'Human nature has been humbled, humankind brought low, and the eyes of the proud have been humbled." Isaiah5,15.
"but Christ is trustworthy as a son is over his household. And we are his household, as long as we fearlessly maintain the hope in which we glory."
"What is more, we are filled with exultant trust [we boast] in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation." JB Romans5,11
"But as for me,it is out of the question that I should boast at all, except of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." JB Galatians6,14
"Pride goes before destruction." Proverbs16,18
"You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire." John8,44
I'm going to preach on the three levels of 'the pride of life' today. There's going to be a lot of scripture here but this subject is so close to our humanity, it will be relatively easy to understand. And I trust Jesus, praise his glorious Name, will speak to our hearts.
I was wanting to buy a newer used car recently- and the Lord brought me to 1John2,16: "Because 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 of the world."
Is this car a real need for me, or the pride of life, eye candy?
I'm not so sure.
(for the record I drive an '88 Volvo 240)
This 'pride of life' issue regards a needed detachment from what the world is saying, doing, having, and selling. Like a Menno Simons, the Dutch founder of the Mennonites in the 16th century, I hope that there are still some unworldly faithers out there.
The world is "Babylon", a foreign place, a temporary set up, ruled by Satan.
What is the world selling? The lust of the flesh- having all the sex, food and drink you want. And the lust of the eyes- all the fancy cars, houses, all the best tech, and all the money you want.
All this is sold for a price, perhaps the price of your very soul.
The world is selling "having it all", all the time.
The world sells the pride of life:
"Do not love the world or what is in the world. If anyone does love the world, the love of the father finds no place in him, because everything there is in the world-disordered bodily desires, disordered desires of the eyes, the pride of possession- is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And behold the world, with all its disordered desires is passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever." JB 1John2,15-17
In our culture, people take a lot of "pride" in cars. We like to talk about cars, glory in them, not to mention fall in love with them. Not a speck on them. As one of the guys at McDonald's said some folks worry more about the "food and drink" they put into their cars than the food and drink they put into their own body.
In the Hebrew bible mindset there are two senses of pride. First, it is an the ability to stand up, to be upright, like the prophecy of Jesus' suffering and resurrection in Isaiah52,13: "Look, my servant will prosper, will grow great and rise to great heights." As Jesus said "if you destroy this temple, in three days I will raise it up again." (John2,19) Likewise, in heaven Jesus, the sacrifced lamb or pierced lamb is standing on or by the throne. Revelation5,6.
To be upright is the basic Hebrew meaning of "pride."
Jesus is standing lamb in glory, not sitting but standing in glory! Praise God still standing.
No one ever made him bow!
Jesus is always noble.
What do we do when Satan tempt us with the pride of life? We stand up to Him, that's the right kind of pride, as James4,6 advises: "God opposes the arrogant and gives grace to the humble. Be submissive to God. Stand up to the devil and he will turn and run." Be upright, don't bow or cower, tell him Jesus' blood covers all your sins, and that you are not in the grips of the pride of life, but in the grip of Jesus' hand.
The second Hebrew sense of pride is to "glory" (Greek "kauchesis") in anything. So at Jeremiah 9,22 God says: "the wise man shall not glory in his wisdom, and let not the strong man glory in his riches. But let him who wishes to glorify himself glory in this, that he understands and knows me."
In our New Testament Paul says to the struggling Christian Greeks at 1Corinthians1,22: "Jews demand miracles and Greeks look for wisdom." Greeks were proud of their wisdom, their philosphers, their debaters, their "experts", and their eloquent local preacher Apollos in Corinth, who Paul saw as a recent convert to the faith, but not one ready to be the primary teacher in Corinth.
One of the Greek words for pride is "parresia," the liberty to speak and do (Xavier Leon Dufour, Dictionary of Biblical Theology, "Pride", Paulist 1995, 457-59).This is akin to the Hebrew attitude of not having to lower one's eyes, to be able stand upright. This "freedom" pride is what we in the modern West especially covet, saying and doing whatever, just like the Greeks of old. But Jesus was a Eastern Jew. Yes we have freedom to say an do ( praise the Lord, "for freedom Christ set us free"), but faithful obedience to God and his word is what makes us upright.
