The Ruler of this World
A Sermon Delivered to
26 May 2013
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
2 Peter 2:20
Last week we talked about receiving the grace of Pentecost, and this week we’re going to look at the opposite side of that coin, so to speak. We’re going to look at what it takes to stand against the ruler of this world, the devil.
In Proverbs 8:1-11, we see wisdom personified, which should be in each and every one of us who have the knowledge of the Lord; for true wisdom is the application of the understanding and knowledge of the Lord in our lives and in the world around us.
1. Does not wisdom call,
And understanding lift up her voice?
2. On top of the heights beside the way,
Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
We believe that the place where the paths meet is everywhere that good and evil meet.
It is the place where wisdom takes her stand against all forms of evil, and speaks out in a clear and loud voice to encourage others to join with her against the ruler of this world and all his evil schemes.
3. Beside the gates, at the opening to the city,
At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
4. “To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
5. “O naive ones, discern prudence;
And, O fools, discern wisdom.
6. “Listen, for I shall speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips will produce right things.
7. “For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
When we’re in the world with other people, do we join in the conversations about the ungodly things that they are talking about, which include the killing and eating of animals?
This Bible passage is telling us that we are not to do such things, or it will contaminate us.
All wickedness is to be an abomination to our lips, and we should never even think of uttering such things.
8. “All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness;
There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
9. “They are all straightforward to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.
This is the way we should be seen in the world around us.
10. “Take my instruction, and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
11. “For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things can not compare with her.
We cannot buy or sell wisdom, and it is far more valuable than precious metals and jewels.
It is the grace of God within us.
At the beginning of our discussion of Proverbs 8 we said that, among other things, wisdom is the application of the knowledge of the Lord, and here in Isaiah 11:9 we see how it brings peace to the earth.
9. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.
If there is no one left who hurts or destroys any part of God’s creation, then we know that wisdom derived from the knowledge of the Lord has overcome the ruler of this world.
Now, in 2 Peter 2:20 we see that if we are not totally committed to the Lord our God, or pretend to be full of the knowledge of the Lord, we really harm ourselves, which we believe is a major problem in the majority of the churches.
20. For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
The churches and other religious institutions really set the moral standards of the world around them.
If they really had the wisdom of the understanding and knowledge of the Lord, they would be setting the example of peacemaking children of God, and no longer participate in the ways of the ruler of this world with all the violent ways of the world, beginning with our warring madness against both humans and other animals.
They would no longer promote hunting and fish killing as a “ministry”, and they would no longer have fundraising dinners based upon the tortured remains of innocent animals.
Note what Jesus tells us in John 16:8-15.
8. “And He [the Holy Spirit], when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment;
9. concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;
10. and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me;
11. and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
But, we have had the Holy Spirit with us for the past 2000 years, and still we see that the vast majority of the people of the earth are not living in the knowledge of the Lord, because their lifestyles clearly show that they are still living in the ways of the ruler of this world.
Are they faking having the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of the Lord?
It sure seems like it.
12. “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
To us, this sure seems to indicate that these ungodly and supposedly religious people really know the truth, but have deliberately chosen to live in the ways of the ruler of this world.
14. “He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.
15. “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you.
Where is their faith?
We hear them say that they believe, but we see no evidence of it in their lives.
It sure seems that relatively few people really are listening to the unction of the Holy Spirit.
This is a wake up call!
Let’s now take a look at Romans 5:1-5.
1. Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2. through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
Does this also explain why so many people who claim to have faith, but lack the fruit of such faith by living in the ways of the ruler of this world, also don’t have peace with God and His creation?
3. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
4. and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
5. and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
We have people contacting us all the time about the tribulations they face from individual Christians and the church, because they have compassion for animals and don’t eat them.
And thankfully, most of them persevere and seek another church home either in their community or on the internet.
However, this should never have to happen, for all churches and pastors should be standing up against the forces of evil in this world that hurt and destroy so much of God’s beautiful creation.
They should be peacemaking children of God seeking ways to free creation from its present corruption, and at the same time be a true loving, compassionate, and peaceful sanctuary for all living beings who have been afflicted by the ruler of this world and his minions.
We are all to be God’s children.