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My name is Basie Martins. I trust that you are all well and I want to thank you again for listening to this program. For those of you who do not know, the topic of this series is, “How to Live Successfully and Victoriously in Christ”. It is all about us, the body of Christ, and us the church and us as individuals in the kingdom of God, being successful in all areas of life. It is about us claiming our full inheritance. It is about us putting in place on earth, which is already in heaven.
In the previous session, we discussed the danger of learning the word of God through other people instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us. The five-fold ministry should only play a supportive role in this regard. Instead, people do not allow the Holy Spirit to teach them. They actually allow the five-fold ministry to teach them. They argue that they just do not have the time to study the word of God. They also feel that the pastor or the minister is paid to perform specific duties and they regard this aspect as part of his duties.
This is not what God had in mind and unfortunately, even the five-fold ministry learn from each other. What they have learned from each other they eventually have also cast in stone. Over the past two thousand years, they have created doctrines which have been approved and accepted by prominent church leaders and they stick to these doctrines. According to these church leaders, these are authentic doctrines and these doctrines cannot change. Church leaders are not allowed to differ from or to deviate from these doctrines. By being forced to be taught and to be prescribed by people in stead of the Holy Spirit, church leaders jeopardize their church members and they lead many people astray.
As I mentioned in Session 1 of this course already, false doctrines or doctrines of devils are created for a purpose. It causes havoc in the lives of people. It has devastating effects on people. It destroys people’s lives. That is why people cannot live successfully and victoriously in the kingdom of God. That is why we do not know why certain things happen to us and that is why we do not know how to deal with negative and bad issues in our lives. If we knew what exactly causes sicknesses, diseases and calamities in our lives, we would have been able to counter those things and to restore our lives successfully. Ignorance hurts the body of Christ tremendously.
In this session, we are going to discuss the strategy of satan to prevent Christians from restoring their lives or from getting healed or from killing the giants in their lives or from claiming their full inheritance. In the previous sessions we mentioned a few things like the results or the consequences of false doctrines in this regard. False doctrines keep us from achieving all this but, there is another strategy that the devil follows to keep us from reaching and achieving the things and the purposes that God intended for us, and that is to keep us occupied with wrong strategies and wrong motivation and wrong things. This session is very important. All Christians should know these strategies because we have all been deceived and some are still being deceived to follow some of these strategies.
Through the years I have identified these strategies and I have identified the groups of people who fall for these strategies. I call them the “prophecy” people, the “end times” people, the “carefree” people, the “warfare” people and the “spiritual gimmicks” people.
Let us start this session by briefly discussing what God commanded us to do. You will notice that not only Jesus himself, but all the disciples and all the apostles and all the other Christians in the Bible, were all focused on doing the same thing. They were all focused and they all did the same thing. They never deviated from the task that God gave them.
This is what the Bible says that we must do:
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Matthew 28: 18-20
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
These Scriptures clearly tell us what God wants us to do. He wants us to go out to preach the gospel of Christ and to deliver people by healing them and casting out demons and to make disciples. This is the core function of the church. This is what we should do. This is what Jesus did, this is what the disciples and the apostles did and this is what all believers in the New Testament did. Nobody was involved in any other activities. Even those who did not have a miracle-working faith. Although they could not deliver people, they did everything else. They preached the gospel of Christ, they cared for people, they supported people and they made disciples and they brought the people to the apostles and the church elders to heal them or to deliver them.
There is no gray areas in this regard. Even the institutional church agrees and admits that church is not what is going on between those four walls on a Sunday. They agree that the church should be in the streets or wherever they can find people. They agree that what takes place inside those four walls are only a celebration and that the family of God are just experiencing God together when they come together to worship him as a congregation. They agree that we need to do the work that we were all called for between those meetings. Those meetings are supposed to be fellowship and celebrations. This is when the family is celebrating their faith and their participation in the body of Christ as a family. During the week we are obeying God’s instructions. During the week we fulfill the great commission.
This should be our focus. Are you looking for people who are not saved? Are you telling them that you want to introduce them to the most wonderful person alive? Are you witnessing unto them? Are you a testimony of what Christ has done for you and able to do in their lives? Are you leading them to Christ? Are you praying for them and healing them? Are you casting out the demons in them? Are you helping them and showing them how to serve Christ Jesus? Are you focusing on these things everyday of your life?
If this is not what you are focused on everyday of your life then you have been sidetracked. Then you are probably busy with one of the strategies that satan wants you to focus on.