Another Greek bible word for pride, "alonzoneia." It is an arrogant and boastful pride that has no basis in fact, or reality, like the puffery and boasting about wordly possessions (NJBC, Pheme Perkins, 1John2,16, Prentice, 1990, 990). We all know the parable of the poor widow, Matthew12,44, who gave out of the substance of her poverty, whereas others were showing off and giving what they could spare.
People can be well off but full of the pride of possession, in me and myself and I, that has no basis in any man's goodness or greatness because only God is good (cf Mark10,18).
"If anyone is well off in worldy possessions and sees his brother in need but closes his heart to him, how can the love of God be remaining in him." 1John3,17.
How could we then define the pride of life? The 'pride of life' is a low, medium or high grade spiritual disease whereby folks are extra happy to have possessions for themselves, but not overly concerned for others, and God.
What all three levels share in common, as we shall see, is striving to move up the possessions ladder, then up the social ladder, then up the power ladder, finally wanting to pull strings and watch people act like puppets.
We notice the bible terms "lust of the flesh" and "lust of the eyes" that accompany 'the pride of life." Lust wants to keep possessing, keep consuming, more and more, regardless of consequences to self or others. It tends, without faith and the Holy Ghost, all the way up to the level of evil incarnate, which the antichrist will be (Revelation13,1-8, Daniel7,23-25 cf Branham).
As James, the brother of the Lord put it, "For where envy and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." James3,16.
Envy and strife are the results of lust of the flesh and eyes and the pride of life.
Lust, envy and striving, keeps a steady flow of people moving into the three levels of the pride of life.
Mayby a third of Christians are on one of these levels.
The first level is taking our security from material possessions: "Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be." (Matthew6,21) If our treasure is material things, we don't have Jesus as a savior.
The world and the pride of life is telling us: "You can buy this treasure so be a good consumer unit, by all means and at all times."
Having gives us status and cache.
Materialism can consume churches and preachers, and folks of all income levels. It is our modern disease. One of the brothers of a pastor I knew he used to say. "When the young pastor first arrives, he can fit all his stuff in a car. On the way to his next church, he rents a U'Haul. By the third stop, it's a semi moving van."
The second rung up the 'pride of life' is boasting and showing off as a way to keep moving up. What foolishness and evil is begun by boasting. It starts fights and quarells and it's hard to define sometimes, but when the Mexicans say "You're talking too much" it's probably because you're sort of bragging.
The problem with boasting is not so much the harmless words, but it actually stirs up trouble and more evil. It emboldens and dares folks to go to the next level of the pride of life, where real evil and wickedness are the norm.
This third level of the 'pride of life' crosses the line into active evil. This is when downright wickedness takes over. I enjoy ministering to all different kinds of people, and there are folks going good and folks going bad in whatever walk of life, or social and economic status. My quess is mayby one to five percent seem to have crossed over to the darkside. Thesde are folks who have played around in the occult, made covenants with evil, or have consistantly sought high levels of sinful activity, and now, whether by negligence or design, have tapped into the power of evil.
And some sort of like it.
It's where some folks apparently want to be.
They are not content with the limited knowledge of our humanity, like Dr. Faustus, who we'll talk about in a bit.
I'm going to spend most of our time on this third level, but I want us to see the progression so we realize that 'the pride of life' life is a slippery slope.
Materialism is a gateway sin, so we best beware.
The First Level Of The Pride of Life: Security in Possessions
Now we all like things. And it's good to take care of the things we do choose to own, keep them clean, and ready to use. It's good and smart to take care of our car, our bikes, our clothes, not to mention our families and spouses.
But when getting and having, and me and mine, becomes lust, envy and pushing our spirits to move up in the world, we have entered the realm of 'the pride of life.' A grown preacher's kid once told me "oh _____________ are OK, but some want to move up in the world." Patty Griffin, the Country Americana artist, sings a song "Move Up" on her "downtown church" (Credential Recordings 2010) whereby faith and God are the things that move us up "in glory."
Or as Psalm147,6: "Th Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked down to the earth."
We have all met people who are moving up, never content with what they have, not willing be be patient, willing to break man's and God's rules about getting and having. They know what everyone else has, but perhaps not the gifts God has given them and wants them to use.
They are going get and have the world's honor and respect, one way or the other.
