TBD on Ning


Philip Harrelson

1 John 2:16 KJV 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.

John has indentified the three avenues or gates of temptation that will constantly work to stop a man who is diligently trying to serve the Lord.

A. The Lust of the Flesh

The lust of the flesh has much to do with the five senses of feeling, touching, tasting, smelling, and seeing. All of these have to do with the desires and urges of the flesh. The desires and urges alone are not sinful, they become sinful when they are not controlled. There are two distinct times that the desires of the flesh become sinful:

• When the flesh longs for something that is entirely prohibited by God.
• When the flesh is in a state of constant desire and is followed by a consuming passion to gain what he is longing for.

In reality the place to really look to concerning the whims of the flesh would be Paul’s listing of the works of the flesh in Galatians:

Galatians 5:19-21 KJV Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, [20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, [21] 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.

• Adultery: Unfaithfulness within marriage. Also, to look on another person of the opposite sex with sinful intent is characterized by Jesus as adultery (Matthew 5:27-28).
• Fornication: A broad word including all forms of immoral and sexual acts. It is generally looked upon as pre-marital sex but can involve adultery, perversion, and sexual vice.
• Uncleanness: Moral impurity. Involvement with things that will pollute and soil life.
• Lasciviousness: Filthiness, indecency, and shamelessness. A chief characteristic of this behavior is open and shameless indecency. It has to do with unrestrained evil thoughts and behavior.
• Idolatry: The worship of idols, whether they are mental or made with one’s hands. It is the worship of some idea of what God is like, of an image of God within a person’s mind. It is the giving of one’s primary devotion (time and energy) to something other than God.
• Witchcraft: Sorcery. The use of drugs or of evil spirits to gain control over the lives of others or over one’s own life. It can include all forms of seeking the control of fate by resorting to astrology, palm reading, séances, fortune telling, crystals, and other forms of witchcraft.
• Hatred: Enmity, hostility, and animosity. It is a lingering feeling of hate that is held for a long time and is very deep-seated.
• Variance: Strife, discord, contention, fighting, struggling, quarrelling, dissension, or wrangling. It means that a man strives against another person in order to get something: position, promotion, property, honor, or recognition. He deceives, doing whatever has to be done to get what he is after.
• Emulations: Wanting and desiring to have what someone else has. It may be material things, recognition, honor, or position.
• Wrath: Indignation. A violent, explosive temper. Anger. Quick and explosive reactions that arise from stirred and boiling emotions. It is characterized as anger that falls away just as quickly as it arose, it does not last.
• Strife: Conflict, struggle, fighting, contention, factions. It can also be a party spirit that responds to the involvement in cliques that are formed at the exclusion of others.
• Seditions: Division, rebellion, standing against others. It also involves an incitement to splitting off from the main group.
• Heresies: Rejecting the fundamental beliefs of God, the Scriptures, and the process of the Church. Believing and holding to some teaching other than truth.
• Envyings: This moves beyond jealousy. It is the spirit that wants not only the things that another person has, but begrudges the fact that the person has them. It wants a person to lose the things he has, and wants him to suffer through the loss of them.
• Murders: To kill and take the life of another person. It is a sin against the sixth commandment.
• Drunkenness: Taking a drink or drugs to affect one’s senses for lust or pleasure. Becoming intoxicated; partaking of drugs; seeking to loosen moral restraint for bodily pleasure.
• Revellings: Carousing. Uncontrolled license, indulgence, and pleasure. Taking part in wild parties or in drinking parties. Lying around indulging in feeding the lusts of the flesh.

The lust of the flesh is a relentless process that seeks to corrupt anything that is good. The cult of the flesh desires for a man to become a slave. Marriage is good but it is sinful to get outside of the boundaries of marriage. Eating is good but it is sin to become gluttonous. Having fun is good but it is sinful to pursue a life that is consumed with pleasure and irresponsibility concerning duty.

B. The Lust of the Eyes

Another gate that John mentions from the world is the lust of the eyes. The world will not just play on those things that we feel pressing from within. Those things that press from within works toward the fulfillment of some base pleasure but there is also the attack of temptation that comes from without. It involves what you can see.

Proverbs 20:12 KJV The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.

It is a blessing to be able to see in fact it is a gift from God to be able to see. Yet the eyes can be a great breach of destruction if they are not shielded.