Let us discuss these strategies. Let us start with the “spiritual gimmicks” strategy. We see these people in action on television shows, on the internet, we see their websites and we listen to their podcasts or their radio broadcasts. All these shows are presented in a very exciting way. It is usually a person who had a special encounter with God. Something supernatural happened like them being called up to heaven or some supernatural out of body experience or a vision or something of the sort. Now I do not say that these people lie about their experiences but I have a problem with the way that they present these experiences.
There is too much focus on a special instruction or a special method and an attempt to get people to follow the same strategy. Many people watch these types of shows weekly, all running after the latest gimmick. All attempting to experience a phenomenal breakthrough or achieving similar results just by doing what that person did. The purpose of the show is to promote whatever was experienced by the people who are interviewed on these shows. A lot of things about such experiences are not discussed and yet people are expected to do the same.
The reality is that this is not how it works. There is no special gimmick. It never works that way. By the end of the week, nothing happened in the lives of the people who watched the show but in spite of that, they are ready for the next show when they will be introduced to yet another spiritual gimmick. People are under the impression that this is where the action is. When we follow the people who promote these strategies we are in the midst of the action. We are at the forefront of the new strategies of God. We are spearheading the latest move of God. Because of this, people cannot wait for the next show.
The reality is that we should all do the things that was discussed in the previous sessions of this course. Session 1 addressed the first step that we should follow. We should be obedient to God by getting rid of all the false doctrines in our lives, including the spiritual gimmicks. By studying the word of God. By renewing our minds, by pursuing holiness. By getting rid of all worldly support systems. By training our spiritual muscles by restoring our lives. By helping others to restore their lives. We do all these things whilst fulfilling the great commission. We do it whilst going out to preach the gospel of Christ. At first we take those that we have led to Christ to those who have miracle-working faith for healing and deliverance but eventually we heal them ourselves. We learn to make disciples ourselves. We take them to the Sunday service only to celebrate God with us.
The “spiritual gimmicks” strategy does not work. It keeps you from fulfilling your real purpose. Although it is presented in such an exciting way, it ends up failing and it is soon forgotten. Quick fixes and instant success are myths. It fails because people trying out these gimmicks has not got the faith to make it work. People watching these shows and listening to these programs are wasting their time and they pay a hefty price for that. They keep living lives of defeat because they are not prepared to walk the walk of faith. They fail to do what is required of them. Instead they want to rely on the spiritual experiences of other people.
The “warfare” people and the “generational curses” people are even worse. They waste their time on false doctrines and they suffer tremendously because of that. They have been deceived and in turn they deceive others. They ignore many Scriptures in the Bible that debunk their false doctrines because of ignorance. People watch the shows and they listen to the podcasts and they listen to the radio programs and they follow all the teachings that these people make available to them, only to go from bad to worse. Their lives are being consumed by fruitless acts and fruitless rituals and their time is wasted. Many of these people make it their life’s mission to deliver people from generational curses and delivering cities and people from bad demonic spirits. They live for this.
They are constantly fighting spirits and commanding spirits and delivering people but, in reality, all that they are busy with is just a big waste of time. These people are the biggest losers. Not only are they wasting their time but they often cause even more problems for themselves. They got involved in the practices of the kingdom of darkness and they bring evil things into their lives because of that. They got involved in the dark world of spells, curses and chants. The fact that they are using the Name of Jesus Christ to do that does not make it right. I do not want to discuss this aspect in detail in this session though. You can obtain more information about this in the previous course titled “True Biblical Spiritual Warfare”.
Two other groups of people that waste their time tremendously are the “prophecy” people and the “end times” people.
These people are running from one prophecy to the other. They like to connect with people who share this same interest. The “end times” people and the “prophecy” people like to connect because of their interests that overlaps. They are always looking out for signs and then they discuss these signs with each other with much excitement.
They listen to podcasts and radio programs and they connect with well-known prophets and they just enjoy themselves. It is a very exciting world that they live in. They are excited about the next move of God and the next prophetic utterance or prophetic revelation. Some of them are so busy with this that they forget to study the Bible or to fulfill the great commission.
They always want to see what God plans for them and the church are and they want to know what God is doing next year in a particular city or a particular country or a particular church or denomination. They look for prophets to tell them or to prophesy over them. They want to connect to specific prophets or prophecies and they want to follow certain people because of their prophecies.
I know that God does give prophecies through his children. I know that there are prophets and that they give direction through their prophecies and their preaching. They watch over the church by making sure we stay on track. There is nothing wrong with that. However, God uses their ministries to make small adjustments in the church. The prophet notice when and where the church or a specific congregation lose their way and then they help the church or such a congregation to adjust their course just a little to get back into the will of God. Some people and some churches or congregations need to make more adjustments than others but still, this is a function in the body of Christ that is important but it should not get the attention that it usually gets among many Christians.