Materialism is an endless lust for more things. A NYT Sept 2, 2009 article estimates 51,000 self storage facilities in the USA, 2.3 billion square feet. We have storage units all over the main roads and backroads of America, mostly full of junk.
What's the average bid on "Storage Wars", about $400.
Build bigger barns.
Get a bigger truck, what a deal!
But go to God?
"I can't go to Jesus until I get rich, or I'm repentant, or I have all the stuff I want."
Luke12,16-20: 'There once was a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land thought to himself, 'What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.'" Then he said, 'This is what I shall do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grains and my good in them,, and I will say to my soul: 'My soul you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take it easy, eat , drink, have a good time.' 20 But God said to him, 'Fool!' 'This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?' So it is when someone stores up treasure for himself instead of becoming rich in the sight of God."
Matthew 6,31: "do not say. "What are we to eat? What are we to drink? What are we to wear?" 32 It is the gentiles who set their hearts on these things."
The guy or gal with the most stuff wins at this first level of the pride of life.
How many pairs of shoes does a person need?
How many sets of golf clubs?
How many cars?
The Second Level of The Pride Of Life: Boasting And Showing Off
"So the tongue is only a tiny part of the body, but its boasts are great." James3,5
Some folks are not content with with plain old materialism. They want to talk about what they have and want. And show it and themselves off. They want to drop brand names, and price tags, and exclusive vacation spots. They will testify to their future upward mobility. They want you to think they are farther along than than they are and you think.
James 4,13-17: "Well now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow, we are off to this or that town; we are going to spend a year there, trading, and make some money.' 14 you never know what will happen tomorrow; you are no more than a mist that appears for a little while and then dissapears. 15 Instead of this, you should say, 'if it is the Lord's will, we shall still be alive to do this or that.' 16 But as it is, how boastful and loudmouth you are! Boasting of this kind is always wrong. 17 Everyone who knows what is the right thing to do [keep mouth shut, pray to God for help] and does not do it commits a sin."
The thing about boasting and showing off, it's deceptive. It's good to be self confident and confident in the faith, and in our Lord, but what happens when people start to boast and show off is that they often have to deceive people just to keep up with the idea they have of themselves, and have given to others. This shows the devil that you are sort of desperate.
That's the story of Madame "Emma" Bovary, the protagonist of French author Gustave Flaubert's famous 19th century work. She was full of this second level of 'the pride of life', showing off. She kept deceiving herself and others by showing off and going deeper and deeper into debt.
She didn't want to keep her station as a provincial and thrifty wife.
People showing off and bragging about possessions and moving up are often deceiving themselves and others, and are prone to desperation.
The Third Level of the Pride of Life: Open To Wickedness
We look to Simon Magus, the Samaritan Sorcerer (Acts8,9-24). He was a rookie, or would be Christian. But instead of learning 'the way' by the Holy Spirit and the Word, precept by precept like the Apostles, Simon Magus wanted to buy the power to convey Holy Ghost baptism to others. Some things can't be bought in this life, and this gift from God is one of them. Simon wasn't content with the realm of faith, he wanted to tap into the realm of magic and wizardry, as if God worked for him rather than he worked for God.
The Apostle Peter discerned at vv.22-23 Simon's "wickedness", his "gall of bitterness." "Gall" is an active and poisonous pride, boiled way way down. He discerned his "bondage of iniquity." All because he coveted having the Holy Ghost power of the Apostles.
In his 'pride of life' he wanted to mix the God of the bible, with the realm of magic and witchcraft and sorcery.
First comes the lust of possession, then striving and boasting and showing off. The next principle is breaking out of the mere human realm and into Satan's realm with the fallen angels and magicians and sorcerers and witches and wizards, and even some church folks.
We look at Judas who instead of accepting himself as pious and non violent follower of Jesus, sins against his master, and chooses to play assassin, and wanna be revolutionary aginst Rome. He wants to be a big shot, move up from treasury clerk. He got too big for his britches, and the Word in two places explains his decision against Jesus with the same simple reality: "Satan entered into" him (John13,27; Luke22,3).
The legend of "Dr. Faustus" as told by the German author Wolgang Von Goethe (1749-1832), in the early 19th century, tells how a toiling and searching science professor, counted as God's servant, gets tired of the human limitations on his knowledge, and made this clearly known in the spirit realm.
