, or forgive, repent of his own pride reaction, and live.

If you can’t forgive someone for hurting your feelings, then the reality is that you’re blaming them, you’re proud, you don’t trust God to work all things for good, you’ll come under the influence of Satan (Matthew 18:34), and you’ll never find salvation until you repent.

May the Lord open the eyes of His remnant to their own pride and stop pointing the finger at other’s pride and blaming them.

Pastor Jerome Saunders

 
 

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Sermon 78 – The Secret to Salvation

Recently I addressed my grandson for kicking his brother. I told him to go to his room. He started to cry. He felt unjustly treated because his brother had kicked him first. I asked him, did you do wrong? He replied, yes! Then I instructed him to take his punishment and not justify it because his brother had been mean. There and then he changed his attitude, so I said, ok, go out and play. This is just how God deals with us, but few see it.

Human nature automatically defends itself, explains it away why it wasn’t that bad, tries to find an exit so it’s not so embarrassed, and tries to analyse why it happened and who made them do it, when all that’s required is to admit … I was wrong.

The secret … accept the addressing of your pride and you will find salvation. Explain away why you did it and you will miss salvation because you will create a pattern of lying to explain it away.

Don’t just assume you’re saved because you think you’re nice or God is nice

You don’t know you’re saved until there’s a test of faith. It’s what you do when somebody hurts you or, justly or unjustly corrects you … that’s the intersection that exposes your faith and the intersection that verifies your salvation. Faith trusts that God works all for His good, but pride has a mood, bites back and defends itself.

Excuse it away = pride. Sincerely own it without excuses = repentance

You can’t repent with blame or excuses as to why you did it, or self-explanation, or trying to find the root of the temptation. That’s really pride trying to protect itself and admitting it’s wrong at the same time.

Human nature automatically protects itself with excuses as to why I did it so I don’t look bad and feel embarrassed in the eyes of the people. Repentance deliberately blocks this pathway and simply owns that I did do it even if somebody else stirred me to do it. Repentance challenges one’s feelings; pride supports and justifies one’s feelings. The consequence of pride is feeling sorry for yourself (pity party), figure out why I did it so I can explain it and justify it, find fault with the authority, and then deduce that the correction is over-the-top and unjust. Thus pride deduces that I’m free to believe in myself again as being right and not wrong.

The door

You don’t have to find God. God finds you when you come to the revelation that you’re arrogant and selfish … that’s the door. Salvation is at this intersection of self-exposure; this is where God’s knocking on your door; at this intersection. We find Jesus talking with Peter, not Judas. He’s not knocking on Judas’ door; he won’t take the rebuke.

You’ve got to give up the thing that you worship (money, family, success, friends, knowledge) before you’ll see that you’re full of yourself; before you’ll recognise the knocking on your door.

Salvation isn’t inviting Jesus into your heart, but exposing your heart to Him

Rev. 3:20 says … Behold I stand at the door and knock. That doesn’t equal inviting Jesus in for a chat and a meal, but opening the door of your sin-filled heart for His light to expose it and destroy the darkness.

Q. When do you open the door? When the Lord knocks, and Rev.3:19 confirms that the knock is at the point of correction.

Q. In Rev.3: 21 we’re called to overcome, but what are we to overcome? The answer is … the world, 1J.5:3.

Q. What’s the world? It’s not the people around you but the flesh in you that wants what the people around you have. That is … I want that and if I can’t have it I’ll have a mood.

Q. How do you overcome the world in you? The answer is … by faith 1J.5:4

Q. What’s faith? It’s no confidence in me because I know I’m full of myself. It’s confidence in God and His plan despite my arrogance. It’s only activated in the face of opposition and fear. It’s not having no fear or bad feelings; it’s walking through them by trusting His outcome.

Q. How did Jesus overcome? He did not surrender to His moods of self-defence that Satan tried to get Him to fall into via family attack, religious attack, and elevated ability and pride attack, but rather He chose patient endurance by placing His confidence in the Father in the face of mocking, ridicule, misjudgement and death.

Q. How is your salvation verified? The answer is … by faith in God in the face of hassles and injustices against you, rather than retaliating with blame. It’s taking the blame instead of blaming.

The truth is … Jesus died by blame attack. In the same way, true Christians die to themselves by blame attack … Matthew 5:10-12. Thus, people don’t want the true salvation because they don’t want the blame attack.

David vs King Saul

Human nature makes excuses for its behaviour so it doesn’t look bad. David didn’t. He knew he had sinned. He didn’t try and explain why he sinned. He didn’t look for ancestral demonic doors that he could explain his action with. He didn’t blame Bathsheba for exposing herself. He didn’t divert the responsibility onto someone who may have tempted him.. He didn’t blame years of stressful resistance against King Saul. He simply owned that he had done wrong and repented.