Prophets and people with the gift of prophecy have commercialized this function in the church just as the other groups of people that I discussed in this session. They have made it something exciting. They have organized it by forming prophetic groups and they are leading the church from one exciting place to the other. They prophetically shout that God is busy with this thing at this place and then they prophetically shout that God started a new thing at another place and all the time people are running from one place to another.
The reality is that God is still busy, everywhere, all over the world, with what He started through Jesus Christ. He did not change a thing. In fact, He is not busy with that, we are busy with that, and the Holy Spirit is working with us. The great commission did not change at all, everywhere and for everybody. Whatever Jesus did, we still do today. Whatever the apostles did, we still do today. Nothing changed. There are no new ways and no new strategies. It does not matter what medium you use, the instruction is still the same.
In the Old Testament the nation of Israel had to pack up and move whenever the pillar of cloud or the pillar of fire moved. When God moved they had to move also. Many messages or sermons have been preached about this and it surely can be applied to the church when it comes to certain aspects in the church but not to this aspect that I am covering today. The great commission never changes. The fact that the great commission must be fulfilled at all times never changes. We do not need special prophecies in this regard. We do not need special direction in this regard. We do not need special leading in this regard. We do not need a special word in this regard.
We just need to go out and preach the gospel to everyone that crosses our path and we need to heal all the sick people that cross our path and we need to cast out all the demons in all the people that cross our path. You do not even need to wait for the Holy Spirit to lead you to do this. He is waiting for you to do it and He will be working with you and assist you the moment you do it. He will work with us immediately in a powerful way.
Instead of fulfilling the great commission, people are running after prophets and prophecies. They are so scared that they might miss something and they are so occupied with this that they completely miss their calling. They completely fail to do what they were instructed to do and called to do. The reality is that if you know the word of God, you do not need another prophecy ever in your life.
If somebody could give me a word of God today or if somebody prophesy over my life today, I will be very excited and I will be glad that he did, but I certainly do not need it and I will not be disappointed if it does not happen. I have God in my life. I have the Holy Spirit in me and He talks to me everyday of my life. He taught me and I know all things.
I know of very successful people and five-fold ministers who do not run after prophecies at all. Such people seldom receive prophecies. Like in once in ten years or twenty years. It does not bother them at all. They are busy preaching the gospel and they are fulfilling the great commission to the letter. They lead thousands to Christ and they are healing the sick and casting out devils. They live in victory. They lack nothing and they enjoy completely healthy and successful lives.
They know that God entered into his rest and that He delegated his power and authority to us. They know that God gave us the great commission and that is what we were instructed to do. They know that God is not busy with anything let alone anything new. He is certainly not busy with a new thing. Christ was the new thing and the great commission was the new thing. God wants us to do what Jesus did and He wants us to do what the apostles did and what the early church did. God never changed anything since Matthew 28 and Mark 16.
The church fellowship with each other meaning they experience God together as a congregation every day of their lives. They help each other and they support each other and they exhort each other. They come together at designated times to celebrate God. They worship and serve God together. They do all this whilst they are fulfilling the great commission. They are not looking for new things and new moves of God. They know what they must do and they stick to it.
They build up their most holy faith by studying the word of God, by renewing their minds and by pursuing holiness. They restore themselves and they restore each other. Together they kill all the giants in their lives and they claim their full inheritance. There are no shortcuts and no gimmicks and no instance success. They are focused. They focus on Matthew 28 and Mark 16, every day of their lives.
The “end times” people focus on the future. They want to know what God is doing regarding the end times and they look for all sorts of signs. They write books about it and they prophesy about it. They are excited about it and they cannot do anything else but pursuing more information and looking for more signs about the end times and discussing the end times with more excitement and enthusiasm.
In the New Testament, we read that when people see certain things happen around them, that they will be able to recognize the time of the end. It specifically says that when people see certain signs, that they must be ready for the end (there will be wars and rumors of wars and famine and pestilences and earthquakes). It did not say that they need to apply symbolic meanings to those signs and that they need to search for signs or information about the end times, it says that when they see those things happen, they must be ready.
The end time prophecies have all been given and all are included in the Bible. There are no more end time prophecies. All were given through the Old Testament prophets like Daniel and Isaiah and others as well as New Testament disciples like John and Peter and Paul and of course Jesus as well. I haven’t seen any modern-day prophecies about the end times coming true or coming into fulfillment. And believe me, there were many. All those people were wrong.
