THE DEATH OF EGOISM
How Satan Will Be Overcome and the Accuser Cast Out of Heaven!
We are at a critical time in world history, and, a critical time in the history of the Christian Church. Before Satan can be overcome and God's Kingdom fully established on earth there has to be a united company of people raised up who are free from egoism,* so that Christ can be fully manifested in them, and through them, to the world. They are Jesus' Church, His Body, in every locality on earth.
* egoism, n. (Ethics) theory that treats self-interest as the foundation of morality; systematic selfishness; opinionatedness. The Concise Oxford Dictionary
Egoism is an enemy of the Cross and the major point of access for Satan to manipulate people for his own ends.
As long as egoism reigns in a person they can never be an overcomer for Christ and they open the door for all kinds of demonic activity. A separation between those on the Lord's side and those who are still bent on on nurturing their fallen needs is now taking place.
Please read on, as you may be thinking that this subject doesn't pertain to you because you are “born again.” I'm here to tell you that egoism is rampant in the Church and is increasing. In my lifetime I've seen a dramatic rise of it. It's the major spirit driving the world and it's defiling all that's Godly in unprecedented ways. It's also the major reason for all the tension, uprisings, and wars in the world.
This subject pertains to us all, including me. You see, I have been one who has been addicted to ego and the need for recognition, and it still rears it's ugly head demanding attention, from time to time.
We Are At a Crossroads
To progress in God's Kingdom Way and to escape from all that's carnal and devilish, it's most important we face this malady now. If we are not personally greatly activated by it, it's still possible for us to tolerate it in others and see it as O.K. This is because it's all around us and we've got used to it. We are like the frog put in a saucepan of water and then put on a stove. As the heat gradually increases the frog doesn't jump out (I'm told) and eventually through its inaction, it's boiled to death.
The need to seek fame, personal glory, commendation, recognition, praise, exaltation and adoration, are all the result of the deep vacuum left in the human soul as a result of Adam and Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden.
Everyone has a need for love and acceptance. We have inherited the excruciating, psychological and emotional pain experienced by Adam and Eve after they were rejected by God their Father. As a result, mankind has sought to have their pain quenched by seeking significance and credence from other human beings. We will go to extraordinary lengths to get noticed, receive commendation from others, and have our ego stroked.
Fame Gives Us Credibility and Meaning
We can be addicted to fame. Seeing our name up in “lights,” being noticed, loved, and admired is what we crave.
Does this surprise you?
It shouldn't, because it's the way we are wired. Full of doubts, fears and concerns about what people are thinking about us, we desperately chase after their praise and accolades to feel O.K.
Are you resisting what I'm saying because you are sure this doesn't apply to you? Let me ask you. Could this be because it's something you've been practising your whole life in some form or another, and, you don't realise it's what you've been doing?
Please pray now and ask the Lord to shine His Light into your soul realm, before you read on.
For the born-again Christian who wants to go all the way with the Lord as an overcomer, this is the one thing that will separate us from God, give place for the Devil and prevent us from being an overcomer. We are at a time in history when the separation of those who “love not their lives to the death” must take place, and nothing less than than Christ's own perfection must reign. Just as it was for the Apostle Paul and others down through history, so it must be for us.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (Emphasis mine)
A Clarion Call is Sounding
Who is on the Lord's side? It's time to take our place and possess our “Promised Land!”
It's the time for the overthrow of Satan and all his devious tactics that have kept billions in bondage through time and separated them from the TRUE source of life, the absolute acceptance and integration of Christ in them.
The Lord Jesus Christ is The ONLY One Who Should be Getting Glory
He is the ONLY one worthy of ALL honour and praise. And He cannot give this glory to another. There is however, the way of the Cross. It involves the death of egoism. And it can only come about by the complete work of the Cross and the deflection of all received praise and glory being placed on Jesus. He is our ONLY source of glory. God is bringing “many sons to glory,” HIS glory. (Hebrews 2:10).
His glory which far exceeds anything we can imagine, and it must be what we seek after.
The Whole World Is Inflamed By Self-Interest and Situation Ethics, Including Much of The Church
I'm reluctant to keep mentioning what follows here, but this is the only way we can get a clear perspective on where things are at in the Church today, and how far we have fallen.
In sharp contrast to what we have been talking about previously about God and Jesus getting all the glory, the following is the reality. The names of mega-churches and celebrity “pastors” are being promoted and marketed heavily every day, by every available means.
Here are some recent quotes to drive the point home. Because of what we are seeing and hearing daily, we become accustomed to it, and accept it as O.K. to talk this way.
“One of the most influential churches in the world today.”
“One of the fastest growing churches in America!'
“The preacher's preacher. The late (name here) was virtually incomparable!”
