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Spirit Of Pride

 

SPIRIT OF PRIDE

Pride is not an ordinary spirit in Satan's kingdom.  It is the most deadly of demons in the kingdom of darkness.  It is the very essence of evil and sin.  Every demon is filled with pride and the devil himself is called a dragon and serpent, even as the spirit of pride is depicted as a dragon or serpent of the sea.  Ps. 74:13,14; Is. 27:1; Ps. 74:13,14.

It is a worldwide power that permeates ever facet of society and human relationships and the root cause of every fight, war, murder and most, if not all, sin in the world.  It influences just about every human activity.  It hypnotizes, persuades and deceives.  It is the nature and source of lies.  It subconsciously and consciously controls the minds, thoughts and words of almost everyone on earth, save a very few.  It is Satan's nature.

ITS ORIGIN

Pride was the cause of Adam and Eve's rebellion.  They wanted to be gods.  No, Isaiah 14:1-22 and Ezekiel 28:1-19 do not refer to Satan; it refers to Adam.  "Lucifer" is a Latin word and never appeared in the original Greek or Hebrew texts.  Both Isaiah 14:16 and Ezekiel 28: 9 refer to a "man."  Satan was never a man and it is not Satan's flesh that will be consumed by worms.  Is. 14:11.  It is the destiny of those of the race of the first Adam.  True believers belong to a new race of people conformed to image of Jesus Christ, of which He is the firstborn.  Ro. 8:29.  Jesus is the last Adam.  1 Co. 15:45. 

Satan was never an archangel.  There is not a single passage in the Bible that says that the devil was created as an archangel second in command only to God, who rebelled against God and was thrown down to earth, never to return to heaven.  First, he was never perfect and blameless from the day of his creation.  The Bible says that Satan was a murderer, liar and a sinner from the time of his creation.  Jn. 8:44; 1 Jn. 3:8.  It was Adam who was created perfect and who wanted to be a god.  It was Adam who was once a morning star or light bringer.  When he sinned, his spirit light went out and he saw his nakedness for the first time.  The Lord God promises us that He will give us back what Adam lost when he rebelled against God.  That's why the Lord Jesus Christ said, "And I will give him the morning star" to all who overcome the devil, the flesh and the world at the end of the age.  Rev. 2:28. 

It is at the end of the age that the devil will be cast out of heaven.  Rev. 12:7-9.  He has not yet been cast down to earth.  Even now, he has access to the throne of God in heaven.  Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-7.  He was the one who petitioned God to allow him to sift Peter like wheat.   Lk. 22:31.  He accuses you and me before the throne of God day and night.  Rev. 12:10.  Pride and rebellion were already in Satan at the time of his creation.

The serpent beguiled, tricked and deceived Eve into eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  The Bible says that Adam was not deceived by the serpent.  1 Ti. 2:14.  He didn't have to be deceived; he had already deceived himself.  Even before he overheard the serpent's beguiling words directed at Eve, Adam already wanted to be a god.  Pride was already working in Adam.  He just didn't have the guts.  He was an opportunist, however.  He reasoned that if he was somehow caught by God, he could always blame the woman.  He did.  Pride causes one to "pass the buck" and blame others or circumstances for bad things.  But God did not buy it.  Gen. 3:12.  Until this day, pride rules in the hearts of mankind who blame others and refuse to take responsibility for their actions or inactions.  Pride deceives and blinds.  It's in our genes or DNA.

QUENCHES THE HOLY SPIRIT

Pride quenches the Holy Spirit and pushes Him away.  It grieves the Spirit.  Where there is pride, the devil's principles rule and the Spirit of God will not abide.  God dwells with the humble of spirit and contrite of heart.  Ps. 34:18; Ps. 51:17; Is. 57:15; Is. 66:2.  The word "contrite" means shattered, broken to pieces, smashed.  It speaks of a humble and broken person who has no faith in himself and who knows that the Lord Jesus Christ is God and no other.  Perhaps there is a ceiling above which a Christian cannot rise because pride blocks the way.  Where pride rules, God leaves.  He cannot abide with the proud.

Pride is an abomination to God. 

A HIGHER LEVEL WITH GOD

We all need to get to a higher level with God and to greater spiritual growth.  That is our destiny.  Ro. 8:29.  Many Christians start off with great zeal and excitement and after a while, taper off and never grow any further in the Spirit.

I've known Christians that have been going to church, even a Spirit-filled church, for over fifty years and have never grown into spiritual maturity in Christ.  They start off speaking in tongues, having visions and dreams and once in a while hear from God.  The Bible is exciting for them and they read it constantly.  Sometimes, miracles take place.

But after a few years, they stop hearing from God or seldom do.  Miracles become scarce and nothing new in the Spirit has taken place in their lives for some time.  They are convinced that they have reached the apex and there is no more to Christianity.  For the next forty or fifty years, they just hang on to their salvation, go to church regularly, pray, read the Bible and never change. 

Dryness in the Spirit settles over the person and prayers become like spitting out dust, fasting is a chore and reading the Bible is only to memorize scriptures and stories so that they can convince others that they are spiritually mature.  Knowledge puffs up.  The dry Christian begins to justify his condition and make excuses.  Love of God and fellow men is only a doctrine, goal and pretense.  Such a Christian begins to cover up his lack of spirituality by pretending.  He begins to let others know how much he knows the Bible and quotes scriptures at the drop of a hat.  He gives advice freely and gives the impression that he is close to God.  "God told me . . . ," or "God put it in my heart that . . . ," are common expressions.  He puts himself out as a mature Christian who deserves recognition and praise from other Christians.  It's a facade. 