He wants more, even though the Lord is just about to bless him: "Now he may serve me only gropingly, /Soon I shall lead him into the light./ The gardener knows when the saplng first turns green/ That flowers and fruit will make the fure bright." ("World Masterpieces", "Faustus" Johann Wolgang von Goethe, 3rd edition, Norton 1973, Trans. Louis MacNiece, Part 1, Prologue in Heaven, vv70-71, 398.)
Faustus also enjoys the honor of men too, but when he takes in a stray dog, possessed by the devil, the devil tempts him to change John1,1 (Part 1, line45ff "Faust's Study" 418) from "in the begining was the Word..." to "in the begining was the Mind" then "in the ....the power" then "in the..... the deed."
The devils first attack is always to get us to change and twist and nullify God's word, just like he tried to do when he tempted Jesus three times in the begining of Matthew 4. Just like he tempted Eve in the garden, to change God's word.
And this brilliant and God favored man is tripped up by the devil's rationalizations and lies about his goodness.
And Faust ends entreating the devil to stay and entertain him with his "arts."
Goethe is a genius student of human nature and superbly depicts Dr. Faustus frustration at not being rich or powerful, a mere man stuck in the human realm of knowledge and power. (lines 22-33, Part 1 Of The Tragedy, "Night", 399):
"Besides, I have neither goods or gold,/ neither reputation or rank in th world;/ No dog would choose to continue so!/ Which is why I have given myself to Magic/ To see if the Spirit may grant me its voice full many a secret, to know/ Through its force and its voice full many a secret,/ May spare the sour sweat that I used to pour out/ in talking [boasting of his knowledge] of what I know nothing about [man's knowledge has failed him],/ May grant me to learn what it is that girds/ The world together in its inmost being, / That the seeing its whole germination, the seeing/ Its workings may end my traffic in words."
He's tired of his own phoniness about how smart he is. It's a sham and he knows it.
He's a mere man, but wants to know like God knows.
So what are Fautus' alternatives?
He can repent to Jesus, and know God, by way of faith, which is a type of knowledge, as much as we humans can know. The word says "we know in part and prophesy in part." (1Corinthians13,9) But even this won't be enough to satisfy Faust's full pride of possession, his lust to know like God knows.
This is probably why the Apostle Paul in this same 1Corinthians13 tells us that God based love is the greatest gift, not knowledge or prophesy.
But Faustus doesn't want to repent- and he doesn't want the mere knowledge of faith. And he's infected with the pride of life- and its boasting:
"Of course I am cleverer than the quacks, than masters and doctors, than clerk and priest, I suffer no scruple or doubt in the least. I have no qualms about devil or burning, which is just why all joy is turned from me, I cannot presume I could open my mind to prosletyze and improve mankind." Ibid Line14ff
His 'pride of life' has closed him to all beneficial knowledge, like faith. And he thinks he's superior. And he has no fear of burning in hell. And no respect for God, man or the devil.
So why not just join the darkside?
On these terms: that Satan will serve him in this life, if Faust agrees to serve him in the place where they both will be forever after.
This is a transgression that puts Faust into Satan's employ. He abandons his lowly human station in favor of a deal with the devil.
Genesis 6,2-4 depicts a variant of this transgression: "the sons of God [fallen angels], looking at the women, saw how beautiful they were and married as many of them as they chose. 3 Yahweh said, 'My spirit cannot be indefintely responsible for human beings, who are only flesh; let the time allowed for them each be a hundred and twenty years. 4 The Nephilim [hebrew for offspring of angels and women, 'Titans" or Giants] were on earth in those days and even afterwards) when the sons of God resorted to the women, and had children buy them. These were the heroes of days gone by, men of renown."
Usually it is a human being that transgresses humanity and courts a partnership with evil angels, but in Genesis 6 it is the evil angels that court a partnership with human women, turning them to evil, and giving birth to a race of evil giants.
Numbers13,32-33: "And they began disparaging the country [Canaan] they had reconnoitered to the Israelites,saying, 'The country we have been to reconnoitre is a country that devours its inhabitants. All the people we saw there were of enormous size. 33 We saw giants there too (the Anakim, descended from the Giants). We felt like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them."
Some bible teachers claim these "Nephilim" (Hebrew for giants) were wiped out by God's judgment of the flood, even though Genesis 6,4 as we just read suggests that they survived the flood. See gotquestions.org/Nephilim.html, citing Joshua11,21-22; Deuteronomy3,11; 1Samuel17.