Through the years, many people investigated most end times prophecies given after those given in the Bible. They also review a lot of literature, articles and books about the end times written by such people. They have identified and accumulated thousands of prophecies and pieces of literature covering end times prophecies which were all proven to be false prophecies and misunderstandings about the end times. Whatever these people predicted did not come true. Not a single prophecy did come true. People are mistaken when they look at animals like foxes near the temple mount in Jerusalem and things like the moon and so on when they attempt to connect it to the end times.
Jesus said that when they see things happen, and He gave them a complete list of the specific things. He said that there will be wars and rumors of wars and famine and pestilences and earthquakes, and then they must know that the end is near, and that is it. There is no symbolism involved with this. The symbols about the end times were given in Daniel and the book of Revelation and a few other books in the Bible. These prophecies were given through dreams and visions and that is why the different objects had symbolic meanings. People should not apply symbolic meanings to real life objects like foxes or the moon.
People should not be busy with the end times. They should be busy fulfilling the great commission. They should be busy preaching the gospel and healing the sick and casting out devils and restoring people’s lives, including their own. We should carry on with this until the end comes. Period. If we do this, God will find us all busy fulfilling the great commission when He comes and believe me, He will be very pleased when He finds us doing this.
Throughout history, the church has always been diverted or pushed off course by the enemy. He wants the Christians to be busy with religion and he wants the world to be busy with the wonderful things the world has to offer them.
Religion is anything but God and anything but the great commission. Anything but God suggests that you are not seeking God’s face. It means there is not a love relationship between you and God. There is no fellowship. It means you are not really talking to God and you do not really hear the voice of God. You are not busy with God but with the things of God.
It is a religion when everything is done with human intellect as basis and intellectual reasoning the basis of our faith and our decisions and our behavior. Instead of knowing God and his will and his ways, and knowing the word of God, and being led by the Holy Spirit, we are running after people who had divine experiences and after prophets and prophecies and gimmicks.
People feel safe when they have submitted themselves to the five-fold ministry. They feel safe when they adhere to everything that the five-fold ministry suggests or expects from them. They feel safe when they are part of the official church system. They feel that the church system is authentic because it is widely approved and widely accepted. One cannot slip up or run into serious mistakes or errors or bad consequences when the system is there to look after them. The truth is that this attitude is a grave mistake. This attitude is reckless and not recommended.
A very prominent and highly respected Pentecostal Christian once told me that he does not believe in divine healing anymore. I asked him why not. He told me that the life of a worldwide respected pastor has proven that divine healing was a Biblical phenomena. Healing is something of the past. He said that the pastor promoted divine healing wherever he went. Later in life he became terminally ill and he eventually died without receiving his healing. This pastor was indeed known as a man of faith. He had a lot of respect for this pastor and he believed every word that he said. So if this pastor could not do it, then nobody can, was his final conclusion in this regard.
So in this case, this man honored this pastor more than the word of God. He had so much faith in this pastor. He trusted the ability of this pastor more than he did the word of God. It never crossed his mind that maybe the word of God is the truth and that the pastor slipped up somewhere. Maybe he just did not have enough faith or maybe he was living in sin. Without faith we cannot please God and when we do not live obedient before God doing things that are pleasing to God, we cannot ask God for whatever we want to.
He probably had more faith in the pastor because he followed the pastor instead of studying and learning the word of God. People who allow the Holy Spirit to teach them and people who knows the word of God have faith. They have faith because they studied the word of God and they have built up their most holy faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The word of God automatically generates faith. It is Spirit and it’s life. It has a built in ability to generate faith in the hearts of those who allow the Holy Spirit to build and to seal the word of God into their hearts.
If this man had the word of God in his heart he would have known that the pastor slipped up but that the word of God is yes and amen for ever. It cannot fail. This is an example of people running after other people instead of building up their most holy faith through the Holy Spirit and through God. He believed that pastor because he had a lot of respect for him. He did not believe in divine healing because of the word of God. He believed it because this phenomenal man told him so.
When the word of God comes to us through the Holy Spirit it generates faith. When it comes to us through people, it just doesn’t have the same impact on us. Faith comes by understanding and accepting all the necessary Scriptures as a combined unit. Very often Christians possesses a few loose pieces of the puzzle but they do not see the complete picture. When we have and understand the complete puzzle of faith or healing or whatever truth we build into our hearts, it generates faith. When we do not understand the word of God because of a few loose statements that we hear from different people, it cannot generate faith.
