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Daily Bread - April 5, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 07:58
1 John 2:17- And the world passes away, and its desires; but he who does
the will of God abides forever.

From Matthew 7:21 to 1 John 4:17, we hear the cry of the Spirit of God
warning all men that only those who do the will of the Father will remain.
The world and its desires are only temporary. The world system, that is
opposed to the will of God and the Kingdom of God, will be utterly
destroyed. The god of this world has already been judged; and one day his
rule will come to an end, and his influence will cease to exist forever
(John 12:31; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 11:15, 20:10, 14).
There is only one thing right now in the world of men that will endure for
ever, and that is the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23-25; Psalms 119:89; Isaiah
40:8; Luke 16:17). The Psalmist said, "The law of the Lord is perfect,
converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the
simple. The statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the
commandments of the Lord are pure, enlightening the eyes...More to be
desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold: sweeter also than
honey and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned, and in
keeping of them there is great reward (Psalms 19:7-11).

Doing the will of the Father has many blessings associated with it. Obeying
God converts the soul, makes the simple man wise, causes the heart to
rejoice, brings enlightenment, and more benefits than can be numbered
(Psalms 103:2, 68:19; Philippians 4:19). In reality, doing the will of the
Father leads us to the greatest treasure that can be found -life
forevermore. The reward of doing His will is not only eternal life, but
abundant life. God created life, and He alone knows how it works. Just as
there is a consequence for breaking the natural laws that govern the earth,
there is a consequence for breaking the spiritual laws that govern the
earth. If we want to walk in the abundance of blessings, then we will obey
the spiritual laws; and consequentially, we will reap an abundant life that
lasts forever. If we sow to the flesh, we shall reap corruption; but if we
sow to that which belongs to God, viz. doing the will of God, and give
ourselves to being taught of the Holy Ghost, we will reap life forevermore
(Galatians 6:7-8; Job 4:8; Proverbs 1:31; Psalms 1; 1 Corinthians 6:9;
Ephesians 5:6; Romans 8:2; Hosea 10:12; Proverbs 11:18).
 
Daily Bread - April 4, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 07:10
1 John 2:16 - Because everything that is in the world: the desire of the
flesh, and the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the
Father, but is of the world.

Part 3 - The Pride of Life
The final phrase in this group of three things in the world is, "he
alazoneia tou biou". The Greek word 'alazoneia' may be translated, 'pride,
arrogance, or boastfulness'. It is difficult to define this word from a
Biblical context because it does not appear in any of the canonized books
of the Old Testament, and it only appears twice in the New Testament. It is
translated in the Authorized Version as 'pride', but the Greek word used in
1 Timothy 3:6 is 'tuphoo,' "Not a novice lest he be lifted up in pride" (1
Timothy 3:1-7). Unfortunately, the English word 'pride' is only found three
times in the New Testament, and it is translated from a different word each
time (Mark 7:22; 1 Timothy 3:6; 1 John 2:16).

The Greek word 'bios', translated 'life' in this verse, is found ten times
in the New Testament and means 'livelihood, the means of life, life,
duration of life'. The Greek word 'bios' would be opposed to 'zoe', which
is used to identify eternal life -the life that one receives when they are
born from above. The phrase, "he alazoneia tou biou", can therefore be
translated: a- Pride of life. b- Pride about one's means of livelihood. c-
Pride about one's lifestyle. Be certain that you do not give a false value
to the things that you can do and achieve in this natural and temporal life
(Jeremiah 17:5-8).
 
Daily Bread - April 3, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Monday, 03 April 2017 10:54
1 John 2:16 - Because everything that is in the world: the desire of the
flesh, and the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the
Father, but is of the world.

Part 2 - The Desire of the Eyes
Everything in the world is antithetical to God. The satanic forces of hell
dominate this realm (2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 John 5:19). There is nothing in
the world system that comes from the Father, directly or indirectly. Satan
is the father of all sin and iniquity, and it is from him alone that this
darkness has issued. The primary means of enticing men and leading them
away from God is through that which may be seen, felt and gained.

