Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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November 30, 2012
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November 30, 2012
Wallowing In The Vomit And Mire Of Pornography, Brought Into Bondage Through Lust, Condemned When We Choose Darkness Over The Light, Sin Loves Company, Pleasures Of Sin For A Season, Moses' Wise Choice, Keep The Heavenly Vision, We Are Not Ignorant Of Satan's Tactics, Resist The Devil, Our Common Temptations, Carnal Lusts And Fallen Men Of God, Rebellious Sons of God And Nephilim, Viewing Pornography Is Lusting With Our Eyes, Judah's Lust For Tamar, Samson And Delilah, Samson Lusted With His Eyes And Lost His Eyes, Great Leaders And Sinners, King David And Bathsheba, Serious Consequences Of Sinning With Our Eyes, Apostle Paul's Struggles With Sinful Flesh, O Wretched Man That I Am, Bring Your Body Into Subjection, Don't Let Sin Reign In Your Body, Lust Bringeth Forth Sin, The Difficulty Of Not Experiencing Lust In The Modern World, There Are None Righteous And All Have Sinned, Constant War Between Flesh And Spirit, Walk In The Spirit, Gain More Clarity Of Meaning By Comparing Verse With Verse
This is certainly the case with the person who motivated me to write this series. He is currently wallowing in the vomit and the mire of online pornography. He has certainly been overcome by his own sexual desires, and has been brought into bondage by his own sinful lusts. Pornography has him by the throat, as is evidenced by the dozens of links that he offers on his timeline. Each link is like a chain that is wrapped tightly around his head, and he just can't seem to break free of them.
While it is possible that this man is so past feeling the conviction of God's Spirit working on his heart, that he does not even realize that what he is doing is wrong, as I said, I honestly don't believe that this is the case. I believe that he knows full well that his current conduct is displeasing to the Lord, but he is consciously resisting the conviction to repent and change. That is in fact why he chose to unfriend me. He doesn't want to be reminded of his sins and rebellion. He doesn't want the light of God's conviction shining on his darkened, wicked heart. I am reminded of what Jesus said in the third chapter of the Gospel of John:
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
John 3:19-21, KJV
Furthermore, as I noted earlier, while he fools himself into believing that he is a Christian, he is in fact serving as Satan's conduit, so that others will be led into committing the very same sins. As the old saying goes, misery loves company. Well, guess what? Sin does too!
In contrast to people like this man who have succumbed to the temptations of the world and the lusts of their sinful flesh, as the Apostle Paul points out in his Epistle to the Hebrews, such was not the case with the man Moses, as we see by 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."
Hebrews 11:24-26, KJV
Imagine that. The Hebrew Moses could have kept it all. He could very easily have continued "to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season". However, Moses looked at what the world offered him, and what God offered him, and he wisely made the right choice. He chose the eternal over the temporal. He said "No thanks!" to Satan's worldly enticements, just as the Lord would do not quite fifteen hundred years later following His forty-day fast in the wilderness. As I point out in articles such as "The Heavenly Vision: Have You Got It?" and "One From Beyond: Hebrew of Hebrews", all of the Patriarchs maintained their eyes and vision on the Heavenly Goal; and they did not allow themselves to become bogged down by the things of this current sinful world. Consider the following verses:
"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
As many of you have no doubt come to realize yourselves, it is so very easy to yield to the temptations and lusts of our sinful flesh. It is resisting these fleshly, carnal desires that presents the real battle, but this is exactly what the Lord expects us to do. In reading some of the Epistles, we discover that the Apostles Peter, James and Paul were by no means ignorant of Satan's subtle tactics. Rather than yield ourselves to these carnal lusts, they admonish us to submit ourselves to God's Spirit, and to resist the Devil, as we see by the following sample verses:
"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
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
2 Corinthians 2:11, KJV
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
2 Corinthians 11:14, 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
It becomes evident then that it isn't that we don't know any better, it is simply that sometimes we are too weak when it comes to resisting the temptations and lusts of our flesh. However, if we are weak, there will be a heavy price to pay if we don't get back on track with the Lord. While it most certainly does not justify our actions, we can take comfort in the fact that we are not alone; for as the Apostle Paul wrote in the previous verse "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man". As I point out in such articles as "Oh Be Careful Little Eyes!" the Scriptures are filled with examples of men of God who made the mistake of yielding themselves to their fleshly desires and lusts. In fact, such battles are apparently not limited just to human beings alone, as we will see in a moment.