You can go out and test it yourself. Ask people if they believe in divine healing and if they believe that they can pray for people and then ask them to go and pray for the sick. Most of them won’t even try. Why not? They believe but they do not have the faith. We need miracle-working faith and that comes by diligently studying the word of God. That comes through allowing the Holy Spirit to open the Scriptures for you and teach you. That comes by diligently build that word in your heart on purpose through meditation and through learning it by heart. It comes through practicing it by flexing your spiritual muscles. It comes trough renewing your mind. It comes through pursuing holiness. It comes trough stepping out in faith. It comes through putting your life on the line. It come through successes and experiences. It comes through discipline and consistency. It takes commitment and hard work.
Gimmicks and quick fixes fail every time because the required miracle-working faith is not there to support it and because you did not progressively develop over time. You are like a rookie who is given a sophisticated tool to use that he knows nothing about. He won’t be able to use that tool. Period.
The different functions of the five-fold ministry are important but the church has deviated completely from the purpose that God gave them to the church. They were never supposed to take over the role of the Holy Spirit. They are supposed to play a supportive role. They are supposed to guide us and to help us. They were never supposed to be so prominent in the body of Christ. We gave them duties and responsibilities that they were not supposed to have or to carry out.
I do not want to say much about the “carefree” people. These are Christians who are very laid-back and who do not have the courage or the discipline to achieve much in life. They are lazy and they are only interested in fun. They are running after pleasure and food and things and they just want to enjoy life. Of course they are saved and they do love God and their brothers and sisters. They do go to church and they try to be obedient to a certain extent but they fail to please God in this regard.
They just do not spend time with God. They do not study the word of God. They do not renew their minds and they are often living recklessly. They do not pursue holiness like they should. Needless to say, when the paw-paw hits the fan they run around in circles. They usually cannot deal with whatever crossed their paths so suddenly. They panic at first and then they deal with all these issues similar to how the world deals with it. They see a doctor, they go to a hospital, they go for an operation or a specific medical procedure. They start to use chronic medication and then they just carry on with life as always. Of course they pray and they ask everybody that they know to pray for them.
Some of them got the fright of their lives. Some repent immediately. They take a hard look at their lives and their lifestyles and the way they live. They suddenly understand why it happened to them and they stop living in sin immediately. This is wonderful but unfortunately they now sit with a medical condition or a specific sickness or disease and that will not be so easy to deal with. They need a man or a woman of faith to pray for them and to heal them. Alternatively they need to trust God for their healing themselves. Some of them do start walking in faith. They step out in faith. The start to restore their lives. They slowly but surely start to kill the giants in their lives. What a God of grace and mercy do we serve? I am so thankful that He always forgives and that He made it possible for us to be restored at all times under any circumstances.
I am so glad that He healed us already, that He made all the resources that we need to restore ourselves available two thousand years ago already. I am so glad that everything that we need are already ours and already available. His promises are yes and amen. It is always guaranteed. We never have to wonder about the will of God and we never have to doubt the word of God. It is always yes and amen, even if we did sin. Healing is always guaranteed and forgiveness is always guaranteed. There is always hope.
As Christians and as kings in the kingdom of God we always need to be responsible. It really matters with what we keep ourselves busy with. We need to be spot on when it comes to this. If we are just a little bit off-target now we might miss the mark by a mile ten years from now. This is serious stuff. It is literally a matter of life or death. We might be living victoriously and successfully in the kingdom of God a few years from now or we might find ourselves in deep trouble. It is not up to God and it does not depend on what the devil and his demons are doing. It is up to us. We determine our future.
Whatever we do today determines how tomorrow will be. Whatever we think of today or whatever we keep ourselves busy with today will determine how successful we will be tomorrow. Do not allow very important opportunities to slip through your fingers. Every challenge that we face needs to be addressed in faith by applying the word of God and according to the will of God. Each opportunity that we use to train and to flex our muscles will make us stronger. Each challenge will enable us to develop spiritually. We must use every opportunity to practice. We need to build our faith. We need to get to the point where we have miracle-working faith. We need to become bold in Christ.
If we waste our time on fruitless distractions, if we do not develop ourselves in this regard, if we do not build up our most holy faith, we might face a challenge in future that will be just too much for us. We might have to face a challenge that we cannot deal with and that challenge might cause us to suffer defeat.
But I want to exhort you again. As long as you do not give up, as long as you press forward, as long as you stay committed, your victory is always guaranteed. It is impossible to suffer defeat as long as you keep on trusting God no matter how bleak or how challenging situations might be or become in your life. Even if you feel that your next breath might be your last one, still do not give up. God always honors faith. He has never failed faith and He never will.
This is all for today. See you next time.