Along with our previous teaching called “Traps”, this teaching will also fall under the Advanced category. Again, I must mention to you that if you are new to the Word, this teaching may not be best for you to read. It is only for the serious dedicated Christian and contains information that could possibly scare a new person just beginning to study God's Word. These teachings are referred to as Advanced in nature and for your own good. I have mentioned this warning so that you do not become confused or afraid of what you read. I am going to get right into the world itself and the world is referring to the devil. The following may shock you, but it will show you all that is in this present world. Watch how the devil counterfeits God's principles concerning numbers.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. – I John 2: 15
God is setting you up for what's coming in the next verse. He is telling you not to love the world because the world is of the devil. The devil is the present god of this world. If you love this world, then you love the devil and all his ways. You do not want to be in this position since he will either steal, kill, or destroy you in one way or another. If a man loves the world, the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation cannot be in that man. He cannot love God and the devil at the same time. Many people worship the world and all the things that are in the world. Spiritual matters that pertain to the true God have no meaning for those people. These are the people that do not have the love of the Father in them. Instead, they choose to love the world and we now know who's world they worship. Next, God is about to tell you all that is in the world and it is shocking news because there are only three things in this world today. Take note how the word three in the Bible represents completeness. The devil even counterfeits the true God in this area by imitating the numeral three when it comes to all that is in his world.
I should tell you that at one point in my life, and area leader shared this Scripture with me and I was thankful to learn the Word in this area. The following Scripture is major to our understanding of God’s Word. I hate to mention this, but I happened to have ill health for about three weeks and had to leave college at one time. This area leader took advantage of the situation and asked my girlfriend out. There were others who did the same thing. She was drop dead gorgeous and even believers are subject to jealousy. She came and told me about the situation trying to warn me. This is why I say that the only true friend you have is God Almighty and you should always remember that. Even a strong believer such as a leader is subject to jealousy and other negative implications. In time, the lesson that my girlfriend told me sunk in, but it took a long time. I feel that there are some of you that should know this when you feel like you cannot trust anyone on earth. You cannot, but you can only trust in God. You should always remember, no matter how hard it is for you, except, when it comes to the Word of God, you have no friends.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. – I John 2: 16
This is a magnanimous Scripture. If you are wondering what is in this world, this verse spells it out for you. There are only three things that compose this world and they are mentioned in this verse. There is actually nothing else in this world but the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and what we are going to focus on, the pride of life. These qualities, if you can call them that, are of the world and the world is of the devil. Notice that there are three distinct qualities and three represents completeness in the Word. You can easily see how the devil counterfeits what the true God does. He is a parasite and can only live off of good.
So now you know what the world is composed of -- it is made out of three different things and they are all negative. The lust of the flesh is referring to the over desires of the flesh such as sexual lust and all types of lust. The lust of the eyes is mentioned and that is because a person looks around and they have an over desire to have everything that they see. This can easily fall into the category of greed.
But the main part of the world that we are going to concentrate on and focus on in this particular teaching is the PRIDE of life.
Pride is mentioned throughout the whole Bible, but mainly it focuses on the Old Testament. We should know by now that the word ‘fear’ used in the Bible means reverence or respect. Let's take a look at a Scripture in Proverbs pertaining to the subject of pride.
The fear [reverence or respect] of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and a froward mouth, do I hate. – Proverbs 8: 13
When someone respects God, he dislikes evil and he dislikes pride and arrogancy and all evil ways and also someone who has a big mouth -- that's what the Christian dislikes. But notice there is one word that is mentioned that is extremely important to this teaching and that is the word PRIDE. You are going to find out soon enough that pride is how Lucifer fell. He himself was lifted up with pride and he said to God that he will rise above Him. Pride is a tricky thing. A person can live off of pride every day and function. Of course, they will never know what it's like to have the peace of God. I know this because my old man was full of pride and that's how I got by every single day before I was born again. I remember those days and how I lifted myself up and I was heady and I was high-minded because deep inside, I was scared to death. That's what choice you have when you worship the world.
Before we go on to the fall of Lucifer, let us take a look at another Scripture in the book of Proverbs that relates to pride.
A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. – Proverbs 29: 23
If you want to know what it's like to be low, down and depressed, give place to a spirit of pride. It is how Lucifer fell. But, that which is in contrast to that which is said before, honour shall uphold the humble and spirit. A person who is humble, which is the opposite of being full of pride will have honour in his or her life. The choice is up to you. Now let's go to the Scripture concerning the fall of Lucifer. If you've never studied this Scripture, you will surely find it most interesting.
We will give a slight bit of context so that you will better understand the following lesson that we should never ever forget. I found this to be one of most interesting concepts when I first learned this from the Word. I wanted to know what happened to the god of this world who is now known as the Devil. These verses will open up that understanding up to you.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! -- Isaiah 14: 12
God is preparing you to understand that, Lucifer, after he had fallen from heaven, was cut down to the ground -- and that did weaken the nations. God, in context, is preparing you to understand the following verses.