“He has received numerous honors, including 13 honorary degrees and doctorates. He has also received Grammy and Dove Award nominations for... Newsweekly named... among America's "Top 10 Religious Leaders." Time Magazine featured ... on the cover of its ... issue with the provocative question: "Is This Man the Next Billy Graham?"
Who is getting ALL the glory here?
Not only do we crave it but we also give it. And we think we should, because it is what everyone wants. Praise, recognition, and commendation.
I do not mean we shouldn't commend our brothers and sisters. But there is a difference between flattery and genuine encouragement. One feeds the ego and the other lifts up and edifies.
We are also personally capable of setting things up so that people will feel compelled to praise us. Often a lot of hard work is put in to get what we want. And, we can fool ourselves that we are doing it all “for the glory of God.”
The insidious problem is this. We are more and more hiding Jesus. By promoting our churches and superstar preachers, the King of kings and the Lord of lords is hidden.
Jesus is NOT getting all the glory. He is the one we must praise and glorify. Not men and organizations!
Fame is addictive and most people crave it to overcome their deep sense of poor self-worth. Others seek it because of a competitive spirit to be the best in their field, a common worldly pursuit in our day. Fame is addictive and when assumed, blocks the work of God. It's an enemy of the Cross of Christ and it promotes Satan's agendas.
Jesus' name is the name above every name and we must now do all in our power to lift it up and refuse to except any glory for ourselves in the process.
Who will put egoism to death so the final battles can be won?
Why We Seek Fame
1. All of mankind has a driving ambition to be noticed, affirmed, congratulated, and actualised. We are all longing for acceptance and recognition. Deep in our heart of hearts there is a deep void that only God can fill. But, in spite of our new birth we can still be seeking legitimacy for our existence from people. “Notice me, promote me, accept me, confirm me, tell me I'm O.K.” If we don't get the praise and adoration we want, we can feel deeply rejected. Rejection is the big one. We've inherited the intense pain experienced by Adam and Eve, and we can continue to try and numb our pain by manipulating others to give us what we crave.
2. Satan has a great advantage over us in that he intimately knows what we crave. He taunts us with suggestions in our mind. “No one cares about you, no one is interested in you, you are a loser, you have every right to get angry, they are a bunch of ignorant “so and so's.” The result of an onslaught like this can produce offences, anger, depression, and separation.
The whole world is obsessed by fame, fortune and notoriety. The success of reality shows like American Idol and others like it, are because they offer to take people out of obscurity and put them into potential international stardom. With TV and the Internet they can be seen, heard, and admired by millions. Talk about feeding the ego!
Material possessions is the other means of getting attention. The bigger house (mansion), the new flashier car, nice clothes etc. are all sending out a loud message. “Look at me, I'm successful, I'm doing O.K., I'm doing better than most, notice me please... now!
In saying what I've just said you are may be joining me in your scorn at those who succumb to the above traps, and think you are not like them. But are you sure you are not like them?
Fame is addictive, and Christians seem to be just as ready to seek it as often as non-Christians. The number of “Christians” fronting up at the various national “Idol shows” is a huge phenomena. And Satan's lie to them is that if you become famous you can be a wonderful and powerful witness to the world for Jesus Christ. Wrong!
One recent example of this is in Singapore where the senior pastor's wife in a 20,000+ mega-church won the Singapore version of “Idol.” The senior pastor and a few of his staff members were charged last year with conspiring to steal about $18 million ($50 million Singapore dollars) from church members by taking it out of Church funds. The senior pastor was accused of using church funds to support his wife’s singing career.
In their “wisdom,” they tried to make a world impact by “borrowing” the Church funds to finance her career in America. The result was that her agents in the US persuaded her to do a raunchy video with a famous rapper to get her career going there. Later, police in Singapore moved in and arrested the senior pastor and 3 others over the misappropriation of church funds.
Now regardless of whether the leadership and the pastor's wife are actually legally guilty or not, remains to be proven. However, the question must be asked in hindsight. What was the motive behind their actions? Who was going to get the glory if what they attempted was successful? God? The Church organization? The pastor's wife?
These are hard questions but they must be asked because this kind of thing is happening too often under the banner of Christianity.
It's easy to be judgemental here, but the same tendency is within us all. Even as a Christian we can be fooled into thinking that if I'm famous, a lot more can be done for God. Wrong again! It's all about personal aggrandisement and self actualization and it's a lie from hell.
