Copyright 1994 - 2019 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
June 18, 1999
Last Updated :
June 12, 2013
NOTE: This article or series has not been updated recently. As such, it may possibly contain some outdated information, and/or ideas and beliefs which I no longer embrace, or which have changed to some degree.
A Gnawing Feeling Of Dissatisfaction Despite Accomplishments, Common Longing For Something Better, There Is No Fulfillment When We Are Out Of Union With God, The Fall Of Adam And Eve, Satan's Subtle Tactics Are Still At Work Today, Devil Is The Lying Deceiving False God Of This World, In His Role As The God Of Materialism Satan Tempted Jesus In The Wilderness, In A Moment Of Time, Satan Has Tempted Humanity With Materialism For Thousands Of Years, Resist Satan's Carnal Temptations By God's Grace, Human Rat Race And Building On Wrong Foundation, No Other Foundation But Jesus, Satan's Artificial World, Ugly Sores And Rapists Of God's Planet, God Will Destroy Those Who Destroy The Earth, Futility Of Gaining Worldly Wealth, The Patriarchs Of Old Embraced A Heavenly Vision, We Are Called Out And Separated From This World, Flawed Manual Detours And Dangerous Back Roads, A Choice Between Two Paths To Follow, Jesus Is The Door Strait Gate And Narrow Way To Eternal Life
Allow me to ask you an honest question. Have there ever been times in your personal life when you have felt as if you have been aimlessly wandering down the highway of life without any real sense of direction? Even if you do have a particular set goals in your life, some of which you have even been able to achieve, have there still been times when you have felt an uncomfortable feeling deep down within yourself; a feeling of dissatisfaction, of futility, and of emptiness which just seems to gnaw at your being, in spite of all of your worldly success? When that happens, does it cause you to wonder if there might not be more to this life than just doing your daily, monotonous, robotic work routine?
If you answered "yes" to any of the previous questions, you are by no means alone. In fact, I would dare say that there are many people in the world today who feel exactly the same way as you do, no matter who they are, or what country they may be from, or what their social status may be. So many people have this longing for something better, yet they just can't seem to figure out what that "better" is. Why is this? Why do some people have so much in a material sense, and yet still feel as if they possess nothing at all? Why, in spite of having so many friends in their lives, do certain people still feel so alone? Is it possibly because their friends are just as empty inside as they are?
The simple truth of the matter is that the human spirit was never meant to be fully satisfied with carnal, temporal, earthly things apart from the One who created it. Our spirit is incomplete when it is out of union, and out of sync, with our Heavenly Father. Our inner spirit longs to bathe in the Spiritual Light of His Presence, just as the very first pair -- Adam and Eve -- appear to have enjoyed direct fellowship with the Lord, prior to their fall in the Garden of Eden. In the Book of Genesis we read the following verses:
"And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."
Genesis 3:8-10, KJV
As many Christians will know, as a result of their sins of pride and rebellion, and not being satisfied with what they had, the wonderful relationship which Adam and Eve had with the Lord was destroyed when they listened to the deceptive entreaties of that beguiling serpent -- Satan -- who caused them to doubt God's Word when he posed the question to Eve "Hath God said?". As the Apostle Paul writes in his second Epistle to the Corinthians:
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
2 Corinthians 11:3, KJV
That is the problem today as well. So many people have been beguiled by that subtle serpent. He just keeps playing the very same card tricks, and people just keep being deceived by his ruse. The Bible informs us quite plainly that the incessant desire to accumulate physical things in this life in order to try to satisfy the true needs of our spirit, is not only not of God, but is in fact inspired by Satan, who is the false god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, and the wicked spirit who works in the children of disobedience. Furthermore, he is a liar and a deceiver, a murderer, and a false angel of light. As such, we are to have absolutely no part in him, as we can determine by the following verses:
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
2 Corinthians 4:4, KJV
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:13-15, KJV
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:"
Ephesians 2:2, KJV
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
Ephesians 6:12, KJV
"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."
