Friday, March 25, 2011

Act Like Men

"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." I Corinthians 16:13

The phrase "quit you like men"  or "Act Like Men" is the Greek word andrizomai which means "to make a man of, to show one's self to be a man, to be brave."   This phrase was part of the theme of the men's conference Pastor Zac Poonen held in Loveland, Colorado this past weekend.  This other portion of the conference addressed Satan's Tactics.

Links to the list of various discussions, as well as a summary of the lessons, are listed below.  While this message was delivered primarily for men, there are many nuggets of wisdom which could benefit all.

Act Like Men Satan's Tactics
Part 1 : Be a Witness
Part 2 : Be a Worshiper
Part 3 : Be Under Authority
Part 4 : Be Free From Dead Works
Part 5 : Be Built on the Rock
Part 6 : Be a Judge of Yourself
Part 1 : Satan’s Tactics with Eve
Part 2 : Satan’s Tactics with Job
Part 3 : Satan’s Tactics with Jesus
Part 4 : Satan’s Tactics with the Believer
Questions & Answers:   Session 1           Session 2

"Act Like Men" Lesson Summary
  • To be a witness (Acts 1:8) is to stand uncompromisingly for all of God’s truth.
  • A servant of the Lord will be tempted often, but he should never be discouraged.
  • To be like Jesus is to “have no tears for one’s own griefs” but sorrow for the griefs of others.
  • We must retain the standard of “hygiene” in God’s Word (2 Timothy 1:13).
  • Being filled with the Holy Spirit “once upon a time” is no more useful than a car’s tank being filled with petrol “once upon a time”.
  • When Jesus was on earth, most people didn’t realize that the Second Person of the Trinity was moving among them. Most Christians today don’t realize that the Third Person of the Trinity is now moving around on earth.
  • Let it be said of you: “There came a man sent by God who was a witness for Jesus” (John 1:6-7).
  • It is OUR responsibility to be the light of the world now (See John 9:5 and Matthew 5:14). We are to reflect the light of Christ in our lives just like the moon reflects the light of the sun.
  • God desires that, both in our life and in our ministry, we bear fruit that remains permanently (John 15:16) – not fruit that disappears after a few years.
  • The big difference in serving God under the New Covenant is that this service begins in the Most Holy Place. So, in order to serve God, we must first worship Him (Matthew 4:10).
  • If we have truly learnt to worship God, we will never get bored with being in His presence.
  • Before you can expect complete submission from your wife you must be completely submitted to Christ as your Head (1 Cor.11:3).
  • Sin came through someone who rebelled against authority (Satan). Salvation from sin therefore came through Jesus, Who always submitted to authority.
  • Submission to authority has nothing to do with whether the authority is perfect or not. Jesus submitted to imperfect Joseph and Mary for 30 years.
  • In the step-by-step description of the full gospel in Romans, one important step is submission to earthly authorities (Romans 13:1-7).
  • It is extremely dangerous for an unbroken man to exercise authority in a church.
  • Eternal life is not a life that merely has no end, but a life that also had no beginning. It refers to the life of God alone – His Divine Nature that we can partake of (John 17:3; 2 Pet.1:4).
  • The primary mark of a person who is walking with Jesus is humility (Matthew 11:29).
  • The God Who commanded, “Do not kill”, “Do not commit adultery”, and “Do not steal”, also commanded, “Do not be anxious” thrice (Matthew 6:25-34) and “Do not fear” thrice (Matthew 10:26-31). Do we take these latter two commands as seriously as we take the first three?
  • If we call anxiety and fear as “weaknesses”, we will never be delivered from them. If however we call them sins – because Jesus forbade them – then He will set us free from them.
  • Most Christians have a “laminated righteousness” – one that is merely superficial. They can be compared to dogs that have been trained to act like cats and “meow”, but that will bark when provoked.
  • The opposite of the fear of God is the fear of man. If we fear men, we will seek their honor. If we fear God, we will seek only His honor.
  • Under the Old Covenant, the Israelites could pray, give, and fast publicly. In the New Covenant however, we are commanded to do these same things secretly (Matthew 6:1-18) - otherwise they will be dead works.
  • The Father always heard Jesus’ prayers (John 11:41-42) because Jesus always did the things that pleased His Father (John 8:29). This is the secret of answered prayer.
  • Dead works are good works that are done to get honor from men. We must be cleansed from such dead works before we can serve a living God (Hebrews 9:14).
  • If God did not answer your prayer, it could be because He did not even hear it – because of some unconfessed sin in your life (Psa.66:18).
  • God always answers prayer, but His answers could be, “Yes”, “No”, or “Wait” – just like the green, red and yellow lights in a traffic signal.
  • If you assess your prayer-life by the clock, it is a dead work and it proves that you don’t really love Jesus.
  • The last of the Ten Commandments (“You shall not covet after…”) was an inward requirement. God gave it, in order to find out who would be honest enough to acknowledge that he could not keep it. Paul acknowledged that (Romans 7:7-8) – and so God led him to a godly life (Rom.8:2-4).
  • The Sermon on the Mount begins with a promise to the poor in spirit. The entire kingdom of heaven is available to them. To be poor in spirit is to have a constant sense of one’s own need (Matthew 5:3). Unfortunately, most Christians are content with a kingdom of earth (earthly blessings).
  • The Sermon on the Mount ends with a picture of two types of churches – Jerusalem and Babylon – one built (on rock) by those who follow the commands in Matthew Chapters 5-7; and the other built (on sand) by those who don’t take these chapters seriously.
  • A branch of an apple tree that has borne fruit for 50 years will still dry up as soon as it ceases to receive sap from the tree. Experience never makes up for constant dependence upon God for the power of His Holy Spirit.
  • To pluck out your eye with regard to lust is to be like a blind man when facing sexual temptation.
  • In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke of only two sins that could send people to hell – anger and sexually sinful thoughts and actions (Matt.5:21-30). Yet, these seem to be the very two sins that believers commit the most.
  • To build your house on the rock is to dig past understanding God’s Word (mind) and being excited about it (emotions) to the point of surrendering your will (Luke 6:47,48). You will never become spiritual if you are only stirred in your intellect and in your feelings. God wants to dwell in your spirit. For that you must yield your will to Him.