One of the first things that we might ask at this juncture is, what is the
difference between the 'desire of the flesh' and 'the desire of the eye'?
The 'desire of the eye' would be those things that are attractive to view,
and that could lead you away from the will of God and his purposes. For
example: Eve saw the forbidden tree in Genesis 3:6 as, "pleasurable to the
eye and desirable." She did not have this attraction because of an 'evil
nature' at work in her. But under the influence of the suggestion of the
Satanic realm, she yielded herself to that which was not of God (Genesis
3:1-6). Looking on that which was forbidden was not an evil act in and of
itself. Rather, it became the means by which she was enticed to eat of that
which God had forbidden. When men look on things that are forbidden by God,
they open themselves up to be lead away into an evil desire that results in
immorality and ungodliness. Therefore, we need to recognize that it is
essential for us to make a covenant with our eyes to turn away and not
behold that which could lead us into disobedience (Job 31:1-4).

It may be said that 'the desire of the eye' is that which entices the eye,
and 'the desire of the flesh' is that which entices the body. Yet, at the
same time, one may argue that these two are in many respects synonymous.
However, the eye looks for that which is beautiful, and the body for that
which is pleasurable. Now, one may say God made that which is beautiful and
pleasurable, and that is indeed true! However, satan has taken what God has
made, and twisted and perverted it. We must recognize that the satanic
forces use the material realm of God's creation to set up their offensive
against man and the will of God. It is absolutely essential that we learn
to choose good and refuse evil (Deuteronomy 30:19; Isaiah 7:15; Hebrews
1:9; Proverbs 8).

In the Old Testament, God expected His people to discipline themselves and
be committed to obeying Him in all things. Even though they were not born
from above, and were without the change of heart and motive that is given
to us by the divine nature, yet, it was their responsibility to not be
involved with following after those things that would lead them into sin.
"You shall remember all the commandments of the Lord to do them, and you
shall not turn back toward the desire of your own heart and your eyes"
(Numbers 15:39). Jesus is very clear on how someone should deal with
anything that causes a person to sin: cut it off or pluck it out (Mark
9:43-48).
 
Daily Bread - April 1, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Saturday, 01 April 2017 09:47
1 John 2:16 - Because everything that is in the world: the desire of the
flesh, and the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the
Father, but is of the world.

Part 1 - The Desires of the Flesh

The phrase used in 1 John 2:16, "he epithymai tes sarkos" (the desire of
the flesh) is one of the identifiers of those who are not born of God (the
Father). The desire of the flesh is a dimension of the wickedness that
belongs to the world. It is opposite to the desire of the Spirit, and
something that we belonged to prior to salvation (Ephesians 2:3; Romans
8:9). It is opposed to the love of the Father. The love of the Father
teaches us to "deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live
righteously, godly and soberly in this present world" (Titus 2:11-12). The
word 'epithymai' means 'desire, wish', and it is used in both a good and
bad sense. In Philippians 1:23, Paul says, "My desire... is to be with
Christ". On the other hand, it is used in a bad sense in John 8:44, "The
devil is your father, and you carry out the desires of your father." John
only uses the word 'sarx', or 'flesh', one time in his First Epistle in
relationship to the wickedness of the unredeemed man. When he uses the word
two other times, he uses it in a good sense referring to Jesus being
manifested in the flesh (1 John 4:2, 3).

There are two approaches to understanding the "desires of the flesh",
either in the Greek sense or the Hebrew. The Hebrew concept of the 'sarx'
(flesh) includes all of man's weaknesses, not just sensual or carnal, but
the realm of the purely human without divine help. This is still witnessed
in the New Testament where the 'sarx' may be regarded as human knowledge
(flesh and blood) distinct from divine revelation (Matthew 16:17; Galatians
1:16; John 8:15). Paul also regards the flesh as the power of sin that is
opposed to the Spirit of God, a power that is removed by the circumcision
of Christ (Romans 7:5; Colossians 2:11). The Greeks exclusively use 'sarx',
to refer to eating, drinking, and illicit sexual relations. They would
regard 'sarx' as that which is sensual and carnal and opposed to anything
spiritual or pious.