John 8:44, KJV
But that is not all. Because Satan is the god of this world, he is also the god of materialism, and he owns it all. This is apparently a role which that vile serpent has been playing for literally thousands of years. We find clear evidence of this Biblical truth in the following verses where Satan even tempted Jesus during those forty days that He fasted in the wilderness of the Jordan River Valley, prior to beginning His Ministry in Israel:
"And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it."
Luke 4:5-6, KJV
Imagine being offered all of the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. While there are several different ways in which we can possibly understand the phrase "in a moment of time", my personal understanding has long been that not only did the Devil show Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world which may have existed at that particular time in history, but he may have even shown the Lord all of the world powers which have existed for all time, including in our own time. Of course, I cannot solidly prove this particular point, but it seems to me that if the Devil wanted to acquire the top position in the Spirit Realm -- meaning the very Throne of Heaven -- he would go all out in order to try to win Jesus to his side of the bargaining table. Thankfully, Jesus did not fall for that ruse. He remained true to His Father's Will.
Obviously, there is no way that Satan could have possibly offered those things to Jesus, unless he owned them, and had power and control over them. This is in fact an issue which I discuss at length in the article entitled "Satan: King of Tyrus, King of Empires". So my point is that as the god of this world, and the god of materialism, for millennia now, the Devil has indeed blinded many people who have not been wary of his evil devices. They have fallen for the very same temptations which were offered to the Patriarchs, to Moses, to Jesus, and to everyone else who has sincerely sought to follow the ways of the Lord. Sadly, the people who choose to accept Satan's offer eventually find themselves feeling cold, empty, alone and without any real purpose or meaning in life. As I ask in another article of the same name, "Have You Sold Your Soul for a Pound of Flesh?".
If you find yourself being tempted by the Devil's bait, you need to realize that there is a way of escape. You don't have to give in. While we are all at one time or another tempted by the carnal lusts, desires and things of the present world, God can and will give us the strength to resist the Devil's devices and temptations if we ask Him to. Consider the wise words of the Apostles Peter, James and Paul:
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
2 Corinthians 2:11, KJV
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
1 Corinthians 10:13, KJV
"Neither give place to the devil."
Ephesians 4:27, KJV
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
James 4:7, KJV
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
1 Peter 5:8, KJV
As I mentioned earlier, the tragedy is that many people have not known how to resist the Devil, because they don't have a relationship with their Heavenly Father. Without our Father's help, there is no way that we can endure everything that the Devil throws at us. That Prince of Darkness does everything within his power to keep people so busy living and surviving in the human rat race, and so busy just trying to fulfill all of the selfish desires of their flesh, that they devote very little or no time to ponder and worship their Creator, or to admire His marvellous natural creation. Neither do they spend very much time -- if any at all -- studying God's Holy Word. If they did, perhaps they would begin to realize how utterly futile it is to devote so much time and energy to things that are not going to last.
The truth is that such people are building their lives on the wrong foundation, and one of these days it will all crumble if they don't come to their senses, and begin building their lives on the right foundation. That Foundation is of course Jesus Christ -- the one true Rock and Cornerstone -- as we can easily determine by the following related verses:
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:11, KJV
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"
Ephesians 2:19-20, KJV
"Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,"
1 Peter 2:6-7, KJV
"This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner."
Acts 4:11, KJV
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock [Jesus referring to Himself and NOT to Peter] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Matthew 16:18, KJV
"And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
1 Corinthians 10:4, KJV
"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? . . . And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them."
Matthew 21:42, 44-45, KJV
"Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces . . . And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."
Daniel 2:34, 44, KJV
"Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
Psalm 2:6-9, KJV
The end result of this deception and building on the wrong foundation is that through Satan's own inspiration, man has created a totally artificial environment of concrete cities which pollute this planet, and which are full of noise and confusion, violence and every imaginable sin and perversion under the sun. Cities are like open, festering sores on the surface of the Lord's beautiful creation. They are centers of lust which cater to every possible desire of our sinful flesh, while at the same time, filling the pockets of the powerful people who in fact control this wicked world. The unscrupulous individuals who do this are pimping the planet. They rape her again and again, and treat her as if she is just their cheap prostitute. It is selfishness and greed at its worst. However, we have a promise in God's Word that He will not allow their disgraceful actions to go on forever:
"And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."