"Satan's Tactics" Lesson Summary
    • Whether we know it or not, the devil knows that his time is short and that the Lord is coming soon
    • Those who compromise on the things of God will never be a target of Satan's anger.  The devil's fury is reserved for those who serve God wholeheartedly and do not fear him. 
    • There are two types of Christians: 1) Those who have a huge devil with a small grasshopper-like God; or 2) Those who have a huge Jesus with a grasshopper-like devil.  Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
    • We should speak back to the devil when he speaks to us.  The word of our testimony to the devil - acknowledging that we no longer belong to him and that we renounce any past affiliation with him - is part of how we overcome (Revelation 12:11). 
    • Jesus accomplished two particular things on the cross: He died for our sins (Colossians 2:14) and He also took away the armor of Satan against us (Colossians 2:15).
    • Many Christians are never taught about the authority we have over Satan and how we engage in spiritual warfare against him.
    • The devil was defeated on the cross and hates to be reminded of this.
    • In every warfare, you need to know the tactics of the enemy so that you can be better prepared to fight against him (II Corinthians 2:11).  This is one of the wonderful privileges of the new covenant.
    • Satan comes as a serpent (a deceiver) and a lion (a persecutor). 
    • One tactic of Satan in deceiving is to keep people ignorant of what God has really said.
    • Multitudes of people are in Hell today because they were given a false assurance that they would not die. God says that if YOU "brethren" (verse 12) live according to the flesh, then YOU will die (Romans 8:13).  This lie that we will not die in such cases is how the devil fooled Eve.
    • God uses Satan to fulfill a certain purpose amongst His people.
    • We will face storms and trials in obeying God, but the question is how do we react to them?
    • The Bible teaches that Satan was cast down from the 3rd heaven (the immediate presence of God) into the 2nd heaven (which is the level immediate above the universe we can see or the 1st heaven). During the last days, Satan will be cast down from the 2nd heavens to the earth where he will fill the Anti-Christ before being judged by Christ.
    • Satan doesn't accuse his own; he is the accuser of the brethren.  He accuses believers day and night before God of their unrepentant. 
    • When we speak against believers, what determines whether it's a just or righteous accusation is not the truth of it, but the motivation behind it.  Do we have righteous concern for the person or is it simply gossip?  When it is the latter, we must remember that we are holding hands with Satan at that time.
    • Their are two ministries going on in Heaven all the time: 1) The Accuser Satan who is in constant accusation against believers for their sin; and 2) The Advocate Jesus is in constant intercession on behalf of believers for their sin.
    • To be blameless and upright is to walk according to the light God has given you by the Holy Spirit to stay free from sin.  God is looking for people such as this. 
    • Around God's children there is a three-fold hedge: 1) One around the child of God Himself; 2) One around his children, and; 3) One around his property.  Satan cannot touch these areas without the explicit permission of God.
    • God is very merciful to those battling sinful ways, but He is against the hypocrite.
    • The cup of the Lord may be bitter, but it brings life.  The cup of Satan is sweet, but filled with poison.
    • Th reason God allows the hedges to be opened up and for Satan to attack us is so that we can have be given double spiritually than what we had before, just as God gave Job double (II Corinthians 12:7-10).
    • The greatest mark of a holy man is that he is humble (Matthew 11:29).
    • Temptation is a test of our love for God because if we love Him, then we will endure temptation (James 1:12).
    • Satan tempted Jesus in three areas: 1) Get a benefit or comfort for satisfying the needs of the body; 2) Using Scripture to cite "It is written" in an unbalanced & unbiblical way to portray a half-truth and not the whole truths of God; and 3) Compromise on the things of God in order to receive worldly compensation, fame, or honor in the world.
    • There is only one power man has over Satan and that is the power of the Holy Spirit.
    • Condemnation of believers is another tactic of Satan.  Being tempted is not sin.  Sin must be conceived after temptation to produce sin (James 1:14-15).  However, if we cast down the thought, we can overcome the temptation (II Corinthians 10:4-5).
    • It is only when we make up our mind not to fight with people (flesh and blood) that we can be empowered to fight Satan (Ephesians 6:12).
    • Anger is another tactic Satan uses to defeat believers. The number one mark of a fool is that he has anger in his heart (Ecclesiastes 7:9).  It gives an open door to Satan to ruin you (Genesis 4:7).
    • God's love is a tough love, not wishy washy, because the standard is the same for all.  Ministers walking in His love will be more concerned about upholding God's ways than their personal reputation in being seen as a "gentle and humble" man by compromising on God. 

