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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pride


“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: a proud look, …” (Prov. 6:16, 17).

 “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev. 14:7).

Pride tops the list of sins that God hates the most. The essence of pride is taking the glory that God is due and applying it to self.

“I’m pretty good!” “I’m good looking.” “I’m pretty smart, talented, thrifty, caring, and compassionate.” “I have good willpower, nutritional habits and lifestyle.” “I exercise, I am creative, inventive. I’m prosperous, wise, and savvy.”

But, all of those good traits came from God. Even the good genes and chromosomes came from God. Taking their praise to ourselves, as Solomon did, even subtly, even in passing, even in our thoughts, is sin, and the greatest of sins. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:6).

It’s only right to pay the homage to the One who gave the blessing. God is the real source of all our strengths and abilities. Our gratitude to the Giver of every good thing should keep us thankful all the time. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (Jas. 1:17).

Do you appreciate heat in the winter and A/C in the summer? How about a faucet and a sink? Hot bathwater? Hot meals? Ice cubes? How about a toilet? TP? Toothbrush? Toothpaste? What about wheels? A roof over your head? A phone? Lights and electricity? We have a lot to be thankful for; but, most will not return thankfulness to God until the soon-coming tribulation comes, and all of these amenities will vanish. Then, according to the prophecy, “The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway: so that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.” (Deut 28:33,34).

Of course, we say grace over our meals. But these other things deserve our thankfulness also. I once knew of a woman who prayed over every glass of water. I don’t think that is too fanatical. Did Adam and Eve thank God for anything in the Garden of Eden? I have no doubt they thanked Him for everything.

Adam and Eve were charmed with the beauties of their Eden home. They were delighted with the little songsters around them, wearing their bright yet graceful plumage, and warbling forth their happy, cheerful music. The holy pair united with them and raised their voices in harmonious songs of love, praise and adoration, to the Father and his dear Son, for the tokens of love which surrounded them. They recognized the order and harmony of creation, which spoke of wisdom and knowledge that were infinite. Some new beauty and additional glory of their Eden home they were continually discovering, which filled their hearts with deeper love, and brought from their lips expressions of gratitude and reverence to their Creator.…

The holy pair received the [angelic visitors] with joyful innocence, expressing their grateful thanks to their Creator for thus surrounding them with such a profusion of his bounty. Everything lovely and attractive was theirs to enjoy, and everything seemed wisely adapted to their wants; and that which they prized above all other blessings, was the society of the Son of God and the heavenly angels, for they had much to relate to them at every visit, of their new discoveries of the beauties of nature in their lovely Eden home, and they had many questions to ask relative to many things which they could but indistinctly comprehend. 
  Adam and Eve should never transgress the express command of God; for it was their highest pleasure to do his will. The angels united with Adam and Eve in holy strains of harmonious music; and…their songs pealed forth from blissful Eden. Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, p. 26, 34.

They sang constantly, and the content of their praise was all the wonderful things in their garden home which they saw as gifts from a God of infinite love. Sinlessness lent itself to gratitude to the Creator.

On the contrary, after the fall into sin, the first of many downward steps was the glorifying of self instead of the Creator.

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” (Rom. 1:21). It may not have seemed so disastrous to the human race at the time to be ungrateful, as the same frame of mind doesn’t seem too awfully terrible to our generation today. But it eventually ended in compete breakdown of the societies of the nations.

Probably when Paul begins his description of the moral slide into perdition, he is speaking of the post-flood world. Ham, Cush, and Nimrod spearheaded a revolt against the holy government of Noah and Shem and Arphaxad. Although Shem was able to put down the revolt, according to extant extra-biblical sources [Two Babylons, by Edward Hyslop] the apostates did not surrender to righteousness. They came up with an elaborate, secretive system to perpetuate the rebellion and self-indulgence of the chief revolters. The builders of Babel refused to submit, and extended their rebellion to the farthest extent of the human race. Nimrod gathered a host of armed men and chased down the multitudes as they obediently left the tower of Babel, capturing them and enslaving them and creating the world’s first empire in Ashur. Egypt, founded by Ham and Cush, remained unreformed, stubbornly maintaining their rebellious stance. They would assist the underground effort to avenge the death of Nimrod upon the government of Shem, spreading throughout the earth depravity and ignorance and weakness of morals, intellect, and body.

A resurgence of that system came by providence. The nations of the earth, including Israel, had succumbed to Babylon’s unconscionable religion, so God gave Babylon new life with Nebuchadnezzar’s new-Babylonian empire. For the next 600 years that system of forgetting God and His Law would be focused on the Middle East and Europe through four successive pagan empires.

“Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto My words, nor to My Law, but rejected it.” (Jer. 6:19).

The Israelites fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness. From the time of their entrance to the land of Canaan, they departed from the commandments of God, and followed the ways of the heathen.… God sent them warning by His prophets.… They suffered the chastisement of heathen oppression…. Desire of Ages, p. 28.

Babylon came to symbolize pride and daring contempt of God. Pride, the essence of sin won’t confess a wrong. Its pride that won’t admit to error. Its pride that can’t be corrected. Pride will not be instructed because it reigns over the law-enforcers of the earth and no one can reprove it—not God’s messengers, and not even the Almighty Himself. Satan has control of the heart that refuses to bow before godly reproof. “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a Queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” (Rev. 18:7).

The Queen of heaven has spoken. Woe be to the Elijah or John the Baptists who dares to stand in her wicked way. Woe to the brave soul who tries to prevent her determined descent into perdition. The dragon possesses the Queen of heaven. He inbues her with his rebellion and pride. Trust God? I will not! Keep His commandments? I will not!  “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” (Isa. 30:15). I will not!

Let Israel go? I will not! “Who is the LORD”? “Obey His voice?” “I know not the LORD, neither will I” do what His commandments! (Ex. 5:2). The Queen of heaven speaks with a man’s voice, “a mouth speaking [pompous] things.” (Dan. 7:8). She has the bold, imperious “eyes of man” (Dan. 7:8), set in “a whore’s forehead.” (Jer. 3:3).

The Queen of heaven is the god of the one false religion, a religion that began with Cain. Without realizing its long-term, permanent affect on the human race, Cain entertained the spirit of discontent, grumbling at God’s corrective measure to sinful man by making the family live outside of the Garden of Eden in a harsher world.

Cain didn’t see the blessing of the curse; nor would he ever choose to comprehend it. Thus, by complaining about his miserable surroundings instead of looking for the rose-covered thorns, he had nothing of which to give grateful thanks to his Creator-Redeemer. After a time Satan entered into the soul of Cain and made it his permanent home. The devil then did to Cain as Jeroboam did to the nation of Israel; he changed the religion of God to suit his carnal desires.

The one false religion was born and thrived in the human family already prone to pride and self-sufficiency. The apostate counterfeit to the Edenic religion would have nothing to do with humiliation. As Cain refused to surrender his will to the Lord’s plan for his good, neither could he ever see the humiliation tied to the dying and death of the sacrificial lamb. The counterfeit would have the close appearance to the genuine, but nothing in it would require grief and sorrow, nothing to break the pride and crumble the willful heart.

The religion of the Queen of heaven perfectly suited the fallen, sinful nature, even impelling it to heights of pride heretofore known. It drew Cain to thoughts and feelings that he could not have dared to have prior to the soothing endorsements from the devils’ flattering whispers. His conscience was seared; his wrath toward the Lord ceased to disturb him; he became the host of the spirit behind the Queen of heaven. By his choice to entertain complaint at God’s justice, he became home to the insinuations of Satan and the progenitor of an evil seed. Self-pity, Self-justification, self-indulgence of every kind of rebellious thought and behavior has characterized that wicked race to this day. It spread around the globe preventing the redemptive effects of God’s true religion until “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and…every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5).

The Lord God had spoken the first two prophecies. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:16,17). “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:14,15).

Certainly, the first was fulfilled, as surely as the second, that two families of humanity would exist until the very close of probation. The Queen of heaven has done battle against the King of heaven, almost always the King and His children disadvantaged numerically. But His one true religion has faithfully freed His seed from the service of sin by His Spirit dwelling in them. Their human progenitor, Abel, exemplified everything the true religion offered: the broken and contrite heart, redeemed will and soul, and victory over the love of sin.

“How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:2). “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22,23), having fearlessness of the devil and of temporal death, and fearing God and the eternal separation from Him in the second death, while Cain’s descendents feared Satan and death, and felt no separation from heaven. Abel’s one true religion led to faith in a coming Savior from heaven who would save His people from their sins.

“Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously: who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” (1Pet. 2:22,25).

The two seeds restarted the war after the world-wide flood, as Ham rebelled against the holy government of Shem, implementing the old, antediluvian apostate religion that schmoozed its adherents with undue familiarity, winning their affections and claiming their hearts for the proud Queen of heaven. Her descendents will eventually join the Queen of heaven in destruction. “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25:41).

1 Comments:

Blogger Nsubuga Daniel said...

Thank you for the post about pride, I have read it

2/25/2014 9:17 PM  

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