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Friday, June 27, 2014

From The Prophetic School: "The Deadliness Of Pride"

This message is simple, yet profound, and it deals with the way we become able to avoid deception and overcome all the powers of devils and demons whose activities are multiplied in the end time.

It also lays out the principal strategy by which Satan brings saints of God to defeat.

We can know the way by which good spiritual believers come to the place where they actually pay quite a price to walk with God- and we have seen many do this.

Yet we have also seen Satan deceive others and destroy their walk with God.

If we can find one key that will prevent that, this message would indeed be very blessed for those of us who want to walk with God without any failure.

Is there a foreboding in your heart of failing, of being deceived and finding your heart drawn away?

Do you fear that you may put up a wall against spiritual things, causing you to wither and perish spiritually?

We know that this move of God is life to us. We know that the Word that comes and feeds us is a tremendous blessing.

We would not want to lose out, and yet we have seen many do it.

 Although the following passage is familiar to you, you will find new meaning in it now:

2 Corinthians 12:2-10

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.

  And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. 

On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses. 

 For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.

A Thorn in the Flesh

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 

 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.  

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 

10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

With this we are familiar. But we are not familiar with the reason for God bringing a great deal of devil activity into play against the people of God.

In most traditional churches the devil is never mentioned.

In fact, if there are any demons around, they seem to be sleeping peacefully with the saints. There is no fury, no real battle.

But when people become a part of God's end-time walk in the Spirit, they suddenly find that devil power is assaulting them, and many things are happening.

Why is this?

There is more of God here.

Naturally the devil fights us harder.

Let me point out something that you need to know:
Whenever knowledge and revelation are given by the Spirit of God, they have a tendency to do something to the individual.

Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth.
I Corinthians 8:1

We place a great deal of emphasis on love, but we also seek after more revelation and more knowledge which the Lord will bring to us.

But with every bit of it, there is always a tendency toward spiritual pride.

God understands human nature very well, and He knows that wherever He gives an abundance of revelation, man will immediately fall into jeopardy.

Do not forget that this was the original temptation that brought man to sin (Genesis 3:1-6).

Satan came to Eve in the garden and said," Hath God said? Why, He knows in the day that you eat thereof you will be as gods. You will know good and evil."

"This is wonderful," Eve said. "It looks like good fruit. I can just imagine what it will do for me. It will make me wise."

It was that yearning after knowledge- forbidden knowledge that God said she was not to have- that caused her to reach in and disobey God.

There is nothing like the lure or the reception of spiritual knowledge deep inside to produce spiritual pride.

Sometimes we tend to be too self satisfied and smug because of the superior outpourings of revelations that we have received.

As a result, there sometimes is not that plain, old-fashioned burden for souls, but there is a little too much self-satisfaction.

Get rid of that and bring a little more humility to the churches, and immediately a burden for souls and great effectiveness will flourish.

Of course, we will have revelation and spiritual knowledge, prophesying over people as we know the mind of God for them, but there s a dangerous problem in it and God sees that problem.

Every time God does something for a man which gives him superior revelations, He puts the devil on his tail to buffet him.

That was what He did with Paul. He wrote, And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh...( II Corinthians 12:7).

God knew what was in Paul. He may have been a very humble man, but how much revelation and exaltation can a man stand while he is yet in the flesh?

There is a reason, therefore, that many have known nothing but harassment from the devil since they came into this walk in the Spirit.

This is God's way of making sure that with the abundance and superiority of the revelation, they will remain humble enough so that they will not develop a spiritual pride, which would be deadly and destructive to their whole spiritual life.

 Pride cometh before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

We can understand that the tactic of Satan- related to religious and spiritual peop.le who really have something from God- is to try to foster pride.

Do not forget that pride is what caused Satan to fall n the first place, and he knows that pride is what came to Adam and Eve in the garden when he said, "You will be as gods."

That spiritual pride and ambition is more deadly to this end-time walk than anything else. It is the reason that you are harassed from the day you come into it.

God opens the door for a little messenger from Satan to be at you all the time.

Somewhat lacking in dignity, you come back saying, "I've been in paradise, in the third heaven. Oh, I heard words that are not even lawful to speak. But oooh, that thorn in the flesh!

There's a dirty little devil just nagging the daylights out of me."

There is nothing like it to produce a deep humility- or humiliation, if you want to call it that. A man can be about his business of doing great things for God and find there is a little imp with a pitch fork after him all the time.

Paul referred to it as "a messenger from Satan to buffet me, a thorn in the flesh."

This was more than just a psychic or mental torment; he actually suffered under it and was harassed by it continually.