    Questions & Answers Summary
    • What authority do church leaders have over our lives?  How do we protect ourselves from church leaders who would abuse their authority?

      The closest to authority in the church is authority in a home because a church is a family.  It is the family of God.  In a home, the father and mother make decisions; and in a church the elders make the decisions.  The term "elder" is a relative statement.  You are considered elder compared to others in the church; it doesn't mean that such persons are very mature.  In local church, the leaders of that church have authority over the operations of that church.  Accusations against elders by at least 2 witnesses should be investigated to see if they are true (I Timothy 5:19-20).  There are boundaries to authority; it is not absolute. 

    • How can one change to get a sensitivity, or a renewed sensitivity, to what is wrong if one's conscience has become seared?

      A conscience is the voice of God in every human making him aware that he is responsible to a Creator.  Our experiences in the world and in sin can dull or deaden the conscience.  Once we are born again, the Holy Spirit begins to make the conscience more sensitive.  Our conscience becomes more sensitive to God's ways the more we are sanctified unto Him.  It is part of growing in Christ.  However, fellowship with backsliders or in a church which doesn't preach holiness can lead to desensitization.  To come back from such a place, stop looking at people and look back to Christ again as your example.

    • How can a person be filled with the Holy Spirit?

      Our doctrines must be based on the teaching sections of Scripture and not merely the historical accounts of what happened.  There are certain groups which teaches that all believers must speak in tongues, but Scripture is clear that not all believers do (I Corinthians 12:30).  Baptism simply means immersion.  Being baptized in the Holy Spirit means to be continually immersed in or drenched by the Holy Spirit.

      John 7:37-39 addresses this topic. "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"

      Having faith in God is in part believing that God is more eager to bless you than you are to blessed.  If we thirst (are desperate) and we believe, then we can receive the fullness of the Spirit.

    • How can we become true worshipers of, and be truly in love with, Jesus?

      The love for Jesus is not a human, sentimental love which is often reflected in Christian songs.  If we love Jesus, then we will obey Him; that is how we show Him our love.  Today's generation is losing the depth of understanding and appreciating God's love.  True devotion to God comes out of reverence for Him.


    1. I haven't gotten all the way through this lesson yet but the Lord has been dealing with me regarding this same topic of Godly manhood. It seems like as men we are told and/or expected to be so many conflicting things (be hard, be humble, be weak, be strong, show emotion, don't show emotion, etc...) that a concrete example of who God has intended for us to be has been lost in the confusion of what the world expects from us. I do want to point out however that in studying I found the first scripture which read 1 corinthians 6:13 is actually 1 corinthians 16:13. I think you skipped the "1" before the 6 :-) Thank you so much for your ministry and keep up the good work. I look forward to diving in to the rest of this lesson.

    2. Thanks Anonymous! That Scripture reference has been corrected.

      I hope these messages from Pastor Poonen are helpful for you in your seeking God for more direction in that area.

      God Bless!

    3. You have made an error about people being in hell TODAY. Before the great judgement.

    4. Hello Dan

      The great judgment is not when people are condemned to hell, but to the Lake of Fire. Hell is there holding place until that time.

      "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

      And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

      And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

      And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

      And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:11-15

      As indicated above, the dead in Hell come forth for judgment before being cast into the Lake of Fire.

    5. Ah yes, actually your point was my point as well. I thought you where referring to the lake of fire(and not Hades*), and thats what i wanted to point out but i see you already knew. Keep in mind though that extremely many don't know this distinction and will missunderstand when you write hell.


    6. Thank you SO VERY much for sharing all of this great information from the conference. This is such an amazing post!


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