While Adam and Eve foolishly lusted after knowledge and power which was not meant for them to have -- "ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" -- as we have already seen, these are not the only temptations which can lead us to sin. Not only that, but for the vast majority of us, Satan resorts to a lot less impressive weapons in order to cause us to fall; namely our own carnal lusts. For example, how often do we hear of so-called "respectable" men of the cloth who have engaged in sexual improprieties? Look at the shame and disgrace which has been brought upon the Roman Catholic Church due to the widespread cases of pedophilia. Of course, as we discussed earlier in this series, this is in addition to the liberal spirit which has invaded so many of the churches.
As I point out in the in-depth series entitled "Nephilim: The Giants of Genesis", as well as in its companion article "The Book of Enoch: Truth or Heresy?", in Genesis chapter six we learn that it was precisely a forbidden desire for illicit sex which led to a great rebellion in the Halls of Heaven. In the end, this rebellion resulted in the strong condemnation and imprisonment of a large band of the Angelic Sons of God. Consider the following verses:
"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."
Genesis 6:1-4, KJV
Please notice carefully what caused the downfall of these Sons of God. Moses tells us that they "saw the daughters of men that they were fair". Clearly then, these Angelic Beings sinned against the Lord when they lusted with their eyes. We are committing a similar error when we view pornography. We are lusting with our eyes. There is really no difference. If you would like to learn more about this topic, in addition to the aforementioned articles, please also consider reading "The Judgment of Angels, Demons and Men" and "Sex, a Bowl of Soup, and the Nature of Angels".
While this is not normally the case, it may surprise some of you to learn that in His Wisdom, God will sometimes use our human weaknesses of the flesh for His glory. As I explain in the series "My God is a Shocker", the Bible informs us that such was the case with the Patriarch Judah. Without delving into the details of the story, suffice it to say that Judah's sexual lust for his daughter-in-law, Tamar -- who played the harlot -- resulted in the birth of Pharez and Zarah. Pharez thus continued the Judean line, which ultimately led to the birth of Jesus Christ.
Another womanizer of the Old Testament period was Israel's famous strongman, Samson. It seems that Samson just could not keep his lustful eyes off of those pretty women, particularly some of the Philistine women, who were his people's enemies. As a result of his craving for foreign feminine flesh, Samson caused no small consternation for his parents, and his sexual shenanigans were constantly getting him into trouble. As you may know, Samson met his match in the Philistine beauty named Delilah, who was in fact his downfall. Captured and blinded by his enemies, Samson eventually brought down the temple of the false god Dagon, and in the process slew over three thousand of the Philistines. He likewise died as a direct result of his actions.
While the Book of Judges informs us that these events were a part of God's Will, and were used to punish the Philistines, at the same time, I can't help but wonder if there might not be a deeper lesson we can learn from this story. I think it is interesting that Samson's greatest weakness was the fact that he lusted with his eyes, and in the end he lost both of them. While I believe that Jesus was speaking in a symbolic sense in the following verse, and that He was referring to the individual members of the Body of Christ, we can draw an interesting parallel between what he states here, and what occurred in the life of Samson:
"And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."
Matthew 18:9, KJV
If there is one thing that becomes clear upon conducting a diligent study of the Scriptures, it is that God's Word is filled with stories of men who were both great leaders in the eyes of the world, as well as great sinners. Perhaps the man with whom most people are probably familiar from the stories of the Old Testament is King David. After all, he led a very colorful life. We find the story regarding his illicit affair with the beautiful Bathsheba in the eleventh chapter of the Second Book of Samuel:
"And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child."
2 Samuel 11:2-5, KJV
Once again we see that it was a seemingly "innocent" lustful glance which led to disaster. As many of you will know, not only did King David commit first degree murder in order to conceal his act of adultery, but an innocent child died as well, as a result of David and Bathsheba's sin. It is plain to see then that there can be serious consequence when we choose to sin with our eyes. Adam and Eve's sin resulted in both the physical and the spiritual death of humanity. The rebellion of the Fallen Angels eventually resulted in the destruction of the Earth. Samson lost his eyes and his own life as well. A general was murdered and a newborn baby was slain as a result of King David's lustful glance. Viewing pornography may not result in such drastic consequences as these, but it will pollute your mind and spirit, and it is not pleasing to the Lord.
No doubt there are some of you who are reading this series who have had a problem with pornography for a long time. It has taken such control of your life, that perhaps you have begun to think that you will never be able to free yourself from your nasty habit, so why even try. Maybe you have cried out to the Lord for His help, and have obtained a temporary victory over pornography, only to fall back into it again in a moment of weakness. If this happens to be your situation, you may find it encouraging to know that even the Apostle Paul admits that fighting the sinful, lustful old man of the flesh was not always an easy task for him. On at least one occasion, he demonstrates frustration regarding his battle against sin and the carnal weaknesses of his flesh. Thus he writes the following:
"For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
Romans 7:15-25, KJV
Consider Paul's desperation that is revealed in the words "O wretched man that I am!" Is that how you have felt at times? "O wretched man that I am!" Or perhaps "O wretched woman that I am!" Yes, women become involved in viewing pornography too. It is not just a guy thing, is it ladies? So perhaps you say to yourself, "When will I be delivered from this unsatiable, lustful appetite for pornography? When will I be able to tear my eyes away from this filthy material once and for all? Oh Lord, please deliver me from this lustful temptation and sin!"