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God [star God]: I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: -- Isaiah 14: 13
Lucifer really took a turn for the worse when he said these words. He said he will ascend into heaven when that belongs to the true God. He said that he will raise his throne above the star God. These are major words and he meant them when he said them never knowing that sometime in the future, he would be defeated by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ did not yet destroy the devil, but he has destroyed his power when we believe the Word of God and act upon it. This you need to understand since it is an advanced principle and many people questioned this principle. Why didn't Jesus Christ finish the job? God has a reason for this and when Christ comes back for the second time, you can bet the job will be finished and the devil will be tortured day and night for all eternity. Now watch what else Lucifer has to say in the next verse. Pride can take you to great heights, but the heights that you reach are counterfeit in nature. The best way to learn this is by listening to God's Word, but many of us learn this the hard way and that is by experience. The latter is how I learned what pride can do to a person.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. -- Isaiah 14: 14
These are strong words, aren’t they? Lucifer said that he is going to be like God Almighty. It sounds to me like he went insane at this moment in time. No one says these words to the supreme being. If you follow the verses, you will see that he got worse and worse and worse. He said he will go above the heights of the clouds. This is plain crazy but that's what he did. He rebelled against God Almighty -- quite a stupid thing to do. And in the next verse, God has a few words of His own.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. -- Isaiah 14: 15
God doesn't have to say all of the nonsense that Lucifer said. He simply tells him that he will be brought down to hell and to the sides of the pit.
Isn’t all of this something? This explains the rebellion of Lucifer against God Almighty. Without these verses in the Bible, we would be lost as far as knowing what really happened in heaven. There was a rebellion in heaven and that is why we are in the second heaven and earth. The first heaven and earth was perfect, but when this rebellion occurred, the second heaven and earth occurred. Now, when Jesus Christ returns, we look forward to the third heaven and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. This will be the greatest day in all of history and we surely should look forward to it as believers in Christ.
Let's go ahead and take a look at the gospel of Mark and the subject here being arrogance and many other negatives. Many times a person who is filled with pride will speak in negative ways and manners. This verse specifies what was just said.
And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. – Mark 7: 20
Now are going to see as we go over the next two verses where our subject matter stands out of a mixed bunch of negatives that emanate from the god of this world.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: -- Mark 7: 21, 22
All of these things come out of the heart of man when his mind is not renewed to the Word of God. These are the type of people that we deal with every day. That's why we must be spiritually sharp and be able to counter the adversary and all of his devices. It's not easy at times, I admit. But it can be done and God expects us to stand strong for Him. I simply wanted you to see that the word pride is among all of these negatives that are part of natural, carnal man. In my experience, pride is one of the worst of these negatives. Remember, pride is how the devil himself fell to the ground.
All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. – Mark 7: 23
You must understand that when a man allows different thoughts to enter his mind, if they are not the Word of God, they will defile that man. Now you take a look at all of those negatives in the above verses and you can't miss the fact that pride is one of them. I thought it was necessary and important to bring this up, since there are very few Scriptures that mention pride in the Gospels and the New Testament. So now, we are going to go back to the Old Testament and examines some verses that deal with pride.
Going back to the book of Psalms, there is a section that talks about the world's way of prosperity. Many times we look at other men and they seem not to have any trouble at all, in fact they seem to prosper and be in health. Deep down inside and in time, their own god will destroy them at the most opportune time of their lives. Seriously, how often have you heard of a person who just retired from an excellent job and a week or a month later, they take a serious heart attack. This is what the god of this world does to people. We, as Christians, are immune to very much of the adversary's destruction if we stand on the Word of God and we do not move no matter what. I am going to go over a few Scriptures that pertain to our teaching and at the world's way of prosperity. I do not want you to forget this because we are not to look around at the prosperity of others because it is nothing but a counterfeit and you must be convinced of that.
They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. – Psalm 73: 5
If you look at the previous few verses, you will see that it is easy to become envious at the foolish when you see the prosperity of the wicked. It also seems that their physical health is strong and firm. Now watch what the next verse which is verse six.
Therefore pride compasseth him about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. – Psalm 73: 6
Understand that pride that they lived by chokes them like a chain about their neck. They cannot escape from this pride and many of them choose not to. Now watch the second part of the verse so you can get an idea of what type of people these are. Violence covers them like a garment. You see pride can often make a person into someone who is violent. Violence is a dangerous quality and can lead to a person being put in prison and it has happened countless times. So now you know some of the attributes of pride and just how sickening and dangerous it is. You, as a Christian, must work to stay away from anyone who is possessed with a spirit of pride. It is true that misery loves company and I'm going to go forward to the new testament and find a Scripture that I believe you should know at this point.
Here is that's great Scripture and I'm going to give you a literal translation of two of the words that are in this mighty Scripture. This is what can happen to you when you fellowship with someone who has a spirit of pride.
Be not deceived: evil communications [associations] corrupt good manners [morals]. – I Corinthians 15: 33
You see that you become like the people that you hang around with. Evil associations will corrupt good manners or morals. This is why we need to stay sharp all of the time. The enemy will put someone before you and he will make it appear like they are your good friend and all he is doing is setting you up. The exception is the strong Christian who stands on the Word of God and he knows the Word of God and he applies the Word of God. These are the people that you must associate with. However, you have free will and you can hang around with whoever you like, just do not say that you were not warned. I am not trying to scare anybody and I am not trying to be antisocial. The world is really getting worse and you must be extremely careful so that you can live the more than abundant life which is what is my greatest wish for you.
Since I believe that we made our point concerning the adversary's attribute of pride, the following verse should be able to wrap up this teaching. I cannot see or believe in repeating myself over and over again. Once the point is made, we stop because we learned because we listened.
This is a great verse to end this teaching. Let's go to the Word of God and let Him conclude our teaching for us.
When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. – Proverbs 11: 2
What a fantastic ending and leave it up to God to make it happen. We can see that when there is pride, we will bring ourselves to shame. But when we are humble to God's Word, we will reap the results, which is wisdom -- great Godly wisdom.