Revelation 11:18, KJV
While discussing and writing about the worthless futility of accumulating wealth and physical possessions in this present life, Jesus, the Gospel writers, James and the Apostle Paul had this to say. Please note that the word "mammon" refers to wealth, riches and treasure:
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also . . . No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Matthew 6:19-21, 24, KJV
". . . Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
Matthew 19:23-24, KJV
". . . Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!"
Mark 10:24b, KJV
"No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Luke 16:13, KJV
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
Colossians 3:1-2, KJV
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
1 Timothy 6:6-10, KJV
"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain."
James 5:1-7, KJV
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For 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 is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV
As I point out in such articles as "One From Beyond: Hebrew of Hebrews" and "The Heavenly Vision: Have You Got It?", the wise Patriarchs of old were fully aware of the temporality of the things of this present world; and it is for this very reason that the Scriptures inform us that they all desired something better. They recognized that they were strangers and pilgrims on this Earth. They had a heavenly vision. Even Moses who was raised in the rich, affluent household of the Egyptian pharaoh by the daughter of pharaoh, eventually grew to understand the deceitfulness of fame and riches. This is why, by God's own design, he eventually forsook his adopted heritage, and chose to suffer with his fellow brethren, the Hebrew slaves. Consider the following verses:
"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible."
Hebrews 11:24-27, KJV
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
Hebrews 11:13-16, KJV
The simple fact of the matter is that God's true children are not a part of this evil world. We may have been born into it, and we may live and work in it in some fashion, but it is not our real home. Throughout the Bible we find evidence of this very same world view. Beginning with Jesus Himself, one writer after the other cries out for something better, and admonishes God's people to come out from among them, to be God's "called out ones" -- or "ekklesia" in the original Greek -- and to be separated from the world. Consider the following additional verses:
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
John 15:19, KJV
"I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil."
John 17:14-15, KJV
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
James 4:4, KJV
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? . . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
2 Corinthians 6:14, 17-18, KJV
"And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away."
1 Corinthians 7:31, KJV
"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
2 Timothy 2:4, KJV
"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life . . . We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
2 Corinthians 5:1-4, 8, KJV
"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you."
Philippians 1:21-24, KJV
As we have already seen, the spiritual force which motivates man to separate himself from his Creator, and to foolishly replace his fellowship with God, with the temporal things of the Earth, and to build his vast empires of power and wealth where sin and corruption abound, is none other than Satan himself. He is the god of this world, and he is pulling the strings. Humanity, in large part, and by its own free choice, has followed Satan's lead, and has foolishly taken a detour from the safe highway which God has plotted out for us in His Word. In fact, as many Christians already realize, much of humanity has already trashed God's "Drivers Manual", and has replaced it with their own flawed set of instructions. This new manual is extremely dangerous, because it ignores all of the warning signs. It disregards the original set of rules. It takes dangerous and untested back roads. It basically says that we can go our own way, and just forget about that other highway; that is, the real highway. It says that sin may be dangerous, but it is also fun and exciting.
It should be clear to you by now that our Heavenly Father has set a choice before us. There are only two roads which we can follow in this life. The first of these is the highway of the Spirit which leads to Salvation and Eternal Life. The second consists of the ways of the world and the ways of the flesh, which ultimately leads to sin and death. Either we continue down the broad, easy highway which will eventually lead us to both physical and spiritual destruction and death, or else we choose to forsake the path of the common herd of men, and we follow the steep, rugged trail which leads to Eternal Life. As Jesus Himself teaches us in the Gospel of Matthew:
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
Matthew 7:13-14, KJV
You will notice that Jesus informs His listeners that "few there be that find it", where the word "it" is referring to the strait gate and narrow way. Of course, we know from some of the Lord's other teachings that He is in fact referring to Himself as the Strait Gate, the Narrow Way, and the only Door which leads to Eternal Life. This becomes evident by verses such as the following:
"Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity."
Luke 13:24-27, KJV
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
John 10:1-9, KJV
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6, KJV
Please go to part two for the conclusion of this article.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .