by Gary T. Panell
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and thatevery tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)
When you think of ‘pride’ you may think about different kinds of pride—like us men who are so proud sometimes, that when we are traveling we don’t want to stop to ask directions, even when we are hopelessly lost. (I resemble that remark!) Then when you think about ‘pride’ maybe you think about a person who has pride in their work, which is a good kind of pride. Or you might think about the pride we have for our soldiers, which is a good kind of pride.
The dictionary defines ‘pride’ as: “1. A sense of one’s own proper dignity or value; self-respect … 2. Pleasure or satisfaction taken in one’s work, achievements, or possessions. Then still there is another definition: An excessively high opinion of oneself; conceit. To indulge in self-esteem; glory.” Theology: The consideration or personification of this condition as the first of the seven cardinal sins… ”These six things the Lord hates, yes, a proud look…(Proverbs 6:16) (Second College Edition The American Heritage Dictionary)
The pride I want to talk about is the wrong kind of pride; it is sometimes called ‘conceit.’ Where did it come from? Or where did it have its beginning? It came from Satan who was once called Lucifer, the covering cherub possibly the highest angel in heaven.
But today, almost every survey that is taken, has more and more people saying they do not believe that Satan is a real person. No doubt this is just what Satan wants people to think, right now, but let me assure you—on the authority of God’s Word, the devil is a real person!
Satan chose of his own free will to rebel against God and take one-third of the angels with him. “His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.” (Revelation 12:4)
In the books of Ezekiel and Isaiah we are told about Satan’s past and future. Even though there was a king in Tyre and Babylon at the time these passages were written, God shows who the real power behind these evil kings was, and that was Satan. So here is a description of what Satan was like, taken from Ezekiel 28:12-19:
“Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God:
“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
“The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
“You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones.
“Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you.
“You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. [This last part may be still future.]
“All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever.” (Ezekiel 28:12-19)
Personally, I believe, Satan has lied to himself so much that he actually thinks he can win against God. At any rate he was one of the highest angels in heaven, or the highest before he sinned. God must have given all the angels free will when they were created. One of the differences between them and us is that when they sinned they were not given a way to repent like us. Probably the reason for this is because the angels are in the very presence of God, they know better than to go against God’s Holiness!
At any rate Satan now is God’s arch enemy and ours. Even though he has a lot of power hi is not all powerful like God (omnipotent). He is not all knowing (omniscient). He is not everywhere present as God is (omnipresent). Also, God has allowed him to carry on for awhile, I believe, so we can have a choice between serving God or the devil. When this time of choice is up the devil will be sent to hell which was prepared for him and all the other fallen angels, and people who do not take the salvation God offers through His Son Jesus Christ.
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels…” (Matthew 25:41)
Another passage that speaks of what happened to Lucifer, which is what he was called before he fell, is found in Isaiah. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
“I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-15)
The Spirit Filled Bible comments: “Satan was once an angel called Lucifer, who was in love with his own beauty, fell into pride and self-centeredness. His rebellion manifests [itself] in five ‘I will’ statements addressed against God.”
Now Satan is allowed to roam the earth trying to keep people from God, and once they have found salvation he wants to destroy their effectiveness so they cannot reach others. The Apostle Peter tells us this in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
What sin do you suppose he tempts people with, probably most often: That’s right, the same sin he was tempted with. Look at how he uses this bait he puts into his traps, and how it worked for him throughout history.
Satan’s first great ‘victory’ was in deceiving Eve and tempting Adam to disobey God, which—when they sinned he and they brought sin into the world. (Look at Worldview Part Three to see more on this subject.)
Turn in your Bibles with me, please, to chapter 3 of Genesis and verse 1. “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’
“And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’
“Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:1-6)
Satan used this tool of pride with those in Noah’s day before the Great Flood, where they were filled with pride and rebellion against God. Look at Genesis 6:5 “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said,
“I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:5-8 (For more details on this go to Worldview Part 4 and Part 5).
After the Great Flood of Noah’s day, Satan used Nimrod to rebel against the Lord at the Tower of Babel. What trap do you think Satan had for Nimrod? That’s right, pride, look at Genesis 10: 8-10. Cush was a son of Ham and so Nimrod was a grandson of Ham and a great grandson of Noah.
“Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord [this can be translated ‘against the LORD.’ ” And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel…”
You know the rest of the story about the Tower and how the one world language was changed to many languages. Also, after this time, Babylon came from this group. So they were descendents of Nimrod’s tribe, which takes us full circle to the passage we read earlier about the king of Babylon being filled with Satan.
This brings us to the New Testament and Judas. By the way we could relate many other cases of pride causing kings to fall in the Old Testament, but time will not permit.
Judas was with Jesus more than three years, he saw all the miracles, and he saw firsthand God’s love and compassion for mankind. But Judas it seems was not interested in God’s love for humanity, no, he was interested in himself only. He was all wrapped up in himself. Someone has said, “A person all wrapped up in themselves make a very small package!”
Judas, it seems, wanted to be a leader in the government, that he thought Jesus was going to bring in. He, no doubt, wanted to be Minister of Finance. He was not into the spiritual side of Jesus ministry; the Bible tells us he was a thief. He didn’t care about the poor as he said he did, no, his heart was lifted up in pride and arrogance. He wanted to be someone, he wanted the praise of man so he betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders for thirty pieces of silver. Did he get to spend it?
Jesus said about the pride of selfishness: “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
Jesus gives a basic principle of life here, and also in James 4:6. But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel comments on this and says: “This is the opposite of what the philosophies of the world teach. The world honors the aggressive, go-getter, self-made man. Jesus said the opposite. If you want to be exalted allow yourself to be abased. He then showed us how on the cross.” (Chuck Smith The Word For Today Bible)
“Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.” (2 Chronicles 32:26)
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13)
“When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
“By pride comes, nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.” (Proverbs 13:10)
“In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.” (Proverbs 14:3)
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
“A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.” (Proverbs 29:23)
“The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; you who say in your heart, who will bring me down to the ground?” (Obadiah 1:3)
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:12-18)
“He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (Proverbs 10:4)
“Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; though they join forces, none will go unpunished.” (Proverbs 16:5)
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness;
“they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:28-32)
Speaking of the last days: “For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:2-5)
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:5-7)
The Bible says that Moses was a very humble man: “(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)” (Numbers 12:3)
Jesus went so far as to wash the disciples feet a job left usually for servants only. It says in John13: 1-17:
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, are You washing my feet?’
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, ‘You shall never wash my feet!’
“Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’
“Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!’
“Jesus said to him, ‘He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.’ For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, ‘You are not all clean.’
“So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.’
“’If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.’” (John 13:1-17)
We need to learn from Jesus’ example.
“…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
“The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.” (Psalm 25:9)
“My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:2-4)
“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations,
“And punishments on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgment-This honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 149:4-9)
James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
And the last verse, but an extremely important verse which sums up what the Lord expects of us while we are on this earth: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
by Gary T. Panell
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