Signs of King Saul ….
1 Samuel 15 & 18

  • “You like David more than me” envy
  • Blame the people in the face of correction
  • Excuse and explain why it is not your fault
  • Have to look good in the eyes of the people
  • Usurp the prophet’s role = TELL the spiritual authority what’s right and wrong
  • Try to destroy your enemy

Most Christians worship Jesus under the banner of King Saul and have no idea that they are. They covet positions of value and when they’re corrected they feel devalued. Clearly, if you accept correction by excusing it away, you’re really saying to the authority … I’ll agree with you because I have to but I think you’re wrong. In other words you’re just secretly stubborn like King Saul. King Saul lost his salvation, not because of his sin, but by his stubbornness to agree with the correction.

Signs of David

  • Sin
  • No excuses for his sin
  • Cop the unjust blame from King Saul
  • He didn’t mock when his enemy fell

David responded to correction the opposite to King Saul.

Why did God say that David did what was right in His eyes? 1 Kings 14:8

How come God said David did what was right in His eyes when David had murdered and committed adultery? Because God didn’t measure him by his deeds; He measured him by his heart as displayed by his attitude to correction. It wasn’t because he was exempt from sin. It was because he saw his arrogance and repented.

Bad mathematics

Bad mathematics is when the equations we live by are our own manufactured pride formulas of selfishness which are designed to put the other party in their place and protect our own position.

Modern Pentecostalism teaches that sickness is the sign of sin. The purpose of this equation is to shift the blame … if you’re sick then you are the sinner, not me. I’m not sick so I’m right and you’re wrong.

Modernism says that if I say sorry then you are responsible to forgive and forget. The purpose of this equation is to shift the blame … if you talk to me then everything’s ok and if you don’t talk to me then you are the one in sin, not me, because I’ve moved on but you are still holding resentment.

Modernism believes that if you are nasty to me then I have the right to be nasty back. The purpose of this equation is to shift the blame.

Modernism believes that you get bad happen to you because you did something bad. The purpose of this equation is to shift the blame onto someone that made you do bad so you aren’t responsible for the bad so you can get out of the punishment.

Modernism believes that I’m good so if you make me feel bad you’re the sinner. The purpose of this equation is to shift the blame.

These are all pride deductions; it’s telling and not able to be told, it’s intimidation, it’s not love. The purpose of all these equations is to shift the blame. None of it is God’s truth.

Biblical evidence contradicts this bad mathematics. In John 9 the man born blind was not sick because of his sin. He was deliberately created blind by God for the glory of God and for the man’s salvation. His blindness saved him. His parents were confronted by the religious system and right at that intersection they chose excuses and consequently didn’t hear the knock on the door and lost their chance of salvation.

The story of Job also contradicts this lie. In Job 11, Zophar derided Job for his sin because he believed that sickness = the sign of sin. The truth was that God Himself permitted Job’s hassles. The truth is that God derided Eliphaz and Zophar and honoured Job.

Biblical evidence declares there is none good, except God. So if you think you are good, then you ignorantly and arrogantly think you are God.

Biblical evidence is clear in the way David responded to His father-in-law. He held no grievance, but he certainly didn’t forget nor reconcile; it would have got him killed. Neither did John choose to forgive and forget in 3 John v.10.

Biblical evidence proves that you more often get bad against you because you are righteous, as in Paul’s ship-wreck, Job, Jesus, Daniel, Moses, Elijah and David.

Biblical evidence exposes that if you have a mood because someone’s not doing it the way you want then you’re doing a Jonah and TELLING God what He’s supposed to do. When you come across a TELL spirit, you can diagnose that it is demonic because it will want to tell you what’s right and wrong and it won’t want to be told.

Repentance

Judas repented because he got caught out and looked bad. In the Greek this is called metamellomai repentance. Peter repented because he owned he had done wrong without shifting the blame to the woman who questioned him and made him do it. This is called metanoio repentance. One is genuine, the other is fake, and, contrary to popular Christian teaching the fake one does not obligate the person who has suffered the offence to forgive and reconcile with the offender.

Naked of spiritual clothing … Rev.3:18

Q. what’s the purpose of eye salve? The answer is … to open your eyes that you are really miserable and naked. Generally God has to take something important away to help you see, and until you see, His knocking is futile. Most people expect God to open their eyes. They wait for Him to do it. They make Him responsible to do it, but you’re responsible to take the rebuke before he knocks and sups. You’ll only open the door when you’re willing to see yourself because you need Him to change what you see.

The rich young ruler talked with Christ but because he didn’t want to see himself and thus it availed him nothing. The prodigal saw himself so when he came to his father he was saved, restored and elevated. Elevation by any other means is pride.

Did you do something wrong even though somebody stirred you to it?

Then take the punishment without explaining it away and without blaming and learn to trust the Heavenly Father’s justice.

Pastor Jim McNaughton

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in Blame

 

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Sermon 74 – PIOUS

In Collins dictionary, pious is defined as ‘reverence and love for God marked by pretended or mistaken devotion’.

In modern language, the word is applied to those who Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2014 in Elevation

 

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