Session 1 of 4
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Stephen Riddell brings a Holy Spirit anointed word on what it means to walk with God.
Stephen is an elder at The Lifeboat Fellowship, Dungannon, N. Ireland. It was our privilege to have Stephen bring the Word of the Lord.
2 Chronicles 20
The account contained in 2 Chronicles 20 concerns a certain king named Jehoshaphat; a godly king, who though not perfect, was a man of tremendous faith who feared the Lord and walked in the ways of his father David. Throughout his 25-year reign as the King of Judah, Jehoshaphat witnessed firsthand, the supernatural hand of God in delivering him out of a number of precarious situations in which his life was placed in great jeopardy. Here stands an account of one such deliverance that I trust shall be a challenge and an encouragement to you.
I want to present to you three lessons in faith. #1. FAITH’S TRIAL, #2. FAITH’S ANSWER, and #3. FAITH’S REWARD
2 Kings 5:13
If there’s one thing that I came to learn quickly as a newborn babe in Christ, it was this: it’s not everything that God asks of us, we’re going to understand. In fact, many times, what God asks seems foolish when brought to the bar of natural reasoning. There are many reasons why God sets things up this way, not least for the testing of faith and for the glory of His name. Faith forever stands diametrically opposed to sight as north stands opposed to south and east to west. Sight believes because it sees, but faith believes because God said it! “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).
In this sermon, I endeavour to set before you, three accounts of where God’s people were instructed by God to do things that on face value seemed foolish and against all human logic. Their faith and obedience are an inspiration for us all and in every case, the Lord worked in miraculous power to bring to naught the wisdom of men.
1 John 2:15-17
They tell us, “...nothing’s built to last”. It’s not always that I agree with what “they” like to tell us, but in this instance, they’re spot on!! I like walking, and at odd times my path leads me into farming land. I love standing by the gate and looking out at the wheat fields, the ripened heads swaying in the wind. Upon my journey, I sometimes see an old clapped-out tractor with a rusty plough lying amidst the undergrowth. Immediately my mind begins to wonder, “...there was a day when this tractor ploughed these fields and this plough didn’t have a spot of rust upon it. One day when the tractor’s engine was started for the first time, its brand-new coat of paint shone with pride. I wonder how many sat in its seat? I wonder are they still alive?” You, know there’s something about history that fascinates me but there’s one thing about history that forever holds true — what was, no longer is, and what it shall one day no longer be.
This sermon is an appeal to flee from covetousness and to escape the spirit of materialism which plagues this generation. Jesus offers to give to all who would come to Him, water to drink, the likes of which a soul would never thirst again!!
If there were just two words that I would have you take away with you so as to keep in memory, it would be these two words, “BY FAITH”. No less than 16 times within the 40 verses that span the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews; the words, “By faith” appear. Beginning with Abel, the son of Adam, the names of men and women are chronicled and the mighty victories that they wrought by faith are held in review for our remembrance. Abel, Enoch and Noah. Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Jacob. Joseph, Moses and the Gentile harlot Rehab. All had one thing in common, one thing that wrote their name in the book, they believed God!!
Brothers and Sisters, I can think of no greater experience as a Christian than when God asks you to stand this side of faith and to trust Him. Against all odds, against everything that the natural eye would say otherwise. To take God at His Word and to simply say, “God I believe you and I’m going to trust you”, is the story of the heroes and heroines of the faith!!
It is believed by those within the deliverance movement that it is possible for a person's soul to be spiritually knitted/bonded/glued/tied to another person’s soul such that one takes on the personality traits of the one they are apparently soul-tied to. It is believed that there are godly soul ties that are from God and ungodly soul-soul ties that are demonic.
One of the main areas of focus, when it comes to the teaching of soul ties, is ungodly soul ties formed through immoral sexual relationships. Like two sheets of card being glued together such that when they are separated, bits of the card being separated remains bonded to the other piece; in the same way, it is believed that when two souls come together in the act of fornication, a part of that person’s soul remains bonded to yours and yours to theirs. One can only imagine the effects of this being multiplied ten times over. Thus the aim of deliverance becomes about breaking ungodly soul-ties and restoring one’s fragmented soul back into one piece so as to allow for the worship of God with all one’s heart and soul. The teaching of soul ties is very dangerous and I would go as far as to call it heretical. In this eleventh and final teaching part, we look at this teaching and examine it critically from the Word of God.
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1 Thessalonians 4:1-7
If I was to ask the vast majority of professing believers, what it was that Jesus accomplished upon the cross. Without hesitation, the overwhelming response would be, “He died that sins might be forgiven”, to that I say amen!! But if I was to probe a little further by asking the second time, “what was it that Jesus accomplished upon the cross”, for the most part, I would be greeted by blank faces. The Church in our hour regrettably, has chosen to focus only on that one aspect of the cross — sins forgiven — and the conclusion that it has drawn from this, though it would never say it is this: “The only difference between the world and the Christian is this; the Christian has been forgiven of their sins whereas the world has not?” In other words, when it boils down to Christian living, there isn’t really any radical difference between the child of God and the child of wrath. But friends, the Bible that I hold in my hand rejects this darkened reasoning. What saith the Apostle? “...Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:1-2). Not only did Jesus die to save us from the penalty of sin, but He also died to save us from the power of sin.
In this sermon, we move from the category of sins general, to focus on sin specific, namely the sin of sexual immorality. Let us heed the warnings given to us in God’s Word.
Blessings and Curses Pt. 3
The generation that welcomed Derek Prince with open arms, sucking up his new-fangled teachings regarding blessings and curses, failed to hold him to account to the standard of the Bible. God’s people were only too happy to sit at the feet of the guru and to be spoon-fed! Where were the Pastors warning their flocks? Where were the watchmen lifting up their voices?
We see a huge resurgence in our day of the toxic teachings of Derek Prince as it relates to blessings and curses, fuelled to a large degree by his online presence on social media platforms like YouTube. The only way in which this generation shall escape the error of the last is if they stop blindly following “Men of God” and instead begin following the “Word of God”. In this tenth teaching part, we conclude our studies of what Derek Prince taught concerning blessings and curses. We take another look at the wide spectrum of curses that a Christian can apparently be under and examine Biblically, the supposed steps needed to be taken in order to pass from curse to blessing and to then remain in blessing. What is the proper understanding of Christ’s finished work on the cross versus that of what deliverance ministers teach? How does one claim the blessing of Abraham? What is meant by the verse in Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us”? Stay tuned to find out.
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2 Peter 1:1-12
Doctrine matters! Foundations matter! Everyone wants to build but if there are no foundations upon which to build, the building’s not going to stand. We must begin with foundational matters/those great positional truths of Scripture - they are anchors to our soul. But we must never allow ourselves to settle there. We must be poured out into the vessel of experience. Too many Christians have remained for too long settled on their lees, living in the realm of the positional and never coming down to the land of the experiential.
In this sermon, we look at the glorious truths that Peter furnishes for us and the exhortation which follows to live in the reality of this.