When God suddenly brings in people who have been a part of conventional Christianity, He turns them inside out.

What great things we could do if it were not for God being so persnickety about keeping us from being proud.

In former years, it was a simple matter to start a church under the church system and find it flourishing in a few months' time. God seemed to bless in an outstanding way.

We realize that there is still pride within us, and therefore God continues to deal with us.

He knows that is the only way He will produce a son of God who is not filled with spiritual pride.

God is not trying to produce some super spiritual people. He is trying to produce humble sons of God through whom He can move and speak His Word in this day.

 Let us see where pride entered into this whole picture in the first place. Then you will begin to understand a little more about the ways of spiritual warfare and defense in the last days.

Isaiah 14:12-16 records the story of Satan's fall.

Isaiah 14:12-16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
12 “How you have fallen from heaven,
O star of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
13 “But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
15 “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol,
To the recesses of the pit.
16 “Those who see you will gaze at you,
They will ponder over you, saying,
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
Who shook kingdoms,

 That was Satan's ambition, "I will make myself like the Most High."

Have you ever studied the galaxies of the north? There is a great open space up there.

Lucifer, the son of the morning, was going to make his throne among the great galaxies of the north, as close to the focal point of all the galaxies of stars as he could find. "I will be like the Most High," he said.

Yet thou shalt be brought down to Sheol, to the uttermost parts of the pit. They that see thee shall gaze at thee, they shall consider thee, saying Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?

Notice the pride. "I am going to be exalted. I will be like the Most High. I will have my throne above the stars. Just watch me. I am going to be like God."

Now Lucifer is down, squirming around and tormenting a few human beings. What a comedown!

Ezekiel 28:12-15 gives a description of Satan before his fall.

12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre ( The personification of Lucifer in his day, so great was his wickedness), and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God,
“You had the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 “You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The ruby, the topaz and the diamond;
The beryl, the onyx and the jasper;
The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald;
And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets,
Was in you.
On the day that you were created
They were prepared.
14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers,
And I placed you there.
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 “You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created
Until unrighteousness was found in you.

 Why did he fall?

Verse 17:

 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
I put you before kings,
That they may see you.

He was exalted: he was puffed up.

The original sin was not that of eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

The original sin was pride in the heart of an archangel, pride in that great spirit of Lucifer. He said," I will be like the Most High." 

That was spiritual pride.

Because Lucifer knows how subtle his own downfall was, he has set about in a subtle way to create havoc in the hearts of God's people.

You will probably never be tempted to go out and become an alcoholic, a prostitute, a bootlegger, or a sinner like that. Yours will not be the sin of becoming a murderer, or joining some syndicate like the 
Mafia and killing people.

 These things will not be a temptation to you. If you fall, you will fall as spiritual people always fall- through spiritual pride.

Satan does not come to them trying to present himself as a source of evil. According to II Corinthians 11:14, he comes as an angel of light. If it were possible, he would deceive the very elect (Matthew 24:24). 

In the book of Revelation, you often read that when some great manifestation of the satanic trinity comes forth, such as the beast or the false prophet, there is great wonder and great admiration.

When John looked at Mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots, that great false church riding upon the beast, the incarnation of Satan, he wondered with great admiration and amazement at the beauty and the wonder, the subtlety of what comes on a spiritual level to deceive.

And this is exactly what we have to watch out for, or it will be our downfall.

When Satan comes to someone in this end-time move of God, he does not try to convince him that it is not of God.

He will go a bit deeper than that; he will give him a Scripture and interpret wrongly. You are in great danger when Satan begins to interpret Scriptures to your heart, and because of spiritual pride and a lack of spiritual humility and submission in your heart, you are deceived and you listen to it.

This is one of the most serious and dangerous things you can face, having Satan interpret the Word.

Do you remember how Satan came to Jesus when he was filled with the Holy Spirit?

The Spirit drove Him into the wilderness, and there He was tempted of the devil for forty days and forty nights.

Satan presented as one of his challenges, "Why don't you cast yourself down? It is written in the Word, 'He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up in their arms, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'"

Jesus answered with the Scripture, "It is written, 'Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God'" (Matthew 4:1-10).

Satan was an interpreter of Scriptures, even to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. How much more will he try to interpret the Scriptures to us, and get us to fall into that extremely dangerous trap of being lifted up with spiritual pride.

Since the beginning of this walk in the Spirit, we have noticed that God takes active measures to help us. 

From the time that we lay hands upon a person and he is anticipating the great things that God is going to do for him, almost immediately the enemy is let in to buffet and harass him lest he be exalted in pride.

