Change in the Hour of Restoration – The Force of Habit

Change in the Hour of Restoration – The Force of Habit

Speaker: Pastor Brian Naidoo

 Series: May 2015

 Scripture: 2 Samuel 20:1-2; Isaiah 55:7

Sheba is described as a son of Belial. The name Belial has several meanings ranging from worthless, lawless and, at worst, the incarnation of the devil in flesh. Sheba’s uprising against David defies logic. Having seen the end of Ahithophel who committed suicide after his plans against king David fell apart, and Absolom who was slain in war and Saul who died in battle, this man Sheba continues to lift his hand against God’s anointed king. Although David had done several wrongs in his life, it is not the responsibility of any single individual to administer God’s justice against the king. As the scripture says, Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. God will not accept anyone rising up against his chosen vessels. The Lord deals with them in His own way if they are in the wrong and need correction. God tells us not to return evil for evil, not to claim an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Yet He can turn around and do exactly that and no one questions Him. He is sovereign. God needs no one’s to advise Him on how to conduct His affairs. We therefore must watch out for habits in our lives that arise when we are in different situations. Habits are defined as natural and God-given tendencies that allow us to behave automatically to situations. They enable us to behave like cars, aero-planes and other mechanical devices which can be programmed to operate on auto-pilot. Although they are God-given and natural, the devil always jumps into these things to pervert them to his ends. There are things that God gives us and things that we must do in return. For example, God gives us Salvation but expects us to fight evil tendencies in our lives, like bribing traffic police officers when we are stopped at roadblocks. We can do this naturally because we are used to the act of bribing. It becomes second nature, a habit. God wants us to fight those things, although He has granted us Salvation unconditionally. Sometimes we are brought up on philosophies like Rules-are-meant-to-be-broken and we find it natural not to comply with anything that binds us. God has given us the Word to bring change in us. The Word is a seed. A seed goes through stages of development, like the germ of human life which starts off from the sperm, to embryo, foetus then to baby. When God tells us to put off the old man of the flesh, he provides the substitute which must occupy that space. According to Colossians 3: 9 – 10, we must put the image of Christ to replace the old man of the flesh. That is why God sent us messengers to point us to that image of Christ. No wonder Paul says the devil is the god of this evil age, which the Prophet echoes when he says that this world is Satan’s Eden. Only the first and last messengers, the alpha and omega, are able to identify who controls this world. And although this is Satan’s Eden, God is determined to take a bride out of Satan’s Eden as the devil did in Adam’s Eden in taking out Eve for himself to reproduce himself through humanity. According to Matthew 16:24, when we come to Christ, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. Self-denial means throwing away all habits and meditating on God’s Word as Psalms 1 says. It means not walking with friends who have wrong influence, who are scornful and negative. It means reaching a point of separation in life from the things of the world. At one time Abraham and Isaac travelled for 3 days with three servants. But when the time came for fellowship with God, the three servants were left behind. The issue of worship was between just father and son, Abraham and Isaac. It is about walking alone with God. If we do not change, we fight our way to hell. For hell was never designed for human beings but for the devil and his angels. Therefore let us change from Justification to sanctification to baptism of the Holy Ghost then to adoption. We need to pass through all these 4 stages of grace in our lives. The Greek word for change is metamorphosis, which speaks of transformation. If we fellowship with evil, it is either we influence the evil to holiness or we get influenced from holiness into evil. The minister gave a real account of some two believers who used to hang around worldly women, pretending they were testifying to them. But in the end, both of them backslid, and the one was actually killed by his fellow gang members. 3rd John 3:11 encourages us to follow God and avoid evil and to be doers of the word and not merely hearers. And Hebrews 10:25 exhorts us to gather together and fellowship one with another in these evil days, by not forsaking the assembling together of the saints. Similarly, James 1: 22 urges us to proceed from being good Christians who attend church and hear the Word to practical Christians who do what the Word says we must do. After all, as says 2nd Timothy 1:7, God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and a sound mind. And with such a sound mind, we must always be in songs, making melody in our hearts, singing psalms as Paul encourages us. According to Ephesians 4:25 we need to put away lying and start speaking the truth with our neighbours. And to speak the truth, we need to avoid jokes because jokes always come with lying spirits as the Prophet says. Jokestars and clowns are always lonely people seeking attention to themselves. And to avoid stealing, we need to work with our own hands and, having worked, to share the rewards of our toil with others in the process. This is what the apostle Paul recommends in Ephesians 4:28. Bad habits develop from disrespect for that still small voice of God which speaks in our conscience. The Prophet gives an example of a man who became a habitual lier. As a young man, he smoked for the first time and drowned the smell of cigarettes with coffee which he drank. But when his mother smelled coffee on him, she asked whether he had smoked, whereupon the young man lied. But the first thing that came to his heart was to confess, then a second voice told him not to confess. Thereafter, the young man took a wrong road, and started adding lies upon lies until he became a clown. In Proverbs 13:20 it says that he who walks with the wise will also become wise but we should not use the scripture to allow segregation where educated people only associate with fellow intellectuals while shunning away other people with less academic accomplishments. Because education and science, as the Prophet says, are of the devil. Education teaches us that 1 plus 1 equals two but God’s workings are that five loaves and two fish feed five thousand people. God’s mathematics says that if you plant one seed, you get several hundreds of the same. It is beyond common logic of scientific understanding. When we come to God, we need to change. In God’s economy, it is FAITH which operates. To overcome bitterness, we need to forgive and also, as says Psalms 14:29 we must be slow to anger and have self-control. This will allow us to restrain our tempers and not fly off at the slightest provocation. The changes that take place in a butterfly’s life are very striking. The insect starts from egg which is the first stage. The second stage is the lava and third stage is pupa and fourth stage is adult. These 4 stages correspond to the 4 horse riders and the 4 stages of grace from Justification, Sanctification, Holy Ghost baptism to Adoption. The minister then outlined how he learned the life cycle of butterflies from his children’s studies. When the mother butterflies wants to lay her eggs, she becomes fussy of where these eggs should be. And she looks for a place where there is enough food, enough leaves for the offspring to feed on. The offspring comes in the form of a caterpillar, which is just an eating machine. And the caterpillar only eats one kind of plant or leaf, which is a type of the true believer who only eats from the books and tapes of the Prophet. But after eating a lot, the skin on the caterpillar fails to match the growth of the caterpillar, and a new skin comes about, which is another change level for the insect. As it continues to eat again, the skin also changes again as it moves into another phase. The fluids in the skin are changed into the development of wings as the insect changes. This reflects the body change that true believers are waiting for. The final stage is when the butterfly is a flying insect which is much different from the stages before where it is sometimes like the letter C- representing Christ and where it sometimes looks like bird’s droppings. When it comes to us, God was particular on where we would be born. We were born in the age of the 7th church age messenger, where there was more spiritual feed to eat from the open seals. Therefore we must be like the caterpillar which only lives to eat. After eating, the body changes, the skin becomes too small for the body beneath, which is the rapture for us. The butterfly changes from egg, to caterpillar to pupa then to flying insect which is colourful. That is how we must change as believers into the stature of a perfect man, starting from faith until perfect love. We cannot start from knowledge anymore than the butterfly can start from pupa stage. We have to follow the stages of growth as we change from glory to glory

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