Some see themselves as apostles and print business cards with the title "Apostle of God" after their name.  They learn how to teach to a certain extent and search the internet constantly, looking for good sermons or outlines.  But when they run out of written material, they have to stop.  It's false appearances and facades.  Behind it all is a babe in Christ.

Pride causes some to seek knowledge so they can receive admiration and recognition from others.  They read copiously and borrow sayings, sermons and publications from other Christian leaders without acknowledging the source of their knowledge.  Pride deceives, especially the person who has it.  It makes people see themselves as someone much higher than they really are.  They are blind and deceived. 

I once met someone who professed to be a mature Christian who hadn't gone to church for years.  Every other Wednesday, this "mature" saint met other "mature" saints for lunch so they could fellowship and keep in touch, praise one another and form a mutual admiration society.  This group, of perhaps ten persons, felt that it was a waste of time going to church because they knew more than the pastors and could learned nothing further from them.  They had all read the entire Bible a number of times and could quote scriptures freely.  That's it.

None of them could speak in new tongues, cast out devils, heal the sick and raise the dead.  Mk. 16:17-18.  None of them heard from God or had gifts of the Spirit, visions, dreams and revelations.  None of them were soul winners, but considered themselves the "cream of the crop," the people to emulate, to admire and respect as elders and mature Christians.  They were deceived by pride. 

Perhaps their church leaders had no more to feed them except milk.  Their particular denomination, as with the overwhelming majority of denominations, did not believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, casting out of devils, healing the sick and raising the dead.  Pride has taken over entire denominations, brought division in the body of Christ and kept a lid over millions of Christians around the world who will defend the lies of the devil unto death and remain spiritual babes.  Every denomination cuts out portions of the Bible and claims that these scriptures no longer apply.  They are spiritually blind and deceived to the core.  It is easy to deceive a person with pride in their heart.

That's how the devil was able to deceive Eve and then most of mankind.  Pride blinds and opens one up to believing lies and deceptions.  The devil has his modus operandi.  Where there is pride, there is an open door for deception and lies.  That's why Jesus called the devil the father of lies. 

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.  Jn. 8:44. 

People with pride will cling to the lies that deceive them.  The lies have become part of their Self and their persona.  They have a vested interest in defending the lies because they are identified with those lies.  That is why a denomination or cult has to defend its lies and un-truths no matter what.  They will twist, distort, add to, subtract and bend the truth to support their un-truths.  That's why they could not believe Jesus when He spoke the truth.  The truth would make them wrong.

Pride, however, knows no bounds.  It is not limited to denominations and cults.  Denominations are the fruit or result of pride, but pride exists in almost every one.  It blinds those in whom pride is hiding.  But there are ways to detect its presence once you stop denying that you have it.

PRIDE LIMITS SPIRITUAL GROWTH

Your level of spiritual maturity is directly proportional to the level of pride in your heart.

Watchman Nee states that one cannot be a true servant of the Lord until he first has a direct confrontation with God and has been shattered and broken in spirit.  Only then is he ready to serve the Lord.  Until then, pride prevents him from going all the way with God and becoming a bond slave to Jesus Christ.  He thinks that he is obedient and willing to go to prison and even die for the Lord, but it is only pride speaking.  Peter made that very claim and the Lord Jesus prophesied that Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed.  Mt. 26:34.  It happened exactly as the Lord said.  Peter wept bitterly.  He  was crushed in spirit.  He knew that he deserved to go to hell.  Mt.26:75; Mk. 14:72.  He was humbled, smashed, shattered and broken.  After his direct confrontation with the pride in his heart, Peter was ready to be a true servant of God.

The other episode that illustrates the need for brokenness is that of Saul, who became Paul.  He was prosecuting the Christians, imprisoning them and killing them.  He was headed to become chief priest one day, famous, with a brilliant mind.  He was proud of his accomplishments and wanted more.  On his way to Damascus to round up more Christians, Saul met the Lord Jesus head on.  You know the story.  A great light came down from heaven and surrounded Saul and his entourage. 

He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul why persecutest thou me?  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? and the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord what wilt thou have me do?  Ac. 9:3-6. 

 

Saul became blind.  He was so shattered that he could not eat or drink for three days.  He was broken.  He had met the Lord God straight on and knew that he had killed God's people and was worthy of death and hell.  God, of course, restored Saul's sight and Saul became one of the greatest apostles, if not the greatest.  From that time on, Saul (his Jewish name) served the Lord with all his heart, mind and soul.  He willingly gave his life to glorify Jesus' great name.  He never flinched.  Pride had been defeated.  Truth and humility ruled in Paul's heart and mind.  He was confronted by Jesus, the Way and the Truth, and the Life.  Jn. 14:6.  He became true.

We all need to be humbled, broken and made contrite by truth.  It is the pride within us that prevents us from growing up in the Lord.  It is pride that stops revivals and causes church splits and fighting among the brethren, along with irresponsibility, excuses, justifications and luke-warmness in the church.


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