When you humble yourself, that's when He will exalt you. If He exalts you, it will be in His Kingdom way and order, not the world's. 1 Peter 5:6
In a different vein but equally disturbing is the recent news that the senior pastor of the biggest church in the world (over 1 million members) has been charged with embezzlement. News sources report that prosecutors indicted the Mega-church founder, over a stock deal he brokered whereby the church bought stock from his son at a price
three to four times the market value. Allegedly, this occurred back in 2002. The pastor is also accused of evading 3.5 billion (of local currency) in taxes in the process. His son has also been jailed for embezzlement from a business he managed that was allegedly set up by the church.
How does this news affect you? It bought tears to my eyes in that I have seen first hand the amazing work this church has done and the countless lives it has influenced for the Gospel's sake. I'm still grappling with the unreality of this news. How could this have happened? What changed in the 50+ years of the history of this church?
I'm praying that the above news is not true, but if it is, what is the core issue here?
(Update: 2014. The senior pastor has been exonerated)
Deception is one of Satan's biggest weapons. And the Bible says he is deceiving the whole world. Can the very elect be deceived? According to Revelation 12:9, Satan has deceived the whole world and in Mark 13:22, it's possible the very elect can be deceived.
Satan is on the warpath deceiving millions because collectively we are largely self -absorbed, self-motivated, and intent on self-actualization and the meeting our needs.
This is NOT the way to get God's endorsement and help, and it opens the door for Satan and deception.
Many are Feeling Neglected and Under Attack.
When we become nervous, oppressed, unsure, fearful or offended, it can often be assumed we are under “spiritual attack.” It may well be an attack, there can be another reason. Loneliness and the feeling, “I'm the only one,” is devilish and common when working for God. Just like Elijah, after defeating the prophets of Baal in a spectacular way (1 Kings 18), we can feel like him, “no one cares or notices me, I alone am left, and people want to kill me!”
When The Above Happens We Usually Do One of Two Things - Sometimes Both
1. Step up activity in a feverish way to get noticed and to try and induce a positive response from more and more people. By the way, sometimes people will hear your not so subtle cry, and will give you what you want. Out of a good motives, they will tell you what you want to hear. But it's a temporary fix. It doesn't last, and doesn't
2. Or, we can go into a state of depression and darkness, feeling all alone like Elijah did, and want to go away and hide, crying “poor me, I'm the only one!”
The Answer To Our Fame (Ego) Addiction or Depression
I received a revelation from the Lord a few days ago when He led me to read through the book of Hebrews again. I pray that this will be a help to you, as it has me.
In Hebrews 4 we read:
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. Hebrew 4:1
“... but the message they heard did not benefit them (the Children of Israel) because it was not mixed with faith, that is the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power.” Hebrews 4:2 Amplified (Emphasis mine)
“Again He sets a definite day, a new Today, and gives another opportunity of securing that rest.” Hebrews 4:7 Amplified (Emphasis mine)
“Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter into that rest (of God) to know and experience it for ourselves - that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of disobedience into which those in the wilderness fell.” Hebrews 4:11
God Level Rest
When we look outside of God for our needs to be met, and especially look to other people to meet our needs, we will never, ever, find what we are looking for.
Our identity is found in God, and not in the opinions of others.
We don't have to necessarily fit in.
We don't have to win.
We don't have to hurry.
We need not be concerned about what they think of us.
We don't have to do what other people do.
This is not to say we don't respect others or never cooperate with them. What we are saying is, that all we do should done under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Like Jesus, we only do what we see the Father doing and we only say what we hear the Father saying, not people.
There now remains a rest for the people of God.
This passage from Hebrews is about us entering into rest today.
It's NOT just talking about the 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth (Millennium).
It's about today and it's about entering in - today.
The leaning of your entire personality (fears and doubts) on Jesus.
It's all about leaning. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
“Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Sweet, sweet, surrender, how sweet it is!
Get Praise From God, Not Men
“... whose praise is not from men but from God.” Romans 2:29
Jesus is calling. He is inviting us to partner with Him in the fierce battle that lies ahead. Deception is abounding and Satan is going to go harder and harder to distract us and stop us. Jesus Church and His Kingdom will soon to be established on the earth.
Let Go and Let God
Let go and let God, is more than just a cliché. It's profound. And its outworking can be miraculous. But it's something we must do to make it through, if we are to be God's overcomers.
“And when the Chief Shepherd is revealed you will win the conqueror's crown of glory. Likewise you that are younger and of lesser rank be subject to the elders - the ministers and spiritual guides of the church, giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel.
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility - as the garb of a servant, so that it's covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance - toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud - the insolent the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful, and opposes, frustrates, and defeats them - but gives grace (favour and blessing) to the humble.
Therefore humble yourselves (demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation) under the hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you. Casting the whole of your care - all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all - on Him; for He cares about you affectionately, and He cares about you watchfully.” 1 Peter 5:4-7 Amplified
I'm praying for you,