Now, when we find flesh in the Bible, it would be incorrect to jump to a
conclusion that every usage of 'flesh' refers only to those things that are
evil, for Christ Jesus was manifested in the flesh and suffered in the
flesh. However, when we focus in on the phrase, 'desire of the flesh', we
find an exclusive application to that which is opposite of the Spirit of
God and contrary to the will of the Father. "Put on Christ and make no
provision for the 'desires of the flesh'", "Walk in the Spirit and you
shall not fulfill the 'desires of the flesh'" "Those who belong to Christ
Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Romans
13:14; Galatians 5:16-17, 24). In the New Testament, a clear distinction is
made between those of the Spirit and those of the flesh. Yet, at the same
time, we know that Jesus became flesh and lived after the Spirit. Still,
the fact remains that the distinction between the flesh and the Spirit can
be as radical as that of light and darkness, or simply a contrast between
human ability and divine ability (Galatians 4:22-29). However, there is one
thing that we can be certain of: God makes it essential that all men are
born of the Spirit and live after the Spirit (John 3:6; Romans 8:9; 1 Peter
4:1). Now, through the grace of God that has brought to us this radical
transformation of nature, we are "not in the flesh, but in the Spirit"
(Romans 8:9; Titus 2:11-13). Therefore, let's yield to the Holy Spirit
today, and let Him lead us and guide us in every desire of our lives.
 
Daily Bread - March 31, 2017
Written by Pastor Mark Spitsbergen
Friday, 31 March 2017 07:28
1 John 2:15 - Do not love the world, neither the things in the world. If
anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.


Contrary to popular humanism, there is absolutely nothing that belongs to
the "world" that is of God. The world, and all that is in it, is opposed to
God's holiness and purity. The world was designed by 'the prince of the
power of the air', 'the god of this world', that works in the children of
disobedience (Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Its demonic design is to
appeal to everything that belongs to the works of the flesh, also referred
to as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life (1
John 2:16). It is the actions of all of those who do not walk in the life
of Jesus, who are led by the Spirit of Holiness. The contrast between God
and the world could not be more clear, and the proof more certain. If you
have a love for the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in
you (James 4:4). The love of the Father, which is evidenced by our
obedience to Him, is placed within our hearts by the Holy Spirit and is the
foremost proof of the new birth (John 13:35, 14:15, 14:21, 14:24, 15:10; 1
John 2:5, 5:2; Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22). If we have His love in us, then
we will love those things He loves; and we will obey Him (1 John 3:10,
5:2-3; John 14:15, 23, 15:10). If we have received the gift of God, then we
will never thirst for the world (John 4:10-14). The spirit of the world and
its lust will come masquerading as our own desires, but the wisdom that we
have received from God causes us to see that spirit for what it is. Though
the fleshly lusts of the world and the spirit of disobedience war against
our souls, we have His overcoming power to withstand it -for greater is He
that is in us than he that is in the world (Ephesians 2:2-3; 1 Peter 2:11;
1 John 4:4).

God is absolutely separate from the world, and has a burning wrath against
all its sin and iniquity (Romans 1:18; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6). This
should not be hard for anyone to understand, especially in view of the fact
that the world is controlled by every evil enterprise of satan (1 John
4:3-5, 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; John 16:11; Ephesians 2:2). If we are on
the Lord's side, then how can we do anything less than hate those things
that oppose the purity and the goodness of the Father? How could we ever be
in league with all those things which grieve the Father's heart and violate
His way of life? We have been given the blessed gift and invitation to come
out from among them, and be separate with Him (2 Corinthians 6:17). We are
called to separate ourselves from the the filthiness of the flesh and of
the spirit and perfect holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1). The
door into His presence has been opened unto us. We have been given the life
of Christ. This glorious fellowship with Almighty God, in which we have
everything that pertains to life and godliness, is ours! Why would we ever
go out and return to the place of death which despises the ways of the
Lord? (Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 2:6; John 15:1-5, 17:21-23; Hebrews
10:19-21, 12:22).

We are not of this world, even as He is not of this world -changed and
transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit to live a godly life (John
15:19, 17:14, 16; 2 Peter 1:3-4; Titus 2:12, 3:5). Our hearts have been
united with the heart of the Lord, and our spirits made one with God. We
are His sons and daughters, created in Christ Jesus to live in His ways. We
have no love for worldly lusts, but rather are at war against them. We have
been given the gifts of God's holiness and righteousness and could not be
more opposite from an ungodly world. We are to despise the evil, and have
no fellowship with its works of darkness and its spirit of disobedience.
Our citizenship is in heaven, and as strangers and pilgrims, we walk in the
Spirit and abstain from fleshly lusts, following in the footsteps of Christ
Jesus and clothed with His majesty and honor.
 
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