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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 126 – Daniel in the Lion’s Den

In Daniel chapter 6, we read the well-known story of Daniel and his confrontation with lions. Although this is an historical event we need to see this story in the light of the Living Word of God and therefore, relevant to each of our spirits.

Everything in the Word of God is active, and alive, and personally relevant

The Word of God is Spirit. Always read God’s Word by asking the question … what is God trying to teach me? Let’s see how this event is recorded for our own personal relevance.

Firstly, perhaps the key issue in this chapter is … position

Darius was the king of the Medes and Persians. He held the No.1 position. What he says goes. Everyone wishes they had this power, or at least suck up to this power to get a better position above others.

Where there’s position, there’s always envy. The Bible says in James 4:5, that the spirit in us lusts to envy. We inherently envy anyone who is more successful, more important, more popular, more skilful, and more capable. If you want to know what spirit dwells within you, you can measure it by “envy”, and you can measure your envy by what you wish was yours. You won’t find the envy characteristic in the Holy Spirit, and you won’t find that characteristic in Daniel. Anyone who practices envy is definitely under the influence of a demonic spirit.

Sure enough, the princes of Persia hated Daniel because he was given position. They wanted it and they believed they deserved it. It should never have been given to a foreign slave (v.13). They looked for a way to destroy his integrity, but they couldn’t find one. Why? Because, Daniel wasn’t chasing position, so he wasn’t proud that he was in a more important position. Somehow, they realised they could only trap him by manipulating him against the laws of his God.

Flattery is just a manipulation of people to get preference and an advantage in their eyes ahead of others

They hatched a plan of flattery and manipulated Darius to sign into law a 30-day ruling against worshipping all gods except Darius.

Why did Darius fall for this con?

Because Darius was full of his own importance. That’s what self-righteous position does to you. When he found out that his law had trapped his friend and head-president, he realised he had been a fool. So we ask the question… why didn’t Darius just reverse the law? I suggest because he didn’t want to look inferior to his princes. He was more worried about how he looked, than whether Daniel was saved; besides he could hear the voice … if his God is that great then surely, He will save him. Position is there to look good above others, so position will always hear voices that support your position to justify why you shouldn’t give it up. But, those voices are from Satan.

The irony

The irony is, Darius did eventually reverse the law, and penalised, with the same lion penalty, those who had tried to destroy Daniel. So, he did have the power to reverse it. So, why did he wait till he saw how Daniel went? I suggest because he no longer would look bad. It was pretty obvious that Daniel’s God was the most powerful; no one could argue the point, so it made political sense to change sides and stand with Daniel. It’s all about looks and position.

The other irony is, using our envy to chase position will always eventually bring us down, whether it’s on earth or in the after-life. When you strive for position you’ll eventually fall from position.

Daniel didn’t obey the country’s law

I’ve watched Christians argue that’s it’s wrong to take bibles into China because it’s against the country’s laws. It’s easy to pick a verse of Scripture and use it to support our guilts and fears. Here’s a very clear example where God stood with a man who wouldn’t do what the law of the land commanded. Wherever, the law of the land challenges the law of God and the sovereignty of God, a Christian has no alternative but to stand with God and cop the lions. I’ve met plenty of Christians who say they will stand with God, but I’ve met very few who will face the lions. The modern church systems are simply trying to accumulate numbers and money. They’re not training soldiers to die for what they believe.

Daniel doesn’t say anything

It’s important to note that Daniel doesn’t say anything to change the course of the ruling or to object to the injustice. He was the head-president; surely, he could have intervened and pointed out to Darius what was being done against him; but he kept silent. Was this folly or faith? Position will always intervene to protect itself; faith chooses God’s often irrational way.

Daniel didn’t change his course of action

Daniel knew that it was his God they were challenging. He held his course and maintained his pattern. He could have easily argued in his head that it’s ok to pray in your closet for 30 days, but in his heart, he knew that would be fear and compromise and surrender to evil. God honoured his faith.

Daniel’s faith changed the course of history

Darius life was confronted by the eternal God of Daniel, and that confrontation changed the god of the whole known world. You’re not going to change the spirit of a nation through politics, protests, or philanthropy; it requires a Daniel.

The story of Daniel is the story of Jesus

Like Daniel, Jesus was tempted to change His course and take the easy way out. He chose to hold His position and trust His Father. He remained silent before his enemies, copping the evil against Him without any self-defence, trusting the outcome to His Father, dying unjustly, and finally being elevated above His enemies. Jesus’ faith changed the course of history. When you die to position, the Lord will honour your position … Philippians 2:7-11.

The disciple’s path

This is the path of every surrendered disciple. Maybe not physically dying, but certainly dying to all self-wants because you love the Father. This love is implanted in you by His Spirit. If you don’t love the Father, then you haven’t got His Spirit.

If you want to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, like Daniel, then the envy in you of others’ position and the inherent want to be important in the eyes of others, has to be sacrificed, and the only way to achieve this is to give-up and sacrifice all self-valued position.

In the last days

In the last days (Revelations 12:17), under the power of the antichrist, the laws of God will be a measuring stick to try and destroy the disciples of Christ. Last-day-Daniels will be measured by their commitment to the law of God unto death. This confirms that the modern church systems are wrong when they devalue the ten commandments under the guise of grace.

 

May God raise up men of character and courage like Daniel and Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, so that the Spirit of God might return to His previous place of honour in our current hedonistic western societies, as we prepare for the onslaught of the final anti-Christ.

 

Pastor Jonathan Faranze

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2018 in position

 

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