In Paul's first Epistle to the brethren at Corinth, he again mentions the ongoing battle he endures against the carnal cravings of his flesh, and how he must continually keep his body in subjection, with these words:
"I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
1 Corinthians 9:26-27, KJV
Paul reiterates the very same point in the following verse as well. Just as we saw a minute ago, he recognizes that our mortal flesh is sinful, and that there's really nothing that we can do about it, because we all inherit a sinful nature from our progenitors, Adam and Eve. However, the point that Paul stresses is that just because our flesh is sinful, does not mean that we should just let sin reign over us. We must fight against sin, and we must strive to bring our bodies into subjection. Obviously, when people choose to yield to the temptation of pornography and other sinful lusts of the flesh, they are not doing this. They are not bringing their body into subjection. They are in fact allowing sin to reign in their bodies:
"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof."
Romans 6:12, KJV
What Paul also seems to be saying in the previous verse is that it is bodily lusts which also result in the commitment of sin. This same point is also confirmed by the Apostle James who writes the following:
"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
James 1:14-15, KJV
Stated another way, it appears that it is the actual carrying out -- or doing -- of the lust which results in the sin being committed. Lust comes first; then the sin. Thus James writes that lust "bringeth forth sin".
I imagine that there are very few sexually-mature people in the world who have not experienced illicit sexual craving -- or lust -- at some point. As I noted earlier in this series, considering how much greedy merchants and advertisers have saturated our lives with sexually-oriented material at every possible turn, it is quite difficult to not experience some degree of lust, no matter how righteous and holy we think we may be. Nobody is made of stone. Perhaps we cannot stop the feelings of lust which sometimes invade our bodies, but we can most certainly prevent that lust from being carried out in an inappropriate manner, such as by viewing pornography. Of course, at the same time, we need to remember what Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew:
"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
Matthew 5:28, KJV
Oh well. It seems that no matter how we look at, we are all still guilty of sin, regardless of whether or not we have actually committed the deed. Thus, as the Apostle Paul also writes in his Epistle to the Roman brethren:
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one . . . For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:10, 23, KJV
In writing to the brethren at Galatia, Paul again addresses the same issue regarding the continual battle which we must all fight, as our flesh wages unending warfare against the Spirit, and the Spirit wars against our flesh. Notice how Paul writes "so that ye cannot do the things that ye would", just as he had written in his Epistle to the Roman brethren in the previous verses:
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
Galatians 5:16-25, KJV
Clearly, our sinful, lustful flesh does not want to yield itself to God's Will. Quite to the contrary, it wants to rebel, and do everything which the Lord finds abominable. It craves the things of the world, while our spirit craves the things of God, and it is a never-ending battle between the two.
If we dig deeper into the Scriptures of the New Testament, we discover that there are a number of other verses where the writers likewise address the daily battles we must all wage against the lusts of our sinful flesh. Consider the following ones. I will be making some interesting points afterwards:
"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: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
Ephesians 2:2-3, KJV
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
Ephesians 4:17-24, KJV
"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."
1 Timothy 6:9, KJV
"For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,"
2 Timothy 3:6, KJV
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"
2 Timothy 4:3, KJV
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
Titus 2:11-14, KJV
"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another."
Titus 3:3, KJV
"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
James 4:3, KJV
"As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
1 Peter 1:14-16, KJV
"Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."
1 Peter 2:11-12, KJV
"Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot [a profligate, licentious, promiscuous life], speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead."
1 Peter 4:1-5, KJV
"For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error."
2 Peter 2:18, KJV
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
2 Peter 3:3-4, KJV
"These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit."
Jude 1:16-19, KJV
One interesting result of compiling verse lists such as the previous one, is that it gives us greater clarity regarding what certain words mean, and in fact, what certain verses actually mean. Why? Because we can see how certain words are used across a wide range of verses, as well as by different writers. When we understand that the Greek word "epithumia" -- translated here as "lusts" -- refers to a forbidden desire, longing or craving, it gives a whole new meaning to some of the previous verses. In fact, what caught my attention is how some of these verses can be more precisely applied to our own current times, and in so doing, expose the sins and deceptions of this present generation.
Please go to part four for the conclusion of this series.
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