After we minister to people, and they are anticipating that everything will be sweetness and light, then come tribulations and testings; many times the buffeting is from Satan himself.

This is a good sign. It keeps them from being exalted and puffed up.

All of this is teaching us something very serious.

If this is all true, if this is the way Satan fell, if this is the way he comes to try to create pride in us, surely we have here a key to victory.

If we would embark upon a course of humility, of constantly seeking to be humbled before God, of praying about humility and brokenness before the Lord- if we would keep a broken and contrite heart before God, never rising to self-vindication or self-justification, but continually walking brokenly and humbly before the Lord- we would find a place of invincibility in God.

Wherefore the scripture saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.
James 4:6.  

I am not too much concerned about what the devil is doing because I know he cannot stop me unless God allows it.

But why would God allow Satan to hinder me and stop me when I know the time is short?

This is the time and the season for the whole world to be moved by this end-time walk with God.

We have fantastic workers and dedicated people who are ready to walk with God.

What then would keep us from moving ahead and shaking the whole world?

The devil could do it only if God let him do it, and why would God allow Satan to hinder us and stop us?

For only one reason:There is still not enough humility in those who are going to walk in these things. God is requiring a great deal of humility.

This is the guarantee: Be subject therefore unto God; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall exalt you.
James 4:7-10

It is not enough to have a stirring rally, with the bands playing, and everyone taking new courage and new heart, and marching until the militant spirit is felt.

That is not the best way to accomplish things in God. If you are ready to take new steps in God, the best way is to say, "Hmm, everything has been going beautifully. I have every reason to rejoice; but I am going into a period of mourning."

This is what the Lord meant when He said, Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4.

This is not talking about a natural mourning, the sorrow you feel if you lose a loved one. This Scripture is talking about those people who have humbled their spirits before the Lord.

When God starts giving revelation, you may tend to feel puffed up and exalted and a little exclusive, as though you are "The People" and wisdom will die with you.

Right about the time this feeling comes to you, there will be a constant assault of devil power against you, and that keeps you humble.

Let us by-pass the process of God allowing Satan to provoke us in any way, by entering voluntarily into affliction with mourning and weeping and humility before God.

There is such a thing as a man disciplining his heart, coming before God, and learning to pray. 

When a man becomes indifferent to that, God gives him trouble so that he does learn to pray. Some people do a lot of praying because God gives them a lot of trouble.

Of course, God knows that if He ever stops putting pressure on them, they will stop praying; and so He keeps the pressure on.

God hears wonderful sermons out of some pastors because He constantly allows the devil to harass them a little so that they keep a humility and brokenness before the Lord.

That is a poor way to stay humble, isn't it?

Wouldn't you rather have the Lord work the thing in your spirit so there does not have to be a constant assault of the devil to produce a reaction that will please God?

Let your heart be broken before the Lord; enter into it voluntarily.

In spiritual warfare there is a way to overcome devil power: Build a foxhole of humility and let the fiery darts of the wicked one zip over your head.

We could let the flesh be arrogant and proud as we determine to fight it out, to battle it through, to face our problems and seek God and get enough grace to survive.

We do not want that. Let us follow the example of Moses. 

He was the meekest man on the face of the earth. No situation and no person sucessfully rose against him.

When Joshua came on the scene, he said, "Not one man was able to stand against Moses all the days of his life."

The earth swallowed them up, fire fell on them, anything and everything happened to them because this man was meek.

He lost his temper several times (and perhaps we cannot blame him for that) , but he paid a dear price for it. 

Of all the men in the Old Testament that God used, Moses was the most meek.

Jesus is the best example of meekness in the New Testament. He said, "Father, I glorify You because You have laid all things in My hands."

Then He said, "Now come on, folks; I want you to learn something from Me. I am meek and lowly of heart; learn of Me and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29).

Would you like to have a little rest from the warfare?

When we seek God earnestly, it will not be necessary for any devils to battle us. If that meekness and lowliness of heart brings the rest and peace, then let us have it.

In the foxhole of meekness, of lowliness and humility, there is rest. The battle passes you by.

It is the stronghold of protection.

This is the secret that could make life a great deal more effective for you.

Most of us, when we finally do admit a sin, make it almost a tongue-in-cheek affair, like the girl who said, "Oh, I wish you would pray for this sin of exaggeration I have. 

It is terrible and I have wept buckets of tears over it." It was still there, was it not?

Sometimes when we begin to seek the face of the Lord, we recognize our need to be humbled before Him.

But to really come and humble yourself before God requires that sackcloth and ashes become something of an experience to you.

The  prelude to great victories must be sackcloth and ashes. humble yourself under the hand of God.

Ask Him to lay His hand on you and crush you until you are nothing. Then in due time He will exalt you. Because there is no spiritual pride remaining.

He can position you next to His very throne. He can seat you in the heavenly places to rule and reign with His own Son because there will be no pride there.

God resist the proud. Have you found that your prayers have been somewhat hindered? Have you been trying to minister, trying to bless, and you cannot get through?

Have you been attempting to do things that you cannot accomplish? God resist the proud.

You may have been blaming the devil for it, but the devil cannot stop any child of God in his ministry if the power of God is behind him.

The weakest saint going about to fulfill a divine commission in the authority of Jesus name could defeat all the devils in hell.

You are being hindered because God is resisting you. It may be Satan's fault too, but behind the hand of Satan is the permission of God for him to hinder you.

When we are struggling, let us not work against ourselves.

Let us not try to establish churches while the Lord resists us. Let us go down and humble ourselves before the Lord.

Let us not be half-safe; let us be sure. Come to the place where you open your heart to God, wanting to walk humbly before Him.

When you see some of the arrogance within your own spirit (we can always see it in the other person) and you humble yourself before the Lord, you have automatically found the thing that God sees, and He will bless you.

He will bless the humility every time. And as He blesses you, you are going to be invincible. your defenses will be made strong, and you will say, like Paul, "My strength is made perfect in weakness."

That was why Paul was willing for it to happen: "Oh, I will glory in my infirmities. I am going to glory in what has brought me to this place. The power of Christ will rest upon me.

We dare not do anything that makes us open in any way to Satan. I do not know whether you understand this or not.

Let this passage of Scripture impress it upon your heart. 

Revelation 12:7-13

King James Version (KJV)
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

 His wrath is great because he knows that his time is short. Picture this, if you will: In addition to that which is normally the lot of a Christian in battling for the Lord, we have Satan resisting the New Testament restoration of the Church and raging with great wrath because his time is short.

We have the activity of the devil and demons in the earth multiplied to an almost unbelievable intensity.

And if we have any openness because of pride, we are laying ourselves open for a great deal of trouble.

Let there be a prayer in your heart: "Lord, I would like to be less proud. I would really like to be more humble in my walk with You. If this is the only thing that is hindering my ministry of prayer and intercession, then I am going to get right down before You without any self-seeking whatsoever and ask You to help me. I am going to humble myself before you."

Set your heart on it.

What do you think God wants when He says, "Humble yourself"? What does humility mean to you?

Perhaps you think we ought to have some mortification of the flesh, such as severity of dress, and demand that all the women fix their hair up in knots and wear no makeup.

Do you think that would help us?

Would that be humility? There is a brand of pride in that too. Pride will flourish in any custom.

In the final analysis, humility is the development of a state of heart toward God alone.

It is not found in anything external; it is not in forms or rituals. It is before God.

It is getting down on our faces and calling upon the Lord, learning humility at His feet, learning the fear of the Lord, drawing nigh to Him in submission and humility.

You may have come before the Lord and said, "Forgive me, forgive me, " but that is not the route.

You have to accept your standing, your state before the Lord and the righteousness that is imparted by faith to your heart. That you must accept.

Coming before the Lord and humbling your heart before Him should be the attitude in which you approach the Lord.

You are looking to the Spirit of God to help you bow before Him. It is not a work you can complete by yourself. As you pray and seek God, let this be an objective.

This is something that has to be wrought in your spirit, because the human heart is proud and that pride has to be destroyed.

Once God works the humility in you, it is no longer a matter of continually beating yourself down and saying you are sorry about something. It is a matter of seeking the Lord for a meek and humble state. That is the answer.

If you do see pride, repent of it. Almost all resentment is a matter of pride. It says, "But they cannot do that to me."

And who are you? Aren't you God's servant? They can do that to you if God lets them. As long as you are that proud, He will let them.

At the time when Solomon's temple (filled with the gold and the glory) was dedicated, during the Feast of Tabernacles, Solomon prayed a prayer, asking God to look after it.

God answered:

2 Chronicles 7:14-15

King James Version (KJV)
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
  I think that is what God wants us to do: call upon Him and go into a period of humbling ourselves before Him, for He is ready to do great things among us.

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome series and a blessing to read teachings like this.

    I was taken out of the institutional church and set on a journey of being disciplined into a mature son. It is one that has no relevance to what is being taught in the mainline evangelical church.

    Thanks again for a great study.