See also helpful N. "g", 1985 New Jerusalem Bible at Deuternomy1,28 for more background.
This same event of angels transgressing their estate is again referenced in The Book of Enoch a 2nd century BCE "pseudopigrapha" (a book not actually authored by the person whose name titles it). This book teaches the apocalyptic doctrine that man's evil and the evil on earth not only comes from man's own sin and fall, but from angels transgressing their heavenly station.
Enoch9,6: "You see what Azaziel has done; how he has taught all (forms of) oppression upon the earth. And they revealed eternal secrets which are performed in heaven (and which) man learned. 7 (Moreover) Semyas, to whom you have given power to rule over his companions, cooperating, they went into the daughters of the people on earth, and they lay together with them-with those women- and defiled themselves, and revealed to them every (kind of) sin 9. As for the women- they gave birth to giants to the degree that the whole earth was filled with blood and oppression." ( E. Isaac Translator, 1 (Ethiopic Apocalypse of) Enoch, aka 1Enoch or Ethiopic Enoch, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Vol.1, Apocalytpic Literature and Testaments, James H. Charlesworth, Ed, Doubleday, 1983, 17)
The Book of Jude about 200-300 years after 1Enoch seems to take up this idea of especially evil and vicious folks like this among the false teachers in the Christian camp:
"13 like wild sea waves with their own shame for foam; or like wandering stars for whom the gloom and darkness is stored up forever. It was with them in mind that Enoch [Genesis5,24 and Hebrews11,5 who like Elijah who was assumed into heaven] the seventh patriarch from Adam, made his prophecy when he said, 'I tell you, the Lord will come with his holy ones in their tens of thousands [same Lord who came at Sinai to give the law will be there in judgement, Deuteronomy33,2: "And he came amidst of ten thousand Holy Ones; At his right hand there was flashing lightning for them." KJ] 15 to pronounce judgement on all humanity and to sentence the godless for all the godless things they have done, and for all the defiant things said against him by godless sinners. 16 They are mischief-makers, grumblers governed only by their own desires, with mouths full of boastful talk, ready to flatter others for gain." 1985 NJB, Doubleday, Jude vv13-16
Sounds like Jude is describing devils in the flesh as much as human beings.
The 1985 Jerusalem Bible reports at Note n. that "stars" in the Book of Enoch such as at 21,3ff often stand for angels, and at notes o and p that v. 15 refers to Enoch1,9, "probably quoted from memory" and v.16 "is suggested by Enoch5,5." Or, is that 5,4?
The above four verses from Jude and several such passages from 1Enoch such as Enoch 9,6 above and Enoch15,8 (evil spirits in the flesh on the earth and in the earth) and Enoch 6 (cursing pact among fallen angels) and Enoch 7 (these giants make food scarce and begin to destroy environment) and Enoch 8 (wicked ones ie fallen angels? and giants? teach the art of making war armaments, astrology, alchemy and all manner of evil) seem to go beyond ordinary and common demonic possession of mere humans, including Christians.
These passages, help us understand the breath of spiritual warfare which clearly was intensifying at the time 1Enoch and Jude, the time of the New Testament: "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities and world rulers in high places." Ephesians6,12
My point isn't that there is an ongoing race of half human half fallen angel hybrids, however interesting that might be.
My point is a clear biblical one, primarily from Genesis 6: at this third level of 'the pride of life', an angel or man freely seeks, and then does go outside of his realm in some way, these transgressions curse and hinder and spread sin in mankind and oppression on the earth as well as pass curses and evil into human flesh, and evil, and sins and curses from generation to generation in families (1Peter1,18-20):
"For you know that the price of your ransom from the futile way of life handed down by your ancestors was paid, not in anything perishable like silver or gold, 19 but in precious blood as of a blameless and spotless lamb, Christ. 20 He was marked out before the world was made, and revealed at the final point in time for your sake."
Whether our human ancestors transgressed their realm, or were transgressed upon by the fallen angelic realm, the blood of Jesus covers the faithful and frees us all bondage, sin, curses, and distortion of our status as born again sons and daughters of Jesus.
