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Sermon 145 – FRIENDS?

I was counselling a young man who was struggling with the unfair behaviour of his friend. I confirmed that he was right that his so-called friend was behaving badly, but I then suggested he was having a mood because his ‘friend’ box was humanly defined to suit his selfishness. Seeing he was able to hear the truth, I went on to say, that if you’re a friend of God, friends might hurt your feelings, but they won’t drive you into a mood. There’s something wrong with your friendship with God.

What’s a friend?

I’ve asked this question on many occasions, and the general response is … ‘someone who is kind to me’, ‘someone who listens to me’, and ‘someone who makes me feel good’.

All humans are designed to want and need friends. It’s normal and it’s natural. But, there’s a problem. Our definitions and expectations are all about what someone should do for ME.

Jesus said … you are my friends if you do what I command you, John 15:14. This is the opposite to the human definition above. God expects you to keep Him happy and do what He wants; not the other way around. It’s pretty clear that the other way around is just a Satanic plot to trap humans in the fairness argument and divert them from doing it the way God says.

Jesus didn’t accumulate friends. He didn’t do good deeds to give Himself self-value and followers. More often than not, He lost friends (John 6). That’s because He was only interested in doing the will of his Father. If God is your friend, you won’t need friends to prop up your self-value, so if a friend does wrong by you, it might hurt your feelings but it won’t hurt your spirit.

Why do we have to do it God’s way?

The issue is spirit. God’s way usually doesn’t make sense, but If you don’t do it the way God says, and you do it the way of fairness, Satan will take power over your thinking. Satan will control your will and manoeuvre you away from God. This is confirmed in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 KJV.

Friendly vs friend

There’s a vast difference between being friendly with God, and being a friend of God. Friendly infers an expectation that God will look after me and care for me. That’s the human expectation of friendship and it’s contaminated by selfishness. On the other hand, if you want to be a friend of God, you have to give up your human right of fairness and trust His judgment and do what He wants; that is, not expect Him to serve your needs and wants, or be obligated to keep you happy.

You can’t be friend of God and a friend of the world at the same time, James 4:4. They are opposites. And you can only be a friend of God if you aren’t a friend of the world. The world is friendly with God, and therefore, the world expects to go to heaven if they’ve been good. But, they are not friends of God, and they won’t go to heaven. It’s the direct opposite for a true Christian; if you’re a friend of God you can be friendly with the world, but you can’t befriend the world. As soon as you try to collect worldly friends you threaten your friendship with God.

Irony

Under human friendship rules, no one has real friends. The reality is, everyone is just using and collecting other people for their own self-value status. However, if you’re a friend of God, you can have friends, because it doesn’t matter if they’re using you. All that matters is what God wants. However, if that friend opposes or challenges your friendship with God, you are required to separate. They should no longer be counted as a friend.

Example

Because God is my friend, and because my wife supports that friendship, then my wife is my friend, too. In fact, she’s my best-friend. It’s my friendship with God that sustains and uniquely blesses my relationship with my wife. If she opposed my friendship with God, how could we be friends?

How do you keep the laws of God?

This question may not sound related to’ friends’, but it is. Most people, even non-Christians, recognise that it’s good to try and keep the Ten Commandments. Everyone tries to do what’s right by the commandments, but it’s humanly impossible. God, Himself, has given us a simple instruction that doesn’t require you to be ruled by rules.

It’s found in Matthew 7:12 and it’s simply … treat others as you would like to be treated, because this fulfils all the law and the prophets, and it’s re-confirmed in Matthew 22:37-40. This means you don’t keep the laws of God by trying to be good and obey the rules, but rather, you can only keep the laws of God by first, being a friend of God and, second, by obeying his two directions towards other people. Those two instructions are … treat others as you would yourself, and hold no grievance against your friend or enemy, but instead trust His plan and purpose. Impossible to do unless you’re a friend of God.

If you walk in His love, you automatically keep the rules. If it’s not His love, the rules will give you a boundary of safety from the suction of worldly evil, but they won’t save you.

From God’s perspective, everything is measured by your relationship with your fellowman. Love is measured by relationship, not by rules. If you practice love to your neighbour with the secret expectation that ‘you get back more than what you give up’, it’s breaking the commandments of God. Be as nice as you like to your fellowman and then have a mood and hold a grievance when he hurts your feelings or attacks you without justification, and it simply means you are running by the friend rule, not the God rule.

God doesn’t say … hold a grievance when your friend hurts your feelings and turns against you. On the contrary, He actually commands us to pray for our enemies, Matthew 5:44. That takes faith and trust.

You can’t practice this strategy unless you’re a friend of God. You can try but it won’t work.

What’s LOVE?

Love = giving up something for someone else. The opposite to love is pride. Therefore, PRIDE = expecting someone to give up something for ME. This definition is confirmed in Matthew 7:12, John 6:38 & 8:29. Good friendship may look like love, but If love is motivated by pride, then it’s not love, it’s pride, no matter how it looks.

Contamination

You wouldn’t serve an omelette with 5 good eggs and one rotten egg. The omelette would be rotten. When you do a good deed for someone, that’s love, but as soon as you expect a good deed back, that’s pride. Counting up your good deeds and ignoring your pride deeds and ignoring your secret selfish motivation, does not equal love, but selfish usury. You can argue with God about your good deeds, but He’s measuring your love by the contamination.

Example

Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13). That’s love, but it’s not love if it’s contaminated by self-value. This is confirmed in 1 Corinthians 13, where the Word of God also states that you can give your body to be burned but it will profit you nothing if it isn’t love. These statements seem contradictory but they’re really saying the same thing. That is, nothing’s genuine uncontaminated love unless you’re a friend of God, because if you’re a friend of God, then it’s His love that flows, and His love is not contaminated by pride.

Gratitude or attitude

Jesus proved Himself as love by dying for the human race. He did lay down His life for His friends and it worked because He didn’t do it for Himself but for His Heavenly Father. He did it the Father’s way, and rejected the ‘self’ way. Have you responded with a gratitude of commitment of being His friend, or like the selfish majority, are you friendly with God so that He’ll be friendly with you? One is death to self, the other is get for self.

If you have a mood or hold a grievance because someone hasn’t done right by you, you’ve got a friendship with God issue.

There’s a price to pay to be a friend of God. A Christian cannot accumulate worldly friends for their own status and self-value. A genuine Christian is someone who is a friend of God and not a friend of the world, James 4:4.

 

May God open our eyes to our selfish fairness that believes we’re Godly when it’s really just living for our own image, instead of for God’s.

 

Pastor Samuel Abbel

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2020 in friends

 

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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 25 – FAKE GRACE

The modern church promotes and heavily preaches the concept of grace. What is Grace? It’s basically undeserved favour to you from God. People love the concept because it’s all about favour and everybody is wrapped in seeking their own value and favour, so when God gives it away for free, it’s irresistible. The problem is Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2012 in Grace

 

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