• Lot’s wife misused her eyes and perished.
• Achan saw and coveted and then took. It destroyed him and his family.
• Samson saw something he wanted with his eyes and it later cost him his eyes.
• David saw Bathsheba and paid profoundly for it for the rest of his life.
There are sins of the eyes that Scripture characterizes:

• The lust of the eyes for all kinds of immorality.

Matthew 5:28 KJV But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Romans 1:26-28 KJV For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: [27] And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. [28] And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

2 Peter 2:14 KJV Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

• The lust of the eyes for all kinds of evil.

Matthew 6:23 KJV But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

• The lust of the eyes for things that other people have.

Psalms 10:8 KJV He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.

Luke 12:15 KJV And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

• The lust of the eyes for pleasures and possessions of this world.

Ecclesiastes 2:10 KJV And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

• The lust of the eyes after wine and drugs.

Proverbs 23:29-31 KJV Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? [30] They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. [31] Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

• The lust of the eyes after other gods.

Leviticus 26:1 KJV Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.

We are encouraged by the Psalmist to turn our eyes away from vanity.

Psalms 119:37 KJV Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

Albert Barnes -- Remember that when Achan saw the goods of Jericho he coveted, he took, he hid. There is a downhill trend to the man who follows his eyes to the vanity of this world. It is so easy to get distracted by this world for it has a lot of charm to the natural man. . . . . An ugly object loses much of its deformity when we look often upon it. Sin follows the general law, and is to be avoided altogether, even in its contemplation, we would be safe. A man should be thankful in this world that he has eyelids; and as he can close his eyes, so he should often do it.

C. The Pride of Life

The third gate that may attempt to distract the saint in our walk with God is the pride of life. It is the loud braggart. This form of worldliness is the desire to exceed everyone else and then loudly boast of it. It is fueled by pride and covetousness.

Sensuality (lust of the flesh) is the corruption from the lower part of man’s nature and the gratification comes from bodily desires and forbidden ways. Covetousness (lust of the eye) is a corruption of a nobler part of man’s nature. It is the unlawful abuse of the creation of God and desiring what all men have. Pride (pride of life) is the corruption of the noblest part of man’s being. It is the self-exaltation of his spirit made in the image of God. This is pride that defies God. This is what got Lucifer, the devil, a fallen-archangel tossed from Heaven.

When the path of Eve’s deception is explored, the first question was leading Eve into a place of distrusting God. It caused man to subject God human judgment. The serpent made God look restrictive. Eve adds things to what God said, “We cannot touch
it.” In reality God has declared they cannot eat of it (Genesis 2:16-17). Why did she not defend the Word of God? When she added to what God had said, the trap sprang on her. Satan basically turned God into a liar (in the eyes of Eve) and his words begin to appeal her.

• Good for Food -- The lust of the flesh was tempted. The serpent made the pretense that something good was being held back from Adam and Eve.
• Beautiful to Look Upon -- The lust of the eyes was enticed. The serpent now moves from the physical to the emotional.
• Will Make One Wise -- The highest appeal was the sensational power of making one wise. This fulfilled the call for the pride of life.

This is the identical route the devil took with the temptation of Jesus in Luke 4.

Luke 4:1-11 KJV And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, [2] Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. [3] And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. [4] And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. [5] And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [6] 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. [7] If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. [8] And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. [9] And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: [10] For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: [11] And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

• Luke 4:3 -- Make some bread. An appeal to the baser instincts. An appeal to the flesh.
• Luke 4:6-7 -- Rule the world that you can see. An appeal to the eyes.
• Luke 4:9-11 -- Leap from the Temple. Be sensational in the course of the religious world. This is a huge lesson for those involved in ministry and spiritual leadership.

Every temptation was met with a response from Scripture (Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:13; 10:20; 6:16). This is how we must oppose the process of worldliness. Man will not get better, he will only get worse (2 Timothy 3:13). John explicitly states that we are not to be a part of this! We are driven by the will of the Father. As the old song says, “I cannot fail the Lord!”

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Comment by Fractalac Non-linear on July 15, 2009 at 6:15am
This is an inappropriate place for you to share your beliefs. Please start a group and post there.
Comment by Gary Douglas Eldridge on July 15, 2009 at 1:25am
this is powerful. I was at work when I read it. I agree with every word and continuing to follow every word.
thansk for sharing the word of God. Be blessed....Rev Gary.



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