The story of Satan's fall is also a lesson of transgression. Many consider that his transgression is told in Isaiah14,11-12. Some bible scholars, like the New Jersualem Bible, 1985 study edition, will say this depiction of the fall of Satan is a myth, a satire on Israel's main enemy at the time, the Babylonian tyrant Nebuchadnezzar. This pasage at v. 12 names two Pheonecian (or Canaanite dieties), "Daystar" and "son of Dawn", and depicts them having been thrown down into the netherworld, the Hebrew Sheol, that preceded our Christian idea of hell. (n. e NJB 1985,1211).
Ezekiel28,12-16 also describes the fall of Satan under the heading of the fall of the king of Tyre: "Your behavior was exemplary from the day you were created until guilt first appeared in you, because of your busy trading has filled you will violence and sin. I have thrown you down from the mountain of God, and destroyed you, guardian winged creature, amid the coals." vv.15-16.
There is no need to gut Isaiah14,11-12 or Ezekiel28,12-16 of their instructive value ragarding the fall of Satan because at Luke10,18 Jesus says "I watched Satan fall like lightning, out of the sky. And now you see that I have give you the power..." over evil.
His fall was the penalty for him transgressing his angelic station, first by tempting Eve, later by threatening the newly born resurrected body of Christ, the church, according to Revelation 12,9, just like Simon Magus transgressed his station, like Faustus, like the angels who took human women at Genesis 6.
At this third level of 'the pride of life' it is this Satan like transgression from our station that carries a future if not present penalty and puts us outside the service of God:
"the wicked man in his pride hunts down the poor: may his crafty schemes be his own undoing. 3 the wicked man is obsessed with his own desires, and in his greed gives wickedness his blessing. 4 arrogant as he is he scorns the Lord and leaves no place for God in all his schemes." Psalm10,2ff
This third level of the pride of life is also the level of Judas, who betrayed Jesus to the high priests who then betrayed him to Rome, who executed him. Judas wanted a revolution against Rome. You can't blame him for wanting that. But you can for insisting when Jesus wanted otherwise. James puts it this way: "You want something and you lack it; so you kill. You have an ambition that you cannot satisfy: so you fight to get your way by force." James4,2.
This is also the level of Cain.
But there's was worse than that. There was Satan incarnate in the serpent in the garden.
He's going to be incarnate in the antiChrist beast of the last days when Revelation13,2 (building on Daniel7,23-25) says Satan will hand over his own power and throne and his immese authority to a man, and to a former empire that takes world wide shape again, to a man cured of a fatal head wound, whose rising is Satan's mockery and imitation of Jesus' resurrection.
Verse 4 also tells us this man will be worshipped, with cries of "Who can compare with the beast? Who can fight against Him?"
Verse 7 tells us more. The beast will be allowed to make war against Israel and conquer them, and every race, people, language and nations for forty-two months (v.5) and will be worshipped by everybody whose name has not been written down since the foundation of the world in the sacrificial's lamb's book of life. (v.8)
Doesn't this third level of 'the Pride of life' make you want to get some real Jesus religion now, and persevere until the rapture before this anitchrist begins to rule?
The Pride of Life Opens us To Boundless Evil
So we have seen how far 'the pride of life' can take human beings into evil.
From the excess pride of possessing our stuff and storing it all up of level one- to boasting-showing off and deceit and despair of level two, to transgressing one's human estate like Cain, Faust and Judas and the fallen angels of level three, we see that 'the Pride of life' knows no bounds.
In this final level of pride, there is much witchcraft and wizardcraft, and violence, and murder, and all manner of death and bondage, and finally God's judgment.
At this level there is also the blurring of the lines between fallen men and fallen angels as in 1Enoch and Jude, a blurring that will include Satan incarnate in the antichrist world ruler, the "beast" of Revelation13,1ff that will be allowed to rule the world in the end for three and one half years.
But Revelation19,7 reminds us that as the church, the Qahal, the called out ones, we have an antidote to the 'the pride of life', we make ourselves ready to meet the bridegroom, when he comes back..
By humbling wrestling with, and then heeding, every word from the mouth of God.
By continually praising Jesus so we have a healthy faith rather than the spiritual disease of 'the pride of life.'
And we get baptized in His name, as adults, making a covenant in His Name, so we're sure we are on the right team.
In short, we live as servants for His glory and honor.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...